Smart B2B Tech Marketing: Patricia Harris

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: Patricia Harris.

  • Name: Patricia Harris
  • In: Denver
  • Hired the Content Bureau at: PeopleSoft, SAP, IHS Markit
  • For: Tech marketing content
  • One word to describe the Content Bureau: Reliable
  • Best marketing asset ever produced: I’m a fan of interactive tools—quizzes, calculators—that prospects can use to learn more about themselves and why they might need a solution.
  • Why: They’re sticky, interesting, and can be passed around to other champions who need to be in on the sale. Prospective buyers can ask their colleagues, “Hey, can you take this quiz, then let me know what you think we need?” This helps build internal consensus and sets them up for a more focused conversation with us, the vendor.
  • Biggest challenge facing B2B marketers today: Data! It used to make sense to separate awareness vs. demand metrics, because those tactics were separated. Now that they’re coordinated, we’re tripping over the old measurement tools. And we have more martech data than we could possibly consume. It’s a challenge to keep track of it all, let alone apply it effectively to our organizations.
  • B2B marketers of the future should: Embrace the data and find ways to use this for improved decision making. We need to prove our value and turn marketing into an investment decision, not a cost center.   
  • Sales and marketing: Some of my best confidantes have been sales leaders. We’re working more effectively together now, thanks to better data analytics. We’re not relying on anecdotes; the numbers will tell us when a campaign did or didn’t work. This removes emotion and blame, and allows us to treat problems as process issues that we can solve together.
  • If some extra budget fell into my lap, I’d produce: Modular long-form content—such as a white paper, ebook, or video—that could become six to seven other assets. Every section could become its own blog post. Every paragraph would have two to three tweetable items in it. People can become tired and skeptical of short and pithy content if it’s a bit of fluff without substance—they want something they can sink their teeth into. The format is less important than the quality of the content and our ability to repurpose it.
  • Where I go to learn: So much marketing learning is around martech—you can learn a lot from vendors. Keeping up with martech is keeping up with marketing! I read a lot: SiriusDecisions, MarketingProfs, my FeedlyPro feed—you can pick all the topics you want, and it will scour and bring you articles and social posts on the topics of interest. And I like the Entrepreneurs on Fire, Tim Ferriss, and Seth Godin podcasts. 
  • Smart ask: The time and resources to analyze the impact of what we’re doing, so we can work smarter going forward. We’re so busy running off to the next campaign that we don’t always hold up the mirror and analyze the effectiveness of what we’ve already done.

Smart thoughts from Patricia Harris! We’re so glad she’s back. The universe needs more spectacular B2B marketers—and human beings—like this one.

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

By Stacy Crinks