Podcast: Working at a B2B Startup vs an Established Enterprise

| | Time to Read: 23 minutes

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Episode topic: What do B2B marketers need to know about working at a startup vs a large enterprise

In this episode, host Shahin Hoda chats with Jade Meara, Head of Marketing at F5 Networks about what B2B marketers can expect while working at a startup versus an enterprise-level company. 

Citing examples from her experience in both settings, Jade provides an insight into how marketers can ride the growth wave offered by a startup but, in return, have to deal with a lot of ambiguity from a brand awareness and martech standpoint. 

On the enterprise side, she mentions that even though the systems are more mature, the challenge of dealing with a large set of complex data can be daunting. 

Throughout the conversation, Jade emphasises the pros and cons of both worlds and offers some golden advice to young marketers for navigating them. 

This episode’s guest

Start-up vs Enterprise: What B2B Marketers Need to Know

Jade Meara, Head of Marketing at F5

Jade Meara has over 15 years of experience in B2B marketing leadership roles, specialising in IT. Her career has spanned across multiple IT channels, including positions on the distribution and vendor side.  

She has also held multiple roles at start-ups and publicly listed companies. Currently, Jade is the Head of Marketing at F5. 

She has been shortlisted as a finalist for The Google B&T Women Leading Tech Awards for two years running and is the regional lead for F5’s Women’s Employee Inclusion Group. 

Jade is also an advocate of gender diversity and serves as a volunteer board member for females in IT & telecommunications.

Connect with her on LinkedIn

Conversation segments on this episode:

  • [01:45] Start-up versus Enterprise in terms of B2B marketing
  • [05:39] What should B2B marketers expect from working in a start-up?
  • [09:17] How B2B marketing in an enterprise-scale company is different from that in a start-up?
  • [13:38] Marketers need to be customer-centric, irrespective of them being a part of a  start-up or an enterprise
  • [17:04] Adapting in B2B Marketing and dealing with multiple products
  • [19:34] “Start with finding the domain that interests you” - Advice for young B2B marketers
  • [22:33] “Thin Slicing” in marketing
  • [24:38] Leverage digitisation to be more creative in marketing
  • [27:40] Exciting thing about B2B Marketing - Technology

Resources mentioned on this episode:

About the Growth Colony Podcast

On this podcast, you'll be hearing from B2B founders, CMOs, marketing & sales leaders about their successes, failures, what is working for them today in the B2B marketing world and everything in between.

Produced by Shahin Hoda & Alexander Hipwell, from xGrowth

Get in touch!

We would love to get your questions, ideas and feedback about Growth Colony, email alexander@growthcolony.org


Episode Full Transcript:

[00:00] Shahin Hoda   Hello everyone, welcome to another episode. I'm Shahin Hoda with xGrowth, and today I'm talking to Jade Meara, Head of Marketing at F5. About Jade's experience working in both successful fast growing startups, and established complex organisations as a B2B marketer. We're going to explore how she has been able to hone different B2B marketing skills in these different organisations, and what her advice is for marketers to better adapt to the realities of these different roles. Jade, on that note, thanks for joining us.

[00:32] Jade Meara   Yeah, thanks for having me, Shahin. So I'm really glad to be here.

[00:35] Shahin Hoda   Oh, but I'm super excited about this. Because, you know, we were talking about needing different skills and different capabilities at different stages of an organisation we were actually talking about with this with Alex, of how, you know, an organisation would go and get a, maybe a series a CEO, and then they will get a CEO that is going to take them public. And if you put the CEO is going to take you public in the series, the person who is going to do the series A stuff, it probably will fail, and vice versa. And it's a really fascinating topic. So I want to start here, startup versus enterprise, right? How do you define the two from a B2B marketing perspective?

[01:17] Jade Meara   Yeah, sure. And I think what you just mentioned there, like, you know, there tends to be, you know, as I said, startup CEOs, startup marketers, like marketers that go from, you know, series, pre IPO series and funding, then go on to the next startup. And then there's marketers that sort of cross the chasm with the company, and bridge both gaps. So what I'm talking about today is, and what I found is, you can do both, and you gain different skills in, obviously, joining different stages of the company lifecycle. So what I would say is to define the difference between a startup and an enterprise marketing role is that if you're in a startup marketing role, you're effectively working for a company that intends to list on any stock exchange, and is usually in stages of funding from venture capitalists. 

