Originally posted on PR Newswire’s Beyond PR blog: http://www.prnewswire.com/blog/how-to-be-a-marketing-champion-lessons-from-mktgnation-summit-18065.html.

#MKTGnation Summit 2016

What does it take to be a champion?

After having a chance to reflect on this year’s #MKTGnation Summit, I can confidently say that being a marketing champion isn’t just about being the best (though that does help), it’s about striving to be better.

This means keeping on top of industry advancements and understanding how to use today’s and tomorrow’s marketing tools to ask better questions, articulate needs and expectations more effectively, and efficiently leverage the skills of your marketing team.

For my second Marketo Summit, I was joined by PR Newswire’s Asmita Singh, Vice President, Digital Experience & Marketing Optimization; Tanuj Gupta, Marketing Optimization Analytics; Scott Abbate, Program Manager, Channel Marketing; and Ken Wincko, our Senior Vice President of Marketing who also delivered one of the #MKTGnation keynotes.

Here are a few of the lessons my colleagues and I took home from Marketo’s University Day, the Champion sessions and networking with other passionate marketers.

Analytics > Data.

During his session, Jason Kodish, Global Chief Data Scientist for Digitas LBi, asserted the importance of data, analytics, and geeks.

Businesses have long made decisions based on data. Not so much on analytics. The difference is data tells you that you sold five units, whereas analytics help you drive better-informed sales efforts by understanding the whats, whys, and hows of the five units you sold.

As analytics geeks, it was refreshing to witness this powerful sentiment associated with the craft of data science.

SE-CO-3.8.1_Data-Driven-Marketing-Guide

Don’t get bogged down in the day to day.

One of the best pieces of advice I heard was to block off two days per week to focus solely on project workload.

In marketing operations, it’s easy to get caught in the routine of troubleshooting requests and issues. To grow as marketers (and contribute more to the bottom line), we need to learn how to give ourselves the time to dig into longer term projects versus continuously fixing bugs.

Marketing is no longer just about inbound.

“Trust is the new currency,” said Ken during his keynote on the future of customer experience.

One of his top tips for fostering strong and loyal customer relationships: Integrate and iterate every marketing effort into the complete loop of the buyer’s journey — from exploration, engagement and acquisition to adoption, devotion and advocacy.

This can be achieved through targeted segmentation, multichannel programs, account based marketing (ABM), paid media and customer advocacy, all executed in tandem.

A winning marketing team is built on diverse perspectives.

Because marketing touches all aspects of the customer experience, leaders need not be afraid to broaden the scope of their recruitment efforts.

The next time you look for a new marketing team member, Marketo CMO Sanjay Dholakia predicts the best person for the job may not be the person you expect.

PR Newswire’s marketing team is a prime example of how “accidental marketers” can come together to form a great team.

My career began as a web developer, but led to project management, then marketing automation and demand generation. Other team members started in roles varying from chemical engineering to customer service. We even have a former sommelier!

Collaboration between people with varied viewpoints and expertise leads to innovation. The one thing everyone should have in common is a passion for success.

Hands down, this was the best Summit I’ve experienced. The camaraderie among our Marketo brethren is astounding. And after learning so much from this year’s #MKTGnation Champions, it was an honor to find out PR Newswire was named a Revvie champion as Marketing Team of the Year, Enterprise.

I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve made within the Marketo community and look forward to the experiences that future summits hold.

Get more tips for transforming your team into marketing champions. Download Meeting Demand: A Guide to Becoming a Data-Driven CMO right now.

 

By Geoff Krajeski

Author Geoff Krajeski is a marketing automation specialist on PR Newswire’s marketing operations team. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffKrajeski for tweets about marketing, demand generation, process improvement, and Star Wars jedi mastery.