Lindsay O’Neill talks about her journey in The linknexus, her reputation as a ‘Storyteller’ and how she stays on top of every marketing and sales trends.
Tell us about your role at linknexus and how you got here.
I run sales and business development for linknexus. Last November I attended a small surprise party for one of my best friends and got seated next to this cool dude, John Lim (linknexus’ CEO). We started chatting about his “job” and he told me all about linknexus.
As the former VP of the Enterprise group at RocketFuel, and GM of Aperture at PulsePoint, I was intrigued. My focus shifted after the RocketFuel IPO to content marketing, and I took a few years off from AdTech/MarTech. After speaking (and drink lots of wine) with John, I begged him for an account for my blog MamaONeill.com. I tested the platform and fell in love with it. In March John asked me to join his team as the SVP of Business Development. I could not be more excited to lead the charge in bringing linknexus to the marketplace… and don’t tell John this, but the platform really sells itself. My job is fun and easy!
How do you leverage your reputation as a ‘Storyteller’? How do you stay on top of every marketing and sales trends?
My reputation as a ‘Storyteller’ allows me to maintain relationships with contacts throughout my career. I’m not your typical salesperson, I truly care about every client and their business. So I use my storytelling mentality to find the best strategies for growth for my clients (personally & professionally).
With linknexus, I get to give a tremendous amount of power to marketers, and so the stories of transparency, optimization, and productivity are sure to flow! Oh my, there’s no way to stay on top of trends – and I never quite considered myself a follower of trends. I have a great group of young and motivated sales and account managers whom I could not do my job without. They help me identify what trends we could follow, and which we can create… you could call us the linknexus ninja trend-setters!
Why did you join linknexus? What do you cook and brew at linknexus to keep your peers motivated?
In 2009 the LUMAscape slides were starting to get out of control. There were tech companies popping up on the daily. My reason for joining ANY company, especially linknexus, is a belief that I can help bring value to the marketplace. It’s very similar to the reason I decided to become a chef.
I love to feed people, make them happy, soothe their soul, spark creativity, give them energy and stabilize their health… I believe technology can do the same. I recently grilled chicken wings and made a homemade sauce. We had so many leftovers I brought them in for the linknexus team, and they loved it. I look forward to grilling more delectable treats for my new work family!
Tell us about the company’s growth and your plans for the future?
Linknexus is on fire. Every call and meeting we have turns into a new client. In July we’re hosting 2 roundtable discussions with CEO/CMO’s in the NY Metro area… both events sold out within minutes. We are closing out our BETA this month, and are moving at the speed of light to onboard new customers. By the end of 2018, linknexus will have dozens of big brand name clients, new Rockstar team members, and a strategic plan to (positively) disrupt the marketplace like never before.
Are marketing technologies pushing the boundaries of present-day brand engagement and customer experience?
How often do you measure the performance of your marketing analytics and sales reporting? Okay, my answer may sound a little existential, but I believe we are all put on this planet to experience happiness. Technology as a whole is causing our society — anxiety and fear. We consume more information, faster, and with less validation and truthful oversight.
Consumers, which we ALL are, are bombarded with messages. Marketers have to find ways to break through that clutter and tell compelling stories that drive awareness and action. Then, once they get those consumers to engage, the brand gets stuck in the walled garden of data. The big companies who control the internet… who sell ads and provide reporting, do not give marketers the full picture.
So we ALL lose.
The marketer cannot make decisions on how to engage with prospective customers, so they waste time and money. The customers either get creepily targeted or vague experiences, which is frustrating. And the technology is always trying to catch up and help both sides, inside of a black box. So how do we make EVERYONE happy? That is exactly what we set out to solve at linknexus, and what we’re doing for our customers.
What are the dynamic elements driving your B2B customer engagement model? How do you execute Engagement Economy vision, Strategy, Product and Corporate development at linknexus?
Not gonna lie, this question confuses me. I get really deep in the weeds on many things, but with linknexus, we keep it simple:
- Know your cost per customer (not click) on your site, by a media source.
- Know how many people are “in play”, and there they are in their journey.
