Ep 59: Serious Social – Author’s voice: what we’ve learned from our new report, the CMO outlook report? 

In this week’s Serious Social Live, Colin Jacob is joined by Graeme Stoker, Integrated CX Senior Campaigns Manager at NUTANIX and contributor of our CMO Outlook Report, to explore and debate the insights of the report and how it will influence our thinking and actions moving forward. Tune in to find out key takeaways about the future of B2B marketing.

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Full Transcript

– Good morning. Welcome along to serious social life. Thank you so much for joining us today. I am super excited to be talking about a new report we’ve got out you may have seen we had a new report launched last week, it’s the technology CMO Outlook Report is a free to download report. It’s called the outlook report because we went to 29 of the brightest and smartest minds in technology and ask their opinions on the landscape what’s happening, how they’re overcoming challenges but more importantly how they were smashing it right now and we thought, given what’s been going on with the pandemic, we should get that into a report make it freely available tools you can all learn and mirror some of the things they’re doing, whether it’s, you just need a document to give you a thumbs up, but everything you’re doing aligns with best practice, or whether you need some insight into how some of the biggest and more creative own brands out there driving incremental success, right now, I’m chuffed to say, we’re joined this morning by one of our authors the brilliant Graham Stoker, good morning Graham integrated CX senior campaigns manager in Atlantic City, somebody, that at the agency has known for a very long time and indeed worked with in the past, it is his former employer. So Graham thank you so much for joining us this morning to talk about the report. My pleasure. You joined 28 other tech marketing heads, helping us write the CMO hourly report I should say if anyone wants to download it, I’ll put the ticker tape at the bottom but the easiest thing to do, hop on over to the immediate future website, click on the Resources tab, And it’s the very top reports download the Grammy join 20 other 28 other marketing leads in helping us write the report. What have been your takeaways, so far?

– Well I think the first thing to say is probably, it’s a bloody good timing to get a barometer from marketeers, we, the Royal we’d have all had to probably find them flexing, a new marketing muscle, and we’re probably still learning what that feels like, and how, how to execute it, and I think the report absolutely reflects that. But for me the three, four, you know three being that marketing magic number, the three that jumped out at me when I read the report, seems to be the common view around events, the can’t be physical, that now need to be virtual or virtually-delivered often now need to have a bit of a booty flavour to them. Kind of theatre, almost to the point of elements of kind of circus should be, should be. So sewn in. And I think I’ll probably touch on that in a few minutes time. And I love the comment in there from one of the contributors around for webinars sake, which I read is everyone used webinars, by default, but then it became a challenging media, especially from the way that customers, initially, kind of, kind of Lent forward, and then very quickly said hey I’ve got fatigue here, you know, you’re bombarding me guys, and actually how that then pivoted to be the report suggesting the b2b very much then thought okay let’s think best do this through the eyes of ABM or the very least ABM like as a second one. And then I think the third one was the tech or technology not just in terms of things like Mar tech I think actually, I mean it, how it actually helped companies, or in all industries, either cope. Or actually, in some cases, I’d say evolve and become better, better as a result of information also ICT I should say. And I think that that really kicked in. I really kicked in, with all the challenges that we saw last year, and maybe now. I’ve set a bit of a new norm

-Report for the benefit of people has not had a chance to download EA services five trends across technology and grow and we saw pretty much every participant in all their interviews seem to call out, data, data insights and personalization is two important elements from your perspective what, why are they key right now, why, why are they important for marketers.

-Yeah, I mean that they’re not new. I think that the environment that we hit as b2b marketers just really folk, kind of puts the word shadow spot spotlight on them. And my attitude as a campaign marketer, and this seems to be supported by some of the literature I’ve been reading recently I’ve got one. I’m still working my way through call the experience economy by Joseph Pyne and James Gilmore, and there’s another one over there around Chief Customer Officer ToodleDo brilliant name that I think people really crave moments of delight and surprise, we do as consumers, guess what customers do as b2b, you know, followers of your brand or portfolio buyers or potential for, You know, renew or adoption of your technology. They want the same smiley moment that we crave. And I think last year really helped. Demonstrate that you know you gotta, you gotta get your thinking cap on how to how to answer that exam question, David, data, and therefore personalization. We know we’re kind of key to tackling that I think. And there are some fantastic examples in the report, and out there on, you know, out there in the ether, that we all saw last year of clear, clearly, very, very bright marketeers flexing that new muscle and doing things that hadn’t been done before. And the report is interesting because it talks the fact that some of them are well aware that we’re a little rusty around the edges because we were having, we as marketers we’re having to move so so fast, but it was a quite an exciting time to. Yeah, to try new things, and experiment.

