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Most marketers only have responsibility for promoting one brand. A few senior marketers are responsible for a handful of brands. Leslie Tom (LinkedIn | Twitter), SVP of AppExchange Marketing and Programs at Salesforce, has marketing responsibilities for an entire ecosystem.

On this episode of Marketing Trends, Ian and Lauren sit down with Leslie to talk about how she handles this unique challenge, best practices for partner marketing, the top technology trend she’s watching, and much more.

5 Key Takeaways:
- Partner marketing allows two companies to share the strength of their customer relationships with each other, creating significant growth opportunities.
- Ecosystems provide a larger variety of solutions than a single company ever could, while still maintaining consistency in the customer experience.
- "Trust your gut more. Trust that little voice in your head, especially if you have the experience." - Leslie Tom
- "Be intentional. I think everybody succeeds if they have some intention and purpose in their career." - Leslie Tom
- Artificial intelligence is the technology that is most likely to disrupt how marketers do business in the coming years.

Bio:
Leslie Tom is the senior vice president of AppExchange marketing and programs at Salesforce. She has been named on Computer Reseller News’ (CRN) Power 100: The Most Powerful Women of the Channel list. Prior to joining Salesforce in 2005, Leslie worked in several marketing leadership roles at Siebel Systems and Oracle. Leslie holds a double major in Business and Psychology from San Jose State University.

Notes & Quotes:

Leslie's Background - (2:00)
- Leslie has always been interested in marketing. Her degree is in psychology, and that also helped lead her in the direction of marketing.
- In her role, Leslie runs partner recruitment, partner enablement, community marketing, and product marketing for AppExchange as well as the accelerator program.
- The AppExchange was built because Salesforce knew they couldn't service every customer need, and wanted to create a platform where many of those needs could be met while still keeping customers in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Partner Marketing - (9:30)

- One of the primary things that Leslie does is help her partners get to market faster on the AppExchange.
- She also helps partners ensure that they have good product/market fit by connecting them with user groups.
- Leslie works to make sure that users select the winners and losers on the AppExchange, not Salesforce, through things like ratings and reviews.
- It was Steve Jobs who originally told Marc Benioff that he needed to build an ecosystem.
- It's important to set up an incentive system that works and makes money for both the partners and the exchange as a whole.
- Partner marketing allows two companies to combine and share the strength of their customer relationships with each other.
- There are also potentially significant cost savings that come when partners work together on their marketing.

General Marketing Advice - (30:00)
- If Leslie could go back in time to give herself one piece of advice, she would tell herself to trust her gut more.
- "Trust your gut more. Trust that little voice in your head, especially if you have the experience." - Leslie Tom - "Be intentional. I think everybody succeeds if they have some intention and purpose in their career." - Leslie Tom
- The technology or trend Leslie is most intrigued by? Artificial intelligence.

Pardot Lightning Round - (35:00)
- Most fun app: Caviar
- Favorite recent book or podcast: Wisdom at Work by Chip Conley
- Best advice for first time VP of Marketing? "Know your purpose, know who you are, and know your organization."

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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