Carolyn Bao, Product Marketing Consultant at Intuit,
is a business executive specialized in product marketing and marketing strategy that drive direct business impact. She is also a featured speaker at The Product School. As a featured speaker, she helps to inspire the next generation of Product Managers to create innovative products and apply the best practices in their work.
The key to staying competitive in a dynamic market is to become indispensable to your customers.
MEDIA 7: Congratulations on being listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Product Marketing Influencers 2020’! What inspired you to get into marketing?
CAROLYN BAO: I’ve always loved stories: reading stories, creating stories, and telling stories. And in marketing, we are ultimately storytellers whose creativity can come to life in many different formats and could bring positive changes to millions of people.
M7: What are your best practices for creating an ideal customer experience at Intuit?
CB: Everything begins with customers. In marketing at Intuit and in my prior leadership roles, anchoring our marketing efforts around customers and their needs has been the best route to success. Identifying who they are, how they are engaging with us, and optimizing each and every touchpoint they might have with our brand, is critical to ensure a consistent end-to-end experience for customers.
Learn foundational knowledge. Network with those who are already doing the job and create a game plan to get the foot into the door. Take the driver’s seat and make it happen.
M7: Given your target audience, what channels do you consider best for technology marketing?
CB: Marketing communication feels like fishing sometimes. Go where the fish is. Based on our target buyer’s media preferences, we create an integrated marketing campaign that distributes our story through key channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, industry media sites, Google PPC, partner sites, and our own website. Studies showed that it takes on average 12+ interactions for a B2B lead to convert into a paying customer. Therefore, it’s critical to plan for a comprehensive content strategy with relevant content for each media platform and guide the prospect through the buyer’s journey with a content mix across top-of-the-funnel, middle-of-the-funnel, and bottom-of-the-funnel.
M7: What do you think is essential to stay competitive in a market that is going through constant digitalization?
CB: The key to staying competitive in a dynamic market is to become indispensable to your customers. Don’t just work on ensuring your customers give you high NPS ratings, but also help them change their usage behavior, so that your product is part of their day-to-day routine.
Just do it. Don’t wait for others to approve if you are worthy or ready. Pursue a marketing career or any other career that your heart is calling for.
M7: What marketing strategies are you are looking forward to implementing in 2021 and why?
CB: Customer marketing and educational marketing. Customer marketing is critical for B2B software because every business deems itself unique. Mass marketing tactics like product usage backed claims might be useful to sell consumer products like hair shampoo, B2B buyers seek assurance from software reviews and success stories by other customers. Therefore, social-proof content is critical to assure would-be customers to evaluate and purchase your product. Additionally, educational marketing can help you establish brand trust with prospects and bridge the gap between your constant streams of new features and your customers’ limited bandwidth to learn and use these new features.
M7: You are also a faculty of entrepreneurship for MBA at Rice University. How do you manage to strike a balance between work and such other commitments?
CB: I believe that while we can’t stretch the length of our lives, we can stretch the width of them. Teaching at Rice is very rewarding because I see how I can impart my hard-earned industry knowledge to hundreds of students and inspire some to pursue entrepreneurship, thanks to the confidence they gained from taking our course. When you work on something you love, you don’t feel tired. So, I prioritize the time I spend on teaching when I’m allocating the time that would be spent on other hobbies. Ask me about oil painting, or maybe not. My paint is almost dried out.
M7: What is your advice to young women considering a career in marketing?
CB: Just do it. Don’t wait for others to approve if you are worthy or ready. Pursue a marketing career or any other career that your heart is calling for. Learn foundational knowledge. Network with those who are already doing the job and create a game plan to get the foot into the door. Take the driver’s seat and make it happen.
I had always wished that I was working in marketing when I started my first job as an office clerk. By attending to MBA program at Emory University, thanks to the mentorship from leaders that I respect and by never giving up on my dream, I finally carved my way into marketing and never regretted it.
Intuit Inc. is an American business and financial software company that develops and sells financial, accounting, and tax preparation software and related services for small businesses, accountants, and individuals. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California and the CEO is Sasan Goodarzi.