In 2016, a record number of CMOs lost their jobs—which is startling, considering we are not in an economic downturn or recession. Even more startling is that 30 percent of the CMOs that escaped the pink slip last year will lose their jobs by the end of this year.
The reason these CMOs were let go was likely because they were unable to evolve to meet the needs of the new business environment. Surviving CMOs must successfully mesh their creative abilities with their ability to effectively use technology tools. Many times, CMOs and companies invest in a lot of money in marketing technology that is supposed to automate processes and enhance customer experiences, but then struggle with implementation of this technology, or fail to maximize its full potential, making it difficult to justify its benefits (and often hefty price tag).
CMOs also struggle with translating what they do and how they benefit the company. Just showing numbers or data doesn’t create buy-in in the boardroom if it can’t be backed up or explained. CMOs that will survive 2017 need to understand data, but also tell exactly how that data was collected, measured, and used, and whether these efforts show profit (or loss) to show value to the company.
How CMOs talk about what they do has to change, too. It’s time to drop the buzzwords that don’t mean anything in the boardroom. CMOs must translate what they do in the terms and ways that executives want to hear—without all of industry jargon.
Surviving CMOs will understand the expectations of the company, and design marketing plans with those requirements in mind. This contributes to successful execution of the marketing plan and gives CMOs benchmarks to measure progress against. CMOs also need to understand the criteria with which they will be evaluated, to ensure they are, in fact, meeting expectations.
But, meeting expectations isn’t enough. CMOs must continuously remind the company of the value they and marketing bring—and a great way to do this is by being in the boardroom, and involved in high-level C-suite conversations. By bringing attention to the way Marketing is positively impacting the business, CMOs show their value, and create job security.
Creating value is critical for CMOs, and right now only about 1 in 4 is doing it successfully. The rest of the marketers out there are really just focused on supporting sales or a la carte marketing jobs creating brochures or landing pages.
So, successful CMOs who survive this year and beyond must be ready match their creative vision to the needs and expectations of the business. They are well-versed in analytics and technology, they understand data, and they explain it in a meaningful way to demonstrate their value.
This may sound overwhelming, but there are plenty of CMOs out there embracing this shift in thinking and tackling the transformation head-on by embracing new technology and wrapping their heads and hands around data. These CMOs understand that their job is changing and that they must change, too.
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Shelly Kramer: Hey everybody. Welcome to this weeks’ episode of CMO Talk. This week I’m thrilled to bring someone that I’ve known for a long time to the show and someone who not only walks a lot of the same path that my partners and I walk on a regular basis but who I happen to think is incredibly smart. So, I am introducing you to Laura Patterson who is the Founder and President of a company called VisionEdge Marketing. Laura, welcome. It’s great to have you.
Laura Patterson: Thank you Shelly. It is such a pleasure to be with you and your team. Thanks for having me.
Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other in the real. We were talking before the show a little bit about your company and the roots of your company. Why don’t you tell our listeners that because I think that’s an interesting story and one that’s pretty relevant to our discussion.
Laura Patterson: I suspect that I’m not very different from many of the CMO’s that listen to you on this program. My career started in Marketing. I’m not going to go too far back, but a long time ago. When we co-founded and created VisionEdge Marketing in 1999, can you believe it will be 18 years this summer? It was the idea that data analytics process and measurement were really critical capabilities that marketers needed to bring to the table if they wanted to create value and propel growth for their companies. And so, that was really our thinking and our passion. I’d come out of the semiconductor industry, the software industry, the financial services industry. I laugh when I say this but it’s really true – I’ve only worked for 2 kinds of people in my entire 30 plus years’ career and that’s either Engineers or Accountants. So, it’s all about the numbers.
Shelly Kramer: That’s right. Actually, I was remembering about our conversation when we met at a conference years ago, and that was what particularly resonated with me because many of my clients have been Engineers and it’s a different ball of wax when you are trying to explain to people who are very smart, very well educated and who often think that they kind of have the solution to everything. To be able to say, okay, step back, and be open minded and think about doing something in a different way than you have ever done it before and if you trust me just a little bit we can deliver results. And oh, by the way, I can back all of this up with data. And even having those conversations with very Senior Level Engineers who were running global practices for global Engineering consultancies, the rate of adoption was very low. A lot of what we have done and what has differentiated us from competitors, is, much like you, we realized very early on the role the internet was going to play in business and driving and changing business. So, we were kind of on the frontier of leading companies down the path of digital transformation, even though we didn’t call it that right then. Every experience of mine and I’m sure yours as well, coming into an organization has been that of a change agent. I’m going to come in. I’m going to challenge you to think differently, to do things differently than we’ve ever done before. It’s going to require you to take a little bit of faith. It’s going to require you to invest some money. But, at the end of this path, you are going to see a difference. You are going to see a transformation. The only way it can happen – the only way you can get from there to here – is to walk this path. So, those are interesting conversations to have and I would imagine, like me, you have as many of those very same conversations today as you did 10 years ago.
