Corporate Event Expert Profile: Michelle Radlowski, Head of Americas Field Marketing, Zscaler – Part Two
The Corporate Event News Event Expert Profile series features interviews with some of the many talented corporate event professionals who make this industry thrive.
Throughout her 12-year career, Michelle Radlowski has held roles that have spanned a wide variety of marketing responsibilities. She believes in the importance of marketing working closely together with sales, and loves seeing the impact of her work on business growth.
In her current role, she is responsible for leading a team of regional field marketing managers and developing strategically focused marketing activities and programs designed to support the sales process from prospecting to close and upsell. This includes customer advisory board meetings, regional events, campaigns and joint partner initiatives.
See part one of the interview to learn how Radlowski got started in the industry and how her career path led her to ZScaler.
DWM: What sorts of things do you track, and what tools do you use?
MR: We are very data-driven. We live and breathe in Salesforce. We track the full waterfall – leads, MQL conversion, opportunities and pipeline. Face to face meetings are also important to track because meetings ultimately turn into opportunities. For example, at an event, how many significant customer or prospect meetings took place onsite, and how many follow-up meetings were scheduled after the event was over?
My team and I also look at the number of engagements within the targeted accounts list for each sales rep, and how can we help increase the number of marketing interactions.
Circle back three to six months later (depending on the sales cycle at your company) after your event or campaign has ended to see how those leads are moving through the funnel. If there are leads that haven’t been touched, find out why. Check if your nurture campaign is working or if it needs to be adjusted. Once the event is over it's really important for the events/marketing manager to make sure the investment is generating ROI, and if there are opportunities that have come out of it.
DWM: Is there any one app, program or technology that you’ve found the most helpful?
MR: Slack! I am all about collaboration and Slack helps you interact with everyone in the company without having to send an email. My entire team is remote, so it’s very important to maintain communication and collaborate as a team. With Slack, you can chat, share documents, sync it with Google Drive, Salesforce, and any number of other tools. It helps both for internal-to-the-team communication and communication with our sales reps and the organization at large. Even some of our customers are using Slack.
DWM: How have you found managing a remote team?
MR: We communicate and collaborate a lot — which is important for any team. In addition to everyone being on Slack, I hold weekly team calls. I’m always available to my team if they need anything. I also think it’s important for us to get together in person at least once a year. The whole team gets together at our sales kickoff event, and we host a corporate marketing team meeting at headquarters and all the field marketing managers join in person.
Being remote, we have to make sure to always keep ourselves engaged with corporate marketing to ensure we are tied in to the overall strategy, but I think that being in the field helps us stay focused. We’re partnered very closely with the sales reps within our territory, so we are not isolated. In this day and age more and more organizations have remote workers, so it's becoming the norm.
DWM: What is the biggest challenge you see corporate event professionals facing today?
MR: Becoming disconnected from the business. It’s easy to get lost in logistics, but what you are providing the organization is a platform for developing key business relationships, new sales opportunities, and nurturing existing customer accounts.
DWM: What would you recommend to an event manager who hasn’t had much exposure to or interaction with field marketing and sales?
MR: Try to build a relationship with the sales team. If you sit at a corporate events level —especially if you work at a large organization — you are far removed from the actual people in the field. So I think it's super important to build those relationships, at least with the regional sales directors, to really understand the pain points that sales and the customers are experiencing. What can you do to help them?
If you know what sales is going through and what the customers are saying, you’ll be a better marketer and you can also deliver better results.
Some simple examples include:
- Before the event: Providing sales with an event registration list so they can set up any one-on-one meetings. Communicate to the field sales team what is taking place at the event.
- Post-event, it’s all about closing the loop. After the event is over, provide a recap of what was done at the event that the sales team will care about —highlight some of the key accounts who stopped by and what is the follow-up plan for the leads
DWM: If you could give a single piece of advice to event managers who want to advance their careers, what would it be?
MR: Become a full stack marketer and learn other areas of marketing. This will make YOU more marketable and make your work that much more impactful. And don’t forget to measure the impact of what you are doing — track the pipeline over a period of time to help you justify your budget and make a business case for doing more or less.
DWM: When you are not busy working and traveling, what do you like to do for fun?
MR: Any free time I get I try to spend with my family. I have two kids so spending time with them is pretty much my hobby, as well as spending time with my husband and friends.
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