The Marketer’s Journey is a podcast dedicated to learning from senior marketing executives including the career journey they’ve taken and the buyer journey they set their customers on. Each week we speak to a senior marketer and learn whether it was luck, hustle or a combo of the two that propelled them to their latest post. We then discover how they engage their current and future customers on a path that is similarly planned but adaptive. The Marketer’s Journey features amazing conversations with marketing leaders who share how to attract and convert leads with personalization for the entire buyer journey.
Each episode will cover topics like digital marketing, demand generation, account-based marketing, sales enablement, content marketing, inbound marketing, martech, leveraging technology, and content experience.
Ep #117: Using a 'Pod' Segmentation to Improve Personalization Where it Counts w/ Shawn Ahmed
On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview Shawn Ahmed, the CMO of CloudBees, a platform which provides the leading DevOps solutions for large and compliance-first organizations. We discuss how Shawn has helped to scale the company from 18 to 60 employees, the concept of using a “pod” when organizing your go-to market strategy, and the need for segmentation at different parts of the sales funnel.
Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer’s Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts!
Key takeaways from this episode:
Take risks. Shawn mentioned that throughout his career, he’s learned the most by taking big risks, such as moving from a CEO role to come on as CloudBees CMO. He believes that to really understand a business, you need to experience all elements of it rather than pigeonholing yourself to one area or specialty.Focus on segmentation. As a marketer, Shawn understands the value of really knowing your audience and what motivates them. This is why he places a strong emphasis on segmentation and identifying different strategies for different parts of the sales funnel.Personalization is key. Any good marketing strategy should be tailored to its audience, but Shawn reminds us that this is especially important at the top of the funnel because capturing initial interest is the most difficult aspect of the journey. As you move further down the funnel, personalization is not always as vital.
Learn more about CloudBees here: https://www.cloudbees.com/
Learn more about Shawn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawnahmed/
Ep #116: Why Knowing the Stage of Your Buyer’s Journey is Key to Your GTM w/ Jon Miller
On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview Jon Miller, CMO of Demandbase. Jon has had an incredible career so far, having held some impressive roles including as the Co-Founder and CMO of Marketo, which was later acquired by Adobe. During our discussion, Jon shares his perspective on account-based marketing, including why it’s not just about finding the right accounts and sending them the right message, but understanding exactly where they are in their journey.Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer’s Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts! Key takeaways from this episode:Every customer journey is completely unique. Jon made some interesting points about the customer journey, including the idea that so much of it is invisible when it comes to traditional tracking methods. This is why it’s important to meet every customer exactly where they are in their journey and tailor each step of the process to their specific position along the path.Know your ABX. According to Jon, it’s important to approach your go-to-market strategy in terms of the ABX, or “account-based experience.” Part of this strategy includes placing different people in different “tiers” so you can allocate resources effectively.Learn to be a T-shaped marketer. When it comes to specialties, Jon believes in becoming a T-shaped marketer, which means choosing one area to specialize in while dabbling in a few others to ensure you have a well-rounded skill set. Think of it as choosing a major and a minor like you might have in school, but for the big leagues.Learn more about Demandbase here: https://www.demandbase.com/ Learn more about Jon here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonmiller2/
Ep #115: How to Elevate the Voice of the Customer in Your GTM w/ Fred Studer
On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview Fred Studer, CMO at TIBCO. As a four-time CMO who has been at the helm of marketing teams at companies like Microsoft and Oracle, Fred had plenty of fascinating experiences to share during this episode. We chatted about everything from mindset to storytelling, including key strategies for elevating your brand and customer voice.Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer’s Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts! Key takeaways from this episode:Focus on demand gen. As Fred mentioned, every CMO has at least one area of their role that they tend to favor—in his case, that’s branding. However, he believes all CMOs should build demand generation skills into their repertoire because you’ll rarely come across a sales team that’s asking for fewer leads.Use large companies as a training ground. Fred mentioned that his roles at tech giants like Microsoft and Oracle served as massive opportunities for growth, development and education. Before you make the switch from a large company to a small startup, make sure you’re taking full advantage of the opportunity to act as an entrepreneur within the organization and learn as much as you can through your role.Engage the entire company in telling customer stories. During the pandemic, it became even more important for brands to amplify the voice of their customers. This is why Fred and the marketing team at TIBCO have pivoted to engage the entire company in customer storytelling, encouraging everyone to make it their responsibility, no matter their role or department. Learn more about TIBCO here: https://www.tibco.com/ Learn more about Fred here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fred-studer-87036/
Ep #114: This CMO used Customer Stories at Salesforce and Okta to own the market w/ John Zissimos
