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Experts on
Reimagining
Field Marketing
15
2
A successful cyberattack can severely damage a business in many ways. It can cripple business operations.
It can steal intellectual property or valuable data. It can completely devalue a business brand.
Such damage can be so severe that the business fails as a result.
When live events were suddenly canceled and employees shifted to remote work, most field marketers went into
shock. With their marketing plans in tatters and sales needing a completely different kind of support, they had
to act fast to develop new leads, fill pipelines, and support sales in completely new ways. For those who didn't
understand digital, the shock was overwhelming. For those who already understood digital and had put a strategy
in place before the pandemic, they were able to act fast.
We asked 15 top field marketing and account-based marketing professionals to reimagine what field marketing
would be like in the future. All of the experts I interviewed agreed that things would never be the same.
Surprisingly, most agreed that field marketing would play an even bigger role in the buyer's journey and all felt
compelled to raise their digital game. Each contributor shared how their insights about highly personalized
content marketing strategies, producing professional digital events, developing new sales strategies, and how
they are partnering with customers and suppliers in innovative ways. And even when live events come back, their
event plans will be completely integrated into a digital-first strategy.
This Mighty Guide explores where things were, what these experts did, and where they see things going. One
thing is certain, this is an exciting time for field marketing. Thanks for reading!
© 2020 Mighty Guides, Inc. I 9920 Moorings Drive I Jacksonville, Florida 32257 I 516-840-0244 I www.mightyguides.com
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INTRODUCTION
ERIK HAWKINS
Field Marketing Director
(North America), GTT,
pg. 19
MEET OUR EXPERTS
ADAM KERRIGAN
Director of Americas Demand
Marketing, Cybereason,
pg. 34
ATALAY AKTAS
Director of Field Marketing,
Genesys (EMEA),
pg. 55
MELISSA ALONSO
Director, Global Account-Based
Marketing, Qlik,
pg. 38
JESSICA COWAN
Field Marketing Manager,
SpyCloud,
pg. 59
JAN RYNIEWICZ
Head of Field Marketing, Google
Cloud (Argentina, Chile, Colombia),
pg. 42
FELIPE DUARTE NAVARRO
Field Marketing Manager LATAM,
Akamai Technologies,
pg. 62
J.P. (JACOB PORTER)
Global Director of Product & Field
Marketing, Edge by Ascential,
pg. 46
VISHAL CHOPRA
Head of Field Marketing
(India, ASEAN, Middle East, Africa),
Freshworks,
pg. 66
NICOLE SUMMITT
Vice President, Marketing,
Sprinklr,
pg. 30
MICHAEL HOFFMANN
Vice President of Field
Operations, RELEX Solutions
(Germany),
pg. 50
MALIN LIDEN
Vice President,
Head of EMEA Marketing
Transformation Office, SAP,
pg. 4
JENNIFER MCADAMS
Vice President,
Demand Generation and Field
Marketing, Progress ,
pg. 26
ANDY SKILLEN‌
Director of Field Marketing,
FICO,
pg. 15
TANYA MACKENZIE
Director of Field Marketing,
AlgoSec,
pg. 11
4
One of the biggest opportunities for marketing in the
future will be nurturing communities. It’s about being
part of the conversations rather than trying to own,
dictate, or steer the discussions. Being part of the
conversation is a privilege, and you have to earn it.
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
Before the shift to remote work, we talked a lot about digital marketing, but
we still focused heavily on in-person events. These events are expensive and
not always effective. We needed to do more digital, automated, data-driven
marketing, but it was difficult to break habits and change—for ourselves and
even our customers. Recent events and the need to go digital have been a
huge catalyst for us. We are now accelerating a transformation that has been
on the agenda for a while, a shift to digital marketing that focuses on inbound
communications—pull marketing instead of push marketing.
The transition for us was definitely disruptive, like being hit by a bulldozer.
That said, the crisis has also shown how the brand really matters. We had
invested a lot in branding, so customers know us as a responsible company
that follows a strong drive to help businesses run better while improving
people’s lives. I think that in crisis, more than ever it pays off to have a
history of being a company that cares and is not afraid to choose sides. The
foundation you build in terms of the brand is critical in a crisis. People want
to know what a company stands for, what its point of view is on important
topics.
Malin Liden is a results-oriented, passionate,
entrepreneurial executive with 20 years of
experience operating between sales and
marketing. She believes that sustainable
leadership comes from building consensus
while driving results, bringing together global,
regional, and local teams irrespective of formal
reporting structures.
Malin Liden,
Vice President & Head of Strategic
Programs, Global Field Marketing,
SAP
How did you approach the shift to remote work?
Instead of immediately focusing on what to do now, looking for the first
opportunities to sell to a world in crisis, we looked to support companies, invest in
the relationships, show that we care. We offered a lot of things for free, focusing on
the parts of our portfolio that could support companies during the pandemic and
investing in resilience across our ecosystem.
Showing that you care starts with listening. It’s tempting to do what a lot of people
are doing—say, “Ah, you must be interested in buying supply chain solutions
because this is a challenging area for companies right now.” It’s possible, however,
that companies are just focusing on surviving. So, if I come with my supply chain
message, it could feel to them that I’m trying to take advantage of the situation.
Crisis situations require a lot of empathy, the ability to understand where business
partners are at the moment. That is possible only if we listen carefully and let them
guide the discussion, telling us what they need and how we can help rather than
forcing ourselves on people whose concerns and priorities may be very different
from what we assume.
Marketing is
a marriage of science
and art, with most
marketers traditionally
leaning heavily on the
artistic side. Now, we
need marketers who
can function as data
scientists, interpreting
big data and turning
those insights into
fuel for the marketing
machine.
5
If you do content marketing well, people will want to
come to you based on what you share. You will not
have to chase after them.
6
How do field marketers position themselves where
they can actually hear what’s going on and respond
appropriately?
One of the biggest opportunities for marketing in the future will be in nurturing
communities. It’s about being part of the conversation rather than trying to own,
dictate, or steer the discussions. Being part of the conversation is a privilege, and
you have to earn it. If you insert yourself into a conversation too aggressively, or
if you are trying to dominate the space, then you won’t earn the right to be part of
it, and you are damaging relationships. If you earn your place in a network based
on the value you add, you are investing in the relationships, giving you access to
a goldmine of information and insights that put you in a much better position to
actually know what does and does not resonate.
Similarly, I think that influencer marketing will be even more important in the
future. The more closely you work with influencers in your area, the stronger the
relationships you can build. They can be a great way to know what’s going on
in the market in a less filtered way than we have been used to. That also takes
courage and the willingness not just to listen but also to act on feedback that is
not favorable. That’s how you earn trust. If you partner closely with influencers,
inviting them to innovate with you, shape your company’s future together with
you, they can become your best and most credible advocates.
What tactics have helped you transition from in-person to
digital events?
I think it’s tempting for everyone to do webinars because they are the closest
digital option we know to in-person events. The experience is not the same,
however. For example, attendees cannot network the same way, at the dinners
7
or in the coffee area, and the entertainment, which is a platform for relationship
building, does not work the same way as at in-person events. So, rather than
trying to replicate what we do at in-person events in a digital environment, we
have to create unique digital experiences and select just the right technology to
operate at scale when it comes to automation, nurturing, and the insights that
will support investment in the relationship with buyers.
If you do content marketing well, people will want to come to you based on
what you share. You will not have to chase after them. I always say it’s like the
difference between hunting and farming. With hunting, you run after what you
want, but the target is likely to turn around and run just as fast in the opposite
direction. No one likes being chased. As a farmer, you grow something that
is beautiful and looks and smells delicious. People come to see what it is and
discover that they might be interested in buying some of it. It starts withlistening,
so that you know what to seed where and when, giving people the opportunity
to discover, explore, and approach you when they are ready. You have to nurture
people at their own pace, making sure to serve them the right content at the right
time on their journey.
Has content marketing changed, then?
Yes. I think the trend goes toward engaging in communities that also help
you shift more toward user-generated content. Peer-to-peer content is always
relevant, and what does not feel like marketing can often be the best marketing
content. We still see a lot of content that is inside-out: Vendors talk about
themselves, their products, what they want everyone to read about. We need to
invest more at the top of the funnel—in the kind of content that makes people
want to explore further until they are ready to educate themselves on our
It can now take as
many as sixty to
eighty touch points
to complete a buyer's
journey for a larger
deal, and that does not
even include website
visits.
8
products and solutions. We need more “snackable” content in digital formats,
such as videos and infographics that are easy to consume.
This approach is important, too, because we are investing more in digital events.
The attention span is different from an in-person event, and it’s much easier
for people to leave because they did not invest anything in travel and can leave
without being noticed. In our webinars, we are forced to have better speakers,
shorter presentations, and a greater focus on interactivity. We have to win
customers every minute of the event because we do not have them in a physical
location that takes effort to leave. The transition to working remotely has
definitely raised the bar for what we need to deliver to customers.
I think that transformational marketing is sometimes hindered by how we
measure ourselves and how we set our key performance indicators. In customer-
driven marketing, it’s much more difficult to tie every touch point to a lead or
an opportunity, but that’s also why we are investing in data and analytics. That
said, buyers make a significant part of the journey—upwards of 70 percent—on
their own before they even talk to us. Thus, we have to invest more in digital,
social, and influencer marketing. This also means that the start of a journey
is not necessarily an event; more likely, it is a digital touch point that may be
an influencer piece or just someone in your network who shares something
interesting. The top of the funnel is broader and more chaotic because people
can jump in at any point and the journey can take so many different directions.
How quickly customers convert depends on their readiness when they jumped
in but also how well you are able to meet them where they are with valuable
information.
To influence them, we can increase the number of possible touch points
and make them as high quality as possible. We cannot just repeat the same
9
information over and over again across the customer’s many touch points.
Everyone of these many touch points is a risk that you will lose a potential
customer, so content must be specific and interesting enough to make the
customer want to take the next step. This is a different game, and the quality
standard is much higher.
What do you see as the future for field marketing, and what
skills will be needed?
The most important skill marketers need to develop involves data and analytics—
still rather rare skills among marketers. Marketing is a marriage of science and
art, with most marketers traditionally leaning heavily on the artistic side. Now,
we need marketers who can function as data scientists, interpreting big data
and turning insights into fuel for the marketing machine. Marketers need to
understand the mechanics behind big data and analytics so that they can put
together the right mix of content at the right time and continually optimize their
outreach based on what is happening in their markets. Everything happens in
real time, and we need to increase our skill set and empower the people who are
closest to the customers and the market, making sure that they can react quickly
to what is happening.
Partner and co-marketing will become more important in the informal
communities and networks that emerge after the pandemic. The lines between
organizations blur when people come together based on shared goals and a
shared purpose. This is the power of communities: They bring people together
who have a shared interest in something, regardless of where they fall within an
organization. It’s less an “us versus them” or siloed approach to the mix of people
you put together. The task of any organization is to be clear with what it wants
Inbound marketing is
a different game, with
higher quality standards.
Rather than sending
customers message
after message, every
touch point now has
to be specific and
interesting. Every one of
these many, many touch
points has the potential
to be your weakest link.
10
Malin Liden,
Vice President & Head of Strategic Programs,
Global Field Marketing, SAP
Key Points
1
2
Build and invest in communities
for your target audiences. By being
part of the conversation rather
than forcing or dictating it, you
earn the privilege to be part of
it. Communities help keep your
ear close to the ground; they give
you direct feedback and a better
understanding of what resonates.
Content marketing has evolved. We
need more top-of-the-funnel user-
and community-generated thought
leadership content that is specific,
personalized, and generates
awareness. This content should be
in chunked, digital-ready formats,
such as videos and infographics,
that are easy to consume.
to accomplish, because that clarity helps attract the right people. The winners of
tomorrow are those who are going to create environments that people want to be
part of—being magnets for people who want to become part of their ecosystem.
In the future, I think we will keep investing in digital approaches rather than go
back to the big events of the past. But we have to replace the intimacy lost in
digital formats by keeping groups smaller and adding breakout environments for
different areas and interests. In a community that I run, I’ve seen subcommunities
emerge, and people freely move between areas based on current interest. A
community is sustainable only if it keeps evolving and offering enough interesting
topics, projects, and initiatives for people to come together around. It comes
down to creating platforms that enable people to have a bigger impact together
than they could on their own.
People have low tolerance for poor experiences, so we have to be even more
diligent, in terms not only of the content but also of the overall experience. I
think that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will change the game,
enriching digital content experiences. Staying close to customers, picking up on
early cues, and responding to those cues will remain key, however, and that does
not necessarily take a lot of fancy technology to get started with.
11
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
The field marketing group at AlgoSec is responsible for lead generation, and
we relied heavily on face-to-face communication. Before the shift toward
working remotely, regional events and big trade shows were crucial for lead
generation.
The first week or two of the transition was a whirlwind of navigating
canceled events—figuring out what people were doing and regrouping.
Net new leads are crucial, so we decided to go to the RSA Cybersecurity
Conference in February 2020 as a sponsor. Big sponsors such as AT&T and
IBM had already pulled out, but we decided to go because it was such a huge
investment for us. It turned out to be a good decision because we ended up
with a lot of leads for our sales development representatives to work with
while we regrouped.
While we had money coming back from cancelled events, we still needed
to generate new high-quality leads for our pipeline. Given the economic
uncertainty of the pandemic, we also worked to do more with a reduced
budget while transitioning to virtual events. So, we looked at all the core
third-party vendors in our space and emphasized the quality of leads in
Tanya Mackenzie is a results-oriented
marketing pro with 20 years of experience at
fast-growing technology companies. Tanya’s
experience spans marketing practices,
including field marketing, marketing operations,
channel marketing, executive events, account-
based marketing, digital campaigns, database
management, and marketing automation. She
is passionate about supporting the salespeople
who depend on these programs for demand
generation, awareness building, and ongoing
customer relations.
Tanya Mackenzie,
Director of Field Marketing,
AlgoSec
Small, top-notch digital events must use top-notch
platforms to ensure that the participant experience is
excellent. You cannot rely on a PowerPoint or Zoom
presentation.
our decision-making process. We selected only those vendors that offered lead
guarantees.
So far, this approach has worked well. It has forced us to expand our relationships
with key vendors that are vital in helping us reach our marketing qualified lead
goals. Face-to-face leads are expensive, especially the large trade shows. They
are also more time consuming, so you have little time to focus on other areas.
We are now getting fewer leads, but with the focus on quality, we have higher
conversion rates. For this reason, I view this transition time as an opportunity for
growth for myself and my team.
In what ways have roundtables been effective?
Our roundtables are small, intimate groups in which we focus on a topic and
bring in executive speakers to provide thought leadership information. People
attend because a topic interests them and because leading experts provide the
information.
For example, microsegmentation is popular in security right now because signing
in remotely poses additional security challenges and concerns. So, experts
come prepared to discuss how they have dealt with remote sign-in during the
pandemic, how they are addressing policy management requests, and so forth.
12
I also think that we will see greater focus on ABM
and personalized marketing within personas as a
way to get more with less.
13
The roundtable becomes a way to share information across the industry.
Most companies expect more from their teams right now, so people want tips
and tricks from experts and others in their industry. In some cases, experts may
be from competing companies but in different regions. In other cases, experts
may be people who are from outside the industry but are interested in the topic.
They know ahead of time who is going to be on the call. This sort of activity did
not exist before COVID-19.
Similarly, we hosted our customer advisory board (CAB) virtually. At our annual
AlgoSummit, we would do our CAB and certification training as side activities
over a full week. This year, we are separating them, streamlining content, and
conducting them virtually. We invested in a platform and will ensure that the
registration process is exciting. We want our participants to know that these
are top-notch events that we have put a lot of thought into, not just a Zoom-
based Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. The virtual events are not perfect,
but people are embracing them. So, we need to make them as professional as
possible and keep people engaged so they get value out of the content.
What do you see in the future for event marketing?
Overall, I think that field marketing will continue to be critical because we are so
close to sales and we help build the pipeline. In the past, field marketing relied
heavily on live events, the goal being to get “face-to-face” with prospects and
customers. We have been forced to adjust, and now “demand generation” more
accurately reflects what we do.
In-person events tend to
be extremely expensive,
and they do not provide
uniformly high value.
Comparatively, digital
event leads have
been less expensive.
By insisting on lead
guarantees generated
by third parties,
you have a winning
combination: fewer,
high-quality, cost-
effective leads with
higher conversion rates.
14
Tanya Mackenzie,
Director of Field Marketing, AlgoSec
Key Points
1
2
To create a collaborative
roundtable, keep it small and select
just the right mix of participants.
You want the participants to be
excited about the other people
attending. Participants can
sometimes come from competitive
companies, so choose participants
who are at similar types of
companies but perhaps in different
regions.
I would like to see field marketers
called demand-generation directors
going forward. Their role will focus
less on physical events and more
on digital events.
In terms of skill sets, field marketers need to understand virtual platforms,
registration platforms, and tips for keeping participants engaged in a virtual
setting. I also think that we will see greater focus on account-based marketing
(ABM) and personalized messaging within personas as a way to get more with
less. We tend to create more generalized messages when we get busy. Now
is the time to do things right and take advantage of, for example, getting 10
percent more engagement on an email.
15
We are recognizing that the voice of the client is
more important than ever because everybody is going
through profound changes, pressures, and challenges
with their business. . . . The resulting insight is
astounding.
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
I work on the business-to-business side of FICO, the data and analytics
technology company best known for the FICO credit score. I focus on field
marketing of our risk management (RM) solutions and getting our sales and
marketing teams in front of clients at industry events. I also do a lot of work
with partners and partner marketing, which has been a great way for us to
get our story out there. I was already doing a lot of digital demand generation,
which can be challenging from a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective. I’m
responsible for putting on field marketing events, including tradeshows and
events at which we are presenters.
In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing?
Our teams already worked from home full time, so we have not dealt with
issues that other companies have faced on that front. One change is that
field marketing owns more of the customer journey than before. Traditionally,
marketing and field marketing own the first half of the buyer journey: product
education, the value story, and everything else through creating the events.
