An emerging ABM strategy
The hand in hand functioning of sales and marketing at Atos UK & Ireland is heading towards an Account Based Marketing approach. Catherine has structured marketing along vertical lines. This allows - for example - the manufacturing marketing manager to join the weekly manufacturing sales meeting and discuss upcoming opportunities, and share intelligence, ‘it's a very open conversation and dialogue that takes place, we need that feedback because without it we can't improve the return on the campaigns that we are running'. It also means the marketing can point Sales at the right content to share with customers - making sales a content marketing channel.
An ECRM system has been implemented in the last year, as has marketing automation. It's a work in progress ‘I wouldn't say we are quite there yet, but we are absolutely moving toward a one-to-one approach' says Catherine, ‘I invest heavily in the marketing team, we're actually doing an account based training session next Friday with a recognised professional organisation'.
On staff challenges
The toughest challenge on Catherine's mind isn't as you might expect GDPR, but recruiting and retaining the right talent ‘I'm really big on making sure individuals are continuing to learn, that they have the training that's going to make them effective, that they've got individual career progression plans and (staff) retention around that'. She also thinks in terms of protecting the team from taking on too much ‘making sure you've got that balance between them delivering for the business and not being bombarded with the volume of programmes, campaigns and requests coming through'. A lot of effort goes into ensuring it's a fun and creative place to work ‘this is something I think on a regular basis and act on'.
I ask what it looks like ‘in terms of skillset and where people need to focus, I think it's absolutely on content' she replies. Routine work is going to be automated and out of existence ‘robotics is going to come in and remove the more admin related tasks'. ‘Marketers' she says, ‘need to really focus on driving the content hard, creating that content and really understanding their clients and the engagement'.
Are you, I ask, introducing robotics? ‘we are going to introduce some robotics into what we do this year, but that's a conversation for another time!'.
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