“We have essentially entered a world in which automated and personalised marketing go hand-in-hand — particularly with the new ABM technologies. This offers a fantastic opportunity to reach our audiences in a truly targeted and relevant manner.”
Insightive.tv: What are the largest challenges you face in connecting with key stakeholders?
Beth: Our biggest challenge is market noise. This challenge goes beyond creating content that just resonates but moves through a buyer’s journey. Developing new models of outreach and continually evolving them over time is a significant consideration and challenge on which I spend a good deal of my time and focus. We have essentially entered a world in which automated and personalised marketing go hand-in-hand — particularly with the new ABM technologies. This offers a fantastic opportunity to reach our audiences in a truly targeted and relevant manner. If you consider that 24% of UK CIOs, for example, do not have their mission-critical data protected in the event of an outage, then that gives you a sense of how much pain is still felt in the market. Cyberattacks are a growing threat, but an outage can occur for much more benign reasons — networking equipment failure, maintenance overruns or a server simply going offline. However, fully harnessing those insights, and understanding customer needs on an individual basis requires meticulous collection and measurement of data, and that becomes a challenge in and of itself, particularly across multiple sales territories and national jurisdictions. But, in reality, it is such an exciting world to be in, it makes the challenge to be had all the more fun!
Insightive.tv: What are the main tactics that you employ to counteract these challenges and cut through the noise?
Beth: In my view, inbound marketing is King. This has become ever more the case as the availability of digital information has changed the way potential buyers interact with vendors. According to SiriusDecisions, 67% of a B2B buyer’s journey is now done digitally. By the time our prospect reaches out to the Sales team, they will have likely already decided how they want to proceed — making it difficult for our sales teams to shape that process. I think this is pretty clear from a common sense point of view. If I think about my own buying habits, I don’t want to be inundated with cold calls. If I am in the market for a solution, I will find it — not the other way around.
The difficulty Sales Reps have injecting themselves into the buying cycle during the early stages — when the buyer is arguably the most influenceable — highlights the importance of aligning both sales and marketing efforts. This is critical, particularly for new account penetration in mid-market and enterprise clients. Field Marketing at Veeam has evolved to become a business partner to sales teams, driving their objectives as well as supporting them. This close alignment is critical to driving business goals from defining and qualifying named accounts through to strategizing on content direction and engagement. We have to make sure that our messaging is available in the watering holes frequented most regularly by our target audience. You have to make it as easy as possible for a buyer to know what you’re about. It is then the responsibility of the Marketing Team to analyse the information that comes from how an inbound lead begins — the type of content that brought them in, the degree of interest and the stage of the buying cycle. This allows our Sales Reps to maximise the relevance of the conversation they can have.
It is also critical to work with influencers. The Veeam brand typically resonates well in this regard. For example, one such programme we run is called Veeam Vanguards. This consists of a global group of exceptionally engaged technologists who represent Veeam in technical communities all over the world and use a combination of event speaker slots, blogs and social media platforms to build their influence. Through quality of service, we work to make sure our customers act as strong advocates for us on social media. This is alongside the efforts of our Communications Team, which typically deals with more traditional influencers such as the media and analysts. We also work extensively with our partner channels. Our partner community has the foot in the door with customers of all sizes and that’s important for us as we expand beyond our SMB and midmarket customer base to engage with enterprise accounts. Our resellers provide fantastic opportunities, and we work hard to ensure customers know who to speak with in any given country.
Insightive.tv: What campaigns do you envision investing in, in the future?
Beth: I started my career in a world where direct mail and cold-calling were the Holy Grail of marketing tactics. I have had to work hard through my career to stay on top of emerging trends — to see what is pure hype and what is an actually viable model. Digital and social have brought about a lot of change and I invest time regularly to ensure my marketing strategies are always optimised to the latest channels. I’m passionate about social and digital tools because I’ve seen what they can enable the modern marketer to achieve. They’ve broken down so many boundaries that you can now engage more directly than ever before, whether that is for a selling opportunity, or to obtain direct feedback.
I love our channel campaign initiative in the UK called Veeam Dreams. Distributor Sales personnel have their loyalty rewarded by naming their dream and, if they win the incentive, have their wish granted. It’s like playing the role of a fairy godmother! One of the winners had recently been bereaved and dreamt of taking his family on a holiday to help them heal; he actually won the incentive and was able to take his family away. Such a lovely story and I love it when brands have the opportunity to emotionally interact with people. The loyalty that drives, when you engage at an emotional level, is immeasurable.
As ABM becomes more scalable, automated and affordable, I definitely see the new engagement platforms as being a focused investment for the long-term. Looking to partner with mid-market and enterprise prospects, as opposed to extracting a volume-based lead approach is more valuable to them and to us. Technology will allow us to do that, by providing data that ensures what we provide is more insightful and relevant to their business. Measuring engagements, in real-time, rather than a lead score alone, will be pivotal to that strategy succeeding.
We’re experimenting with a lot of new digital advertising tools across platforms. Relevancy is the top factor in sparking interest in a brand. We’re in a very competitive market, so I’m not going to state exactly what we’re doing but we’re continually looking at tools that build granular knowledge about our users. Targeting, along with measurement are areas of focus for us that will help us deliver our messages in the right way, to the right people and at the right time.
Beth Brown is Senior Manager for Field Marketing within EMEA for Veeam Software, responsible forleading the field marketing teamsacross UK, France, Germany, Benelux and Nordic countries. Beth joined Veeam at the start of this year, bringing nearly two decades of executive marketing experience from leading challenger IT Brands including Quantum, Exertis and Brocade. We spoke with Beth to understand how she uses targeted information to connect with key stakeholders in an increasingly saturated market.
Veeam Software is an enabler of Always-On Enterprise solutions. Aimed at addressing the challenges faced by global businesses operating 24.7.365, Veeam has pioneered technology that helps organisations meet recovery time and point objectives of under 15 minutes for all applications. Providing data loss avoidance systems and complete visibility, Veeam programs leverage virtualization, storage and cloud technologies to ensure minimal disruption during a downtime event — planned or otherwise.