30 Women Shaping B2B Tech Marketing

30 Women Shaping B2B Tech Marketing

Kaleigh Moore 4/25/18

 

In the world of B2B tech marketing, women are making an incredible impact around the world on brands large and small.

 

From successful marketing campaigns, to leading teams that drive bottom-line results, to development of inventive lead generation tactics--there are no limits to the glass ceilings they are smashing.

 

The 30 women featured below work in a variety of B2B contexts and for companies large, mid-sized--and even self-founded. Check out their biggest challenge as B2B tech marketers, their thoughts on the b2b tech landscape, and what they're most proud of.

 

30 Women Shaping B2B Tech Marketing


 

Sonja Jacob

Drift | Content Strategy Team Lead

 

Sonja has been working in the B2B space since 2008, and since then, she’s led content and marketing teams at B2B tech companies including Mattermark, KISSmetrics, DocSend, and Zenefits. Today, she’s the Content Strategy Team Lead at Drift. 
 
What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

My biggest challenge as a B2B marketer is trying to get people to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach to marketing we always see these days. It's not realistic to believe that every company is going to have success with the same tactics everyone else has used. If they did, growth would be easy. But we all know it's not. 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

The B2B buying experience is undergoing a massive transformation right now. We're seeing a huge shift from impersonal, irrelevant marketing to deeply customized interactions with brands at scale using bots and highly personalized messaging. Today, B2B buyers want the kind of buying experience they have with consumer products and services, and the B2B space has to adapt.

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

I'm super proud of how fast we iterate and ship at Drift. We launch a new product every month (like clockwork). From product to the marketing team, we're all aligned around our customer and helping them succeed, not the other way around. For an entire week in March, we dedicated 100% of our content to helping businesses learn about how they can optimize the buyer's journey with conversational marketing best practices. I shipped 4K word guide to kick it off, and featured fresh content every single day on the blog. 


 

Nandini Jammi

Nandini's LinkedIn | B2B Copywriter & Product Marketing Consultant 

 

B2B marketing is what Nandini Jammi has always done--first as a content marketer at Kayako and then as Head of Growth at ProdPad (and she was a solo marketer at both startups). As a copywriter, she now focuses specifically on product positioning and messaging. 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

My challenge in B2B marketing has always been messaging alignment. If the CEO is talking about the product in one way, marketing is banging out something different and sales is over in the corner telling its own story, that dilutes the strength of your message and brand. It's hard to get that story right, especially when the product you sell is continuously evolving. It's a challenge that goes way beyond the traditional role of marketing, so I think we're all still struggling with.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

The next crop of successful product businesses will be blurring the lines between marketing and customer success to signal that they'll be here to support customers when they switch to their product. After all, it's one thing to sell a product. It's another thing entirely to stick around and make sure that product is adopted, engaged with and loved across a company. This is hard work! As marketers, we'll have to work to get much closer to the products we're selling and spend more time understanding the ecosystem and processes in which our products are used.

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

I recently published my first product messaging teardown, pitting two fintech companies against each other: Transferwise and WorldRemit. I wrote it because it was something I'd been thinking about since encountering both brands while living in London a few years ago--and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on it.

 


 

Sophia Le

Sophia's LinkedIn | B2B SaaS Consultant

 

Sophia has worked in the B2B tech environment for two years total, in both product & marketing. Now she’s a B2B SaaS consultant that specializes in email optimization.

What’s your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

Knowing the difference between the "right" answer vs. the "right now" answer. For example, a growth team might want more leads and think rewriting a homepage will do the trick, but it's not always feasible to run surveys and interview customers. So it's a challenge to balance what a client wants with what's necessary to deliver my best quality work.

What’s the biggest shift/change you’re seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now? 

The level of sophistication of the buyer. It's not enough to make broad claims that a SaaS app will save you time and money. Potential customers want tools that will seamlessly fit into their workflow with little setup time, and they want to find that information without a salesperson guiding the process. Marketing, sales, and customer success teams have to evolve. Websites and emails have to work harder and be more strategic about who they're targeting. 

What’s something you’ve recently accomplished at work that you’re proud of? 

Not 100% work-related, but I just returned from living in Vietnam for 2 1/2 months. I not only visited family, but I had a chance to immerse myself in their startup culture. Translating business concepts into Vietnamese helped me better relate to my international clients who aren't native English speakers...yet target English-speaking audiences.

 


 

Margaret Kelsey

Appcues | Head of Content Marketing

 

Margaret Kelsey has worked in B2B tech marketing for the last four years, and today, she’s Head of Content Marketing at Appcues.

