Susan Beermann, CMO at Contentstack has a few pointers for B2B marketers as they navigate a challenging ecosystem in 2023:
Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Susan, take us through your marketing journey through the years and more about your new role as CMO at Contentstack…
I started my career in sales for IBM, and while I had success in sales, it didn’t feel “right” for me so I pursued a career in marketing and once I did, I felt like I had found my tribe. Through the years I sought out different types of marketing roles including channel marketing, field marketing, demand generation, and corporate marketing, each with increasing responsibility. This enabled me to gain broad experience across all marketing disciplines. I’ve had the pleasure of leading marketing for organizations as they’ve gone from start-up to IPO and have been at the helm of marketing for several publicly traded companies where I’ve focused on building world-class marketing teams and partnering across the organization to develop and execute go-to-market (GTM) strategies to build strong brands and drive growth.
At Contentstack I own global responsibility for marketing and business development including brand, revenue marketing, Account Based Experience (ABX), product marketing, marketing operations and sales development. A key focus will be partnering across the organization to develop and implement a strong GTM strategy and executing it to drive our business forward to serve our customers in helping them create digital experiences that attract and engage.
We’d love to hear about some of the near future marketing plans you have in mind for Contentstack; what will the next few months look like?
I recently joined Contentstack and we are at a pivotal point in our growth trajectory. We are pioneers in the movement to composable architecture and part of our role is to educate the market on this innovative approach to creating amazing digital experiences. I’ve inherited an amazing marketing team who are talented and passionate about our mission.
The key plans for the coming months are to define our strategic direction for next year, to build our brand and to partner with sales, product and services to build and execute a go-to-market plan to drive our growth. Last, but not least, to create an environment where each team member feels valued and has the opportunity to grow and thrive.
What are some of the core marketing do’s and don’ts that you feel B2B CMOs need to pursue in 2023? What are some of the top factors that will still challenge CMOs through the year?
I believe that the CMO role is constantly evolving. Today’s CMO needs to be an expert in their respective market, and have deep knowledge of their customers and the competition in order to drive a winning strategy effectively. Gone are the days of just driving leads. We need to lead markets.
As we go into next year, there will likely be some tightening of budgets and CMOs must be focused on ruthless prioritization to ensure we are investing in the right things that really matter while cutting the “nice to haves”. And we have to be really good at measuring, testing, learning and adjusting to optimize our resources for the greatest impact.
For B2B tech marketers, what are some of the skills and trends that they should be on top of, in your view, through 2023?
Marketing is both an art and a science. It’s important to have a variety of skill sets within the marketing organization and build an integrated strategy that brings the art and science together.
I think oftentimes, marketing teams become silos vs. well-oiled machines where each department is working in concert to have a greater impact. Developing integrated programs and strategies provide an accelerator to growth and optimizes resources to propel businesses forward.
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We’d love to hear more about content experience platforms (like Contentstack) and how they can benefit digital marketers? A few predictions on the future of these platforms.
Contentstack enables content creators and developers to deliver amazing omnichannel digital experiences faster and easier than ever before.
The Contentstack Content Experience Platform (CXP) helps to turn brands’ content – images, texts, videos – into a full experience for the individual customer. And not just on a website, but across all channels including phones, watches, digital billboards, and pretty much everywhere customers interact with brands and content out in the world.
Contentstack CXP was designed specifically for digital marketers to work autonomously, adapt quickly, and create experiences at the speed of their imagination. Our Content Experience Platform is unique because the technology is composable. This means that marketers can select this platform as a set of tools that they best like to work with and therefore create their own preferred “stack” of best-of-breed tools. Compare this to previously being forced to create content inside whatever technology powered your company’s entire digital presence, from websites to digital commerce to digital asset management. These monolithic technologies are slow, difficult to work with, and create roadblocks for marketers that are looking to create innovation because they are not designed to evolve with changing business needs. What’s more, we have the industry’s first no-code Automation Hub, which allows all of your best-of-breed marketing technologies to work seamlessly with each other through automated workflows.
Adoption of composable architecture will grow exponentially.
Brands are “going composable”. In the past two years, we’ve seen the rise of the MACH Alliance, which we co-founded in 2020. The MACH Alliance is a not-for-profit foundation helping businesses identify and move to composable technologies – and just in the past few months large brands like PVH and ASICS have moved to headless (CMS) with Contentstack. Big Players like Google and AWS have joined the movement recently as well. Businesses are not afraid to say goodbye to their monolithic “all in one” suites and embrace the possibilities of “best of breed” anymore. Powerful technology is at marketers’ disposal, and now that the business models and C-suite decision-makers have caught up to the idea, it is no longer a “risk” to go composable. It’s a risk to buy a suite.
Businesses will preferentially select technology that empowers their marketing teams to work autonomously.
IT teams are realizing that it doesn’t make sense for their developers to set up technology and hand it off to marketing teams without any of their input up front. We are seeing that our most successful customers are supercharging efficiency and growth by having content marketers involved in CMS implementation and asking architects for their creative ideas on how to bring new areas of business growth to the market.
Automation & Cross-tech integration will become a key factor in the successful implementation of new marketing technology.
With the rise of best-of-breed composable digital experience platforms, brands will naturally start to ask – how can these systems be made to work better together? The gains in efficiency alone for companies that simply automate basic cross-stack functionality will be unparalleled. The companies that embrace the possibilities to innovate that come with advanced cross-stack automation will come out even further ahead.
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How do you see the B2B martech industry 10 years from now?
– B2B Marketing will be brand-led just like today’s top consumer brands. Brands are realizing that competing in B2B means competing for people’s attention and that attention is won through building strong, relevant, and meaningful brands that offer strong digital experiences.
– Martech literacy will no longer be limited to a subset of marketing called “digital marketing”. New technologies designed to be easy to work with for casual users will make martech much more accessible than it tends to be today, leading to increased expertise building throughout digital organizations and more diverse technology acquisition teams.
Empowering marketers and developers to create composable digital experiences at the speed of their imagination.
Susan Beermann is the Chief Marketing Officer for Contentstack™ – the Content Experience Platform (CXP) category leader that empowers marketers and developers to deliver engaging digital experiences. Susan has over 25 years of B2B SaaS software marketing experience where she has driven tremendous growth multiple times from start-up through IPO and beyond.
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