CMOs are known for taking on multiple tasks in their role – there is usually no option but to be multi-faceted. As the CMO of Traackr, Kirk Crenshaw knows this very well. From pure demand gen to PR to Ops, Kirk does a bit of it all on the marketing side of things. However, at a company as exciting as Traackr, he is more than willing to wear multiple hats. Traackr is the #1 influencer marketing software platform of its kind, and since influencer marketing has really gained traction in 2017, Kirk’s role will certainly evolve and thrive.
Jumping from Sales to Marketing
Even though he might be a CMO at a high-growth company now, early in Kirk’s career, he was 100% focused on sales. After dipping his toes in product marketing at Bosch, he began to understand the mechanics of marketing a bit more and eventually started running his own paid search ads. This led to a much better understanding of lead generation and the logistics of demand generation. Obviously having first-hand knowledge into how both sales and marketing tick gives him an undeniable advantage. And, since Traackr is in the beginning stages of scaling their account-based marketing program, his background in both sales and marketing will continue to bring value to the Traackr team.
“The next big thing we’re doing as a company is ramping up our ABM program. It really forces you to have a super tight relationship with sales to make that work,” Kirk explained.
“The level of trust for brands has been decreasing over a number of years, so the rise of the influencer is becoming more and more significant.” – Kirk Crenshaw, CMO at Traackr
Creating plays for the sales team is what motivates Kirk, and that mentality actually started when he played soccer throughout college. Kirk was a midfielder, so instead of scoring goals he got most of the assists on the team. Taking that mentality and applying it to his professional career – setting up “assists” for his sales team – is one of the things that gives him the most fulfillment as a CMO.
“I got so much satisfaction out of making other people successful around me that it kind of translated to my career as well … I went from what I considered kind of a wishy-washy, nonmeasurable role to one where you’re now accountable for revenue,” Kirk said.
Having this mindset will be a key asset considering Kirk is working in an emerging market like influencer marketing where outcomes and revenue will be expected.
Influencer Marketing is Booming
Brand loyalty has always been a goal for companies large and small since … well, the beginning days of business. However, the digital age has changed the way people interact with brands, especially with the rise of social media. That’s exactly why 2017 has experienced huge gains in influencer marketing, which is designed to support people who create high-impact conversations with customers about brands, products and services. More and more individuals, especially millennials, are following these influencers to give them key insights before they make purchasing decisions.
Expanding influencer marketing can be difficult even for established brands – in the past, this process was done manually and many companies usually hit a wall. With Traackr, influencer marketing is not only targeted to specific companies and industries, but it’s done to scale. Because influencer marketing is really hitting its stride, Kirk is understandably excited to see growth continue at Traackr.
“The level of trust for brands has been decreasing over a number of years, so the rise of the influencer is becoming more and more significant … Fortune 1000 companies are starting to embrace influencer marketing, so I thought it’d be a very fun time to hop on board,” Kirk explained.
Kirk is certainly right about the expansion of influencer marketing. According to recent surveys highlighted in Inc., a whopping 84% of marketers said that they plan on moving forward with at least one influencer campaign in the next 12 months. But of course, as with any marketing plan (and especially in an emerging market) – maintaining focus is key.
“There’s a definite intersection between influencer marketing, ABM, technology and the data that EverString provides,” – Kirk Crenshaw
“Having a focus in marketing, I think, is life-changing in terms of the resources you have, the dollars you have, and the overall effectiveness that you have in the marketplace,” Kirk explained. “Marketing is at an intersection of authenticity and measurement. It’s going to come down to companies figuring out how to scale and build off of being authentic.”
How EverString Piqued Traackr’s Interest
With Traackr’s pursuit of an ABM strategy, Kirk knew that there needed to be a renewed focus on the right accounts with the right strategy at the right time. In driving that program, Kirk also wanted to make sure that sales and marketing were working hand-in-hand in terms of setting targets, setting priorities, putting together plans, training the sales team, making sure that the sales team had everything that they needed in order to make it successful, and then executing an ABM program properly. In order to do this with a small team in an influencer marketing sector moving at lightning speed, Kirk knew he needed a predictive account selection solution to get it done.
“There’s a definite intersection between influencer marketing, ABM, technology and the data that EverString provides,” Kirk explained. “EverString is helping us execute on our account-based marketing strategy and outreach.”
EverString also helped the team determine what a good lead looked like thanks to scoring capabilities. And, since Traackr’s capabilities provide solutions for many industries, having audience segmentation tools also helps the Traackr team establish a good target prospect from a bad one. EverString will continue helping Traackr drive visibility and find even more companies in need of Traackr’s unique influencer marketing use cases. With Kirk’s industry heading for an even bigger spotlight next year, the possibilities seem endless.
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