The 10 Things Marketers Should Do When Starting a New Job

May 25, 2013

Do these 10 things when starting a new marketing job

Photo credit: Courtney Dirks via photopin cc


Recently, I started a new job at DotNetNuke, a leading web content management platform. As a product marketer, part of my role is to help tell the story of the great products we sell – and, in a broader way, the great company we are.

As a result, I wanted to meet everyone in the organization, from Sales to Legal, from Engineering to Finance and from HR to Customer Support.

Here are the ten things marketers should do when starting a new job.

1) Introduce yourself to everyone.

Meet everyone at your new company

Photo credit: Flickr user: screenpunk via photopin cc

Depending on the size of your organization, it may be challenging to meet “everyone.” I’m based at headquarters, with about 40 other team members. I was taken “on the rounds” to meet everyone. If you don’t have the benefit of being taken around, be sure to introduce yourself to everyone you come across.

2) Ask for an org chart.

I was provided an org chart on my first day, which helps on a number of levels. First, it gives me a list of everyone in the organization. Next, as I meet people, I’m able to look them up on the chart to confirm their role. And finally, it gives me an early sense of whom I’ll be working closely with (e.g. account managers, account execs, etc.).

3) Engage with Sales right away.

Sales and Marketing alignment begins with a “hello.” Introduce yourself to as many sales reps as you can. The first week is primarily an “existence proof,” so Sales knows your name and begins to recognize your face. It’s the beginning of a long-standing (and important) relationship.

4) Focus on completing the “logistics.”

Filling out the W-2, reading the employee handbook and enrolling in benefits are important and necessary steps. Spend the time early on to complete these steps. If you can get them done on Day 1 or 2, the rest of your first week (and beyond) is set up for success.

5) Schedule video conferences with remote teams.

Meet remote teams via video

Photo credit: Flickr user: oxmour via photopin cc

Since our Engineering and Support teams reside in a different location, I was scheduled on orientation briefings with the leaders of those teams. We used a Polycom video conferencing system, which allowed us to see each other. If you don’t have such a system in your organization, go with Skype or Google+ Hangouts.

6) Attend as many internal meetings as you can.

Ask for permission to attend as many internal meetings as your schedule permits. Because you’re new, you’re guaranteed to learn something in each meeting. I attended a daily scrum meeting and got to hear details around the current product release. It also gave me a feel for how the Engineering team works.

7) Tell Sales what you plan to do for them (informally).

I boiled it down to this: I want to enable Sales to sell more. Define your objective up front and communicate it. That helps shape everything else you do. Communicate the “what,” then work to define the “how.” Sales will be sure to help you with the “when.”

8) Ask for the fire hose to be turned on.

Ask your peers to send you as much information as they can: email threads, project plans, existing marketing content, etc. It’s better to have the fire hose be turned on than to be lacking in water. You’ll need to prioritize what you consume and review – but as a marketer, you’re skilled in working with (and prioritizing) massive amounts of content.

9) Attend sales calls as a silent observer.

It’s good to see product demos from peers, but it’s priceless to observe a sales call (and demo) with prospects and customers. You get to learn a lot about your products. And importantly, you get to see how Sales is positioning and selling the products. During your first week or two, you may not be ready to have a speaking role on these calls. So let Sales know up front that you’ll focus on listening.

10) Develop a short-term plan.

Your boss will probably provide you with a short-term plan. Take that plan and compress it down to an even shorter timeframe (e.g. your first 1-2 weeks). This helps you prioritize at a more tactical level, to ensure your first 1-2 weeks are as effective as possible.

The ABC’s Of Lead Follow-Up For Virtual Events

July 4, 2009

Image Source: flickr (user: k1rsty)

Image Source: flickr (user: k1rsty)

Suggestion to Virtual Event Exhibitors: Don’t treat your lead list like a telemarketing list!

With the wealth of attendee engagement data generated (and stored) at virtual events, exhibitors have unique insights regarding the worthiness of their lead pool, giving them the ability to intelligently segment their leads and generate unique follow-up paths.  All too often, however, exhibitors treat their virtual event leads as a single pool, applying the same follow-up activities to the entire pool.  In a Virtual Edge posting titled “Don’t Overwhelm Your Attendees“, Michael Doyle writes about aggressive email follow-up by virtual event exhibitors.  I’ve observed the same behavior as Michael describes – in addition, I’ve attended a number of virtual events that resulted in follow-up via phone call.