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

The internet is such a noisy place. I'm obsessed with making sure we're creating something valuable with our content marketing programs and not just contributing to the noise.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

B2B buyers expect the same great experiences in their professional buying journeys that they get in their personal/consumer ones. They are more likely to do a lot of research on their own and are less likely to get in touch with a sales person. That puts even more responsibility on B2B marketing teams to go beyond just piquing curiosity. We have to educate—and depending on your company's pricing strategy—often get potential customers all the way into a free trial or using the freemium product.

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

When I first joined Appcues at the end of last year, I implemented a community-driven content strategy—and increased our blog's monthly average pageviews by 100% in three months. 

 


 

Jordie Black

Jordie's website | Content Marketing for B2B Saas Companies

 

Jordie runs a content marketing agency and works exclusively with B2B and SaaS companies. She’s been in the tech environment for around seven years and has held many different roles.

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

The biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer is convincing people that the rewards of content marketing in the B2B are compound and take time to come into fruition.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

The biggest shift/change i’m seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now is more people accepting that in order to bring a product to market in a saturated niche, you need to differentiate by brand. 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

In our agency, we recently helped our client rank on the first position of Google for a number of their ideal keywords--the result of a six month content campaign. 

 


 

Asia Matos

DemandMaven | Founder

 

Asia has been in the B2B tech space for little more than six years now. She’s run marketing for various companies - all B2B, but varied between technology consulting and implementation to SaaS and startups. Today, she’s the founder of DemandMaven.

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

My biggest challenge has always been prioritizing between all of the different growth opportunities. There's so many different ways to grow and scale, and since marketing has is a core business function, aligning my department to that growth vision and then picking the right strategies and investments to make has always been the thing that keeps me up at night.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

I'm seeing companies take a hard look at their data layers. Data is at the tip of everyone's tongue these days—GDPR compliance, Facebook being Facebook, etc. We're getting smarter with how we leverage that data, but I'm seeing a certain level of excellence around data management and how you handle customer information. We're moving towards an API-centric world, so data integration platforms will have an interesting part to play in all of this. 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

Drumming up the courage to start my own company has been one of my most proud moments. Also: At my previous company, we implemented a website and content strategy that literally doubled our demo conversion rate. 

 


 

Rachel Ferrigno

Stack Overflow | Sr. Manager, Inbound Marketing

 

 

Rachel is the Senior Manager, Inbound Marketing at Stack Overflow. She’s worked specifically in B2B tech for three years now.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Competing with the "big guys". If you're smaller or more niche, it can be hard to compete with the more generic B2B solutions.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

I've seen more B2B tech companies utilizing influencer marketing (vs. traditional social media advertising like buying Facebook ads).

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

Developer Hiring Landscape. Each year, I write/market this report which features insights from over 100,000 developers. We basically take our user base, ask them a bunch of questions, and then use that data to inform our B2B audience.

 


 

Kristin Hillery

InVision | Editor

 

Kristin Hillery is the Editor of the InVision Blog, and she’s worked in the B2B tech environment for three years. Before this, she worked on various print and online publications.

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

My biggest challenge is making sure we’re putting people first. It’s so easy to just churn out blog post after blog post, but then you’re just putting out content for the sake of putting out content. I want everything we put out to be genuinely helpful to maintain and grow our status as a valuable resource for designers. Part of making this happen is taking the time to get out in the world and *talk* to people in the industry—spend lots of time with them and find out what they’re worried about, what they want to learn, what they’re really excited about.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

I think we’re seeing a big shift towards making design and UX a priority, and that’s a great thing. With so much competition, your product will immediately be forgotten if someone opens up the app or visits the website and can’t figure out what’s going on or what the point of it is.

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

I recently worked with the amazing Raffaela Rein of CareerFoundry on a post spotlighting six of the most influential women in UX today. It’s a fantastic post, and the women in it deserve all the recognition in the world.


 

Dunja Lazic

Shedugram | VP of Marketing

 

Dunja has been working in B2B marketing since 2014, and she’s worked at activeCollab and Toggl on user acquisition / marketing. Today, she runs the marketing team at Schedugram.

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

I think lack of online education and awareness. So many times I want to try something new and look for tips and experiences online but honestly 98% of marketing advice is B2C so I end up having to experiment more and learn on my own. Which is amazing too, but I would love to cut some corners too.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

LinkedIn seems to be becoming way more relevant. I'm seeing more content posted there and more and more people amassing a following. Content is also getting more relevant and more interesting, there's a lot of competition so companies are doing more to stand out. I really love Todoist's approach to content.

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

Hired two amazing people and gave them ownership and independence. The best thing you can do is enable and encourage your team to do their own thing. Leadership starts with learning to let go.

