“Insight-related martech can empower the whole organisation with information that used to be siloed”
This week, I spoke with Meagan Healey, Head of Content & Product Marketing at on-demand consumer research company, Attest. Meagan works across all areas of marketing, from aligning content strategy, digital advertising, copywriting, creating assets and much more. She joined the conversation to talk about the relationship between sales and marketing, how this influences growth marketing, and how data is changing the game (but not always making things easier for marketers).
Caitlin: What would you say are the three biggest pain points marketers are facing today?
Meagan: This is a tough one, because there’s a lot!
I think a really obvious one is that there’s limited time to get through all the things that you need to do in a day. Every time I speak to someone in marketing, one of the first things they say is: “There’s too much on my plate”.
The other two things are related. There’s a huge emphasis on ROI in absolutely everything you do, but a lot of people find that quite difficult when it comes to longer-term brand building efforts. With short term acquisition marketing it’s quite easy to move the needle, but when it comes to building a brand, it’s really difficult to know where you should be putting your money.
The final pain point is data. Data is becoming the backbone of absolutely everything that we do. And interpreting data isn’t something that we were taught in school; a lot of marketers don’t necessarily innately know how to use it. Yet using data to spark creativity, and even just conduct day-to-day marketing practices, is becoming the norm. So a pain point is actually getting to grips with data.
“Data is becoming the backbone of absolutely everything that we do”
Caitlin: And how can marketers overcome these?
Meagan: By embracing new tools, being curious and not remaining stagnant. It’s crucial to not get too comfortable with: “This worked last year so it’s probably going to work this year”.
Making sure that you understand how to work with data is also key. You need to be able to interpret the data your organisation holds and use it to make things work. And if you’re a senior marketer, you need to upskill your team to be able to do the same. You must be on top of the fact that data is incredibly important, and that’s not going to change. We need to always be thinking: “What do I need in my toolkit to be a great marketer?”
Caitlin: Agreed – tools are such a great way to become more familiar with using data, and make it less intimidating! On that note, how have you seen the development of insight-related martech change the industry?
Meagan: Well, data or research used to be somewhat siloed within different parts of the organisation, but with new tools research can be so much more accessible. Anyone can just dip their toe in and gain a much better understanding of their customer base. And insight-related martech can empower the whole organisation with this information that used to be siloed.
Caitlin: How has the relationship between sales and marketing evolved?
Meagan: Within the SaaS technology world we’re seeing marketing and sales becoming more cohesive than they were traditionally. It’s been recognised that we’re all commercial thinkers, and that our end goal is to bring in the right leads and create happy clients, making their experience with our product as seamless as possible, meaning the two departments are more closely aligned than ever before in many organisations.
I think it’s a really positive step. Personally I love the fact I sit right next to the people who are speaking to our clients and customers every day, and that we chat over coffee often. It gives me a real sense of what’s going on in the market, which is super powerful for someone whose job is to create content and tailor messaging to prospects I don’t always have the chance to speak to directly. It’s a great direction for us to be heading in.
Caitlin: You mentioned this evolving relationship is intrinsically linked to growth. How would you define growth marketing?
Meagan: We tend to talk about growth at Attest in terms of predictable models that are based on data-backed decisions. We’re also proponents for models that scale.. So when I think about growth marketing I think about slowly but surely moving the needle and looking at iterating on our plans all the time.
That takes the form of setting out a plan, and making sure that we’re monitoring it and measuring it throughout. I also think that growth hacking can be used to experiment along the way – I love the idea of bringing fresh ideas to the table. But I think real growth is by nature sustainable, and data has to be central to that growth.
Caitlin: And how do you predict AI is going to disrupt marketing?
Meagan: AI is definitely going to amplify marketing. And I think personalisation is a huge part of that. Being able to serve people better content, but making it a lot more personalised is an obvious way that it’s going to disrupt traditional marketing right now.
From an acquisition perspective, I think AI will also have a big impact on targeting, meaning that we can be more refined with who we’re targeting. It even has the potential to help us look at assets such as graphics and do a bit more targeting based on psychographics, as opposed to staying tied to a rigid idea of our audience that’s founded on demographics.
“AI is definitely going to amplify marketing”
AI is not something I’m heavily involved with right now, but I’m certainly interested in how it’s going to change things. I’m especially interested in how consumers will respond to personalisation over time.
Caitlin: It’s going to be a really interesting next couple of years.
Meagan: It certainly is.