MarTech Interview with Laura Goldberg, CMO at Constant Contact

Laura Goldberg, CMO at Constant Contact chats about a few marketing practices that can create better brand and business output:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Laura, tell us about yourself and more about your role as CMO at Constant Contact…

Thank you for having me. As CMO of Constant Contact, I oversee all of sales and marketing. That includes everything from our brand strategy and how we are driving awareness of our company, to optimizing our sales processes for greater conversion. I’ve been with Constant Contact for about a year-and-a-half now, and it’s exciting to see the progress we’ve made in such a short span of time. It’s an exciting time to be here!

When it comes to driving marketing practices in today’s ecosystem: what are some of your proven repeatable go-to practices and processes? 

There’s no guaranteed list of tactics that will make every marketer successful in any situation, and in each of my roles throughout my career, I’ve done things a little differently. As a CMO, it’s my job to approach each challenge objectively and determine the best solution for that situation. Every company has different goals for their marketing team, so there isn’t always a lot of overlap. That said, I have always encouraged my teams to be curious, flexible and scrappy.

One of our core values at Constant Contact is, “Think big, go bigger,” and I really identify with that. It’s about pushing boundaries and thinking beyond the immediate goals we might have for ourselves so we can deliver something really special.

You can’t be afraid of taking a big swing, and we are always going to try to knock it out of the park for our small business customers. When you have that mindset, you start having better conversations and more creative ideas. It can be very energizing for our team.

Another thing every CMO has to be is flexible, and that’s baked into our marketing strategy as well. These days, marketing changes almost by the week, and if you’re going to be taking big swings, there’s no getting around it — you’re going to miss a few here and there. I empower my team to try new things and not be afraid to fail because we’re just going to learn from it and come back stronger the next time.

For marketers mandated with driving growth and ROI, what are some of the core challenges they still face and what thoughts/tips would you highlight? 

There isn’t a universal approach to ROI because it often means something different to every organization. For example, a retail-first business likely has a very different view of success than a nonprofit would.

You have to start by defining what success means to your organization. As a CMO, this is a huge part of my role. It’s my responsibility to figure out what’s going to move the needle for the organization, and I look to my team to define how we will achieve that outcome. Narrowing our focus and getting hyper specific about our goals allows us to get granular about the different ways we can achieve success. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of trial and error in that process, and we are not afraid to change tactics or strategy to hit our goals as we test and learn.

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As brands prepare for what many are calling a downturn/recessionary phase: what do you feel marketers can do differently to drive value and ROI despite it? 

We just released our latest Small Business Now Report, and in that study we asked small businesses and consumers about their feelings on inflation and a possible downturn. Among other things, we learned that 85 percent of consumers would likely pull back on spending during a recession — which illustrates how important it will be for brands to demonstrate their value to customers.

Instead of looking at a downturn as another obstacle to overcome, view it as an opportunity to double down on what makes your business unique. During times of economic uncertainty, customers tend to favor brands they already trust, so marketers must work to strengthen their relationships with those customers now. Work to understand how they find you and why they buy, then use that information to deliver relevant and engaging content to them consistently. Eliminate as much friction as you can and make it impossible for them not to buy.

We all have our favorite brands, and more often than not, we make space for them in our budgets if they are adding value to our lives. When every touchpoint with your brand becomes a memorable experience for customers, they will have no objection to supporting you, even when their wallets tighten.

What are the three top of mind thoughts/tips you’d share with B2B marketers as they try to navigate complex/crowded marketing environments?

Make it simpler — Digital marketing is complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Technology has progressed to the point where most of the manual work of setting up or running a campaign can be automated. Take advantage of tools like automation and AI to speed up your workflow and get more done in less time.

Grow your list — It sounds simple, but there’s a reason email marketing is still around today. It just works. Everybody has an email address, and the content is both easy to create and consume. Do everything in your power to grow that list because it gives you the opportunity to build trust with your customers and deliver content direct to them whenever you need.

Don’t rely on just social media — Social is a great tool for awareness, but if you put all your eggs into that basket, you’ll be reliant on someone else’s algorithm. Keep building your following, but then activate that audience by helping them subscribe to your email or SMS lists. Get them over to your website where you can control the experience they have with your brand.

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Constant Contact delivers small businesses with powerful tools to simplify and amplify digital marketing.

Laura Goldberg is CMO at Constant Contact.

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