Scale Marketing for Your Organization with Annette Reed and UnboundB2B

Few teams can reach as many people as marketing. But becoming a scalable marketing operation isn’t something that “kicks in” once the team grows to a certain size. To become scalable—and remain effective—marketing teams need a system of project management tools and workflows that allows them to minimize manual work. To help marketers put these foundational pieces in place, Annette Reed shares a wealth of insights around improving marketing operations, scaling marketing efforts, and getting creative with limited resources.
Before a business can scale marketing, the organization must take stock of its operations.
It’s not uncommon for marketers to achieve their goals in ways that won’t scale—at least for a while—but once an organization sets its sights on exponential growth, its success depends on an entirely different approach.
That’s why we met with Annette Reed, Senior Director of Global Strategic Campaigns and Demand Gen at SentinelOne.
With a rich background in several marketing disciplines, Annette’s approach centers on constructive empathy and consistent effort, from communicating with stakeholders to using marketing and project management tools, establishing processes, and building digital demand teams.
Read on to learn more about how to scale marketing in ways that also scale your business.

UnboundB2B: What needs to be in place foundationally to scale as an organization and as a marketing team?

Annette Reed: As marketers, we’re constantly being told we have to cut budgets or we can’t get that new headcount that we want.
For us to be effective, we need a foundation of marketing and project management tools, systems, and processes to help us respond in an agile way to new market changes. Without those operations management pieces set up, everything we do is very manual and isn’t scalable
If you’re a marketing team of 5 or 20 today but plan to become a marketing team of 50 or 100, you have to solve these operations management issues first—otherwise, every new person won’t scale to the next level. They’re just one incremental person. But if you have those operational pieces established, every new person you add feels like 5 instead of just one.

UnboundB2B: How can we standardize communication, technologies, and project management tools across teams to improve efficiency and visibility?

Annette Reed: Whatever project management tools you can make effective and actually use are the best and most important tools. If you can work within the project management tools you have and still accomplish the massive goals you have, do it.
But here’s the caveat: When your existing tools require new ways of working, you can’t always rely on people to reach out if they have questions. Something’s always going to come up, and people will often forget. It’s better if you set up regular communication patterns
If you need someone to give you a report every Friday, send them a meeting invite so they have time on their calendar and a reminder to send you the report.
If you have 5 different people who need to review every email before sending, set up tasks in your preferred project management tool like Asana or Monday, requiring them to review and approve it.
If you don’t have a system like that, set up a Google doc with checkboxes and use calendar invites as reminders. Set up systems so you don’t have to rely on remembering every detail, which isn’t possible for most of us.
That’s the easy part. The challenge is overcoming cross-functional communication that stems from not considering another person’s perspective, whether it’s the nature of their role, their pain points and KPIs, or what makes them successful. If you can put yourself in your coworker’s shoes, communication will be more effective.

UnboundB2B: How can marketing teams approach change management as they grow?

Annette Reed: As marketers, we think about attribution all the time—how can we get credit for our work? The truth is, we need to build the systems and processes for the way we want things to work, not for bad habits, behaviors, or players.
Build the process the way it should be running, and then build in all the checkpoints to help refine and weed out bad behavior over time. That’s one of the best ways to reduce friction. Small changes that get you where you need to be.
Try to find things that are currently working and add or adjust from there instead of trying to rip and replace them with tools. If people have a tool they’re already using, find ways to work within existing tools and look for features that can be used across teams.
Think about flexibility when you implement any new process or system. Can you be flexible enough to only incrementally change certain things? Once you’ve activated and launched the system, are you looking back to ask how it’s working?
The biggest thing is to communicate and enable, regularly and often. Just because you rolled out a new process or tool doesn’t mean everyone’s going to use it 6 months down the road. You have to constantly communicate and build the systems that will support using the tools.

UnboundB2B: How do we create a foundation for growth given tightening budgets and resources?

Annette Reed: One thing I’ve been thinking about is looking at the resources we already have. Has the team you’ve either built or inherited been set up in the way you need to do business?
If you’re working with limited headcount, are those people in the right positions for their skill set and for the needs of the business? Is there an area where you need new headcount that someone on the marketing team could potentially grow into? Or does anyone on the team already have the skills to move into that area?
People resources is an area where we tend to get stuck in terms of how we think about team structure and roles. We might think, “They’re just a campaign manager” or “They’re just a webinar person.”
In reality, we’re often stuck on previous ways of working. As our businesses change and grow, we have different needs. So you have to regularly look at whether you’re being effective with the resources you have.

UnboundB2B: How does the marketing operations team set the foundation for campaigns, demand gen, and digital marketing?

Annette Reed: Demand gen teams work closely with the marketing operations team. If you want to do multi-day bite-sized webinars where people can register for 3 at a time or other off-the-cuff programs, you need to work with marketing operations to make sure it all works correctly. Every time you want to send an email or set up a campaign in Marketo, marketing operations needs to work with you.
Whether you want to be innovative or go through your daily workflow, as a campaign or digital demand marketer you need to work with your marketing operations team to make sure it’s set up correctly.
With or without that structural relationship, marketers should become best friends with marketing operations people. Buy them a coffee, make sure you have 1:1s with them, find out what they’re doing, and how you can help each other.
Sit them down and say “Let’s have a brainstorming session. I want to try something new. How would that work setup-wise? How would we do that?”

Are you ready to scale marketing?

As marketers, the ability to reach people at a one-to-many ratio can too often get in the way of creating scalable workflows.
The truth is, we can’t significantly grow our impact on the business without first getting our operations in order. Once you begin to see the benefits of establishing scalable systems, you’ll be less inclined to adopt unscalable ways of working.
This article is an edited excerpt from the conversation with Annette Reed, Senior Director of Global Strategic Campaigns and Demand Gen at SentinelOne.
For more insights on scaling marketing, watch the full episode of the Real Talk Real Results podcast with Annette Reed.
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Michael Frost

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