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Marketing Organization

Santa’s Marketing Transformation | 2021 Edition

The world is built on traditions passed on from generation to generation. This time of year is especially rich with them — Grandma’s shortbread recipe, Uncle Jim getting a little fluthered on holiday punch, and of course jolly ole’ Saint Nick. Speaking of Saint Nick, there are some troubling signs coming from the North Pole. One that only a Marketing Transformation can help.

Here’s the back story. Events out of his control are conspiring against Santa. Climate change is threatening his homeland. The declining birth rate is causing him to restate revenue and earnings. His elves are addicted to their screens, which has caused a massive drop in productivity. And, for the second year in a row, Santa continues to need to work within COVID restrictions, while physically delivering his gifts. No work from home for this essential worker. 

So, Saint Nick took a good look in the mirror and decided a marketing transformation project was needed to rekindle his story to young and old.

He naturally turned to some of the best marketers on the planet for help.

The Great Resignation Drives Restructuring

Demand Spring’s Leap Advisors did a lot of work with Santa and his leadership team (ahem, Mrs. Claus). It was badly needed after a talent exodus in the spring and summer created significant concern at North Pole HQ. Like many leaders, Santa was caught off guard by the great resignation. Who knew that elves’ talent would be in hot demand by early-stage AI companies? It turns out that their big data experience and ability to execute with immovable deadlines was the perfect fit. Work from HO-HO-Home was the deal closer for many of them.

Delivery Failures Averted 

It wasn’t only HR challenges hampering this venerable organization. Santa’s business processes also needed some significant work. Working throughout the spring and summer, Matt Roberts audited and optimized Santa’s demand system. Matt found some big gaps. There were a lot of data issues, including significant gender errors in their CRM system. Santa’s wish list registration form was being blocked by Chrome privacy settings. And his BDR team was comped on volume, not SQL’s (Santa Qualified Leads) which was a complete mismatch with their supply chain capacity. Matt will definitely get a new Arsenal football jersey under the tree this year.

Buyer Personas Needed Updating

With COVID impacting Santa’s primary form of research—his shopping mall program—St. Nick was really starting to fall behind in understanding the needs and wants of modern buyers, ahem children.

So, Lex Capello led a significant buyer persona research project for Santa. She interviewed children from throughout the world to better understand what they are thinking, feeling, and doing in each stage of their Christmas list making process. 

Lex uncovered some big surprises that will significantly reshape Santa’s marketing strategy:

  • Blitzen left Santa’s organization to become a YouTube influencer last year. He has a big impact on shaping the Christmas wish lists of tweens.
  • Lego remains a favorite after all these years. Even with young generations, sometimes you just can’t beat a classic.
  • An old standard remade for a new generation is the Shifu Orboot augmented reality globe. Wow!

To continue to monitor the buying patterns of his ICP, Derek Boshkov’s MarTech team at Demand Spring helped him deploy Marketo (with Donner as his administrator and power user), with a heavy emphasis on behavioral scoring.

Santa’s Gifts to Modern Marketers

Lo and behold, Santa’s modern marketing makeover yielded strong results. Not a surprise really. His move to cloud-based technology was a pretty easy transition for a guy who steers eight tiny reindeer through the atmosphere.  His “why” is pure. He used his leverage to attract some pretty amazing guests to his podcast: Coal or 18 minutes with Santa? It’s a pretty easy choice. 

As a result, Santa has decided to give back to the marketing community in a big way. Here are some of the marketing toys that the elves are working on to meet Santa’s December 25 ship date:

ABM Strategies: Savvy Santa knows it’s the missing foundation in many Revenue Marketing plans. There is a lot of great content development and ABM technology being deployed today. How much of it, though, is missing the mark without this strategic framework? 

New Technologies: On to the beepy things. Here are three of the hottest technologies that Santa will be delivering this holiday season (batteries not included):

  • Drift: Santa has specialized in bots that talk for years.
  • RingLead: Santa’s a reference account for this data quality leader. After all, his brand value would plummet if Cindy Lou Who got Clark Griswald’s presents. 
  • 6sense: Uncovering early intent signals is a game changer for supply chain planning for Santa’s elves.

Marketing and Sales Alignment: Data from Gartner identifies that, when considering a purchase, B2B buyers spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. Much of their evaluation process happens online. It’s the reason behind Santa’s recent joint alliance with Amazon (we are worried that Jeff Bezos’ next acquisition might in fact be S. Claus Industries). The buyer is in control today. It’s imperative that marketing and sales work together in an interdependent manner.

Stocking Stuffers

It’s not all big gifts under the tree that excites modern marketers. Here are the stocking stuffers Santa is working on for us:

Lululemon Pants: With the world continuing to work from home, athleisure wear is a must for all good little marketers. 

Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Marketing: From brand to demand and art to science, modern marketers are driving significant, measurable pipeline contributions. May 2022 bring peace, respect, and goodwill from the CEO and Sales.

Content: Like socks, you need just the right asset for each occasion.

Conference Passes: Santa has been a much sought after advisor by Pfizer, Moderna, and all the other vaccine makers this year. Who else would they call on for how to execute rapid distribution across the planet? As a result, Saint Nick has some insider info that makes him confident that following our booster shots we may start to see some more physical conferences in 2022. We marketers sure miss meeting up with old friends at Moscone and Vegas. 

There you have it. A preview of what you may see under your tree on Christmas morning.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Mark Emond

CEO, Founder and Executive Chair

Mark Emond has a tremendous passion for developing advanced, yet pragmatic Revenue Marketing strategies that deliver early results and long-term growth for our clients.

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