IDG CMO Perspectives: Loren Jarrett, CMO, Progress

By:
10/04/2018
IDG CMO Perspectives

A roll-up-your-sleeves mentality, combined with AI-powered technology, deliver the right marketing mix at Progress.

 

As a provider of application development tools and technologies, Progress fully understands the importance of speed and scale in helping developers get new applications to market. Progress’ marketing organization, led by CMO Loren Jarrett, operates under the same guiding principles.

“We are a lean team, but we also want to scale to meet the demands of the business,” Jarrett said in a recent CMO Perspectives interview at IDG’s Framingham, Mass., headquarters. “So for us, it’s about adopting a test/learn/iterate mentality. This has enabled us to be more flexible and more responsive to the needs of the market, and the end product is much better.”

Scale and agility are not the only areas where marketing mirrors the business. Progress has infused its portfolio of development tools with AI and machine learning functions that enable developers to add cognitive capabilities to a variety of applications; its NativeChat platform recently was named best chatbot solution. Jarrett’s marketing team has also embraced AI to create an automated, multi-touch attribution platform that uses machine learning to more accurately gauge which marketing tactics are driving business.

“We’re getting much more fine-grained about ROI by attributing the correct level of success to individual tactics across the funnel,” she explains. Jarrett’s team is also using Progress AI technology to personalize website content to create a “best-next” experience for different customer segments. “The potential for AI is huge, and we’re just at the beginning,” she says.

Human capital, of course, remains critical to the marketing team’s success. Since joining Progress nearly two years ago, Jarrett has been assembling a team of “doers”. “We roll our sleeves up, myself included,” she says. “This has created a very high-energy, collaborative environment, and our skills stay fresh because everyone’s doing the work every day.”

Marketing efforts are critical for engaging with the developer community as well as Progress’ extensive roster of independent software vendors (ISVs) and go-to-market partners. “Being part of those communities is really critical,” Jarrett says. Adding value involves everything from developer relations to more targeted content marketing.

“We need to create and provide content where people consume it in a way that allows them to learn, or reach their goals, or find a solution to a problem they might have,” she says. “But we take [content marketing] one step further. Engaging with and contributing to the [developer] communities is every bit as important as the content we provide.”

Progress’ partners contribute to the developer community as well, providing industry expertise that complements messaging about Progress’ technology portfolio. “Their expertise, plus our technologies,” says Jarrett, “deliver something greater for the customer.”

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