email facebook google plus linkedin pinterest instagram RSS twitter quora pointer eye stats search cross chevron-down cash

SiriusDecisions 2014 Marketing Summit: Killer Case Studies & Content


SiriusDecisions kicked off its 9th annual Summit for marketing folks today in Orlando, Florida, and the message was clear: “Intelligent Growth” can only be fueled by the alignment of marketing, sales and product management.

I was pleased to see that the SiriusDecisions team made sure to provide us great management frameworks with a heavy doses of real-world success stories to ensure we return to the office with something to show for our time spent here.  I’ve pulled together some of the highlights of each of the sessions today, including the Executive Leadership Exchange in the morning which SiriusDecisions was kind enough to invite me to.

All insight is sourced, paraphrased and quoted from the respective individuals, except for my personal comments which are in [brackets].  I’ve only touched upon the expertise shared by the SiriusDecisions team.

DrewChapinPicStories of Transformation: Hyland Software

Drew Chapin, VP Marketing  @DrewChapin

Hyland Software is the developer of the enterprise content management and process management software suite called OnBase. (~$250M revenue, 1,700 employees)  Drew Chapin presented a compelling story about their marketing transformation.

    • Key steps taken:
      • Full search for an agency of record to consolidate activities and drive change both internally and externally.  Not only did Hyland get free consulting as part of the agency interview process, but they secured a great agency: Babcock and Jenkins.
      • Completed of a content audit, brand audit and social media audit.
      • Developed personas.
      • Created a digital marketing center of excellence (CoE) team which, amongst other things, enabling them to drive social media across all of their groups in a more efficient and effective manner.[Check out the details here about how Justin Levy of Citrix developed a social media CoE at Citrix.]
      • Developed a content marketing process.
    • Catalyst for success:  Developed a Wildly Important Goal (WIG) in order to align sales and marketing – i.e., a quota for Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). Drew provided weekly updates on the WIG to marketing, sales and the CEO. The WIG was also on display on the marketing floor.
    • Results
      • 47% YoY growth in MQLs 125%
      • YoY growth in bookings sourced from MQLs
      • Marketing was presented an award by the global head of sales


Stories of Transformation: GE Healthcare

April Dunn, GM, healthymagination for Healthcare Systems @ItsAprilDunn

GE Healthcare is an $18B global business unit with 53,000 employees.  April spoke about their Project GROW (Grow, Realize, Optimize and Win) marketing transformation project.

  • Objective: make marketing a simpler and higher impact function
  • 4 key priorities:  Make better bets; enable stronger commercial execution; connect the GE Healthcare portfolio; increase marketing expertise. [No doubt, these impact SiriusDecisions key focus areas of marketing, sales and product management.]
  • Created marketing services center of excellence (CoE) teams:
    • Customer Market Insights (e.g., competitive intelligence, research);
    • Advertising & promotions group (e.g., trade shows, digital marketing, events);
    • Market Access (e.g., healthcare economists to provide market insight).
  • Three high-level parts to their marketing transformation process: [April did a great job of presenting the details of their efforts, however, I really liked how they all cascaded from the following parts.]
    • Baselining (e.g., spend, headcount, activities and processes);
    • ‘ToBe’ Design (i.e., developing processes and identifying tools);
    • Implementation (including organizational alignment along new processes)
  • What did it take for April to be a successful leader for this endeavor?. . . Read here about April’s background and experience, including her role in GE’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Program.


Malcolm Gladwell @GladWellMalcolmGladwellPic

Journalist, Best Selling Author and Speaker @Gladwell

Ever heard of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers or David and Goliath?  Well, that’s just a small sampling of what Malcolm Gladwell has published. (see more here) And as good of a notetaker I’ve become over the years, I dedicated most of my attention to listening to Malcolm speak.  If you’ve ever been fortunate to hear him speak or you’ve read his books, then you’ll understand that few people will get you to think about things more so than Malcolm Gladwell.  Just a few takeaways of mine:

