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Workforce Software chief: ‘Social media is a 24-hour public billboard’

We speak to Sandra Moran, CMO of the workforce management solution provider, WorkForce Software, 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’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

As CMO at Workforce Software, I’ve been most proud of creating a better customer experience whilst focusing resources on maximising revenue growth, ultimately bringing our solutions to a growing list of global customers. To support growth, our team has driven a shift, transitioning from a hunch-based sales and marketing approach to a completely data driven, targeted, 1:1 sales and marketing program.

Harnessing buying intent data from potential companies that are in our ideal customer profile has produced tangible results for our team’s efforts and brought us much closer to the sales team. By providing them with meaningful, qualified accounts to pursue, we’ve seen a 121% increase in in-market accounts reaching Workforce Software over a 6-month period, a 24% increase in pipeline momentum for in-market accounts and an 80% solution engagement across sales and marketing – these results prove the lock-step relationship between our sales and marketing teams.

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

All media channels can be valuable, but it’s the buyer intent data that is used to find and target the best in-market prospects, from those that have an intent to buy our software, to those that are already searching for solutions like ours, that is the most important tool we have.

We are continuing to find new ways to use account intelligence to its fullest. Today, we leverage data on organisations that fit our ideal customer profile (ICP) and then align our resources around those companies and target them through the channels they are already using.

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What is your advice for mastering social media?

Social media is an important part of the marketing mix for any B2B company. It’s a 24 hour, global, public billboard to connect to customers, sharing their successes and introducing brands to prospects.

Social media needs a very thoughtful plan and leadership to finesse the posts, both organic and paid, and to constantly analyse the data to improve and grow reach. Social is an important part of an integrated approach to marketing and shouldn’t be an afterthought or disconnected from other marketing efforts.

In your opinion, what is the main difference between B2C and B2B marketing?

The main difference that separates the two is the unique challenges that come with B2B, and the resistance of B2B buyers compared to the willingness and ability for B2C buyers to make buying decisions on their own. In many cases, the buying cycle is significantly shorter in B2C and there is significantly more data available to help accelerate optimisation vs B2B marketing. Today, we see more pressure in B2B to bring some of the same consumer-grade experiences to business buyers – making it an exciting time to be in B2B marketing.

What is the key to producing engaging marketing content and what types of content works best for you?

The key to producing engaging content lies in data-driven personalisation. By leveraging machine-learning algorithms and buying intent data, we are able to serve relevant content to accounts and individuals within those accounts as they move through a sales process – even if it’s non-linear.

As more individuals join ongoing sales cycles, we are able to assess the engagement across buying teams and identify newly engaged contacts throughout the entire sales cycle. We can then cross-check increasing engagement with pipeline prediction and pipeline quality scores – learning with each successful sales cycle which buying signals are indicative of deals that close, and providing sales teams with recommended, proactive actions to keep those accounts on track.

Tactics include personalisation of digital display advertising by buying stage, retargeting, account-based experiences to support alignment with prospects, and strategic partnerships to expand our reach beyond our direct sellers.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Technology, the marketing tech stack, and the data they give us, are the most important tools in maximising the impact of marketing investments. With data, we are able to spot trends, intelligently target ideal buyers, optimise our budget spending decisions, demonstrate results, align with sales, and positively contribute to the growth of the business.

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

I am interested in how others are thinking about delivering more personalised experiences to buyers at scale. In a world where there is so much data about prospective and current customers, turning the information into value for our prospects and customers is a current focus for our team.  I’d love to hear from others about how they are increasing the use of information to deliver personalised experiences that will be meaningful to customers.