Jamie Gier, Chief Marketing Officer at Ceros shares a few thoughts on the benefits of automation in marketing and how martech is set to redefine the ways in which marketing teams function:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Jamie, tell us more about Ceros and your role as CMO?
Ceros helps businesses unlock their creative potential and create content that cuts through the noise to better engage customers. Our content creation platform allows marketers and designers to create immersive, interactive content without having to know how to code, making it easier and faster to create a highly engaging digital experience for your buyers.
Ceros brought me in to help provide an overall strategy for how we go to market, how we evolve our brand and how we enhance the customer experience. We have done a great job of appealing to and engaging designers (our primary users). Ceros also has an opportunity to elevate the message to show marketers how they can get more performance out of their digital and content investments.
It’s not unusual for marketers to spend 30% of their budgets on content, sometimes even more, and they are generating a lot of it. But is it the right content? How do they know that it’s enhancing the overall brand experience, engaging buyers and moving them to a position of consideration and purchase? That’s what interactive content does best.
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Take us through some marketing and martech best practices that you’ve always used as fundamentals through the years!
The big one for me is making sure that your martech infrastructure supports the customer journey. In many cases, I’ve seen martech put in place as a series of point solutions instead of really thinking intentionally about the buyer’s journey from awareness all the way through usage and adoption. This can cause redundancy in the systems they’ve purchased. I think it happens, in part, because they’ve looked at the buyer’s journey in a very isolated way instead of from end-to-end.
Another best practice is making sure your systems are tightly integrated and can track and measure customer engagements across touchpoints while providing signals on purchase intent. At the same time, you don’t want to fall into the trap of underinvesting in areas like brand marketing. These are best measured by implied attribution, which many systems tend to miss. Then you’re making bad judgment calls on what efforts are really causing someone to search for your brand or click on your ad.
How have you seen the scope of martech redefine marketing roles and marketing team structures over the last few years?
The rise in martech solutions and capabilities has propelled investments in marketing talent around digital, performance marketing and operations. While the broader principles of marketing are timeless, including the importance of personalization and preference, until about a decade ago we were limited in our ability to fully implement those principles because the technology did not exist.
Now, we’re in a position of figuring out how to best use technology to grab the attention of buyers in this complicated, crowded digital space, while showing ROI on these investments. So we’re hiring people with more specific skill sets. And this field is always changing. In the past, marketers were utility players who could stretch in different places. Now, because of the sophistication of what we do and the massive amount of data we need to digest, we have to hire people with a greater focus on specialization.
Let’s dive into a few of the marketing technologies that you’ve often employed as part of your martech stack to drive ROI?
Automation helps reduce the manual work that we have to do to engage buyers. So your CRM is really important — as is anything related to CRM that’s designed in such a way that we are engaging buyers by curating the right information based on where they are in their purchasing cycle.
Also, as far as marketing technologies, it’s critical to have integration points with all of the different systems you’re using to provide insights into intent to purchase and actual engagement. I think what’s become more interesting to me is intent data and those systems that marketers are leveraging to provide real-time alerts when buyers are showing strong signals of interest.
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In what ways do you feel martech as a segment will evolve in future to further impact the scope of marketing functions?
As artificial intelligence gets even more sophisticated, it will continue to automate some of the things we do, and it will drive even greater insights. It’s going to put us in a situation of looking at how quickly we can respond but at the same time be proactive in how we change course — how we adapt our strategies and tactics.
Marketers are going to have to learn how to pivot. We also need to get smarter about the things that genuinely are meaningful to the buyer in terms of understanding how and where they consume information. This is a very, very noisy world. We have to look at how we get smarter about how we’re invited into the lives of the people that we’re trying to build a relationship with.
A few last thoughts and takeaways for marketing leaders and CEOs/CMOs in 2021?
The power of digital has advanced, accelerated and evolved the discipline and impact of marketing. It has also complicated what we do by introducing more ways to reach our buyers, who are overwhelmed by information. They are tuning out. As marketers, we need to focus on more meaningful engagements that deliver the right message through the right channel.
I always advise my fellow marketers against leading with the product. Instead, lead with the hero of your story. Marketing is about connecting on an emotional level through storytelling. Help your buyers see a better version of themselves by emphasizing how their lives are better when they use your product or service.
Finally, being a whole-brained marketer means bringing creativity and data together without comprising either one. Our discipline has become much more data-driven, and we can demonstrate how marketing is a revenue generator and not a cost center. But there are limits in what data can show, especially when it comes to brand marketing. Make sure there is a healthy balance of investments in those things that can be measured and those things we know influence buyer behavior at moments in time.
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Ceros is a cloud-based experiential content creation platform that empowers marketers and designers to create rich, engaging content experiences without any coding.
For more than 25 years, Jamie Gier has been working with leading technology companies who are driving positive social impact, from healthcare to education, to improve the way we learn, work and live. She has extensive experience scaling and growing businesses by creating impactful brands, designing revenue-generating go-to-market strategies, and leading high performing teams across product marketing, corporate communications, public relations, digital marketing, and demand creation. Prior to joining Ceros, Jamie held executive-level marketing positions at DreamBox Learning, SCI Solutions (now R1), Microsoft, and GE Healthcare and was involved in a number of industry mergers and acquisitions.