John Donlon

VP, Product Management

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What Baking Shows Taught Me About B2B Technology

John Donlon April 22, 2019
Cooking and baking shows have taken the world by storm, and my household is no exception. My kids love to watch these sorts of contests, and the culinary abilities of the participants rarely matters. We’ve taken in everything from Top Chef to Worst Cooks in America, from The Great British Baking Show to Nailed It!, […]

Data Management: Tales from a Race Director

John Donlon November 1, 2016
When I’m not busy with my day job as a research analyst for SiriusDecisions, I act as the race director for the 3 Beach Minimum Half Marathon, an event held once a year in my town and two neighboring towns. Since we started the race three years ago, we’ve sold out every year because it’s […]

Data-Driven Marketing: Three Forums and Takeaways

John Donlon August 17, 2016
London. Amsterdam. Seattle. Three terrific cities where we recently held forums on data-driven marketing – and had some VERY lively discussions. Managing your data is becoming a critical piece of enabling the marketing machine, but what does it really take to govern that data in ways that are both scalable and practical? How do you […]

Data Governance: From Project to Program

John Donlon June 9, 2016
All hail the new initiative! In marketing ops, we talk a lot about avoiding Shiny New Object Syndrome – or what I affectionately render as SNOBS (also sometimes called SNOS). It’s important to avoid SNOBS so that your technology roadmap doesn’t get derailed by the latest “wouldn’t it be cool if…” piece of software. Avoiding […]

Three Takeaways From Our Data Management Roundtables

John Donlon April 25, 2016
  • Dump those old contacts; they’re probably not worth hoarding
  • Marketing operations still needs to control the list upload process, but that doesn’t let everyone else off the hook
  • Data unification is an increasingly hot topic for marketing

Behind Every Data Problem…

John Donlon August 11, 2015
  • Behind every data problem, there’s a process problem – and behind every process problem, there’s likely a people problem
  • First, think about the processes in place to bring data into your systems and manipulate it once it’s been captured
  • Once these processes are identified, think next about who performs those activities

A SiriusView to Contact Data Management Vendors

John Donlon April 10, 2015
  • Contact data management vendors offer a range of services
  • SiriusDecisions’ recently published SiriusView, “Contact Data Management 2015,” evaluates 13 vendors
  • Selecting the right contact data vendor is an important piece of an organization’s overall data management strategy

The Steak and the Sizzle

John Donlon February 23, 2015
  • Marketers often spend too much time promoting their contribution to the business vs. marketing measurement
  • It’s important not to give short shrift to deal forensics – touch analysis, identifying what tactics do and don’t work
  • The results of measurement provide the insights that prove marketing’s real impact

What Love Taught Me About Customers

John Donlon January 23, 2015
Hey, who wants to get goofy? A few years ago, a colleague told me that, he and his wife, in the interest of strengthening their relationship, had attended a seminar based on Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. Anyone familiar with these five languages? No? Let me give the nickel tour, then: The […]

Where Are Your Buyer and Customer Sensors?

John Donlon December 15, 2014
Buyer and customer sensors? Wait a minute. First things first: What the what do you mean by “sensors”? Glad you asked. A sensor is any sort of mechanism that can detect activity and transmit information about that change or event so that it can be used for analysis and reaction, either in real time or […]

Scapegoats? Just Say “Naaaaah”

John Donlon November 25, 2014
This just in: My favorite football team, the New England Patriots, may be in trouble. Many of you will revel in this notion, some will nod in solemn agreement, and others may say, “Football? Oh, you mean American football…” The Patriots went into the season with high expectations, and though they’ve somewhat righted the ship, […]

Do You Have a Tess McGill Strategy?

John Donlon September 26, 2014

How can you successfully unify your internal and external data in a way that drives better insights into your prospects and customers?


Dog Days of Data

John Donlon August 8, 2014
While kicking off a recent client inquiry, I ended up chatting with the senior marketing operations leader, who is also a friend of mine. We were lamenting New England’s latest stretch of hot weather and the temptation we both have every summer to install central air conditioning in our houses.Sure, it would be nice to […]

Bright Spots and Butterflies

John Donlon July 11, 2014

If your organization is facing change, are the bright spots clear? Is it obvious what behaviors will thrive going forward?


Making Process Changes Stick

John Donlon June 26, 2014
You’ve done it! You made all the right moves. You updated your process based on what your customers deem important. You resisted the urge to buy the shiny new piece of technology until after the process was squared away. You’ve flipped the switch on the new way of doing things and launched it to the […]

Tupperware and Data Segmentation

John Donlon June 6, 2014
Does anybody else have the same problem I do? The Tupperware drawer in my kitchen is a complete nightmare. There are containers of all sorts of shapes and sizes, and lids that may or may not match the containers. While a few of the pieces are the same size, others are merely similar and don’t […]

Charting a Path for Marketing Ops Resources

John Donlon May 14, 2014

The marketing operations function is maturing, and strong individuals are thriving, but what’s next for them? Here’s a progression that we have seen work well.


Process Improvement: It’s Not All About You

John Donlon April 8, 2014
OK, so we’ve talked about some of the hidden pitfalls of driving real process improvement in sales and marketing. When we last visited our (process) hero, we saw how stepping up and taking ownership of a process can go a long way to ensure that activities will be continuously optimized. But now you’re saying, “What do […]

Process Improvement: If Not You, Who? If Not Now, When?

John Donlon March 4, 2014
In my last post on exposing the hidden hurdles to real process improvement in sales and marketing, we explored how being an efficient middle man can give a false sense of security. In this post, we’ll delve into another topic: lack of ownership. While process improvement may be urgently needed, marketing and sales leaders are […]

Are You the Efficient Middleman?

John Donlon January 31, 2014

This is the first of a series of blog posts, where SiriusDecisions analyst John Donlon explains some of the not-so-obvious gotchas that hold back real process improvement, what you can do to avoid them, and how to emerge as a process hero. The topic of this article is the Fallacy of the Efficient Middleman.