On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview John Zissimos, the CMO at Okta, an identity management service that connects any person with any application on any device. Having held previous roles at Salesforce and Google, John shares his experience of finding the right marketing role, how to be a great people leader and how your customer’s stories can strategically position your brand.Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer’s Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts!Key takeaways from this episode:Know your weaknesses to be a great people leader. As CMO, John has expertise in the marketing side of the role but there are new responsibilities that he identified as knowledge gaps like overseeing PR and Communications. By identifying his weaknesses and hiring the right people to help him, he knows when to step back and when he can step in to help his team. By capitalizing on his strengths and not micromanaging his team, John is becoming a better leader of people, not just a marketer.Tell the story of how your product is used. Talking to customers is the most important thing that John does. He wants to learn how his customers are successfully using a product especially in new and innovative ways. John believes a great customer story is the best selling tool you’ve got. Whether you produce a multi-camera video with high production value or a zoom interview recording, sharing great stories can elevate your market position.Prioritize what matters most in life. The most important goal in John’s life is to be a good father. He wants his team to follow his example and make sure that they’re prioritizing their life outside of work so that they can enjoy work more. Work will always have challenges but you’ll be better able to overcome them if the needs of your family, health, and life outside the office are met. Learn more about Okta here: https://www.okta.com/Learn more about John here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnzissimos/
Ep #113: Why This CMO has Staked a Claim on the Product Side of the Business w/ Armen Najarian
On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview Armen Najarian, CMO and Chief Identity Officer at Outseer, a shared, global network of fraud and transaction data. As a spin-off company of RSA, a major network security company, Outseer has presented Armen with a unique opportunity to rebrand a company with already well-established roots. During our conversation, we discuss Armen’s extensive career background, leadership advice, strategies for taking a business to the next level and more.
Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer’s Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play!
Key takeaways from this episode:A great leadership team is like a symphony. As CMO, Armen believes that everyone on the team has their own unique melody to play, and even a slight shift within one person’s role can shift the dynamic dramatically. This is why gaining a clearer understanding of everyone’s specific role within the team can help everyone create better music together. Everyone is a consumer. In Armen’s view, all consumers share the same fundamental human qualities, even when it comes to B2B marketing. At the end of the day, we’re all motivated by emotions, fears, hopes and dreams, and as marketers, it’s our job to tap into this understanding to develop an emotional connection with our audience.Get involved with the product. In addition to his role as CMO, Armen holds the title of Chief Identity Officer at Outseer, which means he holds responsibilities for one of the company’s three products. He noted that the strategic decision to stake his claim on the product side has enabled him to gain a deeper appreciation for the business and a unique edge as CMO.
Learn more about Outseer here: https://www.outseer.com/
Learn more about Armen here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/najarian/
Ep #112: How to make every purchase personal w/ Allison Lowrie
On this episode of The Marketer’s Journey, I interview Allison Lowrie, CMO at Vacasa, an international vacation rental management company based in Portland, Oregon. Having also previously held roles at Angi, HomeAdvisor and Cars.com, Allison shares her perspective on navigating marketing leadership, building a solid team and the challenges of two-sided marketplaces.Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer’s Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts!
Key takeaways from this episode:Make it personal. In the home and car industry, every purchase is an inherently emotional one, so marketers are tasked with tapping into that emotional element to connect with buyers. This lesson can be applied to marketing in any industry because at the end of the day, every purchase involves an emotional element that can be leveraged to make a positive impact.Get in the right mindset. Another of Allison’s tips involves diving deep into the mindset of the marketplace you’re tapping into. She and the team at Vacasa engage in plenty of research and outreach to understand their customers’ core thoughts, needs and desires, while remaining nimble and flexible so they can switch gears as needed.Focus on your NPS. At Vacasa, a key metric the team uses to track success is the NPS or net promoter score. The company tracks NPS across guests, owners and internal employees to get a sense of overall satisfaction of both customers and employees.
Learn more about Vacasa here: https://www.vacasa.ca/
Learn more about Allison here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allison-lowrie-51b0a21/
Amplifying Your Brand’s Message - Sean Pasternak
Really enjoyed the session with Sean Pasternak. It was interesting to hear about his transition from journalist to global communications. I work with Sean at Manulife but not directly so it was great to actually hear his voice. Loved the description of how the coordination that occurs between external and internal comma and the consideration that is given to employees as consumers of the communications in both channels.
The Marketer's Journey
I have enjoyed this new podcast from Randy Frisch of uberflip. Randy's enthusiasm for helping us learn about what is key to effective content creation is evident in all the episodes. The interview guests are well-chosen. They bring realtime experience and insights to the listener.
Congrats Randy, keep up the great work! We'll be listening!!! Alan