Five Minutes With: Scott Vaughan, CMO of Integrate

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges for next 12-24 months? 

With the explosion of marketing technology, there is a huge opportunity for marketers to utilize the vast amount of customer and marketing program data to significantly bolster results, both for the company and the customers they serve.  At the same time, Marketing is one of the few business functions that remains woefully manual.  There is an unparalleled amount of new marketing technology tools to automate manual processes and tasks and to provide new levels of insights that can change what is possible for marketers.  Examples include predictive analytics, demand automation, account-based marketing and personalization across all of a customer’s devices. These emerging technologies enable marketers to overcome previous barriers and to empower marketers to deliver more tangible results. 

What keeps your clients up at night? 

A few things pop to the top of the list for the marketing clients Integrate works with every day. The first is the incredible pace of change happening in marketing.  There has been more innovation in the last three years in the field of marketing than the previous few decades, all driven by the changing expectations of the customer and advances in data-driven technology.  The second area is how to deliver predictable, scalable results that deliver ROI for the business and a memorable experience for the customers.  This is especially true in the area of demand generation and customer acquisition. Marketers are now accountable for discovering, engaging, nurturing, creating and delighting customers.  Without the proper tools, data and processes, this is a guessing game at best. Marketers are deploying demand automation software to automate previous tedious, time-sucking tasks such as scrubbing Excel data files for accuracy and manually uploading prospect data into systems for nurture and follow-up. And Marketers are using analytics to make more data-driven decisions in real time, such as which sources and media investments are delivering the best results.  We have a ways to go, but we’re making good progress to eliminate waste and deliver results. 

What’s the hardest thing to educate a client about? 

Marketers are in an incredible state of change due to increased expectations, both by their customers and by business executives who expect better, predictable results.  Asking a client to change the way they do things is not always easy.  It is like fitness training.  You know it is good for you, but that does not make it easy to commit to doing it. For example, in the area of customer acquisition, marketers have done outbound marketing – using third-party sources to generate leads and demand – the same way for the last 15 years. It is comfortable and known, but manual and inefficient.  This change requires clients to learn new tools to automate and eliminate previous tasks that they owned and to use analytics to make decisions versus just relying on their previous experience or their gut instinct. The good news is once marketing clients see results, they become the change agent educating others about the need to do things differently for much better outcomes.

What are some unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

There are a few gaps in the marketing technology landscape that really stand out for us.  The first is systems, process and data integrations.  Existing and new technology investments are of little value without being integrated.  Marketers need access to a complete view of customer and performance data and the ability to quickly act on the data to better personalize, engage and better serve prospects and customers.  The only way to get this full view is to ensure that systems and processes are connected. 

The second area is outbound demand automation.  Inbound marketing–driving prospects to your web site–is a desired state.  It would be great if you could get all your prospects to come to your web site; however, for most marketing organizations, inbound alone will not meet increasing sales pipeline and customer acquisition goals.  For this reason, marketers deploy outbound marketing techniques, using third-party media sources and fulfillment channels to engage prospects where they are spending time researching and educating themselves around the problems your solution addresses.  Outbound demand generation is just beginning to be automated and the resulting processes and data are being connected to deliver the kinds of performance marketers require.  

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

With the addition of new lead targeting tools, LinkedIn is making strides toward audience segmentation and targeting, which is critical for advertisers and marketers looking to tap the social network for more qualified engagement and leads. For this reason, I anticipate LinkedIn will continue to accelerate its growth within the next year or so.

–Scott Vaughan is CMO of Integrate

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