[02:05] Jade Meara  So it could be series A, Series B-C, D, so you know, they have a new and novel concept or product they want to bring to market. And as a marketer, your role is to help bring that product to market and help grow, share and grow the company. In comparison, a role in enterprise for a marketer is you're really entrenched in a well established listed publicly listed, proven company, they have accountability to the market, through that public listing, having competency with a significant user base, and they have sort of proved their worth and gain that sort of customer love. So, you know, age isn't really how I define this, it could be five years old, it could be 50 years old, it could be 500 years old, it doesn't really matter as much as the concept of being publicly accountable and having widespread user acceptance. So in both of these situations, it presents very different opportunities, and a different kind of environment for the marketer working in these two different environments. 

[03:10] Jade Meara  So another thing is some defined startup for employee size. A lot of young marketers come to me and say, you know, there's a startup, it's like, five people, I'm right, it's really small, or the comment is, you had like to get a big company that lots of employees, that's the size, you know, makes add some layer of conviction on top, but I don't think size in terms of employees has a lot to do with, you know, whether it's a startup or an enterprise. There are startups with sometimes 1000s of employees. And there are enterprises that, you know, that are well established and have legacy and incumbency and that they can be quite small and agile. So startups also isn't a culture. I think we got used to defining startups culture, by you know, totally, you know, foosball tables, free soda, you know, beer and pretzels on a Friday. But that kind of culture is permeated by most mainstream companies now. Because companies really wake up and realise, we need to make sure employees are happy.

[04:11] Jade Meara  The war for talent is definitely there. And people realise, and companies realize that employees have lives and they'd like to be their authentic selves and bring their authentic self to work. So again, it's not a culture, it's not an employee size. It's really that stage of incumbency, acceptance and that's why it's exciting for Marketo because you can pick, you know, am I going to go in and grow something that's well known, well loved and has encompass, yes, heaps of users. And that presents a challenge in itself, or do you go and say, This is so new, no one's heard of it before. I'm going to come in, I'm going to put my name on that and that's going to be mine. And that's another really exciting opportunity as well. So yeah, I've done both and I think there's definitely, you know, there's definite pros and cons for each. And you know, I'm here to sort of guide young marketers on their journey and say there are good reasons to jump to both camps at different stages of career, so yeah.

[05:03] Shahin Hoda   And bad reasons to jump in both. So let's start with the startup world, right? What should a B2B marketer going into, you know, series A, Series B, Series C kind of startup expect in your opinion and in your experience?

[05:21] Jade Meara   Yeah, in my experience, I mean, my initial advice would be, you know, don't go into a startup, if you are not expecting to do a lot, you know, a lot of hard work. And because the, you know, usually they're building and during that phase of, you know, expansion and growth, there is there is a fair amount of work to do, and there is no sort of, you know, cascading or there's no hierarchy, so everyone's going to be kind of kind of happy to roll the sleeves, put your put your hard work in, and really kind of you know, not not accept that there's going to be a huge team to pick up the slack or do do things which I suppose an enterprise you may have, you know, someone else that takes care of that role. So there is a lot of stuff pressure, you're also bringing an unknown concept to market. So there is a bit of uncertainty around that. 

[06:06] Jade Meara   And, you know, there's obviously, so brand acceptance isn't there just yet, and usually, these companies are growing. So their tools and systems are frequently changing the systems that, you know, your Mar tech stack might be, look like one thing today, and then you know, what, you cycle them and try another one tomorrow. So I think that growth curve is exponential, and you have to be flexible, and really, you know, good, we change, the company will be recruiting fast, like a lot of startups start to, you know, once they hit to start that growth curve, they start to recruit exponentially. 

[06:40] Jade Meara  So you'll be, you know, adding new teammates pretty rapidly, and you're seeing a lot of changes with regards to, you know, the hierarchy and the structure of the company.  So again, I just, I can't stress more than willing to, you know, sort of get in, get stuck in doo doo that sort of do all the work, but also accept that change is inevitable, and there'll be rapid change, and you have to embrace it, and sort of, you know, kind of relish it with that rapid change, you know, there's real opportunity for you as a younger marketer to kind of ascend and be promoted quite quickly, I'm not guaranteeing that but because because it does grow a lot more quicker. And there is more expansion, there's obviously that opportunity that's possible. So again, adaptability, flexible change. 