Michelle Urban

Marketing261 | B2B Marketing

 

 

Michelle has been in marketing for 15 years. The last 10 years she’s been with B2B tech startup companies including VerticalResponse, GoodData, Librato, and Layer--but she recently launched Marketing261, which helps tech startups with their strategy, planning, and execution.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

The last 10 years has been a dynamic crossroads for marketing. With the explosion of web, mobile, apps, social media, and the sheer amount of content and how it’s consumed, has transformed the way we engage and target our audiences, and manage the marketing funnel. It’s an exciting and transformative time, but this is a HUGE undertaking and it often leads to the marketing leader being overworked and stretched too thin. The challenge is for marketers to be able to say no. A small team with a minimal budget cannot successfully oversee brand, awareness, conversions, customers, churn, and all the day-to-day marketing minutiae that comes with marketing. In order for marketers to stay at the top of their game and keep the pace, they need to figure out what is not needed and focus only on what needs to take place.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

There are three things I've been seeing lately:

 

1. Companies are paying way more attention to their brand and taking a bold approach to design - from website to emails to social media, to a beautifully designed UI -  it comes down to designing with a purpose and making fresh statements.

 

2. Forget about always pushing out the product, aimlessly selling features, and launching one-ff campaigns, and executing siloed marketing programs. Companies are focusing on being transparent with their knowledge sharing (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and tailoring their communication that sustains ongoing conversations that nurture buyers over time - not the quick one-off high pressure sale.

 

3. Organizations are paying closer attention to their value propositions, messaging frameworks, and marketing strategy. This includes creating in depth personas, building buyers journey, identifying KPIs, and working towards one goal - revenue. These essentials are well documented and shared throughout the entire organization on a regular basis.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I recently took a big leap and started my own marketing shop, Marketing 261. Even though there is a big sense of security of working for someone else, the flexibility I have is rewarding. I'm a mom of two preschoolers and spending quality time with them before and after school is important to me.

 

 

 

Allison Grinberg-Funes

Rightpoint | B2B Marketing Manager

 

 

Allison is a Marketing Manager for Rightpoint and Raizlabs (which is a Rightpoint company). She’s been in the tech industry for the last seven years and the B2B tech environment for the last five.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Marketing in the tech industry has been traditionally viewed as a driver for sales—and it can be. But the challenge is getting teams to see that it’s also more holistic than that. If the marketing team is doing its job, it should also be helping to influence the overall brand perception, messaging and strategy for the company. In the end, that ends up positively impacting whatever product or service is being sold, but sometimes it’s hard to get the sales teams to look past the ROI and see the bigger picture that leads to brand loyalty. In the end, we all have the same goal.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

If anyone is transitioning into the tech landscape, I’d suggest they get sea legs quickly, because you have to be flexible and able to adapt quickly. Currently there are great strides being made with machine learning and AI, but the biggest shift I’m seeing is that companies are not only relying on that tech, as some expected they would.

 

At Raizlabs, a Rightpoint company, we’re all about optimal user experience and it’s great to see that other companies in the B2B tech space are taking that to heart and paying attention to who they’re actually communicating with. B2B companies are getting back to the basics when it comes to human interaction and how that drives business and defines goals, rather than permitting machine learning to do it for them.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

Last year when I joined Raizlabs, the website was in dire need of a refresh. At the time, the site didn’t reflect the company’s values, history, or the innovative work the company was doing. The third day on the job, I jumped onto a two-month website revamp project, and strove to truly understanding the company’s customers.

 

Building user personas and doing user research with the business development team, I worked with the design team and wrote the copy for the entire website. The website project team did an amazing job on the design and development and the project was a great success–we felt like our story was finally being told on the website.

 

 

 

Cara Hogan

Zaius | Content Strategist

 

 

Today Cara Hogan is a content strategist at Zaius, but she made the switch over to B2B tech about five years ago. She’s worked for a few different B2B startups, both full time and as a consultant, including InsightSquared, Vervoe, and Zensight, which was recently acquired by Seismic.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

My biggest challenge is standing out in an increasingly noisy market. I always want to create content that is interesting and useful to our audience -- but so does everyone else. I'm constantly trying to push the envelope creatively while still staying on target with our business goals. It's always a balance between what would be fun to do as a writer and creator, and what will have the biggest impact for the business.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

I'm seeing a real shift in B2B tech toward the world of ecommerce. As online shopping continues to grow and gain a larger share of the market, there's more and more technologies serving B2C businesses specifically. The market for ecommerce software is a huge and B2B tech companies are racing to be the next Shopify.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I recently launched my company's new podcast/video series: The Empowered Marketer. I've always loved interviewing people and now I get to talk to some of the smartest marketers in ecommerce about how they build their brands. I like to get really tactical and technical in the episodes -- less inspiration, more really useful ideas for your business.

