302 | The Brand Ambassador Series: CMO of Sage

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Ron McMurtrie

Ron McMurtrie, CMO of Sage talks to us about the Evolution of Marketing. Where being ahead of the game means staying relevant with their customers. In today’s world of marketing, it is not about mapping out their customer journey. It is about allowing the customer to map out their own journey. By managing a team where each person serves based on their speciality, Ron and his team at Sage can meet their clients where they currently are. This is what gives Sage their competitive advantage!

Target Audience: Ron is the CMO for Sage Group, a company focused on providing accounting payroll, HCM and payment solutions. Their sweet spot is focusing on small businesses and startups.

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The Evolution of Marketing

Sage Group focuses on serving their customers’ needs. They look at the struggles their customers face on their journey and offer them solutions. Sage Group takes more of a holistic approach. By exploring solutions, they conclude the application to a customer’s business.

Being Ahead of the Game

Sage Group stays ahead by staying relevant with their customers. It is about understanding their needs by bringing in new approaches. Ron says, if you get the customer’s needs right, you usually get the formula correct.

The Team at Sage

Currently, there are about 800 people at Sage, and about 13,000 colleagues worldwide spread across 23 countries. It began regionally and stretched out globally. And most certainly, this is a huge team to manage!

How do you Manage Such a Huge Team?

Trials are conducted to determine each individual’s specialty. Then, being aware of who the specialists are, determines the different roles. This then helps to manage specific parts of the process.

The Evangelist (the Brand Ambassador) then goes out into the market and tells the story. It’s one of the ways concepts are driven at Sage.

At Sage, Ron believes in bringing in specialization to the central teams. This brings great domain expertise. It allows them to scale quickly and also have a level of expertise both on the ground and centrally in terms of how resources are used and applied. This is an effective way of keeping content relevant.  

What Allows you to Maintain your Competitive Advantage?

Ron says, you’ve always got to be willing to continue to reinvent the platforms that you’re running right now. Sage is moving towards an account based approach. It is based on the customer’s choice which allows them to create their own customer journey. Obviously, this is more effective than Ron and his team mapping it out. The bottom line will always be that  customers want solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Practical and Actionable

How do you make smart decisions for rapid innovations in marketing? Ron says, “I put myself in the seat of the customer every day. Every decision I make is based on the response I hope to get from a customer and how I hope to be treated myself. It’s always about the customer obsession. This is the guiding principle we use at sage for all the marketing we do.”

In this episode we’ll cover:

  • What’s happening in the Evolution of Marketing
  • How to stay ahead of the game
  • Being relevant with your customers
  • Letting the customer map out their own journey
  • Managing a team where each person serves based on their speciality

Resources and Links

How is your business going…would you like to talk about it?

I love my audience of listeners. I really do. I would love to help you in some way. I started doing calls with listeners and realized that it was a great way to understand you.

Okay, then I formalized the process to offer a Results Roadmap… it is a private one-on-one call with me about your business. I want to help you see your roadmap with more clarity and confidence. Find out more about the Results Roadmap (it takes you to my personal website). This is not a sales pitch. Let me serve you.


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