Office Hours: I'm the Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco Meraki and was previously VP of Marketing at LiveRamp.Featured

Hi everyone! I’m Rebecca Stone, Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco Meraki. Previously, I was the VP of Marketing at LiveRamp and Senior Director of Demand Generation at DataSift.

I have a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in communications.

Ask me anything about marketing, growth, leadership, and more!

Thanks so much for joining us @rebeccastone!Elphas – please ask @rebeccastone your questions before Friday, July 30th. @rebeccastone may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites πŸ”₯πŸ‘πŸΎβž•
Thank you for taking the time to hosting office hours! I have 2 questions:1. Product-market fit is something talked a lot in VC/founder communities, I wonder how it applies for marketing in mature company that has found product-market fit? 2. What are some trends you're seeing applying data in marketing for enterprise (toB) companies? I found that personalized marketing is often talked about in toC companies, but much less so for toB companies.
Great questions! 1. Product/market fit is a challenge in every company. Meraki was lucky enough to have product/market fit with its early products, but once that happens, every company is challenged to grow the portfolio (and TAM) Some of these additions find their fit, some don’t. Currently we have 3-4 product lines that I would consider mature and six that are in the early stages of that product/market fit cycle. Our biggest challenge, as a marketing team in a larger org, is how you balance between keeping the mature business stable while putting outsized time/budget/effort into the new products. 2. As a self-proclaimed data nerd, particularly given my background in AdTech, I probably have a non-traditional thought process here than many B2Bs. I think segmentation and customized messaging is incredibly important for enterprise marketing. In my opinion, the best marketing is marketing that feels personal. If you authentically understand the challenges your customer face (based on nuances of industry + level in the company + technology) you’re going to get better results!
Thank you so much for your detailed answers, and for taking the time to join us!
Hi Rebecca, thank you for being here! What’s the hardest part of your job as a chief marketing officer? The marketing, leadership, and pace of innovation combined.
Hi Terry. Thanks for the question as it really made me think! There are endless directions I could go with an answer because there are a lot of hard things about being a mom with a demanding job so I'm splitting it into three parts.1) Mentally: The hardest part of the job for me, mentally, is the constant shifting of topics required. I often have to make decisions without all the information I need and the topics I am are asked to weigh in on are so varied that it can be exhausting, which leads me to the second part....2) Physically: In the past year, sitting in front of a computer screen 8 hours a day has been physically hard. When I was in an office I was at least moving from meeting room to meeting room every 30-60 mins, and those few moments of break gave me a chance to reset mentally and physically. Now, I'm just pressing the "join" button between every meeting with no mental or physical break. As a result, I've found that it's really important to carve out the time to move your body. I use what used to be my morning commute time to focus on getting my body moving now but I miss the consistent movement throughout the day. 3) Emotionally: I believe in setting a high bar for the work that my team does. That often means giving someone critical feedback on projects they've worked really hard on. I don't like the idea that I might make someone feel bad, even if, in the long run, it's in everyone's best interest. I've starting using a saying: "your worth is not only your work" that I find helps me, and the person receiving the feedback, to keep our ultimate objective in mind while also staying compassionate and respectful of my team's feelings.
@rebeccastone thanks for your willingness to share your expertise. At Cisco you have a myriad of products to support and market. How do you prioritize which products get priority of resources and how do you think about structuring your team?
Hi Rebecca, excited to have you hosting these office hours! Here is my question: When it comes to your actual role at Cisco Meraki and previous role at LiveRamp, what challenges and strengths does your Demand Generation background present?
Rebecca - Good to see you here! How did you find the transition from LiveRamp to Cisco Meraki? (different audiences, software to hardware..)
Hi Lauren! Good to see you too!I spent 6+ years earlier in my career in marketing optical networking hardware to Telcos, so the switch hasn't been as jarring as it may be to someone without a background in this area. Two areas that I have struggled with are 1) Meraki's heavy reliance on the partner channel. After 10+ years of selling mostly direct to the customer, there's a mental shift involved in marketing thru partners. 2) How do you incorporate some SaaS best practices that I've learned in a hardware first world! I see lots of potential and we've made some positive moves (we have our first software demo on our website!) but cultural resistance is real.
Hi! I'm actually a recent grad from UCSB with a degree in communication and psychology. (Go Gauchos!) Do you have any advice for someone trying to get into marketing?
Congratulations on graduating, Samantha and go Gauchos! After I graduated from college, I also really wanted to get into marketing but I struggled to find a role. No one wanted to hire me with no prior marketing experience (even with some internship and prior office experience). My advice is:1) Be patient and keep trying. I took a receptionist job and worked it for almost 2 years while I kept applying for any entry level jobs with marketing in the title. 2) Look for opportunities to network and build your marketing knowledge. For example: as a former member, I know the UCSB comms Dept has a great Comm Alumni program. Have you reached out to any members or the coordinators to see what opportunities might be available? 3) Cisco has a great marketing internship program! πŸ™‚
Hi, @rebeccastone, Nice to meet you and thank you for sharing your experience and insights!I would like to ask you what strategy should I take to changing my BtoC marketing career to BtoB? I have 12+ years of experience in B2C marketing and I've enjoyed my job. However, there are fewer career opportunities for B2C, especially for the mid-mid-to-senior job. I've tried to apply for BtoB marketing jobs but I don't meet the qualifications in terms of "x years of experience in BtoB". Thank you so much for your time and advice!
Hi Wakana, I think it's important to focus on what's common between B2C (business selling to consumers) and B2B (business to business) marketing, and the commonalities are getting more and more frequent every day. We often forget that there are different types of B2B businesses. The first is B2Bs selling to large enterprises or a very small segment of the market. This is where Account Based Marketing and high-touch marketing models are important. They're probably not the best fit for B2C experience. However, there are many more B2B businesses selling to the SMB market. These companies are all about volume, quick sales cycles, and a pretty heavy digital motion. Sound familiar? I think a LOT of the B2C skill sets transition extremely well to these types of companies. So, as with any good marketer, come up with a target list of companies that fit this profile and start looking for roles there! I bet you'll be successful!
@rebeccastoneThank you so much for such a great device and I really appreciate that you took the time to answer my question! I read through your replies to other comments too and I 100% agree with "best marketing is marketing that feels personal. ".