Sales then engages with clients at the events and continues through the
second half of the journey with them.
Andy Skillen is a marketing leader who has
more than 20 years of experience in sales,
presales, and technical support in multinational
technology companies. Andy is an expert in
B2B thought leadership and digital marketing
and was a 2007 finalist for the Marketing Award
for Excellence (MAX) award.
Andy Skillen,
Director of Field Marketing,
FICO
16
What has changed since the pandemic is that field marketing is creating not
just the event space but also the virtual connection between sales and clients
through virtual happy hours (or ice-cream socials) and roundtables. For the
virtual happy hours, we use any kind of customer success as a reason to
celebrate. Before the event, we send out gift certificates, which generates
interest—as in, “what are these guys doing that they’re inviting me to a virtual
happy hour?” We’ve even hired professional musicians to perform at these
events. What’s interesting to me as a marketing person is that we are seeing
much higher responses and registrations than with similar in-person events.
We have also put together forty or fifty webinars about resiliency to help clients
think about how they are going to get through the pandemic and its resulting
economic challenges. Where we have seen some great success is what I’m
calling virtual roundtables. I know that those are nothing new, but what is
different is that we are recognizing that the voice of the client is more important
than ever because everybody is going through profound changes, pressures, and
challenges with their business.
So, for these virtual roundtables, we invite a particular client and set the stage to
discuss a particular challenge, such as fraud or collection issues. The thought
leadership can come from anywhere; it can be thought leadership that we have
developed or developed with a partner. We start by presenting industry data
tailored to the client. Then, we go into the “voice of the client,” where we seek to
understand the client’s situation, problems, and needs. This, to me, is where the
magic in these virtual roundtables really happens. You have to be prepared so
that you do not rush through it but instead wait for whoever is going to be the
thought leader on the client side.
Companies are
experiencing incredible
ROI by eliminating
travel and events and
doing more digitally.
It is clear that even
when we can travel
more freely, marketing
is going to be far more
involved in thought
leadership, social
aspects, and actual
selling than before.
17
The resulting insight is astounding. In particular, it has helped us understand
how to improve our go-to-market tactics and adapt our messaging in the new
environment. By helping sales bridge the gap through virtual roundtables,
marketing now owns more like two-thirds of the buyer journey. I take the buyer
journey map to the point of major decision-making. Then, I layer in the client’s
perspective. In doing so, marketing now sees clients all the way through to the
“commit to solution” stage.
How do you see sales changing?
Given the new pressures COVID-19 has created, we have not only had to “fail fast”
but “succeed faster.” From a company perspective, I think that the ROI will come
from going more digital and from saving money on travel and entertainment. We
can do many more virtual events than physical events and at a much lower cost.
I think that sales will ultimately get back to doing what sales does best: using
relationships to move deals forward. I think that marketing will continue to be
more engaged with sales and clients.
Previously, “human marketing” was more a concept than a reality. With marketing
and sales now engaging socially with clients, we will apply more aspects of
human marketing moving forward. The virtual social interaction and engagement
are really no different than a salesperson sitting in a bar with a client, only now
marketing is listening in on the conversations.
Where does field marketing go from here, and what
changes do you see coming?
I feel like we are still in the first stages of what is going to be an intense change
in how we all do business. We have all been playing with digital marketing for a
while now, but we really need vendors that can step up and ensure better results
18
Andy Skillen,
Director of Field Marketing, FICO
Key Points
1
2
Virtual roundtables have been
extremely effective because the
voice of the client is now more
important than ever. Present
industry data that is relevant to the
client or prospective client. These
discussions have enabled the field
marketing team to better refine its
go-to-market tactics and make the
messaging more effective.
Thought leadership content that
marketing or its partners create
will drive the value of your virtual
roundtables. When clients and
prospective clients get a high-value
content gift, they will be willing
to share their “voice of the client”
experiences with you.
than they have in the past because our marketing dollars are more precious than
ever. Cost per lead per vendor is no longer a theoretical conversation. We can
no longer engage in all these different activities with all these different vendors.
The cost per lead can vary greatly from vendor to vendor—anywhere from $20
to $300 per lead. I now have to narrow it down and be able to justify programs
against other field marketers or other marketing priorities. With tighter marketing
budgets, we are either going to need guarantees or see a lot more rank ordering
based on digital vendors’ effectiveness. There will be less willingness to work
with vendors that do not produce results.
In the postpandemic world, RM will be an even bigger issue. Everybody is now
working from home, and we are seeing more paranoia than ever about fraud.
People need to be cognizant of the risks, especially in this dramatic shift to digital
and virtual environments. I think that the companies that were already moving
toward digital are going to see the fruits of their efforts, but those who resisted
moving to digital are really going to be at a disadvantage over the next year and
in for a tough time in terms of economic recovery.
19
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
GTT is a challenger brand in the enterprise networking market, and we
compete against the former monopolies and major incumbents. Our main
goal is to gain market share, and our field marketing program is dedicated
to supporting this goal. In our Americas Division, we live by the mantra that
everyone in the organization is either in sales or sales support roles. My
field marketing team is closely aligned with our enterprise sales teams, and
our goal is to generate appointments and pipeline opportunities with new
prospects.
We focused on targeted, smaller, intimate local events as one of our main
field marketing tactics. We used an account-based marketing (ABM) approach
and have predetermined target prospects in each of our markets. We found
smaller, targeted events to be the most productive for generating follow-up
appointments and set measurable objectives for every event.
Our target prospects are IT leaders, decision makers, and influencers. leaders,
C suite executives, and other decision makers and influencers in our space
have seen just about every type of tactic and event from our competitors.
So, creating unique experiences to break through the clutter, engage our
With 20 years of experience, Erik Hawkins is an
accomplished marketing leader with extensive
experience managing field marketing programs;
leading and developing teams; collaborating
cross-functionally; creating, executing, and
measuring targeted marketing programs;
creating compelling content; and supporting
field sales and channel sales teams.
Erik Hawkins,
Field Marketing Director
(North America), GTT
We created opportunities for our partners to
participate in specific webinars, and we also worked
together to create solution briefs, additional webinars,
and even lunch-and-learn events.
20
target prospects, and get them out of their offices has been a main focus. To
accomplish our aim, we used a combination of our own intimate, high-end
hospitality and networking events and partnering with and sponsoring third-party
technology and chief information officer events.
In addition to generating new prospect appointments and pipelines, another field
marketing goal was pipeline acceleration. Software-defined wide-area network
(SD-WAN) is one of the hottest topics in enterprise networking today, and GTT is
a leading SD-WAN provider. SD-WAN and other enterprise networking services
can involve long buying and sales cycles driven by sales negotiation as well as
the technical specifications and network design of dozens or even hundreds
of customer sites. So, in addition to prospect-focused field marketing, we also
typically focused on intimate and unique experiences that targeted midlevel to
bottom-of-the-funnel “prospect nurture” pipeline acceleration.
In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing?
Our goal has been to develop and execute more webinars and other digital
tactics to complement live events. In fact, before the pandemic, our field
marketing tactics consisted primarily of live events. As a result of The pandemic
necessitated a shift to remote work, and we quickly pivoted to developing and
implementing webinar series and exploring other tactics we could deploy quickly
in the absence of live events.
Part of our success in pivoting away from a focus on live events was embracing
a growth hacker mentality—effectively, a mindset focused on developing and
implementing creative and innovative marketing tactics during the pandemic to
continue to fill sales funnels.
21
Another interesting dynamic in the enterprise networking space is that global
use of data networks has surged during the pandemic. Traffic across our internet
network increased by 30 percent during the first month of the pandemic—a
growth rate typically experienced over the course of an entire year rather than a
few weeks. As a result, we are seeing continued strong demand for enterprise
communications services. So, we have worked hard to create and implement
a new tactical marketing playbook on the fly that we could quickly deploy. I
think that this type of a scrappy “growth hacker” approach can be an effective
marketing model for this time.
Webinars
Webinars have become central assets that we can quickly deploy. We developed
and executed two initial second-quarter webinar series focused on SD-WAN: one
prospect-focused series to support our direct sales teams and a channel agent–
focused series to support our national channel partner program. We did this on
the fly, developing the content for each webinar while simultaneously developing
and executing the webinar marketing plan.
Creating and delivering compelling content are important in webinar execution,
so we worked hard to develop educational and informational content focused on
thought leadership as a trusted expert for those seeking SD-WAN services. We
began with a clear title and abstract, including the main takeaways we wanted
our audience to leave with, and built the entire webinar content around them.
In our webinar messaging, it was important to show empathy to the challenging
and uncertain times we are all living and working in. Our goal was to
acknowledge the current situation up front and tie in relevant verticals or use
cases, such as the health care vertical and business continuity, in keeping remote
Going forward, as
we move to a more
integrated field
marketing model, we
will develop live events
along with virtual
and digital tactics
that effectively keep
prospects moving
through the funnel.
22
workforces up and running. We also completely scripted the open and close and
made the webinar interactive between our host and presenters so that it sounds
like a podcast.
To pull off eight webinars in two months, we did everything ourselves, saving
time and expense. We wrote all our own webinar content and all our scripts,
created our webinar presentation templates, and edited the recordings to create
replay assets.
In terms of webinar analytics, we focused on three main measurements:
registration generation, attendee yield, and whether attendees stay for the
duration of the webinar? We closely measured and assessed these metrics for
each webinar to learn and improve in subsequent webinars.
Strategic partner and comarketing
We also partnered with our SD-WAN strategic partners and featured one of
them in each of the webinars. In addition to partnering on our second-quarter
webinar series, we are working with our strategic partners on other comarketing
opportunities, including additional webinars, solution briefs, case studies, blogs,
and content syndication.
Quick-hit content
We use quick-hit content to generate interest via social shares and earned
media. GTT owns one of the top global IP networks, so we have considerable
potential for earned media from business interest media articles on topics such
as telecom essential services, “how the internet really works,” and “how tier 1
internet service providers continually work together to boost internet capacity”
23
to ensure business continuity. Earned media stories help generate brand
awareness.
Additional tactics we have used include creating more blog posts and
repurposing our own content, such as white papers, with new graphic/headlines
that are more relevant for the current market conditions.
We have also created sizzle reels—short, flashy product videos that we can
embed in other content.
Content
We are expanding our content library to develop additional content assets,
including blogs, videos, infographics, white papers, and repurposed content from
recent quarters. For example, we will re-create a graphic, headline, or quote from
a previous asset to make the content asset more relevant to today’s environment.
The idea is to have more assets available for tactical use when we are back to
“normal.”.
Behind-the-scenes projects
One final tactic is taking advantage of the break from live events and travel to
work on projects we did not have time to do before, including enhancements
to our website and cleaning up our marketing databases. The idea is to get
everything honed and efficient so that when our field marketing engine is running
again at full throttle in a postpandemic environment, we’ll be ready.
Where does field marketing go from here?
We will ride the momentum we have achieved over the past few months. Live
local, intimate, targeted events will continue to be successful tactics for us, but
they will become just one of many tactics we use.
Cut through the clutter
by creating compelling,
educational, and
informational thought
leadership content
(not too salesy) that
focuses on your target
audience and market.
24
We will continue to develop and implement new webinars, content, and content
marketing tactics. In addition, we plan to integrate webinars and virtual events
into our overall field marketing events plan when we resume live events. More
broadly, I envision successful field marketing programs implementing a fully
integrated plan that encompasses live events, webinars, content marketing, and
digital marketing. That will be our field marketing strategic vision.
One interesting dynamic we are considering is how virtual-only interactions will
affect our pipeline. The sales cycle to the enterprise segment typically involves a
lot of interactions, face-to-face meetings, and follow-ups.
We spend a lot of time planning for and thinking about face-to-face
communication with prospects. At events, we want prospects to get to know
As much as you want to get to know the
enterprises you are targeting, enterprises want to
know if you are credible, whether you can do what
you say you can do and whether they would be
comfortable meeting with you for the first time.
In preparation for live events and initial meetings,
we spent considerable time preparing. Our key
challenges are figuring out how to build premeeting
rapport through digital marketing, have productive
initial meetings, and then flow down our normal
sales cycle process virtually.
25
Erik Hawkins,
Field Marketing Director (North America), GTT
Key Points
1
2
Companies taking the challenger
approach to marketing and sales
along with ABM are well positioned
to adapt to market changes. As
a new brand, our field marketing
team has two goals: (1) Generate
appointments and fill the pipeline
using intimate and unique events
with new prospects, and (2)
accelerate the sales cycle through
effective prospect nurturing.
When things go back to normal,
integrate live events with digital
marketing activities to create
stronger, more cost-effective
programs that work for you and
your partners.
us just as much as we are getting to know them. We don’t have the brand
recognition that our incumbent competitors do, so it’s particularly important that
prospects come away from events and interactions feeling that we are credible
and that they would take a follow-up meeting with us.
So, we spend a lot of time in premeetings with our enterprise salespeople before
every event so that we can effectively network and build relationships at events,
no matter how seasoned the salespeople are. Similarly, we work with them to
prepare for discovery meetings, follow-up meetings, and other face-to-face
meetings our sales team has with prospects. So, we will need to find ways to
achieve the same effectiveness in virtual or semivirtual environments as in live
events.
Going forward, as we move to a more integrated field marketing model, we
will develop live events along with virtual and digital tactics that effectively
keep prospects moving through the funnel. Developing a more integrated field
marketing model was a goal before the pandemic, and we plan to use what we
have learned over the past few months to make it happen.
26
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
We had success and growth in our field marketing program that we were
excited about. We maintained a full mix of online and live marketing
programs, but we invested a lot of time and money in live events such as
trade shows and road shows. We worked closely with the sales department
to determine which events to attend, objectives, talking points, target
contacts, and follow-up sales scripts. We have a formula we use for events
and have developed a blog series about getting noticed at events without
spending a ton of money or having a 50’ × 50’ booth space. Needless to say,
we put this blog series on hold.
Earlier this year, we started producing road show events in partnership with
Forrester. These events are important because they can potentially get us in
front of larger audiences than is possible with other events—and with more
focus. At the first event in early March 2020, about 50 people turned out,
which was great. At the second event, just a week later, cities had begun to
shut down and we had just six people.
Jennifer McAdams is an accomplished
marketing leader with 25 years of experience,
including 8 years at the executive leadership
level. Jennifer focuses on working across
organizations to design and deliver measurable
marketing campaigns, driving integrated
marketing programs to support sales and
business objectives, and overseeing all
elements of marketing strategy and execution.
Jennifer McAdams,
Vice President, Demand Generation
and Field Marketing, Progress
Transfer attention-getting tactics used at live events
to digital events. Even more important, experiment and
keep up on the latest MarTech to be sure that you are
taking advantage of every opportunity to garner the
attention you need.
27
How have your marketing efforts shifted during the
pandemic?
The biggest shift is that we have moved from in-person to virtual events. For
example, we have moved our road show online, using on-demand and live
events. We aim to cover six products, including two that are installed-base
plays, and we are trying to upsell, cross-sell, and keep the audience engaged.
Four are full demand-generation products for which we hope to acquire new
logos. For the installed-base events, we know this audience; those people want
to engage with us, so we ran those events live. For the demand-generation
products, we want as many eyes on the content as possible, so we ran those
on-demand events as evergreen content. For the on-demand environment,
we used our web content management system, Sitefinity. I was proud of how
quickly our team pivoted and the event environment they built, which includes
social sharing, Q&A capabilities, and more. We have also started hosting live
events.
We have increased third-party opportunities, as well. For example, before the
pandemic, we produced about one webinar per month per product together
with a mix of in-person events. That has changed. Now, we have increased our
paid programs and partnerships to further syndicate content or reach specific
personas. We have also increased the number of third-party–sponsored events
we participate in, including some of the trade shows we have reinvented as
online events.
What have you observed as a result of these changes?
The information technology (IT) audience is loyal and continues to consume
content, even though IT people are busy keeping the infrastructure running to meet
28
We maintained a full
mix of online and live
marketing programs,
but we invested a lot of
time and money in live
events such as trade
shows and road shows.
the sharply increased demand for remote work. They may not show up at live
webinars in the numbers they were before, but blog traffic has increased, and there
has been strong uptake of on-demand events, both of which indicate that IT pros
are still trying to educate themselves despite workloads and busy schedules.
It has also become clear that connecting with a lead now requires much more
work—maybe even five times as many outreach attempts as before COVID-19.
This increase is probably a function of several factors, such as people being
distracted, adjusting to new priorities, and getting used to working from home.
To combat this shift, we started using an artificial intelligence (AI)–based gifting
platform that researches the social profiles of the person we are trying to contact
so that we can tailor communications to his or her interests. For example, if
David Smith is a big New York Yankees fan, we may offer a Yankees sweatshirt in
exchange for booking an appointment. This solution is actually pretty elegant and
does not require us to buy a bunch of sweatshirts we hope people will like.
We are also finding that hero stories are helping us reduce the number of
contacts needed to connect with a lead. Some of our products enable people to
work from home, so we are hearing from a variety of new and existing customers.
From these communications, we are developing hero stories about how our
products are solving problems for companies and individuals alike. This work
helps us communicate that we understand the many challenges to adapting to
working remotely and have ways to help.
What does field marketing go from here, and what changes
do you see coming?
I think field marketing will continue to be important for several reasons. The
campaign managers and regional teams in the larger field marketing organization
29
work directly with the sales team and are, therefore, marketing’s closest point
to sales. They will always be critical because they speak sales as well as
marketing. They are the ones who translate what the sales team is asking for
into programs that will engage the audience. We are also seeing a lot more
interest in localization from our field teams. If you only have a minute to grab
someone in a digital ad or social post, you have to meet local language and
cultural expectations or risk losing that person. Field marketers are essential to
understanding and meeting these needs.
Additionally, I think field marketers will take the opportunity to sharpen and
expand their areas of expertise—digital, partner, events—and become more
generally versed. Event marketers are already taking courses or getting certified
in digital marketing so that they can develop and manage our webinars and
virtual events. They are then bringing that expertise back to their partner-
marketing counterparts to share lessons learned. We are all trying to figure this
out together. In doing so, field marketers are becoming both generalists and
experts across the three marketing categories.