– It’s a really interesting point that COVID was almost leveling of the playing field, wasn’t it and giving people the confidence to go and try something knowing that it might not necessarily be fully refined and fully polished as an outcome. And that’s going to give marketers confidence to keep on innovating and building and refining isn’t it,

– One of the one of my, one of my good friends and colleagues from all has a lovely strapline which is and he says, the thing is, he says it every year. It’s a great time to be in marketing, and he’ll know who he is. And, and it’s funny because he says it every year, and I think well hang on, it’s actually, I said we had a great time to be marketing for every one of the last 10 years you’ve been saying that line. Aside from the fact is very positive chat, I get it now. I made maybe a few years on, I suppose he’s reflecting on the fact that every year brings a new, a new, new tool, a new challenge, a new way of looking at the existing challenge, new Martic that assists us. And that’s, in many ways, the romance. I think that we have with our industry

– Is quality versus quantity, sweet as an agency we do get brands coming to us with a kind of premeditated view of what they need for social media will literally get companies come to us and say, Can you quote me on creating me 20 posts in social, a month but they won’t necessarily know what that content is what those moments but they decided what an outcome is going to be in your mind. When it comes to good content marketing is quality the priority, or is quantity needed a question?

– I’m on a particular trajectory at the moment, and it sounds very cheesy but bear with me because I’ll make it. I’ll make it less theatrical. I think it’s about the q and N QL. You’re not, you’re not about to turn off the tap of, of, you know the traditional funnel that we all got caught salmon, you know, college and university, etc. The Q and M QL for me is more or better explained by the concept of what I call Brett breadcrumb trail was a Hansel and Gretel I can’t remember but one of those, one of those top two you know, making sure that you know the path you walk well think of that from the customer’s perspective as marketers if we have an ever-increasing better view through good market of the pathway, customers and prospects of walk, versus the one thing they just did that’s a good thing, no one would ever deny that. So he, if you take the concept of breadcrumb trail and the cueing and QL forward just one step further. I can see a place where we’re moving to where little Sherlock Holmes analogy, you know, Holmes never turned out and said, I’ve decided who did it. And it’s because of this one piece of evidence, you know, that doesn’t happen in any of those brilliant stories. He like Crowe and Agatha Christie and all the others, whose other one I really liked Jonathan Craig. They’re cleverly watching all the breadcrumbs, and they’re turning up with a case file of evidence, and I think that’s a really exciting future state for marketing and set the sales relationship we’re always trying to become closer. We’re always trying to understand each other better. And I have no doubt that through martech data segmentation personalization experience amazing experience that delight and surprise, there’ll be more breadcrumb, and there’ll be better martech to present it and there’ll be casefiles of evidence of journey that will make for Fantastic engagement between the marketing and sales, communities, and that’s an active that’s quite an exciting thing about where we’re headed.

– And if we talk a lot about the importance of nudge nurturing and audience in content sets and I think we’ve, we’ve said on serious social life, a number of times I mean LinkedIn and LinkedIn themselves now advocating that you need five to nine touchpoints to actually drive meaningful conversion which adds credence to their sort of be more Sherlock philosophy and creating dossiers for your customers. I suspect we’ll see that as a quote for you. I can see some comments coming through to that effect, already, and I love this when we were talking during your interview and for the benefit of people watching, this was pulling this report together. We were blessed with the contributors given us really valuable time. But the CO producers ourselves an immediate future and copy house, literally 1000s of hours was spent, pulling this together hundreds of hours was spent doing interviews, and in your initial interview you referenced the adventurer, Ed Stafford and a quote that you may learn to accept your environment and you can thrive. What did you mean by that and how did you use it as inspiration in your marketing.

– Yeah. Apologies so that I know him personally, But if I think this is quite completely right. I’m sure I got the sentiment ED staff if anyone doesn’t know he’s a, he’s a bit of dude and he is one of these people that puts themselves in situations that people have never done before, so he won’t. I still can’t actually believe he did it, he walked from the source of the Amazon to its, you know its tributary Delta, on the other side of the Americas. I think it’s looking something like approaching three years, he allowed nine months or something. And he put himself on an island. Start at the word naked got no water no knife No clothes, no sun cream, no lifting, no LinkedIn, right, and, and survived, and then thrive for three months, and he used this phrase about when he talked to this, this, this idea that you’ve got to, you’ve got to look at the environment. However much it has changed, and you certainly can’t fight it, and in many ways, the more you embrace it, the more you connect with it and it becomes more part of you in the way you think. And he, he really, you know, mastered that, you know, anyone knows him now I’m pretty big on style so I, you know, he’s kind of jaded basically. And I think as marketing. Going back to the original last year and your amazing report. I personally felt like last year was like, taking, taking the hat off that I’d been wearing for a while, and put in a different house wearing in slightly different as well. So I think, you know, Those two kinds of the random stories kind of go together. I also think I mentioned this earlier last year was exciting, in what I call permission to experiment. And I think, you know some of the best companies out there be to behave recognized that to give their teams continue to grace to experiment and to try and see what some of the newer techniques are engaging customers and coaching them towards opportunities to engage on product or service discussions, that’s just such a healthy environment to be in. Unlike, unlike, unlike ed on the island or walking around.

