CMO Insights: Shane Elliott, VP Global LSS Marketing at Agilent Technologies

CMO Insights: Shane Elliott

September 18, 2018

CMO Insights: Shane Elliott, VP Global LSS Marketing at Agilent Technologies

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Shane Elliot, VP Global LSS Marketing at Agilent Technologies.

In this video, Shane talks about:

  • The big challenges for large, global companies like Agilent Technologies
  • The need to transform to stay ahead of ever-evolving customer needs
  • Creating and curating localized content while maintaining global consistency and efficiency

Learn more about Shane from his LinkedIn profile and follow Agilent Technologies on Twitter.

CMO Insights: Shane Elliott

For more great CMO interviews like this one, please check out our other CMO Insights Videos or our YouTube channel.

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi, welcome to Revenue Marketing Television, the CMO Insights Series. I’m your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today we have as our guest Shane Elliott, who is Vice President of Global LSS marketing for Agilent. Shane, welcome to the show.

Shane Elliott:

Thanks Jeff. Great to be here.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I’m happy to have you. So Agilent, amazing company, been going through some pretty big transformations over the last couple of years. So tell us a little bit about that and what your role has been in it.

Shane Elliott:

Sure. I think it’s interesting, Jeff, I’ve talked to a lot of marketing leaders and everyone says they’re going through a transformation and they’re, they’re waiting to come out of the other end. But the way that I look at it is I think we’re always going through transformations and the big driver from my perspective and from Agilent’s perspective has been that our customers are transforming and evolving.

So we have to basically evolve and transform to, to stay ahead of that. So in on the marketing side, we’ve definitely become a lot more outside in customer focused, making sure we’re building an ecosystem across the digital marketing and through to our sales teams to make sure we’re aligning with those customer expectations. So it’s a, it’s an ecosystem and we’re part of that ecosystem. And the marketing part of that transformation really is a key enabler for, for a tele engagement model with our customers. And what’s been your role in this transformation? Well I feel like honestly I feel like I’m marketing marketing a lot of the time internally. So making sure that we’re, we’re doing our job as marketers, which is really being the voice of the customer and making sure that our, all of our transformations across the company are really focused on ensuring that we’re, we’re we’re delivering the right messages and engagement to our customers to help them on their journey.

So my part of that is really making sure that I’m representing our customers and also driving marketing as a, as a business making. I ensure that we’re delivering the right value to our stakeholders internally and building advocacy for the, for the transformation that we are driving in marketing. So it’s interesting that you mentioned running marketing, active business, whether you’re being held accountable for, by your boss and then whether you’re holding your team accountable for, so a big focus for me in a across our group is making sure that we’re really tying into what’s important in the, in the business and what’s important to our customers. So in terms of the, what I’m being held accountable for and what my team is being held accountable for, it’s really around driving metrics that tie into revenue and tie into. So delivering the the right leads to our sales professionals at the right time, making sure that they’re well-qualified and their sales ready and ensuring that the, the activities that we’re driving, the, we can track those all the way through to results. And ultimately through to, through to revenue is the ultimate goal of the school.

Jeff Pedowitz:

What have been some of the challenges that you’ve faced as you’re trying to drive this around the globe and through your different business units?

Shane Elliott:

It’s all of the things that you just mentioned are advantages and challenges, I would say. So the global scale is, is fantastic. We have, as a, as a company, we have great products, services, solutions, and really good reach into our end markets. The, the the challenge around that is the organization is big and there’s a lot of inertia behind it. So driving change does take some time. So the thing that we’ve been focused on there, the thing that I’ve really been driving is making sure that we are communicating and building that advocacy and making sure that the organization understands the need for change and driven by the customers. Of course. And one of the, I think one of the key strategies that, that are really driving through the organization is making sure that we’re piloting to prove concepts, to develop best practices and processes that we then scale through the organization.

 And that’s both locally and regionally making sure that we’re relevant in the different markets that we play in that we’re localized and really plugged into what the customers need, but also ensuring the global consistency and driving efficiency across the, across the organization. That’s what I, what I call the globalized structure to my team. And that’s not a word that I made up. That’s a real word word, I believe, but making sure that we’re driving efficiency and consistency across a global scale and the global organization, but are ensuring that we’ve got regional and local relevance and driving the effectiveness in in the different areas around the world.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So how, what’s your approach to personnel strategically? Are you looking for different skill sets than the company had a couple of years ago? Are you really thinking about how your organization organizing teams and departments to work together differently?

Shane Elliott:

Yeah, definitely. There’s a, it’s a combination of both. I think we’ve got we’ve got a big program around a marketing learning program, a very intentional program about making sure that we’re, up-skilling our existing resource base both bringing the, the the knowledge and the competencies up from a base level, driving that across all of the marketing ecosystem. So into the product marketing teams, the field marketing team, segment marketing, et cetera, and then driving competencies in terms of more specific areas, running very specific workshops, I’m setting out to, to train and even qualify champions across the different business units to ensure that we’re getting that scale and the reach across the organization structurally definitely where we’re changing.

And I’ve, I think I’ve even asked you the question what’s the best marketing structure and the answer usually is it depends it’s complex. It’s, it’s never a, it’s never the same, every company’s a little bit different, but the, the way that we’re structuring really to tie in and align much closer to the customer journeys and to make sure that we’re aligned to, to deliver the things, to help our customers on their journey, not only to buy our products, but to buy. So making sure that we’re helping buyers buy, I think is a, is a really critical aspect.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Not a great, great see that. So as you start to scale, what are some of the more important processes from a business standpoint, your engineering or engineering to drive that scale and efficiency?