Key Points
1
2
The time it takes to close a sale
has increased. Now, it can take
as many as five times the number
of contacts to reach someone.
As a result, content has become
more important, and there is more
demand for it from within and
outside the company.
Transfer the attention-getting
tactics used at live events to digital
events. Even more important,
experiment and keep up on the
latest MarTech to be sure that
you are taking advantage of every
opportunity to garner the attention
you need.
Jennifer McAdams,
Vice President, Demand Generation and Field
Marketing, Progress
30
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
I started with Sprinklr in early January, so I was just starting in my role and
working on expanding my team. The company is about ten years old: It is in
that unicorn phase, trying to scale up. After being at Microsoft for several
years, I was brought in to help take the company to the next level. Initially, I
focused on a few activities:
•	 Build up a field marketing organization worldwide, including developing
multiple event types and driving consistency and compliance to the brand
across local markets.
•	 Develop local lead programs by understanding differences in markets and
getting to know customer nuances.
Roughly 70 percent of what we planned was in-person events and driven by
face-to-face customer engagement.
What were your biggest revelations after we all started
working remotely?
From a marketing plan perspective, we experienced a lot of changes. We
were supposed to do an event in Washington, DC, in March. A week before
Nicole Summitt has twenty-five years of
experience in advertising and marketing and
a proven track record of working in highly
complex organizations and entrepreneurial,
fast-moving environments. A creative, goal-
oriented, people-first leader, she is passionate
about blazing new trails and tackling the
impossible. Nicole focuses on strategic,
practical guidance that drives relationships and
business impact through connected marketing
engagements, digital experiences, and events.
Nicole Summitt,
Vice President, Marketing, Sprinklr
Virtual definitely became a major focus area. However,
the big question is, How do you stand out from the
crowd? How do you do things differently? How do you
build community? The key is not just to talk to your
customers. Rather, it’s getting them to talk to each other.
31
the event, one of the speakers canceled because of a travel ban. Then, another
speaker pulled out . . . and then another. Sprinklr-led events were the first to be
paused, followed by third-party–sponsored events, including more than fifteen
immediate events that we were planning to do. We had to figure out ways to
move forward and maintain momentum despite all the cancelations. We had to
pause and recognize what was going on, turn the ship in a different direction, and
change the strategy.
During the transition, I regret not responding sooner to help people in our global
offices when restrictions started to take shape. We have offices in Singapore,
Japan, China, and other parts of the world that pandemic-created closures
significantly affected. Ideally, I would have stepped in sooner to help them think
about their new environment and reshape their local marketing efforts. That was
a huge lesson learned: If you are operating in multiple geographies, tune in and
respond to local conditions as quickly as possible to help the company adjust and
take advantage of early lessons learned worldwide.
A small, localized, highly curated digital event
that focuses on a specific topic creates a sense
of community. Most importantly, customers and
prospects are bringing their own content to the
program, and we are giving them a platform to
share their insights, ask each other questions, and
share stories.
32
Keep listening to
your customers, and
respond rapidly to
what they want. In this
way, you can share
relevant content, help
customers talk to each
other, and respond
quickly to market
changes.
We are a company focused on listening, so we used our marketing channels to
encourage others to listen on social media channels for early indicators of what
was happening in different industries. For March and part of April, we changed
our content to focus on how the whole world was feeling and addressing issues
such as communicating with customers, being efficient in operations, and
working remotely.
Our company was quick to implement cost-cutting measures, including
sweeping pauses to all paid marketing. From there, we had to make digital
content a larger part of our marketing plan. We then faced challenges trying to
stand out and build community online. Forums, for example, provide a different
experience and enable us to communicate directly with customers. Typically,
smaller events, such as group sessions or dinners, provide opportunities to
share content, but the digital sessions also provided just the right environment
for natural networking to occur. We continue to have webinars that we want
to blast to the masses, but we also work on localized, customized events on a
specific topic. In these events, we do not provide much content; rather, we invite
customers to come forward and share insights, stories, and conversations with
each other.
Where does field marketing go from here, and what
changes do you see coming?
The basic framework will still include geography-based field marketers
for localization needs, corporate-led marketing programs that scale, and
coordinated campaigns to rally around.
This situation has really highlighted the fact that we communicate on social
channels. A bigger shift in marketing is the need to listen and respond to
33
customers in the channel they prefer. Getting customer care right (especially
online) is becoming significantly more important.
I also see the need for community environments that address the nuances of
local markets, including understanding how local customers respond to the
market, how they behave, and what does and does not work. We have to bring
in relevant customer stories and find balance between building relationships
locally and at scale. Twenty roundtables take a lot more time and resources
than one webinar to a broader audience.
We will also continue to adjust our messaging to ensure that assets resonate.
Everybody has heightened emotions, and we have to adapt to that. For example,
rather than using visuals of big groups of people, we are rethinking our branding
to combine emotion and environment. We don’t want to appear deaf to the
world around us.
Key Points
1
2
A small, localized, highly curated
digital event that focuses on a
specific topic creates a sense
of community. Most importantly,
customers and prospects are
bringing their own content to the
program, and we are giving them
a platform to share their insights,
ask each other questions, and share
stories.
Keep listening to your customers,
and respond rapidly to what they
want. In this way, you can share
relevant content, help customers
talk to each other, and respond
quickly to market changes.
Nicole Summitt,
Vice President, Marketing, Sprinklr
34
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
In field marketing, we probably spent 80 percent of our time on events and
20 percent on targeted digital activity. We found that some types of events
worked better than others. For example, industry events were good for
brand awareness and for refreshing our database with new contacts. I read
somewhere that cybersecurity practitioners change jobs every three years;
industry events were great for keeping our database current. We would then
go deeper into the funnel, conducting Cybereason-run events, road show
events, and one-off events such as a whiskey tasting for clients in the spirits
industry. We also partnered with our channel companies; we would go to
them or they would come to us to design events. The order of events was
important for moving people through the funnel, and we built events to align
with the customer journey.
In hindsight, I think we focused too much on events. Being forced to go
digital has enabled us to do more of what we knew was needed: be more
strategic and focus more account-based marketing (ABM), not just the
“rinse and repeat” of event marketing. We had already started contributing
to ABM and sales efforts, but the transition made us reevaluate how we can
most effectively help the sales team be strategic.
A seasoned marketing professional, Adam
Kerrigan focuses on regional pipeline
generation and acceleration. Following seven
years with Abcam, he became CyberArk’s first
field marketer, supporting more than 25 field
sales staff. At Cybereason, Adam now leads
demand generation for the Americas and
has established new growth platforms and
thought-leadership programs as well as devised
numerous digital and event series.
Adam Kerrigan,
Director of Americas Demand
Marketing, Cybereason
We need to market to prospects and customers the way
they want to be reached. . . . . [Sophisticated account-
based nurturing] has been on every marketer’s wish
list, but it’s going to take more people on the front end,
require automation, and take longer.
35
What solutions have you implemented to replace in-
person events?
There was a two-week period where frustrations were high because we were
more prepared for 2020 than we had been in previous years. Many people’s first
reaction was to run webinars in place of in-person events. Traditional webinars
were still quite successful for us, with 500 to 600 people attending, but we
knew we needed an additional format.
We have worked hard to replace the face-to-face communications of an
intimate whiskey-tasting event or a steak dinner with smaller virtual events.
We came up with a coffee break series that’s city or territory specific. It is more
conversational than large events, with maybe twenty to thirty people attending.
Through these events, we could reach out to a targeted account list in a
particular area while introducing them to their local sales unit.
We haven’t encountered much concern over potential competitors attending
the same digital events. We have found that there’s still a sense of camaraderie
among those in the cybersecurity industry because we all have the same
goal: to secure our businesses. Sometimes, people do need to protect the
confidentiality of those clients they work with, but that information often comes
further down in the sales cycle.
How have you created interactivity in your events?
One of the biggest challenges in these smaller events was promoting
interactivity. We ran a series of events in April, May, and June, for example,
and the first one was not interactive. The likely reason was that we had not
prepared the sales team on the format, and they came into the event thinking
We moved our
larger in-person events
online quickly, but
replacing the intimacy
of smaller, in-person
events with small
virtual events that
allow for more informal
communications and
networking was a
challenge.
36
In hindsight, I think we focused too much on
events. Being forced to go digital has enabled us
to do more of what we knew was needed: be more
strategic and focus more on ABM.
it was more like a webinar. We also did not have the right staff on the call or on
camera, which we think would have made attendees more comfortable.
For our May event, we made sure that we had more Cybereason staff
on camera prompting questions. We realized that we had to be more
conversational as hosts to encourage our attendees to do the same.
For our June event, we tried getting current customers to join the calls and
engage in the conversation. We found that having non-Cybereason staff asking
questions helped open the conversation a bit.
I think that the conversational tone we used in the invitations also helped
interactivity. In reminder emails, we mentioned weighty topics and questions
that set the stage for a conversation rather than a presentation.
What are some unexpected benefits of and lessons from
going digital?
I would not necessarily say that engagement has increased, but we are close to
being back to where we were before COVID-19. We have been able to reestablish
our lead flows, opportunity numbers, qualifying opportunities, and the like. We
have also increased our target account work and vertical messaging. These
have always been in place, but I think that we focus on them more now.
37
Key Points
1
2
Going forward, we will continue
to develop and expand our tool
set, refine our lead-qualification
approaches, sharpen our
messaging, and fully integrate
digital activities and physical
events.
Make your digital events into a
memorable experience that helps
you connect on a human level.
Tap into the hidden talents of your
own executives or bring in sought-
after speakers to interact with
prospective customers on unrelated
topics.
Adam Kerrigan,
Director of Americas Demand Marketing,
Cybereason
The perception of field marketing has changed a bit. We are no longer just event
marketers; rather, we are viewed more as strategic partners in the sales cycle.
We are now working with sales to gather market intelligence or information
specific to target accounts. We are not just generating leads but also helping
qualify opportunities.
From a budget perspective, an unexpected consequence of COVID-19 may be a
significant drop in cost per lead and cost per opp. The pricey in-person industry
events have transitioned to cheaper virtual formats or been canceled entirely.
Event providers may have a tough time recouping these sales if vendors adapt
well to less expensive virtual and ABM lead-generation methods.
We also need to market to prospects and customers in the way they want to
be reached. However, doing this work well may take months or years because
customers are also still finding their way in the new world. Big events may
come back, but marketing will require sophisticated account-based nurturing.
This approach has been on every marketer’s wish list, but it’s going to take
more people on the front end, require automation, and take longer.
38
What was it like in marketing before COVID-19?
Our team handles account-based marketing (ABM) for 300 of our top
accounts. We are field marketing, yes, but we focus on ABM. Before working
remotely, we were planning for and moving ahead with in-person events all
over the world. Most of our events were specific to an individual account, often
multi day programs in which we bring experts to the customer for hands-on
workshops and presentations of customer success stories.
Events accomplished two goals: creating awareness by supporting the
platform within individual accounts and creating executive-level relationships
with customers. I think that partnering with customers differentiates ABM
from field marketing: We want to expand customers’ opportunities and enable
them to be part of what is possible. These goals are easier to achieve when
you have an internal spokesperson who supports what you are promoting and
can speak to what he or she has seen.
How did these customer-focused events translate to
virtual events?
As far as creating awareness by supporting the platform within individual
accounts, we created a program called the Virtual Passport, which is a
A fifteen-year veteran of sales and marketing,
Melissa Alonso drives innovation and growth
by delivering top-performing, individualized
client service that translates customer needs
into prosperous outcomes. With a passion
for customer success and creative event
marketing, Melissa fosters new relationships
and expands business opportunities through
customer awareness and engagement
programs. She is a proven leader in field, digital,
and strategic marketing around the globe.
Melissa Alonso,
Director, Global Account-Based
Marketing, Qlik
Use executives within your company to demonstrate
your confidence in your own solutions and credibly
overcome specific objections. For example, if you are
talking to a CFO, consider having your CFO join the call to
discuss opportunities and concerns in the right context.
39
multievent webinar series that we run in collaboration with the customer that
focuses on the customer’s success stories across different use cases—technical,
business, leadership, and so on. The passport is an engagement program for
driving adoption, familiarizing people with what we do, and empowering them to
do more. We spread content from a quick guide out over six to eight weeks, with
attendees receiving a passport cover or a luggage tag or some piece of swag that
they would have received at an in-person event. Registration is based on a single
email invitation that includes the series of events, so people can choose what
they want to participate in with less intrusion.
I think the program is a bit different because attendees still get valuable
information and feel that they are part of something. The passport also creates
continuity between events—a flow of learning opportunities rather than single
topics that may or may not be relevant depending on participants’ job function
or point in their career. Attendees become part of a larger conversation, jump in
when topics are relevant to them, and then become internal champions in their
own success stories.
The webinars themselves are still much like presentations, with speakers and
Q&A sessions, but they are shorter snippets that are more consumable and
available regardless of time zone. We use a tool called Follow, which is an
interactive landing page that drives all the content—registration, postevent assets,
and so forth—and makes them trackable. Moving forward, I think the initial
touch point and trackable assets are important. Someone who has looked at 15
different assets could be your 1 person out of 500 who is raising a hand to be
your next champion and use case.
Finally, as far as helping create executive-level relationships, we devised
other, more intimate events, as well, such as virtual wine tastings or coffee
People do not want
aggressive sales
techniques where
they fill out a form
to receive gated
content, and then
receive 14 phone
calls and emails.
They want to go at
their own pace and
contact you when
they are ready to
have a conversation.
40
Companies love the customization that ABM
offers. They really appreciate that you will create a
program to help their employees get the most out
of your platform.
conversations, that aim to be personal but hit the masses. These are not
presentations but rather more like listening events for us. People seem open to
new kinds of communications, and these are a fun way to extend what we had
previously done. Getting people to speak up about what they need is a different
challenge than driving awareness and adoption. These smaller virtual events are
effective in creating new executive-level relationships that attendees did not have
before.
What do you see as the future of marketing?
I think that ABM is the way to go. People love the customization and having their
own marketing person. It’s not that the marketing person develops the program
for clients but that we work hand in hand with clients to create opportunities
from their communications and success stories.
Connecting customers with executives will be increasingly important, as well. For
financial clients, for example, I do not hesitate to call in our chief financial officer
(CFO) to talk about how he uses the platform. This approach shows confidence
in our platform and makes our executives more accessible to the masses.
We also focus on data literacy with our clients to help them confidently
communicate with their managers about what they see in the data. Data
provides a lot of insights, but clients need to be able to back up the data.
41
Key Points
1
2
People do not want aggressive sales
techniques where they fill out a form
to receive gated content, and then
receive 14 phone calls and emails.
They want to go at their own pace
and contact you when they are ready
to have a conversation.
Give customers a way to reach
certain achievement levels with the
education you provide. Help them
get certified, give them evidence of
their achievement, and help them
achieve their educational goals with
you. By recognizing their efforts, you
can help them to realize more value
from committing to entire tracks of
your educational programs.
Melissa Alonso,
Director, Global Account-Based Marketing, Qlik
Finally, I think that the virtual interactions have provided a positive way to bring
people together globally. They provide opportunities to be more inclusive and
engage with people we may not have ever met otherwise. I think it will be quite
a while before we are able to have in-person events with 500 people like we had
before, so we have to continue to be creative and make little changes to webinars
that will improve experiences over time. With everything being trackable, as well, I
think we will see greater focus on certifications.
42
Bring in an expert on a different topic—for example,
a neuroscience expert—to discuss how the brain
processes data and how that process relates to data
management. Take audience members out of their
comfort zone and engage them.
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
Field marketing is a service team for the sales organization. We support
sales’ business objectives with relevant market strategies and tactics. Before
COVID-19, field marketing would work with sales teams to understand their
goals and long-term plans. From those goals, we would build strategies,
tactics, and key performance indicators for six-month, one-year, and three-
year plans. Although we focus on long-term strategies, we remain flexible
so that we can adapt to opportunities as they arise. For example, a crisis in
Brazil could trigger a new opportunity in the financial services area. We had
to be on top of the market. We had to be flexible and versatile enough to
capture new opportunities without losing sight of the long-term plan.
The marriage between sales and marketing has had its ups and downs.
Sometimes, salespeople have a narrow “what’s in it for me?” view of the
marriage and assume that our job is to make events look pretty when, in
fact, we are working to build a high-quality pipeline for them. At the end of
the day, though, we understood that they have the tougher job: sitting in front
of existing or potential customers and asking them to buy our company’s
product . . . and often getting “no” for an answer. They need thick skin to do
their job, and we feel their pain.
Jan Ryniewicz is a B2B marketing manager and
team leader focused on marketing strategic
thinking, branding, program marketing, and
communications management in global
companies and fast-paced multiregional
environments in the IT marketplace. More
than 20 years in marketing management have
taught him to keep two main goals in mind:
Expand the brand voice and reach, and help
accelerate sales.
Jan Ryniewicz,
Head of Field Marketing, Google
Cloud (Argentina, Chile, Colombia)
43
In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing?
The relationship between sales and marketing has improved. I strive to foster
conversations that empower or strengthen the alliance between sales and
marketing. The COVID-19 situation forced us to figure out how to survive minute
to minute. There is now a growing understanding that we are in this together,
working shoulder to shoulder.
As for building the marketing pipeline, the big winner here is digital
transformation. Digital content is relatively new in this region (about 30 percent
digital versus 70 percent live events), yet now it has to be effective across the
entire funnel, from the top down to the acceleration stage. Now, every activity at
each stage in the customer relationship journey must be digital.
Here in Latin America, we embrace face-to-face relationships. Within a week,
however, cultural norms changed for our teams and clients. We—meaning
sales, marketing, and clients—are now all in the same home-office scenario
and navigating the new norms together. We now have to figure out how to build
relationships digitally, as well.
We—meaning sales,
marketing, and
clients—are now all
in the same home-
office scenario and
navigating the new
norms together. We
now have to figure
out how to build
relationships digitally,
as well.
