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Confessions of a CMO: 5 Things I Know Now I Wish I Knew Then
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Confessions of a CMO: 5 Things I Know Now I Wish I Knew Then


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Keynote presentation delivered to Chief Digital Officer event on March 14, 2014. Presented to audience of digital marketing and demand-generation marketing leaders. The focus of this talk was to …

Keynote presentation delivered to Chief Digital Officer event on March 14, 2014. Presented to audience of digital marketing and demand-generation marketing leaders. The focus of this talk was to encourage marketers to always remember and practice the fundamentals: really, really, really know your customer!

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  • You are all using the same tools… inches matter
  • When inches matter it might seem that you need to get really really close and detailed with system setup, tuning and execution…. But perspective is equally important.
    Too many marketing people are too eager to just jump in and start executing. HUGE RISK.
    So how best to gain this perspective?
  • Marketing people have an ingrained desire to act. To create. To ship. This is great, but it can be a real danger.
  • Remote control example
  • Qualaroo pop-up surveys in our online documentation
    Did you know tips and tricks
  • Transcript

    • 1. Confessions of a CMO: 5 Things I wish I knew then that I know now… Mark Lorion CMO, Apperian 1 Email Twitter @mark_lorion Blog
    • 2. Routes driven Driver skill Shifting and braking Engine tuning Fuel, tires
    • 3. If you can’t explain it  simply, you don’t  understand it well enough. ­­ Albert Einstein
    • 4. The more you know about your customers… Sharper and more relevant messaging Smarter selection of marketing tools and more effective use of them Maximum IMPACT of Marketing
    • 5. Understanding of Audience Their Needs Value you deliver Uniquely Benefit over Alternatives Enabled by your differentiation Alignment feeds effectiveness
    • 6. NSL(Never Stop Learning) Too much focus with “front half” Very risky with recurring revenue business models! Use digital tools and analysis throughout full 360°
    • 7. > Every single Marketing team member needs to meet and listen to real live customers  use MBO’s to motivate this > Invite customers to call into your team meetings > Randomly call existing customers throughout the year > Form and hold Customer Advisory Board(s) > Hire from your target industry – these are not experienced marketing people! > Instrument your product to understand real usage How I’ve learned to learn about customers
    • 8. > Don’t rely on personas developed by Product Team… work from them, but add your own texture based on real interviews with real customers…  focus on messaging, value and differentiation > Surveys don’t replace real interactions… but… > Survey your customers at various points (yearly “relationship survey” and “transactional surveys”) > Use Marketing Automation system and measure engagement with existing customers (e.g., sharing product release notes, newsletters, etc.) How I’ve learned to learn about customers (cont.)
    • 9. Good Product / Market Fit •The market pulls product out of a company •Usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers… •Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account, which allows you to invest quickly… •You're hiring sales and customer support staff as fast as you can… •Reporters are calling because they've heard about your hot new thing and they want to talk to you about it… Weak Product / Market Fit •The customers aren't quite getting value out of the product… •Word of mouth isn't spreading… •Usage of your product isn't growing that fast… •Press is hard to obtain, reviews are kind of "blah”… •The sales cycle takes too long, lots of deals never close… •Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC ratios) are expensive and don’t improve much with scale Understand where you are with Product / Market Fit Based on blog post from Marc Andreesen “The Only Thing That Matters”
    • 10.  Competitive research  Capture “real” win and loss  Talk with customers about adjacent problems  A/B test messages  Watch for earlier signals with your website and content  Trends with Social Media  Then share and present to any and all at your company
    • 11. Roles are still evolving… GAPS more likely than overlap! Think about every single digital touch point affects your customers and prospects …including your software itself!
    • 12. Think beyond your immediate role! Don’t execute digital programs blindly… - Are we in the right markets? - Can digital improve the way your Product operates and customers experience it? Help your company think about Marketing - Help everyone see how their work and writing impacts customers and prospects - embrace and look for Growth Hacks - invite ideas for blog posts, guest speakers, etc - enlist the entire company for social media Marketing isn’t just for Marketing
    • 13. “Putting it out there” and publishing your position and “voice” forces clear thinking and clear messaging Active writing leads to active listening Earning an audience requires adding value to the audience and alignment to their needs Maintaining cadence requires real discipline… and it makes better reviewers
    • 14. Try it yourself! write about your profession, not just your products
    • 15. Reading a lot makes writing easier Writing a lot forces clarity It’s really hard to tell compelling stories that resonate (but practice makes you better) Compelling messages ultimately drive marketing effectiveness
    • 16. 1. Marketing tools matter less than what you put in them 2. Listen to your customers 3. Really understand why people buy 4. Look everywhere in your for value Marketing can add 5. Better writing helps drive Marketing effectiveness Good luck!
    • 17. Thank You Mark Lorion CMO, Apperian 35 Email Twitter @mark_lorion Blog