Cerius Business Today: Winning the Marketing War

Marketing War

Cerius Business Today host Kristen McAllister discusses Winning Strategies for the Marketing War with Helen Wanamaker, Kay Kienast, and Seth Avergon.

Kristen McAlister:

Hello and welcome to Cerius Business Today brought to you by Cerius Executives. I am your host, Kristen McAllister. Today we’ll be discussing winning strategies for the marketing war. We have an esteemed panel of marketing experts today, including Helen Wanamaker, Kay Kienast, and Seth Avergon. A little background on our panelists before we get started.

Helen has led leadership positions and top tier brand and direct marketing agencies, including Ogilvy, DDB, JWT, and Grey Direct before she transitioned to the client side as head of marketing for several Fortune 500 global organizations.

For the past couple of years, she has been consulting largely with global nonprofit organizations. She has a global marketing executive, as you can tell whose expertise is in building marketing programs and high-performance teams that deliver measurable business results.

Next, we have Kay, who has held senior marketing and operations positions at some of the industry’s most innovative companies, including GE Seagate, Xerox, Adobe, Cisco bell, Atlantic CDW, and Dell computer court.

Her startup parents have also involved four successful exits. She is a data focused infrastructure, marketing executive who designs, and implements end to end marketing programs to rapidly acquire and keep customers.

And finally, we have Seth who has over 20 years of experience and has held key positions at Citizen Systems America, Denso, and Rainbird.

His enthusiasm, leadership, and creativity have been the driving force behind dozens of successful product launches and marketing campaigns. He is also a sought-after speaker and editorial source on brand and business strategy.

I want to thank all of our guests for joining us today and we’ll get started.

Thank you for joining us today. Our topic today is one of my favorites, marketing, because marketing is what generates leads, leads generate revenues, and that makes us all happy. Marketing has evolved quite a bit and I’m sure, Kay, Seth and Helen, you’ve got a lot to share with us about how it has evolved over the past any number of years.

What I’d like to do is kind of start and rewind it a little bit. Get to know each of you a little bit better other than the wonderful bios and your credentials and what you’ve accomplished quite a bit, like to learn a little bit more about how you first got into marketing and what was the role of marketing like at that time?

Helen, why don’t you get us started?

Helen Wanamaker:

I never intended to get into marketing, and I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and started my career working at a small, weekly newspaper in Stoughton, Wisconsin, making no money and I think it was my father who said, “I think you need to find a job that pays you the lifestyle you have become accustomed to.”

So, I went back to Atlanta, found myself in the world of advertising, joined McCann Erickson at that time, wanted to be a copywriter, still wanting to write and write. I actually wound up going in as a secretary, as many women did in those days, and worked my way up and spent over half of my career in the world of advertising agencies and got into the account management side of it, which was really the marketing side of the business and never left it, loved it. And then ultimately 15 years ago made the move to the client side or the dark side, as we used to say, as a head of marketing role for a global financial services organization.

When I first started in marketing and advertising, it was all in the traditional space. So, I started my career in offline. It was television, it was radio, it was billboards. It was everything there was to do in the world of advertising. My first client-side role was a head of marketing, was totally e-commerce. 98% of the sales were driven online.

I became entrenched in the world of digital. It played well into my data-driven background because I’ve worked for both big brand and big direct marketing agencies. So, I guess the plus side of me being in the business, as long as I have been is, I have seen the total 360 degree change in the business from traditional to digital, to really a combination of the two. My expertise is integrated marketing and at this point in my career, there isn’t a channel I have not touched, tested, and optimized to drive positive results for an organization.

Kristen McAlister:

Seth, let’s just make sure that we get, we get to go around, and we’d love to hear a little bit more about your background and then Kay we’ll finish it up with you so that we really understand how you ended up to where you are and that data and the integration of the two and how it has all come full circle there.

Seth Avergon:

So not unlike Helen, I had no intention of being in marketing. My background is in psychology and that was my undergraduate degree and I started grad school and kind of became interested in it and ended up getting a master’s in international studies and I specialized in international business and marketing just gravitated to me actually.

It was a great use of the social psychology. A lot of what we do in marketing is applying human behavior. You know, how do I influence someone from point A to point B? And when I first got into marketing, I was working with a lot of manufacturers. So, it was interesting just watching the change in the world.

It was a lot of print advertising back then, a lot of event-driven. I have a background in that channel, so a lot of operating, sending products through distribution channel and creating those relationships. And slowly, you’ve watched these digital elements coming in, greater fashion and watching them coming, whether it’s email or e-commerce or data or marketing automation.