Marketers must make digital more personal and
empathetic. They must ensure that it works at
every point in the funnel—top to bottom.
44
How do you create engaging events, without fine wine
and cuisine as part of the lure, that people are excited to
attend?
Be empathetic. Clients and companies still need to run their operations.
They are in a tough situation. Linking their situation with your technology or
portfolio makes content insightful and more relevant to them. Marketers have
to understand which triggers will appeal to potential audiences. The same
empathy we’ve used to navigate our relationship with sales teams will help us
build client relationships in these uncertain times.
Focus. A webinar should not attempt to capture what would be covered in a
three-hour in-person event. It should be twenty to thirty minutes, like a TED
Talk. That said . . .
Simulate live-event experiences. Webinars typically have a speaker followed
by a Q&A session. Find platforms that enable you to simulate other parts of live
events, such as breakout sessions or labs.
Invest in engagement with smaller groups. Cherry-picked, tailor-made content
is important at all marketing stages. For example, consider bringing in outside
thought leaders, experts, or even celebrities to reach audiences further down in
the marketing funnel.
Go beyond pure technology conversations. Topics such as leadership in crisis;
managing stress; and other human, social, and workplace issues add value.
Last year at a data-management event, we talked about data backup and
recovery for five hours. Then, I brought in a neuroscience expert to talk about
how the brain processes information. Audience members were out of their
comfort zones—and incredibly engaged.
45
Key Points
1
2
Building a new relationship digitally
requires exceptional content.
Content delivered in compact time
frames must be more insightful,
empathetic, and relevant.
Third-party speakers can create
unique content and differentiate
your roundtable from other
roundtables. These speakers can
talk about the specific challenges
the company faces. Alternatively,
thought leaders can focus on
human and social issues that
executives are experiencing.
Nontechnical speakers can help
drive a conversation.
Jan Ryniewicz,
Head of Field Marketing, Google Cloud
(Argentina, Chile, Colombia)
Where does field marketing go from here, and what
changes do you see coming?
We can assume that things are not going to be the same after the pandemic
and that some things, such as big events, will continue to evolve. We need
to see how people react to “becoming normal” again. I think, however, that
trends toward digital content will continue, with Latin America becoming more
balanced and emphasizing digital more. We are proving that digital content can
work across all parts of the funnel and is more cost-effective than live events—
an important point because it is unlikely that budgets will return to 2019 levels
any time soon. As a result, I think field marketers will become “field/digital
marketers” or maybe just “marketers.” Whatever the eventual job title, we will
have to find ways to reach out to audiences differently.
46
Working remotely has made me a bit self-conscious
because I’m holed away in my kids’ toy room, but this
has actually broken down some professional barriers.
After all, we’re all working from homes.
What was the event marketing landscape like before
working remotely?
In-person events were the core of our field marketing programs. We ran
several industry trade shows and attended many other shows as a vendor,
demonstrating our wares and talking shop. In the past couple of years,
businesses have been forced to justify their return on investment in sending
people to trade shows, and we saw a push toward quality events over the
number of events. We also started hosting events ourselves, focusing on
user groups, best practices, and professional development.
We tried many variations on the formula to see what worked best.
Some were for our own marketing; others were in partnership with other
organizations. We had an event series that garnered a cult following, so we
turned it into a ten-part digital series in the United Kingdom and a five-part
series in the United States. The series offered different aspects of a topic
and drilled down into the funnel, as well. We were surprised at the number
of RSVPs and were looking at a new platform to host the sheer number of
people. We saw that going digital with events was not an impossible hill to
climb.
J.P. (Jacob Porter) is a marketing professional
with a background in brand management and
go-to-market strategies. J.P. attributes his
achievements in B2B marketing to two core
ideals: value-based marketing and doing the job
right. He serves as a marketing leader for the
e-commerce analytics firm Edge by Ascential,
where he oversees a global team of talented
marketing professionals who create unique
digital and offline customer journeys.
J.P. (Jacob Porter),
Global Director of Product & Field
Marketing, Edge by Ascential
47
At the end of last year, we conducted a major survey and found that the trend
was shifting back toward larger trade shows. For this year, we planned more
speaking events, road show events, industry meetups, and other face-to-face
events with our core customer base. We did not plan these events to be as
intimate as a hosted dinner; rather, the goal was to take the best of small and
large events and keep the numbers under a hundred or so. We were actually
getting away from digital because it was “cold” and hard to fit into time zones.
What surprises did you encounter with the shift to remote
work?
We were well positioned when the need to go all digital arose. Customers
indicated a greater willingness to work online. In fact, many of our smaller, more
nimble clients—even up to the middle-tier clients—had already shifted to digital
face-to-face communication. In some cases, we had not even met these clients
in person until after the contract was in place. So, we were already doing a lot of
these phone call webcasts in sales and support.
Even with the shift toward digital, we had to work quickly to make the entire
procurement process digital or phone based. One big challenge has been re-
creating the types of personal interactions you would normally have in an in-
person sales process.
We came up with some amazing solutions, such as having a virtual beer with
a client or leading a house tour. Working remotely has made me a bit self-
conscious because I’m holed away in my kids’ toy room, but this has actually
broken down some professional barriers. After all, we’re all working from our
homes. People are eager to show off the weirdest thing delivered from Amazon
or acknowledge the child wandering around in the background. This relaxed
atmosphere helped people connect a bit more on a human level.
Digital sales can be
as fast as in-person
sales when your
digital education
efforts effectively
show your customers
the value
of your product.
48
It will be interesting to see how renewals or upsells will be affected further on
in the life cycle. These conversations tend to be warmer than new-business
conversations, so they should go well.
How are you creating high-quality digital events?
You have to remember customer value—what are your customers getting out
of this? No one wants to hear how much we care about them and how we are
all in this together. Clients, now more than ever, want to know what value you
are bringing right now that will eventually result in a positive outcome. It’s about
applying a clear focus on what our offerings can do to help them. Customers
gravitate toward companies that can quickly convey their message and the value
they bring. It’s not just about being first to market; rather, it is about conveying
that we can help you adjust your capabilities and plans through this sudden
change. The conversation is not about us; it’s about our clients. Do not use a
webinar to show off the latest product feature or release; instead, focus content
on professional development. Lead with that.
[Customers] do not want to listen to you posturing
about your product; rather, they want you to focus
on their specific pain points and show them how to
solve a real problem right now.
49
Key Points
1
2
One-to-one digital sales calls have
actually helped people connect on
a more human level. Seeing how
people live, having a beer while
online, leading house tours, meeting
family members who jump into the
camera’s view—they all help break
down professional barriers and can
actually make sales discussions
more real and personal.
We’re going to see a digital-first
approach going forward. Large,
first-come, first-served digital
events will likely give way to
smaller, extremely high-value,
exclusive, invitation-only RSVP
digital events designed for select
personas at targeted companies.
J.P. (Jacob Porter),
Global Director of Product & Field Marketing,
Edge by Ascential
Where do you think event marketing is heading?
We are going to see two major shifts. First, trade shows as we knew them before
the pandemic are irrecoverable. We are not going to see many large-scale events
unless they are global and generate major revenue. Second, we will see the
extremes become popular: big events that are few and far between or smaller
get-togethers. I don’t think we will see midtier shows anymore.
Right now, digital events are about attracting large numbers of people. In time,
the focus will shift to focus on attracting just the right people. Webinar platforms
can accommodate 1,000 or 2,000 people, but of those, there are 20 or 30 people
or a particular persona that we are interested in and want to talk to. I think there
will be a swing toward exclusive digital events that help us make headway in the
funnel.
50
Successful marketers make the effort to show the
customer that they have a specific solution for his or
her requirement.
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
I differentiate between central marketing and field marketing because
we operate worldwide as well as across German-speaking countries and
regions. Central marketing produces all the great stuff, such as white
papers, press releases, blog posts, and product and solutions content. In
field marketing, we ensure that the messaging is appropriate for regional
and local markets. We in field marketing go one step further and tailor
the marketing messaging to a customer. The pandemic has eliminated
travel times, giving us additional time to make such customizations, and
the outcomes reflect that. Before COVID-19, we typically divided our time
between creating events and strengthening customer relationships through
a more standard follow-up.
In our work, we must understand customer bottlenecks and pain points.
People live in their own world and perceive reality differently. Being aware
of this individuality and trying to understand what the other person's
world looks like are the first steps in a common direction. To gather this
information, we talk to our customers; we concentrate on listening and
understanding. We strive to find the right tone, the right level of sharing,
to ask the right questions and listen rather than focusing on our own
Michael Hoffmann brings 22 years of
experience spanning logistics, operations,
sales, and marketing. He believes that
marketers can design the future, that they must
choose to do so actively and with reflection.
Marketing can become better, regardless of its
starting point. His advice to fellow marketers?
The more you know, the more you will work to
understand the full picture and the better the
outcome will be.”
Michael Hoffmann,
Vice President of Field Operations,
RELEX Solutions (Germany)
51
offers. Sometimes, customers do not know what their problems are, so we
take the time to find out together. This approach has been key to our success,
but it has become even more important in the “new normal.” Moving these
meetings online has resulted in more but shorter meetings. We feel that this
new setup brings greater focus and discipline to the meetings. The interest
and concentration the topics require are more intense, and the discussions go
deeper. Everything needs to be understood and explained better. What a great
improvement for us and the whole economy!
In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing?
For customers
Working remotely has changed how customers develop solutions. Instead of
having a few long onsite sessions, we now have more remote sessions that
are planned and realized within just sixty to ninety minutes. Customers are
more focused, and the meetings are much more effective. There is constructive
dialogue rather than us presenting and customers listening. So, standard
approaches, offers, assumptions, and processes that we have used do not work
anymore. Customers are irritated by the new economic situation, and we have
to understand those irritations and the needs they create. By communicating
about what has changed, we can align our customers’ needs with possible
solutions.
For example, I have a long-time prospective customer who has thousands of
stores in Germany. He was not likely to make new purchases any time soon,
but over the years we had become friends and touched base every so often.
When the pandemic hit, he told me that he was struggling to allocate toilet
paper to his stores. I initially laughed, but through our conversation, I began
People live in their
own world and
perceive reality
differently. Being
aware of this
individuality and
trying to understand
what the other
person's world looks
like are the first
steps in a common
direction.
52
to understand that this was a very real, very significant problem. I suggested
a webinar, where we looked at his current processes and discovered the root
problem. With this understanding, I was able to show him how we would
have managed the situation differently and prevented the problem. He was
surprised at the webinar and the outreach, and that’s exactly the point: Focus
on understanding customer problems, tailoring the messaging with the right
level of detail, and maintaining the relationship: The rest will take care of itself.
Recently, we applied a similar approach to establishing relationships with
new customers. Tailored messaging is key, but we say that we have “looked
at potential pain points in your business and think that this information or
solution may be helpful.” This approach works even better now than it did
before the pandemic. Before, response rates were maybe 2 to 3 percent. Now,
response rates are 10 to 20 percent. Customers and potential customers alike
are feeling the pressure of added pain points and bottlenecks, and they are
driven to find effective solutions.
Business prospects are currently agitated by the
challenges COVID-19 has created, which actually
makes it easier to get them to share information about
their bottlenecks and pain points. Your goal is to find
where their interests and your interests intersect.
53
For marketers
Typically, we have weeks or even months to build a picture of complex
solutions. Now, we may have sixty to ninety minutes. It’s not enough to have a
good elevator pitch: You have to tailor key points to each customer. With the
pandemic, we thought the crazy speed of the economic world would decrease.
Physical movement—traveling and onsite meetings—decreased significantly,
but the evaluation processes and decision cycles have accelerated. Now, the
number of tries you get as a potential supplier are much more limited. You must
come straight to what the customer wants to hear. Therefore, knowledgeable
and experienced marketers with excellent communication skills are needed
more than ever.
For solutions
Every customer requirement equals an individual need. No standard solution
will meet the customer’s specific need, although standards can contain many
possible individual processes. Successful marketers make the effort to show
the customer that they have a specific solution for his or her requirement.
To that end, we try to include speakers from outside companies in our
webinars. Some of these speakers hesitate to accept because they do not
want to (or cannot) share their insights with companies they perceive as
competitors. The reality is, however, that people will participate in webinars to
access the knowledge that we have collected for them from other customers
and companies in the same market. What we are trying to do is connect
people with each other and the speaker and foster open communication, such
as connecting a US customer to a German customer who faces similar pain
points.
54
Key Points
1
2
If you just present basic
information rather than tailored
and customizing information, you
gain nothing. You must bring all the
players together to drive the sale.
Because the need for immediate
solutions has increased, customers
have less time to figure out the
value of your solutions on their
own—by interpreting the value of
your solution or by studying your
marketing messages. Now, your
messages have to be more effective
than ever to show how you can
solve their specific problem in
a way that makes sense to that
customer.
Michael Hoffmann,
Vice President of Field Operations, RELEX
Solutions (Germany)
Where does field marketing go from here, and what
changes do you see coming?
The German market is a bit different from others, but I think the overall trend
will be toward a more customer-centric, tailored marketing message. Our team
already customizes messaging and channels as needed, but I see investing in
knowledge, communication skills, relationships, and customization even more
at the customer level becoming critical to success.
55
We are all thinking of ways to fill the gap that in-
person interactions used to fill. I believe that
reputation and credibility will be vital to establishing
lasting, valuable customer relationships.
What was it like in field marketing before the shift to
remote work?
As the field marketing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
(EMEA) at Genesys, I manage a team of seven field marketing managers
who drive marketing activities in their countries and regions. Late last
year, we had planned a mix of 60 percent digital and 40 percent in-person
activities throughout the EMEA countries for the year. In contrast, just five
years ago, the mix was 20 percent digital and 80 percent in-person activities.
Retrospectively, it was evident that the trend toward digital marketing
campaigns had already been increasing. Now, with COVID-19, the marketing
mix has shifted primarily to digital platforms.
As concerns about COVID-19 increased throughout February, it became
clear that our in-person events would have to be postponed or cancelled. As
a result, we revised our plans and budgets to minimize the impact. Shortly
after that, top management asked us to revise our marketing plans even
further. We reprioritized our commitments and budgets again based on
the rapid changes COVID-19 was inflicting on our face-to-face marketing
initiatives.
Based in Istanbul, Turkey, Atalay Aktaş is a
B2B marketing leader with more than 20 years
of experience in sales, presales, and technical
support in multinational technology companies,
including Microsoft and Genesys. He is a big
believer in out-of-the-box thinking, always eager
to learn from others, and open to discussing
thought-provoking ideas.
Atalay Aktas,
Director of Field Marketing, Genesys
(EMEA)
56
What steps have you taken to transform in-person events
into digital formats?
We had to reexamine the reasons our customers attend our events—what they
want to gain and what they want to learn. We began converting all our in-
person events into digital activities with focused agendas, topics, and speakers
aimed at helping our customers achieve those objectives, albeit remotely. To
enhance these virtual events, we selected vendors capable of producing high-
quality digital experiences, activities, and webinars. To the extent possible, we
converted the original schedule of events to digital event platforms.
We also use long-tail search engine optimization to expand our marketing
funnel. Interestingly, the change in formation did not negatively affect our ability
to identify relevant leads. In fact, in some countries, the number of relevant
leads increased. The new pandemic-driven normal has actually increased digital
consumption. hese digital platforms are delivered professionally, and they have
been well received by our attendees.
What are some of the biggest challenges you are dealing
with?
The biggest challenge has been replicating face-to-face interactions with
customers. Currently, like many companies, we are unable to visit our
customers in person. Instead, we have dramatically increased our account-
based marketing (ABM) activities, and we are finding new ways to generate
great customer experiences through digital platforms that offer personalized
vision videos and e-book downloads, for example.
Specific, customized
content drives the
sales cycle. Highly
detailed, relevant, and
personalized content
that addresses the
customer’s specific
business problems
is the key that opens
the door to future
virtual meetings
and business
opportunities.
57
Though our digital events have been successful, we are currently looking at
ways to replicate the excitement of travelling to in-person events, reconnecting
with people we know, and connecting with like-minded individuals. For the
time being, people seem to understand that what is most important are our
collective health, safety, and well-being—even if we miss attending events in
person.
What is the future of field marketing?
We are all thinking of ways to fill the gap that in-person interactions used to
fill. I believe that reputation and credibility will become vital to establishing
lasting, valuable customer relationships.
Digital marketing will become even more prominent in the future, as well.
Working remotely has shown clearly how much digital tools have shaped and
shifted our marketing teams’ focus toward digital channels.
One priority with my team is to inspire a culture of innovation and foster
remote collaboration. At the same time, I want to keep my team motivated
to dream up new and exciting digital ideas that will lead to meaningful
engagements with our customers. Even after the world begins to open up
Late last year, we had planned a mix of 60 percent
digital and 40 percent in-person activities throughout
the EMEA countries for the year. In contrast, just five
years ago, the mix was 20 percent digital and 80 percent
in-person activities.
58
again, digital solutions will remain important in all aspects of marketing. Agile
companies that can accelerate and embrace this digital transformation will be
better prepared to successfully navigate the postpandemic era.
I believe that educational and marketing videos will become the dominant,
preferred type of content consumed because they do not require people to
meet in person. Communicating through such videos, marketers will be able
to quickly and easily display products and services and enable customer trials.
With the proven success of ABM programs, more companies will shift to using
videos to illustrate how products and services will benefit them, in effect
transforming a lead into a customer.
Event marketing is by no means a thing of the past. However, I believe that
organizations will be reviewing the scope and scale of such events.
Key Points
1
2
Agile companies that can embrace
rapid digital transformation will be
better positioned to successfully
navigate this new era. Furthermore,
companies that are digitally
innovative in responding to the
needs of their customers will
establish greater credibility and
build stronger reputations.
Specific, customized content drives
the sales cycle. Highly detailed,
relevant, and personalized content
that addresses the customer’s
specific business problems is the
key that opens the door to future
virtual meetings and business
opportunities.
