This interview was conducted in February 2016. It was updated and republished in April 2020.
Scott Vaughan is the man in the middle of the Venn diagram. Where the circles of marketing, media, and technology overlap, you find Vaughan, the chief marketing officer at Integrate.
Skills That Pay the Bills
Many in marketing aspire to have his skill set, and it’s what Vaughan thinks makes him a good fit for his job. He leads Integrate’s go-to-market, customer, and marketing strategy. He spends his days working closely with many of the marketing software company’s diverse clients and partners.
Vaughan attributes another significant portion of his success to his sales background.
“I think one of the things that has helped me become very customer-centric and market-centric was I spent about half of my career in sales or sales leadership,” said Vaughan, who said he spent most of his career working directly with customers and within the market.
Commitment to Client Success
He explains the company’s commitment to customer success, focusing on each of their clients’ specialized needs.
“It is easy to get caught up in all this modern marketing, digitally-driven, and marketing jargon. The real thing that’s going to determine your success is aligning your go-to-market strategy around your customer, your business, and the market cycle that you’re in,” said Vaughan.
“Are you in high growth? Is your market growing? Are there lots of competitors? What stage of the business and what size are you? There are so many factors that come first. That’s kind of where you start your thinking,” said Vaughan.
Tactics That Work
He mentioned that Integrate uses the same strategies with its marketing as it does with its clients. The area of martech (marketing tech) is rapidly growing, creating a need for companies like Integrate.
“Integrate is a marketing software that’s doing some new (we think interesting) things to help clients solve their real-world problems. We’re focused on automating, streamlining, and orchestrating all our demand generation,” said Vaughan. “We have to create an efficient, predictable lead-to-revenue model, that’s something we have to focus on. That’s the growth piece of it. But we’re also an emerging category, so there’s a lot of thought leadership and education that needs to be done.”
Show Them Where to Go
“One of the myths of marketing is that every potential prospect is going to come through your website. If you just build the ‘Taj Mahal’ of websites or landing pages, people are going to come and visit. You are going to be able to generate the prospects and do the engagement and activity to build your pipeline and generate customers,” said Vaughan. “The truth is, many of your prospects that you’re targeting don’t know about you, they haven’t found your website yet. And don’t even know they may have a problem or a pain you can solve.”
He says you must go where your prospects research, educate themselves, and otherwise are engaging in ways that don’t necessarily involve you. Often, you need to seek them out directly.
He compared it to a party. You can’t just invite a prospect to your party and expect them to show up automatically. First, you need to visit their party or another host’s party to establish a relationship, then point them in your direction.
Quality Traffic Over Quantity
That’s part of HIPB2B’s relationship with Integrate. HIPB2B’s relationships and squeaky clean data make it that much easier to get the best content to the right parties.
Vaughan says this is the direction that marketing is going and it makes sense. In a world where 211 million pieces of content are posted every minute, it is important for prospects to have a little guidance. That might come in the form of outbound email campaigns or display ads. Combine these tools with account-based marketing strategies and you’re primed for success.
Instead of wasting both time and money on gaining more visitors on your website, Vaughan said you should be focusing on the quality of your traffic.
“The truth is, you may get traffic, but it may not be that targeted prospect,” said Vaughan. It’ like trying to convert the unconvertable. Maybe they aren’t a decision-maker in their company or they’re from the wrong industry.
Where Should You Start?
Scott also suggested another key for any business or marketing strategy is to start with where you want or need to go by defining business goals and objectives. Marketing can follow.
“You can’t have marketing on an island. It is all about what the company/ the business is trying to accomplish. What do we need to do, and what roles can marketing play in that? That’s how everything needs to start, because if you don’t have a focus and a clear mission or vision, it’s hard, with so many options out there, to pick the right path,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan outlined five areas a company needs to plan for to get its marketing plan going:
- People – Vaughan recommends figuring out the right combination of people and skills that your business will need to get your marketing plan off the ground. It critical, he says, to get the right combination of in-house expertise, staff, and partners.
- Programs – Figure out what types of programs you will need to achieve your goals. This can be anything from lead generation and numbers to prospect and pipeline-oriented programs. Vaughan says you need to map the prospect and customer journey. This needs to be done efficiently because your prospects are typically spread across countless channels.
- Process – Programs lead into process. Defining and utilizing well-understood processes makes your team more effective, as well as aid in moving customers through the pipeline quickly and efficiently. This is all enabled by technology.
- Technology – Not just technology for technology’s sake, said Vaughan, but to automate processes you would normally do manually. And to process and synthesize data to make more informed decisions.
- Data – Data is there for you to analyze and come up with more insights and clarity. “Data today really is the fuel,” said Vaughan.
Vaughan says that while there are a lot of good marketing strategies out there, you always have to be challenging yourself to adapt based on what is going to drive the most business and customer value.
Let us know what you think:
- What does your marketing strategy look like?
- Is it automated at all?
- Where do you source leads from?