The path to marketing expertise can take some unlikely twists and turns.
A new father, proud husband, and highly technical metal drummer, our guest today has had a wild ride — from working in the retail trenches to thought leadership in software marketing.
In this fascinating and humorous discussion with Rick Siegfried, the multitalented Director of Marketing Operations at Farmer's Business Network, we’ll explore:
- Growing and learning at one of the top marketing automation firms
- The hunger you need to succeed
- Industry challenges and changes
- Balancing martech needs and wants realistically
Let’s dive in!
“You don't necessarily want to bore anyone by getting too into the weeds, then it just ends up sounding like jibber-jabber to them.” — Rick Siegfried
Born and raised
Fresh out of college and finding himself about to be out of a job, a family friend helped Rick get a foot in the door at Marketo, the pioneering marketing automation and engagement platform.
Starting as an entry-level coordinator there, he was promoted to demand generation specialist after only eight months. He rose through the ranks for just seven years, holding several positions before becoming Marketo’s Senior Marketing Operations Manager.
For anyone just starting out on this path, he cautions that it’s often “being thrown into the deep end and having to learn new tools at the drop of a hat.”
“There has to be a hunger,” Rick says, to learn everything you can about martech — a hunger to know the data mapping and the integrations inside and out for when you’ve got to explain it all to a clueless executive.
The feeding frenzy
The industry landscape was vastly different a decade ago when marketing technology made rapid innovations and companies were hugely enthusiastic about leveraging these advanced reporting capabilities.
Rick has attended countless B2B marketing events worldwide, and he’s noticed that attitude shifting and interest in new martech diminishing slightly.
Not everyone on the team cares about the latest developments anymore.
The key element to getting the most out of your tech stack is interpretation. Now that all of this software gave marketing a seat at the revenue table, you have to be able to present the data and show the worth of your work at a moment’s notice.
“Very rarely does something change in marketing ops, that doesn't affect sales ops and vice versa. And that's where a lot of times suck can happen.” — Rick Siegfried
The need for speed
As Rick points out, “the executive leadership is always going to want more data” and a faster return on investment.
What’s the solution? Marketing ops are closely tied to revenue operations, and those teams should be in constant communication. They’re spending too much time preparing data for presentation and battling each other for attention.
Rick believes that martech companies need more input from their super users and “actual marketing operations personnel on the usability and connectivity of their product.”
If a tool can’t seamlessly integrate, then it’s already obsolete.
Making it work
After over eight years in marketing and sales tech, Rick moved to infosec and then into his current position at a highly-respected agricultural commerce and networking platform that helps family farmers maximize profit while embracing sustainability.
His words of wisdom for emerging martech companies? Test your product internally, pay attention to your use cases, and ask for feedback.
Martech has mostly been hyperfocused on B2B models. But organizations that deal directly with consumers also have a hunger and a desire for “the newest, best marketing technology and building a great martech stack.”
“Having that revenue operations mindset pretty much means that you understand being in lockstep with sales operations is key to your growth and success.” — Rick Siegfried
Relevance and functionality
Because business-to-consumer marketing wasn’t using the same strategies, the martech-friendly infrastructure wasn’t really there a few years ago, with big companies still using outdated email software to reach their customers.
Rick thinks some of the traditional B2B account-based marketing approaches are a bit on the creepy side when applied to individual customers. More and more people want to protect their online identities and not have their interests tracked all over the internet for advertising purposes.
But it’s so prevalent these days that we hardly notice it any longer.
These kinds of hyper-localized target ads from an advanced martech stack can be a real boon for small businesses that are still depending on really archaic marketing practices.
Since these fabulous tech stacks can get wildly expensive, Rick has some advice for smaller companies regarding building and balancing, and plugging the gaps.
“Don’t just blindly install new tools,” he says. First, you need to identify the exact problem you want to solve. Can you do that with some other tool you already have? It’s vital to know the functionality of what you’re already paying for.
Shift your mindset
Rick says one of the biggest things that’s accelerated his sales growth is shifting fully into a revenue operations mindset, whether he’s on a marketing team or not.
Being totally aligned with his sales operations goals is “the key to your growth and your success.” He predicts that new staff will be trained in a completely different manner to create more marketing enablement.
What does Rick recommend as a recipe for perfection? Seamless integration between onboarding, technology, sales ops, revenue generation, content, and marketing operations.
More information about Rick and today’s topics:
- LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ricksiegfried/
- Company Website: https://www.fbn.com/