Atalay Aktas,
Director of Field Marketing, Genesys (EMEA)
59
You often get radio silence in sales, so it’s up to
marketers to keep the discussion going, and that is
where an ABM approach can move the needle.
What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19?
SpyCloud develops enterprise-level security software to prevent account
takeovers and investigate fraud. Our primary customers are security
professionals in the C suite. Right now, we have about six people in sales who
are responsible for various regions worldwide. Our role in field marketing is to
provide our salespeople with the tools they need to succeed at events based on
what has worked in the past and effective customer experiences. Events are a
big part of our marketing strategy, and we have done more than 2,500 of them.
We’ve gotten a lot of traction with events because they afford high-quality, high-
touch interactions for our salespeople, especially for lead generation.
What parts of your marketing strategy have helped you
transition to remote work?
We have been implementing account-based marketing (ABM), so much of our
work has focused on strengthening those programs. The biggest challenge for
our sales team is getting people’s attention and creating opportunities to get in
front of customers. You often get radio silence in sales, so it’s up to marketers
to keep the discussion going, and that is where an ABM approach can move
the needle.
With nearly 20 years of experience in
marketing, Jessica Cowan is passionate
about driving demand generation, elevating
brand awareness, and driving exceptional
growth through highly effective go-to-market
strategies, planning, and execution. Her depth
and breadth of marketing knowledge supports
her use of multiple channels to craft unique
digital and offline customer experiences.
Jessica Cowan,
Field Marketing Manager, SpyCloud
15 Experts on Reimagining Field Marketing
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15 Experts on Reimagining Field Marketing

  • 2. 2 A successful cyberattack can severely damage a business in many ways. It can cripple business operations. It can steal intellectual property or valuable data. It can completely devalue a business brand. Such damage can be so severe that the business fails as a result. When live events were suddenly canceled and employees shifted to remote work, most field marketers went into shock. With their marketing plans in tatters and sales needing a completely different kind of support, they had to act fast to develop new leads, fill pipelines, and support sales in completely new ways. For those who didn't understand digital, the shock was overwhelming. For those who already understood digital and had put a strategy in place before the pandemic, they were able to act fast. We asked 15 top field marketing and account-based marketing professionals to reimagine what field marketing would be like in the future. All of the experts I interviewed agreed that things would never be the same. Surprisingly, most agreed that field marketing would play an even bigger role in the buyer's journey and all felt compelled to raise their digital game. Each contributor shared how their insights about highly personalized content marketing strategies, producing professional digital events, developing new sales strategies, and how they are partnering with customers and suppliers in innovative ways. And even when live events come back, their event plans will be completely integrated into a digital-first strategy. This Mighty Guide explores where things were, what these experts did, and where they see things going. One thing is certain, this is an exciting time for field marketing. Thanks for reading! © 2020 Mighty Guides, Inc. I 9920 Moorings Drive I Jacksonville, Florida 32257 I 516-840-0244 I www.mightyguides.com Mighty Guides make you stronger. These authoritative and diverse guides provide a full view of a topic. They help you explore, compare, and contrast a variety of viewpoints so that you can determine what will work best for you. Reading a Mighty Guide is kind of like having your own team of experts. Each heartfelt and sincere piece of advice in this guide sits right next to the contributor’s name, biography, and links so that you can learn more about their work. This background information gives you the proper context for each expert’s independent perspective. Credible advice from top experts helps you make strong decisions. Strong decisions make you mighty. All the best, David Rogelberg Editor INTRODUCTION
  • 3. ERIK HAWKINS Field Marketing Director (North America), GTT, pg. 19 MEET OUR EXPERTS ADAM KERRIGAN Director of Americas Demand Marketing, Cybereason, pg. 34 ATALAY AKTAS Director of Field Marketing, Genesys (EMEA), pg. 55 MELISSA ALONSO Director, Global Account-Based Marketing, Qlik, pg. 38 JESSICA COWAN Field Marketing Manager, SpyCloud, pg. 59 JAN RYNIEWICZ Head of Field Marketing, Google Cloud (Argentina, Chile, Colombia), pg. 42 FELIPE DUARTE NAVARRO Field Marketing Manager LATAM, Akamai Technologies, pg. 62 J.P. (JACOB PORTER) Global Director of Product & Field Marketing, Edge by Ascential, pg. 46 VISHAL CHOPRA Head of Field Marketing (India, ASEAN, Middle East, Africa), Freshworks, pg. 66 NICOLE SUMMITT Vice President, Marketing, Sprinklr, pg. 30 MICHAEL HOFFMANN Vice President of Field Operations, RELEX Solutions (Germany), pg. 50 MALIN LIDEN Vice President, Head of EMEA Marketing Transformation Office, SAP, pg. 4 JENNIFER MCADAMS Vice President, Demand Generation and Field Marketing, Progress , pg. 26 ANDY SKILLEN‌ Director of Field Marketing, FICO, pg. 15 TANYA MACKENZIE Director of Field Marketing, AlgoSec, pg. 11
  • 4. 4 One of the biggest opportunities for marketing in the future will be nurturing communities. It’s about being part of the conversations rather than trying to own, dictate, or steer the discussions. Being part of the conversation is a privilege, and you have to earn it. What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? Before the shift to remote work, we talked a lot about digital marketing, but we still focused heavily on in-person events. These events are expensive and not always effective. We needed to do more digital, automated, data-driven marketing, but it was difficult to break habits and change—for ourselves and even our customers. Recent events and the need to go digital have been a huge catalyst for us. We are now accelerating a transformation that has been on the agenda for a while, a shift to digital marketing that focuses on inbound communications—pull marketing instead of push marketing. The transition for us was definitely disruptive, like being hit by a bulldozer. That said, the crisis has also shown how the brand really matters. We had invested a lot in branding, so customers know us as a responsible company that follows a strong drive to help businesses run better while improving people’s lives. I think that in crisis, more than ever it pays off to have a history of being a company that cares and is not afraid to choose sides. The foundation you build in terms of the brand is critical in a crisis. People want to know what a company stands for, what its point of view is on important topics. Malin Liden is a results-oriented, passionate, entrepreneurial executive with 20 years of experience operating between sales and marketing. She believes that sustainable leadership comes from building consensus while driving results, bringing together global, regional, and local teams irrespective of formal reporting structures. Malin Liden, Vice President & Head of Strategic Programs, Global Field Marketing, SAP
  • 5. How did you approach the shift to remote work? Instead of immediately focusing on what to do now, looking for the first opportunities to sell to a world in crisis, we looked to support companies, invest in the relationships, show that we care. We offered a lot of things for free, focusing on the parts of our portfolio that could support companies during the pandemic and investing in resilience across our ecosystem. Showing that you care starts with listening. It’s tempting to do what a lot of people are doing—say, “Ah, you must be interested in buying supply chain solutions because this is a challenging area for companies right now.” It’s possible, however, that companies are just focusing on surviving. So, if I come with my supply chain message, it could feel to them that I’m trying to take advantage of the situation. Crisis situations require a lot of empathy, the ability to understand where business partners are at the moment. That is possible only if we listen carefully and let them guide the discussion, telling us what they need and how we can help rather than forcing ourselves on people whose concerns and priorities may be very different from what we assume. Marketing is a marriage of science and art, with most marketers traditionally leaning heavily on the artistic side. Now, we need marketers who can function as data scientists, interpreting big data and turning those insights into fuel for the marketing machine. 5 If you do content marketing well, people will want to come to you based on what you share. You will not have to chase after them.
  • 6. 6 How do field marketers position themselves where they can actually hear what’s going on and respond appropriately? One of the biggest opportunities for marketing in the future will be in nurturing communities. It’s about being part of the conversation rather than trying to own, dictate, or steer the discussions. Being part of the conversation is a privilege, and you have to earn it. If you insert yourself into a conversation too aggressively, or if you are trying to dominate the space, then you won’t earn the right to be part of it, and you are damaging relationships. If you earn your place in a network based on the value you add, you are investing in the relationships, giving you access to a goldmine of information and insights that put you in a much better position to actually know what does and does not resonate. Similarly, I think that influencer marketing will be even more important in the future. The more closely you work with influencers in your area, the stronger the relationships you can build. They can be a great way to know what’s going on in the market in a less filtered way than we have been used to. That also takes courage and the willingness not just to listen but also to act on feedback that is not favorable. That’s how you earn trust. If you partner closely with influencers, inviting them to innovate with you, shape your company’s future together with you, they can become your best and most credible advocates. What tactics have helped you transition from in-person to digital events? I think it’s tempting for everyone to do webinars because they are the closest digital option we know to in-person events. The experience is not the same, however. For example, attendees cannot network the same way, at the dinners
  • 7. 7 or in the coffee area, and the entertainment, which is a platform for relationship building, does not work the same way as at in-person events. So, rather than trying to replicate what we do at in-person events in a digital environment, we have to create unique digital experiences and select just the right technology to operate at scale when it comes to automation, nurturing, and the insights that will support investment in the relationship with buyers. If you do content marketing well, people will want to come to you based on what you share. You will not have to chase after them. I always say it’s like the difference between hunting and farming. With hunting, you run after what you want, but the target is likely to turn around and run just as fast in the opposite direction. No one likes being chased. As a farmer, you grow something that is beautiful and looks and smells delicious. People come to see what it is and discover that they might be interested in buying some of it. It starts withlistening, so that you know what to seed where and when, giving people the opportunity to discover, explore, and approach you when they are ready. You have to nurture people at their own pace, making sure to serve them the right content at the right time on their journey. Has content marketing changed, then? Yes. I think the trend goes toward engaging in communities that also help you shift more toward user-generated content. Peer-to-peer content is always relevant, and what does not feel like marketing can often be the best marketing content. We still see a lot of content that is inside-out: Vendors talk about themselves, their products, what they want everyone to read about. We need to invest more at the top of the funnel—in the kind of content that makes people want to explore further until they are ready to educate themselves on our It can now take as many as sixty to eighty touch points to complete a buyer's journey for a larger deal, and that does not even include website visits.
  • 8. 8 products and solutions. We need more “snackable” content in digital formats, such as videos and infographics that are easy to consume. This approach is important, too, because we are investing more in digital events. The attention span is different from an in-person event, and it’s much easier for people to leave because they did not invest anything in travel and can leave without being noticed. In our webinars, we are forced to have better speakers, shorter presentations, and a greater focus on interactivity. We have to win customers every minute of the event because we do not have them in a physical location that takes effort to leave. The transition to working remotely has definitely raised the bar for what we need to deliver to customers. I think that transformational marketing is sometimes hindered by how we measure ourselves and how we set our key performance indicators. In customer- driven marketing, it’s much more difficult to tie every touch point to a lead or an opportunity, but that’s also why we are investing in data and analytics. That said, buyers make a significant part of the journey—upwards of 70 percent—on their own before they even talk to us. Thus, we have to invest more in digital, social, and influencer marketing. This also means that the start of a journey is not necessarily an event; more likely, it is a digital touch point that may be an influencer piece or just someone in your network who shares something interesting. The top of the funnel is broader and more chaotic because people can jump in at any point and the journey can take so many different directions. How quickly customers convert depends on their readiness when they jumped in but also how well you are able to meet them where they are with valuable information. To influence them, we can increase the number of possible touch points and make them as high quality as possible. We cannot just repeat the same
  • 9. 9 information over and over again across the customer’s many touch points. Everyone of these many touch points is a risk that you will lose a potential customer, so content must be specific and interesting enough to make the customer want to take the next step. This is a different game, and the quality standard is much higher. What do you see as the future for field marketing, and what skills will be needed? The most important skill marketers need to develop involves data and analytics— still rather rare skills among marketers. Marketing is a marriage of science and art, with most marketers traditionally leaning heavily on the artistic side. Now, we need marketers who can function as data scientists, interpreting big data and turning insights into fuel for the marketing machine. Marketers need to understand the mechanics behind big data and analytics so that they can put together the right mix of content at the right time and continually optimize their outreach based on what is happening in their markets. Everything happens in real time, and we need to increase our skill set and empower the people who are closest to the customers and the market, making sure that they can react quickly to what is happening. Partner and co-marketing will become more important in the informal communities and networks that emerge after the pandemic. The lines between organizations blur when people come together based on shared goals and a shared purpose. This is the power of communities: They bring people together who have a shared interest in something, regardless of where they fall within an organization. It’s less an “us versus them” or siloed approach to the mix of people you put together. The task of any organization is to be clear with what it wants Inbound marketing is a different game, with higher quality standards. Rather than sending customers message after message, every touch point now has to be specific and interesting. Every one of these many, many touch points has the potential to be your weakest link.
  • 10. 10 Malin Liden, Vice President & Head of Strategic Programs, Global Field Marketing, SAP Key Points 1 2 Build and invest in communities for your target audiences. By being part of the conversation rather than forcing or dictating it, you earn the privilege to be part of it. Communities help keep your ear close to the ground; they give you direct feedback and a better understanding of what resonates. Content marketing has evolved. We need more top-of-the-funnel user- and community-generated thought leadership content that is specific, personalized, and generates awareness. This content should be in chunked, digital-ready formats, such as videos and infographics, that are easy to consume. to accomplish, because that clarity helps attract the right people. The winners of tomorrow are those who are going to create environments that people want to be part of—being magnets for people who want to become part of their ecosystem. In the future, I think we will keep investing in digital approaches rather than go back to the big events of the past. But we have to replace the intimacy lost in digital formats by keeping groups smaller and adding breakout environments for different areas and interests. In a community that I run, I’ve seen subcommunities emerge, and people freely move between areas based on current interest. A community is sustainable only if it keeps evolving and offering enough interesting topics, projects, and initiatives for people to come together around. It comes down to creating platforms that enable people to have a bigger impact together than they could on their own. People have low tolerance for poor experiences, so we have to be even more diligent, in terms not only of the content but also of the overall experience. I think that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will change the game, enriching digital content experiences. Staying close to customers, picking up on early cues, and responding to those cues will remain key, however, and that does not necessarily take a lot of fancy technology to get started with.
  • 11. 11 What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? The field marketing group at AlgoSec is responsible for lead generation, and we relied heavily on face-to-face communication. Before the shift toward working remotely, regional events and big trade shows were crucial for lead generation. The first week or two of the transition was a whirlwind of navigating canceled events—figuring out what people were doing and regrouping. Net new leads are crucial, so we decided to go to the RSA Cybersecurity Conference in February 2020 as a sponsor. Big sponsors such as AT&T and IBM had already pulled out, but we decided to go because it was such a huge investment for us. It turned out to be a good decision because we ended up with a lot of leads for our sales development representatives to work with while we regrouped. While we had money coming back from cancelled events, we still needed to generate new high-quality leads for our pipeline. Given the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, we also worked to do more with a reduced budget while transitioning to virtual events. So, we looked at all the core third-party vendors in our space and emphasized the quality of leads in Tanya Mackenzie is a results-oriented marketing pro with 20 years of experience at fast-growing technology companies. Tanya’s experience spans marketing practices, including field marketing, marketing operations, channel marketing, executive events, account- based marketing, digital campaigns, database management, and marketing automation. She is passionate about supporting the salespeople who depend on these programs for demand generation, awareness building, and ongoing customer relations. Tanya Mackenzie, Director of Field Marketing, AlgoSec Small, top-notch digital events must use top-notch platforms to ensure that the participant experience is excellent. You cannot rely on a PowerPoint or Zoom presentation.
  • 12. our decision-making process. We selected only those vendors that offered lead guarantees. So far, this approach has worked well. It has forced us to expand our relationships with key vendors that are vital in helping us reach our marketing qualified lead goals. Face-to-face leads are expensive, especially the large trade shows. They are also more time consuming, so you have little time to focus on other areas. We are now getting fewer leads, but with the focus on quality, we have higher conversion rates. For this reason, I view this transition time as an opportunity for growth for myself and my team. In what ways have roundtables been effective? Our roundtables are small, intimate groups in which we focus on a topic and bring in executive speakers to provide thought leadership information. People attend because a topic interests them and because leading experts provide the information. For example, microsegmentation is popular in security right now because signing in remotely poses additional security challenges and concerns. So, experts come prepared to discuss how they have dealt with remote sign-in during the pandemic, how they are addressing policy management requests, and so forth. 12 I also think that we will see greater focus on ABM and personalized marketing within personas as a way to get more with less.
  • 13. 13 The roundtable becomes a way to share information across the industry. Most companies expect more from their teams right now, so people want tips and tricks from experts and others in their industry. In some cases, experts may be from competing companies but in different regions. In other cases, experts may be people who are from outside the industry but are interested in the topic. They know ahead of time who is going to be on the call. This sort of activity did not exist before COVID-19. Similarly, we hosted our customer advisory board (CAB) virtually. At our annual AlgoSummit, we would do our CAB and certification training as side activities over a full week. This year, we are separating them, streamlining content, and conducting them virtually. We invested in a platform and will ensure that the registration process is exciting. We want our participants to know that these are top-notch events that we have put a lot of thought into, not just a Zoom- based Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. The virtual events are not perfect, but people are embracing them. So, we need to make them as professional as possible and keep people engaged so they get value out of the content. What do you see in the future for event marketing? Overall, I think that field marketing will continue to be critical because we are so close to sales and we help build the pipeline. In the past, field marketing relied heavily on live events, the goal being to get “face-to-face” with prospects and customers. We have been forced to adjust, and now “demand generation” more accurately reflects what we do. In-person events tend to be extremely expensive, and they do not provide uniformly high value. Comparatively, digital event leads have been less expensive. By insisting on lead guarantees generated by third parties, you have a winning combination: fewer, high-quality, cost- effective leads with higher conversion rates.
  • 14. 14 Tanya Mackenzie, Director of Field Marketing, AlgoSec Key Points 1 2 To create a collaborative roundtable, keep it small and select just the right mix of participants. You want the participants to be excited about the other people attending. Participants can sometimes come from competitive companies, so choose participants who are at similar types of companies but perhaps in different regions. I would like to see field marketers called demand-generation directors going forward. Their role will focus less on physical events and more on digital events. In terms of skill sets, field marketers need to understand virtual platforms, registration platforms, and tips for keeping participants engaged in a virtual setting. I also think that we will see greater focus on account-based marketing (ABM) and personalized messaging within personas as a way to get more with less. We tend to create more generalized messages when we get busy. Now is the time to do things right and take advantage of, for example, getting 10 percent more engagement on an email.
