Daniel Incandela always knew he wanted to be a storyteller. Early in his career, that passion took him on the path to becoming a visual storyteller, telling tales through the lens of anthropology. But after stints working in a museum and a foray into sports and entertainment, Daniel’s love for stories ultimately led him to Conga, where he now serves as the company’s CMO.
On this episode of Marketing Trends, Daniel shares why good storytelling in business impacts everything from marketing and sales to employee satisfaction and company culture. Plus, he dives into the right and wrong ways to think about rebranding and why going with what you think is best – even when others disagree – is part of your duty as CMO.
- Think big, then think bigger. Never underestimate the number of resources and time needed for a rebrand. It’s a difficult process that goes much smoother when everyone in the company is on board.
- Authenticity sells. Modeling your marketing after the actual values and actions of the company – and sharing true stories of customer success – is sticky. Customers feel it and they remember it.
- Actions over words. Brand isn’t something that the executive team owns. It’s something that is defined by the employees. Rebranding can’t just happen at the top, it has to become the lifeblood of the whole business.
“I may be the only CMO with an undergrad degree in anthropology, but as I look back at it, it actually makes sense and I would not have changed a thing. I wanted to be a storyteller. Then I realized I also wanted to make some money.”
“As a CMO, I fundamentally believe that marketing should do three main things for a company: The first is to drive meaningful pipeline for sales. The second is to help build a competitive brand. And then the third is to help shape the culture of the company.”
“Today, companies across the world have to take [digital transformations] more seriously. And in order to do that, it’s a bigger investment, not just in dollars, but resources and full company support.”
“If you don’t know what story you’re telling, you’re in big trouble. If you have something meaningful to communicate, something that’s going to provide value to a customer, or a future customer, it has to start [with the story].”
“When I talk about branding, I always say that the brand is not owned by the company or marketing — although we are stewards of it — the brand is owned by the employees. So [it starts with] really understanding what everyone has brought to the company, and from that you can start crafting the message.”
“A rebrand is so much more than a name or how it looks. It goes back to what I was saying about the importance of storytelling. It’s got to stand for something that is based on authenticity.”
“As a head of marketing, you have to advocate and push for what you believe is in the better [interest] of the company. Sometimes that means being direct and telling people that, ‘Hey, I really appreciate your feedback but I’m going to decide to go with what I think is best.”
Daniel Incandela is the CMO at Conga. A creative, strategic thinker, Incandela has more than 15 years of digital and marketing industry leadership experience. Incandela has led creative teams across a myriad of industries; including the arts, sports and entertainment, sales, cloud and marketing automation, which has earned him industry awards and a designation on the prestigious Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list. Incandela previously served as CMO at Return Path, and held leadership roles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ExactTarget and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
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