MarTech Interview with Peter (P.H.) Mullen, Chief Marketing Officer at Interactions

Peter (P.H.) Mullen, Chief Marketing Officer at Interactions chats about a few ways through which CMOs can turn their marketing departments into more production, revenue generating centres in this quick catch-up:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Peter, tell us about yourself and your foray into marketing….we’d love to hear more about your current role as CMO at Interactions….

Thanks for having me! I’m Peter Mullen. I’m a writer by trade, but have done a bit of everything – I started my career at Gartner, wrote a book, worked for a handful of startups, worked at Netflix and Comcast, and have now stepped into the role of CMO at Interactions. I am truly excited about the intersection of brand new ideas that can move at scale.

I’ve long been drawn to Interactions’ customer-obsessed approach. As CMO, I’m looking forward to bringing a fresh perspective to brand strategy, product marketing, thought leadership, content and more. It’s such a pivotal moment for advancements in AI, so I’m eager to take an active role in introducing the world to the next generation of exceptional customer experiences.

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As a marketing leader, what do you feel marketers in today’s B2B market need to focus on more to drive better marketing ROI?

To me, it seems as though many marketers are finding it hard to keep up with rising customer expectations. In fact, 75% of customers experience a long wait time when contacting a brand; when they’re forced to wait, they can feel undervalued and frustrated, and ultimately walk away with a worse perception of the brand.

Marketing technology like conversational AI can make a huge impact. Companies can reap tremendous business benefits from incorporating automation into their customer experiences — forget long wait times for customers and overwhelmed agents. When companies lean into this kind of technology, they see better outcomes across the board, and it all boils down to ensuring positive customer experience. Case in point: 83% of companies that believe it’s important to make customers happy also encounter growing revenue.

How can CMOs make a difference and enable better marketing processes/martech choices and marketing alignment? What are some of the fundamentals that CMOs today should follow here?

We need to prioritize the human relationship aspect between brands and customers. To ensure that customer experience remains consistent and uninterrupted, it’s critical to have marketing technology in place that can support a reduced budget and workforce before uncertainty strikes – whether it be a pandemic, recession, or something else.

Place greater emphasis on developing your brand’s category-creation opportunity. Stand for something. Be unique within a crowded space – you’ll see this focus accelerating over the next few years. It’s already underway. Almost overnight it seems that B2B brands have shifted from expensive brand campaigns to expansive thought leadership campaigns that give a platform to several voices within the company. There’s never been a worse time to be a B2B social media manager trying to get attention; and there’s never been a better time to be an employee at the company lifting your voice and getting noticed.

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In what ways do you see B2B marketing shifting as a function and what key trends will redefine this space in the next few year?

It’s not marketing unless it’s driving one of three things: pipeline, category expansion, or company valuation. All credit to Christopher Lochhead for that perfect explanation. There are only 4 areas for a B2B marketer to focus on: Brand, Demand Generation, Product GTMs and Customer Success.  If you can’t connect your activity and your martech emphasis to one of those categories, something is off. CMOs need to be measuring everything.

With ABM, it’s easy – or should be. With other categories like content creation or events, it takes more effort, but it’s just as important. We just built a point-scoring system for events to help us decide where to invest. Not perfect, but it provides directional decision making. CMOs. It’s critical your Marketing reporting connects to the Sales reporting. I find that it rarely does, even in large companies. It’s up to you to build that bridgework.

A few martech processes and practices that you feel CMOs need to be prioritizing more?

Ask yourself this: Do executives at your company view marketing as a cost center or an investment? Your #1 job is to ensure it’s an investment. Easy to say, hard to do. To get there, you must build credibility.  Credibility is earned by delivering results. Results are earned by building smart programming that takes only calculated risks. For example, we only do programming that we believe can deliver a minimum of 2.5x ROI within 18 months. View martech through the same lens. We assign KPIs or ROI goals to a new tool and track its progress. It’s a great way to ensure you’re not “spending” on a new tool, you’re “investing” in your company’s growth and success.

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Interactions: Conversational AI, engaging interactions across channels

Interactions provides Intelligent Virtual Assistants that seamlessly assimilate conversational AI and human understanding to enable businesses to engage with their customers in highly productive and satisfying conversations. With flexible products and solutions designed to meet the growing demand for unified, optichannel customer care, Interactions is delivering unprecedented improvements in the customer experience and significant cost savings for some of the largest brands in the world. Founded in 2004, Interactions is headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts with additional offices worldwide.

Peter Mullen is Chief Marketing Officer at Interactions and a seasoned marketing leader with more than two decades of experience. Prior to his role at Interactions, he was a Senior Vice President of Marketing at Payactiv, where he led customer success marketing, lead-gen programming, customer acquisition, product marketing, and more. He also held prominent marketing and communications roles at VXI Global Solutions, Comcast and Netflix.

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