54: Story-Driven Content Marketing That Drives Leads

Guest: Connie O'Brien CMO, Tungsten Network

In her role as CMO of Tungsten Network – a leading global supply chain enabler – Connie O’Brien has taken on a huge task: she’s spearheading the first content marketing campaign for the company in a very long time, and she’s focusing on friction to do it.

How so? Through the collaborative efforts of a handful of agencies, including Renegade, it was discovered that one of the main places the accounts payable process experiences difficulties is through the friction that exists in the systems and processes involved. So the team Connie assembled set out to discover, from customers and prospects alike, where the key points of friction were and what could be done to smooth out those problems. THAT positioned Tungsten to custom-tailor solutions to the exact problems the marketplace was experiencing.

This conversation is a quick but deep dive into the process the team at Tungsten spearheaded to discover what customers really felt about the frustrations they were experiencing in their accounts payable process, address those concerns effectively, then use content marketing to get the word out about those solutions.

Connie’s brilliance is obvious in this conversation, as is her humility and desire to give credit where credit is due – to her team. Enjoy.

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What You’ll Learn

  • [0:30] Urban gardening and content marketing: both require experimentation & work
  • [2:54] Who is Connie O’Brien?
  • [8:43] What Tungsten Networks does and what got them onto their current content marketing approach
  • [12:18] Engaging employees as advocates for the company on social media
  • [14:56] The decision to talk to customers in an unfiltered way
  • [17:32] The creation of the Friction Finder customer feedback and diagnostic tool
  • [19:51] How Connie manages a multi-agency team for content marketing
  • [23:10] Integrating storytelling into her content marketing strategy
  • [25:03] The difficulty of measuring the value of the campaign effectively
  • [28:23] The primary lessons Connie has learned: Listen & Watch Results
  • [30:02] A quick summary of what Tungsten did and the results so far

It’s not easy to get unfiltered feedback from customers or prospects, but Tungsten Network figured out a way to do it.

One of the primary things that enables effective customer analysis is the power of an honest answer from the end user. Those kinds of answers aren’t easy to get because not only do people simply want to be “nice” when asked direct questions about service and satisfaction, they also can’t always remember the details of their frustrations on the spot. That’s why Tungsten Network went about it a different way – by creating a free tool that offered real value to people they wanted to hear from, whether they were customers or not. It’s called the Friction Finder, and in less than 2 minutes it allows you to assess the extent of the friction in your accounts payable process and provides actionable insights into what you can do about it. That saves you time, money, and eliminates a lot of stress. Find out more by hearing Connie’s description of how Tungsten’s extended team came up with the idea, how they implemented it, and the kind of results it’s provided.

The “official” social media marketing your company is doing may not be enough. Here’s how Connie O’Brien engaged employees to compound the company’s efforts

When you stop to think about the way social media marketing works you’ll quickly realize it’s about a couple of things: compelling content, shared broadly. Each of those has its own challenges, but the broad sharing feels like something you as a CMO or marketing leader can’t really control. Or is it? Connie O’Brien realized that some of her best advocates for the company’s new campaign were the people working on it – her employees. In this conversation, Connie shares how employee involvement on social media helped the campaign’s reach and how she was able to get them to buy-in and be involved. As a result, the company’s ability to do effective customer analysis was increased dramatically. You don’t want to miss this part of the conversation.

Managing a multi-agency team effectively in order to reach the goal of better customer analysis is tricky business

As part of the team that came alongside Tungsten Network to build the Friction Finder content marketing campaign, we here at Renegade saw first-hand what it takes to manage a multi-agency team, and Connie O’Brien did so beautifully. During this conversation, she admitted the challenge but also pointed out that it’s much easier when you work alongside true professionals who know their piece of the puzzle backward and forwards. The end result? Tungsten was able to do the kind of customer analysis needed to create the solutions their prospects needed, and sales are climbing. Listen to the entire conversation. There’s a little bit of something for every company that’s looking to up its content marketing game.

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Resources & People Mentioned

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Meet the Guest

Connie O’Brien is the CMO of UK-based Tungsten Network. As CMO, Connie is responsible for the Tungsten brand and ensuring the firm is at the forefront of the digital transformation of the purchase-to-pay process, with a focus on how we delight our customers through automated, scalable, dynamic and personalized experiences.

Connie joined Tungsten from Affinion Group, an international membership and loyalty company where she was Chief Digital Officer. She has over twenty years’ experience driving digital marketing strategies for businesses, and has delivered campaigns for brands including GlaxoSmithKline, P&G, Kraft Foods, AXA, John Hancock, AT&T, Vonage, and Verizon.

Connie is an innovative executive with an exceptional record of building award-winning integrated experiences across channels. She has expert multi-dimensional skills in strategy development, product launches and cross-functional team building. Connie has also demonstrated a proven ability to align operations, establish shared vision, recruit and retain top talent, build collaborative teams and instill focus on shareholder value creation.

Quotes from Connie O'Brien

  • It's really important to bring everyone to the table - hearing the same message, being consistent around collaboration and roles, and rewarding good ideas.
  • What we decided to do was to talk to our customers. We have a lot of data that's at our fingertips based on various research companies in the marketplace, but we needed to gather more unfiltered input.
  • In a testing methodology, it doesn't matter whether something's black or blue, uses the word “used” or “utilized.” What matters is what the results are.

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