To celebrate the Content Bureau’s 20th anniversary, we’re seeking wisdom from 20 rock star clients whose serious B2B marketing cred, brains, and heart have always inspired us. Next up: Jennifer Toton.
- Name: Jennifer Toton
- In: San Francisco
- Hired the Content Bureau at: Autodesk
- For: Tech marketing content
- One word to describe the Content Bureau: Multiplier
- Best marketing asset ever produced: Customer case studies
- Why: When you’re able to tell a customer’s story through multiple media (print story, video, webinar, conference/event, etc.) you can make a deep connection between the customer and your product. Case studies are incredibly effective.
- Biggest challenge facing B2B marketers today: Gathering clear, precise data to inform marketing strategy. There’s so much data available from Salesforce, Marketo, social platforms, and other sources; it’s hard to quickly and easily tell which sales and marketing plays—which channels, content, and even specific messages—are having an impact on the customer journey. Data access can also be a challenge. Within large companies, we rely on data teams to pull, scrub, and interpret data; it’s hard to access it directly without admin privileges. In smaller companies, it’s a self-service world; we have access to the data, but there’s so much to sift through, and hygiene can be an issue.
- Marketing and sales: Without question, this has evolved into a really important partnership, and we’re in a period of transition where marketing and sales are trying to figure out their roles. When does the sale start and stop? Roughly 75 percent of information is gathered before a customer will fill out a form (triggering a sales contact)—and even after filling out the form, they don’t want to talk on the phone. Marketing needs to keep reinforcing the brand and message via multiple channels. Even a voicemail matters.
- B2B marketers of the future should: Balance the art and science of marketing. The best marketers are leveraging data but still bringing personality into their storytelling. It’s easy to talk about feeds and speeds, but in the end, we’re marketing to people, and they connect to stories.
- If some extra budget fell into my lap, I’d produce: Better competitive insights. It’s really hard to pull that together.
- Where I go to learn: I sign up for almost every webinar that comes to me. I rarely attend them live, but when I have a free moment, I watch them or scan the slides that are shared. There are deep experts sitting inside our vendor orgs.
- Smart ask: More time to spend and enjoy with customers.
Smart thoughts from Jennifer Toton! Lucky me to have some extra time with such an exceptional marketer, thinker, leader, human. I really love my job.