  • 15. 15 We are recognizing that the voice of the client is more important than ever because everybody is going through profound changes, pressures, and challenges with their business. . . . The resulting insight is astounding. What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? I work on the business-to-business side of FICO, the data and analytics technology company best known for the FICO credit score. I focus on field marketing of our risk management (RM) solutions and getting our sales and marketing teams in front of clients at industry events. I also do a lot of work with partners and partner marketing, which has been a great way for us to get our story out there. I was already doing a lot of digital demand generation, which can be challenging from a return-on-investment (ROI) perspective. I’m responsible for putting on field marketing events, including tradeshows and events at which we are presenters. In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing? Our teams already worked from home full time, so we have not dealt with issues that other companies have faced on that front. One change is that field marketing owns more of the customer journey than before. Traditionally, marketing and field marketing own the first half of the buyer journey: product education, the value story, and everything else through creating the events. Sales then engages with clients at the events and continues through the second half of the journey with them. Andy Skillen is a marketing leader who has more than 20 years of experience in sales, presales, and technical support in multinational technology companies. Andy is an expert in B2B thought leadership and digital marketing and was a 2007 finalist for the Marketing Award for Excellence (MAX) award. Andy Skillen, Director of Field Marketing, FICO
  • 16. 16 What has changed since the pandemic is that field marketing is creating not just the event space but also the virtual connection between sales and clients through virtual happy hours (or ice-cream socials) and roundtables. For the virtual happy hours, we use any kind of customer success as a reason to celebrate. Before the event, we send out gift certificates, which generates interest—as in, “what are these guys doing that they’re inviting me to a virtual happy hour?” We’ve even hired professional musicians to perform at these events. What’s interesting to me as a marketing person is that we are seeing much higher responses and registrations than with similar in-person events. We have also put together forty or fifty webinars about resiliency to help clients think about how they are going to get through the pandemic and its resulting economic challenges. Where we have seen some great success is what I’m calling virtual roundtables. I know that those are nothing new, but what is different is that we are recognizing that the voice of the client is more important than ever because everybody is going through profound changes, pressures, and challenges with their business. So, for these virtual roundtables, we invite a particular client and set the stage to discuss a particular challenge, such as fraud or collection issues. The thought leadership can come from anywhere; it can be thought leadership that we have developed or developed with a partner. We start by presenting industry data tailored to the client. Then, we go into the “voice of the client,” where we seek to understand the client’s situation, problems, and needs. This, to me, is where the magic in these virtual roundtables really happens. You have to be prepared so that you do not rush through it but instead wait for whoever is going to be the thought leader on the client side. Companies are experiencing incredible ROI by eliminating travel and events and doing more digitally. It is clear that even when we can travel more freely, marketing is going to be far more involved in thought leadership, social aspects, and actual selling than before.
  • 17. 17 The resulting insight is astounding. In particular, it has helped us understand how to improve our go-to-market tactics and adapt our messaging in the new environment. By helping sales bridge the gap through virtual roundtables, marketing now owns more like two-thirds of the buyer journey. I take the buyer journey map to the point of major decision-making. Then, I layer in the client’s perspective. In doing so, marketing now sees clients all the way through to the “commit to solution” stage. How do you see sales changing? Given the new pressures COVID-19 has created, we have not only had to “fail fast” but “succeed faster.” From a company perspective, I think that the ROI will come from going more digital and from saving money on travel and entertainment. We can do many more virtual events than physical events and at a much lower cost. I think that sales will ultimately get back to doing what sales does best: using relationships to move deals forward. I think that marketing will continue to be more engaged with sales and clients. Previously, “human marketing” was more a concept than a reality. With marketing and sales now engaging socially with clients, we will apply more aspects of human marketing moving forward. The virtual social interaction and engagement are really no different than a salesperson sitting in a bar with a client, only now marketing is listening in on the conversations. Where does field marketing go from here, and what changes do you see coming? I feel like we are still in the first stages of what is going to be an intense change in how we all do business. We have all been playing with digital marketing for a while now, but we really need vendors that can step up and ensure better results
  • 18. 18 Andy Skillen, Director of Field Marketing, FICO Key Points 1 2 Virtual roundtables have been extremely effective because the voice of the client is now more important than ever. Present industry data that is relevant to the client or prospective client. These discussions have enabled the field marketing team to better refine its go-to-market tactics and make the messaging more effective. Thought leadership content that marketing or its partners create will drive the value of your virtual roundtables. When clients and prospective clients get a high-value content gift, they will be willing to share their “voice of the client” experiences with you. than they have in the past because our marketing dollars are more precious than ever. Cost per lead per vendor is no longer a theoretical conversation. We can no longer engage in all these different activities with all these different vendors. The cost per lead can vary greatly from vendor to vendor—anywhere from $20 to $300 per lead. I now have to narrow it down and be able to justify programs against other field marketers or other marketing priorities. With tighter marketing budgets, we are either going to need guarantees or see a lot more rank ordering based on digital vendors’ effectiveness. There will be less willingness to work with vendors that do not produce results. In the postpandemic world, RM will be an even bigger issue. Everybody is now working from home, and we are seeing more paranoia than ever about fraud. People need to be cognizant of the risks, especially in this dramatic shift to digital and virtual environments. I think that the companies that were already moving toward digital are going to see the fruits of their efforts, but those who resisted moving to digital are really going to be at a disadvantage over the next year and in for a tough time in terms of economic recovery.
  • 19. 19 What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? GTT is a challenger brand in the enterprise networking market, and we compete against the former monopolies and major incumbents. Our main goal is to gain market share, and our field marketing program is dedicated to supporting this goal. In our Americas Division, we live by the mantra that everyone in the organization is either in sales or sales support roles. My field marketing team is closely aligned with our enterprise sales teams, and our goal is to generate appointments and pipeline opportunities with new prospects. We focused on targeted, smaller, intimate local events as one of our main field marketing tactics. We used an account-based marketing (ABM) approach and have predetermined target prospects in each of our markets. We found smaller, targeted events to be the most productive for generating follow-up appointments and set measurable objectives for every event. Our target prospects are IT leaders, decision makers, and influencers. leaders, C suite executives, and other decision makers and influencers in our space have seen just about every type of tactic and event from our competitors. So, creating unique experiences to break through the clutter, engage our With 20 years of experience, Erik Hawkins is an accomplished marketing leader with extensive experience managing field marketing programs; leading and developing teams; collaborating cross-functionally; creating, executing, and measuring targeted marketing programs; creating compelling content; and supporting field sales and channel sales teams. Erik Hawkins, Field Marketing Director (North America), GTT We created opportunities for our partners to participate in specific webinars, and we also worked together to create solution briefs, additional webinars, and even lunch-and-learn events.
  • 20. 20 target prospects, and get them out of their offices has been a main focus. To accomplish our aim, we used a combination of our own intimate, high-end hospitality and networking events and partnering with and sponsoring third-party technology and chief information officer events. In addition to generating new prospect appointments and pipelines, another field marketing goal was pipeline acceleration. Software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) is one of the hottest topics in enterprise networking today, and GTT is a leading SD-WAN provider. SD-WAN and other enterprise networking services can involve long buying and sales cycles driven by sales negotiation as well as the technical specifications and network design of dozens or even hundreds of customer sites. So, in addition to prospect-focused field marketing, we also typically focused on intimate and unique experiences that targeted midlevel to bottom-of-the-funnel “prospect nurture” pipeline acceleration. In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing? Our goal has been to develop and execute more webinars and other digital tactics to complement live events. In fact, before the pandemic, our field marketing tactics consisted primarily of live events. As a result of The pandemic necessitated a shift to remote work, and we quickly pivoted to developing and implementing webinar series and exploring other tactics we could deploy quickly in the absence of live events. Part of our success in pivoting away from a focus on live events was embracing a growth hacker mentality—effectively, a mindset focused on developing and implementing creative and innovative marketing tactics during the pandemic to continue to fill sales funnels.
  • 21. 21 Another interesting dynamic in the enterprise networking space is that global use of data networks has surged during the pandemic. Traffic across our internet network increased by 30 percent during the first month of the pandemic—a growth rate typically experienced over the course of an entire year rather than a few weeks. As a result, we are seeing continued strong demand for enterprise communications services. So, we have worked hard to create and implement a new tactical marketing playbook on the fly that we could quickly deploy. I think that this type of a scrappy “growth hacker” approach can be an effective marketing model for this time. Webinars Webinars have become central assets that we can quickly deploy. We developed and executed two initial second-quarter webinar series focused on SD-WAN: one prospect-focused series to support our direct sales teams and a channel agent– focused series to support our national channel partner program. We did this on the fly, developing the content for each webinar while simultaneously developing and executing the webinar marketing plan. Creating and delivering compelling content are important in webinar execution, so we worked hard to develop educational and informational content focused on thought leadership as a trusted expert for those seeking SD-WAN services. We began with a clear title and abstract, including the main takeaways we wanted our audience to leave with, and built the entire webinar content around them. In our webinar messaging, it was important to show empathy to the challenging and uncertain times we are all living and working in. Our goal was to acknowledge the current situation up front and tie in relevant verticals or use cases, such as the health care vertical and business continuity, in keeping remote Going forward, as we move to a more integrated field marketing model, we will develop live events along with virtual and digital tactics that effectively keep prospects moving through the funnel.
  • 22. 22 workforces up and running. We also completely scripted the open and close and made the webinar interactive between our host and presenters so that it sounds like a podcast. To pull off eight webinars in two months, we did everything ourselves, saving time and expense. We wrote all our own webinar content and all our scripts, created our webinar presentation templates, and edited the recordings to create replay assets. In terms of webinar analytics, we focused on three main measurements: registration generation, attendee yield, and whether attendees stay for the duration of the webinar? We closely measured and assessed these metrics for each webinar to learn and improve in subsequent webinars. Strategic partner and comarketing We also partnered with our SD-WAN strategic partners and featured one of them in each of the webinars. In addition to partnering on our second-quarter webinar series, we are working with our strategic partners on other comarketing opportunities, including additional webinars, solution briefs, case studies, blogs, and content syndication. Quick-hit content We use quick-hit content to generate interest via social shares and earned media. GTT owns one of the top global IP networks, so we have considerable potential for earned media from business interest media articles on topics such as telecom essential services, “how the internet really works,” and “how tier 1 internet service providers continually work together to boost internet capacity”
  • 23. 23 to ensure business continuity. Earned media stories help generate brand awareness. Additional tactics we have used include creating more blog posts and repurposing our own content, such as white papers, with new graphic/headlines that are more relevant for the current market conditions. We have also created sizzle reels—short, flashy product videos that we can embed in other content. Content We are expanding our content library to develop additional content assets, including blogs, videos, infographics, white papers, and repurposed content from recent quarters. For example, we will re-create a graphic, headline, or quote from a previous asset to make the content asset more relevant to today’s environment. The idea is to have more assets available for tactical use when we are back to “normal.”. Behind-the-scenes projects One final tactic is taking advantage of the break from live events and travel to work on projects we did not have time to do before, including enhancements to our website and cleaning up our marketing databases. The idea is to get everything honed and efficient so that when our field marketing engine is running again at full throttle in a postpandemic environment, we’ll be ready. Where does field marketing go from here? We will ride the momentum we have achieved over the past few months. Live local, intimate, targeted events will continue to be successful tactics for us, but they will become just one of many tactics we use. Cut through the clutter by creating compelling, educational, and informational thought leadership content (not too salesy) that focuses on your target audience and market.
  • 24. 24 We will continue to develop and implement new webinars, content, and content marketing tactics. In addition, we plan to integrate webinars and virtual events into our overall field marketing events plan when we resume live events. More broadly, I envision successful field marketing programs implementing a fully integrated plan that encompasses live events, webinars, content marketing, and digital marketing. That will be our field marketing strategic vision. One interesting dynamic we are considering is how virtual-only interactions will affect our pipeline. The sales cycle to the enterprise segment typically involves a lot of interactions, face-to-face meetings, and follow-ups. We spend a lot of time planning for and thinking about face-to-face communication with prospects. At events, we want prospects to get to know As much as you want to get to know the enterprises you are targeting, enterprises want to know if you are credible, whether you can do what you say you can do and whether they would be comfortable meeting with you for the first time. In preparation for live events and initial meetings, we spent considerable time preparing. Our key challenges are figuring out how to build premeeting rapport through digital marketing, have productive initial meetings, and then flow down our normal sales cycle process virtually.
  • 25. 25 Erik Hawkins, Field Marketing Director (North America), GTT Key Points 1 2 Companies taking the challenger approach to marketing and sales along with ABM are well positioned to adapt to market changes. As a new brand, our field marketing team has two goals: (1) Generate appointments and fill the pipeline using intimate and unique events with new prospects, and (2) accelerate the sales cycle through effective prospect nurturing. When things go back to normal, integrate live events with digital marketing activities to create stronger, more cost-effective programs that work for you and your partners. us just as much as we are getting to know them. We don’t have the brand recognition that our incumbent competitors do, so it’s particularly important that prospects come away from events and interactions feeling that we are credible and that they would take a follow-up meeting with us. So, we spend a lot of time in premeetings with our enterprise salespeople before every event so that we can effectively network and build relationships at events, no matter how seasoned the salespeople are. Similarly, we work with them to prepare for discovery meetings, follow-up meetings, and other face-to-face meetings our sales team has with prospects. So, we will need to find ways to achieve the same effectiveness in virtual or semivirtual environments as in live events. Going forward, as we move to a more integrated field marketing model, we will develop live events along with virtual and digital tactics that effectively keep prospects moving through the funnel. Developing a more integrated field marketing model was a goal before the pandemic, and we plan to use what we have learned over the past few months to make it happen.
  • 26. 26 What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? We had success and growth in our field marketing program that we were excited about. We maintained a full mix of online and live marketing programs, but we invested a lot of time and money in live events such as trade shows and road shows. We worked closely with the sales department to determine which events to attend, objectives, talking points, target contacts, and follow-up sales scripts. We have a formula we use for events and have developed a blog series about getting noticed at events without spending a ton of money or having a 50’ × 50’ booth space. Needless to say, we put this blog series on hold. Earlier this year, we started producing road show events in partnership with Forrester. These events are important because they can potentially get us in front of larger audiences than is possible with other events—and with more focus. At the first event in early March 2020, about 50 people turned out, which was great. At the second event, just a week later, cities had begun to shut down and we had just six people. Jennifer McAdams is an accomplished marketing leader with 25 years of experience, including 8 years at the executive leadership level. Jennifer focuses on working across organizations to design and deliver measurable marketing campaigns, driving integrated marketing programs to support sales and business objectives, and overseeing all elements of marketing strategy and execution. Jennifer McAdams, Vice President, Demand Generation and Field Marketing, Progress Transfer attention-getting tactics used at live events to digital events. Even more important, experiment and keep up on the latest MarTech to be sure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to garner the attention you need.
  • 27. 27 How have your marketing efforts shifted during the pandemic? The biggest shift is that we have moved from in-person to virtual events. For example, we have moved our road show online, using on-demand and live events. We aim to cover six products, including two that are installed-base plays, and we are trying to upsell, cross-sell, and keep the audience engaged. Four are full demand-generation products for which we hope to acquire new logos. For the installed-base events, we know this audience; those people want to engage with us, so we ran those events live. For the demand-generation products, we want as many eyes on the content as possible, so we ran those on-demand events as evergreen content. For the on-demand environment, we used our web content management system, Sitefinity. I was proud of how quickly our team pivoted and the event environment they built, which includes social sharing, Q&A capabilities, and more. We have also started hosting live events. We have increased third-party opportunities, as well. For example, before the pandemic, we produced about one webinar per month per product together with a mix of in-person events. That has changed. Now, we have increased our paid programs and partnerships to further syndicate content or reach specific personas. We have also increased the number of third-party–sponsored events we participate in, including some of the trade shows we have reinvented as online events. What have you observed as a result of these changes? The information technology (IT) audience is loyal and continues to consume content, even though IT people are busy keeping the infrastructure running to meet
  • 28. 28 We maintained a full mix of online and live marketing programs, but we invested a lot of time and money in live events such as trade shows and road shows. the sharply increased demand for remote work. They may not show up at live webinars in the numbers they were before, but blog traffic has increased, and there has been strong uptake of on-demand events, both of which indicate that IT pros are still trying to educate themselves despite workloads and busy schedules. It has also become clear that connecting with a lead now requires much more work—maybe even five times as many outreach attempts as before COVID-19. This increase is probably a function of several factors, such as people being distracted, adjusting to new priorities, and getting used to working from home. To combat this shift, we started using an artificial intelligence (AI)–based gifting platform that researches the social profiles of the person we are trying to contact so that we can tailor communications to his or her interests. For example, if David Smith is a big New York Yankees fan, we may offer a Yankees sweatshirt in exchange for booking an appointment. This solution is actually pretty elegant and does not require us to buy a bunch of sweatshirts we hope people will like. We are also finding that hero stories are helping us reduce the number of contacts needed to connect with a lead. Some of our products enable people to work from home, so we are hearing from a variety of new and existing customers. From these communications, we are developing hero stories about how our products are solving problems for companies and individuals alike. This work helps us communicate that we understand the many challenges to adapting to working remotely and have ways to help. What does field marketing go from here, and what changes do you see coming? I think field marketing will continue to be important for several reasons. The campaign managers and regional teams in the larger field marketing organization
  • 29. 29 work directly with the sales team and are, therefore, marketing’s closest point to sales. They will always be critical because they speak sales as well as marketing. They are the ones who translate what the sales team is asking for into programs that will engage the audience. We are also seeing a lot more interest in localization from our field teams. If you only have a minute to grab someone in a digital ad or social post, you have to meet local language and cultural expectations or risk losing that person. Field marketers are essential to understanding and meeting these needs. Additionally, I think field marketers will take the opportunity to sharpen and expand their areas of expertise—digital, partner, events—and become more generally versed. Event marketers are already taking courses or getting certified in digital marketing so that they can develop and manage our webinars and virtual events. They are then bringing that expertise back to their partner- marketing counterparts to share lessons learned. We are all trying to figure this out together. In doing so, field marketers are becoming both generalists and experts across the three marketing categories. Key Points 1 2 The time it takes to close a sale has increased. Now, it can take as many as five times the number of contacts to reach someone. As a result, content has become more important, and there is more demand for it from within and outside the company. Transfer the attention-getting tactics used at live events to digital events. Even more important, experiment and keep up on the latest MarTech to be sure that you are taking advantage of every opportunity to garner the attention you need. Jennifer McAdams, Vice President, Demand Generation and Field Marketing, Progress
  • 30. 30 What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? I started with Sprinklr in early January, so I was just starting in my role and working on expanding my team. The company is about ten years old: It is in that unicorn phase, trying to scale up. After being at Microsoft for several years, I was brought in to help take the company to the next level. Initially, I focused on a few activities: • Build up a field marketing organization worldwide, including developing multiple event types and driving consistency and compliance to the brand across local markets. • Develop local lead programs by understanding differences in markets and getting to know customer nuances. Roughly 70 percent of what we planned was in-person events and driven by face-to-face customer engagement. What were your biggest revelations after we all started working remotely? From a marketing plan perspective, we experienced a lot of changes. We were supposed to do an event in Washington, DC, in March. A week before Nicole Summitt has twenty-five years of experience in advertising and marketing and a proven track record of working in highly complex organizations and entrepreneurial, fast-moving environments. A creative, goal- oriented, people-first leader, she is passionate about blazing new trails and tackling the impossible. Nicole focuses on strategic, practical guidance that drives relationships and business impact through connected marketing engagements, digital experiences, and events. Nicole Summitt, Vice President, Marketing, Sprinklr Virtual definitely became a major focus area. However, the big question is, How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you do things differently? How do you build community? The key is not just to talk to your customers. Rather, it’s getting them to talk to each other.
