November 5, 2018

MarTech Advisor

Aligning Marketing & Sales at Fuze Part 1: Adapting to Rapid Change

About Fuze

Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Boston, MA, Fuze is a provider of cloud based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).  The company was known as Thinking Phone Networks until 2016, when it was rebranded as Fuze. Brian said: “Fuze is all about communication, and fundamentally we break down the barriers to communication so that people can do their best work.  Fuze is a global voice, video and messaging platform. I think communication may be one of the last applications to move to the cloud, as many organizations still have phones, wires to the wall, PBX boxes, and multiple applications for their video conferencing and messaging. There is a growing need to enable workers to work from home or from other remote areas such as a Starbucks. People want to be able to collaborate online, and Fuze is powering business communications to allow people to collaborate with anyone, on any device, wherever they are in the world.” 

Career and Background

Brian said his father was a surgeon and was deeply into science, chemistry, math and numbers, while his mother was an opera singer and was very creative.  He said when he started thinking about careers, he knew he wanted to combine both right brain and left brain activity, and found marketing to be a good fit.

He told us some interesting stories about his father’s career as a surgeon, and how some aspects apply to marketing. Brian said he noticed “my father was extra busy on and after July 4th because of the fireworks! We grew up in Philadelphia and at one point he had to operate on the prominent leader of a local mafia family. This mafia boss sent two gentlemen to our house the night before to make absolutely sure the doctor understood he needed to do a good job on the surgery. The prominent local mafia boss survived the surgery, and my father stayed alive as well!”

Brian continued: “I learned from my father that medical techniques are changing all the time, and he was a big believer in staying up to date with these changes. The analogy with marketing is very strong with all the new marketing technologies and techniques. My father taught me that you have to continuously learn and be open to new ideas and stay current.” 

Brian gave us an example of this in 2008 when he read Inbound Marketing by the co-founders of HubSpot, Brian Haligan and Dharmesh Shah: “It changed my thinking about marketing, and I gave this book to everyone on my marketing team.  The premise of the book is the traditional marketing approach often uses interruption tactics, but now there are many ways to stop the interruption, such as advertising blockers, caller ID, pop up blockers etc.  So the best way to market is to create compelling content.  I was very much a traditional marketer earlier in my career, but when I joined Eloqua in 2008 and read books like Inbound Marketing, it made me into much more of a ‘modern marketer’.”  

Continuing on the discussion of adapting to rapid change, we explored how selling and buying has dramatically changed and where its heading.  Brian said: “If I had a child in college, I would not encourage them to enter a career in sales. Sales is going to be replaced by bots, no one wants to speak to a sales person, people go out of their way to avoid speaking to a salesperson – whether in a department store, a car salesperson, or in the B2B world. The reason why consumer marketing has done so well is you do a bunch of advertising and then the buying happens through Amazon.   I see the equivalent of a salesperson on websites today with live chat, sometimes it’s a human, but more often it is bots. The bot has been trained by a set of business rules on what to ask and how to respond to certain questions.  I think salespeople will be in smaller or smaller numbers and there will be more self research. Previously, the only person who knew anything about the cars being sold was the salesperson, now, 99% of the research has been done by the consumer before they enter the showroom. Remember when there was a profession called a ‘Travel Agent’?”

Read more: www.martechadvisor.com/interviews/account-based-marketing-abm/aligning-marketing-amp-sales-at-fuze-part-1-adapting-to-rapid-change/