So, I kind of had to grow up into it, but my background was much more traditional print, event-driven distribution, driven relationships, creating a lot of collateral, a lot of materials and sending stuff out. Doing massive press runs. If you can imagine. I mean, I remember being at one o’clock in the morning at printing presses because that’s when your stuff was running.

And so, you had to be there for the press checks. I don’t think anybody even knows what a press check is anymore, but, then just watching things evolve from there into this digital landscape we’re in now.

Kristen McAlister:

And I would say, I know that your age is on the younger side, Seth. So, I don’t even know that it’s dating you, but rather dating how far marketing has come in a short period of time, because I also do remember those days of running the carbon copy through the machine where you create this, you put the ink in, and you cranked it. It’s just so how quickly it has evolved.

Kay, would love to hear about your background and kind of how you ventured into this realm.

Kay Kienast:

Well, when I first got out of school, there was a company called Dell and my mentor at the time said, “Just go give them a call. They’re a brand new startup, you’re going to learn a lot from them.”

And I said, okay, fine. I had some contacts at Dell, which then was in Round Rock, Texas, a small bank. They were in a couple of floors of the bank building. And so, I gave a ring and they said, “Sure, but we’re going to start you in marketing.”

Now my background is more analytics. Not marketing. I’m more of a data scientist than I am a marketing person. So, I’m very data driven. I want to look at the data, see what it’s telling me and why it’s telling me that a why is always very fun.

And, they said, “You’re going to be fine in marketing. Just come on down. We’ll teach you.” Because at the time we started getting everything on the internet and they said, “We want to be the first group that puts things out on the internet in an e-commerce fashion and start selling not only directly, but on e-commerce.”

And people laughed at him, but here we are. So, I’ve always been in that data-first mode in that technology, bringing it forward, how can it help us? How can it move us forward? And what did it say? So not just marketing, but why? Who’s going to like it? Who’s not going to like it? So that’s my background, which is really different from Helen and Seth.

Kristen McAlister:

I love that. You can see why we assembled this group here and a great way to kick it off. We have a data scientist, a psychologist, and if word advertising smith expert for all coming together to discuss marketing and the trends that we’re seeing nowadays.

As a business owner, how do you either keep up or stay ahead at the pace that it’s moving? And I think I saw a stat recently. It said by the year 2024, over 80% of businesses are going to have some type of digital marketing strategy. And having been in that digital marketing space for quite some time, I’m thinking isn’t every company in the digital marketing space right now? I would love to hear more on what your thoughts are and how it has evolved and what it’s evolving into.

Seth Avergon:

Wow. That’s a great question. The name of the game is engagement, right? And traditionally engagement has been done via phone contact relationships, meeting people, endless dinners, lunches, meetings, that sort of thing. Digital has enabled us to engage. In a much more cost-efficient manner at a much more macro level than we’ve ever been able to do before.

So, I think it was driven partially by desire for scale. Your sales force can only go to so many meetings, meet so many people. And also, by the consistency by which you could go out there and be touching people, you know, we used to say, “you have to tell someone something three times in marketing.” It was the old rule: three times before they remember it. Now we’re up to, I’m thinking I’m hearing 8, 12, 20. There’s so many more touch points now, that we need because of all the information out there to get someone to buy a product, to be interested in a service for selling. That’s kind of where this evolution came from.

It’s surrounded. How do we increase engagement? How do we create a relationship with that potential client? Because we do know there’s a correlation between if someone likes us and likes our product, they’re more likely to buy it, the more we’re engaged with them.

Kay Kienast:

I think you can create a relationship digitally. That’s what I think people have worked on for a long time.

I look at CDW at the time. They didn’t have feet on the street. They were a distributor. They created a relationship over the phone and they’re one of the largest US distributors now. So, I think that you can create relationships. We have to redefine, what is the relationship?

It can be recreated on the phone. It can be recreated on Zoom. We’re all on Zoom. Now it can be created in a number of ways. You don’t have to necessarily be in the same room and still create a relationship. So, figuring out how to create a relationship.

First of all, who’s in market? That’s where the rubber meets the road, where you spend a lot of money digitally. You got to figure that out quickly and rapidly. And not spend a lot of money just on acquiring customers. So that cross sell and upsell is an easier, faster ROI. So where do you spend your money? How do you spend your money? You got to keep those customers once you’ve got them.

Kristen McAlister:

Helen, you mentioned brands and that brand awareness where you started your career, where you needed a large advertising agency in order to build that brand awareness.

