Paul McNulty, CMO of Unica Corp., talks with DMNews about technology and software marketing.
Q: Why is it important for marketing to be blended with technology?
A: It can be really complicated dealing with different vehicles and customers and learning the products. In departments that make good use of technology, it makes for more effective marketing. I really believe that marketing as a discipline does [already] benefit, and can benefit even more, from technology.
Q: You came from a position as VP worldwide marketing at Progress Software — will you still be focusing on global initiatives at Unica?
A: Very much so. I think there are huge opportunities for growth outside the US for marketing automation software. Unica has been investing in Europe and Asia. One of the things I find really exciting about the job is tackling the question of how to grow Unica’s presence outside of the US.
Q: What are some differences between marketing globally and locally?
A: Marketers face the same problems around the world, but looking at specific geographical issues, challenges will be different: privacy issues, some technologies being used more than others in a certain region, etc. It’s how you adapt to the specific issues of a nation or a country within the context of marketing. For us, that means local-language sales and local-language materials. From the standpoint of marketing programs, it’s understanding the nuances of what’s important to a marketer in any given region.
Q: Is marketing EMM software different to marketing other products?
A: With EMM (enterprise marketing management) and most application software the focus is on how can you quickly convey the business benefits of using your software to marketing professionals. You have to be more aligned with what marketers are thinking and the challenges they have. I also think there’s a real desire to understand the tangible business benefits of how the software is going to help them improve their customer retention or acquisition.
Q: How will you approach growth opportunities for Unica?
A: Overall, marketers spend more than a trillion dollars each year. There’s a huge opportunity for technology to improve how marketers run their programs, so it’s a very large market and a very large opportunity for marketing automation EMM software. As the market becomes more complex, buyers need to do more cross-channel marketing. Whether they’re having an online or offline experience, buyers expect companies to understand who they are and work them in similar ways.
Q: What do people in your position need to do to be successful?
A: You have to keep focused on what is making your customer successful. People need to always ask, “Do I understand the customer’s issues? Do I understand what they need to do to be successful?” and make sure you’re speaking to them in their terms and that your products and services truly are making them successful.