Alicia Tillman, Chief Marketing Officer of SAP Ariba is interviewed this week on the Rock Your Trade Show Podcast. SAP Ariba delivers “the best-in-class cloud procurement solution, value for both buyers and suppliers on Ariba Network, and innovative new business models so you can grow your business.” Used by over 2 million companies that transact over 1 trillion dollars in commerce each year using the SAP Ariba solution. If you are in marketing, procurement or trade show events you won’t want to miss all of the information Alicia shares in this interview! Here are some of the highlights below.
10 Bold Moves For Marketers
- Communicate Marketing as the Hub of Your Organization: There is no other area in a company that touches every functional area. “Every function should benefit from your brand’s story, promise, value and differentiation.” Through marketing brands well, an organization’s pipeline, customer revenue and HR-employee retention all benefit.
- Position Yourself and Marketing as Adding Value: Demonstrate to your stakeholders that you are an asset in planning and execution of strategic initiatives. When there is a period of change, marketing should position itself-at the core of the transformation by adding impact to every area in the company.
- Seek Leadership Support and Respect. The CEO of the business needs to recognize marketing as a strategic asset and see it as important to achieving business goals. In addition, the Marketing Leader when well respected by leadership team has their opinion sought out and is asked to be a contributor when transformation is happening
- Stakeholder Management is Critical. It is important to meet regularly with business partners to align on what they need, how marketing can support their efforts. Spend time with stakeholders and share how marketing is contributing to both quantitative and qualitative results. Meet regularly to stay on track with goals and objectives.
- Find Marketing Influence: Look for individuals with credibility, influence and appreciation for marketing and seek out their support.
- Be Confident in Your Decisions: “At the end of the day, you are the expert and the owner” of your destiny, Alicia shared. You need confidence to help solve opportunities and challenges.
- Work to understand the requirements of the business. What challenges are your stakeholders up against-ask- “tell me your biggest challenge right now and let me figure out how marketing can support that” Alicia shared.
- Be proactive about how to solve problems. Initiate conversations with stakeholders and let them know you are there to help solve their concerns.
- Use face-to-face marketing to help establish a brand. Trade shows might be an opportunity or a private event to drive awareness to a brand or consider doing a PR campaign
- Always know your details. “The most prepared and the most highly skilled team is always going to win the game, they are always going to win the championships” Alicia said. You will be challenged to get a seat at the table if you aren’t prepared and ready to share information to Leadership.
The SAP Ariba Success Story: SAP Ariba joined together over 4 years ago, leveraging 20 years of history on the Ariba side with the power of the SAP global brand. In the past two years they continued their unification process and created a joint effort called “The Power of AND” with Alicia’s leadership. Together the two companies formed a new organization that leveraged the strength of both companies to create value for their customers. Anyone involved in transformation will want to hear the full story Alicia shared on the podcast interview.
There are three Marquee events each year-recently held in Las Vegas for North America and Latin America, The European Region will be in June, and Asia Pacific in August. These events provide content and a strategy-platform to bring new products and share how customers are partnering with SAP and Ariba. The company invites prospective and existing customers to their event. It is an opportunity to share how customers are using innovation.
SAP Ariba also hosts smaller scale, market type events to help customers and pure customer events to enable customers to share best practices with each other, network and talk about their challenges.
Alicia’s Favorite Resource Harvard Business Review
HBR covers a lot of marketing topics-evolution of social media, how to create customer loyalty programs. It is a go to resource that offers relevant articles that are timely. “Marketers need to be relevant at a point in time” and understanding corporate social responsibility. HBR offers a perspective on what CEOs are focusing on today.
If you are looking for a group to share ideas from this article-join the Rock Your Trade Show LinkedIn group to gain additional insights and share best practices. Have a question or idea? Contact me, I love hearing from you!