Marketing Minds: Christine Feeley - CMO @ Amptopia
One of the best ways to evolve as a marketing professional is to generate, collaborate, and nurture ideas among like-minded peers. This post is part of a blog series called “Marketing Minds,” where I solicit thoughts and ideas from cutting-edge marketing leaders and post them on PuzzleMarketer.com. Below is an interview with a true marketing thought leader.
A passionate marketer with a laser focus on accelerating qualified lead generation for both B2B and B2C organizations. I bring over 20 years of chief marketing leadership for both privately held, and publicly traded enterprises. Early in my career I developed an acumen to convert marketing from an operational cost center to a quantifiable revenue center. The acumen eventually turned into a methodology and a technology platform (mSuites). It’s a unique approach to marketing that’s served me in developing an equally innovative approach to accelerating qualified lead generation marketing plans leveraging the most advanced technologies to support many amazing success stories on behalf of my clients. Clients have included, but not limited to: Procura Home Healthcare, Arbor Mills - Custom Cabinetry, CultureFit Staffing, AT&T, ABS- IT Helpdesk, Access Media 3, Ascend-Marketing (Telecom & Tech Divisions), Chicago Chamber of Commerce, Northridge Technology Consulting Group, 3D Technology (Device Management, Healthcare), Verizon.
What brought you into the field of marketing (tell your story) and what makes you feel so passionately about it?:
I started in marketing at the very early age of 15, working for a Boutique department store as their lead for a teen board. It was their first time effort to reach out to a younger market, and I developed and marketed from purely gut instinct. It was a success, and I consciously recognized marketing was going to play a big role in my future. Following my education at the University of Iowa, I can break my career into 3 distinct stages: Consumer Package Goods/Advertising Agency - I was on the Tostitos and Salsa Launch team; Telecom & technology - working my way up to CMO of a publicly traded enterprise, and; Entrepreneur - launching amptopia.com in 2008. My passion is all based in seeing the quantifiable success of the companies I’ve worked for or led. So often marketing teams become the target for when sales fall short - to play a role in changing that dynamic is a great feeling, but it’s an even greater feeling to see how marketing teams convert to “rock stars” when the enterprise sees the value of the team.
As marketers, we’re constantly seeking for the right tactics or channels to propel our organizations forward. Which tactics or channels have recently surprised you as a viable source of qualified leads?:
Our company’s primary focus is Accelerating Lead Generation. However, we don’t focus on volume, we focus on accelerating qualified leads that actually give sales a better chance at converting to a transaction. Although the process we use is the same for each client, the outcome is always unique to the company. The real secret sauce is baked into a strategy of engaging a company before the competition(74% - the purchase is made from the sales rep who first made contact (Source: IDG))& using automation technology to ensure the communication/content shared follows the buying journey of the companies being targeted (early, mid, and late stages). The best qualified leads generally come from news/research resources that already have a healthy subscriber base comprised of the customers my clients are actively seeking out.
We’ve all seen the influx of marketing technology that has been created over the last decade. Which technology has been most impactful to you as you plan, launch, or measure your marketing campaigns?:
Pre-Plan: We use the proprietary model I built several years ago to quantify and predict the unit sales, and revenue impact of our plan(s). The model isn’t a crystal ball, but does provide us with all the information we need to either shut an initiative down, or inject an initiative because it’s over performing. Post Plan: The technologies we use most consistently are all based in business process automation - they have the ability to handle either a simple or complex series of communication streams built on a series of “if this, then this” respective to people who respond or don’t respond. Based on those outcomes, we score the lead and automatically send the qualified leads into a sales automation system, and then track the progress through the final transaction.
Looking forward… What forces (social,economic, political, or cultural) do you see having the biggest effect on your marketing in 2017 and what are your plans to address them?:
Hands down, it’s all economic for our company from both a macro and micro perspective. Macro - Companies are increasingly feeling more downward pressure from key stakeholders to cost justify everything, and marketing is at the top of the list. Micro - Smart sales teams are looking for innovative methods that avert the need to “dial for dollars” to find a viable prospect and accelerate their commission.
If you could give one piece of advice to a college graduate who just took their first job in marketing, what would you say to them?:
Think of yourself as a sponge - read everything, subscribe to every marketing newsletter/trends/update/research site you can, go to every conference where you’re able to learn - Strategies, techniques, best practices, new emerging technologies, etc. Your goal should be to become a subject matter expert in “how to’s” and an eager state of wanting to implement what you’ve learned. With that foundation, anyone should be able to navigate their career to just about any niche…or generalist.