If it wasn't for a part-time job during Paige's P.h.D studies, Paige probably wouldn't be where she's at today. Thankfully, Paige O'Neill (LinkedIn | Twitter) never looked back. She's currently the CMO at Sitecore, a company that creates human connections between brands and their customers with end-to-end content, seamless commerce, and personalization.
On this episode of Marketing Trends, Paige sits down to with Ian Faison and Lauren Vaccarello to discuss how she got into marketing, Sitecore, the future of digital experience, lessons learned from a career in marketing, and much more!
5 Key Takeaways: - "You're not going to be in business for much longer if you're not getting a handle pretty quickly on customer experience and what customers are expecting from companies." - Paige O'Neill - Digital transformation must start from the customer's point of view. - Short-term wins are important to set up longer-term success. - Don't be too quick to switch gears, have confidence in your direction. - In the first 90 days as a CMO, it's important to go around and talk to as many employees as possible and be curious about alignment.
Bio: Paige brings over 20 years of experience in senior marketing roles crossing many areas of enterprise software, customer experience, and cloud computing. Prior to joining Sitecore, Paige was CMO at digital workplace platform provider Prysm, where she rebranded the company and helped it transition to a combined SaaS and hardware business. She previously served as CMO at SDL and as Vice President of Marketing for Aprimo, where her thought leadership, demand generation, and communications programs contributed to rapid growth. Paige also served as CMO at PHH Arval and two early-stage startups — Aravo and GreenRoad Technologies. Prior to PHH, Paige spent a decade at Oracle Corporation leading a variety of marketing initiatives.
Notes & Quotes: How Paige Got Into Marketing - (1:40) - Paige was studying to be a professor when she got a part-time job working for a PR agency. - Next thing Paige realized, she was, "dropping out of the Ph.D. program and embarking on a career in public relations. And I never really looked back." - Paige O'Neill - "When you're managing teams of people, you always have an opportunity to teach and help expand their skillsets. And that's really a part of the job I enjoy most." - Paige O'Neill
Sitecore - (2:40) - When Paige joined, the company was on an exciting growth trajectory. - Sitecore is a leader in digital experience. - "We're launching new products, we're acquiring companies, we're growing, we're solving critical business needs." - Paige O'Neill - Sitecore helps companies combine all of their content from various channels and use this information to get a read on what customers are doing with that content, to be able to deliver an optimized experience.
Current State of Digital Experience - (4:40) - "You're not going to be in business for much longer if you're not getting a handle pretty quickly on customer experience and what customers are expecting from companies." - Paige O'Neill - "Companies have to understand what their customer expects from them, what kind of experiences they want to have delivered, what kind of interactions the brand should be having with them, and delivering to those expectations, exceeding those expectations even. And if they don't do that, customers have many other choices." - Paige O'Neill - Digital transformation starts from the customer's point of view. - "What is the customer trying to accomplish when they're interacting with the company and buying products and services from the company? How is that going well? How is that not necessarily going well? This was really the first step that we took in our own digital transformation." - Paige O'Neill - For digital transformation, Paige talks about breaking it down into smaller bite-size pieces instead of taking it head-on. - "You've got to first make sure there's alignment in the top parts of the company around what you're trying to accomplish and that everyone realizes that and is aligned around those common objectives." - Paige O'Neill - Paige has worked for around seven different companies and within the first 24 hours of being hired, not one company has had a c-level executive tell her that their website is terrible.
Best Practices - (20:20) - "You have to be courageous in your convictions and have the data to back it up, especially when you're telling an audience, especially a senior level board-level audience, something they might not want to hear." - Paige O'Neill - Long-term wins are important, but Paige also mentions that short-term wins can't be forgotten because they set up long-term wins. - As the CMO, Paige talks about various ways her team and department work with the sales department. - "Marketers are really trying to simplify the process and even as they, if you assume that they've got the alignment from the c-suite, they're driving digital transformation, they've got a roadmap, they understand the customer journey, then it kind of gets into how are they leveraging the technology at their disposal to actually make digital experience happen." - Paige O'Neill
Mistakes Made & Lessons Learned - (25:30) - "I know a mistake that I made earlier in my career was not getting the right mix between thought leadership content and solution content and customer case studies and then more technical content right." - Paige O'Neill - "Marketers have to really understand the different content needs at the different sales cycle stages. Make sure the sales team understands the purpose of various marketing content pieces so that we're following up on that together in a cohesive manner as a team." - Paige O'Neill - "I wish I would have had more confidence and understood that my role as an expert in marketing was something that the organization was really looking to me to provide, because earlier on in my career I was very easily swayed or taken off a focus task by a squeaky wheel." - Paige O'Neill - As CMO, it's easy to come into a new company and want to change everything about the brand. Ask yourself if that is really necessary. Sometimes change can be more effective in smaller bits. - In the first 90 days as a CMO, go around and talk to as many employees as possible and be curious about alignment. - Don't think about your company's board as a single entity, think about the individuals that make up the board. "We always talk about the board as an entity, but the board is comprised of people that are very different." - Paige O'Neill
Favorite Campaign - (38:20) - A campaign called the "Marketing Revolution" is the one that comes to mind. - Marketing Revolution, Paige mentions, "I always go back to this campaign because it became the foundation. I've probably done this same campaign, but with updated content and messaging 10 times." - Marketing Revolution was a thought-leadership campaign. "It became this amazing campaign and I then turned it into a blueprint for thought leadership that I've taken with me to every company since then." - Paige O'Neill - Paige is now running this campaign at Sitecore and it's called "Five Hard Truths for Marketers Driving Digital Experience." - A campaign that Paige learned the most from was a campaign she did at Oracle. - The Oracle campaign, Paige states, "This was back in 2004, 2005. We spent a lot of time and energy on the PR components of the campaign, the analytic components of the campaign, building out the messaging. We even had this great tagline, 'Let Oracle Manage Oracle.' And we didn't spend enough time really educating the sales team about why this was something they should be pushing in their conversations with customers."
Pardot Lightning Round - (45:20) - Favorite app: LinkedIn - Favorite vacation spot: Mallorca - Favorite book you've read recently: A Good Time to Be A Girl - Most excited about for the future of marketing: The promise of AI - Best advice for first time CMO: Align with your c-suite - A question do you never get asked that you wish you were asked more often: More question about Paige's dog
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