Before joining Siegel+Gale, Margaret was CMO and partner at digital agency Velocidi, where she was responsible for marketing and new business. Previously, she served as senior vice-president of marketing at Gerson Lehrman Group, the world's leading expert network.
I invited Margaret to Marketing Smarts to talk about why it's important to know your organizational purpose, how to assemble an outstanding marketing team, and what drives effective content marketing at B2B companies.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation.
Creating a personal brand builds patience, even as it builds your reputation (01:52): "I think it begins with first knowing who you are. There's a lot of talk about personal branding, and some folks embrace it, some folks dismiss it. My assessment is you have a brand, whether you like it or not, so begin by knowing what you stand for in terms of your values and also your professional expertise. And then, consistently communicate that in everything that you share in social media or that you contribute to other columns or other places. So, knowing who you are is a great place to build patience, because it's a great starting point on any journey to knowing where you're going."
Sometimes, acting like a child is good for your marketing (03:36): "I think children can provide a lot of inspiration, because they lack the inhibitions of many of us as adults. Indeed, one of the challenges marketers, I find, have is that we are so often in problem-solving mode or in 'spinning' mode. We have lost the capacity to ask great questions, and that's something that children have retained. And that's why it's such a joy even talking to my own children, and asking for their insights can be quite profound."
Data and insight are two different things (05:50): "Knowing what your business stands for and knowing the touchpoints that matter to your consumer are the most important and fundamental aspects of deriving value from Big Data. There is so much discussion about data and dashboards, all of which has merit, but to convert the data to insight you need to know your customer, and know your business, and know what you stand for. Without that, it's just data—not insight."
Defining your company's purpose is key to marketing innovation (07:08): "We've done quite a bit of research around the linkage between company purpose and innovation. One of the insights we learned in our study last year was that, second only to asking for a raise, innovation or getting an idea through an organization was the most difficult thing for employees to do. When we dug a little deeper into that, we learned that the companies where innovation is less challenging are characterized by a number of factors, and the most compelling one...is that they have a clear purpose. When employees know what the company stands for and have that compass...they find it less difficult to innovate."
Social media does matter for B2B companies, but content matters more (12:14): "I think the most important channel for the B2B marketer to embrace is content. So, content marketing, which is experiencing a bit of a regrowth at the moment, is that mechanism through which CMOs at B2B companies can leverage the channels appropriately. Most B2B companies are familiar with thought leadership and whitepapers, so taking that mindset and transitioning it to smaller pieces of content, and empowering everyone across their organization to be active in social, requires training, it requires providing them the right content, and it requires constant evangelism around the reality that their buyers are on places like LinkedIn."
Margaret and I chatted about much more, including the most important networking practice, what she looks for in a new hire, and some key principles of marketing measurement, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
This episode brought to you by Igloo Software, intranet provider for Siegel+Gale:
Music credit: Noam Weinstein.
Margaret Molloy, global chief marketing officer and head of business development at Siegel+Gale.