Heidi Arkinstall, CMO at G-P catches up with MarTechSeries to talk about the company’s recent rebranding initiatives and what it takes for global brands today to drive a stronger market presence:
Heidi, tell us about yourself and your journey through the years, we’d love to hear more about being CMO at Globalization Partners…
As Chief Marketing Officer of G-P, I am responsible for our entire marketing function. I started my marketing journey on the agency side, working across brands including IBM, Samsung, PayPal, and Electronic Arts. Later, I shifted to the corporate side with Logitech.
In December 2021, I joined G-P. We are the industry-leading SaaS-based Global Employment Platform that helps growing companies find, hire, onboard, pay and manage team members without the hassle of setting up local subsidiaries or branch offices. We do this quickly and compliantly, making it possible to build highly skilled global teams in days instead of months. We help growing companies unlock their full potential by making it possible to build highly skilled global teams in days instead of months. We call it the ‘everywhere workforce’.
As CMO, I have an opportunity to guide our brand direction and narrative at a critical time and stage of growth. What we do is impacting the future of work and I’m inspired by our work to break down geographic barriers for talent, allowing companies to drive innovation and growth through a truly global mindset and approach. It’s been an amazing experience so far but we’re really only getting started.
Tell us about G-P’s journey and momentum thus far…
G-P was founded in 2012 and we have continued to experience exponential growth ever since. This is driven by the shift in remote work and the realization that talent need not be limited by borders.
In Q2, which ended June 2022, our active EOR customer count growth was over 75% while our active EOR professional count growth surpassed 90%.
G-P is the pioneer of the EOR industry, and the combination of our technology, expertise and experience is unmatched. For this, we were named “industry leaders” by analyst firms such as NelsonHall and Everest Group. We pair the industry’s most responsive technology with our world-class legal, HR, and tax expertise to support and guide companies’ growth anywhere in the world.
As a product-first company, we continually focus on technology innovation to empower teams in over 180 countries and counting, and connect ambitious companies to global talent, and talent to opportunities.
How has that led to the re-launch of the brand?
The EOR category is still new, complex, and ill-defined. We want to clearly define who we are and what we do as a company. The re-branding is an opportunity to ensure our brand represents the full spectrum of diverse people we serve through our platform around the globe and to codify our market-leading position. We want to reinforce our role as the trusted guide to enabling a world of borderless business.
Why did you choose now to re-launch?
We did this to set the stage for our next chapter, which includes a doubling down on our commitment to enabling the possibilities of the everywhere workforce. We wanted our brand to reflect what we do: we connect ambitious companies to global talent and talent to opportunities, and we never forget that behind every hire there is a human being. We wanted our brand to reflect that.
Can you explain the meaning behind the new look and feel of the company?
The assets are all intentional and inspired by our global presence –from the colors and the fluid gradient to the location markers. We have also evolved our naming to refer to ourselves by our initials, G-P. The hyphen “locks in” to our G-P monogram representing connection.
We’ve retained our globe icon which embodies our name but have refined it to 24 rays representing the hours of the day, made of three interlocking circles, which reflects the partnership approach we take with customers and talent. When the logo animates, it moves from right to left, reflecting the movement of the sun from east to west.
The new brand also exemplifies our corporate values: be transformative, be universal and be partners.
G-P has been established for over 10 years and is pioneering the Employer of Record (EOR) industry. How does this re-imagined brand better represent G-P?
Our tagline “Global Made Possible’ is a fresh expression of our longstanding commitment to helping businesses create more global growth, innovation, and success that we all can share. The visual assets and the adapted mission are reflective of where we are going, together with our customers. It’s exciting that a decade into this journey we are at a new beginning for G-P, with a fresh expression of our longstanding commitment to helping businesses create more global growth, innovation, and success that we all can share. It’s about a world that’s interconnected. The future of work is bright and truly borderless.
More broadly, the past few years have shown an increased appetite for businesses to hire globally gaining access to talent everywhere and adopting a global mindset. What are some of the trends that G-P is seeing?
We’re seeing a desire to grow and expand, to tap into talent, and to be the first to capture market share and a global mindset about talent. Remote working has resulted in the realization that you can hire anyone, anywhere and that you don’t have to look for talent within a 50-mile radius of headquarters.
What’s next for the company?
Driven by customer needs, feedback, and our own spirit of innovation, we’re going to build on the momentum by investing even more in our platform and products, and the people that power them. We have so much innovation being delivered through our Global Employment Platform™; new product announcements we have coming in November and even more in 2023. We are just getting started!
As a modern day CMO in the B2B tech market: what are some of the must-dos in your everyday line of work you swear by?
Through our Global Employment Platform™ we’re enabling a remote-first approach to work and at G-P we live this approach every day. My team is cross functional and located around the world. We stay connected through tools like Slack and Zoom both synchronously and asynchronously but importantly, they are empowered to ‘own their acre’ and make decisions that don’t require constant checking in with me.
We just relaunched our brand identity and new messaging so ensuring that is a shared understanding of what we’re trying to achieve and implementing with consistency across the organization is critical as we make this change. Ensuring the teams are collaborating both across the Marketing Org – directly with each other and not just through me – and with other teams including Product, Operations and our People team is critical to ensuring that we are effective. Brand is not just the responsibility of a single function, it’s how we show up in every touchpoint we have both internally and externally.
