How to stay ‘fit’ with your tech stack

Ahead of his presentation at B2B Marketing’s Get Stacked Conference on 19 March, find out how B2B ROI coach Philippe Ruttens used his 25 years of B2B martech experience to help CMOs boost their revenue and ROI. Kavita Singh reports. 

For Philippe Ruttens, marketing is like fitness and health in that you want your ‘marketing’ team as fit as possible. This means regular check-ups through programmes, workshops and coaching. He uses this analogy with his clients often. While Phillippe gives CMOs this sort of advice on a daily basis through his own business, his B2B knowledge stems from years of marketing experiences. 

Philippe grew up in Belgium and studied information technology at the University of Namur in 1985. However, having always had an affinity for traveling, he decided to study international marketing at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, in 1990. 

He says: “I’ve always had a more analytical side to me, hence my IT degree, but there is such a creative side of marketing that always sparked my curiosity.”

After finishing university, his first job role was with a small company called Clarus Consulting. There were about 10 people in the whole company, the internet was just starting, and a majority of his work was offline. His job was to help senior marketing directors as a communications consultant manage marcom projects for European headquarters of US blue chip companies. 

Philippe says: “We were not talking about emails, websites and technology at the time. It was more about printed brochures, translations in 10 different languages, and printed newsletters. By working internationally for senior EMEA marketing directors and by working for a range of brands over my first three years, it helped me grow.”

From there, Philippe worked various roles, including senior marketing manager at Accenture, Mondex Mastercard International, and The House of Marketing. He’s also managed lead generation, telemarketing and online marketing for data service company, Iron Mountain, one of the first places he had ever set up marketing automation. 

While that marked a milestone in his work experience, one of his most rewarding roles was as an interim manager in global demand generation at World Courier, which was a game changer for his career. He saw firsthand the best setup of martech and salestech by using sales enablement.

Philippe said: “Not only were the tools and tech up-to-date and working well, the team was organised, the processes were efficient and it was a combined marketing and sales operation at its core. I could help as an interim manager to really accelerate the path using KPIs, and by co-developing a change communications process with field and sales teams. It was a moment of realising where marketing and sales need to be.”

This was the type of setting that inspired Philippe to start his own business as a B2B ROI marketing coach for Ruttens.com. After more than 25 years of B2B experience under his belt, he felt he had cultivated the right network, skills and motivation for a more entrepreneurial and independent approach to marketing technology and ROI.

He works with CMOs, CEOs and companies to help quantify the ROI of marketing and sales teams, by managing KPIs, developing a simpler dashboard, and working towards a maximum marketing performance.

Philippe says: “I think it’s important as a marketeer to really reassess yourself, change the way you operate and get out of your comfort zone. You need to put your thought leadership and expertise in terms of your personality and your values, and take some risks to save the market. However, you might not be there right now and need some guidance.”

Philippe’s top 3 tips for CMOs

  1. Approach your job like a consultant: Look at the first 100 days and apply a methodology that is devoted to a full analysis of your performance as a leader. Take on the external consultant mindset. 
  2. Get close to your board: Try to communicate the most with your board as much as possible, especially marketing and sales directors. You want to be the BFF of these two people. 
  3. Dare to lead: Many companies apply the same tactics over and over again, or hire an agency. Go outside the box, take on new habits and create the right experience for your stakeholders.

He says: “I often see agencies and companies working in their own silos. They’re missing the complete sales and marketing transformation, where they should be combining skills, adding to your team, and building a hybrid of both creative and analytical storytellers.”

While often witnessing misalignment between martech and salestech, he decided to use his positive experiences with World Courier to develop part of his programme for those seeking a more aligned team. When aligning the two, it often goes far beyond technology and comes down to people, process, and strategy as well. Philippe elaborates on these pillars.

The 3 three pillars for aligning martech and salestech

  1. People: This is the main aspect but is usually missing. Make sure you’re communicating with both sales and marketing over language, common goals and any changing behaviours. 
  2. Process: Make sure you have a complete assessment of where you want to be and the priorities and  targets for both marketing and sales.
  3. Strategy: Once you’ve assessed your process, you can create a roadmap towards an optimal digital marketing operation. You’ll then want to compile data and insights for your martech.

Although these steps might seem simple, few CMOs are able to analyse data and visualise insights, then turn them into revenue. Along with discussing this need for martech and salestech alignment, Philippe will be sharing 10 practical steps to a clear roadmap to revenue and ROI growth using martech as a key enabler at our Get Stacked conference on 19 March.

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