[07:24] Jade Meara  So I think just writing out that sort of that really kind of crazy ride, being grounded in yourself, knowing and believing in the company in the vision is really, really important. And above and beyond, it's like the excitement of building something new, because you're actually as a marketer, you're in that engineering, you're at the coalface you're building the company, you're actually building the brand, you're going out to market and helping Connect customers to this new and novel sort of, you know, solution. So I really think that's quite intoxicating. And I think, once you've, you've done one, you probably would want to do more, and you can really see how it can become a really viable, like, long term career path for a lot of marketers who just as I said, do startup after startup.

[08:07] Shahin Hoda   I love that. I love that, I think, yeah, your impact is a lot larger. And that's both exciting and scary at the same time, because if you mess it up, it's on you, and you can immediately see the results. I think I was reading a book and it was, I think, and Marc Andreessen said, he's like, in the startup world, there's usually two states of being IE. It's either euphoria or paranoia and lack of sleep exacerbates both of them. And I feel like that's also the case, whether that's what might be the case for founders, but that's also the case here for marketers as well. So I love that. All right, so how is flipping to the other side of it? Right? paint us a little bit of a picture about the enterprise space? How is that different in the enterprise space?

[09:01] Jade Meara   Yeah, and you know, it is different I think you can have like a hybrid of both at the moment in my role, I work for f5, which is you know, 25 year old company, but we have acquired a lot of companies in the last three years and that's one of the reasons why I joined is because there was opportunity to work in enterprise but then the acquiring startups and launching startups from within that company. So you can have a hybrid of both but effectively an enterprise is a company that you know, it's a publicly kind of listed usually has incumbency. So people are aware of the solution.

[09:33] Jade Meara  They have brand awareness, they have acceptance in the market. It's amazing and it's great when you, you know, are known as a leader in your field. So you're not a challenger brand. You're like, number one. That's, you know, the ultimate enterprise situation. And usually in that situation, you'll be going out and then marketing new features and solutions. And I always liken it to your kind of, you know, when you're taking on a role like this, you're in a car that has, imagine it not your first car, not your Datsun 120y, were given by your dad to learn in but you're in the latest and greatest, you know, kind of BMW or Maserati and it's got all the like the the tech you need or tell you, you know, it's got loads of widgets telling you how hot your seat is, what the you know, velocity of the road ahead is the air temperature outside, how humid it is, how long it will take you to get to your destination, how you can cut five minutes off your journey. 

[10:25] Jade Meara  I mean, that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but you know, everything kind of works. And you've got all of these kinds of inputs, which help you do your job a little bit better. And that's really, I suppose, what being, being a company that has, incumbency has data, has customer legacy, they really can offer you because you have a platform, you have your data, which is a lifeblood of any company. And that's over years and years of obviously, establishing a cadence with these customers, you know, selling them products, building relationships with them. So you're in this position where you can take that and you can also then grow the company even more. 

[11:04] Jade Meara  So I think, you know, compared to a startup, where you're probably saying you're building a lot as you go, you're coming in, you've got a lot more tools, your disposal, your customer data, suppose you have a history, you've got a brand that's recognized. And then sometimes, like I'm in my current role, tasked with launching new products, new solutions to market within that customer base, which is also quite exciting. So um, I suppose. Yeah, I suppose the question, again, and I think it's also naive to assume that all enterprises are using this customer data really effectively. In the best instance, yes, they're absolutely using it. And they absolutely, you know, savvy, marketers have this amazing maturity of toolkit at their disposal. And then in its worst form, they're not really capitalizing it, they've got rivers of data, but it's unstructured. And they don't really have sort of a customer success team, checking in with their customers or effective ABM strategy doubling down and marketing into their key accounts. 