 

 

 

Kate Talbot

Kate Talbot Marketing | B2B Tech Consultant

 

 

Kate Talbot is a consultant in Silicon Valley for early-stage startups where she works with B2B clients across all verticals. For these companies, she owns their demand generation strategies and execution and produces all of the content to engage prospects and retain customer success. She has been in the space for the past four years.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

The biggest challenge is taking a product that isn't considered sexy and marketing it to your target audience that might not see this product as a pain point for their company.  The marketing outreach can have an immense impact on the bottom line, so it can feel challenging when you're producing content that isn't optimizing in a timely and effective manner.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

The biggest shift I am seeing is the embrace of social media and millennial marketing in the B2B space. More and more B2B marketers and companies are creating authentic videos on platforms like LinkedIn that show a more raw side than the packaged content of prior years. Their long-form case studies and white papers are now being packaged in digestible, small snippets that reflect our attention spans. With these platforms and their reach in the business space, you can find new leads, engage prospects, and become a thought leader with minimal output.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I wrote an article for Forbes that did very well on B2B Marketing and its current state

 

 

 

Alicia Carney

Kayako | Product Marketing Manager

 

Alicia is a product marketing manager at Kayako - a customer service software product built for small but growing businesses. Right now she’s based out of London, but originally she started in B2B tech on my home turf of San Francisco. Altogether she’s spent six years helping to grow early stage, bootstrapped startups in the realm of positioning, messaging, internal enablement, and fostering a culture of experimentation and collaboration across teams.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

In the realm of early stage startups, chaos is the nature of the beast. A lot of good intentions but false starts, plenty of great ideas held up by weak strategy. The biggest challenge—not only as a product marketer, but for anyone navigating the small biz B2B space—comes in creating structure and repeatable process to calm this natural state of chaos. Whether that takes the form of holding yourself accountable to key success metrics (even when you fall short - leading by example is key) or taking the initiative to set the foundation of feedback loops that scale, there's always something you can do to smooth out friction within your internal teams and help the business grow.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

When I started in marketing, I felt like a lot of my top of funnel work was throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what stuck. But over time, as my career progressed along with the B2B space, I've learned how to focus my effort on the channels and campaigns that made the most sense for my business, not necessarily on what's trendy and popular.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

Working for a customer service software product, I really value the voice of our customer and have put a lot of energy towards championing real customer feedback in our product development cycle. I think I'm most proud of the ways I've been able to actualize that—by introducing early access beta programs as a critical stage before public release, hosting quarterly webinars to make our roadmap more transparent and recent product improvements more visible, honing and refining our messaging and ensuring we're using real, human language to sell what I believe is an already fantastic product.

 

 

 

Erin May

User Interviews | VP of Content  & Relationship Marketing

 

 

In Erin May’s role at User Interviews, she’s focused on content, building community around all things UX research, and growth through acquisition, retention, and engagement. She’s worked in B2B tech for almost four years.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Data. Always data. Buying journeys are complex, touchpoints are plentiful, and it's important to scale what works. To do that, you have to understand what works. To do that, you need data.

 

Data accessibility is improving though, and it's worth noting that data doesn't just mean quantitative. Qualitative data and research is having a major moment, and talking to your users can have a huge impact on understanding them, the market, and what is and will work in your marketing and product.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

The products are getting better, buyers are getting choosier, and everyone is wrestling with the point solution (or as some would say, excellent at something specific) vs Swiss army knife (or as some would say, kind of good at a lot of things) tech stack question.

 

There will always be a place for both, and it's incredibly use case dependent, but I think many organizations are saying actually it's OK if we use a ton of tools/apps/software that are good at what they do, so long as we don't have a lot of overlapping functionality and can connect the data across them.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I'm a marketing team of one, and I'm so generally proud of the community we're building. We're excited about the UX Research Field Guide we are launching module by module between March and June. It's a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about user research.

 

 

 

Kim Courvoisier

Thanx | Director of Content Marketing

 

 

Kim’s role at Thanx resides on the demand gen team, so it’s her mission to provide useful content that helps create MQLs for the sales team. She’s been in the B2B tech space for over a decade and she finds it one of the most energizing spaces to work in.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Reaching our intended audience. Attention spans today are less than that of a goldfish and there’s a plethora of messaging competing for our prospects’ limited bandwidth. Personalized, relevant, and useful content is a must-have for any business trying to sell to another business or individual.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

Data. Data. Data. Marketers have been singing the data woe song for a while now and it continues to be a struggle. Either you don’t have the data, can’t get to the data, or your data is a hot mess and it’s overwhelming to approach the cleanup. We’ve got to “free the data” so we can power personalized campaigns that deliver meaningful results. Too often, we compromise our desires for a campaign based on data or lack thereof.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?


