Marketing Masters: The Future of Demand Generation With Kathy Mammon

Wondering where demand generation is heading, and how that might impact email marketing? We sat down with INTTRA’s Director of Demand Gen, Kathy Mammon to find out.

As INTTRA’s Director of Demand Generation, Kathy Mammon is responsible for all demand generation programs and campaigns, and managing the marketing operations function and strategy.

Before INTTRA, Kathy worked in a variety of demand generation and marketing roles across Splash, NewsCred, Magnetic, LivePerson, and others.

We recently sat down with her to discuss marketing operations, GDPR, and the future of demand generation.

How did you move into demand generation?

It’s crazy to think back to 13 years ago when I landed my first real marketing job, and there was no such thing as demand generation! I started my career as a marketing generalist on a two-person marketing team. It gave me great experience and allowed me get involved in every aspect of marketing.  

When I decided it was time to grow into my next role, I interviewed for a role as a marketing manager. I’ll never forget the opening line of the job description which read; “Are you the lead generation engine on your marketing team?” The job description struck a chord with me because I had spent the last four years managing and reporting on leads and lead activity for my team, including understanding where our leads were coming from, which ones were qualified and handed off to the sales team, and which ones were converting through the sales cycle into pipeline and revenue for the company.  

We know this process today as the lead lifecycle, and this was one of my main responsibilities as a marketing manager. I also had the good fortune of being one of Marketo’s first customers.  My manager did a ton of research on marketing automation, and as a part of my role I owned and managed the entire Marketo marketing automation system, including implementation and becoming a power user.

From there, my career organically transitioned to demand generation as this job title became more popular, and now I’ve been focused solely on demand generation for the past ten years.  I’ve recently joined INTTRA as the Director of Demand Generation. INTTRA is the largest neutral network, software and information provider at the center of the ocean shipping industry, and I’m excited to flex my demand gen muscles in a completely new industry.

How has demand generation evolved in the past five years? And what ripple effects has that had on email marketing?

With the introduction of the term “ABM” (account-based marketing), demand generation has become more hyper-focused on personalization and one-to-one targeting. What’s interesting to me is that in my 10-year career in demand generation, my marketing teams have always been centered around personalization, so there wasn’t so much a change in demand generation, but more of an evolution of a strategy we’d all been working towards for some time, and it was all of a sudden like; “A-ha! We have a term for this now!”

The effect of ABM and personalization on email marketing means that all marketers need to be smarter and more effective. In any email strategy, you’re always going to have those mass emails, and it often makes sense too. For example, a large conference invite where you need to reach thousands of people at a time.

One of the best kept secrets of email marketing is the p2p email (person-to-person email), which is sent in mass but really, truly looks like it’s being sent from one person directly to another.  Typically, they are short, lack grammatical care, and feel authentic, they have the feel of a friend texting a friend about what’s going on that weekend. I strongly encourage every marketer to try it just once and see if it generates real responses. I was skeptical of this approach until I tried it myself.

In an effort to drive webinar registrations, I sent out a p2p email the day before the webinar. Typically, I’d consider it taboo to send out an invite so close to the actual event. To my surprise, the email drove 50% of our webinar registrations for the event! It just goes to show you that every audience is different and engages in different ways, even if it’s last minute.

How do you build your martech stack and what advice would you have for someone just entering the space?

I am a firm believer in keeping my martech stack simple, simple, and simple! I have found that over the years, I end up utilizing less than 20% of the functionality offered in the technology I buy. We would all love to take advantage of the full functionality of the tools we invest so much money and time in, but the reality is that we don’t have the focus or the resources to take full advantage of everything our martech stack has to offer.  

There are foundational technologies I must have in my tech stack, and the rest are gravy at this point. These four are a marketing automation platform, CRM, email platform, and a webinar/video tool.

My advice is to keep it simple and take advantage of those foundational technologies before diving into the next big thing.

What’s the best email campaign you’ve ever run, and why?

One of the most successful email campaigns I’ve ever run was dubbed the “Broken Customer Experience” campaign by my colleagues.

It centered around a core challenge we were trying to solve, which was how to educate ecommerce marketers on the power of proactive live chat. It was basically the idea that a customer service or sales representative could proactively reach out to an online shopper in real time to engage them to buy, and therefore increase the likelihood of the sale.

This was an ABM email campaign, with a small number of top-target accounts we were focusing on. We had been struggling for months to gain traction with these accounts, so if this email campaign was successful we knew it would drive a real, qualified pipeline for the sales team.

For each account, demand gen partnered with the business development team to create a video screen recording of the business development representative shopping on the ecommerce website of that prospect. We would add thousands of dollars into the shopping cart, wait for 60 seconds on the checkout page, and then abandon the shopping cart.

We then sent these videos to our top-target accounts, and the open and click-through rates on these very targeted, very personal emails was unbelievable, around 80% for click-to-open rates. This email campaign ended up generating 10% of all opportunities created by the sales team in a three-month timeframe.

As marketers have implemented changes to meet GDPR requirements, what do you think are the major hurdles that they’ve faced?

The GDPR is vague, and was purposely created that way. I think the major hurdles marketers are facing today is the interpretation of these loosely defined regulations. We’re all looking at each other asking, “Did I do this right? What did you do? Should I be doing what you did?”

In the past year, I have co-presented on two webinars on the topic of the GDPR and marketing, and everyone has questions. For one webinar I participated in, we received over forty questions on the topic, the most I’ve ever seen in my career on a webinar.

For now, my best advice to overcoming GDPR hurdles is to document everything and have a plan. Give your clients and prospects easy ways to opt-out, and most of all, be transparent.

Where do you see GDPR compliance moving in coming months as marketers become more comfortable with the new regulations?

In the future, as GDPR becomes more defined, we’ll definitely see more and more countries demanding the same legal regulations regarding transparency, communications, and security.  

Although the GDPR is a nuisance to most companies, the truth of the matter is it’s actually evolving the marketing industry by forcing us to put into place best practices to reach a target market that is more qualified and actually interested in the products and content we put into market. The long game will be the ability to drive better results, including higher conversion rates, more satisfied prospects and customers, and more effective marketing.

Where do you see demand generation moving in the next five years?

I think Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a big role in demand generation in the future. AI and machine learning gives marketers the ability to optimize campaign audiences like never before, targeting only those prospects who have the highest propensity to buy and making super-accurate predictions about the success of a campaign.  

I would love for AI to eventually stretch to all of our marketing strategies, helping marketers to master email marketing, content marketing, advertising, and demand generation.

How can demand generation and marketing operations work together to master these shifts?

Demand generation and marketing operations cannot exist without each other, and need to be in lock step as we tackle shifts in the market. I think the biggest tie between these two functions is data.  

Data can be complex, complicated, and difficult to gain access to and translate into real, actionable insights, yet we all know and believe that data should guide our strategies. As a foundational step forward, demand generation, marketing operations, sales, product, customer success, and the executive team should all have access to the same data. These teams need to agree on one standard way of pulling the data and reporting on it. If you can get all of these functional areas to agree and be on the same page, you’re on your way to a successful demand generation and marketing operations strategy.