How was that?

Helen Wanamaker:

I think it’s a combination of I worked in big brand advertising agencies and then I made the move to direct marketing agencies. And really early in my career began marrying the two. I’ve been doing data-driven marketing, performance-based marketing all my career and now it’s hot and sexy and new. (It’s really not.) But I think the brands are still incredibly important. Building a strong brand gives you a lot of room for forgiveness by a customer. Let’s put it that way.

You look at what’s happened: big brands over the years, ones that have survived the test of time even through very difficult times, for many, many years, IBM is going to go away. You know, IBM has failed at so many things. Well, IBM didn’t go anywhere. So, I think the brand is always going to be important. I think it’s a matter of, and more and more organizations, big brands, everyone’s looking at brand advertising and direct marketing.

But I think the best organizations are beginning to marry the two and figure out how do you, one, you have to have diversified channels. Not always diversified distribution channels. You may be an organization that is strictly sales driven and it may be people. It may be a very high, complex consultative sell, and you’re always going to have a sales organization, but regardless, what do you do to open the door for those salespeople and what are the channels you’re leveraging?

They have to be diversified from my perspective, too many organizations have too many eggs in a single basket. And when that one basket doesn’t perform any more or as well as it did, they have no other levers to pull. So even in the digital arena, I deal with organizations that say, “Yeah, we’re doing everything in digital. We have an integrated program and all the money that we’re spending in digitals and display, or it’s all in social that is not an integrated, not even an integrated digital plan.” So, I think it’s looking at how do you optimize across channels to ensure that the dollars you do spend are being spent as effectively as possible to both acquire, retain and grow customers because, at the end of the day, that’s what everybody’s interested in.

Early-stage startups are very focused on acquisition, but at some point in time, if everybody you’re bringing in the front door is going out the back door, you quickly have to move to retention.

And then it’s about growing. As Kay said, it’s much easier to cultivate and grow an existing client than it is to go out and bring in a new one.

Seth Avergon:

Interestingly, when you looked back there was mass media and marketing was just pushing messaging out there and it was kind of throwing it at the wall, as marketing has evolved with the digital tools we have.

Marketing is taking on more of sales responsibility in the sense of bringing in, as Helen was saying, leads from various sources. But then sales will help close. That’s a huge shift. If you think about what marketing was doing 20 years ago, versus where 30 years ago versus what we’re doing now, we are much more tightly aligned in bringing, if you’re a sales funnel person, where we’re responsible bringing that lead farther down the funnel than we were traditionally.

Kay Kienast:

I think what’s important about this is the planning of it. All accounts are not to buy your product. So which accounts, why, and working with sales to have a clear path, we’re going to focus on these accounts. ABM, if you will, account-based marketing, whatever you’d like to call it.

These are the ones that are the lookalike customers of our best customers. You can always move out into adjacencies, but get those that look like your best customers, focus on those hints. As you said, Seth, we’re not blasting anymore. With email, we are focused on which accounts are the likely accounts to buy from us.

Cause they all won’t. That’s a very hard concept for a lot of people to understand.

Helen Wanamaker:

Yeah, I think one of the things I say often with clients is all customers are not created equally. All accounts are not created equally, and you need to figure out which ones are actually worth it or which ones you want to keep.

And how do you go out and find more that are like those high value customers. I think from a marketing perspective from the media side of it, when we talk about all the channels that are available to marketers today, to reach those customers, people with this skillset are greatly needed in organizations, if they don’t already have it, to figure out what are those best channels, how do you optimize against them to drive the desired result?

Because not only do we have many, many channels competing with each other, we have customers, consumers, whether they’re businesspeople or not, consuming information from multiple sources at the same time. It’s like nobody watches a football game many more without having their iPhone or their iPad open, having a dialogue with friends about the game or on Twitter, tweeting about it.

So, you got all that noise competing for the attention of the eyeballs.

Kay Kienast:

I think one of the things we all used to do in past lives is we used to talk about our products. We used to talk about why they our best customers don’t like that or prospects, they want to know the benefits.

So, I think one of the biggest changes that we’ve all had to face is that we need to talk about how it benefits the customer and stop selling a product. And that is a huge shift for marketing because even now, if I look at CEOs, they want to talk about their products. Customers just don’t want to hear about it. So how do you first start that journey talking about what they are looking for and that’s where you’ve got to understand what’s going on out there.