It’s not a specific deliverable that I’m proud of but an act of courage to make a career change. After working for email service providers for the last ten years in various B2B marketing roles, I took a leap of faith to join a customer engagement startup that’s helping offline businesses grow using data-based customer engagement, retention, and loyalty.

 

It was definitely scary leaving an industry I knew like the back of my hand and spent the last ten years writing about and optimizing content for. What I realize now, two months later, is that doing something new enables me to be a learner again and it’s been incredibly challenging and refreshing.

 

 

 

Hailey Friedman

GrowthMarketingPro | Co-founder

 

Hailey Friedman was was the second marketing hire at USV, GC & Menlo backed RealtyShares. She’s helped drive growth and product marketing for a number of startups and is President of one of the largest communities of marketers and founders in Silicon Valley with over 19,000 members.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

One of the biggest challenges as a B2B tech marketer is making sure that sales and marketing are in sync around the lead management process.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

Much of B2B demand generation is all about content. In terms of digital content, I've definitely seen a shift towards video content across all social media channels. In terms of events, I've seen a shift towards webinars and digital summits, which often take a lot less preparation than a live event or conference, with the potential to reach a far broader audience and collect more leads.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I built the affiliate marketing program at RealtyShares from the ground up and scaled it to what is now the largest and highest ROI marketing channel.

 

 


 

Kate Harvey

Chargify | Content & Search Marketing Manager

 

 
Kate is currently the Content & Search Marketing Manager at Chargify, a globally-recognized leader in the recurring billing and subscription management space. She’s worked in the B2B tech environment for over six years.

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

Directly tying ROI to specific content, particularly for top of the funnel content. Content is often a long game. As such, tying ROI for free trial and paid conversions to specific content can be tricky, and becomes more so the longer the sales cycle.

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

B2B buyers and buying patterns are changing. As consumers, we’re all becoming used to very customized purchase options. Amazon remembers our product preferences and can have items delivered the same day of purchase, at the mere click of a button. There’s no longer a need to settle on and buy one vehicle; we can join a car subscription service and request a specific vehicle type (out of a variety of possibilities), which is delivered right to our door only when we need it.

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

The recent release of Chargify Elastic Billing™ was a culmination of hard work and collaboration across all departments. For marketing and design, the release was not only product-related, but also included a new logo, website, and additional marketing collateral. I’m incredibly proud to have been part of the entire project and count myself lucky to work with such incredible coworkers.


 

 

Melissa Nazar

SnapApp | Director of Content Strategy

 

 

Melissa is the Director of Content Strategy at SnapApp, which means she’s responsible for the overall brand, content and editorial mission. She’s been focused on B2B tech for about five or six years, and the rest of her experience is primarily in the insurance and financial services industries.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Breaking through. There's a lot of noise out there in B2B marketing, and lots of different ideas about what is considered "best practice." But in the end, we often end up doing a lot of the same things, regardless of the specific industry. And it's all in the. context of pressure to deliver on goals and in the face of competing priorities. We have to do better, no just "more."

 

The model of create a whitepaper, throw a lead gate on it, send your sales team after the downloads, it's old news and we're all onto those tired marketing tricks. So finding ways to really connect with and engage my audience is an ongoing -- but exciting -- challenge.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

Two things: from a marketing perspective, it's becoming all about quality engagement and audience. The game of trying to drive a ton of traffic based on keywords, or collecting a large volume of names for the sake of some impressive-sounding lead number is falling by the wayside. Now marketers are focused more on creating content that actually matters to their audiences, with an opinion and a perspective, rather than shilling to the lowest common denominator.

 

The second thing I'm seeing is a renewed focus on customers. I think marketers are wising up to the fact that it's not enough to pay lip service to being customer focused. I'm seeing a renewed focus on customers as partners, in creating content and throughout the strategy of B2B marketers today. Across the board, we're all thinking of ways to engage with our customer base in new, dynamic ways.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I'm proud to say that I work for a company that supports organizations that are focused on helping women in tech succeed. Recently, we recently hosted an event at our office with Women in Technology International (WITI) - I was lucky enough to be part of the panel discussion around women on boards.

 

 

 

Shayla Price

Shayla's LinkedIn | B2B Marketer

 

 
Shayla Price is a B2B Marketer with more than five years of experience in the B2B tech environment. Her goal is to position products for growth. Whether it’s content, email, or good ol’ public relations, she strives to delight customers and increase company revenue.
 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Getting in front of the right customers at the right time is one of the biggest challenges. It's important for B2B tech marketers to map out their customer lifecycle journey to align their products with their customers' needs. Then, you must know how and when to target the right messaging to earn that trial signup or sale.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

There's a shift toward product marketing. Companies are prioritizing their product positioning and messaging in this competitive landscape. Plus, they are working alongside sales teams to close more deals.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

Right now, my focus is top of funnel content. My accomplishments include increasing time spent on blog posts and boosting newsletter signups.

