A collection of true stories that highlight the highs and lows of demand generation, and the marketing mavens who tackle it head-on.


Welcome to “The Wins, The Woes & The WTF’s” – a collection of real-world stories from our decades of experience in B2B demand generation. In this series, we’ll share the successes, failures, and the WTF moments that have taught us invaluable lessons about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to demand gen.

From the highs of landing a major account to the lows of a failed campaign, and the WTF’s that leave you wondering what in the world went wrong, we’ve been through it all. Each experience has given us insights and knowledge that we want to pass on to you. We’ll share the good, the bad, and everything in between, so that you can be better prepared for success in your own demand gen efforts.

Join us as we relive our most memorable moments, and learn from our wins, our losses, and the moments that left us scratching our heads. Let’s dive in and explore “The Wins, The Woes & The WTF’s” together.

Chapter 1

When the CEO says “I NEVER want to see the Marketing Funnel again at an executive leadership meeting [Enter a long uncomfortable silence]”. Ahh, that’s the moment you realize you have completely failed to articulate how marketing is measuring itself and why it matters.  Check please.

This wasn’t a small executive meeting, this was VP’s, C-Suite and Directors, all discussing the current state of Go-To-Market and how / where we could invest more to drive growth.  We’d all prepared at length and from where we sat, we were ready to have an informed dialogue.

Enter the day of, we’re sitting at a large horseshoe shaped table with an agenda that told us we were there for the long-haul.  Product, Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Engineering, hell, even a high-powered GTM consultant had gathered.  Game on.

As we moved through the day, the conversation ebbed and flowed until it was our turn to present.  We called up the slides, all of which met brand guidelines (thank you very much) and we were off.  We didn’t get 2 slides in and I realized we were f’ed.  It had taken painstaking hours to be able to present data as a true “cohort” and while we were extremely proud of what we’d built, that very thing was problem #1.  We were too close to it.

Not to worry, problem #2 was close on its heels.  The data as we had presented it didn’t match what our sales leader had produced with the help of Sales Ops.  A simple question, nicely asked, “just curious, where did you get these numbers” had me looking for the ejection handle.

That question took us down a back and forth journey on data, where it came from and what it represented and…we were hosed.  In fairness, it was the close rate data our head of sales was questioning, I’d have done the same, and it set off a spark. 3….2…1, go for launch.

Like any good Tarantino film the scene closed where this post started, with our CEO, clearly frustrated with the lack of alignment on the numbers and a longing question of “what does this cohort tell me”. Couldn’t blame him, we’d brought it on ourselves.  We had some great data and a ton of quality reports to help tell the story but we never got there.  Our fate had been sealed 2 slides in.

Yes, this did actually happen and yes, in the moment we were mortified.  We’d committed one of the 7 deadly sins of marketing in B2B.  Side note, does anyone have a list of the deadly sins of B2B marketing?  Perhaps a future post.  In this case, we had failed to confirm that how we were thinking about the business aligned with how everyone else was thinking about the business and evenmore, confirmed that our numbers matched.

We had messed up but in those moments of embarrassment, we learned some amazing lessons that ultimately became the basis of why we launched 4AM:

  • We toss around Sales & Marketing alignment like it’s easy to achieve.  We had a great relationship with sales, we even based marketing’s success on pipeline and revenue trying to align to their successes but in a single moment, it was lost.  Sales & Marketing alignment is a day-in day-out commitment that will be constantly challenged.  You have to want it.

  • Communicate up, sideways, down and all over.  We should have presented those slides 5 times before we got to that meeting, taken feedback, adjusted our slides and then gone and presented.  Had we done that, I can guarantee that we would have started with “this quarter looking backwards” instead of “this quarter looking forwards”.  More on this later.

  • When presenting marketing impact, you need to know who your audience is.  I love a great forward looking cohort but hey, I’m a marketer and data geek.  Our CEO was in the mindset of what’s happening today and what can we do to improve it in the near future.  Emphasis on near.  Different perspective, different slides, equally important.

Know thy audience, align with sales and lead with reports and analysis that answer the call of the agenda that day..


Want to get it right from the start? Learn how 4AM helps early stage B2B companies test what works and what doesn’t.

We’d love to connect!

Interested in trying the 4AM Platform for free? Create an account and let us know what you think! 

Hungry for More?

Connect With Us:

Share this Post: