Interview with Rosanne Saccone on what it takes for marketing teams to be truly customer-centric

Q&A with CMO Rosanne Saccone on the Future of Marketing, Customer Experience, and Collaboration

The Future of Marketing? Post-purchase Customer Experience, Collaboration

What’s the future of data-driven marketing? Could it be cross-department marketing collaboration—based on the easy flow of data and vastly improved collaboration technology? We asked Rosanne Saccone, a marketing veteran with more than 25 years of experience who’s built and led organizations with creative, best-of-breed campaigns and robust execution. In her prior role at Pentaho, she helped the company transform from an SMB open-source business intelligence (BI) company to an enterprise big data analytics company. Now, as CMO at BlueJeans Network, she’s part of the next wave of innovation for how organizations use video meetings to work more quickly, more productively, and gain an advantage in a world that’s constantly shifting.

Arm Treasure Data: How can marketing leaders develop a more data-centric, customer-centric business?

Rosanne: First, connect the goals of the marketing team to the overall goals of the business. Then, have tangible and measurable objectives that can be managed and optimized over time. While it’s natural for people to take comfort in “feel good” measures, such measures are  useless if they don’t connect to business results.

I like to build a culture that drives to an integrated marketing approach with the end-to-end experience you want to have with your customers and prospects. The process starts by determining your company’s brand and what you want it to represent, where to promote your brand and to whom and how you want to translate that brand awareness into prospects.

I also believe that to be truly customer-centric, marketing [departments] must play a role in the post-purchase experience, including customer satisfaction, up-sell, and advocacy.

Arm Treasure Data: What are you most excited about as a marketer today?

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Rosanne: The respect and recognition we’re now receiving in the C-suite and with the board. Digital marketing enabled us to document our contribution to the top and bottom line of the business. We’ve grown from the “arts and crafts department” to a critical driver of a company’s current and future results.

Arm Treasure Data: As a female executive at a tech company, what advice do you have for women who want to have a leadership role in traditionally male industries?

Rosanne: Have faith in your abilities and own your destiny. Build a broad professional network early in your career. Connect not only with colleagues but with contacts inside and outside your industry. Find a mentor. I use mentors for ideas and advice, and for help in discovering new career opportunities.

Setbacks are learning opportunities. Assess what you could have done differently to change the outcome. If you feel held back, evaluate your situation and see if it’s something you can overcome. If not, move on! There will be other organizations that can use your great talents and put them to better use.

Another option is to launch and build your own company. A 2018 study from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that female-created startups have better financial performance, generating 10 percent more revenue over five years and twice as much revenue per dollar funded. And thankfully we are seeing more attention paid these days to women in the workplace so it’s a great time to blaze your own trail.

Arm Treasure Data: How are you enabling enterprises to work more effectively?

Rosanne: The workplace is transforming, with a proliferation of global teams, remote workers, WFH (work from home) employees and remote vendors. We’re helping companies reimagine their meeting experiences, to reflect the future of how work and meetings will get done. And really, the future is happening now, as customers use our technology to connect across time zones, cultures and geographies. Whether meetings are large or small, formal or informal, with virtual workforces spread around the globe, our platform enables fast-moving ideas to develop, get discussed, and come to life.

The fast-paced and global nature of business requires a video and audio experience that transcends the conventional (and frankly, dated) concept of the “conference call.” Ask the Gen Z professionals coming into the workplace today and they’ve never even heard of the term!

Arm Treasure Data: With all of the change happening now, how do CMOs avoid getting disrupted?

Rosanne: Yes, digital, mobile, IoT and AI are creating change, but all industries have undergone change throughout their histories. I stick to the basics: having a firm strategy that aligns with business objectives. Cut through the noise to clearly articulate the real value your company brings to your customers.  If you do that, it’s hard for someone or something to disrupt you.

Also, I’ve seen marketing organizations with 20 or more different “hot” tools, but with no process or integrated roadmap for how to apply the tools to gain results. Tools won’t cover for a poor plan or a lack of operational processes and metrics.

Arm Treasure Data: What do you predict will be the future of work in 2020 and beyond?

Rosanne: I’m biased, of course, but I see technology serving as a great enabler to a new meeting and collaboration experience. We’ll see shifts from scheduled to impromptu meetings, from laptop to mobile experiences and from “collaboration via talk” to “collaboration by seeing and doing.” How does that sound to you?

Outside of work, Rosanne Saccone loves to read novels and spend time outdoors. Her favorite spot near home is Crissy Field, where she loves to walk, people-watch and take in amazing views of the San Francisco Bay. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter

Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor
Tom Treanor heads up marketing at Arm Treasure Data. He focuses on marketing, martech, CDPs and digital marketing. Follow him on Twitter @RtMixMktg.
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