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The Tech Marketers Group Conference 2021 was Gold!


The tech marketing community finally got together in person (!!) on 30 June for our bi-annual Tech Marketers Group conference. The Just One Conference offered an exciting lineup of international and local speakers and panellists. A great day to reflect, learn and network.


Proxi relishes any opportunity to grow tech marketers.


We’ve been involved with TMG NZ since its inception and naturally wanted to support the Just One Conference – by contributing with event organisation, panel participation and as a sponsor. We like to openly share and have asked the Proxi Team for some key insights from this energising day.


What were your biggest takeaways from the conference?


Beverley (TMG NZ event lead and vCMO)


I really enjoyed the panel discussion on aligning Sales, Product and Marketing, with our very own Dave Macken representing Product, Fiona Cresswell for Marketing and Michael Friedberg for Sales.


All three functions need to be aligned on paper and in reality to ensure success across the board! Start with setting core common factors: revenue, customer satisfaction, customer experience and alignment to purpose.

If you’re a marketer:

  • get in the car with Sales – literally

  • befriend the Product person

  • don’t agree for the sake of agreeing and alignment in a meeting

  • if something is not working, take the opportunity to make it work

  • never give-up even when they say no and try again



What Fiona Cresswell said really resonated with me:

“Marketing provides the clarity between Sales and Product.”

Christelle (TMG NZ founder and vCMO)


I was looking forward to hearing Caroline Maillols, CX Change Lead at Atlassian on Mastering Customer Experience, and loved what she had to say.


While 80% of CEOs believe they provide a great experience to their customers, only 8% of customers believe they do! And 80% of customers have switched brands because of one bad experience.

This is called the experience gap – the difference between the expectations set by the promise and the actual experience perceived by the customer. The size of the experience gap is directly correlated to your CAC and LTV – the bigger the gap the bigger the risk of churn.


Gartner defines customer experience as being “the customers’ perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with suppliers’ employees, systems, channels or products.” This can be achieved by building a shared understanding - this starts with everyone in the business knowing the part they play in accomplishing a goal.


Caroline uses a very effective analogy to describe CX:

“Customer experience is a duck. Above water the experience is great, below water everyone works hard and must coordinate to paddle in the same direction. However agitated the water is.”

Always start with duckling steps.


Dave (vCPO and panellist)


Ben Reid’s presentation on ‘Emerging digital marketing tech trends in 2021’ was fascinating. So many innovations will change how we market tomorrow.


As marketers, we cannot ignore the importance of first party data and earned trust as the Apple ecosystem closes access to personal information and third-party cookies are gone. Having a direct relationship is going to become more important and you will need to value this relationship with your prospects/customers.


Generative AI is also interesting with plenty of potential to help augment people’s roles, opening new dimensions of productivity and creativity. Take GPT3 – the world’s most sophisticated natural language technology and greatest text-generating neural network. I don’t see it as AI replacing people, but augmenting them to support and make quicker decisions. Watch this video of how to use GTP3 to ideate marketing campaign ideas!


Jane (TMG NZ founder, ex co-chair and vCMO)


A theme that is recurring with many SaaS businesses we work with is community. We had the pleasure to learn from Matt Snodgrass, Director of Community at MarketingProfs, which has 600,000+ members.


A community is:

  • a group of people who have a common interest

  • care about each other and come together over this shared interest

  • feel they belong together and work together to achieve common goals

Having your ‘why' is how you can build a community – around a podcast, a newsletter, an interest, a problem, an idea or an industry – more than a product or service. It’s the best way to motivate and add value to your customers’ lives.

What’s the one thing you will implement?


Sarah (vCMO)

There is an untapped opportunity to align B2B brands with social influencers, now called content creators. Dr Sommer Kapitan, senior lecturer at AUT, gave an energetic presentation on how much humans need to relate to other humans in their decision making. B2B influencers amplify brands by leveraging authenticity, trust, expertise and showcasing an actual use of the product or service. They’re overtaking celebrities in this space.

Start by getting them exposed to your brand – subscribe to their blog, follow them on social media or run paid ads to audiences they’re in. Then engage with their thought leadership on behalf of your brand – comment or react on their social or blog posts, amplify their content and more importantly get to know them to create a meaningful relationship.


Jane


I’ve worked with Alex McNaughten of SalesLeaders on a few common accounts and agree that SaaS companies should aim at having a holistic approach to revenue, defining how to jointly nurture leads between Sales and Marketing and constantly learning and refining messaging and the use of multiple channels. What works for one or two months, may not work on the third one. Also, we all tend to want to tell too much in a single email. So my action is to A/B test writing short and sharp emails as well as video emails to see if they convert better.


Christelle


Definitely better surface the customer in everyday meetings. Caroline Maillols shared some neat tips:

  • Get someone to be the customer in every meeting. Whoever is playing the customer has to connect deeply with them. The other team members are forced to shift their mindset and interact with the customer challenging them during the meeting.

  • Organise customer story times to share success and fail stories.

  • Give weird names to your personas. When you hear these names in meetings, this means your teams are engaged.


Beverley


Lisa Dennis, senior associate at ISTMA gave us a masterclass on Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Her presentation was insightful and actionable. I gained more confidence to develop and execute ABM campaigns, now better understanding all key components and the benefits to be gained by putting in the effort needed to make it work over time.

  • Start by changing your core principles from inside out to outside in – understand what every account is facing to understand what’s forcing them to make decisions, then bring it back in to inform how you can help

  • ABM requires a real collaboration between Marketing and Sales on strategy, approach, stakeholder management, messaging, campaigns and activities

  • Don’t just focus on revenue, aim at building relationships and reputation – the 3 Rs of ABM

  • ABM is a journey, not a sprint! It builds over 12-18 months.


Was there a conversation with fellow tech marketers that stood out for you?


Dave


Many interesting conversations stemmed from my participation in the ‘Aligning Product, Sales and Marketing’ panel. Who owns product marketing? Does a product manager or a marketer own it? This depends on the skill set of the person. If they are a good communicator and have a good basis in marketing then a product person could, however this isn’t typical for most product people.


Sarah

Many of us have picked up and are trialling ABM but there is still a sense of the unknown when it comes to actually delivering an ABM programme that works and tracking measurable outcomes. We know the theory and different tactics but haven’t often delivered over a consistent period. Developing campaign assets that are mass customisable at scale, and how you refine the tactical elements together with Sales that seem to be the challenge... A recurring theme at every break conversation.


If you’re keen to find out more, TMG NZ filmed the Just One Conference, and videos will be made available shortly. If you can’t wait and are interested in a particular topic, we’ll be happy to share our notes, just email hi@proxi.co.nz.