Emerson Welch, Vice President of Marketing at Quark Software Inc chats about a few ways for marketers to create better digital journeys and presence in a crowded market:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Emerson, tell us about your marketing journey over the years and more about your role as VP Marketing at Quark…
Hey, it’s great to be here and thanks for inviting me! I started my journey into marketing in the dot com boom era of the late ‘90s at an online auction website for redundant and end of line corporate IT equipment. This is where I cut my internet marketing teeth and it’s been a rich journey through the years, mainly in IT software for small and medium sized companies, winning team awards for reselling Sage and Microsoft products and helping create and product direct an email marketing software system from conception to deliverable product along the way.
I now head up global marketing at Quark, a 40+ year old software pioneer, leading a global team through an important stage of our growth in enterprise markets and contributing to the overall business success as part of the senior leadership team.
We’d love to hear about some of your core marketing go-to practices and tricks that you’ve relied on to drive output over the years. Also, a little about the martech that has backed you up!
In general, one mantra I always try to stick to in marketing is to keep the message simple. Being able to turn something highly technical into a simple aspirational benefit statement is one of the most underrated and often overlooked skills in marketing.
Thinking back to the early part of my career, my martech stack consisted of email, a website and a basic CRM system built personally on Microsoft Access. Social media was still in its conceptual phase at this point, so I developed a simple hybrid strategy around initial data enrichment using team phone verification and then a combined email and phone approach to reach key decision makers with a joined up message.
This still works today for core demand gen but we obviously focus more on omnichannel content automation in an ABM context using systems such as our own Quark Publishing Platform NextGen, Salesforce, Pardot, Outreach, Google Ads, Buffer for social delivery and SEMRush, Ahrefs and Moz for SEO intelligence. I’ve used systems like ActiveCampaign, Hubspot and others in the past and am always assessing the best fit for requirements, continuously evolving in line with technology advancements.
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When it comes to driving global marketing initiatives while building seamless customer journeys and internal processes, what do you feel today’s marketers miss out on doing that they should?
Prioritizing plotting the user journey through the funnel based on customer mentality, emotion and reaction. We are in danger of becoming too mechanical! We have amazing martech systems available to us today but processes and user touch points need to be applied with the customer’s emotional experience in mind and not just around delivering content we haven’t used yet.
Understanding how the customer might feel as they progress through the customer lifecycle and automating personalized content based on their unique experience is so important.
How can B2B marketers today try to create better differentiators about their brand/processes to command better presence in a crowded online/hybrid market?
Salience and disruption gets you noticed, but focusing on solving pains and empowering gains is still the primary enabler in B2B marketing. And with this, you need context. Doubling down on context can really open the door, especially at enterprise level where employee roles are micro-targeted and just one department in one global region could present a six-figure opportunity.
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What are the five things about B2B marketing that you feel needs a complete shift/change?
I’d like to see more creative freedom in our marketing, allowing individual marketers to take away some of the corporate red tape and feel encouraged and empowered to be bring their true creative selves to a B2B environment.
As we get further into the granular detail of roles and working ways, marketers should be encouraged to lead with specific use case contexts. Going for quality not quantity will generate more intent-based leads and be refreshing for audiences.
Regionalized and personalized omnichannel content delivery should become mainstream, so we as marketers can convey a sense of connection with our audience and seek to distance ourselves from delivering cold outreach – and worse out of touch – campaigns that lack intelligence and feeling.
Continue to promote diversity and inclusion in B2B marketing messaging. It will help open up business siloes to a wider global audience and encourage diversity in confidence in younger generations.
Business collaboration and partner integration is an increasingly important part of our commercial lives and we could all benefit from an open, consultative approach with our customers to help generate trust and long-term commitments.
Some last thoughts on the future of martech and B2B marketing?
Continually optimize your systems and team talent to ensure you get the right message to the right audience in the right place, at the right time and in the right format!
Quark revolutionized desktop publishing and today provides content design, automation and intelligence software for end-to-end content lifecycle management. Customers worldwide rely on Quark to modernize their content ecosystems so they can create complex print and digital layouts, automate omnichannel publishing of mission-critical documents, and analyze production and engagement insights for the greatest return on their content investments.
Emerson Welch is vice president of marketing, responsible for driving Quark’s marketing strategies to strengthen the company’s market position to support business growth. With over 25 years of B2B software product marketing experience, Emerson has successfully led marketing teams for small startups, channel partners and large enterprises.
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