MarTech Interview with Noel Hamill, CMO at Forsta

Confirmit and FocusVision recently merged to form Forsta, a customer experience and research technology that helps marketers drive impact; Noel Hamill, Chief Marketing Officer at Forsta joined us for a chat to talk about their new entity and the changing scope of marketing today:

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Tell us more about Forsta and what it’s like driving marketing goals here? 

Forsta is the newly merged business of Confirmit and FocusVision.  By merging together, we have created the leading Customer Experience and Research Technology company globally.  My first task in the newly merged business was to create a new brand based around bringing together the best elements of both business cultures but also plotting the new brand narrative for our business and our customers.  Our company name, Forsta means ‘to understand’ in most Nordic languages.  We exist to help inform and inspire decision makers, and our goal is to grow smarter together with our customers. I joined Forsta in January 2021 and it’s been an exciting journey since day one, bringing two marketing teams together, creating one unified culture, and focusing the business on growth and delivering more to our existing customers.

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What are some of the biggest martech and marketing trends you’ve been observing in the tech market since the last year or so? A few thoughts on what you feel will serve as core themes in 2021 for this space?

I have recently returned to the B2B space after spending some time in B2C, and there is strong crossover between the two. In particular, there is a stronger focus on marketing campaign and customer experience measurement and ROI. In B2C I have worked with the marketing mix matrix by channel with detailed measurements on every campaign in order to create a picture of what to focus your marketing spend on for the biggest impact.  

I see investment in Martech increasing in B2B but with a stronger focus on the data insights rather than the technology used. I have the luxury of having two Martech stacks now, which means I can weigh the differences between the two providers. However the area with room for improvement is the data handoffs and tracking across the stack, in order to see how an opportunity is engaging customers and how that data is managed across the varied systems. For me, this year there is a big focus on content creation and marketing to provide more focused content to customers. A trend that everyone is talking about is AI, but where is it most effective for marketing? I believe it can be used primarily to improve channel effectiveness to help B2B marketing direct funds efficiently.

We’d love to hear more about your thoughts on martech and its evolution and what kind of martech tools you feel will gain in popularity over time?

Great question! I see a lot of consolidation in the Martech space. My prediction is that Martech will become more platform-based, with providers consolidating to offer more end-to-end capabilities – like Salesforce is doing in the CRM space.  I cannot tell you how many emails I receive from different Martech companies with different solutions ranging from email management to intent, to ABM. It is confusing and sometimes hard to piece it all together so there’s definitely an opportunity in the space to simplify  

I do think systems that help produce and manage quality content are on the rise. There is an enormous amount of marketing content out there. Any system that can help produce and manage large content portfolios will do well. Reporting is an underestimated area where there is definitely room for growth. I have recently been reminded of the value of excellent reporting tools and been able to leverage our own data visualization capabilities. I wish I had these tools in my previous roles because when it comes to reporting, visualizing the story, such as a customer journey improvement, for business executives or stakeholders is crucial.

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Tell us about some of the fundamental marketing best practices that you’ve often relied on through the years and a few top marketing technologies that you’ve often implemented repeatedly over the years to drive goals?

Marketing for me is the mixture of logic and inspiration. If you can harness these two, somewhat competing, forces you will be successful. Underneath these, I focus on what we can control with three main things:

  1. Data driven decisions: This stems from collecting the right data, analyzing it, and recruiting the best people to advise on the key take always and implement, quickly. 
  2. Excellent collaborative planning across sales and marketing: I have to give a shout out to the Asana tool on this, its super simple and easy to use.  
  3. Love your brand: Live it, feel it, love it.  If you do as the CMO then the marketing team will and that will be an infectious force for growth across the business. I love Forsta!

How are you seeing the role of the CMO change and what accordingly to you will future CMOs in tech need to shape up to be like?

The role of the CMO is changing dramatically. You must now be both a digital, data driven animal but also a creative thinker. Of course, I have a lot of help with these two elements both internally and through outside agency partnerships. In today’s industry landscape, CMOs are tasked with mixing talents to work collaboratively with product, sales and customer service.  

A few takeaways for marketing leaders and CMOs and CEOs in 2021?

COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on us personally, our business and our customers.  I feel, rightly so, that businesses have been focused internally on their employees, securing their operations, and making sure their digital arms are functioning well. As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to focus on customers, the market and business growth.  A CMO with a growth mindset and a customer-centric approach will win the day, and every day after for the foreseeable future!

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MarTech Interview with Noel Hamill, CMO at Forsta

Forsta is the newly merged business of Confirmit and FocusVision. Forsta is the new frontier of customer experience and research technology — a technology company with a difference.

Noel Hamill is Chief Marketing Officer of Forsta, the leading global solutions provider of Customer Experience and Research Technology. Noel is responsible for the company’s Global Marketing Operations and recently oversaw the company’s new brand launch. With over 20 years of marketing and sales management experience, Noel has lead teams across multiple channels and routes to market. Prior to joining Forsta, Hamill held leadership positions at Prevayl, Ladbrokes Coral, and EE.