Meet the Marketer | Aug 2022

Yaya Selva, Global Marketing Director at a Global B2B Tech Company

”The most important task for a marketing department is actually getting the trust that it can drive sales. It’s gone from coloring books and balloons and fluffiness to data-driven sales.”

In order to understand the ever-changing climate of marketing and adapt to the rapid shifts, we wanted to understand the marketers of tomorrow and to benchmark the leaders of today. We wanted to learn about their mindsets, but also to shine a light on the marketer. This is an interview series where we present leaders within marketing, creating a forum for them to speak their thoughts and share insights for the marketers of tomorrow.

Yaya Selva, Global Marketing Director at Net Insight, talks about navigating a digital shift in a conservative industry and how marketing departments must focus on proving their value to drive sales. Yaya has been a marketer in a variety of industries, and recently made the shift from working in B2C SaaS to becoming the Global Marketing Director at B2B media/tech company Net Insight.

What’s been your experience going from B2C into a high-complexity B2B company like Net Insight?

Before joining Net Insight I was working in a B2C company. I learned that the biggest source for lead generation was trade shows and that a large part of the marketing budget was dedicated to this. This was a surprise for me, coming from B2C and SaaS, where we spent most of our budget on digital marketing. These trade shows are still important in our industry, but for both marketing and sales, we have had to adapt to the changing landscape.

Where you meet your customers in their sales cycle has changed. Now, they have already researched what they want to buy, and when they contact you it’s because they are trying to decide who to choose – not get information.

You have worked across a lot of different industries, what insights do you bring with you?

Something I bring with me from having worked in several different industries with a marketing role is that every company is on the same journey. B2C, where I started, have come much further on that journey than B2B companies, which still rely on person-to-person communication. This has changed a lot lately, and B2B industries are starting to catch up. We all need to get on the tram and work fast in meeting customers on their terms.

What challenges have you faced with digital transformation?

As a marketer hired in the last five years, your requirements are actually related to how good you are at digital transformation. But achieving a shift in culture is not easy. The hardest part of a digital transformation is the notion that “this is not how we’re done this before”. But after the pandemic, nothing is like before.

How do sales and marketing work together in Net Insight?

​​In our organization, sales and marketing is one department working towards the same goal as one team. The most important objective for a marketing department is to get the trust that they can drive sales. Marketing has gone from coloring books and balloons to data-driven sales. This needs to be spoken about, we are not buying balloons, we are driving sales. We are spearheading this approach within our industry, where we see the pipeline all the way from marketing data and activities to sales. Sales see an impact when they can convert marketing leads into business opportunities, this insight lets us work with data is shifting to benefit both departments.

What are your tips to aspiring marketers?

The marketing role is expanding, so you will benefit from covering more bases. Don’t be scared to be a “tech nerd” if you want to work in tech – it’ll be hard to lift the offering of your company if you don’t have at least some technical knowledge. Another thing is to not be scared to fail. One of the benefits of digital marketing is that you can test in seconds and learn fast what works best.