After 5 years as senior principal of product marketing for one business unit at CA Technologies I took on the role of portfolio marketing. This was a cross-functional leadership and collaboration role working with all business units. It required domain expertise around a larger set of products, deeper understanding of the solution market, and rapid exploitation of key industry trends.
I orchestrated sophisticated solution messaging and positioning by taking advantage of deep subject matter expertise from competing teams to illustrate how customers could leverage combined portfolio strengths to solve key business problems. The deeper collaboration which this fostered helped improve alignment with customer needs, market differentiation, solution launches, and go-to-market.
The shift to customer centric and portfolio marketing at CA Technologies triggered a persona project. I worked closely with peers across functions and provided guidance on how to identify and resolve process issues and build the skills, knowledge and processes required before rolling this out.
I led the team in establishing goals and scope; and creating a charter explaining why personas were being constructed and how they related to growth objectives. We prioritised personas for the pilot based on potential growth and best strategic fit.
We then gained buy-in from all stakeholders; ensuring their priorities and business objectives were taken into consideration. As focus shifted from technical to business audiences and new buying centres emerged it was clear that the organisation needed to move beyond anecdotal evidence of personas.
We completed 15 face-to-face customer and prospect interviews for each new persona and interviewed subject matter experts within the organisation. The qualitative findings from these sessions were enriched with quantitative surveys and information from online community polls and discussions, backed up with relevant secondary research studies.
From approval until kickoff, pilot planning took four weeks. The results advanced our go-to-market and underpinned many programs which better engaged business stakeholders across priority markets.
Whilst at CA I led a virtual team including marketing programs and sales in the creation and execution of a highly strategic Account Based Marketing program. This built on and leveraged key partnerships with early adopters within potentially high value customers to accelerate account penetration, cross-sell and up-sell.
I kicked the ABM project off with a “Market of 1” pilot focused on one client in the UK. This conclusively proved the concept over nine months during which we monitored progress against KPIs. Collaboration with the sales team was the key to success. I worked with account managers to select candidates for the program, analyse account profiles, and connect with potential customer champions and advocates.
This helped deepen our mutual understanding of motivations and objectives and laid foundations for joint advocacy. We jointly verified the company’s buyer’s journey; mapped existing content to it; personalised messaging; and filled content gaps. We then collaborated in the execution of an integrated program; using optimal channels and tactics to share their success with peers and colleagues across their organisation.
The program helped create flagship accounts, beacon customers, and advocates who were happy to share success stories to aid our market development efforts. Ultimately this enabled a highly successful series of round table events, webinars and seminars within integrated marketing and demand programs. These ABM fuelled events were delivered annually in at least 10 countries across the region and featured customer advocates from flagship customers in each country leading with keynotes or plenary sessions.