– You definitely have the tougher environment to thrive with it, to be fair to the freestyler more than 50 pages of insight with some people, we think, is a lot but again we wanted to create this big reference tool that people could constantly be coming back to, I know you’ve been particularly busy in the past week but has there been a trend or a piece of insight that really piqued your interest.

– Yeah, there was, there was a piece within the report that

– I’m always slightly biased towards it because it was one of my friends and ex-colleagues. And the great Andrea Clatworthy was talking about someone going back to basics. She’s always talking about AV and she’s passionate about it. She, she was highlighting the challenge that we had last year, the fact that it did provide an opportunity to listen. And, and actually engage customers and uncover from them and with them, not just the aspects that they’re interested in, but how they want to receive information, and even more so, the format that’s going to work best for them. And I thought that was very astute. Quite simple observation, but we sometimes get excited and absorbed in creating something that’s very clever, in the hope that it will engage, and sometimes it’s intuition versus insight and one of my mantras is insight versus intuition. People have heard that before. So I thought that was a really good reminder of don’t get, don’t get too clever, Then get too absorbed in the next big X. Your customers are just an armory reach distance away. Listen, listen to them talk to talk and listen to them and work harder to uncover what that value extract might be because it might not be the same in 2021 2022 than it was in, you know, 2020 and pre COVID days. So, you know, check as a fisherman, there’s a place to check your lines. Don’t assume they’re all correct and with the correct bait and lose, go back and check those lines, see if the value exchange you’ve, you’ve thought about and maybe cultivating is the right one, not based on your best guess. Take some insight from your customers. Well, I really like that comment manager,

– Very good advice, I think there’s a whole host of people throughout the immediate future business that will wholeheartedly agree with your endorsement to Andrew Andrew Clatworthy Fujitsu and she’s one of the contributors in the report that you can download. Graeme you probably won’t know this, but we’ve been doing live interviews, I looked in liquid. 2016 was the first time we did an interview together and pretty much every year since then, we’ve been doing live interviews throughout that I’ve always ended a segment with the same question. People love a bit of foresight, so I’ve always asked you. Looking ahead, what do we think is going to be the next big thing here pertinent to today’s discussion obviously context of the report, what are the areas that you think marketers will need to continue to innovate and develop around to maintain incremental success.

– Firstly, I can’t believe it’s that amount of time and secondly, you’re going to need to get some new questions and maybe some new jokes caught and if you still, I think, I mean, is actually quite a hard one to answer like, you know, The big thing that’s coming, I don’t think there is a big thing coming. I think I I would reiterate something I said earlier, I, I tend to want to believe and see happening that Martic, and better Martic, data, and its ability to segment and best better understand from personalization and new forms of customer experience that do delight and surprise, feel like they’re all heading in the right, sorry heading in the same direction with, st, st trajectory, the same line of sight, I believe, and I want to believe that that little cocktail of those three things, in particular, will, will basically speed up the sales and marketing closeness, in terms of relationship, I think they breed insight versus intuition. They breed customer-centric marketing data-driven behaviors, listening versus guessing. And they also have a great marketer I’m excited to say, I think they also paved the way for ever more creative style and execution, and sales, marketing, always want to come together, they don’t always quite know how to do it in a way that is, is natural and organic, and I think market data and CX are pulling us towards that in a very healthy way. That’s what I’d say.

– Fascinating. Okay, so if you’ve got all those that information and it’s working in unison that’s going to inform everything that you do for the better, what you create how you create it where you publish it to your point, how you’re distributing with your customers is going to deliver far more potency across the whole landscape. And I suppose to give you more ammunition to create these dossiers of touchpoints for your sales teams to then pick up in, Go and turn the MQ ELLs into that all-important SQL that we all Chase.

– Yeah, I agree, it sounds like a broken record as somebody cleverer than me once said it’s an exciting time to be in marketing.

– I think that’s possibly the best point to end on, and I’m sure you’ve made a few people smile this morning with your comments guys if anyone has questions for Graham on what he’s been doing both, and his time of OHLC with Fujitsu and more recently with Nutanix. He won’t thank me for saying this but Graham really is one of the more creative marketers out there and he pushes the boundaries with what’s possible within technology marketing so if you’ve got a question, we’ll connect you up and get them addressed to you equally call out the report one last time, go to the immediate future website under Resources tab you can download it and I believe, in fact, if you’re on LinkedIn. Belle Lawrence.There you go. She put this up on LinkedIn. This simple to click on a tab for you. Thank you very much for watching this another serious social next week. But until then, thank you very much for watching and Graham, thank you very much for your time this morning. Pleasure. Take care, bye.

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