Pure Storage CMO's tips to make your marketing resonate

Marketing head of the software startup shares his thoughts on how to make the most of your marketing story


Marketing is in one of the biggest moments of transition for the last fifty years, and according to Pure Storage CMO Jonathan Martin, it’s time to rethink the approach to reaching out to customers with the right message.

Speaking at the B2BMarketing Summit 2016 in Sydney, Martin said marketing has traditionally been about the concept of ‘interrupt’, with the likes of frequent advertising and promotional content directed at customers.

“It used to be that if I could interrupt enough people in a day, then slowly my ideas become your ideas,” he told attendees. “And as marketers we’ve found really creative ways to interrupt customers with the likes of billboards digital ads and emails.”

But today’s digital and social media environment is challenging these default models, as people are no longer listening.

“Today, people are just screening out interruptive marketing messages,” he said. “But marketers are still putting billions and billions of dollars into commercials, hoping that it will resonate. The problem is that people are just not listening in the way that they used to. In fact, they are listening less.”

Martin had the following tips to improving the go-to-market approach.

Machine learning is vital to understanding the customer journey

With the proliferation of online and digital shopping, the buyer’s journey is also becoming less linear, so marketers need to reach out and engage across each customer’s unique and individual journey, he said.

“Being able to model today’s buyer journey is so complex you cannot understand it simply with people, you need machine learning to be able to understand it,” he added. And social media has now fundamentally changed the way we think about communicating and engaging and controlling our marketing message.”

Leverage digital to optimise your brand story

While customer engagement is more complex, Martin said the good thing about today’s digital environment is that a customer’s journey, their likes and dislikes can all be tracked and measured.

“This means the role of the CMO today is really about being able to track all these sources of information to build the best psychographic profiles of individuals and be able to be the custodian customers and customer insights for the organisation,” he said.

Stop focusing on marketing magic dust

Marketers love shiny new toys , but it doesn’t matter how much marketing magic dust you sprinkle on things, you need a core story or core message that is simple, concrete, differentiated and unexpected.

“Many organisations simply don’t spend enough time on their story,” Martin said. “But if you can’t say what you need to say in 140 characters, then you’re probably complicating things.

“The design points are now chancing, so it’s about getting focused on saying things really succinctly, then build on it and reinforce it across social channels.”

Martin claimed the tone of your story needs to change, and you should no longer use complicated corporate speak.

“Convey your message in plain English, in a simple way that is easy to understand,” he advised. “And your message needs to either inform, or entertain. Otherwise there is no way you will be able to cut through the noise.”

Read our exclusive profile of Jonathan Martin and his approach to being a CMO here.

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