7 ways Teradata’s CMO plans to turnaround the 40-year old technology brand

We chat with recently appointed global marketing chief to understand the strategy, lean methodology, commercial KPIs and brand plans he hopes turnaround perceptions of an ageing data warehouse technology vendor


5.Adopt KPIs to drive accountability

It’s vital everything the team does is measured by a system of KPIs, underpinned with action plans, Etherington continues.

“If we miss a couple of periods of actuals versus planned on metrics, we then go into root cause countermeasure, another set of lean tools. That’s how we start to measure our effectiveness, and how we track to the bottom line and drive brand,” he explains.

KPIs have been defined against the four key pillars of focus, and monthly meetings will be used to analyse deviation from plans versus action.

“I know a lot of people will be trying to resist this. It won’t go away, will break some people and some teams, and I’m ok with that. Unless you start measuring, as a CMO, there’s no way to get a dollar more going into next year if I can’t prove we’re growing top-line, bottom line, improving CX through better NPS and driving brand awareness too,” Etherington says.  

Just getting to this point, however, again requires critical mass. To do this, Etherington has called 23 people living and working remotely to get back into HQ.

“It wasn’t necessarily popular but it was a necessity. We also just brought more roles back from our headquarters in Ohio to San Diego. That’s about building critical mass so we can work shoulder to shoulder,” he says. “Now we have clear focus, KPIs and action plans, then you’ll see who can deliver and who can’t.”

6.Go big with brand building

Within a month of arriving, Etherington had signed new brand consulting firm, John McNeal studios, to help redefine the Teradata brand and strategy, and will relaunch the brand in October. To make it a big splash, he’s redeployed Q2 and Q3 spend into Q4. The proposed integrated advertising campaign encompasses digital, traditional media, out-of-home, radio and social.

“Teradata has never done that to reset the perception. I’ve no idea how to fund that in 2019. But if we gain more momentum, insights and metrics, the resources will be there the following year,” Etherington says.

7.Define success and lead it

With such significant change afoot, it’s not surprising Etherington saw “big chunks of fear” across the team.

“It’s easy for me to say the bullets going to come through me to get to you, and that I mean it. I’ve also tried to flatten out the organisation and tried to enable people, to help them to say no and have a voice,” he says in response. “Less experienced people are bubbling to the top when they’re empowered, enabled and able to get away from fear. They now know they can do things without risk of punitive backfiring.”

So what does looks like? A big milestone will be getting the brand launch in market and more consistent messaging. Other core metrics are improving win rates and driving increment funnel growth. Transitioning more activity to digital, content and personalisation at scale are also vital, he says. And finally, to measure marketing successfully.

“You have to declare your ambition, lead people with some lofty ambition and challenges,” Etherington concludes. “But I’ve been wowed by the number of people stepping up and in.

“That gives me hope I can transform this and with some top-grading, get us into shape where we will be a very different function nine months to a year from now.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

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