  • Relative Deprivation:  Malcolm spoke about this in the morning session at the Executive Leadership Exchange.
    • Relative deprivation is defined as “the perception of an unfair disparity in one’s situation compared to others.”
    • Malcolm‘s view on the theory: “As human being we do not form our self-assessments based on our standing in the world. We form our self assessments based on our standing in our immediate circle,” making it, for example, better to go to a middle of the road college and stand out, than go to an elite institution and drop out. Let’s just say that I’m rethinking my entire mental paradigm about which colleges I should encourage my children to go to.
  • All transformation, in alignment with the SiriusDecisions theme, begins with the process of reframing.
    • As marketers, we need to think about how we can reframe our strategy and messaging to more rapidly drive change across our organization and within the market.  Malcolm offered some great examples of this in “real-life”, such as the governments effort to get adults to wear seat belts.
      • As much as they tried to communicate to us the dangers of not using seat belts or event establishing laws for their use, they failed at this transformation effort.  They only succeeded when they reframed the problem and required only children to wear seat belts.  At that point, the use of seat belts became a question of parental responsibility (i.e., parents setting a good example for their children) versus the government telling us what to do.

Intelligent Growth and B-to-B Transformation by SiriusDecisionssiriusdecisions


John Neeson, Managing Director and Co-Founder @jneeson

Tony Jaros, Sr. VP and Chief Research Officer @tjaros

James Ninivaggi, Sales Enablement Strategies @JNinivaggi

The SiriusDecisions team did a nice job of kicking off the 3-day summit with a view into their new “tagline” of Intelligent Growth, what it takes to succeed at business transformation, as well as a look at the state of B-to-B growth.  I will be no means do their presentations any justice, therefore, I’m only including some of the highest level take-aways below.

  • 5 pillars of Intelligent Growth: be Agile, Predictable, Profitable, Sustainable and Scalable.
  • 5 ways to grow:  Markets, Buyers, Offerings (i.e., launch new products/services, enhance existing ones), Acquisitions; Productivity (i.e., efficiency, effectiveness and engagement)
  • The SiriusDecisions B-to-B Confidence Index: state of B-to-B growth product management, sales and marketing.  This study is based upon 300 companies, large and small, across the world:
    • “We are moving out of the productivity era and into an area of business optimism with a keen focus on growth.”
      • high expectations for growth (~1/3 of companies indicated 11-20% growth)
      • areas for growth include Energy, Technology and China
      • ~50% of companies are “very confident” according to the SD B-to-B Confidence Index
    • “Offerings and markets lead the way as primary growth pillars in 2014 and beyond, for both large and small companies.”  Live poll of 2000+ people. . 35% of audience (highest result) thinks growth will come from new buyers.
    • Marketing, sales and product management are not always aligned on where to find the biggest opportunities for growth:
      • Marketing is going after new buyers for growth.
      • Sales and product management are going after offerings.
      • What the result?. .  Marketing may be creating opportunities for conversation that sales is not ready to have; and product group may be developing products that the market is not ready for.
  • Final words to prepare for growth:
    • “The war for talent has just begun.”
    • We will continue to be “shackled by a lack of investment.”
    • “Disparate growth strategies will fail.”
  • Just a tip of the iceberg for how to approach these challenges?
    • Marketing:
      • Align change initiatives to buyer outcomes.
      • Leverage analytics to drive investment decisions and measure results.
    • Sales:
      • Enable reps with the knowledge, skills, and assets required for better conversations with buyers.
      • Develop a strong discipline in hiring, on boarding and retaining sales talent.
    • Product: push the bounds for innovation and success.
  • Additional sources for SiriusDecisions expertise:

ROI Award Presentation: Polycom’s Journey to Defy Distancejim-kruger-exec-photo 2

Jim Kruger, CMO Polycom @jimkruger

More than 400,000 companies “defy distance” with secure video, voice and content solutions from Polycom.($1.4B revenue, 36,000 employees, 160 marketers) Jim Kruger shared their journey for development and execution of Polycom’s ‘defy distance’ campaign/theme.

