VP of Marketing: A Day In The Life

So what can I tell you about a day in the life of a VP of Marketing at Demandbase? I could wax lyrical about my amazing colleagues, insanely happy customers, and our flourishing SaaS business. Not to mention paid healthcare, free lunches, and a U2 themed meeting room. But that would be so obvious—and way too warm and fuzzy!

Take your seat, marketers…
Let’s talk about real-life marketing instead. To be completely honest, I’m a much happier camper these days. Not only have marketing leaders got a seat at the revenue table, but our data is often one of the leading indicators of a company’s overall health. Even better, the insights we glean around pipeline performance, cost per opportunity, and target account engagement can propel the business forward at the most critical times. As W. Edwards Deming said, “In God we trust. All others must bring data”.

Are you a dashboard nerd?
Checking marketing KPIs is now second nature to me—in fact, I’ll admit it; I’m a total dashboard nerd! At Demandbase, you won’t be surprised to hear that we have created quarterly dashboards to measure overall marketing KPIs, and the performance of key integrated campaigns. So every morning (and afternoon, and evening), I can be found refreshing our revered dashboards with quiet intensity to see how close we are to our quarterly pipeline goals, broken out by channel.

On a side note, it’s always a little disheartening to be told that you can’t refresh a dashboard more than once per minute (although that doesn’t stop me from trying). Thanks for the reminder though, Lightning.

Step off the hamster wheel
Coming from a traditional approach to demand gen and pipeline creation, I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to track overall performance at the account level. It’s a relief to step off the hamster wheel of chasing certain job titles, pushing random top-of-funnel activity, or stacking up content syndication vendors who supposedly “get” your target audience. At Demandbase, we’ve named our target account list the DB4K and it’s a living, breathing set of accounts that are best-fit within our ideal customer profile. We use it to guide all our marketing investments, from global events to VIP dinners; as a vendor, if you’re not reaching our DB4K, you’re flat out of luck.

Looking through an account-based lens
From that point onwards, everything is nicely aligned. Our team will focus campaign budget on our target account list, engaging the buying committee at those accounts, with relevant outreach to engage those who are showing meaningful intent for our solution. The metrics don’t change a whole lot once you’ve gotten the ABM basics in place—SQLs, pipeline, channel ROI, annual contract value, deal velocity—but now you view everything from an account-based lens. What percentage of our DB4K am I engaging with this month? How many of these are net new accounts versus last month? How many stakeholders within each account are engaging? These are the entirely healthy questions that any VP of Marketing at a company practicing ABM will ask.

Sales and marketing symphony
Another aspect of the VP of Marketing role that’s made infinitely easier by ABM is overall team alignment. When your sales and marketing teams are aligned on the same goals—SQLs, pipeline, and closed/won business—the friction and push to chase competing strategies is over. Campaign execution becomes a breeze because marketing can enable sales with their top three marketing priorities each week based on a true pipeline goal. When sales and marketing are well aligned, it’s not unusual to see accounts on the DB4K get opened up by a symphony of well-executed marketing tactics, from account-based advertising to webinars and direct mail; each tactic is geared towards engaging with the buying committee from one of your target accounts, surrounding them with relevant and engaging content, and guiding them towards a discovery call or full platform demo.

Integrated campaigns with less noise
Lastly, ABM can help to bring focus and drive to the most complex global integrated marketing campaigns. When your marketing strategy is in place (hopefully at least one quarter before you activate), you’ll be tracking to a couple of broad themes to guide your marketing activities. When working across multiple channels, it’s really important that you have a solid organizing principle to pull all the various threads together. At Demandbase, our Integrated Campaign structure allows us to manage all the elements of a thriving marketing campaign, from the core messaging framework to creative deliverables, audience segmentation, and multi-channel activities. Applying an ABM layer as a foundation for each integrated campaign ensures that you’re targeting the buying committee at the right accounts, your segmentation is solid, individual channel goals roll up to the overall strategic direction, and each channel is fine-tuned to deliver ROI across your target account list. ABM takes away a lot of the noise typically associated with integrated, multi-channel campaigns and keeps your team focused on the prize of engaging high-value accounts from your target account list. Simple enough, right?

Thought Leader, B2B Marketing & Sales Strategy

I'm a B2B specialist with over 20 years of experience leading enterprise Marketing teams. I love figuring out how to scale enterprise Marketing, from brand building to pipeline development and global customer acquisition. As Vice President of Growth Marketing at Demandbase, I was responsible for Demand Generation, Field Marketing, and Customer Marketing. Prior to that, I was a Marketing leader at two ad tech companies, Marin Software and Smaato. And I co-founded an e-learning startup that specialized in software developer training, with a rules-based code judging engine.