We act in the middle of the cloud which is the place where it is happening right now.
As just mentioned over the last couple of months I have been asked many times to tell our marketing story. It is a great way to share our expertise and best practices and get in contact with peers who are facing similar challenges. It also made me realize that myself and the team are in a privileged situation. Working in a high growth financial healthy company where we have the ability and resources to practice marketing the way we think we should. Talking with my peers a couple of things I noticed which to me are pretty striking. Especially in somewhat larger companies it seems that specific marketing teams are created to practice so called ‘digital marketing’. Talking with those people digital marketing is about online marketing, marketing automation, SEO, SEA etc. This tells me that senior marketing management still needs to be convinced about the value of the things just mentioned. The only thing at that moment I think is ‘digital marketing’ IS what we currently and only do.On itself that is a kind of no brainer to me but it seems that still many need to be convinced. The only thing at that moment I think is ‘digital marketing’ IS what we currently and only do. So imagine you work in a team where you have the convince your boss, marketing manager or CMO about the new, contemporary way of practicing marketing. That really makes you realize we at Exact are in a unique position. I feel I can drive marketing within Exact to its full extent and having limited theoretical background in the marketing profession gives me freedom to embrace all new developments which are dramatically changing marketing. Still a meet many people where I can’t ignore to think about the huge leap they have to make for themselves.
This year together with our Corporate Communications department we spend lots of time in redefining our branding. Although we from a marketing perspective are driving business together with sales on a daily basis, having a strong brand foundation will help us in all campaigns we run. The most recent exercise was of 6 years ago and with all latest developments it was time to revisit all that has been done at that time. Thinking about the brand key, brand value and mentality we think we are and should express. During this summer we launched our new branding strategy and some video clips to explain and express our mentality and new pay off. An entrepreneurial spirit is what we all live. I had the privilege to talk to one of the original founders of Exact, Arco van Nieuwland, a while ago trying to understand how it all started. Also to feel their challenges at that time and how they constantly challenged the status quo. I hate to spend too much money and together with the sales directors we are always focused on impact, performance and results.For some reason this spirit is still within the company, taking reasonable risks, making well thought decisions but most of all just do it. I know, there is another sporting brand who already claimed this pay off but it very much described for our business what we are about. Main reason I think for that is that we are aiming for smaller companies as from the start. If I look to myself and the team, all money that we are allowed to spend on marketing we treat as our own money. Sounds simple and hear this many times within other companies, but I feel we do. If we spend money we make sure that we are all aligned, especially with sales. I hate to spend too much money and together with the sales directors we are always focused on impact, performance and results.
Exact marketing story
The mix of high volume within B2B, cloud, ‘digital marketing’ and our do-mentality sets us apart from the rest. It appeals to many others who want to hear from us how we do things. So in my story I tell about myself with having no professional theoretical marketing background at all that I think in these times of massive changes helps me a lot. I tell about where we came from when I joined the company, the word ‘lead’ in marketing was something that was put under the carpet. Accountability, transparency and sales alignment were introduced in order to build a scaleable revenue marketing machine. We made great steps especially in the last 24 months. All hot marketing topics we cover, content marketing, marketing automation, customer buying journey, content mapping, lead scoring, predictive analytics and social business. There is stress, it is ultimate dynamic and sometimes feels like a pressure cooker, we make many faults and there are many pitfalls where we walk into.Still I see with my own eyes that many are talking about it, a few are able to describe and turn into certain models and processes to make it work. Than there is the rare species that is able to truly execute. It is the people who make things really happen, I consider ourselves to this rare species. And with ourselves I mean all colleagues of Exact. Because it it is not only us who makes things happen, we need a great product to even be able to start talking about it. We need great sales who is signing the contracts, we need great customer success agents who make our customers feel happy and we need management and facilities around us that create the atmosphere that we think and that will let us make things happen. But it is not only happiness. There is stress, it is ultimate dynamic and sometimes feels like a pressure cooker, we make many faults and there are many pitfalls where we walk into. This is our true marketing story, a blend of doing things and making faults where the overall spirit keeps us going.