  • Marketing challenges faced by Polycom:
    • Messaging, content and general strategy was very outbound and product centric.
    • Poor customer and prospect data records. (i.e., had trouble increasing engagement with buyers beyond identification of Polycom)
    • Demand generation was fragmented (e.g., many agencies, different messages, poor global consistency)
  • Key steps to transform marketing (all in less than one year)
    • Developed a marketing vision:  One customer centric team that leads and measurers best in class demand generation, awareness, thought leadership, sales enablement and brand affinity to exceed the company’s financial goals and to support the company’s vision.
    • Added a marketing operations role.
    • Hired a content strategist: content development was very fragmented. [43% of companies have a content marketing executive]
    • Developed a Campaign theme to run for at least a year: Defy distance.
    • Selected one creative agency to drive this campaign: John McNeil Studios.
    • Benchmarked the marketing organization using SiriusDecisions research and related consulting services.
    • Developed messaging and content within the campaign to meet the needs of 9 roles/personas. [Excellent example of targeting your message to a specific audience.]
    • Launched the entire campaign in four months
  • Jim invited two of his key “lieutenants” up on stage to share more detailed steps and results of their journey:
    • Maurizio Capuzzo, Vice President Americas Marketing at Polycom
      •  Identified and developed business personas: marketing, engineering, customer service, human resources) IT, Human Resources, CEO, Customer Service, Finance, Facilities)
      • Brought all material into an online sales playbook.
      • Designed the entire process around the SiriusDecisions framework
      • Integrated all marketing and sales data into dashboards for quick and frequent review and analysis.
      • Aligned their marketing and sales technology.
    • Niki Hall, VP Corporate Marketing and Analyst Relations at Polycom @NikiHall
      • A key to their success was the SiriusDecisions content framework.
      • Used 3rd party influencers to develop “killer content” which resulted in a 70% conversion rate over 2 weeks. [Using independent industry experts is an excellent way to complement your own created content and build trust with your audience.  Many content marketers are using content curation in this same manner. Learn more here about how to Feed the Content Beast.
      • Developed primary research as part of a more strategic and less egocentric content marketing strategy.  Polycom then amplified the impact of this research by building different content assets from it.  -> amplification. [Refer to the Content Marketing Pyramid for a simply framework to create great content.]
      • Created different types and formats of content based upon buyer personas, stages in the buying process. (i.e., highly leveraged the SiriusDecisions’ content frameworks)
      • Used social media “in a big way” to promote the entire campaign as well as individual pieces of content. [Great to see Polycom marketing their marketing.]
      • Created an operational council to develop and manage their content strategy.
      • Used stories to tell the world (internally and external) how customers are defying distance with their solutions.
      • Developed next generation content:  Polycom Guide to Collaborating Across Borders
      • Results. . how does marketing know they were successful?
        • Industry analysts:  In house research, “Polycom has launched one of the most significant marketing campaigns in the history of the industry.”
        • Internal reaction:
          • Peter Leav, CEO, “I love what the marketing team has done with Defy Distance”
          • Gary Rider, EMEA President, “Defy Distance has had significant impact to help sales engage new buying centers.”
        • Marketing data:
          • 20% increase in half over half  number of marketing responses versus marketing qualified leads (MQLs)
          • 2.5 X conversion rate of inquiries to TQL (tele-prospecting qualified leads);
          • 22%+ YoY marketing sourced leads;
      • Lessons learned/key success factors:
        • Drove a cultural shift;
        • Established clear roles and responsibilities;
        • Tapped into local expertise;
        • Improved efficiency and effectiveness of channels;
        • Used SiriusDecisions frameworks and overall expertise.

No doubt, lots of value from only day 1 of the Summit.  Follow the latest Summit insight at #SDSummit.

Interested in learning more about the power of content marketing? Check out these additional resources or contact us at Curata for a more detailed discussion or for a demo of our content curation solution:

Michael Gerard

Michael was CMO of Curata, responsible for Curata’s marketing strategy and all related activities. He has over 25 years of marketing and sales experience, having successfully launched and sustained three start-up ventures as well as having driven innovative customer creation strategies for large technology organizations such as IDC, Kenan Systems, Prospero (mZinga) and Millipore. Michael received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, as well as a BS in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an MS in Engineering from Northeastern University.

Curata Content Analytics

Subscribe for Content Marketing News!

Free Download: How to Curate Content Like a Boss Get My Copy! >

Get My Copy!