MarTech Interview with Annie Wissner, CMO at Whispir

Annie Wissner, CMO at Whispir shares a few tips and best practices on driving better omnichannel marketing practices in this catch-up with MarTech Series:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Annie, tell us about your foray into the B2B – Tech marketing world and how that’s been going. What are you most looking forward to now in your role as CMO at Whispir?

Thank you, I’m delighted to be here. I began my B2B Tech marketing career at Oracle in 1996, where I spent seven years establishing the company’s global customer and partner marketing programs. I then joined Microsoft and spent 11 years there, working on a myriad of strategic channel marketing initiatives and Microsoft’s transformation into a leading SaaS solution. Following these positions, I held corporate and Head of Marketing roles at several SaaS companies. Becoming Whispir’s CMO marks the culmination of 25 years of hard work in the B2B technology industry. I chose Whispir because I believe in our mission to make communication human again. It’s no secret that we are now living in a digital world and making meaningful connections has become harder. Whispir solves this problem.

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How do you feel marketing and other customer facing teams today are opening up to the need of more communications workflow software? How do you feel this trend will shape up?

Marketing and customer-facing teams know that getting the right message to the right person, at the right time is essential. This goal hasn’t changed. However, the way we communicate has changed. Today, it’s about omnichannel, which is the ability to communicate in multiple ways, such as text, phone, email and even video. Communication workflow software facilitates this by automating conversations across all channels. I believe this is more than a trend and will free people and organizations from manual processes and missed connections.

Through your time in the B2B technology domain, what are some of the key customer engagement best practices you’ve come away with that have always worked for you?

The main way to engage customers is to know them. Anything else misses the mark and is ignored, or fails. Ideally, this begins with extensive market analysis before writing a single line of code, so that every aspect of your product is oriented towards the customer. If you’re in a marketing or customer-facing role in B2B technology and are in a situation where this hasn’t been the case, your first step is to become an expert in your product. Talk to people who use, develop, and sell it, and identify the most important ways in which your solution creates value. Then orient your marketing campaigns, customer initiatives, or sales pitches around this. Your next step is to continue the dialogue with these stakeholders and identify additional pain points or gaps, so you can influence the product roadmap and continue to strengthen your market position.

What does it take for marketers today to hone a customer-first/human centric approach amid all of their marketing automation? A few good examples and takeaways from the industry and a few common mistakes you’d caution teams against?

If what you communicate or promote doesn’t wow you, you’re wasting time. Not only do poorly framed customer and prospect touches not help your business, they hurt it, so it’s essential to always get it right. Of course you need a powerful and relevant message; but it must also be gorgeous, engaging, and fun to consume. As we all know, there’s a lot of competition for people’s attention. More than any other industry, in B2B tech, people need to like you to buy from you. There are now too many options. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a friendly brand and team that welcomes customers. You can have beautiful, convincing content, but it doesn’t matter without speed and ease of business. Countless studies show the timing and complexity of your lead and sales process make or break revenue targets, and it’s not days. It’s minutes. Who loves waiting for a demo or negotiating a complicated contract? Nobody. Companies that make it quick and easy to research, buy, and implement their products, win more business.

A few thoughts on how you feel martech as a segment will move in 2022?

The martech segment will continue to grow in 2022. Technologies that include machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation will draw attention as organizations strive to achieve aggressive growth targets in the midst of a continuing global pandemic, a strained supply chain, and the great resignation. With budgets largely flat and more competition entering the space, teams will seek cost effective ways to achieve scale and engagement, and having the right martech stack will be paramount.

Some last thoughts, takeaways, digital marketing and martech thoughts, tips and best practices before we wrap up!

Don’t forget the basics! While staying up to date with the latest algorithms and funnel conversion trends is crucial, the best marketing approach is diversified. Webinars, sponsorships, direct mail and other more traditional marketing tactics still work and will increase the impact of your digital marketing efforts when combined. It’s best to approach marketing as an ever-changing living organism. To stay on top of it, automate your reporting and analysis so you can quickly respond to any shifts in results or new opportunities. As much as planning is table stakes, it is also necessary to remain agile so that you can react quickly to market changes.

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Whispir

Whispir is a global scale SaaS company, founded in 2001 to provide a communications workflow platform that automates interactions between organisations and people. Our products enable organisations to improve their communications through automated workflows to ensure stakeholders receive accurate, timely, useful and actionable insights in a manner that is sensitive to individual contexts and preferences. Our customers use Whispir’s software to create interactive, multi-party and omnichannel communications from templates, solving simple to complex communications workflow tasks. Whispir operates across three key regions of ANZ, Asia and North America. More information www.whispir.com

Annie Wissner is the CMO at Whispir

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