A colleague of mine once received a follow-up phone call from a virtual event exhibitor – the call was placed by a telemarketing staffer, who had no knowledge of the virtual event (that my colleague attended).  The staffer simply had a name and phone number, with a goal of generating interest in the company’s products and services.  In my opinion, virtual event exhibitors will not be effective in handling lead follow-up in this manner.  Virtual event leads should not be treated like a generic lead list!

I recommend that exhibitors segment their leads into A, B and C categories.  Be forewarned – this is going to take some effort, but it will pay off in the long run with stronger ROI.  Here goes:

  1. The “A” leads – typically, your top 10% of leads.  They registered and attended the live virtual event.  They generated numerous touch points with your booth, your booth reps and your content (e.g. 8 booth visits, 20 document downloads, 5 chat sessions with your booth reps).  They generated at least one meaningful chat session with you – whether it was private, 1:1 chat with one of your booth reps – or, a meaningful chat/dialog via group chat in your booth or a lounge.  The “A leads” are requesting a follow-up engagement with your sales team – either implicitly with their level of engagement with you, or explicitly by requesting a sales follow-up via chat or email.
  2. The “B” leads – the bulk of your leads – they registered and attended the live virtual event and had at least one booth visit or one view/download of your content.  So yes, they interacted with you, but didn’t do enough to gain “A lead” status.
  3. The “C” leads – folks who registered but didn’t attend; attended but didn’t visit your booth; or, folks from other exhibitors or from the virtual event show host or vendor.  Note: based on the structure of the virtual event sponsorship tiers, you may or may not gain access to these leads.  Intelligent follow-up is based on intelligent segmentation – exhibitors should certainly review their lead list to identify leads they should not be following up with – and those leads should be removed from the “C lead” pool.  There’s no use in following up with attendees from other exhibitors, attendees from the virtual event host or the platform vendor company.  In fact, doing so only makes your company look disorganized.

Now that the important task of segmentation is complete, follow-up paths can be identified for each pool.  Here are my suggestions:

  1. A leads – schedule immediate sales engagements, via phone, virtual meeting or in-person.  If the “A lead” had extended engagement with a sales rep in the virtual event, have that sales rep present during the engagement, to continue the conversation and carry over the context from the virtual event.  If the “A lead” had great discussions with a product marketer or product manager, invite that person to join your sales rep(s) on that initial call.  For any explicit requests (pricing proposal, additional documents, etc.) – make sure to send the information over in advance of the engagement.  Think of the “A leads” as ROI waiting to happen – so treat them like royalty.
  2. B leads – it’s important to be strategic with the “B leads” – don’t hand them over to telemarketing for a vanilla phone call and don’t start sending them generic email blasts about your products.  Instead, study their behavior at the virtual event – what content interests them?  Then, create communications that deliver value and personalize the content based on their activities – for instance, send them a White Paper that provides additional information to the Case Study that they downloaded from your booth.  Again – this is going to take work on your part, but it’s work that’s well worth it.
  3. C leads – this may sound counterintuitive, but – don’t follow up with the “C leads”.  Instead, build a new profile in your CRM system (or, update the existing profile) and associate the information you learned [e.g. they’re interested in the topic of the virtual event, but did not attend].  Your job as a marketer, then, is to match subsequent interest (from the “C leads”) back to their user record.  What you’re trying to do is assemble an engagement profile over time – perhaps the “C lead” does attend the next virtual event and visits your booth – or, the “C lead” registers for a podcast you’ve syndicated with a tech publisher.  Now, you have so much more data for your sales team.  Don’t feel like the acquisition of a “first time C lead” gives you the right to start bombarding her with phone calls and emails.  Consider the “C leads” as potential – where the value is to be delivered (with subsequent engagements).

In summary, your sales team should receive only the “A leads”.  The “B and C” lead pool remains under the auspices of Marketing, until a point where any of them reaches an A list eligibility.  This approach should make everyone happy – Marketing, Sales and even the atttendees/leads!

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