Laura Patterson: Every day. It is amazing. Every day.
Shelly Kramer: Every day.
Laura Patterson: So maybe a little context and I know you and I are going to spend more time talking about this. We started as pioneers in the Marketing Performance Management Marketing Excellence space in 2001. I thought that this would be a discipline in Marketing, that it would just sky rocket and take off but even today, many times it’s like deer in the headlights when we are talking with members of the Marketing Leadership Team and how important it is to get the right metrics, to get the right processes and being able to use data not only to prove Marketing’s contribution but also to make better strategic decisions and investments. It’s still pretty surprising that it’s for many companies, an early stage journey.
Shelly Kramer: It is and I’ve seen some data that you’ve supplied. I know that the CMO tenure is typically, gosh, I want to see I’ve seen things ranging from 3 years to 18 months. CMO’s come and go very quickly and the interesting thing is we expect, it’s sort of like professional sports, we expect CMO’s to come in and instantly deliver results or they get the hook. And that’s interesting. It’s interesting to me and I think that we set expectations really high. We don’t allocate the resources necessary in many instances for CMO’s to succeed. There’s not an understanding, I think, to a large degree of, in some instances, the budget that’s required to make certain things happen. So, when you can get by in we need to use data, we need to use analytics, there’s so many things at our disposal that can allow us to more effectively gauge our Marketing spend, our Marketing ROI, to tweak and fine tune that, to deliver the absolute best results, but it’s going to cost us X amount of dollars to make that happen. Or, we are going to have to – it’s smarter for us to outsource some of the talent and expertise that we need as opposed to hiring FTE’s. There are so many different battles that you have to fight along the way that there are some real interesting challenges for CMO’s and barriers to their success.
Laura Patterson: So I can’t really speak to CMO tenure right now and that’s a conversation we should probably have over a glass of wine. Why it seems to happen a lot. But I do want to point to some data and then maybe talk a little bit about what a CMO can really do because I think that’s what’s important.
Shelly Kramer: Absolutely.
Laura Patterson: There was some data that came out from one of the very well-known recruiting and staffing firms and they talked about the fact that last year was a record number of CMO’s who lost their jobs. Considering that we aren’t in an economic crisis last year, that was kind of room for pause. Right? And on the heels of that, Forrester came out with a report at the tail end of last year predicting that 30% of the CMO’s would lose their jobs this year. So, if there’s a CMO out there who thinks they are at risk, I think that a lot of CMO’s are at risk. Even the ones that have made huge investments. In fact, I think one of the challenges facing Marketing today is that they have made significant investments in technology, lots and lots of tools, and they are not paying off. And the reason they are not paying off is they tried to skip some steps and kind of wanted to pass go and get $200 and now, if they’re not careful they are going to end up in jail, so to speak. So, a study that came out by the CMO Council, I think very highly of them as an organization, said look, CMO’s have to show right out of the gate how they are going to impact the business. And we know from our research that we have been doing since 2001, that really only about a quarter, that’s only 1 in 4 Marketing organizations and CMO’s can really do this well. So, let’s talk about what those guys really do and what the other guys could do. First and foremost, a good CMO is a business person first and a Marketing person second. Right? So, they kind of shed all that Marketing lingo that gets in the way of communication with the CFO and the CEO when they are talking about the business. I think that’s really an important message, because we have so much language inside of Marketing that we sort of glom onto and we think that everybody understands what that means. Right? When we’re talking about open rates and click-to rates and conversion rates and likes and visits and time on sight, all of that stuff right? Shares, everything. Nobody in the leadership team really cares about that. They do want to understand what Marketing is doing to move the needle for the business. Does that make sense?
Shelly Kramer: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s a big challenge.