3. Measurement, Measurement, Measurement:
It is absolutely critical to take a data-driven approach to marketing and communications; in B2B, it is also critical that we can understand how our work is impacting sales and the bottom line for the business. I spend time with my teams to understand marketing performance and outcomes, and then examining those metrics against the broader goals for the business.
We’re always thinking about what’s next – what tools, techniques and strategies are emerging that will help us to better deliver our message to all stakeholders in the G-P ecosystem.
As B2B marketing evolves, what do you feel CMOs need to pay attention to ensure a healthy team structure and hierarchy as well as one that enables better seamless internal processes to drive overall business output?
CMOs need to embrace the fact that B2B marketing is data-driven. I recommend regular audits of your marketing tech stack to ensure that the tech currently in place is adopted by the team, and that it is usable and valuable to answer the questions: Are we getting the right data from the marketing technology that we are using? Are we gaining the right insights for the business? Are we taking advantage of innovation happening in the marketing/communications industry?
Good CMOs realize that they do not have all the answers and hire a team of experts, trust them to do their job and empower them with the resources to be productive. It is important to really listen to the team to ensure their health and happiness, and to understand if the structure that is in place is working. And evolve it as the business evolves. You must trust your team to do their job. And if you don’t, you need to evaluate why you don’t.
As CMO, I must be able to always see the forest from the trees while looking out at the horizon. To do that, I must let go of the idea that there is one way to tackle a problem or that there is only one approach.
For brands looking at revamping their marketing for the upcoming year: what best practices would you share with them?
The following are the best practices that we implemented when we relaunched the G-P brand.
The world is evolving at an increasingly rapid pace. And that can be hard to keep up with. Brand is no longer a ‘project’ that you can take on every 5 years. To ensure you stay relevant you have to continually look at the 4C’s – category, competitors, customers and culture – and understand how changes in those areas might impact how you’re positioned today. Marketers have to be increasingly agile and nimble and not just in areas like demand generation.
Evolve the message: I would challenge every marketer to take a close look at their messaging and decide whether it is time to re-think or refresh the approach based on audience expectations, both internal and external. This can and should be a data-driven exercise – from sentiment to share of voice and perception studies. Good marketers are re-considering the ways they reach potential customers, from the channels where they engage to the content they are consuming and the format. They are also re-considering how these audiences feel about the company’s they do business with. They want to better understand the company’s mission, vision, and values and if they align with their own. Those factors play an increasingly important role in decision making.
Stop doing what’s not working: Marketers are being asked to do more with less. But “more” should not be driven by volume of activity but by outcomes. Many marketers fall into the trap of executing low ROI activities, because “that’s what we’ve always done,” and struggle to find resources and funding to try new things. This is the time to challenge yourself by examining the entire marketing function and doing more of what works and has the most impact.
Closer-home at G-P, we’d love to know about your core marketing and how it works as well as about the MarTech that helps drive it all…
I’m responsible for all aspects of marketing – from brand, product, partner and customer marketing to internal and external communications, along with demand generation. Leveraging MarTech tools are essential in a digital word to delivering the right message to the right audience, at the right time and on the right platform.
At G-P, our MarTech stack includes a lot of tools – 70+ at last count! Each of which have their place, and there are certainly integrations between them, but putting them together and having them work as effectively as you want them to can be challenging and they can be disjointed.
Given we have so many, it’s hard to list them all. We have 6 categories of tools aligned to the role they play in supporting our marketing mix:
1.attract and engage
2 nurture and convert
3.creative and content
4.insights and analytics
5.collaboration and productivity
Salesforce is our single source of truth by helping us find more leads, stay connected to prospects, close more business and manage all key customer information in one place. We use it across sales and marketing to manage customer relationships across the lifecycle.
We leverage Drift, for our custom chatbot, to create a more customized experience for our prospects, and it is integrated into our website to help us engage with prospects and qualify our leads. We have evolved our bot to understand eighteen different languages, and depending on our customer’s questions, it can route them to different parts of our website creating a more personalized experience for our every prospect. The use of AI-supported tools in the MarTech stack to make automated decisions are a huge step forward in providing more relevant and personalized experiences.
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And of course, we’d love to hear about how rebranding can enable marketing and brand goals in the long term…
G-P is the creator of our category, and we continue to be the market leader, but with the growth of the category, it’s also an increasingly competitive one with many new entrants in the space. Our brand is a signal of who we are. In making this change to express our brand as G-P externally, consistent with how we have always referred to ourselves internally, we wanted to take the opportunity to also evolve our visual identity to continue to reflect that, although we are 10 years old – the most experienced in the category – we are also a modern and vibrant brand that continues to drive innovation in the space. I believe in the positive impact a strong brand can have on business results and that it can be the differentiator in achieving a disproportionate amount of growth in a category.
Some last thoughts on the future of MarTech and B2B marketing?
It is an exciting time to be a marketer, particularly in B2B. The digital transformation that our own profession has experienced in the last few years has been incredible, we have more access to data and insights than we have ever had before – and if we’re able to harness this we can deliver great experiences that really drive business impact.
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