Diane Perlman of Blis on marketing in time of coronavirus - Press Gazette

Marketing Maestro: Diane Perlman of Blis on marketing in time of coronavirus

Diane Perlman Blis

Chief marketing officer of location-powered advertising and analytics company Blis Diane Perlman is the latest in our series of Marketing Maestro interviews, presented in association with Lead Monitor.

Her previous leadership roles have included working for Microsoft, Unruly and running her own agency.

How important to your brand is the news media (both B2B and B2C)?

As a B2B brand in the ad tech space, industry news media is of key importance to us. It helps us stay top of mind with our clients and create broader awareness in the markets where we operate.

What’s been your proudest achievement in your current role?

Working in a scale-up is so fast-paced with many highs (and lows), so there have been many things that my team and I have been able to accomplish that I’m proud of.

How my team has reacted to, pivoted and collaborated to overcome the huge challenges that Covid presented to us is a major source of pride for me.

Like so many companies, back in late March, we had to essentially tear up our marketing plans and budgets and start from scratch. My team got quickly aligned, not just with each other, but also with sales and our insights teams, enabling us to spin-up new ideas quickly and develop topical and useful collateral and content that sellers could share with their clients to keep Blis front of mind.

During this time, we also collaborated with the product team to launch two new products, which is testament to our agility and collaborative efforts – not just marketing but all the teams across the business. It’s been an incredibly challenging year, but seeing how everyone came together and what we have been able to deliver because of it makes me very proud of my team and our role in the company’s success.

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What media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?

With modest marketing budgets, we tend to rely most on owned and earned channels, as well as events (pre-Covid). However, LinkedIn is our most important social channel and we are testing paid campaigns there with promising results.

What for you is the key to any successful marketing campaign – what actually makes a ‘good lead’?

For Blis, a high-quality lead would be someone who fits one of our buyer personas, is from one of our top-tier agencies or brands and has engaged with one or more marketing touchpoints, from content and social to events and partnerships.

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Technology is key and helps us not only communicate with our customers in more personalised and consistent ways but also helps with tracking, analysis and streamlining our internal processes and communication to effectively manage our projects, execute and measure. Also in this Covid world we live in today, technologies that we used mostly for internal meetings like Google Hangouts, Zoom and Teams, now bring us closer to our clients, as we’re using them for virtual client entertainment and education and to generally stay connected and build relationships when our sellers can’t meet clients in person. As a technology company, Blis uses tech throughout our business to streamline, deliver and measure all aspects of our work.

What are the biggest pain points in a marketing campaign? And how do you overcome them?

Marketing pain points really shifted dramatically in 2020, as marketing budgets fell away with Covid along with opportunities to physically get in front of clients. This has created many challenges, but out of those challenges has sprung new thinking and ways of working. As a team, we had to demonstrate resilience and agility, as well as a quick willingness to let go of long-held beliefs or plans, so that we could embark on a new path to reaching, engaging and building customer relationships. We did this by taking the view that we needed to be as useful as possible to our clients versus just adding to the noise. This has been a strategy that has served us well and has kept us focused on what’s important.

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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette