On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role at Zyme and how you got here.
I oversee all marketing functions at Zyme in my current role as vice president of marketing, and have spent the last 20 years in high-tech marketing before this position. Most recently, I served as the vice president of marketing at Quorum, where I built out corporate, field, channel and international marketing programs and led my team to generate over 150 percent growth in enterprise sales. I have also held various senior marketing positions at successful start-up and turnaround companies such as Exodus, Mercury Interactive, Wind River, Webroot and Micro Focus. Prior to my time in marketing, I served as an attorney for five years, practicing product liability litigation.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
I think we are actually in the ‘early days’ for martech. Though many solutions such as Marketo, Google Analytics and the like have been around for a while, many CMOs still cannot accurately track the effect these solutions have on revenue and customer satisfaction. In the next few years, solutions that cannot clearly and quickly show ROI will go by the wayside and those that can will grow.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
One of the most important technology trends impacting marketers at large enterprises today is the advance of Channel Data Management (CDM) systems. New CDM platforms solve the age-old problem of opaque inventory and indirect sales channels by bringing visibility back into the channel, which represents a major opportunity for marketing teams. Understanding exactly how, when, where, why and to whom products are sold via indirect sales channels has become a crucial initiative for companies that rely on indirect sales.
Today, there’s $5 trillion in annual sales moving through the global indirect channel for high-value industrial and technology products, and channel partners hold an estimated $1.5 trillion worth of unsold products at any given time. Marketing teams that have access to timely, actionable channel data can uncover new ways to boost product sales, translating into hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue.
It’s in marketing leaders’ best interests to adopt strong CDM processes: companies that do so typically experience a 5 to 10 percent increase in total sales, which is why we’re seeing companies adopt it more and more.
MTS: The biggest challenges integrating marketing technologies today?
I’d say the biggest challenge is finding the time to integrate and move from whatever present solution you have. You need to ‘change the tires while going 100 MPH’, as you cannot miss a lead generation number for the quarter because you were ‘integrating the latest and greatest solution’.
MTS: What would be your advice to CMOs when they start planning to invest in Marketing Technologies?
Make sure you can get timely, decision-grade data from the channel – down to point-of-sale (POS) info – so you can evaluate partners by detailed objective benchmarks, such as meeting a certain sales volume over the last six weeks and exceeding volume targets in at least four of those six weeks. With more visibility into channel data, marketers can better align their strategies with sales goals.
I would also suggest that companies use granular channel data to identify key resellers so they can implement programs to motivate partners to cross-sell less popular products. Benchmarking and comparing one partner’s sales data with competitors’ data can uncover additional opportunities for making sales.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
ActOn, SFDC, Google Analytics, Joomla, MOZ, emailchecker and Salestools.io.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
We’ve had great success with our Friends of Zyme program. We’ve noticed that a lot of our users who leave their jobs move over to companies that are in the same space as their prior employer. It’s always easier to convince people to buy from you if they know you.
So we reach out and say something like, “While you were at your prior company, we helped you reduce inventory by 43%. Would you like to do that at your new company?”
We’ve seen success with this new campaign. The open rate is three times higher than our average.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
Ha…I’ll think about that next quarter.
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools you love using for your daily life?
I’m not a big techie when I’m at home. I like to spend time with my kids and not be connected. But, there are a couple of apps that come to mind, like Waze and Shazam.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I asked my employees to skip drafting long-winded emails, and instead just come over and talk to me. Rather than spending an hour writing an email explaining why they want to do something (a new project, canceling a program, etc.), it’s much more efficient to just call me or come by to ‘net it out.’ It saves hours of work on both sides and gets to the crux of the decision and reasoning faster.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read/watch, and how do you consume information?)
I don’t like books, so I’m not currently reading anything. After three years of law school and five years of being a lawyer, I’ve read enough and I’ve never liked fiction. However, I’m constantly reading the news online—from CNN to FoxNews, the Jerusalem Post, WSJ, and other major outlets.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
No one ever put on their headstone, “I wish I worked more”.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I’m not worried about making mistakes. A good marketing person should have failed programs. So rather than have analysis paralysis, I make decisions based on data and experience. I do things quickly rather than wasting a ton of time to get it ‘perfect.’
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
I work with a lot of smart people, but I’m not one for fan clubs so I’ll pass on this one.
Editors note: Ciertamente podemos respetar.
Steve LaPedis is responsible for Marketing at Zyme. He has almost 20 years of experience in high technology marketing.
Most recently Steve served as vice president of Marketing at Quorum, where he built out corporate, field, channel and international marketing and was instrumental in generating over one hundred fifty percent growth in enterprise sales. He has held senior marketing positions at various successful start-up and turnaround companies such as Exodus, Mercury Interactive, Wind River, Webroot and Micro Focus.
Prior to his time in marketing, Steve was an attorney for five years, practicing product liability litigation. He is a member of the California State Bar. Steve received a BA in Psychology from UC Berkeley where he graduated with distinction, and a JD from Cornell University.
Zyme provides the leading channel data management (CDM) cloud platform, delivering critical downstream visibility for global companies that leverage distributors, resellers, retailers and e-tailers to sell their products. Zyme’s flexible, real-time data platform powers the New Smart Channel℠, a proven approach to acquiring actionable knowledge that enterprises need to accelerate partner sales and optimize marketing ROI. With a channel directory of more than 1.5 million partners, Zyme processes more than one billion transactions annually across more than 150 countries, providing decision-grade intelligence to optimize business processes like sales execution, inventory management, partner rebates and incentives, marketing and financial compliance.
Pre-built integrations with Salesforce and other innovative cloud solution providers help Zyme’s industry-leading customers, including Amazon, Dell, Fujitsu, GE, Microsoft, Plantronics, Seagate, Symantec, VMware and Xerox use channel intelligence to solve core business problems. Headquartered in Redwood Shores, CA, Zyme has offices in India, Texas, China and the UK. For more information, visit www.Zyme.com
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.