My journey in tech was born out of my desire to attach measurability and enhance performance of marketing activities. Tech ended up not just doing that, but being a growth multiplier for everything I do in my career. Two decades ago, I noted a complete inability for print pubs to track true usage and decided to move to a web-based marketing program with email newsletters and landing pages. About 15 years ago, I started an internal blog for Symmetricom and then expanded to external blogs for the company’s different divisions. In addition, because the Space, Defense & Avionics division was all channel, I took over their marketing by building a monthly landing page (HTML) for their website and utilizing an ESP (email service provider) for their lists. I kept everything separate so they did not need to worry about losing their lists. From there, it was SEO for public relations and extending the SEO mindset into all copy to drive web traffic. After leaving Symmetricom, I went to MarketingSherpa/MarketingExperiments as CMO, creating the first email marketing certification program. I returned home to Massachusetts and started working at HubSpot as VP of Marketing, overseeing demand creation for the dozens and dozens of hungry sales reps, getting to 50k net new leads each month. I loved being a marketer marketing to marketers. Then, I went onto SmartBear, a DevOps company, and Continuum (now ConnectWise), Ipswitch (now Progress), Lola.com (now Capital One), and a couple of RI-based companies that were not really true tech, per se. Now, with OneScreen.ai, I’m again marketing to marketers about marketing. My sweet spot. My happy place.
What challenges did the Covid-19 pandemic pose for your team?
The pandemic caused a major interruption in business travel in March 2020 that caused Lola.com to lay off its entire sales and marketing teams and do a massive pivot. We had such a great culture, led by Stacy Scott and incorporated by the entire company. And, while I was grateful for the ability to get a new position quickly, I think some companies treated the pandemic more cavalier than others, insisting you go to the office, which brought more challenges. It was a scary time, wondering if you were putting your life and the life of your loved ones at risk, while others weren’t taking it as seriously. I went to the office, and I sat in my office, trying to avoid everyone. Not great for an extravert like me. And, I could not get a team going. I could not exercise the cohesiveness I’ve enjoyed in the past. Scary, sad, and discouraging. Luckily, I am a glass half full kind of gal and just kept moving forward.
I have to say when we look at a SWOT analysis, I don’t consider much in the way of “competition.” We are providing a cooperative ecosystem for the highly fragmented out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry. You cannot say that Wrapify, for instance, is competitive with Lamar. Yet, they are both real-life examples of outdoor advertising. Each provides a point solution that, when combined with marketing KPIs, can provide ideal performance measurement to campaigns that previously did not enjoy the ability to show ROI in this manner. There’s more to marketing than just the internet. OneScreen.ai brings strategy, creativity, and measurement to those marketers looking to break out of their digital handcuffs.
How do you envisage Digital Marketing evolving, in the years to come?
Thinking holistically about the customer and their ability to make a decision is not the number of messages they receive but about your company/product/service’s ability to meet a need. There are a great number of products and services that do not meet any overt need, and try over and over to repeat the CTA, spending 10s, 100s, 1000s of dollars daily in the meantime. I’ve observed that the cost of Facebook and Google AdWords in Q4 2021 was almost twice that in Q1 2022, and that is because ecommerce brands were bidding up every conceivable keyword known to mankind in an effort to drive sales during a shortened holiday season. While things may have stabilized, unless marketers look outside the strictly digital/online experience, consumers are not going to pay attention to their offers. We’ve seen 110% increases in purchases to an ecommerce site when combined with an out-of-home buy in a specific market. However, unless the performance marketer can think longer term, which is not evident given current pressures to produce demand, they won’t test or experiment with new advertising and marketing channels.
What 3 things that business owners can do to optimize their digital outreach?
Consistency, cadence, and communication. The challenge is always that the message gets muddled with different value props, and the lack of testing and measurement oftentimes leads to more confusion. We’re testing CTAs for demand (marketers wanting to expand their reach) and supply (media owners looking for more visibility with our marketing audience). Two sales and marketing motions (inbound/outbound) make for a very busy marketing team.
As a marketing leader, what are your thoughts on how ROMI and its use as a metric to define success?
Every marketing leader should be held accountable for spend. We need to be in sync with our finance leaders and be sure to show movement, yet leave room for testing. I’ve tested LinkedIn as a channel twice in the six months with OneScreen.ai (October 2021 and January 2022) with two different campaigns, and I was dissatisfied with the results. Yet, my new Head of Growth, Prashant Kaw, wants to do a different LinkedIn campaign test in Q2. I support him because he is going to do it differently. We need to measure what we do so that we don’t waste bandwidth, budget, and time – a common concern for any business leader.
How do you see Marketing Automation impacting the traditional sales and Marketing funnels?
Marketing automation has impacted Smarketing (aligning Sales and Marketing) funnels for the past 10 years, in part thanks to HubSpot. What needs to happen is a constant review of the ROMI on this effort. So many campaigns, so little time to review and test each of them. And, without the oversight of a highly capable programs manager can hurt the funnel. Marketing automation requires thought, leadership, and constant tweaking so that it truly contributes to revenue success for the company.
Could you name one person that you would like to see featured here?
Could you name the Top 5 apps/platforms that you use for marketing?
HubSpot (of course!), Gong (for sales calls and product feedback), ChurnZero (for customer success), Co-Pilot (for sales outreach), and UserVoice (for product feature ideas).
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a business leader?
Learn how to speak in public and practice, practice, practice. Dale Carnegie has a great program and participating in Toastmasters is a great way to practice. Stand up when you are talking, think about offering 15-second feedback, then 30 seconds. Use your company meetings as a way to practice. Participate in forums, look for opportunities to be on a podcast or a webinar. Your ability to communicate with a minimum of “ahs” and “ums” will make you a more effective leader.