Laura Patterson: It is a big challenge. It’s a huge challenge. We know that there are 2 things that are statistically significant that distinguishes these value creators or these best in class Marketers and they are alignment and accountability. So, the first thing is, when you go look at those Marketing plans, and we get lots and lots of Marketing plans every year to review. They come in all shapes and sizes. I am still amazed at how few of them are truly measurable, let alone aligned to the business. They have a list of campaigns and they talk about leads and they talk about activities that they are going to do, whether it’s events or email, digital or changing the website. But very rarely are they really talking about business results. So, that’s a key challenge.
Shelly Kramer: Right.
Laura Patterson: It starts right there. The starting point is getting that plan right.
Shelly Kramer: Well, and I think that beyond getting the plan right, which is a challenge, but I think executing on the plan and being able to evaluate your ability to execute on the plan is significant. I’ll give you a quick example. We work with a lot of very large technology companies and we did kind of a comprehensive campaign for this company, around 2 pieces of technology that they were hoping to sell in the small to mid-size market. They wanted to do a series of webinars. We own a media company so we sell webinars and on-line events and those kinds of things to clients and we manage those things from soup to nuts for them. In this particular instance, this client wanted to manage their own webinar platform because they had the ability to do that. So, we worked with them. We developed the webinar topics, marketed the webinar, promoted the webinar, we got leads and registrations for the webinar. But, what we found was that they were new to the webinar program that they had purchased. They did not understand best in class practices with regard to marketing a webinar. For us, there’s a series of communications and touches and emails and email reminders up to an hour before an event happens that we are managing. Those registrants get yet another reminder – your webinar starts in 45 minutes, can’t wait to see you there – and all of these little steps that happen along the way, that leads your prospects where you want them to be. And while this team at this major brand are very, very smart people, they were doing a little bit right and missing so many steps along the way that they were setting themselves up for failure. So, we were still able to deliver a webinar and to deliver registrants and to have a good experience for people. Thankfully we were able to market that webinar after the fact. I think that sometimes what we see is brands get seduced by technology as you mentioned. They have the technology and they either don’t have the internal expertise, on how, you know, Marketing is so sophisticated these days and that’s why I mentioned earlier being smart enough to tap vendor partners and outsource some of these things because it is really difficult these days to afford to build a team that has the capabilities that you really need to execute at a high level these days. And I think that we are going to see more and more collaboration by CMO’s and Marketing teams with Subject Matter Experts, Vendor Partner Experts and that’s going to be part of the equation for success. In addition to what you are going to talk about, which is understanding how to use dashboards and some of this information that I know you do so well.
Laura Patterson: Well Shelly, I totally agree. In the end, it comes down to execution. And that’s really critical. If you can’t execute what you put in place you are lost. Right? So, pedal to the metal so to speak, and proof in the pudding and all those other great metaphors. But the key thing that comes back to a CMO, hopefully, having really good people who can execute and do understand, whether that’s internal or external to their organization. But a good CMO then has to communicate back to their leadership team, to their peers, to potentially their Board, on what they are doing and how well they are contributing to the business and what is and isn’t working and what investments and decisions they recommend the organization make in order to achieve its business goals. Whether that’s growth related to new markets or new customers, or the adoption rate of a new service or product or it’s the expansion within a market or customer base to growth share of wallet, whatever those real initiatives are. I’m actually using business language and I’m amazed when I use words like those things I just mentioned, it’s deer in the headlights with many CMO’s. Right? Because they are thinking of pipeline contribution and they are thinking about leads, right? Again, they are thinking about sometimes win-loss, which is very good. That’s a good one to look at, but again, within context. So, a key thing that has to happen first of all, is that a CMO has to know what are the right metrics to use. Those metrics have to sync up to the outcomes the business is trying to achieve. And then there needs to be a very solid link chain between the metrics they chose so that they can see, so, oh, this is connected to – the connective tissue so to speak – between the work of Marketing and the activates that we are doing and the programs that we are executing and the money that we are spending. If you follow that chain you can see the results. So, it’s kind of an outcome to impact chain, impact to value chain, that you have to be able to create. And if you don’t know what that chain is and you don’t craft that chain properly in advance, you’ll never be able to create the proper dashboard. So, that’s kind of a key message around alignment and accountability for CMO’s.
Shelly Kramer: You know, we have talked about a lot of words. Tell us the difference between metrics and data and analytics, because they are different.
