Not (just) another marketing blog
There are dozens of great marketing blogs – many we subscribe religiously to (the OPML file), and learn a great deal from – but we found that most just peered deep into only a single aspect of B2B marketing, so we jumped at an angle. Our goal for this blog is to share how an integrated, full-service B2B marketing team cranks out some pretty tasty sausage (we think it’s tasty, anyway). Sure, we’ll go deep on certain stuff – web analytics, SEO, design and copy-editing tips – but we’ll try to approach each topic from the angle of what we do as a team, and not only the individual balls we’re kicking down field.
How we work, and who we are
Our marketing group is organized into five distinct teams – Audience & Community, Product Marketing, Demand Generation, Interactive (affectionately known as WTF for Website TaskForce, or for what they mutter under their breath whenever anyone requests a change), and Imagineering (or marketing engineering). There are 14 of us in total. For a time, we used superheros to help explain to the rest of the company the focus of each individual team, and it’s hopefully still a useful metaphor:
Audience & Community (“A&C”): this team leads our community and customer marketing efforts, PR, events and email marketing. I partly chose Professor Xavier because Jon, who leads the team, bears a striking resemblance, but also because Professor X was basically responsible for promoting mutants and mutant rights, and that’s what A&C does for our customers, and for our overall brand. With 15,000 customers, this team has a big community to organize, and a treasure-trove of great stories to share with the world. Jon and his team will blog about our social media strategies, our event marketing tactics and plans, how we use and measure video, and of course ideas around community building and engagement.
Product Marketing (“PMMs”): product marketing does exactly that. They focus on messaging and positioning; drive our product launches; handcraft most of our copy; evangelise our products externally to media, analysts, customers and evaluators; man the front-lines on blog and social media conversations; and work closely with product management to build-the-box for future versions. The Archer’s superpower was precision, and the best product marketing teams nail this. Daniel and his team will share ideas on our product launch approaches; how we engage customers, evaluators and naysayers online; and how his team works with other groups on messaging and product planning.
Demand Generation (“Demand Gen”): Demand Gen is marketing’s central nervous system, and it functions to connect the activity of other teams around increasing the size and effectiveness of our funnel. The group owns all aspects of online marketing (SEO, advertising, landing pages), campaigns and creative for generating more leads, and reporting on the effectiveness of our tactics and approaches. The Riddler is a useful metaphor because much of what marketing does is a riddle, and some times very difficult to measure. Ben and his team will blog about our online marketing strategies, SEO and PPC techniques, our approach to reporting and analysis, and some of the more inventive ideas we’ve had to get more eyeballs and more customers.
Interactive (“WTF”): Interactive manages all things “Web,” including design, A/B testing, production and measurement (we use Google Analytics and ClickDensity). The web for us is the tool that matters most in reading our market and convincing them to try our products, and this team is thinking constantly how to make our site smarter and better. Beyond his retractable adamantium claws, let’s face it, Wolverine’s real superpower is his sex appeal, and for us, on the web, that matters. Sure, we need to be clear and authentic and smart, but we also need to be sexy. Marketers, sometimes embarrassingly to the rest of us, refer to this as “making it pop.” Justen and his team will dive into the innards of our Google Analytics and cookie configuration, share thoughts on our design and web production processes, and talk about different ways we’re trying to make our website work better.
Imagineering: every marketing department should have a developer on the team, especially if they’re focused on marketing automation and self-service sales. Imagineering for us is many things, all of them intensely creative – demos, videos and screencasts that in 90 seconds capture the essence of a multi-dimensional product, evangelism and public-speaking, prototyping and creating tools or techniques that convince more people evaluating our software to take the plunge and buy a copy. The GreenLantern could summon anything he could think of through a magic ring on his finger, and Mark has that same ability (sans the ring). Mark will blog about being a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing (a developer on a marketing team), his techniques with video and screencasts, and tools he’s created to help evaluators understand our products better during their evals.
Keeping it Real
So that’s us, a rag-tag band of misfits, a confederacy of phreaks. If you’re a marketer, curious about marketing, love to make fun of marketing, want to learn tips and tricks on anything from how we use Screenflow to what stuff we put in our HTTP cookie, enjoy hearing about how one team at one company tries to make it happen, or you just don’t have anything better to do, read on – there might be something here for you.