Smart B2B Tech Marketing: Nathalie Mainland

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: Nathalie Mainland.

  • Name: Nathalie Mainland
  • In: San Francisco
  • Hired the Content Bureau at: Autodesk, FICO
  • For: Tech marketing content
  • One word to describe the Content Bureau: Creative
  • Best marketing asset ever produced: The Higher Ed Trailblazers’ Guide to Salesforce
  • Why: I try to periodically produce an anchor asset to not only help our customers, but also our salespeople. This piece—The Higher Ed Trailblazers’ Guide to Salesforce—clearly helped explain our solutions to the higher ed market, helping this industry leverage the Salesforce platform for their particular use cases. We also created an internal sales enablement version—aligned with our sales plays—which included embedded video vignettes, partner info, and sales tips and tricks. Feedback from customers and sales was so positive that we’re creating a new version specifically for our Community College audience.
  • Biggest challenge facing B2B marketers today: Cutting through the noise to provide personalized content that is not about us, the vendor—but about the customer (whom we call the trailblazer). We’re moving away from gated content. If we make high-value content free, and get the community to be the content generators—telling their own stories to their peers, instead of us the vendor pushing it out—that’s a fundamental shift. People want to know what their peers are doing, so we’re hosting more community events where we let them talk to each other, showcase their work, and be the champions of the technology. For example, our Higher Ed Summit is featuring more customers than ever before—customer stories, customers in our keynotes. Events, content—all of it can be community-led innovation. This is cutting through the B2B noise.
  • B2B marketers of the future should: Get out of the way and let the customers share with each other. Your customers can tell your story better than you can.
  • Sales and marketing: Need to be attached at the hip. If marketing does a good job, it helps sales. If sales brings back to marketing what they’re hearing from customers, marketing can make its journeys more relevant.
  • If some extra budget fell into my lap, I’d produce: A multi-asset campaign to grab the attention of and build engagement with the provost/university president level. How can I empower our team to sell at that level and have the right assets and tools for those targeted conversations?
  • Where I go to learn: Our internal marketing team is amazing, and I learn so much from peer companies, but the light bulb really comes on for me during our Higher Ed Summit. I learn from our customers every day—what they want and need.
  • Smart ask: Is it crazy to say that I already have it? It’s my customers. I’ve never seen a more engaged, excited set of trailblazers than are in this higher ed community. They are doing really innovative, sophisticated things with our technology—then evangelizing. I’m so blessed to be able to leverage their stories and tell them. This is a highlight in my career, and it’s amazing.

Inspiring thoughts from expert higher ed tech marketer, Nathalie Mainland! We have always admired Nathalie’s total commitment to her education customers, and to building community. Salesforce is lucky to have her, and I’m grateful to be constantly learning from her.

Want to discuss anything here? Call me, or check out our technology marketing services.

By Stacy Crinks