ROI, The Future of Social Advertising, and Travel Photography — Or What Gets Salesforce.com's Product Marketing Manager Up In the Morning

Part of a new blog series featuring "Real Moments with Marketers"

February 5, 2015

What makes today’s top B2B marketers tick?

They may have created the latest viral video or increased MQLs by 10X or wrote the best thought leadership white paper ever, but who are they—really? Introducing our new Customer Blog Series—Real Moments with Marketers—where we interview leading marketers about how they got their start in this field, their biggest successes and challenges at work and in life, and what gets them up in the morning.

For our first interview, I sat down with Zachary Reiss-Davis, a leader on the product marketing team at Salesforce.com, where they have seen a jump in qualified leads and ROI with LinkedIn. Before Salesforce, Zack was an analyst at Forrester Research writing about social advertising and influencer and advocate platforms. He has always loved helping people understand new markets and ways to engage with their customers.

Q&A with Zachary Reiss-Davis, Product Marketing Manager, Salesforce.com

LinkedIn (Cori): So Zack, where are you from?

Zachary: I’m actually born and raised in the Bay Area. I grew up 10 miles from where I live today.

LinkedIn (Cori): Very nice, me too. Silicon Valley nerds unite. Where do you work now?

Zachary: Social.com. Our parent company is Salesforce, and its mission is to make the customer journey more customer centric and build a customer success platform to help companies manage their relationships with their customers. Advertising is a key part of that journey, and at social.com we help advertisers manage and scale their campaigns on the major social platforms.

LinkedIn (Cori): That’s great. What really excites you about your job?

Zachary: Getting the opportunity to help my clients shape the future of social advertising.

LinkedIn (Cori): Social advertising? As in, advertising through social channels to reach a target audience - awesome. Where do you think social advertising is going?

Zachary: Social advertising is evolving to be much more personalized and focused on concrete business results. Advertisers are treating different social channels as distinct from each other and refining their advertising so that each channel, including LinkedIn, has a unique roll to play in the marketing mix.

LinkedIn (Cori): LinkedIn would agree. Hey Zack, let’s switch gears here. Give me one word that describes you as a marketer?

Zachary: Curious. I chose curious because one of the most important things for a marketer today is discovering not just what works but why it works and how we can be more successful at communicating our messages.

LinkedIn (Cori): Speaking of curious, we’re curious, why did you get into marketing?

Zachary: I got into marketing because I thought it was really important to help communicate VALUE to customers. Products can’t really succeed in a vacuum; they have to succeed in the context of what a customer is looking for.

LinkedIn (Cori): Do you remember how old you were when your marketing light bulb switched on?

Zachary: I don’t think you can quantify that type of thing. It’s more about finding a fit that you’re really passionate about and enjoying doing it every day.

LinkedIn (Cori): Let’s get back to your work at Salesforce.com. What are you using LinkedIn for?

Zachary: Salesforce is having a lot of success with Sponsored Updates as a way of promoting content to a highly specific group of people that is difficult to reach in any other channel.

LinkedIn (Cori): What made you choose LinkedIn?

Zachary: For us, LinkedIn has provided a really unique way to communicate with only the right audience. We have the opportunity to only advertise to directors, VPs and C-suite executives or any relevant stakeholder accurately in specific lines of business and in specific industries that we are trying to target.

LinkedIn (Cori): How has it changed your business? Any stats you can share with us?

Zachary: It has been extremely successful for us in driving new leads for Salesforce and we’ve actually found in a recent study in the first half of 2014, that we’re getting a 749% ROI on our Sponsored Updates investment, in terms of revenue pipeline we’ve acquired through these LinkedIn campaigns.

LinkedIn (Cori): Thank you Zack. This success is no doubt a result of really understanding and targeting your audience while offering compelling content throughout the buyer’s journey. Let’s wrap it up with a forward-thinking question. What are your thoughts on the future of B2B marketing?

Zachary: B2B marketing is evolving from a pure lead gen funnel to a much more complex customer journey where the customer is much more in control of determining their own path from discovery to adoption of your products.

LinkedIn (Cori): And lastly, what wouldn’t we know about you from your LinkedIn profile?

Zachary: I am a passionate photographer and in my spare time, I love backpacking and traveling internationally (while snapping photos).

LinkedIn (Cori): Zack, thanks again for spending the afternoon with us and kicking off this blog series.

Zachary: My pleasure!

To learn more about how Salesforce.com and social.com are using LinkedIn to drive B2B marketing ROI with Sponsored Updates, join us for a live webinar next Monday, February 9th at 11am PST. Sign up today!  

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