Q&A with Sarah Cascone, Senior Director of Marketing at Bluecore

Sarah Cascone, Senior Director of Marketing at Bluecore, is dedicated to making Bluecore’s messaging as differentiated as the company’s product. She looks to elevate and connect innovative retail leaders through programs such as the DTC Collective, Coffee & Commerce, and the Bluecore Summit.

The main challenges center around connecting through digital. With all human activity primarily culminating online, it makes it much more difficult to also connect with individuals and build relationships with potential customers.


MEDIA 7: You have a long track record of successfully working in multiple roles and managing diverse teams. What has your professional journey been like? 
SARAH CASCONE:
I started off running Corporate Events for a Market Research company where I focused on speaker and sponsor engagement and delivering a superior onsite experience that fostered valuable networking opportunities for attendees. Through that role, I gained quite a bit of exposure to the world of MarTech and emerging technologies. I noticed that many of those companies tended to have similar value propositions, making it difficult to understand how they differentiated and what problems they were solving. That’s when Bluecore, which was called TriggerMail back then, caught my attention. They had a unique product and message; I saw a natural opportunity to create a revenue-producing events strategy that drove awareness for the business - and that became a critical pillar for how we built the marketing function at Bluecore.

As the business and the marketing team grew, I took on PR and Analyst Relations to further awareness for Bluecore with messaging, narratives and customer success stories that were as differentiated as our company’s product. I’m now responsible for the full marketing function, overseeing Events, PR, AR, Content, Customer Marketing, Design, and Integrated Campaigns with a focus on vision, messaging, industry trends, and advocacy. We are unique in that while we track and measure ourselves against traditional marketing metrics within each channel, we are tightly tied to revenue and we carry a sales meeting and pipeline acceleration goal to ensure we have a direct impact on the growth of the business.

M7: What are your major marketing and advertising tactics to drive more buyer traffic to the site?
SC:
Organic and Paid Search and Intent-Based Display Campaigns are key levers for driving our target market to Bluecore.com. We have a very firm grasp on the problems our customers and prospects are looking to solve, which informs a robust SEO strategy and we also leverage similar signals to surface relevant content to our targets through the display. But Direct is where we see most of our traffic coming from, which is largely due to our PR strategy.

M7: What marketing channels do you use and which ones do you see as the most promising, given your target customers?
SC:
We take an integrated approach where Events, PR, AR, Email, Search, Display, Social, and our Website are all channels we leverage together to reinforce and strategically broadcast our perspective on the industry, our core differentiation, and the overall value we drive for our customers. Since we focus on generating meetings for the sales team and accelerating the velocity of the pipeline, we leverage each channel a bit differently to those ends. For example Display and Email is really good for driving inbound meetings with relevant content, and Events tend to work best in moving those meetings through the pipeline with opportunities to engage and build relationships. We've also morphed a subset of our Events into executive communities that meet regularly and allow us to connect with senior business leaders and gain C-suite mindshare, which is critical for Enterprise customers and complex deal opportunities.


Account-Based Marketing and Community are two trends I’m following closely as companies like ours recognize the need for a curated approach to attracting new customers.

M7: What trends in the marketing technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
SC:
Account-Based Marketing and Community are two trends I’m following closely as companies like ours recognize the need for a curated approach to attracting new customers. As organizations build out these disciplines, technology will likely become a necessary component to scale, whether that’s through project management tooling for ABM or Customer Marketing and Advocacy platforms for community-building.

M7: What do you believe are the top three marketing challenges in the post COVID-19 era?
SC:
The main challenges center around connecting through digital. With all human activity primarily culminating online, it makes it much more difficult to also connect with individuals and build relationships with potential customers. Even as the vaccine becomes more mainstream and people become more comfortable meeting in person, I do believe that many will retain preferences for interacting online as a means of convenience. That means marketing teams need to determine the proper balance between in-person and online strategies and invest accordingly.


Remember that people are human beings - and while you can catch their eye with a cool campaign or compelling messaging, the best way to appeal to them is to show them you understand the problems they are trying to solve or the objectives they are driving towards.


M7: What according to you would be an ideal framework for marketing and sales teams to derive business success? What are the benchmarks of a successful marketing and sales strategy?
SC:
An operating rhythm that both teams have built together is critical to producing a pipeline with a process that scales. This requires alignment between marketing and sales leadership on joint measures of success (e.g. # of hot and warm accounts, # of inbound and outbound meetings held), key messaging pillars (e.g. business value prop and differentiators, marketing campaign messaging), and the flow of communication between teams (e.g. leadership check-ins, SDR and AE enablement sessions). This also requires buy-in from the frontline teams - ahead of process roll-outs, pull sales reps in to make them part of the process (e.g. get their feedback on new tooling to optimize productivity, work with them on territory planning flows that take marketing signals into consideration).

M7: What is your marketing mantra to stand out in an overly saturated MarTech space?
SC:
Remember that people are human beings - and while you can catch their eye with a cool campaign or compelling messaging, the best way to appeal to them is to show them you understand the problems they are trying to solve or the objectives they are driving towards. It builds trust and shows empathy to enter into a conversation about the potential to work together.

ABOUT BLUECORE

Bluecore is a marketing technology company that’s reimagining how the world’s fastest growing retail brands transform casual shoppers into lifetime customers. Through its patented shopper and product matching and the release of Bluecore Communicate™, Bluecore Site™, and Bluecore Advertise™ brands are now able to personalize 100% of communications delivered to consumers through their email, e-commerce and paid media shopping experiences. Bluecore replaces manual processes with an intelligent, AI-driven workflow, allowing brands to manage these communications through a single interface. In 2019, the company bet big on itself when it introduced the industry’s first shared-success pricing model. It’s now credited with doubling email revenue, and increasing customer retention, lifetime value and overall speed to marketing for more than 400 brands, including Express, Tommy Hilfiger, The North Face, Teleflora, and Bass Pro Shops.

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