Interview with Steve LaPedis, VP of Marketing at Zyme
1. Could you tell me a little about your background and how you came to be the VP of Marketing at Zyme?
I spent the last 20 years in high tech marketing before my position as Zyme’s Vice President of Marketing. Most recently I served as the Vice President of Marketing at Quorum, where I built out corporate, field, channel and international marketing programs and led my team to generate over 150 percent growth in enterprise sales. I have also held various senior marketing positions at successful start-up and turnaround companies such as Exodus, Mercury Interactive, Wind River, Webroot and Micro Focus. Prior to my time in marketing, I served as an attorney for five years, practicing product liability litigation.
2. What is the core marketing technology capability of Zyme that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
Zyme delivers greater visibility into channel sales data, which enables marketers to obtain a more complete picture of their sales cycle and glean which partners are driving business success. With this insight, they can identify unaddressed market segments and improve their coverage, better understand behavioral and demographic attributes, focus on high performing partners, stay on top of changes in sales patterns to improve sales execution and ultimately maximize profits by executing the right offer at the right time. In addition to this, Zyme allows channel marketers to track and measure the effects and results of their MDF (Market Development Funds) and Co-Op programs that are used to increase sales in the channel.
3. From a technology perspective, what are some of the biggest challenges that your marketing team faces today?
One of the biggest challenges my marketing team faces today is educating the wider market and industry on the benefits that Channel Data Management (CDM) delivers. Since the space is an emerging category, my team has developed resources to help educate organizations on the value of the technology before diving into the specific product features.
4. How critical are the benefits of deploying a Channel Data Management (CDM) system for enterprises? What are the advantages of setting up a CDM system?
Without a CDM system, enterprises are flying blind in the channel
Today, many enterprises rely on real-time accurate data to inform most business decisions within an organization. But the lack of channel sales data available has kept marketers in the dark about how goods and services move through the channel, meaning that marketers and the enterprise as a whole do not have access to detailed information about who their end-customer is.
By implementing a CDM system, an enterprise receives the benefits of obtaining value from detailed and accurate channel data. These insights are readily available from resellers, retailers, e-tailers and various channel partners, which helps enterprises, and marketers within them, to better allocate resources, increase marketing spend ROI and drive greater business successes through the channel.
5. Are there any parameters that marketers need to be aware of while mapping, managing and integrating their channel data into their CRMs? Please share from your experience some instances where marketers have used indirect sales channel data from CDM for their campaigns?
There are no specific parameters that marketers need to be aware of. Zyme’s CDM solution complements and integrates with CRM systems by providing channel data that helps marketers to discover which resellers are delivering results.
With accurate channel data, marketers are able to uncover unidentified areas in target markets that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and map sales data back to specific campaigns. As a result, marketers are empowered with complete visibility into what is increasing overall marketing ROI
For example, Xirrus, a Zyme customer, was able to focus its channel marketing resources on the VARs that delivered the most value to the company and the distributors or resellers that were driving the most profit. Through the timely and precise data on each VARs’ activity that Zyme’s CDM solution delivers, Xirrus is now able to allocate its marketing spend to the partners that the company predicts will have the biggest ROI.
6. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
We recently released the the zyme cloud platform 3.0, which provides a comprehensive set of SaaS solutions to help B2B and B2C enterprises optimize the performance of distribution channels through timely, actionable intelligence. What we’re especially excited about are the new features for e-commerce, which tracks competitors’ product positioning, pricing and perception metrics across e-commerce channels to deliver market intelligence and uncover the drivers of price erosion, along with new IoT-specific abilities to track connected devices down to individual serial numbers in real-time, which maps out the complete route to customer for manufacturers.
7. How do you suggest channel marketers adopt agile marketing strategies to make this traditional marketing method more robust and in line with today’s times of omni-channel digital marketing? How can channel marketers come up with initiatives that can enable and accelerate the sales team’s efforts?
Channel marketers need channel insights that ultimately deliver valuable information about the end-user or customer of the business
Omni-channel digital marketing requires accurate and real-time data, which is what CDM provides to marketers. The initiatives that can enable and accelerate the sales team’s efforts are strategies that utilize the information provided by CDM, giving sales teams valuable information about where a product is or is not selling successfully. The technology also unveils unknown market segments for sales teams to target and overall improves the sales and marketing spend ROI.
8. What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech companies across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
I see opportunities to partner and integrate with these companies. It’s an exciting space for Zyme to be in. For example, we currently integrate with companies such as Salesforce, Qlik and Xactly. Our solutions complement one another, so I see that trend continuing into the future.
9. How do you weigh in on the whole ‘buying into vs building a marketing cloud’ choices that marketers have to face today?
Because CDM is not the core competency of manufacturers, they benefit greatly from engaging Zyme to run a CDM solution instead of building one themselves. Similarly, I believe marketers should use and implement commercially available solutions for marketing automation, such as CDM, and other marketing tasks that are not their core competencies.
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