Laura Patterson: Great question. They are different. So, data is a piece of information, right? What zip code someone lives in, what color hair they have, this is all kinds of data, whether they get a positive review or a negative review. So, I think that’s really important to understand that data may or may not have some kind of quantity associated with it, measurability associated with it. It’s just good information and you might actually need a lot of that data, for example, to build out personas, because that gives you the color, the context, they psychographic and demographic kinds of information you might need for a persona. Measure of metrics has some type of quality or quantity value associated with them. So, household income, or budget dollars to be spent or anything else that you can actually count or in some way qualify, even if its qualitatively, becomes a measure. So, a measure is a kind of data. And then there is metric, which is the standard with against what you are going to perform. It’s not necessarily a benchmark, although a benchmark is a metric, it’s not always a KPI, not all metrics are KPI’s but all KPI’s are metrics. So, metrics are in that circle of data but they are a very unique piece of data. In Marketing, they should be tied to some kind of performance. So, setting up a performance metric in advance so that you can then declare whether or not you were successful is very important. So, just counting something after the fact is kind of interesting but is only good from a performance management perspective if It’s in context. Analytics, I know we have been talking about Analytics a lot in Marketing lately, but analytics is not a new thing. It’s been around a really long time. It’s been part of Marketing for a really long time and really, analytics is just the ability to apply algorithms to data in order to look for trends or patterns or other things that will help you make decisions. We use those analytics to build models. As you know right now, there’s a lot going on right now in attribution and mixed models. Again, not new, but certainly the complexity of the digital world and all various channels have made that much more complicated, but there’s lots of models that should be in every marketers library. Way more than just those 2.
Shelly Kramer: Right. Absolutely.
Laura Patterson: Does that answer your question?
Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. That was great and I think that those are all words that people throw around a lot and perhaps don’t have a firm grasp on. So, tell me, I think this is a big challenge, how do you select the right metrics as part of your Marketing plan?
Laura Patterson: That’s a great question. I think that’s the perfect starting point for every CMO who is really serious about Marketing excellence and Marketing Performance Management. It does being by understanding those outcomes that the company you work for is expecting you to impact and how much they expect Marketing to make a difference. And knowing what that is and building out, okay, now that means I have to do X to contribute to that outcome. And to do X sort of become your objective in your Marketing plan. Here’s what I’m going to use to determine whether or not we are successful. So, let’s pick an example. Let’s say the company is trying to increase their market share in a particular market, or their rate of growth in a particular market. It could be either one. They are expecting Marketing to contribute to that and Marketing’s contribution is going to be some level of adoption of this product in the marketplace. So, Marketing needs to own some of that adoption which is translated into both share and revenue, right?
Shelly Kramer: Right.
Laura Patterson: Underneath that will be campaigns, programs and activities. Each one of those will have a set of performance metrics, which, if done properly, will be able to actually see the linkage from top to bottom and back up again and that’s what we call those chains. Most plans don’t have those chains. At the very best case they may have some activity metrics or output metrics, maybe at the bottom of their plan, like X number of people are going to attend for a webinar, or X number of people are going to download a white paper or view a recording, X number of people are going to complete a contact desk form, X number of people are going to have an initial call with our inside sales people. Those might be some examples, right? Maybe.
Shelly Kramer: Right.
Laura Patterson: But those are really down in the activity and output level types of metrics. So, the question that comes back up from the C-Suite, when you populate a dashboard with those kinds of things, like here’s how much we can ship into the pipeline, here’s the number of leads, average lead value was this so we think we can contribute it to revenue, they don’t believe you because you haven’t got the chain that shows that, right? So, it’s not believable. That’s a problem. Most of the time there is no indication on those dashboards of – here’s what we committed to do as a performance target – here’s how we actually did. Usually it’s just reporting – here’s how we did. So, there’s no, again, context. So, it’s not believable. There’s all kinds of challenges related to that. So if you don’t get the metrics right, and that means your plan properly staged, you can’t do as good of a job in creating a dashboard and you end up with more of a smorgasbord than a dashboard. So must a myriad of different things you throw up there and then try and tell a story with.
Shelly Kramer: Right. So how do you combat that? How do you, as a CMO, create the right kind of dashboard with the right kind of information so that when you are having those meetings at the beginning of the 4th quarter when you are planning for next year, or whenever, how do you come to those meeting armed with the right information in the right kind of spreadsheet, in a way that is a proof of concept? How do you do that?
