In this instalment of our Q+A blog series, find out more about Cara Bainton, our Senior Marketing Programs Manager for Data Platforms, as she shares her thoughts on why data is at the heart of successful marketing campaigns and the future of virtual events.
What’s your job role at InterSystems and what does it involve?
I’m Senior Marketing Programs Manager for Data Platforms. As part of the marketing team, I plan and execute the marketing strategy to increase the brand awareness and adoption of InterSystems IRIS Data Platform across non-healthcare vertical industries. This includes deploying a full range of marketing tactics to both attract new customers and to support and build relationships with existing customers and partners across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Can you give a brief background of your career prior to InterSystems?
My career ‘start’ was at a PR agency, pitching garden fence paint and designer bedding to the media and arranging product launches in very luxurious London hotels! I then moved into marketing and event manager roles within publishers specialising in the global shipping and oil markets, before heading to InterSystems.
What attracted you to the role/business?
I started with InterSystems shortly after having my daughter, and the company culture was huge reason for me to take the role. InterSystems not only goes the extra mile for its customers, but it was clear early on that that also applied to employees. It’s very rare to find a company that has staff that have worked there for 10/15 years and that speaks volumes about how staff are supported and encouraged to succeed.
What do you like most about your job? What’s a recent project you’re proud to have been involved in?
For me, the variety within my role can be both a huge positive and negative! Working across such a mix of marketing disciplines, from advertising and social media, through to content creation and events, means no two days are the same!
I’m proud of how as a team we have been able to adapt and deliver marketing plans and tactics, even with a pandemic trying its hardest to hamper our efforts! We managed to get a new virtual event stand built and running early in lockdown, which gave us a ‘back up’ in the face of uncertainty about when and if events would start being run again.
What is your main motivation in your work life?
I like to think that I’m part of something bigger than myself and I’m making a difference. This might be as simple as assisting the sales team with getting the brand in front of their prospects and growing the business, or working with a partner to help them bring a new application to market. It’s all to do with the culture too. Working as a collaborative team to try new things and not being afraid of failure helps to get you excited to come in on a Monday morning!
How has this year changed the way you engage with customers?
We’ve most definitely had to be adaptable and creative! It’s been exciting to be able to test new ways of marketing and to see what resonates with customers. We certainly didn’t plan for so many webinars and Zoom meet ups at the start of the year!
How do you see events evolving – not only now to adapt to current circumstances, but looking ahead to the future?
It would be great to see events back in a physical presence at some point soon as undoubtedly a digital event doesn’t give you the full experience and the same ‘buzz’ that you get when meeting in person.
I think there’s already a slight fatigue with some formats of virtual events, so going into 2021 I can see a need to find more creative ways to deliver virtual events by utilising new technologies to engage and attract people to attend. It’s also about learning – understanding what works and what the audience likes and using that to empower your next virtual event.
How is data important to you in your role?
Data is key for us to understand our customers better and to be smart and effective with our marketing efforts. Understanding our target’s behaviours, pain points, and challenges enables us to develop marketing campaigns to cater to their specific needs. Intent and behaviour data will be at the core of any successful marketing strategy.
With nearly everything going digital in the current climate, personalising a customer experience and continually making sure it’s relevant and timely will increase user engagement, which will then lead to brand trust and the goal of brand loyalty and advocacy.
Which technology do you think has been the most transformational in marketing in the last 10 years?
Digital marketing has changed rapidly to be much more than having a website and a Facebook page. Today’s customer journey has so many new and growing potential touchpoints, so it’s now about utilising new digital technologies and developing skill sets to fully embrace the success these different platforms can bring.
Tell us something about yourself that your work colleagues wouldn’t know!
Some already know this, but I ran (and finished!) 3 half marathons and the London Marathon in 2009. The trainers haven’t had much of a run out since then!