 

 

 

Tracey Wallace

Big Commerce | Editor in Chief

 

Tracey Wallace manages BigCommerce’s content strategy including blog publication, product news updates and releases, customer case studies, influencer marketing, and a ton of other hats as is often required in start-up roles. She is often called internally Director of Customer Advocacy –– which just means that she’s the person pulled in to meetings constantly asking how anything they do benefits customers, how they plan to tell them about it, why others should care, etc.

 

She has been writing, interviewing, video shooting successful retailers, founder and C-Suite executives for nearly a decade. She had short stint in Big Data after Mashable, and then came over to BigCommerce where she’s been for almost four years.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Resources. I work in a ridiculously competitive industry with competitors who have much more money and people than I have. That said, on merely a fourth of our competition's budget for the quarter being my budget for the year, we are holding our own.

 

Our lack of resources is where I thrive (I've been raised in the tech startup / growth hacking (lame term, I know) environment). It has made me and my team fantastic at coming up with creative, impactful solutions that impress the pants off people. So, my biggest challenge really is hiring.

 

It takes a specific mindset to thrive in this kind of environment. My folks need to not only know how to market incredibly well, they also need to know the technology incredibly well. They also must be great on camera. They also must be both big thinkers and big do-ers.

 

It's hard to hire for that. But we've found a ton of great folks –– and I'm currently updating our onboarding process to bring folks on a bit slower, make sure they know the platform incredibly well, introduce them to the teams who can remove hurdles for them all to empower them to hit the ground running month 2 and 3.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

A few years ago, B2B tech companies were trying to build to be the "everything to everyone" brands. And that strategy may work well for brands in terms of diversification, but right now, the consumer market (largely driven by developers who recommend solutions to their non-techie marketers with money) seems to be heading toward a preference for de-coupled solutions. This is the API Economy at work in the B2B tech space.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I'm really proud of the fact that my team is growing or organic traffic more than 300% YoY (for 2 years running) and that we are growing our assisted and direct monthly recurring revenue by about 3x this year for the company. Those metrics matter –– and they are what I come back to when a competitor does something really cool (and they do often because they have great marketers!). We are also doing really cool stuff –– and our numbers show it.


 

 

Alanna Gregory

NonPareil Partners | B2B Product Strategy & Growth

 

 

Alanna runs a boutique product strategy and growth consultancy called Nonpareil. She’s worked in B2B tech for the last year, and broadly in tech for the last five years.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

As a data and product-oriented person, I'd probably say creating content, which is incredibly important for lead generating activities in B2B marketing. I rely on working with talented content strategists and as content grows increasingly important, think that this will be an increasing part of our jobs--understanding the kinds of content people want to engage with.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

A couple of things I see happening in the landscape:

 

- The increasing impact of artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning: There are new technologies that improve the efficacy of marketing automation; lead generation and chatbot tools such as Drift to handle lead qualification.

- Personalization via marketing automation. Platforms like Iterable let you create segments; and offer the power to personalize emails at scale.

- A proliferation of marketing tech tools: There's been a proliferation of tools. The average company probably uses anywhere from 10-40. Creating a unified marketing tech stack with a single source of data, such as mParticle or Segment, will be increasingly important as these tools that are increasingly specialized grow in number

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I recently acted as the VP of marketing for a cyber security company. When we started, the company had very little in the way of marketing. Currently, the company's funnel has improved 10x; we've reduced the CPL by 50%. It was also really fun working on a highly technical product in a very hot space.

 

 

 

Jenn Steele

Bizible | VP of Product Marketing

 

Jenn Steele has been in B2B tech on either the purchasing side or the sales and marketing side for all but one year of her career (when she did B2C at Amazon). Her current title is VP of Product Marketing at Bizible, and she’s been in marketing since 2009.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Whenever I listen to podcasts telling the story of a company like AirBnB, it strikes me just how relatively easy B2C marketing is versus B2B. In B2C, you're driving one person to purchase. In B2B, you have to deal with buying committees, multiple stakeholders, and changing decision makers. There's a lot to track, and effective B2C tactics like Instagram or getting nice press pickup only take you so far with one person--there are still a ton of internal buying motions after you get that one person excited in B2B.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

Whether you're in sales, CS, IT, marketing, development, or anything else, 50 tools exist where before there were two. Given changing personnel and budgets, it's tough to figure out what your company bought to do which task and whether you're still using it or using it effectively.

 

So many times, leaders come into departments and have to first do an audit to figure out where their budget goes. Measuring ROI in order to cut through the chaos can be difficult, but it's necessary in order to make the right decisions on what tech to keep, toss, or buy.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

As the only female member of our executive team, I started pushing for women's events, and they've really taken off! I'm proud of the women I work with, and I'm beyond happy that Bizible is supporting all of them in their careers.