But what are the kinds of benefits that these customers will actually relate to? And how do you get that across? And then we got to have Helen because I wouldn’t be the last one that says how that should look, but every touch that you make, whether it’s an email, whether it’s any digital channel is branding, it is a big brand methodology.

Remember, you’re not just talking one-on-one to a set of accounts. You are branding your company. So, if you don’t have brand guidelines, that’s going to be a real problem because you’ll become everything and nothing.

Kristen McAlister:

You’ve each hit on a number of things. And I think I’m running out of room on my list here, everything in order to create these winning strategies and marketing.

And how has it evolved to benefits and value proposition? The perspective of the buyer multichannel on how marketing is being integrated more into. The sales force and becoming a single unit, it takes 8 to 12 touches. I can only imagine what it takes to coordinate all of this and the increasing role in technology of technology and marketing today. Would love to hear your thoughts on how that’s coming into play and how you’re managing it.

Seth Avergon:

It’s a lot, Kristen. It’s it? The great thing about the career I’ve chosen is I’m going to be a lifelong learner because the tech is constantly evolving and constantly changing. And whether you’re talking about CRM systems or marketing automation, or just digital advertising, different ways of doing it, or e-commerce, or how are you going to use your analytics?

It’s like a side job to stay up to date on what is the latest Google algorithm and how is that going to change how your websites are operating? How are you going to run your digital ads? The tools help and it also enables us to be curious in the sense that we can test things more than we could do.

Before a big ad campaign was a huge spend and if you were wrong, you were dead. Now, we have the ability to actually try 10 different landing pages, 20 different sets of ads and see what converts and switch elements and copy and switch video. So, all of these tools, while it’s a lot of stuff to learn, it also enables us to be more genuinely curious and test and learn without huge advertising spends.

Helen Wanamaker:

That’s a great point. It’s about being able to test, learn, optimize, mitigating risks to your budget into your brand. But Kristen, as you mentioned and Kate mentioned, on brands, early in my advertising career, I spent a lot of time in the technology space during, I’d say, the hay day, the dot com era, and was fortunate to work on brands where there was true product differentiation.

Every new ad campaign was a new product introduction. We were running at a very fast pace and we actually had a client who had products that truly were differentiated in the market. That’s not the norm today. And there is much more commodity out there and what’s differentiating big brands is the value proposition, the unique selling point, what are they delivering to a customer?

Amazon, for example, has risen the bar so high for other organizations in terms of the brand promise. It’s interesting times ahead for brands. And I think, again, going back to, I don’t want to say, no organization, even the largest in the world has everybody has a finite budget and finite people resources to work with. So, they’re going to have to figure out, how do we most effectively use both to get where we want to go and grow as an organization. I think that’s going to be the big challenge in the short term.

And as technology becomes a bigger factor and continues to grow and the digital space continues to grow. I’m seeing right now, a lot of roles being kind of merged, they want the person to strategically lead the customer relationship management program, but they also want that customer to be able to sit down and create the HTML templates and deploy the campaigns. Those aren’t people that, from my experience, really exist right now, or they’re few and far between, so organizations either to have to make an investment in training people and some of those strategic people probably don’t ever want to have those roles. I’ve even been approached about some things and said, “I could probably do that, but I don’t have any interest in doing that.”

So, I think it’s interesting times ahead for both for brands and for marketers.

Kristen McAlister:

I’d love thoughts on, as a business owner, I’ve seen my market, my technology budget last year was 5 or 10% non-marketing. The rest of it was marketing and we have these technology departments and technology resources not married with marketing.

Kay Kienast:

I’d love to comment on that because in the past, if you touch the network, you had to talk to it. Most of the technology that marketing and sales is using never touches the infrastructure. It doesn’t touch the network. If it’s outside the network now. Going back to what Helen’s talked about, most of those technologies are integrated.

That doesn’t mean they all have the same things in them. For example, your marketing automation platform has everything your CRM has, but you don’t want to send everything that you’re hunting for sales back into the CRM. So, there are new rules about how the technologies work and how many you need. And you’ve got to have a bot on your website to answer when you’re not managing it live.

You’ve got to have a script on your rep website that lets you know who the people are that are there, not just that somebody came to your website. Who was it? So, you can talk back to them. So, all of these technologies are identifying individuals. You need them to know who was doing what, whether it’s your website, the email you’ve sent the direct mail you’ve sent, in B2B, if you don’t know who it is, if it’s anonymized.

So, it’s that quest with the technology to find out who’s doing what with your brand. So, Gardner has said there are more than 500,000 marketing vendors out there. Think about that. How do you keep up with that?