Shane Elliott:

Yeah, I think one of, one of the really important aspects on, on driving and scaling is to ensure that we’re, we’re very inclusive and very intentional as we’re designing programs. So given that we are building an ecosystem and where we’re partnering really closely, both internally and externally, so internally with our with our product marketing and our sales teams and our service teams, our it teams and externally with partners that can help us to progress and accelerate our active transition through this transformation. So there’s, there’s a, there’s some partnerships that are really important there. Making sure that we’re inclusive when we’re designing programs and campaigns, that we have the right voice of the customer as close as we can to the customer, including sales teams when we’re designing a marketing campaign. So the partnership and the partnerships internal and external are really important.

And that partnership with in particular, I think making sure that we’re getting voice of customer as close to the customer as possible, including our sales teams and our service teams when we’re designing campaigns is, is something that we haven’t done well in the past. And now we’re much more formalized to ensure that we have buy in from the different teams marketing, understand the requirements from sales sales, understand the requirements for marketing, but also ensures that we are very focused on delivering our customers what they need to to progress them on their, on their buying journeys.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you’ve been at this for a little while, is you re reflect back on the last couple of years. Is there something with hindsight that maybe you would have done a little bit differently?

Shane Elliott:

It’s a dangerous question. I think Jeff it’s a, I’m a big believer in looking forward and learning from the past and looking forward. I think there’s one of the things that, that is difficult to do easy, easy with hindsight, but difficult to do at the time is ensuring that you’re driving the right changes at the right time, and that you’re focusing on what, what you need at that particular time. So I think we’re, we’re probably guilty and I’m guilty of wanting everything now and maybe biting off more than more than I can chew. And then that my teams can chew. So looking back a year or two, I’d say that if I knew then what I know now, I probably would have been a little bit more targeted in terms of the, the different parts of the transformation and making sure we weren’t getting ahead of ourselves in one particular area.

And that we, we had a balanced view and I, I I liked the analogy of a, of an airplane. So we, we’ve got a lot of different parts of the airplane that are flying and they’re all flying in the same direction, I think. But making sure that we have a very intentional link that we’re bringing in those pieces of pieces of the airplane together, and that we’re not missing an important part of the plane, I think is something that’s very difficult to do at the time. But with hindsight, there are a couple of pieces of the plan that I think we should have worked on much earlier to make sure that we keep the pace and the momentum

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s fair. And I think, look, given the, the current business climate, we’re all conditioned to do that, right. Get more done. Now we’re always trying to get more done. So I think, you know, as you look at technology as part of this transformation, how is it helping you and how is it also hindering you?

Shane Elliott:

I think tech technology is obviously a fundamental and integral part of what we do in marketing and also what we do across that ecosystem to serve our customers. So marketing automation is key. I think that’s a, that’s a key to any modern marketers toolkit, and we’ve been working on scaling a low core across our across our ecosystem. That’s a really important one. But then making sure that we’ve got alignment with our sales teams in particular. So making sure that they have line of sight to the engagement that our customers have had on the way through their journey so that they can pick up where the touch points sued. Things like sales, profiler plug plugin for a low quote is really important. You, you mentioned the scale of, of Agilent’s business across the globe. We have very good reach across all of the regions.

 

So localization has also been, is always a challenge, but it’s a critical one. And so making sure that we have the right, the right tools to ensure consistency, the way that we deliver our brand and our messages across the quote making sure the way we have a consistent writing style, particularly when we’re looking at the different geographies and the different languages that we, that we that we have to deal with across the globe. And one of the tools we use there is Acrolinx. So we, we use a tool to ensure that we are actively curating monitoring and optimizing our content for the, for globalization, making sure that we’ve got the right messaging and the right terminology used very consistently across all of the regions.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And then any examples where maybe technology’s holding you back a little bit? Whether the way it’s currently implemented or certain architecture that might not be designed to where you’re trying to go.

Shane Elliott:

Yeah, there’s, there’s as, as we said before, we, we always want everything immediately but it is a journey. So we’re, we’re constantly working on optimizing content, which I think it, regardless of what we’re talking about in, in our transformations and our ecosystem content is the one constant without content, nothing else works. So making sure that we’re curating the content that our subject matter experts understand the kind of content that our customers need and that our different personas need on their journey, I think is really critical content will, will always be super important in terms of making sure that where we’re progressing and delivering the, the best experience and the information that our customers need. So there’s a few things around content that we’re actively working on ensuring that we’re optimizing for SEO. So some of the, some of the basics where web content is really key with the amount of online research that our customers do these days and also making sure that we’ve got the right structure. So product information management, making sure that we’re structuring our data and our information in the best way to deliver it, regardless of the channel where we’re pushing it into.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Nice. All right. So in conclusion, finish this sentence: One year from today, Agilent Global Marketing will…

Shane Elliott:

Be seen as a, a key value driver for the company. And more importantly from our customers will be seen as the organization that gives them the information they need to progress them on their journey within their companies and to deliver the best products and services that we possibly can.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Very well done, sir. Thank you.

Shane Elliott:

No problem, thank you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Really appreciate having you on the program today, Shane. Thank you. And really appreciate it.

Shane Elliott:

Thanks, Jeff. No problem.

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