Welcome to the first instalment of King Content’s Executive Marketer Series! Over the next couple of months, we will be bringing together Australian marketers from all walks of life to share their expertise, insights and advice through written and video interviews, marketer roundtables and events.
We’re passionate about the development of innovative marketing practices in Australia and want to give influential marketers a platform to share their experiences and unique perspectives.
This content – created by marketers for marketers – aims to foster digital marketing excellence by providing helpful and actionable insights for marketers.
To kick things off, we sat down with Mitchell Mackey, Ansell Healthcare APAC Marketing Director, to discuss the role of marketing automation and why your customer should be the star of your marketing efforts.
Ansell Healthcare APAC Marketing Director
Some background on Mitchell
Mitchell Mackey is the APAC Marketing Director for Ansell Healthcare and has previously held senior marketing positions at Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz) and worked across Australia, Asia and Europe.
Mitchell is experienced with marketing automation and believes that the customer must drive a marketing strategy. His focus on the customer experience informs his strategies and processes.
Highlights from the interview
Q. How important is aligning marketing strategy with sales objectives?
A. Obviously, sales and marketing alignment is fundamentally important. This in itself is not a new insight. What is new is that today’s digital tools mean marketing can step up and contribute to revenue generation and directly support sales far beyond the conventional methods and tools of the past.
Marketing today can and should be measurably influencing revenue. In a B2B context, you can track marketing’s pipeline contribution in the context of how many opportunities are marketing sourced and what percentage of the total pipeline is marketing influenced. You absolutely have to include sales as part of the entire process. But it is not just sales – you must have the entire team in the game understanding what you’re doing.
Q. How has the traditional face of marketing changed in the digital world?
A. The biggest change relates to accountability. We now have access to multiple data sets that help us better understand what’s working and what’s not. Now we’ve got the numbers and metrics to determine, justify and monitor our decisions. With this information we can confidently allocate resources, people and dollars to those high-impact activities that drive genuine revenue generation. Once you are moving in the right direction, you can leap forward and start thinking about predictive analytics that can influence decisions.
Q. Looking back on your experience, what do you believe is the key to achieving a competitive advantage in modern-day marketing?
A. The key is accepting that products, services and even conventional brands today are increasingly commoditised, with few exceptions. Genuine competitive advantage belongs to companies who consistently deliver high-quality experiences. Superior experiences translate to powerful word-of-mouth recommendations that is amplified by social media.
You have to connect the dots and align the brand promise with the brand experience. People are prepared to pay for superior experiences, which are typically integrated combinations of products, services and brands. Someone has to own the end-to-end customer experience, and that someone should be marketing.
Q. You’ve had experience with marketing automation tools. What do you think is the most important thing to remember when combining technology, processes and a team?
A. It’s an orchestra. You need the entire orchestra together or it doesn’t work. If you miss out on the change-management side of marketing automation, for example, you will have a big problem. You won’t have your sales team committed, you won’t have senior management engaged and you won’t have the ability to switch dollars from traditional activities that are only marginally contributing, if at all, to activities that will deliver.
Your technology platform decision is critically important and it’s not something you can pass off to the IT team. It must be a genuine business-led decision, made in partnership with IT. My view is that it is an engine with three core components that need to move forward together. Your people, processes and technology must be synchronised.
Q. What advice would you give marketers who are beginning their marketing automation journey?
A. You need to spend time preparing, educating and networking around the company to help people understand what you are doing and why. Start small, but develop fast and build your capabilities. Get some quick wins to build momentum and ramp up your process maturity. Test, make mistakes, kick a few goals, learn and move on. Don’t waste time, for example, debating lead scoring. Be genuinely committed to challenging the status quo, recruiting allies and changing the game. Incremental steps will get you only so far. Take a few leaps.
Q. How important is the customer in marketing strategy development and how do you make sure you focus on customer personas?
A. Personas are a key tool. If you have the budget, you can adopt a sophisticated, primary-research-driven approach to building your personas. If you don’t have the budget, you can adopt a pragmatic approach, which means you gather your team and discuss the common denominators that we all recognise in our customers and build up typical persona types. Integrate your personas into your planning processes, continually refine them and they will help you keep your activities centred.
Our customers must see us as genuine solution providers, as well as people who understand them, are consistent and who provide them with challenging insights about their industry and business. Often it’s not about the product, it’s about the service delivery and getting people to subscribe to you.
Have any tips for marketing automation and building customer personas? Join the Executive Marketer Forum page on LinkedIn and share!
Come back next week for another instalment of the Executive Marketer Series.
Cameron Upshall – Director