Gail Mercer-MacKay from Mercer-MacKay Solution dives deep into aspects ranging from creating content, to analysing results, to running every kind of event from online to in-person, to managing multiple types of technologies.
“Don’t focus on the technology per se, but focus on the transformation for your customer”
1. Tell us about your role at Mercer-MacKay Solutions?
I am the Founder and CEO – my role is to help guide our company as we innovate with new products and services that combine data with storytelling to help our clients market more effectively.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I have been in the tech sector my entire career and I was always fascinated the most by the stories – what people and businesses were using technology for. When I left my last position as VP Sales and Marketing for a software company, I decided I wanted to start a marketing agency that focussed on telling stories of transformation.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading marketing sector?
Today every marketing agency needs to be data-driven. There are stories in the data that inform us how our marketing is working and we need to be able to understand and interpret those stories. We have a Chief Data Officer here at Mercer-MacKay and are hiring highly skilled data analysts and architects to help us build better solutions for clients.
4. How has digitalization contributed in bringing content marketing in the mainstream of marketing strategies?
Really it was the internet that flipped how buyers approach the market and created a new buyer’s journey. Because buyers can learn about products and services on their own without ever speaking to a sales representative, organizations need to generate high quality content that will connect with these buyers at every stage of their journey. And because technology is always changing, the content needs to change too.
5. How does your digital story telling platform helps marketers?
Marketers are incredibly busy – especially at technology companies where the products and services evolve at such a fast pace. What we are seeing today is that all companies – big and small – don’t have enough marketing people to do everything they need to do. We also see that marketers are being asked to have a wide variety of skills and knowledge – everything from creating content, to analysing results, to running every kind of event from online to in-person, to managing multiple types of technologies, and ultimately to drive high quality leads on a regular basis. Our platform – when it is fully rolled out – is designed to help marketers build thought-leadership driven marketing campaigns. That is everything from creating a high performing eBook or blog post, right through to running and analysing an online campaign. We want it to be so simple that a company could hire an intern right out of college, point them to our platform and say “use this to build a full thought leadership campaign including emails, web pages, lead forecasting and analysis, blogs, etc.” and they could do it.
6. Do you think that the visual contents are more appealing than plain written content?
We love a mix in our content. We use colour, images, headlines, various text sizes, video, bullets and more to make any single piece of content stand out for the reader.
7. What features of your content marketing platform differentiates it in the market?
One of the features that will make it unique when it is fully rolled out will be our AI/ML elements which will inform marketers where they have gaps and where they need to create additional content and on what topics. We will also be able to predict how many leads they should expect on a given topic based on how prevalent that topic is showing up in online discussions.
8. What advice would you like to give to the technology Start Ups?
Tell your stories.
Don’t focus on the technology per se, but focus on the transformation for your customer.
9. What is the Digital innovation in sales technology according to you that will mark 2020?
I think sales people have to become more adept at social selling – at developing and deepening online relationships to a much greater extent than they have done so in the past.
10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
As I mentioned earlier, our agency is hiring data scientists as well as writers, graphic designers and videographers. Being able to understand the story that is in the data is a critical skill for marketers. Being able to find stories in data before the rest of the world can find them will be a competitive leg up for any company. It will help them innovate and build products and solutions that will be in demand before their competitors even know there is a problem.
11. What are the major developments you are planning, in recent time?
We are very focussed on continuing to develop our marketing platform. We released it with only one module – the Microsoft awards preparation module – simply to test the water. The reaction has been fantastic and we have been very pleased with how the community has responded to using this. Our goal is to release more modules over the summer with a full launch in the fall.
12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
I have the most incredible team. We select people for their knowledge and capabilities but even more so for their attitude. Attitude is something that is difficult to teach and we need people who are collaborative and empathetic. Those are some of the most important skills that we value here.
We have no attrition which is pretty amazing for a marketing agency. We have a focus on wellness – that is the wellness of the individual, their family and the company as a whole. All of these things help people be their best and when people are at their best, we can all support each other.
13. What movie inspires you the most?
I have been inspired by so many movies but in today’s world of social distancing, I guess I would have to say “Guardians of the Galaxy”. It is a funny adventure comedy that brings together a diverse group of people who figure out how to work together to get an important job done. That is what we try and do here. Come together to reach a common goal and have some fun along the way.
14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Audible, Facebook, NetFlix, Kindle, WhatsApp, Messenger, Camera, Outlook email