- React at the speed of the customer (without technical engineers) to drive sales faster, provide a better customer experience, and save time and money.
Know My Team
How big is your team and what drives them to succeed in meeting small-term and long-term goals at linknexus?
Our team is growing quickly. We have an office in NYC, Stamford, and Europe. We have a similar mentality to the Marines – if we are all performing at our highest level, we will all be kept at our highest level. If someone is dipping in performance, we work together as a team to bring the collective performance up. However, a single individual will not be allowed to sink the ship. We are moving fast, and we have to be productive while having fun and growing our work family.
How tech-savvy is your marketing, sales and branding teams? How do you rate them on a scale of 1-10?
We all eat, breathe and live linknexus. Even our janitor is tech-savvy. We employ the best, attract the best, and will settle for nothing less.
How do you think young sales professionals should train themselves to master MarTech skills?
As sales professionals I think we get too concerned with what we say, or how well we know the pitch. I tell my team to ASK QUESTIONS. Take notes. Come back with ideas. Be strategic. No one wants to buy something they don’t need, but everyone wants to buy something they want – something useful, valuable.
How far do you think AI/machine learning can take a start-up company in achieving business goals?
Like all things, I think AI needs to evolve. John talks about “micro AI” all of the time… and it makes so much sense. AI and Machine Learning is vital in many aspects of business but gets really valuable when you get down to the micro level in marketing decisioning.
Marketing and Sales Alignment: Social Media and Content Marketing Strategies
What are the tools and strategies you use to create effective B2B content at linknexus?
Our marketing team comes up with some crazy stuff! Like David and Goliath, where we (linknexus aka David) take on Google & Facebook (Goliath) in fun and engaging content… stay tuned.
Could you provide us a sneak peek into your MarTech acceleration strategies? Our main strategy is to STAY HUMAN. We create technology for the human because the internet lacks common sense. Our acceleration strategies are mostly centered around having powerful conversations – hence our roundtable events and webinar with eMarketer on the State of the Industry: Trust at the Crossroads.
What are the types of content (web and social) you create in a day, week, month, and a quarter?
We have all of the typical content (listed below), but as trendsetters, we have to innovate new ways to tell stories. Events and one-on-one conversations, customized presentations and decks have gone a long way to prove a point and get marketers drooling over linknexus.
Out of all marketing collateral, including whitepaper, brochures, e-book, playbook, case studies, webinar, research reports, and infographics, which resonates the most with our customers — Well, we believe in customized demos and personal conversations… we all want to feel special because we are special, so we try to make our clients feel special from the first meeting all the way through our partnership.
Customer Success and Technology Insights
From a tactical standpoint, how often does your organization revisit the automation stack?
John tries to put us out of business daily, so I would say every morning 🙂
How does the technology involved impact your customer building/partnership model?
Our tech is built for the human, so the two are intertwined.
How do you see the technology you use impact the customer acquisition and success rate?
We are opening the kimono on data that has always been hidden and protected. Technology does that. The marketer can choose what to do with that… and the technology enables them to turn that choice into action.
Do you see sales and marketing technologies unifying or evolving together to deliver higher ROI to CMOs?
That would be awesome! We could all sit around this fireside chat together and sing Kumbaya! Sorry, my new yorker just came out with the sarcasm. I think there will be some strategic acquisitions and mergers… but I LOVE working in co-opertition (competition + cooperstaion) with companies in the same space. The executive team at linknexus is not an ego-driven group, so we would love to entertain any and all partnership opportunities.
What is that one piece of advice you received that you would like to pass on to the MarTech industry?
Anyone that tells you “you can’t have it all!” is full of sh*t. I have a wonderful husband, 3 little girls, 2 full-time jobs, and love to volunteer to help out people in my community. Each day you have to prioritize your health and happiness first, then the rest falls into place.
Tag a living person from the industry that you would like to read answers from, in our Fireside Chat:
I would LOVE to have you interview my husband, Eric O’Neill!
Thank You, Lindsay, for answering all our questions. We hope to see you again at MTS, soon.