by Patricia Ames | 6/17/15
In an exclusive online extension of the popular Channel Chat feature, I had the chance to explore how the Millennials approach the June theme of “Best Practices in Sales & Marketing” with PrintFleet’s crack marketing team – Elise McFarlane and Kristen Deyo.
Of course with just my first question, I was immediately confronted with an age gap. When I asked Kristen Deyo how the move toward digitization has changed the way she does marketing, I was reminded that she is a “native”.
“I have to say growing up a digital native, I don’t really know a world without the internet nor do I know a marketing world without emphasis on digitization. What I will say, however, is that the convergence of the physical and digital world has drastically changed the buyer’s journey and experience. The traditional “4 P’s” (price, product, promotion, and place) no longer serve as the holy grail of marketing – people and platforms do.”
Kristen then goes on to explain. “As both a marketer and consumer, I can tell you that people – including myself – expect companies to be available anytime, anywhere. The availability of your brand is directly tied to your relevance – regardless of the product or service you offer. One of the greatest promises of this change is a marketer’s ability to pin-point their target with precision and deliver the content they actually want. Digitization means that marketers can be – and have to be – readily available for their customers at all times. As this digitization accelerates, so do the tools and platforms necessary to help with the growing complexity of our marketing efforts.”
This has required reorientation within Printfleet said Kristen “Since working at PrintFleet we have made digital platforms and CRM tools the epicenter of our entire organization – not just our marketing department. These platforms help us drive efficiency and provide the analytics necessary to ensure that our marketing efforts are meeting strategic business objectives.”
Clearly the resources in the digital age differ from the marketing standards of the 20th century, so I asked Elise McFarlane what business process software and CRM tools she uses that she finds useful for her sales and marketing efforts.
“PrintFleet has been using Salesforce as a CRM tool for a number of years; albeit it has only been in the last year or so that it has been really effective. We choose to rollout one specific aspect (opportunity management/forecasting) of Salesforce completely rather than try to make everything work at once. We also ensured that Salesforce integrates with all of our other customer facing tools, such as HubSpot and Zendesk to allow for maximum efficiency.”
Elise is proficient with modern marketing platforms. “HubSpot is a great tool that feeds information into our CRM. It provides the ability for the marketing team to create robust campaigns that include lead nurturing, email automation, social media, blogging, and landing pages. HubSpot has helped us with generating content, and automating communication with both leads and current customers.”
My last question explored how both of these professionals approached social media specifically, what the corporate policies are and how this Gen-Y team manages their programs.
Elise elaborated. “The marketing team at PrintFleet are heavy users of social media ranging from Twitter and LinkedIn to Pinterest and Instagram. We use most of our social for both work and personal, as well as managing all aspects of PrintFleet’s social media presence. At this stage social media use for work hasn’t filtered to too many other departments, so we have not established a social media policy. Creating a social media policy is something we will work on this year, to increase PrintFleet’s and its employee’s presence across our main platforms – Twitter and LinkedIn. We have a very ad hoc approach to social media outside of the marketing department. As we share something we think is important, we will ask other members of the PrintFleet team to share it as well, as they see fit.”
My take away? Marketing teams are strongest when new technologies and approaches can be integrated into an organization to get a comprehensive reach of audience. The more sophisticated tools tap into business intelligence and big data and organizations that can hire talent literate in these areas will have a distinct edge going forward.
Patricia Ames is a transformation analyst at BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community. Follow her on Twitter at @OTGPublisher or contact her by email at patricia@BPOMedia.com.