July 9, 2018

One CMOs Approach to Global B2B Marketing

by Renegade

When you spy the occasional B2B ad campaign that is both surprising and relevant, veterans of the trade can’t help but wonder, “Why wasn’t that new ‘organ’ rejected by the corporate body?”

To answer this question, it helps to spend time with the top marketing surgeon (aka CMO). In the interview below, Lauren Flaherty, CMO at CA Technologies, helps dissect the strategic thinking behind CA’s new global campaign, “The Modern Software Factory.” In the process, her diagnosis identifies several truths that other marketers would be wise to take to heart.

Talk about your new campaign.

“The Modern Software Factory” is a way of framing how CA can help guide companies through their digital transformation. Over the last couple of years, we’ve been talking about the application economy and all of its promise. What we came to appreciate is that people understand it, but they struggle with how to get there. For example, customers need to be agile, they’ve got to get apps to market more quickly and securely, they desperately need insights from data. “The Modern Software Factory” is not a show floor for us; it’s actually where we can ask customers: Where’s your pain point? Where do you see your opportunity? And then we can demonstrate that we have the software that can help. [View new ads here and here.]

What was the genesis of this idea?

The genesis WAS a book written last fall by our CTO and a number CA’s presales team members called Digitally Remastered.” Their insight came from years of working with customers and seeing the best practices for what we call in the book, “A Blueprint for Your Modern Software Factory.” It comes from real customer data and insights, and it’s a very pragmatic approach to how you proceed on the digital transformation journey.

It’s a big deal for a global company to launch a new campaign like this. What were the main steps to bring the program to fruition?

We work closely with our regional colleagues to make sure that a campaign is relevant in all regions. What was fascinating was that our sales and marketing teams heard the same things from customers in every region. The customer doesn’t come to the discussion saying, “I’m looking for product X, Y or Z.” Instead, they say, “I need to make this happen. I have this pain point.” Interestingly all of us who do global brand work struggle with adoption outside of the U.S., but there was this universal need for digital transformation. It varies by country in terms of maturity, but the need to have business be powered by software is universal.

Before we launched, we’ve also enabled our sales colleagues with education and training, so they’re prepared to carry “The Modern Software Factory” narrative. This campaign is an articulation of our business strategy, so our ability to show CA’s know-how and have a different kind of dialogue with our customers is crucial.

What were the biggest hurdles that you had to overcome in bringing this to market?

Simplification. Technology and software can get pretty geeky, pretty fast, so it was important to simplify the message to align with business outcomes, keep it customer-centric and avoid the pitfalls of speaking in code. We focused on a narrative around business value and goals, so the campaign would resonate with the targets we wanted to reach. We also developed a framework that would be globally relevant, clear and easy to understand. Once we had those elements, and coupled the voice of the customer with the device of “The Modern Software Factory,” it started to click and came together quickly.

Will you be measuring impact on brand perceptions?

We measure everything! For brand, we’ll look at traditional metrics around reputation management, in association with our brand familiarity and consideration. We care a lot about consideration, because that’s based on our data, and is the leading indicator to what we’ll see downstream in pipeline. We also look at what’s happening with CA.com — traffic, and how it spikes as we turn the faucet of content on and off, how long and where are people on the site, and more.

How about lead generation?

Underneath the brand metrics, product demand is everything here. We look at pipeline data, specifically whether we have enough opportunities by week across sales, partners, digital sales and marketing. We ask whether we’re creating enough opportunity that will convert into revenue. So, we consider the full spectrum of measurement, from brand to what I call hygiene-level demand creation.

Did you work with any outside partners?

We work with a team called John McNeil Studios, or JMS, based in Berkeley, California. They’ve been our agency of record for brand for the last three and a half years. JMS is a really talented group, and they help us with everything from television, to digital, to brand identity work. They get the category, and they’re great partners.

In terms of launching the “Modern Software Factory” campaign and getting it to market, what were the biggest lessons learned?

I think the biggest lesson — and it sounds so obvious — is that when you keep the customer at the center of everything, it’s your True North. We just kept coming back to, “How do they express their needs? Where do they place the greatest value?” It framed how we would tell the story, and what we would emphasize.