[12:04] Jade Meara  So, you know, I'd be asking if I was a young marketer going in and saying, Okay, I'm going to go into enterprise now. And I really want to learn the ropes and have this amazing Swiss Swiss Army Knife toolkit at my disposal to learn the ropes about going much deeper into an account and building an ABM strategy and building you know, customer attention. I'd be asking those sorts of questions interview like, you know, explain your ABM strategy to me how he segmenting your database, to go to market model look like what data analytics and data modeling tools you're currently using, etc, etc. So really sort of making sure there is that best practice there, and they are using their data as as well as possible

[12:46] Shahin Hoda   Love it. Love it. I mean, first of all, it sounds like you know your cars. I’d say that, but no, that's a really, really interesting picture of the enterprise world. You know, what do you think in terms of how markers should change the way that they think about their customers from a, from an enterprise perspective versus a startup side? How do you think that that change needs to happen? 

[13:13] Jade Meara  Hmm, yeah, well, I would say, there shouldn't really be any difference in your thinking, when it comes to customers, I think, you know, an enterprise versus a startup. In both cases, you should be customer obsessed. And in both cases, you should be always asking yourself that question like so what does this really mean for the customer? always play devil's advocate with your marketing, always ask yourself the question. Yeah, but what is this to the customer, the only difference I'd say is in a startup, it's to do your unknown. So you have to work much harder to gain trust, that Australia isn't known as early adopters in tech, but they still are quite conservative with taking on new tech that's unproven. So there needs to be a certain amount of reassurance, a certain amount of you know, okay, I have a level of comfort with taking on that and a bit of conviction. 

[14:02] Jade Meara  So they just want to know if I'm going to invest and I'm going to train my team if I'm going to deploy this tech that you're not here not here today, gone tomorrow, and that you'll be around for a while. So gaining analyst recognition. So think you know, Gartner Magic Quadrant, customer stories, press coverage, you know, seeing monkeys see monkeys do seeing other big companies using or taking and singing its praises really, really helps. When I first joined Nutanix, one of my sort of goals I set myself was to produce one customer story a month. 

[14:36] Jade Meara  So one customer testimonial to met, how they were using the tech just to raise awareness of the different use cases and the verticals we're covering and you know, over the first year, 20 months, you know, producing 20 different customer stories. Yeah, it was hard work. But um, that was really important in terms of gaining credibility and trust because you were leveraging one so you'd go out with one customer and say, hey, I’m using this to solve this problem for me. And then another customer, you're in a PLC or you're trying to close another deal. And then you get them on the phone and you triangulate, you're like, hey, they're using a tech and they're in a similar sort of industry, and then you grow. 

[15:12] Jade Meara  So you got, you got such critical mass, you've got, you know, the same verticals talking to each other, so universities or banks or So that to me is accepted upon that would be a key point, I'd say, in any startup marketers get good at knowing your customers, and knowing the solutions and how they solve the customer's needs. And I would sit personally in all those interviews and, and help conduct them with the agency, the PR agency in the beginning, because I needed to have that understanding of how different industries were using a product. So getting really close to that, and understanding that.

[15:45] Shahin Hoda   I love that. And I think that's something that a lot of marketers don't do enough of right of sitting down with, with customers and speaking to them getting into their world and what they go through and so on and so forth. I, you know, I also, one of the things that is quite evident in the enterprise space is the opportunities for upsell and cross sell, where might not be as available in the startup scene, right? How have you dealt with where, you know, startups are usually most cases are, you know, one product, and you know, for one use case, and then you enterprise, they either have acquired multiple different products to kind of increase the, the amount of revenue they can get from, from one customer, or they built it themselves. So therefore, there are multiple value props for an organisation. How, you know, how have you balanced those, that component between startups in the, in the enterprise world? And what kind of advice do you have for people on that side?

[16:44] Jade Meara  Yeah, I mean, yeah, I look back at the one product sell, and you're like, oh, gosh, that sounds amazing, you know, one product use case, but as I said, that's when you really double down, and then you start to expand, you look at all different verticals and segments. And you know, it's not definitely in the cases, all the startups I work for they all were, they started to expand. So Nutanix ended up purchasing and acquiring other companies to grow other products at the table. So that's where, you know, suddenly gets more tricky, because, you know, your core product was not just your main sell anymore, or their core product was evolving. 