Laura Patterson: That’s a really good question and I’m going to keep it really simple and draw on my own personal experience in a personal story because I don’t want to put any of our customers on the spot. I’m just going to take you back in time for a moment and I know you can remember this. Early on in my career I had the privilege of working at a great organization, The Motorola Semiconductor Industry. The thing about the semiconductor industry at that time it was pretty common, pretty pervasive practice to have these things called operations reviews. Today maybe they are quarterly, back then they were monthly. And Shelly, I know that we are kind of in the same generation, so your probably remember those days when you produced those things on those little plastic foil things, remember those? You typed something up on a foreface because you didn’t have the really great technology to do a PowerPoint presentation. Right? And you ran them through a heater and you came up with these plastic sheets and you’d present it, right? So, in those early days, I would walk in running Marketing, into this Ops Review, do my shtick, show my slides, and then, I would walk out. And one day I had the privilege being invited to watch my boss present at his Ops Review. Here I am, running Marketing, where important new business for the organization, and as I’m sitting there watching my boss present, there’s not one, not one of my “foils” as they were called, in his deck. Nothing in Marketing is resonating with him. Here I’m spending a lot of money to get these 2 new architectures adopted into marketplace and turn them into industry standards so you would think Marketing would matter. Right?
Shelly Kramer: Right.
Laura Patterson: Yeah, you would think. So, I had the opportunity to talk with him about what he needed on those foils. And I remember this poignant moment when he asked me this question. And the question was -what is your job? Fortunately, I paused and he answered the question for me. He said – your job is to drive design wins. That’s your job. I want you to tell me how you are using our money, our resources, and the investments you are making and how that is impacting design wins. So, the takeaway here, and I don’t want to bore you with all the details that come out after that and how we got to that conversation, is that he provided for me what the outcome that he expected me to impact. Right? So, if, as a CMO, you don’t know what that is, nothing you write is going to matter. So, sit across the table from the people you work with and say – you know, at the end of this year, using this example, how may design wins do we have to have and from where, which kinds of companies, which markets, which products? You can translate that to any company. Right? How many design wins do we have to have? It’s all about wins so whatever your wins are, which customer, which markets, which products? And then back up and say, okay, how many of those do you expect Marketing to bring to the table and how would you know that we did? When you get the answer to those questions that really can be very illuminating. When I sit across the table from some CMO’s that I get the opportunity to speak with, and I ask them those 3 questions. Do you know what those outcomes are? Do you know what they expect you to do to impact those outcomes? And do you know how they are going to determine whether or not you did? They don’t know the answer to those questions. So, just start there. 3 simple questions. Engage in a conversation.
Shelly Kramer: Right.
Laura Patterson: Have a real conversation. Does that make sense?
Shelly Kramer: That makes perfect sense.
Laura Patterson: Does that help? It seems really easy.
Shelly Kramer: I think too, the thing that can be difficult for CMO’s in some instances, and we are seeing an evolution of this, but we are certainly not across the board in many companies that I have had the privilege of working with, the Marketing team has been somewhat disconnected from the Senior Leadership Team. The Marketing team in many instances, far too many instances, can be viewed as a sell sheet designer, an order taker. You know, I need this so let me get Marketing on that. I want to do this so let me get Marketing on that. Instead of being involved in the conversations, answering those questions that you talked about, being a part of the conversation, that starts with – what are our revenue growth goals for this year? How are we going to make that happen? How many leads is it going to take? How many touches? All of those things. So, it’s all about math, you know? And how much money is it going to take us to be able to get from here to there? So, for marketers, asking for a seat at the table, clawing your way to a seat at the table, always raising your hand. You know, I was having this discussion with somebody the other day on the topic of alignment of Sales and Marketing and in far too many instances the Sales Team is going in one direction and they’ve got all different kinds of plans and campaigns and initiatives and goals that Marketing is not a part of. So, as a marketer, I am constantly raising my hand and saying – let me be a part of these meetings. The more I know the better I can deliver. So, some of it is continuing to beat the drum about the change in Marketing’s’ role and how the power in so many instances of getting to those revenue goals rests in the hands of your Marketing Team and enabling that Marketing Team is how you get to the revenue growth and the profitability that you are looking for. We are so much further down the path today than we used to be, when we are ready to hand things off to a Sales Team to close those leads. I think it’s interesting. That’s the message that I try to leave with CMO’s and marketers of all kinds is that ask for a seat at the table, raise your hand, elbow your way in. Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s like you having a conversation with your Boss about why none of the information that you provided was part of his presentation. It’s having those conversations is how we move forward and how we continue to show the value. It’s so weird to be having this conversation about marketers proving their value but the reality of it is that is something that I live every day. You know, you’re just a marketer.
