Rarely are marketing executives afforded the time to commiserate openly around common pain points. At the leadership roundtables that kicked off the Spring 2016 Midmarket CMO Forum yesterday in Orlando, dozens of midmarket CMOs came together for just that purpose.
Processing and delivering useful data to drive marketing decisions is a universal challenge, but providing useable customer data for Sales teams to “be a greeter at the front door” is imperative for reaching the right customers at the right time.
Laura Nussbaum, CIT Trucks Marketing Manager, shared that employee education is part in parcel of a marketing team properly enabling sales to meet monthly goals.
“I don’t think we’ve taken the time to properly train people on all the systems,” Nussbaum said. So CIT is revisiting face-to-face engagement via mandatory training workshops.
Jansen Savic, Head of Marketing Technology and Operations for IDEXX Laboratories, is dipping his toe in the water with HubSpot, but insists Salesforce for CRM has been key for his sales teams to develop customer relationships.
“There are plenty of CRM systems out there, but training people to input the data correctly is key,” Savic said, offering that among his biggest challenge is managing distribution of marketing materials from multiple business lines. “We’re overloading customers with our marketing materials and each is essentially cannibalizing the other.”
Jessica Rappaport, VP of Marketing for E.W. Scripps, said though her company’s digital division has evolved over the past three years, she’s challenged to respond accordingly to more than 250 expressed pain points of her sales team.
Marketing leaders across industry verticals in the midmarket space aren’t only challenged to bridge the gap between customers and products, but also to bridge the technology skills gaps of their internal teams.
Judy Sroufe, VP Brand Marketing and Communications at Standard Textile, shared among her management challenges is connecting individuals with different skill levels and values [read Baby Boomers and Millennials].
Nussbaum said she often encourages younger, technologically-adept staffers to exercise patience and to strengthen teams by teaching Boomers resistant to using technology about a particular platform or application, but Rappaport takes a slightly different approach.
Communication from the marketing department is key, and managers who’ve successfully bridged generational gaps between staff have done so by finding common ground or assigning diverse teams to project-based assignments.
Duane Morrow,CMO of Primerica, said Gen Xers in his organization are functioning as the human buffer between the 20-something, tech savvy staffer and the seasoned vet who still sketches everything out by hand.
No matter the product or service, marketing executives in midmarket organizations face a plethora of obstacles to meet the needs of both users and customers.
Look for more industry insights over the coming days as we explore the relationships of CMOs and CIOs.