Tech Qualified provides B2B technology marketers with access to real world case studies and best practices. We interview industry leaders to uncover what is working in the world of B2B technology marketing.
Unlike most SaaS professionals, Aaron Stillman didn’t end up in software because it was a longtime passion. Instead, he wanted to drastically increase his fresh croissant intake. In other words, he saw his first SaaS job as an opportunity to live in Paris while developing his product management — and eventually marketing — abilities.
That first role kept him in the global market, where he now works for international customer experience optimization platform AB Tasty as its “director of storytelling” — or, as some prefer to call it, director of product marketing.
On this episode of Tech Qualified, Aaron discusses the importance of using a multitude of marketing tools to reach customers and why it’s vital to pay attention to which tools are most appropriate for a particular moment in time. Currently, the tool he finds most effective is video.
“Video’s really a first-class citizen for us,” Aaron says. “I want to make sure that our story gets across in a video in a way that will have that human impact when somebody watches it. When people log in to use our platform and … create a personalization campaign, they’ll receive a video helping them understand the key value propositions and the how-tos of using the product.”
Half a year doesn’t seem like much time to take a marketing department from idling to racing ahead, but Mary Ford moves fast.
Mary recently became the Chief Marketing Officer of CENTEGIX, an internet of things (IoT) company making emergency alert software. Its main clients are K-12 schools and hotels.
School safety is a potentially heavy subject, but Mary focuses on the positives of what CENTEGIX’s product can do.
“My job as a marketer is to help people understand the day-to-day value the solution brings to those who feel more protected because they’re empowered to get help when they need it,” she says.
Although Mary only joined this year, she’s been busy improving CENTEGIX’s brand awareness and profile. When she first came onboard, the company had a website — and not much else.
“We needed to build some basic marketing competencies and fundamentals,” Mary says. Under her watch, the CENTEGIX marketing team launched a social media program and started producing white papers and email campaigns, improving internal communications (especially with sales) and hosting webinars.
Fortunately, working at four startups in the past has given Mary a taste for juggling lots of projects at once.
“I like to build things, and it’s fun to see how our marketing function has evolved over the past six months.”
Michelle Tilton fell in love with B2B marketing while working at a small boutique agency after college. It wasn’t the “glamorous B2C space” everyone else wanted to get into, but something pulled her in and she’s been in the B2B world ever since.
Now, Michelle works as the VP of Marketing at Infutor, a data solutions company that helps its clients better understand their customers through data. Michelle uses a multi-channel, multi-touch marketing approach to drive demand and integrates processes between marketing and sales to ensure a consistent, high-quality lead flow.
On this episode of Tech Qualified, Michelle talks about how Infutor nurtures different MQLs and the seamless handoff between its sales and marketing teams. She also shares about how she properly attributes lead data and the ways each team in her company works toward obtaining highly qualified leads and closing a higher percentage of sales.
Laura Scruggs attributes her company’s “astronomical growth” to a strong alignment between sales and marketing. As the Director of Marketing at Mindgrub, a full-service digital marketing agency that focuses on tech companies, Laura tailors both Mindgrub’s and its affiliate companies’ marketing strategies to the changing needs of the B2B world.
In a time when marketing budgets are slashed each quarter and most businesses are just trying to stay afloat, it’s not easy to stay relevant.
“That window of relevance got so much smaller once the crisis hit because there are so many industries who are in absolute crisis right now,” Laura says. “If you’re trying to approach them with a sales-forward message, they’re not going to be receptive to that,”
On this episode of Tech Qualified, Laura details Mindgrub’s successful marketing strategies, which include segmented advertising and creating content for every part of the sales funnel. She also shares about the importance of building authentic partnerships with clients instead of seeing them solely as a source of revenue.
AnnaMaria Turano is Vice President of Marketing at Synzi, a company that was facilitating telehealth services before it was cool — or, rather, before it became an overwhelming necessity because of COVID-19.
“In late 2017, entering 2018, we figured out Synzi was the right name, the right brand. And then we determined the look and feel of what that brand identity should be, including the colors, including the font, etc., to be markedly different from everyone else in the telehealth space,” AnnaMaria says. “We saw ourselves as having been a pioneer of bringing forth a different type of solution and a different way of thinking about how that solution would actually work in a provider organization.”
Because Synzi started using the term “virtual care” before other telehealth providers, AnnaMaria and her marketing team knew it was important to establish the company’s unique identity.
On this episode of Tech Qualified, AnnaMaria discusses marketing’s role in making a company stand out, the importance of maintaining customer relationships (and adapting based on their changing needs), and how helpful it is to think of varying marketing objectives as working hand-in-hand rather than achieving separate things.
“We’ve got all these things we’re doing at once. They’re all important. They all feed into each other, and there is no reason to just put one aside versus the other,” she says. “You can’t drive lead gen without strengthening brand awareness, and at the same time … you’re going to have to enable sales and make sure that your sales force has the right tools they need to close the deals, but also the right tools they need to get the customer started.”
Heather Knutson is a seasoned marketer who has spent the last eight years in the housing industry space and data market. In the beginning of 2020, she took a new role as VP of Marketing at Ascent360, a computer software company that supports B2C marketers with its comprehensive customer data platform.
On this episode of Tech Qualified with Justin Brown, Heather explains her marketing philosophies and how she strives to keep Ascent360’s marketing strategy fully aligned with its sales team. She also shares her love for thought leadership and why it’s a big “vein” in her marketing strategy.
“I’m big into having good thought leadership where … you don’t want to give everything away — but you want to give enough information that you pique interest,” she says.
Heather goes on to discuss building a library of content that she can use to repurpose across the industries that Ascent360 works with. The library helps her set processes in place, reuse good content from platform to platform and better align with the sales team as they go after customers in the pipeline.
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