Tell us about your role at Oracle NetSuite and the team/technology you handle.
I oversee the global go-to-market strategy for Sales, Business Development and Marketing for Oracle NetSuite and Oracle Bronto. I joined NetSuite in 2015, after spending more than 20 years as a software equity Research Analyst on Wall Street for Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, and Merrill Lynch.
In today’s age, do you think there is still a distinction between B2B and B2C marketing?
The line has been blurring for some time and I think it’s fair to say there is now no real distinction. It comes down to the fact that buyers are people. People that are constantly looking for what can help them get to where they want to go. Winning brands will be the ones that can best deliver this human story.
What can B2B marketers learn from consumer brands like Spotify? Should they be thinking more like B2C companies?
It’s really important to offer value to a customer even after purchase. B2C companies do a great job at this, and B2B companies should take note. Take Spotify for example. Beyond curating playlists and saving favorite albums and songs, it continues to prompt you with recommendations on new content and artists to explore. It’s a win-win. To the listener, it gives a valuable interaction with the brand and for Spotify, it drives brand loyalty and gets listeners to spend more time on the platform.
What can B2B marketers learn from this? How about everything? B2C companies are successfully thinking about how to engage people at every stage of the buying cycle and beyond. The more you understand about your buyer, the more powerful you will be.
Tell us how NetSuite is humanizing B2B marketing in today’s age?
It’s all about storytelling. We want to make content more accessible and memorable. The fewer messages you have to your customers, the better. It’s not about covering all topics under the sun in amazing depth or the latest buzzword in the industry, it’s about focusing on the topics our audience cares most about and finding the human story to bring those topics to life. We want them to be able to relate to our content, not just dismiss it as another sales pitch from a technology company.
The truth is marketing is just too important to be left to the marketing department only. We need to pull in Sales, Customer Service and other areas of the business so that marketing can be ambient and at the same time invisible. By that I mean marketing needs to fade into the background so that customers can interact with it on their own terms, whenever and however they want.
You are adamant against using the terms ‘Digital Transformation’ or ‘Disruption’ in your marketing efforts – why is that?
I don’t know what they mean. Digital transformation is the e-business of this generation. Why would we mask our value proposition in technical jargon? When something means everything, it means nothing. Just watch one episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley TV series. It’s really funny, but it’s also really true.
What drove you to launch a standalone content site with Grow Wire?
We had so many incredible stories about what happens when people stay true to their mission and wanted to create a place to share them with the world.
Since the launch of Grow Wire, we have published well over 100 articles, 20 plus podcasts and an entire season of entrepreneurial-focused TV shows. We have interviewed experts in Business, Entertainment and Sports, from Magic Johnson to the Founder of Hint Water, Kara Goldin, to a legendary Silicon Valley VC – and NetSuite pioneer – Debbie Farrington.
The aim is to tell real-life stories of entrepreneurs and business owners whose journeys can help inspire and provide guidance to those looking to take the next step to grow their business and career.
NetSuite has been around for 20+ years now and works with more than 16,000+ fast-growing companies. What tips do you give your customers about building out their marketing strategy?
One of the things about our business is that after 20 years our mission has not changed. We have always been focused on helping entrepreneurs succeed.
When building out their marketing strategy, I encourage customers to stay true to their mission and ask themselves: What problem are we trying to solve? What makes us different? What gives us an unfair advantage?
As Stephen Covey said, ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing’ and this type of focus is incredibly important when building out a marketing strategy.
What industries do you think could better leverage more innovative marketing campaigns?
The reality is every industry has room for innovation. There are industries like retail that push the boundaries on creativity, but the reality is that every industry has room for innovation.
Currently, some retail brands doing this well are direct to consumer companies, like Outdoor Voices, that deploy campaigns that talk directly to their consumers. Outdoor Voices is an active lifestyle brand that creates technical apparel for recreation that uses Instagram to engage customers, including soliciting product ideas, rallying a community of recreationalists with a hashtag to showcase activity, leveraging user-generated content, and rapidly growing their network of macro- and micro-influencers.
What are the opportunities and risks you foresee for B2B marketers?
No matter the industry, we need to better understand the needs of our customers. Not just as a group, but individually. With all of the new technology, there are more ways than ever to find out about customers and there’s a huge opportunity in the B2B market to up our game. Today’s customer has evolved and most of the time they have already interacted with your brand in some way, shape or form before they reach out. In this reality, B2B marketers can no longer rely on the traditional linear buyers’ journey and instead should be thinking about how to tell stories that make content more accessible and memorable so they can make every moment with the customer matter.
How can marketers prepare for an ever-evolving consumer environment?
Change is inevitable. Preparing for change is hard, but if you focus on listening to your customers and engaging with them when and where they want, you have a great chance at successfully adapting.
Jason Maynard serves as the SVP Global Field Operations – NetSuite Global Business Unit (Oracle) of NetSuite.
Jason started at NetSuite in November of 2018. Jason currently resides in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet.
Today, Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.