Engage Today is a shining star.  The program aligns content marketing, social media, SEO, and Email and e-newsletter promotion with the tactical activities of enterprise sales reps to deliver a measurable ROI.

 

During the past two years Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) has had the good fortune to partner with the Pitney Bowes Software marketing team to design, implement and refine Engage Today.  This year holds tremendous promise for the program as we continue to push innovation on multiple fronts, especially in the area of sales enablement.

 

It’s with this last piece in mind that Barbara Bernard – the client’s North American field marketing leader – invited me to speak at the company’s annual sales conference in Orlando, Florida.  My goals were to further educate the company’s sales professionals about Engage Today, and inspire their participation and collaboration in the program.

 

I was just part of an action packed agenda that included an exceptional set of speakers and presenters.  One of the other sessions I had the pleasure of sitting in on was a panel discussion of three top-flight chief marketing officers, including:

 

-Louis Cohen, Citibank

-Bryan Throckmorton, Acxiom

-Benjamin Karsch, Cigna

 

Here is a recap of a few of the highlights from the CMOs talk:

 

Suggestions on “Strategic Selling” to Marketing Leaders.

-Never make a cold outreach by phone or Email.  Rather, leverage a mutual relationship to get an introduction.  LinkedIn is an effective tool to make a connection, as is a referral from another part of the business, such as IT or corporate communications.

-Create an interaction based on mutual value.  For instance, one prospective consultant engaged with one of the CMO panelists with an offer to interview for a column he was writing for Forbes Magazine.  That led to a discussion of the consultant’s capabilities which has now turned in to a six month project.

 

What Challenge is Occupying their Time (and Budget)?

-It’s how their company can improve the customer experience to increase profitable growth.  This is more than brand positioning and presentation.  The experience is about understanding what is important to the customer in service or product delivery, support and reputation, and then consistently delivering on a promise.

-Other topics and needs of high value to the CMO include collecting and managing big data, analytics and business intelligence, and measuring effectiveness and competitiveness.

 

Does the CMO Really have a Technology Budget Larger than the CTO?

-Kind of.  If you consider infrastructure (i.e. systems, servers and other hardware) and maintenance projects then the answer is “no.”  However, if the criteria is solely on technology investments that touch the customer or designed to fuel revenue growth than the answer is “yes.”

-The overall corporate strategy and priorities of the business are defined based on growth.  That’s a marketing function and each of the CMOs are in a position where they no longer require approval from the IT department to initiate a new program or area of spend.

 

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To read more from Marc, please visit the "Strategic Guy" blog at http://www.thestrategicguy.com.