• Transform magazine
  • November 29, 2021

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Transforming an established brand into a future-focused force

Paul Stoddart

Leveraging on his experience reinvigorating B2B brands, Paul Stoddart, CMO of software corporation Epicor, shares three top tips on how to drive successful brand transformation.

When I started at Epicor around a year ago, the organisation had been transforming. Our CEO, Steve Murphy, had joined the company just a few years earlier, and was driving exciting change.

We had a great foundation in that our customers loved our technology and we were growing as a business. Even with these advantages, evolving an established brand and implementing change for growth can be tricky.

It was this challenge that brought me to Epicor: the opportunity to create a transformative marketing organisation for a company with 50 years of heritage and a focus on leading our customers into the future.

It’s not an easy task, and marketing leaders must become accustomed to being disruptive and assertive to drive transformation – all in a way that takes the organisation to its desired place, even if it means challenging a comfortable status quo.

If you’re on a similar journey, here are the key things I’ve learned from my decades of experience reinvigorating B2B brands.

Embrace Ambiguity

It’s a human instinct to be risk-averse. Taking an organisation through transformation is challenging, yet change is where we see growth in ourselves and our company. Many exceptional results in my career have happened as a result of change, which is why I’m willing to be the person to drive change for the benefit of an entire organisation. As a visionary leader, don’t be afraid to be challenged, and hold your ground when you have the right data and insights to support a new direction for your business.

Focus on the Individual

Marketers must deeply understand the customer. For CMOs, this means updating the B2B playbook. People aren’t businesses, they are individuals who have a job, and they each have an individual buyer state. B2i is the new playbook for marketers, where everything is focused on the customer and prospect and ensuring you are delivering to their needs. Every brand should connect at a personal level with decision makers to build affinity.

Know your customer as an individual, then convert this intelligence into messages that take them on a journey of understanding. Use simple, jargon-free language and talk to customers about personal requirements, not what you think your product can do for them. In today’s world, we crave kindness and meaningful support from brands more than ever. Building trust means speaking in a way that everyone understands.

Elevate the Team

As a CMO, my role is about creating an unrivalled sense of belonging for our brand that our internal and external community wakes up in the morning excited to be part of, whether they are the CEO, an intern, a prospect, or a customer.

I strive to raise the bar, am willing to be different and challenge convention. Yet, in my career I’ve realised that creating a sustainable brand, is about elevating the people who live and breathe it every single day.