[17:16] Jade Meara  So, you know, you went from hardware to software, when you went from, you know, on prem to cloud. So there's definitely, you know, changes in that. And I said, you know, go back to the, that that point I made before about rapid evolution of change, you know, you're going to learn in a startup that you have to be easy to adapt and change course. But you're right, in an enterprise, you have multiple different, you know, products and solutions to market. And sometimes it's, it's hard to sort of keep score and actually look at everything, and probably a bird's eye view. But then usually the larger the company, you'd have split it into specialists helping you within each of those different product groups and helping you with the use cases and like in your sort of pulling everything together and going out as one company.

[18:02] Jade Meara And I can't, yeah, I can't really diminish the importance of I think companies tend to as they get bigger, and add all these different products to their suite suite of tools, they tend to lose sight of you know, that one company story. And that's really important to maintain as well, you know, what is your, you know, what is your main value prop as a company, why should other companies partner with you don't lose sight of that, and become so myopic, and become feature obsessed and start talking about this one product if we actually talk about the story, because people love and trust companies and the people that work for them? And yes, you know, we needed a meaning tool to solve a certain problem. That's very important. But you know, I always bring it back to you like, why would you partner with our Spider Man with f5 versus, you know, why do you need this specific point solution?

[18:48] Shahin Hoda   Got it? Got it. The last thing that I want to ask you is, what kind of advice would you give to kind of young b2b marketers, right, having gone through and worked with early stage startups and enterprise organizations? If I was a young marketer, and I wanted to kind of get into the b2b space, what would you know, what would be your recommendation of where should I start? And what should I start? What should I be thinking about?

[19:16] Jade Meara   I would definitely say, find your it's a bit contrite. And it's like anything in life, like Find your passion, but find your passion, find what you actually really are passionate about, and what you can maintain interest in talking about, you know, you know, eight to 12 hours a day, it gets really boring really quick, if you're sitting on many, many calls, and so forth, and your customer calls trying to understand the tech, you're not really that interested in the problem solving or what it does. So in b2b, you've got a plethora of different avenues you can take, you can go into, you know, finance, you could look at tech, you could do professional services, utilities, telco, there's just so many different areas for you to actually specialise in. 

[19:55] Jade Meara   I would say, take some time, maybe work in a few different environments, and then work on what your real passion is. So what I did is I went firstly into telco and then went on to consumer tech. And then I kind of realised that enterprise tech was really where I wanted to hit. So 27, I took a 30% pay cut, and I jumped on board and sort of weren't meant to work for an IT distributor marketing the Enterprise Solutions portfolio. And in that job, I got access to like 26 of the major enterprise vendors, the time was really a good way to learn the ropes was really a good way to build relationships in that industry in all those different vendors. And that was the best decision that ever made, you know, and that's where I really found my space. 

[20:33] Jade Meara   So I would say young marketers, go and try a few different industries, find where your sweet spot is, and then really kind of hone in on that. And I suppose, you know, you'll have that light bulb moment where you realize, okay, no, this is for me. I think for me, I always had aspirations of developing software. I was a bit of a gamer when I was young, like something you know, personality wise, it just Joe with me as in, I had that creative side, but I also love tech and how things worked, like you mentioned, frat cars, I used to, you know, do up cars and play with my dad in the shed and make you know, pull things apart and re spray you know, old cars and renovate them. 

[21:08] Jade Meara  So I always had this mechanical kind of tech side to my brain that I really loved, you know, understanding how things work. So I really feel like all of those things coalesced, when I ended up finding this sort of sweet spot for me. So you, as I said, you find that Facebook marketers, well, it's just testing and trialing a few things.

[21:26] Shahin Hoda   Got it? Got it. No, that's it. That's really good advice. Okay. I have a few rapid fire questions that I want to ask you. And you get to go through them? 

[21:34] Jade Meara  Yeah, sure. 

[21:36] Shahin Hoda   You’d do it? Alright, so the first thing I want to ask you is what is one book or resource that it could be you know, podcast talk, whatever it is, what one resource to this really change the way you work? or live?