  • 31. 31 the event, one of the speakers canceled because of a travel ban. Then, another speaker pulled out . . . and then another. Sprinklr-led events were the first to be paused, followed by third-party–sponsored events, including more than fifteen immediate events that we were planning to do. We had to figure out ways to move forward and maintain momentum despite all the cancelations. We had to pause and recognize what was going on, turn the ship in a different direction, and change the strategy. During the transition, I regret not responding sooner to help people in our global offices when restrictions started to take shape. We have offices in Singapore, Japan, China, and other parts of the world that pandemic-created closures significantly affected. Ideally, I would have stepped in sooner to help them think about their new environment and reshape their local marketing efforts. That was a huge lesson learned: If you are operating in multiple geographies, tune in and respond to local conditions as quickly as possible to help the company adjust and take advantage of early lessons learned worldwide. A small, localized, highly curated digital event that focuses on a specific topic creates a sense of community. Most importantly, customers and prospects are bringing their own content to the program, and we are giving them a platform to share their insights, ask each other questions, and share stories.
  • 32. 32 Keep listening to your customers, and respond rapidly to what they want. In this way, you can share relevant content, help customers talk to each other, and respond quickly to market changes. We are a company focused on listening, so we used our marketing channels to encourage others to listen on social media channels for early indicators of what was happening in different industries. For March and part of April, we changed our content to focus on how the whole world was feeling and addressing issues such as communicating with customers, being efficient in operations, and working remotely. Our company was quick to implement cost-cutting measures, including sweeping pauses to all paid marketing. From there, we had to make digital content a larger part of our marketing plan. We then faced challenges trying to stand out and build community online. Forums, for example, provide a different experience and enable us to communicate directly with customers. Typically, smaller events, such as group sessions or dinners, provide opportunities to share content, but the digital sessions also provided just the right environment for natural networking to occur. We continue to have webinars that we want to blast to the masses, but we also work on localized, customized events on a specific topic. In these events, we do not provide much content; rather, we invite customers to come forward and share insights, stories, and conversations with each other. Where does field marketing go from here, and what changes do you see coming? The basic framework will still include geography-based field marketers for localization needs, corporate-led marketing programs that scale, and coordinated campaigns to rally around. This situation has really highlighted the fact that we communicate on social channels. A bigger shift in marketing is the need to listen and respond to
  • 33. 33 customers in the channel they prefer. Getting customer care right (especially online) is becoming significantly more important. I also see the need for community environments that address the nuances of local markets, including understanding how local customers respond to the market, how they behave, and what does and does not work. We have to bring in relevant customer stories and find balance between building relationships locally and at scale. Twenty roundtables take a lot more time and resources than one webinar to a broader audience. We will also continue to adjust our messaging to ensure that assets resonate. Everybody has heightened emotions, and we have to adapt to that. For example, rather than using visuals of big groups of people, we are rethinking our branding to combine emotion and environment. We don’t want to appear deaf to the world around us. Key Points 1 2 A small, localized, highly curated digital event that focuses on a specific topic creates a sense of community. Most importantly, customers and prospects are bringing their own content to the program, and we are giving them a platform to share their insights, ask each other questions, and share stories. Keep listening to your customers, and respond rapidly to what they want. In this way, you can share relevant content, help customers talk to each other, and respond quickly to market changes. Nicole Summitt, Vice President, Marketing, Sprinklr
  • 34. 34 What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? In field marketing, we probably spent 80 percent of our time on events and 20 percent on targeted digital activity. We found that some types of events worked better than others. For example, industry events were good for brand awareness and for refreshing our database with new contacts. I read somewhere that cybersecurity practitioners change jobs every three years; industry events were great for keeping our database current. We would then go deeper into the funnel, conducting Cybereason-run events, road show events, and one-off events such as a whiskey tasting for clients in the spirits industry. We also partnered with our channel companies; we would go to them or they would come to us to design events. The order of events was important for moving people through the funnel, and we built events to align with the customer journey. In hindsight, I think we focused too much on events. Being forced to go digital has enabled us to do more of what we knew was needed: be more strategic and focus more account-based marketing (ABM), not just the “rinse and repeat” of event marketing. We had already started contributing to ABM and sales efforts, but the transition made us reevaluate how we can most effectively help the sales team be strategic. A seasoned marketing professional, Adam Kerrigan focuses on regional pipeline generation and acceleration. Following seven years with Abcam, he became CyberArk’s first field marketer, supporting more than 25 field sales staff. At Cybereason, Adam now leads demand generation for the Americas and has established new growth platforms and thought-leadership programs as well as devised numerous digital and event series. Adam Kerrigan, Director of Americas Demand Marketing, Cybereason We need to market to prospects and customers the way they want to be reached. . . . . [Sophisticated account- based nurturing] has been on every marketer’s wish list, but it’s going to take more people on the front end, require automation, and take longer.
  • 35. 35 What solutions have you implemented to replace in- person events? There was a two-week period where frustrations were high because we were more prepared for 2020 than we had been in previous years. Many people’s first reaction was to run webinars in place of in-person events. Traditional webinars were still quite successful for us, with 500 to 600 people attending, but we knew we needed an additional format. We have worked hard to replace the face-to-face communications of an intimate whiskey-tasting event or a steak dinner with smaller virtual events. We came up with a coffee break series that’s city or territory specific. It is more conversational than large events, with maybe twenty to thirty people attending. Through these events, we could reach out to a targeted account list in a particular area while introducing them to their local sales unit. We haven’t encountered much concern over potential competitors attending the same digital events. We have found that there’s still a sense of camaraderie among those in the cybersecurity industry because we all have the same goal: to secure our businesses. Sometimes, people do need to protect the confidentiality of those clients they work with, but that information often comes further down in the sales cycle. How have you created interactivity in your events? One of the biggest challenges in these smaller events was promoting interactivity. We ran a series of events in April, May, and June, for example, and the first one was not interactive. The likely reason was that we had not prepared the sales team on the format, and they came into the event thinking We moved our larger in-person events online quickly, but replacing the intimacy of smaller, in-person events with small virtual events that allow for more informal communications and networking was a challenge.
  • 36. 36 In hindsight, I think we focused too much on events. Being forced to go digital has enabled us to do more of what we knew was needed: be more strategic and focus more on ABM. it was more like a webinar. We also did not have the right staff on the call or on camera, which we think would have made attendees more comfortable. For our May event, we made sure that we had more Cybereason staff on camera prompting questions. We realized that we had to be more conversational as hosts to encourage our attendees to do the same. For our June event, we tried getting current customers to join the calls and engage in the conversation. We found that having non-Cybereason staff asking questions helped open the conversation a bit. I think that the conversational tone we used in the invitations also helped interactivity. In reminder emails, we mentioned weighty topics and questions that set the stage for a conversation rather than a presentation. What are some unexpected benefits of and lessons from going digital? I would not necessarily say that engagement has increased, but we are close to being back to where we were before COVID-19. We have been able to reestablish our lead flows, opportunity numbers, qualifying opportunities, and the like. We have also increased our target account work and vertical messaging. These have always been in place, but I think that we focus on them more now.
  • 37. 37 Key Points 1 2 Going forward, we will continue to develop and expand our tool set, refine our lead-qualification approaches, sharpen our messaging, and fully integrate digital activities and physical events. Make your digital events into a memorable experience that helps you connect on a human level. Tap into the hidden talents of your own executives or bring in sought- after speakers to interact with prospective customers on unrelated topics. Adam Kerrigan, Director of Americas Demand Marketing, Cybereason The perception of field marketing has changed a bit. We are no longer just event marketers; rather, we are viewed more as strategic partners in the sales cycle. We are now working with sales to gather market intelligence or information specific to target accounts. We are not just generating leads but also helping qualify opportunities. From a budget perspective, an unexpected consequence of COVID-19 may be a significant drop in cost per lead and cost per opp. The pricey in-person industry events have transitioned to cheaper virtual formats or been canceled entirely. Event providers may have a tough time recouping these sales if vendors adapt well to less expensive virtual and ABM lead-generation methods. We also need to market to prospects and customers in the way they want to be reached. However, doing this work well may take months or years because customers are also still finding their way in the new world. Big events may come back, but marketing will require sophisticated account-based nurturing. This approach has been on every marketer’s wish list, but it’s going to take more people on the front end, require automation, and take longer.
  • 38. 38 What was it like in marketing before COVID-19? Our team handles account-based marketing (ABM) for 300 of our top accounts. We are field marketing, yes, but we focus on ABM. Before working remotely, we were planning for and moving ahead with in-person events all over the world. Most of our events were specific to an individual account, often multi day programs in which we bring experts to the customer for hands-on workshops and presentations of customer success stories. Events accomplished two goals: creating awareness by supporting the platform within individual accounts and creating executive-level relationships with customers. I think that partnering with customers differentiates ABM from field marketing: We want to expand customers’ opportunities and enable them to be part of what is possible. These goals are easier to achieve when you have an internal spokesperson who supports what you are promoting and can speak to what he or she has seen. How did these customer-focused events translate to virtual events? As far as creating awareness by supporting the platform within individual accounts, we created a program called the Virtual Passport, which is a A fifteen-year veteran of sales and marketing, Melissa Alonso drives innovation and growth by delivering top-performing, individualized client service that translates customer needs into prosperous outcomes. With a passion for customer success and creative event marketing, Melissa fosters new relationships and expands business opportunities through customer awareness and engagement programs. She is a proven leader in field, digital, and strategic marketing around the globe. Melissa Alonso, Director, Global Account-Based Marketing, Qlik Use executives within your company to demonstrate your confidence in your own solutions and credibly overcome specific objections. For example, if you are talking to a CFO, consider having your CFO join the call to discuss opportunities and concerns in the right context.
  • 39. 39 multievent webinar series that we run in collaboration with the customer that focuses on the customer’s success stories across different use cases—technical, business, leadership, and so on. The passport is an engagement program for driving adoption, familiarizing people with what we do, and empowering them to do more. We spread content from a quick guide out over six to eight weeks, with attendees receiving a passport cover or a luggage tag or some piece of swag that they would have received at an in-person event. Registration is based on a single email invitation that includes the series of events, so people can choose what they want to participate in with less intrusion. I think the program is a bit different because attendees still get valuable information and feel that they are part of something. The passport also creates continuity between events—a flow of learning opportunities rather than single topics that may or may not be relevant depending on participants’ job function or point in their career. Attendees become part of a larger conversation, jump in when topics are relevant to them, and then become internal champions in their own success stories. The webinars themselves are still much like presentations, with speakers and Q&A sessions, but they are shorter snippets that are more consumable and available regardless of time zone. We use a tool called Follow, which is an interactive landing page that drives all the content—registration, postevent assets, and so forth—and makes them trackable. Moving forward, I think the initial touch point and trackable assets are important. Someone who has looked at 15 different assets could be your 1 person out of 500 who is raising a hand to be your next champion and use case. Finally, as far as helping create executive-level relationships, we devised other, more intimate events, as well, such as virtual wine tastings or coffee People do not want aggressive sales techniques where they fill out a form to receive gated content, and then receive 14 phone calls and emails. They want to go at their own pace and contact you when they are ready to have a conversation.
  • 40. 40 Companies love the customization that ABM offers. They really appreciate that you will create a program to help their employees get the most out of your platform. conversations, that aim to be personal but hit the masses. These are not presentations but rather more like listening events for us. People seem open to new kinds of communications, and these are a fun way to extend what we had previously done. Getting people to speak up about what they need is a different challenge than driving awareness and adoption. These smaller virtual events are effective in creating new executive-level relationships that attendees did not have before. What do you see as the future of marketing? I think that ABM is the way to go. People love the customization and having their own marketing person. It’s not that the marketing person develops the program for clients but that we work hand in hand with clients to create opportunities from their communications and success stories. Connecting customers with executives will be increasingly important, as well. For financial clients, for example, I do not hesitate to call in our chief financial officer (CFO) to talk about how he uses the platform. This approach shows confidence in our platform and makes our executives more accessible to the masses. We also focus on data literacy with our clients to help them confidently communicate with their managers about what they see in the data. Data provides a lot of insights, but clients need to be able to back up the data.
  • 41. 41 Key Points 1 2 People do not want aggressive sales techniques where they fill out a form to receive gated content, and then receive 14 phone calls and emails. They want to go at their own pace and contact you when they are ready to have a conversation. Give customers a way to reach certain achievement levels with the education you provide. Help them get certified, give them evidence of their achievement, and help them achieve their educational goals with you. By recognizing their efforts, you can help them to realize more value from committing to entire tracks of your educational programs. Melissa Alonso, Director, Global Account-Based Marketing, Qlik Finally, I think that the virtual interactions have provided a positive way to bring people together globally. They provide opportunities to be more inclusive and engage with people we may not have ever met otherwise. I think it will be quite a while before we are able to have in-person events with 500 people like we had before, so we have to continue to be creative and make little changes to webinars that will improve experiences over time. With everything being trackable, as well, I think we will see greater focus on certifications.
  • 42. 42 Bring in an expert on a different topic—for example, a neuroscience expert—to discuss how the brain processes data and how that process relates to data management. Take audience members out of their comfort zone and engage them. What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? Field marketing is a service team for the sales organization. We support sales’ business objectives with relevant market strategies and tactics. Before COVID-19, field marketing would work with sales teams to understand their goals and long-term plans. From those goals, we would build strategies, tactics, and key performance indicators for six-month, one-year, and three- year plans. Although we focus on long-term strategies, we remain flexible so that we can adapt to opportunities as they arise. For example, a crisis in Brazil could trigger a new opportunity in the financial services area. We had to be on top of the market. We had to be flexible and versatile enough to capture new opportunities without losing sight of the long-term plan. The marriage between sales and marketing has had its ups and downs. Sometimes, salespeople have a narrow “what’s in it for me?” view of the marriage and assume that our job is to make events look pretty when, in fact, we are working to build a high-quality pipeline for them. At the end of the day, though, we understood that they have the tougher job: sitting in front of existing or potential customers and asking them to buy our company’s product . . . and often getting “no” for an answer. They need thick skin to do their job, and we feel their pain. Jan Ryniewicz is a B2B marketing manager and team leader focused on marketing strategic thinking, branding, program marketing, and communications management in global companies and fast-paced multiregional environments in the IT marketplace. More than 20 years in marketing management have taught him to keep two main goals in mind: Expand the brand voice and reach, and help accelerate sales. Jan Ryniewicz, Head of Field Marketing, Google Cloud (Argentina, Chile, Colombia)
  • 43. 43 In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing? The relationship between sales and marketing has improved. I strive to foster conversations that empower or strengthen the alliance between sales and marketing. The COVID-19 situation forced us to figure out how to survive minute to minute. There is now a growing understanding that we are in this together, working shoulder to shoulder. As for building the marketing pipeline, the big winner here is digital transformation. Digital content is relatively new in this region (about 30 percent digital versus 70 percent live events), yet now it has to be effective across the entire funnel, from the top down to the acceleration stage. Now, every activity at each stage in the customer relationship journey must be digital. Here in Latin America, we embrace face-to-face relationships. Within a week, however, cultural norms changed for our teams and clients. We—meaning sales, marketing, and clients—are now all in the same home-office scenario and navigating the new norms together. We now have to figure out how to build relationships digitally, as well. We—meaning sales, marketing, and clients—are now all in the same home- office scenario and navigating the new norms together. We now have to figure out how to build relationships digitally, as well. Marketers must make digital more personal and empathetic. They must ensure that it works at every point in the funnel—top to bottom.
