Lindsay (Boyajian) Hagan, VP – Marketing at Conductor shares a few pertinent thoughts on what B2B marketing teams can do to solidify their brand marketing journeys:
Tell us about yourself and what inspires you about being in marketing…we’d love to hear about your role at Conductor.
I’m an entrepreneur at heart. After launching my own digital startup in 2010, focused on helping travellers navigate optimal packing lists for vacations based on length of trip, climate, and personal style, I quickly found myself gravitating towards go-to-market (GTM) activities, centered around how to launch products and engage with customers.
Since then, I’ve been drawn to working at fast-growing startups, primarily focused on B2B marketing. Five years ago, I joined Conductor leading their product marketing function where I focused on building out the team to support sales enablement, product positioning, and GTM.
Today, as the VP of Marketing for Conductor, I lead a 20-person team across all functional areas, including Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Brand, and Corporate Communications. While I’m no longer an entrepreneur, I am lucky to now leverage many of the skills I developed during that time.
When it comes to driving global/international marketing initiatives, what do you feel marketers today should do more of. How should they build out their teams/roles?
Marketers need to do their research. Nearly half of the companies that attempt international expansion conduct no formal research before launching, making it no surprise that most of these expansion efforts fail. In order to avoid a costly mistake, companies should use first and third-party data to figure out their total addressable market (TAM). Segmenting the markets by demographics and specific locations can further assist in focusing their efforts more effectively.
Companies should also think about working with a network of trusted partners to help cover all the bases of international marketing and address the precise needs of each country. According to Boston Consulting Group, 97% of marketers are accessing the power of partnership and have varied responsibilities handled for them, such as branding, creative development, measurement and media planning and buying. Working collaboratively with partners allows companies to do more, deliver ROI benefits and establish consistent KPIs to chart success.
There are certain roles and functions you can/should use partners on and then others that should be in house. Every company’s goals, growth, and maturity is different so it’s hard to be prescriptive on how to set up your international teams. However, I do recommend building some decision framework to help assess what roles to outsource vs. in house.
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What specific practices should they keep in mind when marketing to a global audience?
- Know the customer/audience: No matter what function the marketer is in, knowing their audience and what their pain points are is critical. It ensures the marketing/content they develop resonates with the people they are trying to reach and often leads to better results. From a global perspective, marketers will need to adapt to the local /cultural differences and consider the unique languages of the country(s).
- Know the market they are entering: Marketers should answer the following questions to help solidify their marketing objectives – what is the perceived value of our product to service in this market? Is it economical, valuable, premium, or ultra-premium? Do we want to be a market leader or a follower? Is our brand best-in-class or on par with competitors?
- Know their goals: Often, brands jump into this type of expansion with unclear, undefined goals, leading to problems and time constraints. Once there are clear goals defined, marketers can then build a business plan that supports them, create long-term objectives and define key metrics to help with the tracking progress.
What kind of processes and martech do you feel should come to the forefront when driving the above?
Paid media has become increasingly more expensive as brands compete for a limited number of coveted spots. As savvy customers get better at avoiding ads and privacy/cookies changes go into effect, marketers need to look for alternatives to get in front of customers via digital channels. SEO and organic marketing are the right solution to help create authentic content that resonates with customers, a better, positive customer experience, and meeting the wants and needs of their audiences.’
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How can CMOs align efforts company-wide to ensure stabilized growth that aligns with sales teams too?
Communication and collaboration are key to ensure you are deploying a marketing strategy that aligns with the broader business needs. Often, I see marketing teams say, “we own the top of the funnel.” This strategy is wrong – marketing is responsible for the full funnel. CMOs need to have the telemetry to know what’s happening at each stage and work with their counterparts and teams to identify optimization opportunities. When you’re looking at the whole funnel, you can ensure you’re driving efficiency throughout and aligned with stakeholders like sales who are driving the bottom of the funnel.
Some last thoughts on the future of martech and B2B marketing?
Due to the pandemic, digital marketing has evolved at an accelerated rate, forcing brands to re-evaluate their marketing mix and lean more into the channels where their existing and new customers are. From where I sit, organic marketing and SEO is the future of martech and B2B marketing. By brands creating valuable content that builds trust with customers, enterprises can build long-term loyalty and profit from long-term ROI. We’re seeing more and more marketing leaders embrace the value of organic — dedicating dollars to SEO headcount and technology, building content to help their customers, and prioritizing strong website health. While paid ads are a key component of an enterprise’s marketing mix, and can provide great short-term results, investing in organic channels is investing in a business for the long haul; it may take more time, but the returns are ten-fold.
As we continue to see increased market volatility—along with the rising cost of paid media and consumers’ distrust of paid ads—we’re likely going to see more brands diversifying their marketing mix. When economic shifts like this occur, it’s critical to have a solid organic presence to lean on. Like we saw during the pandemic, those that invest in organic marketing and create valuable content for their customers see long-term wins and are less affected by drastic economic and industry shifts.
Conductor is the world’s leading organic marketing platform, helping businesses accelerate search traffic, digital growth and revenue. Conductor’s technology helps marketers create powerful marketing content to drive quality traffic to their site and track their organic performance. Websites are more valuable than ever and getting found online is a #1 enterprise priority.
Lindsay (Boyajian) Hagan, is VP – Marketing at Conductor
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