Liz Carter, CMO at Reputation chats about the key elements that are fruitful to any modern-day marketing strategy in this quick catch up:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Liz, tell us about yourself and your role at Reputation as its new CMO…
I recently joined Reputation as CMO, overseeing the organization’s global marketing function, which includes growth and field marketing, corporate marketing and communications, and product marketing. Our department is responsible for driving broader brand awareness and advancing the organization’s mission of managing consumer feedback from acquisition to loyalty.
Before joining Reputation, I spent 11 years at ServiceMax, where I led the organization’s global marketing function and built the field marketing and corporate events function. Additionally, I supported the organization through two major transitions: an acquisition by GE Digital in 2017 and then a majority stake investment from private equity firm Silver Lake in 2019.
Outside of my role as CMO, I serve on the board of Razing the Bar, an organization that provides comprehensive mentoring and housing support services to foster and underprivileged youth.
For B2B marketers today, what are some of the top best practices and must-dos that you’d like to highlight they follow through on more?
One of the most important best practices is having a deep, constant understanding of your customer base, promoting your customers and telling their stories – all of this work goes together hand in hand. You must understand how your customers use your products and how they get value from them, as this creates an environment where more business can be generated. If you don’t spend time understanding your current customers, you can’t bring on new ones.
Customer feedback is at the core of Reputation’s business, so our customers’ success is a crucial component of our growth strategy. Shining a spotlight on how our customers use the Reputation platform to grow their businesses is a central component to our overall strategy, from brand storytelling to product updates.
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Marketing today can be complex given the number of marketing channels and MarTech for teams to drive experiences through – take us through some go-to strategies that you often fall back on as well as the MarTech that helps drive all of it
There are a few simple but effective strategies that I believe are must-haves for a marketing organization. To start, you need one source of truth for customer data and a single way to communicate, which is typically automated via a martech solution. Without clean, accurate data and efficient communication, it is impossible to effectively execute on your strategy.
Technologies that provide intent data are also important to a marketing program because they can provide a warmer buyer to the sales team. With this type of technology, marketers can adapt targeting and go-to-market strategies so they can reach a more valuable customer.
While martech solutions are necessary for elements of every marketing program, some tactics like email marketing and paid advertising are becoming less effective because people aren’t clicking and converting.
Instead, they’re researching before they make a purchase and relying on word-of-mouth recommendations or third party validation. This is why brand awareness, customer storytelling and earned media are critical to a strong marketing strategy as well – consumers find that external recommendation to be more trustworthy.
What are some of the biggest challenges in today’s B2B tech marketing realm that you feel marketers don’t have the necessary know-how to address?
CMOs need to own the demand model. It can’t be a finance or sales exercise with little to no input from the CMO. This isn’t always in the wheelhouse of every marketer but it needs to be clear to everyone in marketing that the role of marketing is driving demand, revenue and mitigating churn, as well as the role that marketing spend plays in how a business is seen in the eyes of its key stakeholders.
Today marketers are being asked to drive upsell, cross sell and expansions into the customer base, as well as being more involved in customer happiness efforts or projects. This is a different muscle than traditional demand gen and has to be tracked and measured in different ways. You have to have a plan on how to ensure you aren’t supporting these efforts and doing a disservice to new customer growth. Having the tools and metrics to track here are key.
What are the five CMO best practices that you’d share with any B2B CMO?
- Define the metrics that are going to matter for your department, as well as the larger organization. Your department needs to measure success in a way that aligns with broader business goals.
- Lean in to your network and embrace your community. Especially if you’re taking on the CMO role for the first time, learning from those that have navigated the same challenges and getting new ideas from external sources is invaluable.
- Take the time to get to know your organization’s customers. As I mentioned before, a strong, enthusiastic customer base will provide a powerful narrative that can be the common thread woven across your marketing strategy.
- Spend time with each team within your department. Learn about their strengths and challenges, so you can have a deeper understanding of how you can support them.
- Embrace new technologies. There are a wide variety of options for the marketing tech stack. Take the time to learn about what your team currently uses and understand how it helps the organization. Conversely, be open to conversations about exploring alternatives with your team if they find that the current tech stack isn’t delivering.
Some last thoughts on the future of digital marketing and MarTech?
We have to be ready to evolve and adapt. Today’s world is in constant flux and you can’t think there is a one size fits all approach. Sticking with something because it is tried and tested doesn’t mean it will always be. On the flip side, where you see strength in the past can be worth bringing back to the forefront. Remaining open minded and agile in the world of digital and martech will be key!
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Reputation is a platform that manages consumer feedback from acquisition to loyalty – functioning as a business’ eyes and ears in the spaces where customers talk, post, review, and recommend, Reputation analyzes vast amounts of public and private feedback data to uncover predictive insights for companies to act on and improve the customer experience. Backed by Marlin Equity Partners, Bessemer Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins, Reputation turns consumer feedback into fuel to grow businesses around the world.
Liz Carter is CMO at Reputation
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