Q&A with Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing at Everstring
MEDIA 7 | November 14, 2019
Matt Amundson, VP of Marketing at EverString has over 10 years of sales and marketing experience. Matt has held roles in Demand Generation and Sales Development at TIBCO, Marketo, FGXI and Red Bull. His primary focus has been on creating processes that generate a consistent, pipeline.
MEDIA 7: Could you tell us about your mantra “Go for the run”?
MATT AMUNDSON: On December 29th of 2017, I decided to change my lifestyle habits and decided that I’m going to run a minimum of one mile every single day. So, every day since that day I’ve got up and ran. It’s been a seminal moment where my approach on life and work has changed dramatically. And as a result of that, it’s become a personal mantra, which is to not be afraid of where you might be today. If you’ve got some lofty goals or if you want to try something new, just get out there and give it a try and see what the results of it could be. On a personal level, whether you’re physically tired or don’t feel like doing it, just give it a shot and go for it. On a professional level, if it’s something that can benefit you or your brand give it a try, go for it and see what happens.
M7: What is your favorite part about working at EverString?
MA: I really love the people that I work with and I’ve been at the organization for about four and a half years. Some of the folks that I’ve worked with since the beginning are still here and it’s just been an awesome journey to be on with some incredible colleagues and that’s just on a personal level. On a professional level, I think we’re all solving a major problem that a lot of organizations are suffering from – which is related to data. As a marketer who has existed in the mar tech space for the broader part of my career, we often think of our process improvements and workflow improvements to gain more efficiency. Whether that’s marketing automation system or a cool new technology like conversational AI most people fall into two camps when it comes to data, either they’re just not conscious of data or they are. The data that they purchase or the data they acquire ultimately powers everything they do from a marketing perspective or they’re used to the status quo of current data providers that provide low quality of data and are sort of mired in the “well I guess that’s the way it is and that’s just the quality level that I have to deal with”. The fact that we’re changing that for some of the world’s biggest brands like Capital One, FedEx, Staples, Autodesk, Oracle as well as the smaller brands is really exciting to me.
"The world’s largest businesses do really large contracts with much bigger deals because they are so data focused and we can provide not only the data but also data science to go along with that."
M7: How does EverString’s data platform stand out from the rest in delivering high coverage as well as accuracy for data vendors?
MA: The high-quality of our data lies in the way that we collect data versus the way that traditional data vendors collect. The traditional route for collecting data is by using a couple of different ways, but the most traditional would be to have a call from somewhere where people are just dialing into an organization and asking them for data about their companies. That’s problematic for a lot of reasons, one being – you’re essentially relying on people to give you accurate answers to the frequency at which you’re updating. This is fairly sparse because you’re not always going to get a hold of somebody as businesses are changing.
The way EverString does it is by taking a more digital approach to it – we use machine learning and artificial intelligence not only to go out and scrape and collect data and update that data on a monthly basis but we also use artificial intelligence to say, if these companies are similar, the likelihood that they have the same attributes or technology or number of sales employees or engineering employees is probably true as well. So, we’re able to predict that type of data and then feed it back through people to go in and verify. So essentially, we’re able to collect data on a much broader set of companies in a much faster fashion and we’re able to update that data much more frequently than any of our competitors.
M7: What marketing channels do you use and which ones do you see as the most promising given your target customers?
MA: We have a fairly small marketing department; we only have five people on the team. But I think the team that we have here is very efficient, and the channels that we generally lean into are the traditional channels of email, digital marketing through both PPC display advertising as well as using platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook which have actually been successful for us.
One of the things that we do is we’re very heavy direct mail marketers and we’ve found a lot of efficiency gain from that. We’re also very well–known for doing really great events, we did a party at Marketo summit in 2016 that had about 3000 people there and luckily, we had Will Smith as the keynote presenter from Marketo summit come and perform in the party. So, that was an amazing event that we’ve been very well known for.
"There’s just a lot of in accuracy and incompleteness in data so modelling that data to try to predict outcomes is problematic."
M7: Since you joined the company EverString in 2015, what paradigm shift do you see in the company today?
MA: In the early days of the business we really focused on being primarily a data science company where we wanted to roll out our customer’s data to essentially model and predict outcomes. And the problem with that was a lot of what I talked about at the top of our conversation. There’s just a lot of inaccuracy and incompleteness in data so modelling that data to try to predict outcomes was problematic. And what we realized three years ago was we couldn’t just be a data science company we also had to be a data company and so we set out on this journey to become the data company and realistically about 18 months ago we saw the fruit of that work. For about the last six quarters we’ve been able to go into some of the world’s largest businesses and do really large contracts with much bigger deals because they are so data focused and we can provide not only the data but also data science to go along with that. So, it’s not just that they consume raw data from us but also let us use our own internal data science capabilities to make sense of that data to help marketers do better segmentation, for sales people to have better insights into why they should be reaching out to an account when they should be reaching out to an operations teams to be able to provide their go-to-market teams with just a much higher quality of data.
"Everstring makes sense of data to help marketers do better segmentation and for sales people to have better insights into why they should be reaching out to an account or operations teams."
M7: How old were you when you had your first paying job?
MA: I think I was about 10 years old and I fall into like the fairly regular category of a lot of people that I know in the professional world who began their careers as adolescents with a paper route. So, I was like the neighborhood paperboy for a number of years and that was interesting because that taught me a lot of lessons and how to ask people for money which is fairly difficult. It also taught me discipline and building routines and processes around making sure you get up early making sure papers are delivered on time. So, it was a great learning lesson for me. I didn’t necessarily think about it in the time I just kind of thought about the 50 bucks a month that I was getting to go spend on candy and toys.
EverString’s AI SaaS solution is designed for B2B sales and marketing professionals to drive pipeline growth, help close new customers, expand into new markets, prioritize accounts, and provide actionable insights – all without the need for an administrator.
EverString is backed by leading investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, IDG Ventures and Lakestar. For more information, visit www.everstring.com.