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Karen Steele (LinkedIn | Twitter) , CMO at LeanData, learned marketing from the best of the best. At Apple and NeXT, she had the opportunity to report directly to, and learn from, Steve Jobs. On this episode of Marketing Trends, she shares some of those lessons learned, as well as how to nail marketing attribution and her best practices for managing engagement.

5 Key Takeaways:
- The first step to figuring out attribution is getting great data that you can trust.
- Humanizing your brand leads to more engagement.
- Think about your brand promise as much as possible. It has to be your anchor that you stick to at all costs.
- Advocacy, advisory, and adoption are the three A's to think about when you're thinking about your customer marketing process.
- "Engagement is the process of getting people interested and getting them to take action around your brand, who you are, and what you stand for." - Karen Steele

Karen Steele (LinkedIn | Twitter) is the CMO at LeanData. Karen is responsible for all aspects of product marketing, brand strategy, demand generation, customer and employee advocacy, and the customer journey at LeanData. Prior to LeanData, Karen was Group Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Marketo, where she led the pioneering marketing automation company through its transformation from a public to private company and successfully introduced the New Marketo.

Karen began her career at Apple where she worked alongside Steve Jobs. Karen later followed Steve to NeXT and then back to Apple, where she built the marketing foundation that helped jumpstart her career.

Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs - (3:00)
- She started at Apple in 1981 before the Macintosh
- She worked at Apple while she was still in college
- Apple was the foundation of her overall career and she learned a ton from Steve Jobs.
- "He and I actually got along quite well and I think because somewhere along the way I earned his trust and everything with Steve is about trust." - Karen Steele
- Being really engaging with people, creating a great experience all the time, and not overcomplicating things.
- While working with Steve at NeXT she mentions, "I don't think tech companies focused on that. They were focused on speeds and feeds and that's never what, you know, apple in the early days and next was about, it was about the experience of the individual and the value you could bring to the business. "

Roles and Responsibilities as CMO of LeanData - (9:30)
- LeanData has always been about creating a more efficient data model for the CRM system
- They are currently rolling out their Revenue Ops Platform
- Their main focus is to, "bring the teams together, plan together in a single platform, execute all your go-to-market from a single platform and then have all the measurement on the back end, which is what we provide, we think teams can do a much better job."

Marketing Attribution - (11:00)
- "The reality is if you can't trust the data, who cares about the attribution." - Karen Steele
- "If you start at the context of leads and accounts and contacts and everybody's in alignment on what the data is, then you have a much better shot at creating that alignment in terms of marketing attribution and measurement." - Karen Steele
- Specifically on attribution, Karen believes in multitouch and seeing the entire journey.
- "It's a journey. It's not one and done. You don't create a model and say, here's my report. You see the data. And so, I'm a huge, huge fan in just tweaking and refining and making it better." - Karen Steele

Account-Based Marketing - (12:00)
- "The best way to use ABM is to use it through the whole process. You know, because it's not just account-based marketing. It is truly account-based as a philosophy. There's a ton of great vendors here on the floor that are doing some really cool things, but you want to be able to trigger all that stuff through the entire deal process. " - Karen Steele

- "You're trying to engage people in a process to get them to buy from you. And so engagement to me is, is the process that you go through to get people interested and get them to take action around your brand and who you are and what you stand for." - Karen Steele

Best Practices Around Engagement - (13:30)
- "Look at every single channel and making the experience consistent through every single channel. If I come to a trade show and I walked by a booth, I want to feel the same if I'm picking up a piece of collateral or if I'm visiting the company's website or if I'm ultimately having a conversation with a rep or a marketer." - Karen Steele
- "You've got to humanize your brand and you've got to make sure you're always thinking about the connection of the mind and the heart." - Karen Steele
- "It always comes down right to, the brand promise. Like what's that single thing you want to stand for in the heart and mind? And you have to always be connected to that. And a lot of people think that's fluffy in the world of B2B marketing, it's not. It's how you differentiate." - Karen Steele
- According to Karen, it's also crucial to make sure that all your employees are also connected to the brand promise at the heart of your brand.

Best & Worst Campaigns - (22:00)
- Karen't favorite campaign? At Apple, she and her team were trying to sell the concept of work groups and connected networks. They produced a piece of direct mail, an 8-page brochure, that laid out the entire idea. It was a beautiful piece of collateral that conveyed a message that was way ahead of its time.
- Test Drive a Macintosh is the bad campaign that Karen still remembers. "You would go into a store, any retailer that sold computers, it would be like a best buy today. You would go in and basically get to take home a computer for the weekend." The problem with the campaign was that they tried to execute it during the holidays seasons, which turned out to be very challenging.

The Triple A's - (28:00)
- Karen's Three A's: Advocacy, advisory, and adoption.
- These three A's are important when you're thinking about your customer marketing process.
- Advocacy: "Go out there and get some references. Build some cool assets, and get customers to speak on your behalf."
- Advisory: "Strategic advisory boards, product groups, user groups, and those types of bodies give the company feedback on a whole number of fronts. So advisory is critical and is just as important for the customers to talk to other customers."
- For advisory boards, keep the groups small, only use your top customers, and get them out of their typical operating environment.
- Adoption: "It's not just engaging the customer on the product they have today, it's also about new features you're going to add. What about add on products that you might want to resell? You've got to have processes for getting people engaged and adopting new capability and new products."

Pardot Lightning Round - (40:00)
- Favorite app: Facebook
- Favorite book or podcast: Matt Heinz's podcast called Sales Pipeline Radio
- Favorite one-day vacation spot: Napa or Sonoma
- Question Karen wished she was asked more: "What's the biggest trend for marketers today?"
- The biggest trend for marketers: Operations people on the marketing side shining bright
- The best advice for a first time CMO: Be true to your brand.

LeanData is hiring, check out their careers page!

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

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