As you all know, normally there aren’t any guests for Lochhead on Marketing. But today, we have a special episode for tech entrepreneurs and marketers, as we have a dialogue with Megan Bowen and Chris Walker of Refine Labs.
Megan Bowen and Chris Walker are the COO and CEO of Refine Labs. They also have an amazing podcast, called The State of Demand Gen podcast.
As there have been a lot of bad thinking in marketing, a lot of which stems from old thinking. Chris and Megan have been doing a lot in helping drive the conversation onto new grounds, and making tech companies become in demand again. So if you’d like to hear their thoughts on the matter, stay tuned.
Welcome to Lochhead on Marketing. The number one charting marketing podcast for marketers, category designers, and entrepreneurs with a different mind.
Contributing to the Marketing World
The conversation starts with lauding Megan and Chris on the wonderful work they are doing on their podcast, State of Demand Gen. Christopher himself has been a guest before; you can check the episode here. But while Refine Labs has been around for a while, there’s not really a lot of things that people know about Chris and Megan, and what they do.
Megan shares that her background has always been in customer success and company operations. For her, Chris is the true visionary and disruptor when it comes to marketing.
“What I think I really bring to the table is a different way to think about company building. And I’ve had a ton of fun becoming a marketer in how we think about acquiring great talent and positioning our company in the eyes of candidates.” – Megan Bowen
Chris adds that without Megan, it would’ve been hard to make his ideas become reality.
A Clear Shift in the Market
Chris comments that it has been obvious to him and the team that there has been a shift in how people in B2B actually want to buy things. But surprisingly, a lot of companies are not adjusting to that reality because they’re stuck in the old ways of marketing.
“That shift sort of goes in line with what some of those topics that you talked about, Christopher. Native Digitals and Native Analogs is one piece of it. So how do people primarily want to engage research, discover, evaluate their suppliers and decisions and make decisions? How do they want to do that? As we start moving into the workforce, there’s more, I think you’ve mentioned, a stat of like, at least 50% of actual decision makers in a B2B buying process are now Native Digitals.” – Chris Walker
With this shift comes a lot of new opportunities and approaches to try out. So the slow adjustment of most companies nowadays to adapt to such things is what gives companies like Refine Labs to sort of “pop out of nowhere” and dominate the market.
On Native Digitals and Native Analogs
On the topic of Native Digitals and Native Analogs, it seems that S&P 500 CEOs, who are still majority Native Analogs, are not aware that the buying market is being overrun by Native Digitals. According to Chris, those who have noticed have started to create categories and marketing catering to that demographic. But for Chris, that isn’t nearly enough.
“I think that it’s important to look more holistically at the overall business. So some of the things that power our advantage. We think about our culture and our talent, talent, experience and talent management from a native digital lens. We think about building future products and experiences for customers through a native digital lens. And so when you look at the entire business, not just your marketing, there’s a lot of companies that can go out and put nice wallpaper on their marketing. Well, the foundations and stuff is cracking inside of the actual building.” – Chris Walker
Megan adds that it’s not only an approach that one should take in marketing, but in other aspects of the business as well.
“I think that a core component of any business, being successful and continuing to grow is attracting and retaining the right people to join their team and to continue to execute and innovate. And just like people are running old marketing plays and not catching up to what Native Digital’s need. Companies also have very antiquated ways that they think about retaining and attracting talent.” – Megan Bowen
To hear more from Megan Bowen and Chris Walker, and what you can do to avoid old marketing pitfalls, download and listen to this episode.
Megan Bowen has spent over a decade building and managing customer success and revenue generation teams for leading technology companies. She has worked with companies across the food, medical, and hospitality industries to create top-tier customer management functions, all focused on building long-term relationships and generating more revenue.
Megan currently leads marketing, sales, account management, client experience & operations teams at Managed by Q, the platform for office management. Her team is responsible for selling business-critical office services to new and existing clients, and providing workplace advice to thousands of companies with complex needs in the janitorial and maintenance spaces.
Prior to Q, Megan built the account management function for GrubHub/Seamless from scratch, and scaled the B2B client experience and account management structure for Seamless’ 5,000+ clients. Megan graduated from Adelphi University with a degree in Business Management.
Chris Walker is the Founder and CEO of Refine Labs, a progressive demand generation firm that challenges the status quo in B2B marketing. Fueled by marketing execution at scale, Refine Labs uses real data from real customers to create demand strategy and research for their clients.
Before launching Refine Labs, Chris led marketing at two B2B firms where he built the foundation of his unique perspective on demand generation. Chris also hosts the State of Demand Gen podcast where he chats with today’s top B2B leaders to share tangible advice and tactics to over 15,000 marketers.
Chris Walker grew up in Boston, MA and graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. He started his professional career in the MedTech industry, migrating then into Product Management before making the move to marketing. Chris is also a serial entrepreneur, always finding ways to make an existing product or service better, or market a saturated product in different ways to break through the noise.
Connect with Chris and Megan today!