Laura Patterson: Exactly. I love what you brought up. It’s interesting. We call that group of marketers 1-800-Marketing or Check the Box Marketing, right? What we’ve learned is there is really 3 kinds of Marketing Organizations from our research, right? And that study is in play right now so it will be interesting to see what we learn this year. This first group, the 1 in 4, they are the value creators and they are really an elite breed and they are the ones that have begun a really good job of cracking the nut around alignment and metrics and accountability with dashboards, analytics, all of those questions. There’s a really large group of marketers we call them the sales enablers. What is interesting about them and also concerning about them, because they are a very large group, maybe about 40%, is they really see themselves in service to the Sales Team. So, they are not thinking like business people, they are thinking like Sales Support and they are treated like Sales Support. They are all about the pipeline. It’s all about today filling the pipeline with leads the Sales people can use to fill their quota. So, when you talk about Marketing and Sales alignment, that’s already a mistake because the Marketing and Sales need to be aligned to the same outcomes, right? If they are aligned to the same outcomes then they are going to be in step in mobilizing their resources, like in an orchestra, each of them playing their own instruments that they have but they are all part of the same orchestra. What ends up happening if you aren’t tied to the same score of music is that you aren’t going to play your part properly. You are going to end up sounding horrible together because you aren’t working off the same piece of music. Someone’s on one sheet and someone’s on the other sheet and you know what that sounds like when they are both playing at the same time. The third group, also a pretty significant group, because remember 20% are best in class and 40% are sales enablers, so the next group is also a very large group and these are your campaign producers. These are the 1-800-Marketing, that’s what we call them. 1-800-Marketing I need a brochure. 1-800-Marketing I need a new landing page. 1-800-Marketing I need a new webinar. Whatever that looks like. 1-800-Marketing I need stuff for the next trade show. Right? And that’s a very tactically oriented group and they kind of operate like an agency. They are kind of stuck on their metrics because the best they can typically do is talk about what they got done, when they got it done by and how much it cost. That’s a hamster on the wheel type of a Marketing organization and my heart goes out to those groups. Now different aspects of these exist in all organizations, as you can imagine. It’s not like it’s pure and there’s really distinct lines and there’s no blurs. But there is a propensity within the organization from a cultural perspective and that’s where the CMO has the opportunity because they’re the leader. They are the change agent. They own the culture in their Marketing organization. So, if they own the culture around being a value creator they are going to expect and require different things from their team then if they own or run a culture around being a campaign producer. And that also has a lot to do with the kinds of conversations they have with their peers as well as with their Leadership Team. So, when someone comes and says 1-800-Marketing I need X the conversation turns to what is the business outcome this is tied to? What about it do you think is going to change the outcome vs. what we have planned right now? What about what we have planned right now do you feel is not working that you want to sacrifice? Or is this tied to a new outcome that we haven’t even talked about yet? Let’s talk about that and what it means for the business. So, it’s a business conversation as opposed to who you want to invited to your webinar?
Shelly Kramer: Or let me take an order.
Laura Patterson: Exactly.
Shelly Kramer: It really is that easy and I hope that is the key takeaway for our audience today. It really is as easy as always going back to those 3 questions. I think that is really the path to success, whether you are in mid-level Marketing or you are a CMO, I think that those 3 questions are the key to it all Laura. I love it.
Laura Patterson: My pleasure and this has been fun. I hope we get a chance to do it again.
Shelly Kramer: Absolutely. Well, it’s always fun talking with you and Laura mentioned a survey and we will include a link to the survey in the show notes so that if you haven’t yet taken it I encourage you to do that because the results of that research will be made available to anyone who contributes. Laura, it has been so great reconnecting again. It’s been way too long. Let’s not let that happen again and thank you so much for your time today.
Laura Patterson: Thank you Shelly. It’s a pleasure. I love speaking with you always.
Shelly Kramer: All right everyone. Thanks for hanging out with us and we will talk to you next time. Bye Bye.
Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”