[21:48] Jade Meara   Yes, yeah, a podcast or a talk or probably a book, but I think he's now Yeah, come out. And you can digest in various formats, but um, Malcolm Gladwell's Blink was a book I read and really kind of stayed with me for a long time. And I always come back to it. I'm really intrigued with decision making and human psychology. I'm interested in my own decision making and I'm interested in decision making, being a marketer. So and I think, you know, all fellow marketers can probably, you know, relate to this. In this book, he talks about the concept of thin slicing, and, you know, to to use it and IT term, it's about like passing away all the unnecessary bits of information, and just keeping the absolute most succinct important, retaining the most important piece of information in your subconscious. 

[22:36] Jade Meara   And you naturally do this, when you go into a room, when you meet a new person, when you pose with a problem. He also talks in the book about how you can tell more about someone in 15 minutes by looking at the contents of their bedroom than you can from, you know, spending a few hours talking to them. And that, to me, is a really good abstract what thin slicing is about. And as a marketer, we often walk into, you know, problems or situations. We were given, you know, put on the spot in a board meeting, we've got this problem, how do we solve it? And then you really kind of use your thin slice, and that really comes into the fore, and you're like, okay, and this is what I know, this is, you know, sort of how I deal with this situation. 

[23:16] Jade Meara   And you also would use it every day, in everyday life situations, like, as I said, you know, meeting a person, what makes us you know, trust people, like people, you know, you're going to interview, how do you sign someone up, you're using this every day. And that then blends into that whole concept of gut feel. A lot of young people would say to me, you know, I did this, but I didn't feel right about it. But you know, I took the job, or I went and did that interview, and I kind of agreed to this, but it didn't feel right, well, that your gut feel is right, that's the initial sense, that is coming from your subconscious. And you should, you know, always listen to your gut feel, you know. We're in good measure, obviously, weighing it up with sort of, you know, analysis and having a good thing and making sure there's no bias there, or you could be falling prey to it. 

[24:02] Jade Meara   That sort of brings me on to my MBA studies where I kind of delve a bit deeper in this subject decision making. And from an academic perspective, studying decision making as the topic, you start to learn about decision making as what they call a complex adaptive systems model. So the concept of that is, we're all working in a complex adaptive system. There's many different inputs, there's environmental, there's social factors, there's us as an individual, there's groups like it's this really amazing, interconnected, complex system, that everything's influencing each other. And the first thing he learned in that subject is the concept of bounded rationality that you as an individual or anyone is subject to this theory of, you know, being bounded. 

[24:51] Jade Meara   You only have a certain amount of cognitive capability and only a certain amount of information in your disposal to make an optimal decision. And that's just facts, you know. So in life, we do the best we can and we are satisfied so we basically come to a decision using what we can with the capabilities we have. So you know, that's, that's very much a concept as a marketing to understand. It's not going to be perfect with all the data modeling tools, even with everything you can possibly use and taking a six week, you know, program to help, you know, many, many different heads and people involved, you will still not come to the absolute optimum decision, but that's okay. And that's normal. 

[25:31] Jade Meara   So and then also on the subject, which is really interesting, and then kind of lends it to my other passion, which is I'm talking about diversity and, and, and gender awareness in companies is the concept of bias and unconscious bias. Now, again, I talked before about, you know, in slicing but you know, as humans, we tend to take in little fragments of information over the history of our lives, and then when something isn't congruent, or sticks out and doesn't, you know, kind of married to that, it does cause a little bit unconscious bias, which, you know, in this in the whole realm of, you know, gender and diversity studies and equality, we know that that is tripping, you know, both women and minorities up from being able to join the boardroom, and then that's really much effect. 

[26:18] Jade Meara   So I think it's a market. It's, you know, listening to your gut, trusting, you know, that thin slicing process and using that to our advantage, but also challenging, what could possibly be a bit of unconscious bias? What have you learned in your life journey, that maybe could be an artifact or something that you really haven't had control over? Or, you know, you could sit back and say, and this is this to me, I need to challenge this view. So a bit of both, you know, to get to go a long way around. 

[26:44] Shahin Hoda   I love it. No, there's so many golden nuggets in there in that long question that thanks, thanks for sharing that. Okay, question number two, if you could, and you've already given a couple pieces of advice. But if you could only give one piece of advice to B2B marketers? What would it be?

