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The Final Word / Conversations with Business and Technology Leaders

“Purpose can serve as an anchor for a company’s reputation, employee relations, sales, and even recruiting.”
Mike Neumeier
Mike Neumeier
CEO at Arketi Group

Tell us a little bit about Arketi and your role with the company.

Arketi lives at the center of marketing, both literally and figuratively. You can find our name right in the middle (mARKETIng), but more importantly, our firm is built around the belief that marketing, public relations, communications, and sales are inseparable. For more than 15 years, Arketi has connected the dots between B2B marketing and bottom-line results.

As CEO of Arketi, my mission is to provide our team and clients with the tools they need to achieve their full potential. Yes, I oversee the firm’s new business efforts, accounting, and even occasionally offer up a clever idea or two, but my main purpose is to meaningfully engage with our clients and team to help them realize their long-term goals as communications professionals.

How do you see purpose as a business driver?

A true, “capital P,” Purpose helps business leaders cut through organizational boundaries, engage their workforce, and think beyond profit as the sole measure of business success. Purpose as a business driver has three phases. First, the organization must find its Purpose. This sounds easy, but it is not. Then the organization must activate that Purpose. This goes beyond just putting it on your walls. It means baking it into everything you do. Then, and only then, can you achieve true belief in your Purpose. When your stakeholders really believe in your Purpose, they will walk through fire to be shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

What were some of the most interesting takeaways from your recent Purpose in Practice survey?

I would argue the most interesting data point is that 100 percent of marketing executives surveyed believe there is a link between purpose activation and the financial success of an organization. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen 100 percent of people agree on anything before. Purpose can serve as an anchor for a company’s reputation, employee relations, sales, and even recruiting. It can become one of the most important pillar for a company’s holistic success if you let it.

What are the top technology marketing trends in 2022?

Arketi hosts an annual CMO Roundtable to share collective marketing experience from the past year and project issues, trends, and opportunities for the next. Three key trends we identified during our 2021 session were:

  1. Not all data is created equal. And data is only as powerful as the person who inputs and/or interprets it — which, in turn, requires domain knowledge that is not always present. Honestly, in business today, there are a lot of folks talking about data who don’t have domain knowledge. At the same time, leaders need to avoid a “data for data’s sake” mentality.
  2. Like everything else, traditional sales activities have been upended by having to work in a virtual world for the past two years. In a virtual world, it’s harder to “read the room.” As a result, some of our seasoned marketing executives have observed up-and-coming salespeople as struggling to close deals in person. Experience will likely change this, but it is worth noting so marketing and sales professionals can help those struggling.
  3. Customer loyalty has taken a hit as pandemic-related supply chain issues have caused even the most loyal consumer to switch brands when their company of choice can’t deliver. This goes beyond choice in mayonnaise or toilet paper, though. Buyers recognize that trying new brands is not always a bad experience. As a result, B2B organizations would be wise to not be overly reliant on customer loyalty; shopping around is undergoing a resurgence, and it is not limited to B2C purchases.

Are there any trends that continue to be a main theme year-over-year at the CMO Roundtable?

One conversation we seem to have every year at the Roundtable is how to better align marketing and sales initiatives. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question either. Each business is different culturally and operationally, so we understand why it is a recurring theme. However, now more than ever, the line between marketing and sales continues to blur. Marketers need to help sales teams be more strategic about how content can be used to guide a prospect through their buyer’s journey. For instance, early in the process, prospects are seeking to understand the product’s capabilities and how it fits their needs. Then, as they narrow their search, references and case studies become more relevant.

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