I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Seismic’s 2017 Tech Stack Award Winner for Life Sciences, Elekta, but more specifically, had the pleasure of speaking with:
Kathleen Voboril, Director of Digital & Marketing Operations; and
Katie Snow, Content Marketing Manager and Seismic Evangelist
Through our conversation, I was able to learn more about their use of technology, how they started on their technology journey, and the effects on Elekta’s business since implementing such a comprehensive tech stack. Here is what we discussed:
How did you start building your tech stack? What technology did you utilize initially?
Kathleen: When I joined Elekta in Spring of 2016 to lead the newly formed Global Digital Marketing team, understanding and defining Elekta’s MarTech (Marketing Technology) stack was the first thing we began to tackle. The good news was much of the technology already in place was top notch, it was just a matter of connecting the dots, rationalizing in cases where tools overlapped, and then deciding which parts of the portfolio to prioritize and optimize. We already had many of the usual suspects in place, i.e. SFDC, Marketo, Magnolia, etc., but we then focused our efforts on exploiting more of the features, standardizing use and making sure data was flowing effectively between systems.
Katie: Our sales cycle at Elekta is quite long, so we needed a set of technologies that would give long-term insights. We needed platforms that, together, stack up to let us do inbound and outbound marketing, sales enablement, and eventually, to understand attribution. Our buyers have several touchpoints whether that be sales meetings, tradeshows, or digital campaigns. Our desire to better understand that is what motivated us to build and refine our tech stack. Initially we used Salesforce, Cliq, Google Analytics, HubSpot, etc., but those tools weren’t enough—we couldn’t measure everything we needed to measure.
What influenced your decision to pursue sales enablement?
Kathleen: I was fortunate to come into an organization where the case for sales enablement technology had already been made. Between myself and our VP, Global Marcom, our job was to do everything in our power to drive a successful implementation and to make sure the value everyone was expecting was realized. Ultimately, there were three high-level “must-haves”:
- A one-stop-shop for all marketing collateral that made finding the right content as easy as searching for something on Google
- Measurable insights about what content was being used and whether it was effective
- Increased Sales productivity in terms of content customization, version control, and general findability of the right content for each situation
Katie: A big goal for Elekta’s marketers is to understand how our marketing content and campaigns affect the buyer’s decision. We needed to start building an evidence-based attribution model that shows how content helps Sales build and maintain customer relationships throughout the buyer’s journey.
Elekta has a lot of great content but lacked a single, easily accessible source for it. Our old system was great as a repository, but not great for accessing from the field or communicating with customers. We also didn’t have confidence that the versions in our content library were the latest and greatest. And most of all, we had no idea if, how, or when sellers were using our content and sharing it with customers.
Can you explain how you’re solving your unique business needs with multiple platforms?
Kathleen: Elekta has grown through many acquisitions and, in some cases, our challenge has been too much technology and not enough users or consistent practices. Within Digital Marketing alone, we have more than 30 technologies we’re actively managing, so we’re trying to be judicious about adding new tools and make sure that each tool continues to merit ongoing investment.
That being said, we do have multiple audiences we need to serve. It’s not just customers or prospective customers, it’s also investors, current and potential employees, the patients being treated by clinicians utilizing our solutions, students and researchers looking for insights on the world of radiation oncology, and the list goes on. It pretty much all comes down to data and our responsibility, rather our mandate, as Digital Marketers, to capture as many touchpoints as we can and make “data handoffs” between platforms, which includes the need for sophisticated integrations.
Katie: Again, I think our buyer’s journey is unique because it’s complex and long. Decision-makers on the customer side include hospital administrators, researchers, physicians, and therapists. Inside of Elekta, our sellers partner with engineering and scientific colleagues, marketers, technical specialists, and business/finance experts before closing a sale. Multiple platforms can help us manage years of touchpoints on a customer’s path from prospect, to lead, to interested buyer, to purchaser.
How do you believe technology has affected your buyer’s journey?
Kathleen: Given the technological complexity of the solutions being considered, who the buyers are and how they make decisions has completely changed. This idea of getting to the one or two “decision makers” is becoming less relevant. These are often group decisions and, in addition to the people directly involved in the decision are all the individuals who indirectly influence that decision.
Katie: Our buyer’s journey is long, and our sellers often describe the process as “relationship-building” rather than selling. Our products – medical devices to treat cancer – are huge capital equipment purchases, and are enormous long-term investments for hospitals. The people who buy our products are a well-informed, highly educated audience, and quite skeptical by nature. Our customers and sellers both want relevant content that’s available at any time, from anywhere, on their mobile devices or at their desks.
Our understanding of the buyer’s journey has evolved. We now know that besides the big in-person touchpoints on the journey like symposiums and meetings, there are hundreds of smaller, asynchronous touchpoints in the digital world: email, our website, video channels, and social sharing. They let customers serve themselves with information about Elekta, and are an important means for sellers to keep building that sales relationship.
Read part II of this series here.