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VP marketing at Momentive: ‘Your website is the front door’

Karen Budell is VP Marketing at Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) and answers our questions in the latest of Press Gazette’s Marketing Maestro interviews. This series is produced in association with Lead Monitor, New Statesman Media Group’s content marketing arm.

What has been your proudest achievement in your current role?

In June 2021, we led SurveyMonkey through our largest change in over 20 years.  I joined the company 18 months prior, and I was tasked with leading a then-confidential initiative on evolving our brand architecture.

To get to the end result (a new name and brand identity for our company and enterprise solutions), we began with something we are well-versed in: surveys. We asked our customers, employees, and consumers for feedback on the SurveyMonkey name and brand perception. We ran nine qualitative and quantitative studies in seven countries, asking 22,000 respondents for their thoughts. This shaped a new name, messaging, and brand identity, which all better reflect our business strategy.

Why all the fuss? Our research showed that the SurveyMonkey brand was seen as a fun, easy-to-use tool. While that perception was a great fit for our self-serve survey tool, it did not reflect our true focus, which is our enterprise business. Many people weren’t aware of our AI-powered experience management solutions. We chose Momentive because our research showed that it evoked movement and dynamism. This is central to our position in the market and how we provide business decision-makers with the insights they need.

Which media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

Your website is your brand’s front door. The design, videos, and content are representations of what you do. Aside from paid ads and social media, your site is where they’re on full display.

What are the key differences between B2C and B2B marketing?

If there’s one thing the pandemic highlighted for marketers, it’s that we’re all human. For example, streaming services topped one billion global subscribers in 2020. Whether you’re working on B2C or B2B marketing, we consume content and engage with advertising and brands as people. This has opened up new and exciting opportunities. We can now reach business decision-makers through traditional consumer channels and creative tactics. That said, marketing must begin with deeply understanding your audience. Once you know who you’re trying to reach, then you can determine tactics. You might find that an email campaign or webinar might be more effective for B2B. Social media then might be your top-performing channel in B2C efforts. Key to remember is the human element and knowing where to best reach who you need.

What for you is the key to any successful marketing campaign?

Tactically, there is no underestimating a solid creative brief. Finding a true insight, meaning a human truth and not an observation or singular data point, is the hardest part about writing a creative brief. It is, however, the key to unlocking a great marketing campaign. If you have a clear insight and specific objectives, you then have the spark to ignite that big creative idea. You also have the means by which to measure if your campaign is successful.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

We can’t know everything all the time, and we turn to technology for most of our information. Technology fuels many facets of modern marketing. This ranges from traditional advertising like out-of-home to running digital campaigns. Technology also helps brands from B2C to B2B track brand health and deliver content to their key audiences. The amount of time spent on mobile phones and connected devices also continues to increase. Technology helps marketers deliver the right message at the right time. And, it also helps us better understand the right people to reach. Even with GDPR and data-privacy laws, the data behind modern marketing tools is essential to being an effective marketer.

What are the biggest pain points in a marketing campaign?

The process to develop a marketing campaign is one of the hardest. You have so many pieces to consider—from understanding your audience and their needs to identifying where they’d like to interact with you. Mapping a strategy can only go well if you have these components down first. In a quick Google search, you’ll see there’s no shortage of marketing best practices. The trouble is, what works for some might not work for all. The strongest tactics rely on a ‘marketing mix.’ This means not overlooking the benefits of integrated strategies. There is a collaboration power from working with peers in PR, SEO, and digital marketing. In the end, the holistic approach will translate to a more seamless journey for your customers and potential customers.

And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?

Has anyone found a good explainer on Web3 yet? 😉