B2B Marketing Insights with Natalie Truong of Mercer
In partnership with global consulting firm Mercer, B2B Marketing Leader Natalie Truong will be lending her expertise to AIB as an Industry Guest Lecturer. Natalie is Mercer’s B2B Marketing Leader for Australia and New Zealand, reporting to the CEO of Mercer Pacific and also the CMO of EuroPac Mercer. Her role involves partnering with Mercer’s businesses to create integrated marketing campaigns, drive demand generation and revenue growth, and also to help position Mercer prominently in the Pacific region.
Natalie’s love of marketing dates back to university where she studied it as part of a Bachelor of Commerce. Her other love, though, was travel, and so Natalie took a job in the White Pages call centre to fund her travelling adventures.
White Pages and Yellow Pages were taken over by Telstra and became Sensis – Australia’s largest print directory publisher and marketing services company. “It was a great organisation to grow up in because it taught me a lot about process improvements and business operations,” says Natalie.
From there, she took up a marketing role with CPA Australia. “I said yes to everything. It didn’t bother me whether it was digital, social or advertising. I learnt print, I learnt brand, I learnt events, I learnt how to write columns, I learnt PR and I learnt media. I wanted to learn everything about marketing”.
Once she had experience under her belt, Natalie worked in a number of B2C and B2B roles in a variety of industries across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. These industries included professional services, financial services, superannuation and telecommunications. She has held senior marketing and commercial roles in leading organisations such as ANZ Banking Group, Bank of Melbourne (Westpac), IOOF and CPA Australia.
Natalie holds an Executive MBA, as well as a Bachelor of Commerce, and has just completed her Foundations of Directorship with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mercer employs two marketing teams; one entirely focused on B2C communications and the other on B2B. That’s because, as Natalie explains, the approaches are very different. “B2C is fast and furious. It’s a one-on-one conversation that you’re having and decisions can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days. The cost of sale is a lot cheaper than in the B2B space,” she explains.
By contrast, the B2B sales cycle can be more complex. “The sales cycle is much longer and the cost of a sale is greater because you’ve got so many elements. You’ve got different buyers with different behaviours, and you’ve also got more technical information and content that you have to prepare. So, it’s about being patient, being focused and being absolutely consistent with your messaging.”
While globalisation, marketing technology and AI are all changing the marketing landscape, Natalie isn’t leaving the basics behind.
“I think if you have the right foundations then you can create a great marketing strategy,” she says. “A great B2B marketing strategy starts with ensuring you have a great brand platform to start with. That is what enables you to deliver strong content. The second step is to have a good marketing technology stack and not to pick the latest fad, but to have one that’s suitable for achieving your business objectives.”
Lastly, Natalie champions a strategic approach to choosing your media. “Choosing the right channels for your message is really critical. If social media’s right, then great, but it could be that live events or white papers are better for you. If so, stick to those things. Don’t chase the latest fads in terms of picking the channel.”
Natalie’s experience spans large and smaller companies, and her insights are sure to be of great value to our marketing students. We welcome Natalie, and Mercer, as our newest Industry Partner.
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global company employing 22,000 people across 43 countries. Mercer consults with individuals and companies on superannuation, investment decisions, wealth and asset management and workforce planning. Its clients include a majority of the companies in the Fortune 1000 and FTSE 100.