Scott Vaughan is the man in the middle of the Venn diagram. Where the circles of marketing, media and technology all overlap, you will find Vaughan, the chief marketing officer at Integrate.
His skillset is one that many in marketing aspire to 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, often working closely with many of the marketing software company’s diverse clients.
Vaughan attributes another significant portion of his success to his sales background.
“I think one of the things that’s really 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 on what he appropriately calls, “the front lines,” working directly with customers and within the market.
This 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? Is it 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.
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. That’s around automating or streamlining and orchestrating all of 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.”
He also had some advice for those looking to attract revenue online.
“One of the myths of marketing is that every potential prospect is going to come through your website. And if you just build the ‘Taj Mahal’ of websites or landing pages, people are going to come and visit and 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 have to go where your prospects research, educate themselves and otherwise are engaging in ways that don’t necessarily involve you. So oftentimes you need to go to them.
He compared it to a party, where you can’t just invite them to your party and expect them to automatically show up. First, you need to visit their party or another hosts party to direct them in your direction.
That’s part of HiP’s relationship with Integrate. We have the expertise to provide valuable and useful content, engaging prospects and pointing them in the right direction to a client’s party.
Vaughan says that this is really 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.
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 is essentially like trying to convert the unconvertable. All that results in is people who still don’t want your product and service and money down the drain.
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 really hard, with so many options that are 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 – Then you need to 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 – Which leads into process. Defining and utilizing well-understood processes makes your team be more effective, as well as they will move 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 constantly have to be challenging yourself to adapt based on what is going to drive the most business and customer value.
What does your marketing plan look like? Are you doing something different? Tell us about it in the comments section.