 

 

 

Emma Siemasko

Stories by Emma | B2B Marketing Consultant

 

 

Emma is the founder of Stories by Emma, a marketing company that specializes in content marketing consulting for tech companies. She helps B2B tech companies create content marketing programs– through blog strategy, longform resources, and case studies– that help them reach their audience. She’s worked in B2B tech since 2011.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

There are a few big challenges, but the one that comes up over and over again is deciding what to prioritize. Most B2B companies have so many different goals and initiatives going on that it can be tough for tech marketers to choose a focus...and then use that focus to come up with campaigns, programs, strategies that drive results.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

I'm seeing a lot of companies get more and more invested in telling human-first stories. Tech companies used to publish case studies that focused on large scale business wins but now many are choosing to focus on an individual customer as a hero. They're still talking about these wins, but all through the lens of a human being who helped make them happen.

 

We're seeing more and more of these individual, personalized stories. I'm also seeing a lot of attention paid to email marketing. Email has always been around, but B2B companies are getting better and better at segmenting emails and sending out personalized campaigns.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?


The coolest thing I've been working on recently is ASK CONTENT GALS, a monthly event series I started with a fellow marketer. We recognized that we had a lot of knowledge about content marketing that wasn't being shared...and we kept getting asked the same questions all the time. We decided to put together a monthly series where we field a question from a struggling content marketer, many of whom are in B2B tech.

 

 

 

Allison Arthur

Soliant Consulting | Director of Marketing

 

 

Allison is the Director of Marketing for Soliant Consulting, and she’s been in the B2B technology industry for eight years.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

I struggle with connecting with the right prospects at the right time. Our brand can hover in a company’s peripheral vision for a while, but if we’re not directly in front of the decision-maker when they realize they have an immediate need, we risk being forgotten in their research process for a partner. Nailing that timing is nearly impossible, especially since the role of decision-maker shifts from company to company.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

True marketing personalization. In B2C, this process is less complicated -- people indicate what they like through clear indicators and clues. In B2B, this is difficult. We often don’t know the exact person who visits our website and what challenges they face. Building a personalized message therefore feels nearly impossible. You can purchase a truckload of digital tools to help you get closer to the right answers, but many of us can’t justify thousands of dollars a month on data mining and automated communication tools. Prospects expect personalized messaging, but it’s difficult to deliver in B2B.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I’ve helped one of our key service areas gain momentum through specific marketing campaigns. It was a period of experimentation, and I had days during which I was worried I was headed in the wrong direction. Sometimes those risks take a while to pay off, but the results have been worth the wait and my efforts.

 

 

 

Jami Oetting

Hubspot | Sr. Manager of Content Strategy

 

 

Jami is the Senior Manager of Content Strategy at HubSpot. She’s been in B2B tech for four years. Before joining HubSpot, she worked at a content marketing agency, a digital agency, and a nonprofit.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

My biggest challenge currently is connecting creative output to business impact. I find some of the most interesting brand and acquisition plays are in emerging formats or for immature marketing channels -- think Instagram Stories, podcast, video, Facebook Live, etc. There's no playbook for how to be successful here, and I find that challenge really exciting, but it also means there are more risks and more struggles in understanding the value of the work you're creating.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

The biggest shift I'm seeing is the investment in conversational marketing and how companies are building messaging strategies with live chat, bots, and Facebook Messenger. This is a really interesting space with a lot of technical innovation happening (i.e., artificial intelligence) and demand from people who are showing an openness to communicating with bots when they have a simple question or chatting with a human even during the sales process.

 

The main challenge here is creating a centralized knowledge base so that every interaction with prospects and customers has context. Are they a customer? Have they interacted with your brand previously? You have to anticipate wants and make these interactions more useful more quickly. Messaging is going to become a really valuable channel, and companies need to get this right.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I'm really proud of two recent projects my team worked on: explainer content on IoT and Blockchain with accompanying videos. These are complex topics that we wanted to make relatable and approachable for growing businesses.

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Ahrens

Freelancer | B2B Content Strategist and Writer

 

 

Formerly a marketer and journalist, Amy is entering her second year as a full-time, freelance content strategist and writer. She has 10 years experience in B2B tech.  

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

I think the biggest challenge for B2B tech marketers today is breaking through all the noise out there (Mark Schaefer calls it content shock) while software really is eating the world. At the same time, marketers have to find the time to manage and/or hire the right kind of help to produce relevant, timely content. And, do all this within a limited budget.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

It’s now well understood to most in marketing leadership roles that you need to content in B2B tech, but there’s still a misperception that its as simple as assigning a topic or headline and off your writer goes.  Good content marketers will ask a series of important questions in order to make the content do the work it is meant to do and that usually is to contribute towards your lead generation goals or MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads).

