Salesforce: 'Everyone is undergoing pandemic transformation'

Salesforce VP for Marketing: 'Every company and person is undergoing incredible pandemic transformation'

VP for Marketing at Salesforce, Jo Pettifer

Jo Pettifer is the VP for UKI Marketing at Salesforce, the industry’s go-to CRM, and answers our questions in the latest of Press Gazette’s Marketing Maestro interviews, in association with Lead Monitor, a curator of engaging marketing content and NSMG’s propriety marketing tool.

What has been your proudest achievement in your current role?

The past two years have been both challenging and rewarding for all marketing professionals. It’s caused us to think about how we connect and engage with customers more deeply than we did before. We’ve had to adopt a highly agile approach to a rapidly changing environment; transforming how we engage from physical experiences to virtual and hybrid.

We’ve had to look closely at the value and relevance of our brand and how customers perceive us in an all-digital work-from-anywhere world creating integrated, personalised journeys for our customers to help them navigate and transform their businesses at pace and by putting our trailblazers at the heart of everything we do.

I’m so proud of how we’ve done this but also how marketers across all organisations have transformed their businesses, their teams and their customer engagement.

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

Video content is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your audience. It offers value of marketing spend and creates a multi-sensory experience that allows you to connect and communicate on a deeper, more emotional, human level which is what we now look for from brands. As virtual engagement became our primary form of marketing in the last two years, we have had to reimagine everything about how we market in the new world.

In March 2020, we quickly saw the world become reliant on streaming services such as Netflix, Apple TV+ and Disney+. The success of these channels became our inspiration for a new era of marketing and event content, and so Salesforce+ was born.

Salesforce+ video content is less focused on our products, and more on addressing the pain points and concerns of CIOs, CMOs, VPs of service, sales leaders and sharing how organisations are transforming their businesses. We tell our story through our customers’ stories and our results show this content is resonating.

[Sign up to Marketing Matters, our fortnightly newsletter with leading articles about marketing, advertising and publishing]

What are the key differences between B2C and B2B marketing?

The lines between traditional B2B and B2C marketing are blurring. B2C organisations are adopting the tactics and strategies of B2B organisations and vice versa. B2C companies are increasingly seeing the value of deep customer engagement through customer lifetime value and B2B is placing increasing emphasis on the value of their brand.

The key difference is in the type of purchasing decision which influences the style of marketing. B2B marketing is more focused on process-driven purchasing decisions but both audiences require marketers to balance and reach the head and the heart of the person. It is important to consider the type of decision that is being made, the person behind the process and their expectations of the service provider.

From my perspective, whilst they have their differences, you need to have empathy for your audiences and their surroundings, now more than ever. Every company and person is undergoing incredible pandemic transformation, with a unique set of challenges. We must innovate to meet those changing needs.

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

Data now empowers the best marketing campaigns. Every marketer must do more with their first-party data to drive personalisation and embrace hybrid ways of serving and selling, working and living. In the midst of recovery and constant change, a data-driven approach serves you with insights to be relevant to customers and what they’re currently dealing with is our top priority. Is what we have for them really going to help them right now?

How important is technology in modern marketing?

Technology and marketing go hand-in-hand. For marketers, few things will go back to the way they were before and digitisation is here to stay. What was once a nice-to-have, is now an imperative. In this digital-first world, companies need to deliver moments that are connected, relevant, and human.

That’s what every marketer is learning to do: To embrace new digital formats to deliver those moments where the person is. We must re-engineer our marketing strategies to go primarily digital and deliver personalised experiences to every customer on the digital channels of their choice.

Our Dreamforce event last year was a perfect example of technology and hybrid marketing in action. Through the use of our Safety Cloud technology, we were able to gather in-person by uploading proof of vaccination status and on-site testing, with the assurance that health and safety was our number one priority. Meanwhile, millions of trailblazers were able to tune in on Salesforce+ to watch the keynote and access 150 virtual sessions – perfect synergy.

And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?

We have come a long way over the past two years and have been at the forefront of major transformations in business and our industry. How can we retain this momentum? What’s next for us and our teams?

SIGN UP HERE FOR

FUTURE OF MEDIA

Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.