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How Marketing proves its business value at Iron Mountain

Relay-Race-Photo-300x199Recently I had a conversation with Paul Doody, VP Sales and Marketing at Iron Mountain. What intrigued me is the fact that his role combines 2 almost rivalry departments -at least in some B2B organizations Sales and Marketing are not best of friends-. As a VP Sales & Marketing Paul is responsible for generating revenues for the European business and in order to be successful both ‘his’ departments need to share this responsibility.

The top challenge Paul is dealing with is to continually prove the ROI of the marketing organization (people, programmes, systems, etc.) on the one hand. He needs to see a tangible contribution from marketing to help sales efficiency and close more business. On the other hand Paul has to make sure that Marketing is ahead of the competition, in terms of innovative ways to engage with the buyers.

Buyer-centric marketing as a prerequisite

Iron Mountain’s buyer-centric marketing is interwoven with sales. In order to do this effectively Paul explains that, firstly you will need to understand where your market is, pinpoint where the potential buyers are and map their buyer journeys. Only then can you link their journeys to the sales journey.

Once you do that, Marketing can start executing integrated demand generation campaigns that are aligned with the sales efforts.  E.g. by focusing on a relevant region, we can make sure that Sales has a great interest in the leads that marketing generates. By integrated efforts they tend to get the best possible return.

“We started this integrated approach as an experiment 3 years ago. We have refined the approach ever since. And we have started to see the first results in the last 9 months”, says Paul.

Sales feels the support from Marketing in a genuine way

During this journey, Sales’ perception of Marketing has considerably changed and Sales really feels that the campaigns that Marketing is driving are really helping them fuel their overall opportunity portfolio and make their numbers, which they would not have achieved otherwise.

Paul: “Over the last years we have developed a very good and trusted relationship between Sales and Marketing and management does not question the marketing Euros that we’re spending because they see tangible returns.  We share metrics on a dashboard monthly and we show the ROI of marketing. We are not in the perfect position yet, but we are learning and improving every day.”

Based on his learnings, Paul provides a few important tips:

  1. Take the time to plan your programmes and campaigns and don’t run into an autopilot marketer.
  2. Focus on good communications between all the stakeholders in the marketing team so that the campaigns will be executed properly. Stakeholders can be marcom, content developers, marketing automation demand-center, external agencies, etc.
  3. Make sure you involve Sales in the planning phase of a campaign. Inform them on why you do a campaign, which persona you will be targeting, and what are your expected outcomes. Planning and communicating with sales helps you in gaining a common view on the objectives and in achieving better alignment and trust with Sales.
  4. Measure absolutely everything possible so you can critically look where marketing could be improved. And, not less important, to show the marketing ROI to the business. Be rigorous in what you measure and the costs you allocate to your campaigns, so your metrics will be trustworthy.

Paul Doody will present at the next B2B Marketing Forum 2014, 13th March 2014. Do you want to hear his complete story? Make sure you register in time.

About Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain is a storage and information management company, assisting more than 156,000 organizations in 32 countries on five continents with storing, protecting and managing their information.