GE Digital Stays on Top of Martech Trends

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Neenu Sharma

Marketers’ responsibilities for choosing and buying technology are increasing every year. This makes it essential to stay on top of the latest trends in martech.

While GE is 125 years old, GE Digital is comparatively new, notes Neenu Sharma, vice president of product and marketing operations at GE Digital. The group was started internally by about 20 people in 2011 and was officially dubbed GE Digital in 2015. It now has 26,000 employees.

At the MarTech Boston conference in October, Sharma noted that some of the technology GE Digital is working with was inherited from other parts of the organization. For example, there were already CRM and marketing automation systems in place, but there were key needs to be fulfilled. And, GE had several instances of the same technology. It’s a continuing journey to consolidate those into one that works across the organization. “It always comes back to strategy and integration,” she says.

It made the most sense to figure out strategy first, Sharma notes, and then determine what tools were needed. Once those were selected, the next hurdle was actually getting people to embrace that technology.

“We put the process before the technology, but we didn’t have the luxury of implementing things that would pay out in two to three year’s time,” says Sharma, a featured speaker at Chief Marketer’s recent virtual event on 2018 marketing trends. “We needed to show quick wins.”

There was a significant need to personalize the buying experience for different segments of its audience. “We had to how to figure out how to get that learning and personalize new journeys for different buyers,” Sharma notes. “That meant we needed to focus on the right analytics solutions.”

There were several key questions the company asked itself, including what they wanted to spend, what was needed to support specific products or geographic locations, and what high-performing areas could use more resources.

Along the way, Sharma realized that demonstrating stewardship about how it allocated budget for martech expenses helped them get more resources. Transactional conversations can be painful, she says, but showing good stewardship can be beneficial to marketers. “Very quickly, we realized that we needed to change the conversation with finance and make them part of the decision making process.”

The entire organization needs to be on the same page for success, says Sharma. “How do you think about data? How do you define what a customer is? What is a complete contact? You need to get the entire organization speaking in a common language.”

Neenu Sharma was a featured speaker at Chief Marketer’s recent virtual conference “5 Marketing Trends to Bet On in 2018.” Click here to register and watch on-demand.


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