Sales and marketing have evolved in recent years to the point where, according to Drift CMO Tricia Gellman in a recent chat with ITWC President and CEO Fawn Annan, technology and the ability to measure has become central.

When she began her career in marketing, Gellman recalls being somewhat disheartened that it was all “kind of fluffy.” But as her career went on, an evolution in marketing took place. Today, she said, a company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) is part of the executive suite proper. CEOs began looking to COOs for revenue and a better understanding of the ROI on money spent.

Gellman thinks CMOs should look for ways to also become revenue drivers. The COO, she said, has a diverse team of individuals who should and must be pushed to really look at brand and the customer experience. Bridging such efforts with those of core sales and marketing is really where CMOs want to be right now.

Gellman said “CMOs 3.0” are creating what she called “connective tissue” between many company units and functions. One, she said, they’re aligning with sales on metrics and how to work collectively on the same metrics to ensure everyone is delivering on the same goals. Secondly, they’re working with product to make sure what is messaged and sold is actually delivered.

According to recent research done by Drift, said Gellman, one of the most common struggles of CMOs is around aligning sales and marketing. Fortunately, she said, many CMOs are moving in exactly that direction.

Annan and Gellman discussed data. Gellman said it was key to answer such questions as how well you are managing your data, and how you keep it up to date, and whether you have good “clean” data as well as the right protocol in place around maintaining data across your systems.

Annan and Gellman went on to discuss how “good” data goes into defining best practices of customer engagement and conversion from lead to close. “So you have marketing able to focus on those messages, what is the way we want to start off these conversations,” said Gellman. “And then empower sales with data about these people. How much have they engaged with us before? What kinds of things typically would those in their industry care about?”

Gellman said the buying journey can be accelerated by bringing all data together in real time, to deliver personalization and she calls contextual engagement.

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