Carrie Mott, FullStory‘s APAC Head of Marketing talks to The Ortus Club’s Hannah Hodkinson about the importance of digital experiences in today’s market.
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What does your company do?
Let me explain that we are currently in the midst of a digital-first era. Our customers are always connected, digitally-savvy, empowered, and increasingly mobile-first and value-driven. They demand seamless, intuitive, fast, and convenient digital experiences, regardless of the channel, whether it’s a website, application, or social media. Meanwhile, we have witnessed major changes in our new normal. There have been significant changes in customer attitudes toward privacy in line with regulation. The end of Google cookies at the end of this year has also caused shifts. Teams are also looking to democratise data to enable citizens, developers, and influencers. All these factors have led to digital experiences across websites, applications, and mobile devices becoming the new competitive battleground for almost every brand, whether B2C or B2B.
What we know is that a poor digital experience hurts both customers and the bottom line. Recent studies have shown that two-thirds of consumers leave a website without completing a transaction when they encounter any form of friction or frustration. One in three consumers will walk away from a brand they love after one interaction, and over 90% of them will not even bother communicating that to the company.
FullStory was formed over 10 years ago with the mission to help brands achieve three key objectives that impact their digital experiences. Firstly, to find, prioritise, and fix all the frustrations in the digital journey, such as rage clicks, cart abandonment, or site navigation issues, to increase revenue and loyalty from their digitally-connected customers. Secondly, FullStory helps develop customer-led roadmaps and product developments across websites and apps, where customers are in control, allowing product development teams to innovate with confidence. Lastly, FullStory focuses on delivering digital experience intelligence by uniting cross-functional teams from marketing, support, product, and engineering to work together in real-time around digital experience data. This approach helps them make improvements and prioritise what will impact the bottom line without compromising user privacy.
As the Head of Marketing in your company, what is your main marketing focus currently?
Focus is always one of the biggest challenges in marketing, as it covers an enormous number of goals. For me, there are three main priorities. Firstly, it’s about evolving our marketing function to be more customer-centric, putting a cape on our customers, and working towards a revenue marketing model that creates, captures, and accelerates demand, while also winning the hearts and minds of our current and future customers.
Secondly, my current goal is to enable our cross-functional teams internally to support an account-based, every single ABX model. We want to see sales, marketing, customer success, and support working together in unison to deliver value for our customers.
And thirdly, given that we’re in a category creation phase, I aim to help share the business value of digital experience intelligence and analytics, which is essentially the consolidation of three existing markets – web, product, and mobile analytics – all driven by the fact that teams now need to work together with real-time CX data.
What are your biggest marketing challenges at the moment?
There are certainly a couple of challenges that my peers and I are facing, and these are the challenges that we are currently addressing. One is how to better orchestrate impactful, differentiated, data-driven campaigns that follow the customer journey, so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
When it comes to marketing, branding, digital content, demand generation, product marketing, events, and customer marketing, we need to bring them all together in an orchestrated manner to create end-to-end campaigns that truly support our customers’ buying journeys. I believe this is currently our biggest challenge.
However, there are also a couple of other challenges. One is helping our marketing teams and agencies adapt to understand that cross-functional operating models are how we, as B2B service providers, need to go to market, with an account-based approach, given the current macroeconomic conditions.
The third challenge is closely related to the external focus on category creation that we are experiencing in our growth phase. We need to ensure that we communicate the vision and value of introducing a brand-new way of organising teams around the digital experience.
“When it comes to marketing, branding, digital content, demand generation, product marketing, events, and customer marketing, we need to bring them all together in an orchestrated manner to create end-to-end campaigns that truly support our customers’ buying journeys.”
How does your company stay ahead of its competitors in terms of marketing?
Ultimately, our focus is on how we support and deliver value to our customers, to see them become those award-winning success stories. Our customer-centric obsession involves understanding and supporting customers throughout the entirety of their journey and transformation. By focusing on that journey and success, we are seeing the impact of the flywheel on our growth.
The second thing is our willingness to try new things and to break the status quo of engagement, marketing technology, and our connected customer communities. They are changing at such a speed that we need to be innovative and open to new ways to experiment on how we connect with customers, to connect those digital minds with analog hearts.
What does the future of marketing look like?
I have certainly become more data-driven, more personalised, and more technology-enabled. However, I also believe in focusing on creating engaging and authentic experiences. We are exploring increased personalisation and generative AI, which is currently unavoidable, to enhance our targeting and reach toward potential customers.
I also believe that social media and video content will continue to be significant aspects of any B2B CMO’s future marketing strategy, as well as advocating for sustainability, representing and embodying our values as an organisation. These are a few of the key themes that drive the future of marketing for us and my peers.
How does your company integrate sustainability into its overall marketing strategy?
Sustainability is a core value of mine. For me, sustainability is about leaving our community and planet better than we found it. This covers our environment, society, and the economy. At FullStory, we support sustainability in many ways, including our work in the Asia Pacific to help developing nations digitise and unlock new economic opportunities.
However, we also go beyond that. In my team, we work with non-profit organisations such as Orange Sky, which is committed to working for homeless and underprivileged communities. We also partner with Meet Magic, which supports the Starlight Children’s Foundation, helping children and their families recover from significant illnesses. Moreover, we are mindful of the impact that our work has on the environment. For instance, we consider “light touch” programmes with our partners to reduce waste from the physical components of our campaigns.
What is the role of the CMO in one word? Why?
That is a very challenging question. I’m going to take two, just because I’m in marketing. I would say “growth agent”. So the CMO is a growth agent because we are really responsible for being the headlights of the business. And that requires CMOs to lead the design and have a strategy that anticipates not only our current customers’ needs, but also what our future customers needs will be, to help bring our organisations and teams up to speed through rapid experimentation through data-driven decision making, and certainly to innovate with new campaigns that help us differentiate from competitors.
I think that there are many other things that marketing plays a role in, from psychologists to scientists, mathematicians, and artists. But really, it’s the growth agent and commitment to seeing an organisation maintain and continue to grow its current customer base that are key.
What career advice would you like to share with other marketing leaders?
I think the first big one for me is that you have to be interested to be interesting. The word “marketing” requires you to really understand your market and your consumers and be curious enough to ask questions and challenge assumptions in your ecosystems and customer base, as well as in your prospective organisation and teams. It requires lifelong learning, so I’d say curiosity and being interested are probably my number one mantra as a marketing lead.
The second one won’t be a surprise once you hear the theme of a lot of the approach and strategy that I take, which is putting a cape on your customers. Your customer advocates are the key to unlocking growth and helping you acquire new customers. You need to be committed to seeing them succeed.
The third one for me has really been about not being afraid to challenge the status quo and, in fact, making sure that you do. We’re moving faster than we ever have, and we’re slower than we ever will be. That requires keeping up with the plethora of marketing technologies, communication channels, buying teams, and behaviours that exist. You need to adapt and evolve to thrive, and I think that’s a key piece of advice that I have kept close to my heart over the last few years and will continue to do so.
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