  • 44. 44 How do you create engaging events, without fine wine and cuisine as part of the lure, that people are excited to attend? Be empathetic. Clients and companies still need to run their operations. They are in a tough situation. Linking their situation with your technology or portfolio makes content insightful and more relevant to them. Marketers have to understand which triggers will appeal to potential audiences. The same empathy we’ve used to navigate our relationship with sales teams will help us build client relationships in these uncertain times. Focus. A webinar should not attempt to capture what would be covered in a three-hour in-person event. It should be twenty to thirty minutes, like a TED Talk. That said . . . Simulate live-event experiences. Webinars typically have a speaker followed by a Q&A session. Find platforms that enable you to simulate other parts of live events, such as breakout sessions or labs. Invest in engagement with smaller groups. Cherry-picked, tailor-made content is important at all marketing stages. For example, consider bringing in outside thought leaders, experts, or even celebrities to reach audiences further down in the marketing funnel. Go beyond pure technology conversations. Topics such as leadership in crisis; managing stress; and other human, social, and workplace issues add value. Last year at a data-management event, we talked about data backup and recovery for five hours. Then, I brought in a neuroscience expert to talk about how the brain processes information. Audience members were out of their comfort zones—and incredibly engaged.
  • 45. 45 Key Points 1 2 Building a new relationship digitally requires exceptional content. Content delivered in compact time frames must be more insightful, empathetic, and relevant. Third-party speakers can create unique content and differentiate your roundtable from other roundtables. These speakers can talk about the specific challenges the company faces. Alternatively, thought leaders can focus on human and social issues that executives are experiencing. Nontechnical speakers can help drive a conversation. Jan Ryniewicz, Head of Field Marketing, Google Cloud (Argentina, Chile, Colombia) Where does field marketing go from here, and what changes do you see coming? We can assume that things are not going to be the same after the pandemic and that some things, such as big events, will continue to evolve. We need to see how people react to “becoming normal” again. I think, however, that trends toward digital content will continue, with Latin America becoming more balanced and emphasizing digital more. We are proving that digital content can work across all parts of the funnel and is more cost-effective than live events— an important point because it is unlikely that budgets will return to 2019 levels any time soon. As a result, I think field marketers will become “field/digital marketers” or maybe just “marketers.” Whatever the eventual job title, we will have to find ways to reach out to audiences differently.
  • 46. 46 Working remotely has made me a bit self-conscious because I’m holed away in my kids’ toy room, but this has actually broken down some professional barriers. After all, we’re all working from homes. What was the event marketing landscape like before working remotely? In-person events were the core of our field marketing programs. We ran several industry trade shows and attended many other shows as a vendor, demonstrating our wares and talking shop. In the past couple of years, businesses have been forced to justify their return on investment in sending people to trade shows, and we saw a push toward quality events over the number of events. We also started hosting events ourselves, focusing on user groups, best practices, and professional development. We tried many variations on the formula to see what worked best. Some were for our own marketing; others were in partnership with other organizations. We had an event series that garnered a cult following, so we turned it into a ten-part digital series in the United Kingdom and a five-part series in the United States. The series offered different aspects of a topic and drilled down into the funnel, as well. We were surprised at the number of RSVPs and were looking at a new platform to host the sheer number of people. We saw that going digital with events was not an impossible hill to climb. J.P. (Jacob Porter) is a marketing professional with a background in brand management and go-to-market strategies. J.P. attributes his achievements in B2B marketing to two core ideals: value-based marketing and doing the job right. He serves as a marketing leader for the e-commerce analytics firm Edge by Ascential, where he oversees a global team of talented marketing professionals who create unique digital and offline customer journeys. J.P. (Jacob Porter), Global Director of Product & Field Marketing, Edge by Ascential
  • 47. 47 At the end of last year, we conducted a major survey and found that the trend was shifting back toward larger trade shows. For this year, we planned more speaking events, road show events, industry meetups, and other face-to-face events with our core customer base. We did not plan these events to be as intimate as a hosted dinner; rather, the goal was to take the best of small and large events and keep the numbers under a hundred or so. We were actually getting away from digital because it was “cold” and hard to fit into time zones. What surprises did you encounter with the shift to remote work? We were well positioned when the need to go all digital arose. Customers indicated a greater willingness to work online. In fact, many of our smaller, more nimble clients—even up to the middle-tier clients—had already shifted to digital face-to-face communication. In some cases, we had not even met these clients in person until after the contract was in place. So, we were already doing a lot of these phone call webcasts in sales and support. Even with the shift toward digital, we had to work quickly to make the entire procurement process digital or phone based. One big challenge has been re- creating the types of personal interactions you would normally have in an in- person sales process. We came up with some amazing solutions, such as having a virtual beer with a client or leading a house tour. Working remotely has made me a bit self- conscious because I’m holed away in my kids’ toy room, but this has actually broken down some professional barriers. After all, we’re all working from our homes. People are eager to show off the weirdest thing delivered from Amazon or acknowledge the child wandering around in the background. This relaxed atmosphere helped people connect a bit more on a human level. Digital sales can be as fast as in-person sales when your digital education efforts effectively show your customers the value of your product.
  • 48. 48 It will be interesting to see how renewals or upsells will be affected further on in the life cycle. These conversations tend to be warmer than new-business conversations, so they should go well. How are you creating high-quality digital events? You have to remember customer value—what are your customers getting out of this? No one wants to hear how much we care about them and how we are all in this together. Clients, now more than ever, want to know what value you are bringing right now that will eventually result in a positive outcome. It’s about applying a clear focus on what our offerings can do to help them. Customers gravitate toward companies that can quickly convey their message and the value they bring. It’s not just about being first to market; rather, it is about conveying that we can help you adjust your capabilities and plans through this sudden change. The conversation is not about us; it’s about our clients. Do not use a webinar to show off the latest product feature or release; instead, focus content on professional development. Lead with that. [Customers] do not want to listen to you posturing about your product; rather, they want you to focus on their specific pain points and show them how to solve a real problem right now.
  • 49. 49 Key Points 1 2 One-to-one digital sales calls have actually helped people connect on a more human level. Seeing how people live, having a beer while online, leading house tours, meeting family members who jump into the camera’s view—they all help break down professional barriers and can actually make sales discussions more real and personal. We’re going to see a digital-first approach going forward. Large, first-come, first-served digital events will likely give way to smaller, extremely high-value, exclusive, invitation-only RSVP digital events designed for select personas at targeted companies. J.P. (Jacob Porter), Global Director of Product & Field Marketing, Edge by Ascential Where do you think event marketing is heading? We are going to see two major shifts. First, trade shows as we knew them before the pandemic are irrecoverable. We are not going to see many large-scale events unless they are global and generate major revenue. Second, we will see the extremes become popular: big events that are few and far between or smaller get-togethers. I don’t think we will see midtier shows anymore. Right now, digital events are about attracting large numbers of people. In time, the focus will shift to focus on attracting just the right people. Webinar platforms can accommodate 1,000 or 2,000 people, but of those, there are 20 or 30 people or a particular persona that we are interested in and want to talk to. I think there will be a swing toward exclusive digital events that help us make headway in the funnel.
  • 50. 50 Successful marketers make the effort to show the customer that they have a specific solution for his or her requirement. What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? I differentiate between central marketing and field marketing because we operate worldwide as well as across German-speaking countries and regions. Central marketing produces all the great stuff, such as white papers, press releases, blog posts, and product and solutions content. In field marketing, we ensure that the messaging is appropriate for regional and local markets. We in field marketing go one step further and tailor the marketing messaging to a customer. The pandemic has eliminated travel times, giving us additional time to make such customizations, and the outcomes reflect that. Before COVID-19, we typically divided our time between creating events and strengthening customer relationships through a more standard follow-up. In our work, we must understand customer bottlenecks and pain points. People live in their own world and perceive reality differently. Being aware of this individuality and trying to understand what the other person's world looks like are the first steps in a common direction. To gather this information, we talk to our customers; we concentrate on listening and understanding. We strive to find the right tone, the right level of sharing, to ask the right questions and listen rather than focusing on our own Michael Hoffmann brings 22 years of experience spanning logistics, operations, sales, and marketing. He believes that marketers can design the future, that they must choose to do so actively and with reflection. Marketing can become better, regardless of its starting point. His advice to fellow marketers? The more you know, the more you will work to understand the full picture and the better the outcome will be.” Michael Hoffmann, Vice President of Field Operations, RELEX Solutions (Germany)
  • 51. 51 offers. Sometimes, customers do not know what their problems are, so we take the time to find out together. This approach has been key to our success, but it has become even more important in the “new normal.” Moving these meetings online has resulted in more but shorter meetings. We feel that this new setup brings greater focus and discipline to the meetings. The interest and concentration the topics require are more intense, and the discussions go deeper. Everything needs to be understood and explained better. What a great improvement for us and the whole economy! In what ways has COVID-19 changed field marketing? For customers Working remotely has changed how customers develop solutions. Instead of having a few long onsite sessions, we now have more remote sessions that are planned and realized within just sixty to ninety minutes. Customers are more focused, and the meetings are much more effective. There is constructive dialogue rather than us presenting and customers listening. So, standard approaches, offers, assumptions, and processes that we have used do not work anymore. Customers are irritated by the new economic situation, and we have to understand those irritations and the needs they create. By communicating about what has changed, we can align our customers’ needs with possible solutions. For example, I have a long-time prospective customer who has thousands of stores in Germany. He was not likely to make new purchases any time soon, but over the years we had become friends and touched base every so often. When the pandemic hit, he told me that he was struggling to allocate toilet paper to his stores. I initially laughed, but through our conversation, I began People live in their own world and perceive reality differently. Being aware of this individuality and trying to understand what the other person's world looks like are the first steps in a common direction.
  • 52. 52 to understand that this was a very real, very significant problem. I suggested a webinar, where we looked at his current processes and discovered the root problem. With this understanding, I was able to show him how we would have managed the situation differently and prevented the problem. He was surprised at the webinar and the outreach, and that’s exactly the point: Focus on understanding customer problems, tailoring the messaging with the right level of detail, and maintaining the relationship: The rest will take care of itself. Recently, we applied a similar approach to establishing relationships with new customers. Tailored messaging is key, but we say that we have “looked at potential pain points in your business and think that this information or solution may be helpful.” This approach works even better now than it did before the pandemic. Before, response rates were maybe 2 to 3 percent. Now, response rates are 10 to 20 percent. Customers and potential customers alike are feeling the pressure of added pain points and bottlenecks, and they are driven to find effective solutions. Business prospects are currently agitated by the challenges COVID-19 has created, which actually makes it easier to get them to share information about their bottlenecks and pain points. Your goal is to find where their interests and your interests intersect.
  • 53. 53 For marketers Typically, we have weeks or even months to build a picture of complex solutions. Now, we may have sixty to ninety minutes. It’s not enough to have a good elevator pitch: You have to tailor key points to each customer. With the pandemic, we thought the crazy speed of the economic world would decrease. Physical movement—traveling and onsite meetings—decreased significantly, but the evaluation processes and decision cycles have accelerated. Now, the number of tries you get as a potential supplier are much more limited. You must come straight to what the customer wants to hear. Therefore, knowledgeable and experienced marketers with excellent communication skills are needed more than ever. For solutions Every customer requirement equals an individual need. No standard solution will meet the customer’s specific need, although standards can contain many possible individual processes. Successful marketers make the effort to show the customer that they have a specific solution for his or her requirement. To that end, we try to include speakers from outside companies in our webinars. Some of these speakers hesitate to accept because they do not want to (or cannot) share their insights with companies they perceive as competitors. The reality is, however, that people will participate in webinars to access the knowledge that we have collected for them from other customers and companies in the same market. What we are trying to do is connect people with each other and the speaker and foster open communication, such as connecting a US customer to a German customer who faces similar pain points.
  • 54. 54 Key Points 1 2 If you just present basic information rather than tailored and customizing information, you gain nothing. You must bring all the players together to drive the sale. Because the need for immediate solutions has increased, customers have less time to figure out the value of your solutions on their own—by interpreting the value of your solution or by studying your marketing messages. Now, your messages have to be more effective than ever to show how you can solve their specific problem in a way that makes sense to that customer. Michael Hoffmann, Vice President of Field Operations, RELEX Solutions (Germany) Where does field marketing go from here, and what changes do you see coming? The German market is a bit different from others, but I think the overall trend will be toward a more customer-centric, tailored marketing message. Our team already customizes messaging and channels as needed, but I see investing in knowledge, communication skills, relationships, and customization even more at the customer level becoming critical to success.
  • 55. 55 We are all thinking of ways to fill the gap that in- person interactions used to fill. I believe that reputation and credibility will be vital to establishing lasting, valuable customer relationships. What was it like in field marketing before the shift to remote work? As the field marketing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Genesys, I manage a team of seven field marketing managers who drive marketing activities in their countries and regions. Late last year, we had planned a mix of 60 percent digital and 40 percent in-person activities throughout the EMEA countries for the year. In contrast, just five years ago, the mix was 20 percent digital and 80 percent in-person activities. Retrospectively, it was evident that the trend toward digital marketing campaigns had already been increasing. Now, with COVID-19, the marketing mix has shifted primarily to digital platforms. As concerns about COVID-19 increased throughout February, it became clear that our in-person events would have to be postponed or cancelled. As a result, we revised our plans and budgets to minimize the impact. Shortly after that, top management asked us to revise our marketing plans even further. We reprioritized our commitments and budgets again based on the rapid changes COVID-19 was inflicting on our face-to-face marketing initiatives. Based in Istanbul, Turkey, Atalay Aktaş is a B2B marketing leader with more than 20 years of experience in sales, presales, and technical support in multinational technology companies, including Microsoft and Genesys. He is a big believer in out-of-the-box thinking, always eager to learn from others, and open to discussing thought-provoking ideas. Atalay Aktas, Director of Field Marketing, Genesys (EMEA)
  • 56. 56 What steps have you taken to transform in-person events into digital formats? We had to reexamine the reasons our customers attend our events—what they want to gain and what they want to learn. We began converting all our in- person events into digital activities with focused agendas, topics, and speakers aimed at helping our customers achieve those objectives, albeit remotely. To enhance these virtual events, we selected vendors capable of producing high- quality digital experiences, activities, and webinars. To the extent possible, we converted the original schedule of events to digital event platforms. We also use long-tail search engine optimization to expand our marketing funnel. Interestingly, the change in formation did not negatively affect our ability to identify relevant leads. In fact, in some countries, the number of relevant leads increased. The new pandemic-driven normal has actually increased digital consumption. hese digital platforms are delivered professionally, and they have been well received by our attendees. What are some of the biggest challenges you are dealing with? The biggest challenge has been replicating face-to-face interactions with customers. Currently, like many companies, we are unable to visit our customers in person. Instead, we have dramatically increased our account- based marketing (ABM) activities, and we are finding new ways to generate great customer experiences through digital platforms that offer personalized vision videos and e-book downloads, for example. Specific, customized content drives the sales cycle. Highly detailed, relevant, and personalized content that addresses the customer’s specific business problems is the key that opens the door to future virtual meetings and business opportunities.
  • 57. 57 Though our digital events have been successful, we are currently looking at ways to replicate the excitement of travelling to in-person events, reconnecting with people we know, and connecting with like-minded individuals. For the time being, people seem to understand that what is most important are our collective health, safety, and well-being—even if we miss attending events in person. What is the future of field marketing? We are all thinking of ways to fill the gap that in-person interactions used to fill. I believe that reputation and credibility will become vital to establishing lasting, valuable customer relationships. Digital marketing will become even more prominent in the future, as well. Working remotely has shown clearly how much digital tools have shaped and shifted our marketing teams’ focus toward digital channels. One priority with my team is to inspire a culture of innovation and foster remote collaboration. At the same time, I want to keep my team motivated to dream up new and exciting digital ideas that will lead to meaningful engagements with our customers. Even after the world begins to open up Late last year, we had planned a mix of 60 percent digital and 40 percent in-person activities throughout the EMEA countries for the year. In contrast, just five years ago, the mix was 20 percent digital and 80 percent in-person activities.
  • 58. 58 again, digital solutions will remain important in all aspects of marketing. Agile companies that can accelerate and embrace this digital transformation will be better prepared to successfully navigate the postpandemic era. I believe that educational and marketing videos will become the dominant, preferred type of content consumed because they do not require people to meet in person. Communicating through such videos, marketers will be able to quickly and easily display products and services and enable customer trials. With the proven success of ABM programs, more companies will shift to using videos to illustrate how products and services will benefit them, in effect transforming a lead into a customer. Event marketing is by no means a thing of the past. However, I believe that organizations will be reviewing the scope and scale of such events. Key Points 1 2 Agile companies that can embrace rapid digital transformation will be better positioned to successfully navigate this new era. Furthermore, companies that are digitally innovative in responding to the needs of their customers will establish greater credibility and build stronger reputations. Specific, customized content drives the sales cycle. Highly detailed, relevant, and personalized content that addresses the customer’s specific business problems is the key that opens the door to future virtual meetings and business opportunities. Atalay Aktas, Director of Field Marketing, Genesys (EMEA)
  • 59. 59 You often get radio silence in sales, so it’s up to marketers to keep the discussion going, and that is where an ABM approach can move the needle. What was it like in field marketing before COVID-19? SpyCloud develops enterprise-level security software to prevent account takeovers and investigate fraud. Our primary customers are security professionals in the C suite. Right now, we have about six people in sales who are responsible for various regions worldwide. Our role in field marketing is to provide our salespeople with the tools they need to succeed at events based on what has worked in the past and effective customer experiences. Events are a big part of our marketing strategy, and we have done more than 2,500 of them. We’ve gotten a lot of traction with events because they afford high-quality, high- touch interactions for our salespeople, especially for lead generation. What parts of your marketing strategy have helped you transition to remote work? We have been implementing account-based marketing (ABM), so much of our work has focused on strengthening those programs. The biggest challenge for our sales team is getting people’s attention and creating opportunities to get in front of customers. You often get radio silence in sales, so it’s up to marketers to keep the discussion going, and that is where an ABM approach can move the needle. With nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, Jessica Cowan is passionate about driving demand generation, elevating brand awareness, and driving exceptional growth through highly effective go-to-market strategies, planning, and execution. Her depth and breadth of marketing knowledge supports her use of multiple channels to craft unique digital and offline customer experiences. Jessica Cowan, Field Marketing Manager, SpyCloud