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Anantha Narasimhan (LinkedIn | Twitter) is Program Director of Global Marketing for Unified Governance & Integration at IBM. Throughout his career in sales, analytics, and marketing at leading technology companies, he has learned the importance of horizontal and vertical alignment for success and the power of friendly competition.

On this episode, Ananth describes his journey into marketing and the keys to his success at IBM, so far. He discusses the importance of team-building and generating momentum to achieve big wins.

From Field Sales to Integrated Marketing - (2:00)
- Ananth got his start in field sales and had a circuitous route to marketing through BI and analytics.
- "I loved talking to people, solving problems one at a time, but I really wanted to scale." - Ananth Narasimhan
- Knowing the mind of a seller helped Ananth tailor his messaging to the customer, both externally and internally.
- Ananth describes his current position at IBM as an integrated marketing role, involved in product portfolio, campaign management, content marketing, digital strategy, and more.

Alignment at IBM- (4:00)
- At IBM, Ananth focuses on alignment throughout sales, marketing, product management, and development.
- "The four of us tango along and it's a beautiful thing because it makes things so clear when you're all aligned to one business objective." - Ananth Narasimhan
- Lauren Vaccarello notes the importance of having a direct feedback loop between product management and sales and marketing.
- "Alone, you can go fast. But if you want to go far, you have to go together." - Ananth Narasimhan
- When teams are aligned, the conversation becomes more about what is right, rather than who is right, removing the politics, Ananth says.

Relationships and Goal-Setting - (13:00)
- "If marketing goals are in the green but the total business is red, we're all red. Period." -Ananth Narasimhan
- This type of alignment requires relationships that are often nurtured outside of professional work environments.
- At IBM, they make goal-setting fun and generate team momentum by incorporating popular online trends, like the Ice Bucket Challenge.
- "Progress is more important than perfection." - Ananth Narasimhan

Pardot Lightning Round - (33:00)
- Favorite vacation spot: the mountains
- Favorite books: The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Execution by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan
- Ad campaign most jealous of: Google's Parisian Love and IBM's Smarter Planet
- Most excited about for the future of marketing: Marketing is becoming increasingly important as people's attention spans are going down. Ananth is most excited about working across teams to attract attention and win large accounts, either through account based or extremely personalized marketing.

Marketing Trends is brought to you by our friends at Salesforce Pardot, B2B marketing automation on the world’s #1 CRM. Are you ready to take your B2B marketing to new heights? With Pardot, marketers can find and nurture leads, close more deals, and maximize ROI. Learn more by heading to www.pardot.com/podcast.

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