We’re switching things up in the newest episode of our Marketing Expert Chat series – we wanted to hear a sales leader’s perspective on what it takes to be a successful marketing leader and how these skills can influence growth marketing campaigns and strategies and their impact on a company’s overall objectives.
What Makes the Top Marketers Successful?
Dan Mazmanian, the VP of Revenue for Foundry.ai, has a rich background in B2B SaaS, and he sat down to talk through some of his favorite marketing campaigns, what made them innovative and their respective results. He also shares his thoughts on some of the key attributes and talents successful marketing professionals share.
As marketers, it’s always great to take a step back and receive feedback from someone outside your department so you can develop a well-rounded approach for your next campaigns and strategies. Tune in now to learn more about what growth marketing skills you could be honing to enhance your leadership abilities and strategic thinking.
CAROLINE: Hi today, I’m here with Dan Mazmanian Dan is a sales leader. He’s worked with really successful companies in B2B SaaS and obviously he’s worked with a lot of different marketing teams. Dan, thank you so much for being with me today.
DAN: Very nice to be here. Thanks, Caroline.
CAROLINE: So, the question I have for you today is, as a sales leader can you tell us about a marketing campaign that kind of stood out for you and why did it stand out?
DAN: Sure. Yeah, probably a few I could draw from, but one in particular that I liked was at a previous company, our product was a financial wellness app that we sold to large enterprises and they offered it to their employees as a benefit to help employees budget better, to save for retirement, to pay off debt. And ultimately what we were trying to do is get people to change often sort of unproductive financial behaviors.
And so, a big part of the product was trying to incorporate the latest in behavioral psychology, behavioral science to kind of nudge people to take better financial actions. And so, we had a behavioral psychology team, the leader of which ended up writing and publishing a book which was kind of broadly on the topic of, as I think about designing programs or building products, you know, what are some of the latest concepts of behavioral psychology that I can include to help sort of enhance the success of those programs? And when that book was published the marketing team at the company put together what I thought was a very successful campaign over a period of months. There’s actually kind of a set of different campaigns but I guess it would roll up together under one kind of single one.
And a few examples of some of the things that they did is, you know, first of all we used that book and the release around it to help drive top of funnel activity. And so, we actually sent out the book, the physical copy with a note from our CEO out to some very targeted executives, which kind of broke up the typical like email and phone-based outreach that the team was accustomed to doing but a different format in front of our targets. We also kind of within the opportunity funnel set up a series of events in some cities where we had both customers and prospects and we brought together a group of people and we had sessions that were not about our product but broadly on this topic of behavioral psychology within, our buyer audience was human resources. So, within their domain, how do you think about incorporating these concepts?
And then with customers, you know, we send complimentary copies of the book and offered to help them think more broadly about sort of incorporating some of the ideas, again sort of above and beyond our product. And so, the reason that, you know, reasons, I really liked it was first of all, you know it’s easy as a salesperson to kind of get trapped in the, like, I’m just going to tell you about my product, why it’s better, you know, why it’s superior to other competitor offers. When you can actually bring something really of value above and beyond that, you know, you build credibility and trust and, you know people think of you as someone who’s really trying to help them run their business better, which was, which was quite effective.
DAN: I also liked that it really spanned the funnel. Like, you know, as I mentioned we were doing things at the very top of the funnel with it. We were doing things within the opportunity cycle. We were doing things with customers. And so, it had uses in various points of our revenue process, which was great. And we also, it was, we were able to kind of create a multi-channel approach whereas I mentioned we had, you know, physical copies of the book going out. We had like a, sort of a digital way of communicating that, we had events. It just had a lot of legs in different areas which ended up being a very successful campaign for us.
CAROLINE: Right, right. It’s pretty brilliant to try to once you have a concept that works you want to build upon it as much as you can, right. To leverage it-
DAN: That’s right.
CAROLINE: ...across channels and across the sales cycle.
CAROLINE: Great. And actually, I have a second question for you, you know, so you’ve worked with a lot of marketers and I’d love to know in your opinion, what is the one thing that all successful marketers have in common?
DAN: Yeah. Great question. Maybe I can do one and a half or two if you don’t mind, if you don’t mind.
CAROLINE: I love that.
DAN: Yeah. Okay.
CAROLINE: You can have more things in common.
DAN: Yeah. So, I mean, actually the first one maybe ties back to that campaign specifically, which, I think the beauty of that campaign is that we were able to use it just at various points of our sales cycle and even sort of customer cycle. And I do think the best, you know, marketing leaders that I’ve worked with have taken that view, I think sometimes and maybe it’s based on the stage of the organization but there, there can be inclination to think about marketing as like, you know, our job is to fill the top of the funnel for the sales team. And obviously, you know, that is incredibly valuable as a sales leader to have, you know marketing qualified to sales qualified leads coming in.
But again, the marketing leaders who have taken a broader view of, you know, the places that marketing can support the sales team in the organization in in my world is mostly been enterprise sales. And, you know, the sales cycle itself in enterprise sales, it’s long you’re, you know, you’re zigging and zagging. You have many stakeholders involved. There are various points in that process that marketing can be a resource for sales to help unstick places that were getting stuck or kind of get out ahead of problems that you may be seeing kind of later in the process.
And then again, there’s, there’s so much to do on the customer end, that can be helpful in terms of driving cross-sell and upsell using, you know, successes here to fill the top of your funnel bit like just that broad view of where marketing can contribute. I think the best leaders. And I think it’s probably obvious but have that perspective. And then the second thing I would say, I think this is something that is, you know, easily said but not often done, which is, you know I think the best marketers that I’ve worked with have been excited about you proactive about just getting out into the field, like with salespeople in front of prospects, in front of customers because you could have the best communicating sales and marketing leader internally. Like they work together great. You know, there’s great food, feedback loop, but, you know, things are going to be missed. Like the salesperson is not gonna communicate everything that they should. They’re going to take for granted that I understand something, think the marketing person understands it but they don’t, like there’s just so much for-
DAN: a miss on communication. And so, I think the more that marketing professionals and leaders can get out in front of prospects and customers, hearing what’s happening, really understanding those segments, really seeing the places that things are getting stuck, they can bring so much more value that way because, you know, sales teams and individuals can get sort of emotionally invested in their sales cycles. And I think the best ones-
DAN: Can keep a sense of objectivity about what’s happening. But you know, you do get tied up and maybe lose sight of what’s happening. So, someone with a little bit of a different perspective, who’s thinking like a marketer, I think can bring so much to the equation, but they have to get out there to be able to see those trends and be able to I think really find ways to deliver more value. So again, I think it’s something that it’s often talked about but really just finding those opportunities for the marketing team to really see what’s happening in the field can create so much further down the line has been, has been my experience.
CAROLINE: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s a great point. It’s not only the marketing leader but I think the marketing team, right? Like if you think about the people that are writing your content, if you can put them in the sales calls so that they can listen in then they will relate to the customer way more than if someone just tells them this is the problem that the customer has.
DAN: Exactly. Yeah. There’s so much room for sort of things getting lost in translation but hearing it from there’s no, there’s no substitute I think to hearing it, hearing it firsthand,
DAN: being able to then action it somehow.
CAROLINE: Yeah, definitely. That’s great advice. Great, great points. All right. Well then. Thank you so much. I think that was really insightful and helpful. So, thank you for sharing this with us today.
DAN: Yeah. Glad to be here. I hope it’s helpful for your audience