Marketing Leader Interview with Crimson Marketing’s Glenn Gow

Glenn Gow founded Crimson Marketing, a technology marketing firm, in 1991 which became one of Inc 500 fastest growing companies. You can get his book Revenue and the CMO via Kindle. I particularly enjoy his posts on #BadMarketing which play fun at common mistakes we marketers often make, which mirrors some of my own posts on this blog.

What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

Cisco. They are extremely focused on understanding their buyers and making it easy for them to buy from Cisco. They are constantly studying their buyers and what is important to them. In addition, they track the buyers’ journey to an exceptional degree. Impressive.

What story of a successful marketing strategy could you share?

Google’s marketing outreach to developers on a global basis. Google benefits from a global ecosystem of developers creating applications for and within their offerings – all with the objective of making Google products better for users, which ultimately drives more users to Google.

What is your marketing superpower, the most important skill that makes you a great marketer?

I understand how to take complex marketing data and get the most value out of it. One of the biggest problems marketers are facing is dealing with “data overwhelm”. They have too much data and data spread amongst too many marketing systems. I know how to integrate this data so the marketer can ultimately impact revenue.

What interesting book have you read recently?

Predictive Analytics. One of many books I’ve read about how to get the most out of data.

What new, modern tactic, tool, or aspect of marketing should marketers pay more attention to?

Data integration tools. As Big Data becomes bigger, tools are popping up to address the opportunity created by too much data. These tools can be helpful, but are only part of the solution.

What good aspect of basic marketing have marketers neglected in recent years?

Recognizing that the secret to what buyers want from them lies in the data that is now available to them. All marketers need to understand their buyers better, and there’s no substitute for spending time with buyers, but when they complete 70% of the buying cycle before talking to sales, then the marketer needs to help them through that 70%. The good news is the buyers leave digital clues. We just need to find them and use them.

What skills will marketers will need in the future? How do you stay sharp?

I like to say the future CMO will be left-brained. They will need to stand up in the executive committee meeting and show how they are moving the revenue needle, and prove that through their command of marketing data.

How do you increase marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?

CEOs are demanding that CMOs prove the value of their investments, and make the most out of the data that is overwhelming them. I work with CMOs to help them through this journey.

What blog would you recommend?

Michael Brenner’s B2B marketing insider

How would you summarize your digital marketing strategy?

We integrate marketing data into digital. It’s not enough to use digital channels, now we need to use the data and change what we’re doing in digital as a result of what we learn.

What experience in your past has best prepared you to be a marketing leader?

Working with hundreds of different marketing directors and VPs over the last 25 years.

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Glenn is clearly a metrics driven marketer. You can follow him on Twitter at @CrimsonCEO and on his blog on the Crimson Technology Marketing Blog.

Revenue and the CMO