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Good morning, Marketers, and what do you see as the “center” of your workflow?
This week’s Zoom acquisition of cloud-based software company Five9 got me thinking. Do marketers think their work gets done primarily in a Salesforce CRM or on Zoom? Zoom is building out its cloud-enabled enterprise offerings, trying to make itself a one-stop-shop for large businesses. It has the cash to do this (the deal for Five9 was valued at $14.7 billion) in large part because it became a star during the pandemic WFH transformation.
But the ability for Zoom to compete with Salesforce (who was also an investor in Zoom just a couple years ago) depends on how much our thinking has changed. Are virtual meetings on Zoom a substitute or stopgap, or are they part of the new normal, moving forward?
Firing up authentic content at Weber
“The problem we were facing was generating authentic content in order to humanize our brand and build trust/product reassurance. Weber has a very active and engaged fanbase already and we wanted to utilize our loyal audience to create authentic content.” Frédéric Collard, Weber’s Ecommerce and CRM Manager for their EMEA Hub South division was setting the scene for Weber’s implementation of Teester, a platform that enables clients to scale user-generated video production and distribution via automation.
Like many legacy brands, Weber needed to adapt to changing consumer touchpoints and expectations throughout the pandemic, specifically around the issue of authenticity. Weber recently launched a new website for the French market and wanted to utilize its loyal audience to create more authentic content to differentiate the brand from competitors. The Weber community in France was already highly engaged and active. They were excited to have the opportunity to share their experiences using video.
“The process was extremely simple for us and our customers. What makes the Teester platform so valuable is that no training is needed for our customers. Once logged onto the platform, they receive simple instructions to guide them through video creation,” said Collard. After an asset is created, Teester’s post-production engine automatically optimizes the videos for distribution which includes editing, branding, transitions, music, and subtitles. Weber can then download the videos in specific formats to share across their social media channels and on product pages to build trust and drive sales.
Hiring marketers is an art and a science
Because of the central role marketing plays in the success of any business through generating revenue and sales opportunities, there is a lot of pressure on the team to make the right hires. New team members have to be creative and also scientific.
“Anyone involved with marketing automation will have both a scientific and an artistic skillset,” said Ashley Cover, Marketing Technology Leader for Siena Corporation, at a MarTech panel discussion. “There are workflow builds, data segmentations and analytics to deal with, and those key capabilities are key to the science of automation.”
There are also artistic capabilities like email and landing page design, and even creative program development, she added.
In searching for marketing professionals to fill all these roles, take some time to map out the different operations your team will be carrying out.
“Every role within an automation team will gain an edge if you hire for both the art and science of automation,” Cover said. “You can look at the channels, you can look at email, somebody who’s going to do text marketing, messenger apps, etc. You also will need somebody to handle the development and creation of email, segmentation, and deal with data hygiene, people measuring analytics and measuring performance not just for email campaigns but across the platforms. And even [you’ll need] creative designers.”
When hiring, it’s also important to identify how members of your marketing team will interact with others internally and externally, either when dealing with technology in the organization or carrying out other tasks.
Steve Petersen, Marketing Technology Operations Manager for Western Governors University, advocates for an agile role approach to distinguishing specialized roles from integrated ones. The two basic types he uses under this approach are “T-shaped” and “I-shaped” roles. These roles come from software development, but they also can be useful in martech.
Don’t stop thinking about diversity
In his recent appearance on The Radcast, MarTech Editorial Director Kim Davis was asked to list some stories he couldn’t stop paying attention to. He started out with two critical and linked issues marketing and marketing operations are facing — how to manage and activate customer data and the myriad ways the customer journey is changing.
For his third topic, he reached into a different bag. Another story that can’t be ignored, he said, is diversity, equity and inclusion. Marketing organizations, agencies — and, yes, publishers — need to be ready to examine their approach to those issues, objectively measure their progress and have open and transparent conversations about them. Uncomfortable at times, but this topic is not going away. Nor should it.
Quote of the day
“Instead of showing me your diversity statement, show me your hiring data, your discrimination claim stats, your salary tables, your retention numbers, your diversity policies, and your leaders’ public actions against racism. End performative allyship.” Dr. Monica Cox, Professor, The Ohio State University
About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.