To celebrate the Content Bureau’s 20th anniversary, we’re seeking wisdom from 20 rock stars whose serious B2B marketing cred, brains, and heart have always inspired us. Next up: Alex Amado.
- Name: Alex Amado
- In: San Francisco
- Works at: Adobe
- Best marketing asset ever produced: “Click Baby Click” TV commercial
- Why: It gave Adobe some breakthrough power into the B2B space by capturing the anxiety of marketers. “I have all this data—but do I actually know what’s happening?”
- Biggest challenge facing B2B marketers today: Frankly, I think marketers are still feeling that anxiety. We have more data than ever, but it’s still hard to really feel like you have your arms around the full impact of your marketing.
- Sales and marketing: Must be BFFs. That doesn’t just happen. It requires tying marketing’s metrics to sales’ metrics, and ensuring our activities help sales deliver on their quotas. Marketing should consider sales to be a major stakeholder for everything we do. Sales doesn’t speak the same language that we do. They care less about brand and more about pipeline and leads—which we should care about as well, because that’s where we get the money to build the brand! The strength of the sales-marketing relationship determines the go-to-market power of a business.
- B2B marketers of the future should: Balance data with real human insight. On the consumer marketing side, leading brands are reaching customers through expert targeting; B2C is incredibly data driven. B2B marketing is moving rapidly in that direction. Some companies are doing a great job with ABM and modern, data-driven techniques like account graphs and account engagement score monitoring, that allow us to put a number on each customer’s engagement. At the same time, we need to remember the human decision makers. Don’t let the numbers get between you and the customer. Talking with customers can be more important than raising your account engagement score by two points.
- Where I go to learn: Good marketers are cultural omnivores. We need to know what’s going on in film, music, celebrity, culture—everywhere. I consume a little from a lot of different publications and sites, but the one that really drives me to rethink what I’m doing is HBR. I also love CMO.com for its great storytelling and digital marketing content. (Full disclosure: It’s an Adobe property, but since I don’t run it myself, I feel like I can be unabashed about loving it).
- Smart ask: Better insight into the people making buying decisions at our target companies. In a B2C sale, it’s so easy; we can see from search, contextual data, retargeting, etc., who might be interested in buying. The B2B side is much harder. We have a lot of data, but how do we know who makes up the full buying team? Who else should we be “warming up” with great messaging and thought leadership before sales gets involved? What is each person’s role in the buying decision, and what information is important to them? If we had B2C-type insights for B2B, we could really move the needle.
Smart thoughts from Alex Amado! I appreciate Alex’s deep insights into the difference between B2C and B2B marketing—we’re catching up!—and the gracious way in which he allows me to barrage him with questions at our b-school events.