The next person in the series, is Lauren Carlson. I asked Lauren to participate since as the interviews started to unfold from a content perspective, no one was really talking about tools which provide marketers an edge. Lauren writes about various topics related to CRM software, with particular interest in sales force automation, marketing automation, and customer service and this background clearly made her a great fit to help fill this gap which has emerged in the discussions around marketing being in the middle.
Like all marketers or people around tech – Lauren isn’t formally trained in technology or marketing. She has a background in the music industry, and when she isn’t writing about software, you can find her running at Town Lake and singing at local venues around Austin. So maybe, just maybe I should have entitled the series Austin is in the Middle of Technology marketing with a couple of other geographies added to the mix, just for fun.
Here is Lauren’s take:
What marketing roles have you had and in what markets?
I am relatively new to marketing but I continue to get exposure to many software marketers, companies and service providers as a journalist. The role I have at Software Advice provides great access to leaders in the community. As a practitioner, I am actively involved in doing search engine optimization.
When you look at your career in marketing, what activities have you found most interesting/challenging?
Targeting the right segments in the market. Ultimately as marketers, we have to find our niche or audience. So finding the right audience can often be difficult. Sometimes we have really great content, but if it doesn’t hit the right person, it is useless.
Based on your experience what activities do you think get the most return?
Doing the background research! Certainly it can take a good deal of effort and a bit of time, but it often brings back the most returns. I spend days researching keywords and search stats to better understand my audience. It can be tedious, but when we start to rank for those competitive terms, that’s really when you see the fruits of your labor.
What do you feel is the most important component of a successful marketing gig?
Content. Content. Content. Content drives everything. You can have the most talented people or the best business model, coolest tech, but if your content is bad, you’ve got nothing to keep your audience/buyers engaged.
If you could design the perfect corporate environment for a marketer to be successful what would that be?
It would be focused on collaboration and creativity. Sometimes I get my best ideas when talking with a co-worker or when I am simply away from my desk interacting with others. Don’t get me wrong – some structure is great, but I think having the freedom to team up or step out of a structured environment can really free the mind to come up with some awesome stuff.
How far is this from reality?
I think that a lot of new start-ups are adopting this environment. Our company is working toward it and I have heard of others that are using this model. I think it is possible in organizations with a legacy in the traditional way of marketing. It is simply a matter of them accepting it and making the decision to adopt it.
So what’s next?
I have personally done a lot of research in the area of marketing automation – a piece of software that automates basic to complex marketing tasks. Companies are beginning to see the value of adding a marketing automation system to their enterprise software mix. However, the issue of adoption is what is holding it back. Software Advice just published a very interesting article from Jeff Pedowitz called, “Why the Marketing Automation Market is Floundering & 5 Fixes to Fuel It.” One of the stumbling blocks faced by the industry is education. We have this great new software, but we have not educated marketers on what it is or how to use it. I think we will see a new generation of marketers popping up in the next few years. These marketers will be true analytical thinkers more focused on process. We still need creative minds, as well. I think when you combine great technology and process with vibrant creativity and ideas, you have the perfect marketing mix.
Twitter: @MASoftwareGuide or @CRMadvice