What’s on a CMO’s Mind Heading into 2017?

 In B2B Engagement Marketing, Content Marketing, Demand Generation, Uncategorized

Can you believe that it’s already Q4? Before we know it, it will be 2017 and we will start all over again, with new budgets, quotas, strategies, and more.

To get insights on how to plan for a successful 2017, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of today’s top B2B tech marketers, Meagen Eisenberg, CMO of MongoDB.

What made you want to pursue a career in B2B tech marketing and how did that lead you to become the CMO of MongoDB?

After graduating with degrees in Management Information Systems and Computer Science, I was an IT engineer at Cisco for a few years. I saw that a lot of my upper management had MBAs, so I decided pursue one at Yale University. While I was there, I realized my future path was not managing IT professionals, but was more suited for and excited about marketing for tech companies.

I had almost decided to minor in Art, so I wanted a job where I could balance arts and science. With marketing, you get the luxury of both. You have to find the right words that will resonate with your customers and still be very data driven – analyzing price and getting customers to buy your product.

After I got my MBA, I joined IBM’s marketing leadership development program (MLDP) and their Trigo acquisition as a product marketer, focused on product messaging and positioning.

After a few other marketing roles with companies like Postini, ArcSight/HP, and DocuSign, focusing on demand generation and building pipeline, MongoDB recruited me to be their CMO. MongoDB was looking for leaders that had a strong understanding of demand gen with deep understanding of the partnership between marketing and sales, and had demonstrated success in their previous demand gen roles.

I joined MongoDB because they had an amazing product with a massive addressable market, top tier investors and a strong leadership team with a lot of room to grow. Oracle currently dominates the market, but declining in share every day.  MongoDB was clearly disrupting the database market and the database that could make a giant change.

As we approach 2017, what are your biggest priorities and challenges? Also, how do you plan to accomplish your goals?

My current plan is to continue to grow MongoDB’s adoption, community, and pipeline. Within MongoDB’s lifetime, we have had more than 20 million downloads of the database. We average 30,000 downloads per day.

I’m thinking about how I can further develop the community and drive awareness. There has been amazing adoption of our newly released database-as-a-service (DBaaS) MongoDB Atlas, and I’m thinking how to drive further growth and awareness around it.

What marketing channels (email, social, paid search, etc.) do you find the most successful? How do you measure ROI?

I look at the entire mix of tools (Eloqua – email; Sprinklr and Insightpool – social; Captora and BrightEdge – paid search) because each tool impacts the different persona targets, industries and markets and how people like to digest information for the varied goals we are trying to achieve. While one tool may work well for SMB, it might not be the best solution to reach the enterprise and Fortune 1000 market.

As for ROI, it also depends on if you are trying to drive awareness (SOV – share of voice) or conversion and whether you support a sales team or e-commerce. Paid search, great content, SEO, and your website may draw a lot of people in, but we also have to track if those leads convert to business.

Inbound leads to our website, folks that download or digest content, are usually the easiest for us to measure, from first contact right through to close.

Overall, we look at many metrics to figure out if we generated business or grew adoption. We use Hive9 to compare campaign success and ROI in real-time.

Out of all places to study abroad, why did you choose Japan and what’s your favorite Japanese meal?

After high school, I was a nanny for two kids in Belgium. While working in Belgium, I traveled to many countries in Europe. I hopped on trains, buses, and ferries to visit as many places as possible, and it lead me to be very curious about the world. When I returned to the US and went to college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Japan and Asia became very interesting to me because I had never been there before.

I applied for a scholarship sponsored by the Japanese government and had the opportunity to study abroad in Japan, with full tuition, housing, and living stipend. I was immersed in Japanese culture and learned a little Japanese along the way.

My favorite Japanese meal is something my host mom used to grill/BBQ – called Yaki-onigiri (rice).

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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