0 upvotes 0 discussions

Please help us to congratulate Laura Patterson!

selected as one of 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech - 2018.

Please take a moment to celebrate Laura!

By sharing her accomplishment, you're not only amplifying the collective voice of brilliant, deserving women — you are also reinforcing your support for women, in all workplaces and all industries, around the world.



Women in Martech

To kick off our Women in Martech Series, and to be considered one of 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech - 2018, we asked women to provide their thoughts in three areas: Career, Martech in Practice and Women in Martech.

Women in Martech is a weekly series, beginning in January 2018, based on the thoughts, advice and opinions of real women about marketing and marketing technology.

Subscribe to the Women in Martech series:

Here’s what Laura had to say!

Did you have a mentor? Who was it and how did they help you succeed?

I’ve been fortunate throughout my life to have benefitted from several phenomenal mentors. Of particular note is R. Gary Daniels, a distinguished engineer, who served at the helm of the Microcontroller business in the Motorola Semiconductor organization and later in a pivotal role for the group.

I worked for him 11 of my 14 years at Motorola. This length of time made a valuable difference.

Gary served as both a mentor and a champion. He encouraged me to take risks, gave me opportunities to contribute and learn, and helped me navigate internal challenges. I believe he was willing to take on this role and invest his time and reputation because he recognized my personal commitment/passion, quality work and the desire for continuous improvement.

Eight lessons from Gary that have served me well to this day include:

  1. Customers first!  
  2. Treat everyone well and be responsive.
  3. Be a resourceful problem solver.
  4. Ask for forgiveness not permission.
  5. Say You Can and figure out how.
  6. Shoulder more than your share.
  7. Do more than “your job.”
  8. Worry less about seeking and receiving credit.
  9. Have a voracious appetite to learn everything there is to learn about the business.

What are the most common misconceptions about martech?

Econsultancy found that that 51 percent of organizations use 21 or more martech solutions. And both of these statistics are expected to rise in 2018. 

According to the Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics study, nearly 60 percent of marketers say they don’t get the most out of the martech they already have

Worse yet, while martech now accounts for one quarter to one third of a marketing organization’s budget, fewer than 50 percent of martech implementations are deemed successful

It is a misconception to believe that software alone will solve a problem.

Martech are power tools. Power tools can help you do something easier and faster, but they will not magically fix something that is broken.

It is as unlikely that a martech solution that automates an outdated or flawed process will fix the process. And a tool that creates a dashboard constructed of irrelevant metrics is of no value.

These initial three steps will help you achieve a successful implementation and realize the full ROI of your martech:

1. Shore up your skills.

Knowing how to do something well manually makes for more successful usage of a tool. Similar to sanding wood. If you can do a great job sanding with sandpaper, then you are more likely to get a good result with a power sander.

If you don’t know how to sand, then chances are you will damage the wood with the power sander, resulting in time lost and rework. This idea applies to any martech.

When you have the right skills (data, analytics, modeling, performance measurement and process/operations) and skill level, you will be able to configure the tool properly from the start, understand what other tools it needs to work with, minimizing the potential for rework and misspent time.

2. Close gaps before selecting.

Make sure your data, analytics, metrics, processes/operations are “Best in Class” before you buy and deploy martech.

Map your key processes, especially those you intend to automate. These may include your planning, reporting, customer journey mapping, content creation, opportunity management, data management, asset management, resource management processes and so on.

Often your process maps will reveal gaps. Data, or some process re-engineering may be required to close these gaps.

3. Complete a data inventory.

Almost every martech solution requires data as part of the implementation, and again you may have gaps to fill. When your marketing data is relevant, you can excel at analytics and measurement, and your processes are effective and efficient.

Do you think the intersection of marketing and technology is currently having or will have an impact on women in the industry? How so?

Yes, the intersection has, and will have, a great impact on women.  

Women represent a large portion of the marketing profession, 70 percent of the marketing workforce (this includes all levels within all marketing functions).

Far fewer women, about 30 percent are in martech roles. Yet, the martech space is growing around 16 percent annually. And, in a study sponsored by SAP and the Technical University of Munich, 64 percent of respondents “rather disagreed” or “strongly disagreed” with the statement that they currently had enough personnel with the right skills to lead the digital transformation of the firm. 

Additionally, nearly all marketing leaders (95 percent) report they’ve been negatively impacted—from productivity loss to bottom-line impact—by the lack of qualified talent. Clearly, martech represents an amazing opportunity for many marketers, and especially for so many of the women in marketing.


Marketing experience is critically important to the successful implementation of martech. Being able to bring a marketing context increases the potential for martech to create value.

So, why is the percentage of women in martech so low?

My take is that martech requires more hard science skills which women have traditionally shied away from. When I speak to undergraduate classes where I talk about how important data, analytics and process are to the marketer’s skill set/tool kit, I frequently hear that “if I wanted to do math, I wouldn’t have gone into marketing.”  

Women in marketing, not just martech, who want to climb the ladder must excel in data, analytics, modeling, performance measurement and process/operations so we can be smarter with the tools not just “users” of the tools.

For example, a strong background in hard sciences, enables us to produce testable predictions, perform controlled experiments, rely on quantifiable data and develop mathematical models and apply the scientific method.

Additionally, we must demonstrate competency in project management, process mapping, change management and talent management.

We can do it!

Other challenges

When it comes to shiny toys, Marketers can’t seem to help themselves. Influencer Marketing, ABM (account-based Marketing), new twists on well-established ideas, and now Artificial Intelligence (AI) are the sirens beckoning today’s marketers. There is a dear price to pay for the shiny toy addiction.

Despite all the advances in technology and analytics, the Transforming Marketing Through Technology and Analytics study echoed the results of many studies, the most difficult marketing challenge is “quantifying the effects that marketing efforts have on new sales revenue, or creating/quantifying the most efficient cross-channel mix possible to drive results.”

Recent articles echo this theme and highlight the risk marketers face when they succumb to the lure of a shiny toys:

  • “Poorly selected, under-performing or underused martech forces reliance on manual processes, which hurts marketing efficiency and effectiveness. The time has come for marketing to show its financial management credentials, proving it can grow the business while making hard choices.”— Gartner's CMO Spend Survey 2017-2018
  • “Senior marketers are not placing enough emphasis on strategic goals of their organization’s and too much on tactical activities.”— 2017 study by Xaxis in partnership with The Economist
  • “Be careful not to place too much emphasis on inputs. Prioritize outputs — your revenue, your customer value — but more importantly, the performance imperative should be your top priority as you’re planning for the year ahead."— MarTech Today - 5 marketing technology trends CMOs need to master for 2018

Given the situation, it’s understandable that the C-Suite is scrutinizing marketing investments of all kinds, from memberships and training to new technology.

This is especially true for martech expenditures, which now represents almost a quarter of enterprise marketing budgets, since the promise of the investment often fails to materialize.

Even so, martech adoption is expected to rise by double-digits in 2018 as will with the amount of dollars it will consume of the marketing budget.  

The real challenge is not selecting and implementing martech. The challenge is to connect marketing investments and activities to business results and prove marketing’s value, contribution and impact.

Lack of alignment and accountability affects marketing’s credibility and influence in the C-Suite. Marketing cannot secure an expense budget, add talent, or stay abreast of new developments if the C-Suites doesn’t believe in you. Hence the recent prediction by Forrester that CMOs face being replaced by Chief Growth Officers.

To be relevant, marketers must:

  1. lead the growth mandate
  2. create more value for customers and
  3. improve performance.

Be sure to read 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech - 2018 and sign up to receive the Women in Martech series.