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're  proud of?

 

Honestly, I’m proud that I made it past year one as a freelancer and stayed focused on the kind of work I want to do.

 

 

 

Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

Zest.is | Community Growth

 

 

Nichole is in charge of Community Growth at Zest.is. She has over 10 years of experience and started as an SEO Engineer, co-owned a full-service marketing agency with Trevor Hatfield, and then went into writing, social media, SaaS Consulting, and Community Management.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

Getting press for early-stage SaaS startups who don’t have funding.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?
 

Two things: Growth marketing and blended AI.

 

Growth marketing is the future. CMOs who adapt fastest will be poised to succeed, while those who don’t may find their jobs on the line. The stakes are high. Why the shift? It all hinges upon Customer Experience (CX). Forrester predicts: “30% of companies will see further declines in CX quality and lose a point of growth” in 2018. When growth slows, CEOs look to CMOs to fix it – and if they can’t, they’ll find someone who can: A Growth Marketer.

 

Forrester  qualifies their prediction that blended AI is in our near future by also speculating that it will result in dropping customer satisfaction levels, “as companies drive more traffic to chatbots, self-service, and chat that are not fully optimized to engage customers effectively.”

 

Essentially, if you use AI/chatbots to replace human interaction, your customers won’t appreciate it. But, if you use AI/chatbots to facilitate human interaction… well, that’s another story altogether.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I was live on the BBC talking about intersectional feminism for women in tech.

 

 


 

Elise Dopson

Freelancer | B2B Writer

 

 

Elise is a freelance B2B writer for SaaS companies. She creates long-form, data-driven content to help them generate more leads, boost site traffic and improve their organic search visibility. She’s coming up to her fourth year in this space.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

My biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer is proving the ROI of the content I'm producing -- especially blog posts. Unlike sales page copy where you can assign a % (or even the whole) revenue to the content itself, blog content is an investment that often takes time to see monetary rewards.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

Storytelling in content marketing. I think people are recognizing the value that stories can add, and the indirect impact it can have on the people/users reading your content. I always remember the quote "people buy brands, not products" -- and that's really helped both mine and my client's blogs to turn into relationship-building machines.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

I worked with a Saas company in the SEO niche. After building a solid keyword strategy, the blog content I wrote managed to hit result #1 in Google for a keyword they thought they'd only rank for in their dreams.


 

 

 

Åsa Magnusson Burke

The IT Content Factory | B2B Content Specialist

 

 

Åsa is a Content Marketing Specialist and Copywriter based in Fareham, UK. She has spent 12 years working in the B2B technology industry in various marketing management and specialist roles for a number of IT companies.

 

What's your biggest challenge as a B2B tech marketer?

 

I think the main challenge for most technology businesses today is figuring out how to talk about advanced features, functions and services without alienating the reader. The one thing I find myself doing all the time with clients is to help them pull away from the technical terminology and ‘translate’ their often long lists of features into tangible benefits for the reader.

 

There’s a time and a place for ‘geeking out’ on the detail and showcasing your in-depth knowledge, and that is usually in technology forums and seminars – alongside industry peers. Your marketing content, however, needs to focus on the reader and their needs. At a baseline level, the reader is simply interested in how your product or solution will help them be more productive, save money, or earn more money.

 

What's the biggest shift/change you're seeing in the B2B tech landscape right now?

 

One major thing I’m seeing is a tidal wave of blog content from technology businesses, where previously they were not as prolific. B2B businesses across various technology areas are really starting to see the benefits of building a solid library of online content that helps them to be found by prospective customers. And it’s not just the ‘faceless enterprise voice’ either. Many companies are allowing individual topical experts within the business to express themselves using their own style and language. This is a huge step forward as it really helps to underpin the human-to-human engagement that is as essential in B2B as it is in B2C.

 

What's something you've recently accomplished at work that you're proud of?

 

Over the last 1.5 years I have worked on an ongoing content strategy project with an award-winning software development firm, taking their blog content to a new level - both in terms of content quality and intelligent keyword strategy. They have seen a huge uprise in traffic, and as a result I have been able to pinpoint the exact content that attracts the most interest and create lead generation assets that reflect this insight and that is able provide them with highly relevant business opportunities.

 

 

Women of B2B Tech Marketing, We Salute You.
 

Women in tech are shaping the future of this industry: from founders of small businesses to driving strategy for top companies in the field, these women are molding a dynamic field.

 

With these insights from talented women working in the B2B tech space, you can start planning your strategy, set goals for future projects, and prepare for changes coming to the space.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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