Tricia Gellman AMA: Building a Lasting Brand at Drift

Marketing today looks very different than it did even just 10 years ago. New technologies and the rise of digital channels have completely changed the playbook. We had the pleasure of hosting Tricia Gellman, former CMO of Drift, Checkr, and Salesforce Canada who’s successfully navigated these trends.

Building a Brand - Act Bigger than You Are

In the early days of any company, you have to focus on building your brand and acting bigger than you are. This means investing in content, social media, PR and other channels the way a bigger company would.

 When she was at Livebooks (a bit like Wix or Squarespace today), she coordinated partnerships with some of the best photographers in the world and bought the biggest booth spaces at tradeshows. She also bought print ads that only Canon and Nikon were buying.

Align all Marketing Activities to Business Goals

While building a brand is crucial, Tricia was also adamant that marketing must tie back to real business goals. At the end of the day, marketing needs to drive pipeline and revenue. Any activity, no matter how early in the funnel, should ultimately impact the bottom line. 

To enable this, it’s critical to break down high level goals into specific measurable objectives for each team. Regular check-ins on how daily sales and marketing tasks map back to broader success metrics keep everyone aligned.

Test Non Conventional Channels

One of her favorite campaigns centers around the wives of truck drivers. The marketing lead of a company selling to truck drivers realized that they always drive with their wives in the passenger seat, so she deliberately targeted them with instagram ads during driving hours.

Really think creatively about where your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) lives. Microsoft’s Bing is an extremely undersaturated channel for b2b because people don’t think of it as a top search engine, but plenty of default browsers are sent to Bing.

Let Data Guide Your Decisions

When you first start, you need to have a high cadence of content and campaigns in the market, so you can see what gainst ration. Today’s martech solutions provide troves of data to tap into. Data identifies what message resonates, where to allocate budget and resources, and how to optimize activities. 

How AI is Disrupting Marketing

Every team  has struggled to find the resources to execute great campaigns. AI automates tedious tasks like asset production, tagging campaigns, and reporting which allows teams to focus on more strategic initiatives. AI can also enable more personalized, optimized campaigns through its ability to generate content variations tailored to different segments and channels. Lastly, AI helps your entire team be more data driven - everyone across the funnel can easily see how what they’re doing impacts the bottom line.

While AI provides new capabilities, Tricia stressed that customer-centricity and the need for human understanding of target personas can’t get lost. AI makes marketing as a career much more exciting because young marketers can be strategic sooner. Most people get into marketing because they want to see a cool billboard or social campaign, not doing all the manual operations work that goes into executing a campaign.


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