[27:02] Jade Meara   Yeah, be creative and experiment. I think, you know, there's no, you know, it is good to play it safe. And it is good to, you know, try, obviously, work on the trod path. But we're in a really exciting point in history now, where COVID has opened up this amazing world where digitisation is just front and center. People who are working from home are not really allowed to go out and do stuff, you know, not in my home city of Sydney right now for the past couple of months. You can't go out to attend a live event. So everything is through this, you know, this, this digital portal. 

[27:39] Jade Meara  So as a marketer, you have really, you know, a new superpower, you can help, you know, take charge of this, you know, new digital landscape, help yourself team connect with customers. So I really think the way to do this successfully is to be creative, and to engage, to experiment, you know, understand, even though you know, everyone's at home, and there's a million emails and webinars going out people still people. They want to have something, a message that resonates with them, something that makes them feel, something that makes them connect. So yeah, the only way you can do that is knowing your customer really well. But also being creative, being bold, experimenting.

[28:20] Shahin Hoda   Creative, and experimentation. Number three, what were some of the influencers in the, in the kind of B2B marketing sales space that you follow?

[28:30] Jade Meara  I don't really follow sales or marketing gurus per se. I think for me, I'm more interested in following technologist. And this is because realistically, we're in a space where it's evolving so fast. Stuff that I was, you know, studying at, you know, my MBA back a couple of years ago, is now completely mainstream. And that was very, you know, kind of not mainstream prior, and it was considered future stuff. So I really think if you're in tech, follow as many technologists possible. One influence I follow is Bernard Ma, he writes a lot about AI and big data. And he's on LinkedIn, you can follow him, he has some really good, he had some really good posts. 

[29:13] Jade Meara  And on the other topic around, yeah, well, or the other question around sales or marketing influences. I really feel like maintaining and cultivating your own network is really important. So I have a lot of fellow marketers, fellow engineers, evangelists, as it is bounce things off and I maintain a really good sort of working relationship with. And I think that collaboration is really especially important. I mean, certainly during COVID a lot of marketers you know, whispering to each other like oh, how are you changing, you know, tackling this or how are you tackling Zoom fatigue and how are you tackling you know, digital fatigue, because, you know, maybe we're not getting the same responses with the same you know, the same tools before. 

[29:53] Jade Meara  So, yeah, I really think building that network. Having someone you can bounce and a sunny checkoff is really vital. Because in a day you could follow a million sales gurus but you could be in the midst of a really tricky problem and you're like I just need to you know, get someone else's picture is someone I admire and I really trust so yeah, I'd say that,

[30:11] Shahin Hoda   And then one one call just just makes all your problems go away, and they just say one thing and you're like, oh, wow, yes. Just like it all fits all of a sudden together. I love it. Last question. Last question, Jade is, what is something that excites you today about B2B?

[30:30] Jade Meara  Something excites me, I don't think it is one particular thing. I think the whole market is just, it's just a really exciting space to be and I mean, I've been in it only 20 years and I can't imagine myself leaving this. Just so much rapid change. So much adoption of new tools, new technologies, you know, as I said before, COVID has made the world a much closer place to digitalisation it also is made you know a really golden opportunity for marketers as I said to really own that you know, building that relationship with the customer from you know, first interaction all the way through to transaction. 

[31:04] Jade Meara  So I just think it's just such an exciting time for marketers and for b2b marketers and as I said you know technology martech stack is just continuing to evolve and become so much more sophisticated. You know from when I first started in consumer tech my first role was putting ads in you know IT magazines like print ads through to now if you know, really advanced ABM software and you know, personalisation and targeting digital targeting tools like it's just it's completely changed. So I just can't imagine what the next one is human life but I think it's a really exciting

[31:36] Shahin Hoda   Jade there's been a lot of insight over here and you just you drop so many advices I think a lot of our listeners are gonna find a super valuable and and I just want to say thank you so much for jumping on the pod and, and having this conversation. I really enjoyed it.

[31:54] Jade Meara   I really enjoyed it, too. Thanks, Shahin. And if anyone wants to connect and ask me any questions or get any advice, I do mentor a lot of young marketers. I'm absolutely happy to accept any questions on LinkedIn.

[32:04] Shahin Hoda   Sounds good. So we'll add your LinkedIn URL as well in the show notes. And, as you said, anyone interested can definitely reach out, Jade. Thanks a lot for coming on. And looking forward to your future conversation. Thank you.

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