If you think about that, then you’ve got to have relationship with the industry analysts to know what’s working, what’s not working best. That’s where G2 comes in. That’s where the waves come in from Forester and the magic quadrants come in. So, it’s expanded the job of marketing and what you need to know in an expert natural way, but there’s a new position out there called marketing operations that can alleviate some of this. Those are the technical people that are keeping up with the tech stack. They’re keeping up with the data science and so on to help.

So that new position has been very helpful. If you’re a small company, you’re not going to be able to have that, but you can find that there are consultants that do that work and you don’t have to have them full time.

So, there are ways to go get this done and you don’t need all that technology. You need a little bit to tell you who’s doing what with your brain.

Kristen McAlister:

I’m glad you brought that up. There are younger organizations and some of them are smaller in size. Some of them are just younger in that their entire marketing and sales initiatives right now is a sales team out there, hunting and cold calling and a part-time marketing person who’s putting out a newsletter once a month. That’s the marketing and sales plan. What are some first steps that you’d advise them on how to start building up marketing, as you’ve mentioned, as a feeder to the sales or account management team?

Seth Avergon:

I think it’s always going to start with a plan. and you need someone who could interpret once you develop a set of initiatives, set of milestones goals, someone who can interpret, what does that mean in a digital landscape? Right?

We want to grow by 20%. We want to do this. We want to touch this specific OD and actually working with and say, okay, well, who is your target audience? Who’s your primary audience? Who is your secondary audience? What do you want them to do? And then having somebody who has enough savvy and understanding of marketing and technology. So, these are the four tools. Based on who you are, your budget and what I think you can tolerate, these are the four tools I think we needed to deploy and focus on going after this.

I love what Kay said. I see a lot of clients who try to do everything at once and they, they fail miserably. You really need to pick what are you, what are your key initiatives you’re going to try to get done this quarter? If it’s a list of 10, it’s not going to happen. Two or three things – What are you going to get done this quarter? And then having less of that person, whether it’s a full-time person or someone you bring in as a consultant who can say, “okay, based on what you’re saying, these are the tools I’m recommending getting you there and we’re going to deploy those and we’re going to judge their effectiveness and we’re going to fix them and we’re going to modify them and change them as needed to get you where you need to be.”

Kay Kienast:

I love that stuff because right now people are saying, “do I need to have a marketing automation platform?”

There are places to go to get that where you don’t have to own it. You have to own the content because they won’t know how to do that. And you have to understand the functionality so that you can feed it in, but you don’t have to buy it. There are lots of different CRMs. You don’t have to go for the big one necessarily.

So, there are lots of ways to look at this, if you’re a smaller company, that you can be cost-efficient and still win.

Seth Avergon:

That is great, Kay. Seriously, I can tell you, many clients, I’m sure we’ve all seen this where a company buys a tech and it’s mission completed. They bought the technology, and they haven’t deployed it well and they don’t have anybody internally who can champion it, but they bought it, so everybody feels good about it.

Kay Kienast:

And that’s where it just goes crazy wrong. Cause that stuff breaks all the time. It’s got to be fixed and the it team won’t be able to fix it. It’s not what they do. So, try it first, then decide if you want to buy it would be my, would be my experience.

Helen Wanamaker:

I don’t think most organizations do a good job.

It’s self-assessment understanding, first, I go into something and look at, okay, what’s the business plan for the organization? What are their objectives? What are the priorities marketing should be supporting? that sales should be supporting? that if there’s a sales component? and then from there it’s okay, if marketing’s job is to support the organization, meeting its goals and its priorities, then what should marketing look like, to Seth’s point, there’s a plan. What are the experiences and skills you need in terms of people? It doesn’t need to be an army of people. Usually, particularly with shotgun, about a small organization.

I’ve always taken that SWAT team approach. I just need a few good men and women. I don’t need an army with the right experience and skills, and then figuring out, do you build the capabilities internally or do you buy some of those? And I think early on, particularly for organizations starting out, it’s about buying capabilities that you don’t internally have because after a while you figure out, do we really need to build, bring something like this in-house or are we much better off leveraging the expertise of an outside resource?

Particularly in light of the fact that the technology is changing so quickly. Cause to Kay’s point, I’ve seen organizations invest in CRM platforms and they have somebody managing it, but the person doesn’t even have a real grasp of the full range of capabilities available to them through that platform.

So, the technology becomes grossly underutilized, because the expertise isn’t there.

