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Grant Johnson

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Customer Acquisition and Expansion in the Resurgent Economy

A recent CMO Club Summit in New York City gave me and a colleague a great opportunity to talk about a topic that’s top of mind for both of us and no doubt many others in the resurgent economy: customer acquisition, retention and expansion.

That’s why at each of our respective organizations, we’ve moved up the bar by creating and expanding key activities that support all aspects of sales, from lead qualification through close. At both Pega and Kofax, our marketing teams work closely with sales teams at several stages of the buying cycle. Investments, program priorities and nurturing and pipeline acceleration tactics are key aspects of this overall revenue generation team alignment.

At Pega, we’re constantly engaging in targeted campaigns that get the ball rolling – driving prospects, existing customers, etc., to our web site and communities to share meaningful content. Client success spawns increased public awareness. We’ve seen this happen firsthand with our clients such as Farmers and Medco, among others. Due primarily to our target account sales model aimed at predominantly large, internationally-known companies considered to be among the best in their respective industries, we do not attempt to drive transactional demand generation activities for our high-value products. Rather, we look to engage and activate prospects to ensure they are engaged throughout the buying cycle in a thought-provoking way.   We call this process the customer journey. Sales and marketing co-own how we facilitate this, which includes getting customers predisposed to our offerings and ultimately choosing us over other alternatives.

One event that has consistently enabled Pega to have such great success with customers and other areas is our annual user conference, which also doubles as a major customer training event and gathering of thought leaders. This year, we’re looking forward to PegaWORLD – and are confident it will increase customer interest in additional products and services, as it has in the past.


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A dynamic, senior-level technology executive with a proven track record building businesses on a global basis. As Chief Marketing Officer for Pegasystems in Cambridge, MA Johnson is responsible for worldwide marketing strategy and execution. He oversees corporate marketing, field marketing, industry marketing, product marketing, marketing programs, marketing communications, analyst and public relations, and global web strategy. Previously, Johnson was the Vice President of Marketing at Guidance Software (GUID) and Vice President of Marketing and served as an officer for FileNet Corp., a $400+ million enterprise software vendor acquired by IBM in 2006. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Marketing for FrontBridge, an email management vendor acquired by Microsoft. Johnson led the company’s re-naming and re-launch, built the marketing team and delivered integrated marketing programs to support significant and sustained revenue growth. He has also served as Director of Marketing for Symantec, with worldwide responsibility for the Norton brand, and as Senior Vice President of Marketing at Ethentica, an enterprise security vendor. Johnson received his bachelor of arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University. He has also published several articles on best practices in high tech marketing and co-authored the book, PowerBranding™