In late 2011 Vocus welcomed Jason Jue as Chief Marketing Officer. In this interview Jason talks about the undeniable convergence of PR and marketing, what social media metric is most undervalued by many PR and marketing professionals, where marketers should invest for 2013 and his vision for Vocus.
Tell us a little bit about your background and what excites you most about joining Vocus?
Prior to Vocus, I was Vice President of Marketing at Rackspace and had several executive positions at Dell in the US and Asia, marketing to businesses. Vocus offers software to businesses in every market sector and size that want to reach and influence buyers.
I’m excited about sharing with businesses how easily our products work wonders for our current customers. Some of the leading marketing consultants such as Sirius Decisions and MarketingSherpa use our products to maximize their online publicity.
For some people, Vocus is synonymous with Public Relations software. Can you speak to how and when Vocus first expanded to offering marketing solutions?
We have always believed PR to be a core part of “promoting a product or service” or marketing. Many customers who buy our PR software have a marketing title, and we’ve recently seen faster growth in this group. These customers use our social media and PRWeb news release features of our PR software. For them, we created a cloud marketing suite which integrates search, publicity, and social media marketing. Our cloud marketing suite was the most successful product launch in Vocus history, and will be even better when it includes email later this year.
Do you see PR and marketing professionals as two separate audiences? Or are they converging disciplines?
In marketing teams that have PR and marketing professionals, we continue to see them as two audiences with different product needs, although their roles are converging, especially around social media. PR professionals are using social media for brand positioning. Marketing professionals use social media for lead gen. Meanwhile, for the millions of businesses who have few, if any marketers at all, the marketing functions blend together.
Use your crystal ball and give us a glimpse into the future. How will the Vocus offering change over the next 2 years? Where do you see the most opportunity for growth?
The future of marketing is simple and powerful integrated campaigns. Every marketing team realizes that when working together on unified and integrated campaigns, lead generation and brand perception results are much better than working alone.
I know that sounds like a pipe dream as marketing complexity has increased to address the everywhere all the time customer. Today’s customers are constantly switching back and forth from website, news, social, search, email, and mobile. To add confusion, each specialty has their marketing tools resulting in silos and disjointed communication.
In the near future, marketers will be able to buy cloud marketing software to easily manage integrated campaigns. It will incorporate the trendy with the tried-and-true tactics of marketing The essential elements will work together for better results in lead generation and brand perception. And, it will recommend how and when to engage with prospects and customers.
Seem unbelievable? I think it’s unbelievable that it hasn’t already happened. In the past 15 years, every corporate function, from marketing to sales to HR, has seen a proliferation of technology tools. Marketing is the only function without a major product suite. IBM is doing it for large enterprise marketing. We are integrating all the important marketing tools into a cloud marketing suite so every business, large and small, can easily achieve big results .
Staying on social for a moment, what is one social metric that you think may be most overlooked by PR and marketing professionals alike? On the flip side, any stat that you view as overvalued?
The most important social media metric is how many people actively recommend your product or service. I think the most overvalued metrics are fans, followers, and likes.
As 2012 is well underway, what is one investment you think marketers must make in order to succeed the rest of the year and into 2013? (i.e. invest in mobile marketing)
Focus on marketing fundamentals that will dramatically accelerate growth. Who is your target customer? What product or service should you develop for them? How should you promote to them? Why should they buy from you?
Then, find the best product for you that simplifies all the marketing tactics and trends. This product will then let you focus on the marketing fundamentals.