To get a deeper look at how core marketing skills can be mapped across to new roles, Chris Kuech spoke with Alexandra Barcelona, who moved from the world of agency marketing to take the reins as Marketing Operations Manager with Miami-based WCM vendor dotCMS.
Corporate marketing is an industry moving at break-neck pace, with new tool knowledge and skills required of top performers to keep pace on a continual basis. No good marketer should be staying still, even if their current role and focus remain unchanged.
Change the entire corporation type and marketing environment, however, and the challenges is on another level.
What do you think dotCMS’s competitive strengths are?
Alexandra: The biggest strength for dotCMS is the fact that we are a true bootstrap company that is privately owned, which gives us great agility and client focus.
Being an open source platform is also a major advantage among our customer base – both of these factors makes us competitive.
How do you think these strengths are being incorporated into the go-to-market strategy?
Alexandra: Being open source and privately owned, we don’t have outside resources influencing our decisions and are free to structure marketing entirely on our own terms to suit our business goals.
We’ve put our focus on product qualified leads (users who come to the site and download dotCMS to evaluate the product themselves before contacting sales) that are being nurtured now and pushed through the marketing campaign funnel.
How does dotCMS utilize their own technology in successful online marketing strategy, and how do you include that technology into your external marketing strategy?
Alexandra: Our website is built on dotCMS. When I joined we implemented Hubspot, and we also use Salesforce. We close the loop in our marketing now – all three systems are all fully integrated with each other. We needed to build this foundation so everything we do (marketing wise) is connected in the future.
Which platforms are you working with the most at dotCMS, and how are they different from the ones your previously worked with?
Alexandra: Right now dotCMS is doing a lot to build the foundations of the website and SEO efforts. Previously I focused more on thought leadership and branding – getting ourselves known and raising visibility. My marketing focus is more technical and focused on customer acquisition – we know once our future users get to know the product, it really speaks for itself.
What new marketing strategies or techniques have you had to learn because of this career shift?
Alexandra: The techniques and strategies aren’t that different, just the shift in focus is. Now, I focus less on branding and messaging, there is more of a focus on lead generation now. It’s about how we create leads which means doing a lot more of email and marketing automation.
How are you adjusting to your new role and the dotCMS sales team?
Alexandra: I work very closely with the sales team to map our campaigns and build out metrics. I’ve worked with sales teams in past, but before it was more siloed.
Now, at a software vendor, marketing is brought in at the beginning of the sales process. [Before in] previous roles, marketing had been brought in as an afterthought – the alignment of marketing and sales goals from the outset is key.
What are your plans for the next phases of dotCMS’s marketing strategy?
Alexandra: We are wrapping up putting in a solid foundation for us to build marketing goals. There are themes for each quarter, and with each quarter we have campaigns going to different target audiences.
Currently we are focusing our energies on raising the profile of Content-as-a-Service, which is a fast-growing area for which dotCMS’s technology works exceptionally well.
What advice would you have for someone switching marketing environments?
Alexandra: Overall, marketing activities (like email, social, branding, content, SEO, etc.) will be used in both in-house and agency settings. However, in-house marketing departments usually require marketers to have a much broader skill set.
While you may have been an expert at digital marketing in an agency, when you move in-house, it’s important to make sure you at least have a working knowledge of other aspects of marketing as you may find yourself responsible for a much larger portion of the marketing mix.
Knowing your strengths in marketing and where you might need assistance will better ensure you don’t burn yourself out trying to do it all. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Chris Kuech recruits for sales professionals at all levels, from junior inside associates up to VPs, as well as sales engineers.
Feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn for a networking conversation.
Tel: (760) 814-9231
E-Mail: chris.kuech (at) adaptive-ca.com
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