Kay Kienast:

I always used to say, it’s very unpopular that if they’re not certified in that technology, let it be. Because there are so many features and functions. These technologies are amazing, but if you’re not using them, you’re just wasting money.

And unfortunately, when they’re integrated together, they break, who’s fixing it?

Seth Avergon:

A lot of companies out there buying Ferrari’s when they really need a civic.

Kay Kienast:

That’s exactly what I would say, Seth. And they haven’t even thought about it. But their buddy down the street bought X, so they think that’s okay to do it.

Their buddy may get rid of it.

Kristen McAlister:

I have them. I’ll be the first one to say all the technology is great and your ad-ons and your plugins, and you put everything together. But one goes down, it’s a domino effect across all of the other technologies. So, the benefit certainly needs to outweigh the cost.

Or there needs to be a plan in place. As you’ve mentioned early on, who’s owning that technology? Who’s owning, making sure that it’s leveraged to what you’re paying for and you’re getting the ROI? And who owns it when some issues come up?

I would love to get each of your final thoughts on, there are a couple of people, pieces of advice for business owners going into this year and how do they create a winning marketing and sales strategy because I just cannot see marketing as a standalone anymore in an organization that wants to win a market, capture a customer, regardless of what it is, what would be your top two pieces of advice?

Kay Kienast:

Marketing and sales together come with a coverage map, which accounts and why. And then the second one is how to retain current customers. Without those two things, you’re going to waste a lot of money burning and churning customers.

And your brand is not going to withstand the test of time.

Kristen McAlister:

Helen, your top two.

Helen Wanamaker:

Well, I would agree with Kay on that. I mean, I think it’s really, it’s about marketing and sales alignment to start with. And I also think, which does not exist in most of the organizations I have ever worked for, is not only marketing and sales on the alignment, but shared, incentives.

Oftentimes marketing and sales are at odds because they are compensated in differently. Salespeople are, incentivized to acquire new customers, grow the customers they might have. But different objectives, different compensation go. I mean, all these things affect how organizations really work. Either work well or dysfunctional. So, I think the alignment is really important. I think shared goals are important.

And then I think just from an overall marketing plan standpoint, I go back to the channel diversification. Multiple channels, and really figuring out the optimal mix of those channels and the investments in those channels to drive the results they’re looking for.

Those results are indeed sales. Because different channels do different things. There are certain channels that are great at acquiring new customers. There are others that are heavily leveraged for retention purposes. For example, email marketing, I mean is very effective and the most efficient medium out there when used well and properly. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get used well by many organizations and then growing existing customers. That’s the low hanging fruit through, from my perspective.

Seth Avergon:

I love that. Absolutely. And my mantra is strategy over tactics. So strategic planning, driving initiatives that are shared by both sales and marketing.

The only thing I would add to that is: keep in mind that things change. And so, these quarterly reviews and, again, being open and curious and being, as I like to say, be comfortable being slightly uncomfortable because you don’t know what’s going to work. We don’t know.

So, you try and you test and you do those quarterly reviews and you’re open and honest about it. We thought this was going to be terrific. Didn’t work. We thought this other thing was going to be, it turned out great. And so you just have to have that kind of feeling of like, we’re just going to keep moving with this marketing plans are not set for the year.

They’re set for a period and you’re going to run for a quarter and then you’re going to reevaluate and go at it again.

Helen Wanamaker:

I guess one thing I would add, because we’ve all talked about it a bit, but never kind of zeroed in on it: at the end of the day, all these things need to happen. And the customer always needs to be the focal point, because if you’re doing things that don’t meet the needs of a current or a customer you wish to acquire, then you’re missing the mark altogether.

And, again, that’s another two case point earlier about new roles, marketing operations. If you don’t have a customer experience officer, and most organizations are getting one now because customer experience has become, a very critical component in terms of brand differentiation.

Kristen McAlister:

Yup. In a request for interim kind of director in, from VP of customer success, our customer experience, we’re seeing quite a bit of that over the last six months. And I’m glad, Helen, that you hit on the customer side. Each of you have talked about testing and there is no one silver bullet. We used to think this is going to be the one that’s going to skyrocket.

We’ll put all of our budget into that when even once we thought we hit on one, it was that for six months. And then our customers changed that, how they bought, how they interacted, how they came across that market. And if the customers are the same, how they’re consuming information or where they’re going to changes and evolves, which takes experts like yourselves to keep up with those trends and continually doing the feedback loop.

I want to thank you for joining us today and our panel of esteemed marketing experts, Helen Wanamaker, Seth Aragon and Kay Kienast. Thank you very much for joining us.

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