Home Content marketing Salesforce CMO on When to Marketing

Salesforce CMO on When to Marketing

Salesforce’s SaaSy and Astro brand characters. Source: Salesforce

Many have said that the past 20 months have presented an opportunity for marketers. That a marketer’s understanding of customers, their natural curiosity and empathy are crucial in a context of significant disruption for the customer and the business.

Reflecting on the role of marketing in any organization in the aftermath of the pandemic and over her first 12 months in office, Salesforce Marketing Director Sarah Franklin said this period has been “the most important time for a Marketing Director.”

“When I took on this role, it was very important that the marketing team was very strategic for the company and that they were helping us in what was then the fully digital world of work everywhere,” she says. “And a timeline. Not just our CEO, but every CEO and every business looks to marketers to say, how are we going to get back to growth? How are we going to connect our customers? What message are we going to get? How are we going to stay relevant in this ever-changing world? How can we keep up with this while still being sane and empathetic at the same time? “

It’s not just the customers and the business where marketers have a role, Franklin adds, but in helping employees “feel connected to your business.”

With many employees now working permanently from home or in hybrid working arrangements, the same skills of communication, empathy and understanding are required when it comes to dealing with internal customers.

Every CEO and every business looks to marketers to say, how are we going to get back to growth? How are we going to connect our customers?

“My employees are like our customers too. And we have to make that connection, and it’s so relevant right now. You see people in droves, changing jobs, changing locations – there’s a lot of change happening. As marketers, this is an incredible opportunity… for people to feel connected to your customers and your customer, and also bringing your employees around you around your brand.

Get inspired by B2C

There is a lot of debate in marketing as to whether or not B2B marketing is similar or not. For Franklin, one thing is clear: there is a lot of inspiration to be drawn from his B2C counterparts.

“From its inception, since its birth, Salesforce has always been a company that has learned from the B2C world. Marc and Parker [Benioff and Harris, Salesforce’s co-founders] launched the company with a simple question: “Why can’t software be more like Amazon, for example?” »», She explains.

Franklin has been in the role for just under 12 months, after 12 years with the company in a number of roles including product and developer marketing. Prior to taking on the role of CMO, she led the development of her Trailhead learning platform and Trailblazers, a community salesforce customer forum, which still falls under her jurisdiction. This is another example of customer centricity that is built into Salesforce, but not in all B2B marketing organizations.

For Franklin, it’s about “wowing” customers, a goal that should be as essential in B2B as anywhere else.

“Salesforce makes it very easy to impress your customers. If you’re an Airbnb, you have to wow your guests. If you are Metallica, you must wow your fans. That’s what Salesforce does, ”she adds.

Use branded characters

Trailblazers and Trailhead are led by Astro, a half-racoon, half-kid brand character who also appears in campaigns and corporate literature.

Source: Salesforce

Trademark characters have been used extensively in B2C but rarely in B2B. According to Franklin, the character plays a central role in building the Salesforce brand.

“It’s an emotional connection that transcends all logic, it can’t be explained but it cements their loyalty to you,” she says. “And the characters do it because they bring it to life in a whimsical way. [It suggests] you will not take yourself too seriously. That you can escape the constraints that your adult brain has placed on you, that you cannot do this, you cannot do that. [Instead it takes you] in a cartoon world where you can think outside the box.

Transforming the role of marketing

The first year has been a busy one for Franklin. Besides the challenge of starting work during the pandemic, 2021 saw Salesforce execute their sponsorship of Team USA and Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics. The CRM giant also launched Salesforce +, a streaming service with live and on-demand content including live broadcasts, original series and podcasts for businesses across industries.

Taking inspiration from Netflix and Disney +, it’s another tool for engaging and serving potential and existing customers, as well as building equity and brand confidence. Its launch marks a “huge transformation for the company,” according to Franklin.

“Salesforce + is really how we transform from a tactical, one-off, event-driven marketing team to a trusted professional media channel… You go from creating webinars to creating original series. You go from hiring copywriters to hiring screenwriters. It’s a huge, huge change, ”she says. And it’s an amazing opportunity to spark engagement and build something that no one else has done. “

Source link