Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy: A Talk With Tara Quehl

Tara Quehl, Marketing Automation Director at Fidelity Investments, shares B2B insights on adopting a customer-centric marketing strategy in the enterprise.
Diana Daia
December 1, 2020

Tara Quehl, Director of Marketing Automation at Fidelity Investments, shares insights about customer-centric marketing strategy, transitioning from B2C to B2B, marketing agility and more.

Tara Quehl

Who is Tara Quehl?

Tara Quehl is the Director of Marketing Automation at Fidelity Investments.

She specializes in orchestrating better experiences for Sales, Service, and Marketing by leveraging technology to create more personalized experiences.

D.D.: At Fidelity Investments, you have a key role in orchestrating better experiences for Sales, Service, and Marketing. What 3 tactics would you share for being successful in this cross-functional role?

T.Q.:

  1. Build your allies early
  2. Challenge the status quo
  3. Be curious

D.D.: You’ve slowly transitioned from B2C marketing to the B2B space. What have you learned on your journey and what achievements are you most proud of?

T.Q.: In B2C marketing, I felt more “in the middle” is not a great way where I wasn’t the one who was in charge of driving the outcomes.

When I took my role in B2B I suddenly was in the throws of running a cross-cloud product, strategy, and the owning outcomes. On the bad days in innovation, I try to use laughter and remind folks we may not get it right the first time, this is still a difficult conversation.

What I’m most proud of is my grit, it takes a lot in a big corporation to make meaningful change, and sometimes that change takes YEARS to see.

What I’m most proud of is my grit, it takes a lot in a big corporation to make meaningful change, and sometimes that change takes YEARS to see.

Tara Quehl
Tara Quehl
Fidelity Investments

D.D.: One of the current challenges for a customer-centric marketing strategy in B2B is mid-funnel activation. How do you work with that at Fidelity Investments?

T.Q.: B2B to me is more of a challenge in many ways: longer decision-making process, lengthier relationship, more stakeholders, more marketing channels, and the list goes on.

In the B2C space, the world has become “frictionless” very quickly and there is a certain level of expectation to be met; personally and quickly with great depth of knowledge. I believe 2020 has only increased the need in which we need to personalize. People expect to be able to ask questions in a series of channels, whether through click-to-chat, phone, email, tweeting, messaging, etc.

As a B2B provider, you should be meeting those expectations because if you aren’t, well, you’ll be left in 2020…

D.D.: Why has agility become a requirement in our space? What tactics have you adopted at Fidelity Investments to gain more marketing and analytics agility?

T.Q.: If you look around at the most innovative firms, their vision for their product far exceeds their MVP they put into the market... Think Apple, Tesla, Amazon, Salesforce, etc… The world in which we live is evolving so quickly, so we must be able to test and learn.

Fidelity has adopted an agile way of working which I think will serve us well in the years to come. Overcoming the historic “build the best, most perfect thing that we hope people like” to “build the minimum viable product, a functioning product, that we know will be leveraged because it was built upon user feedback”. We are able to pivot more quickly based on user feedback. If they hate it or don’t use it that’s ok; because less money and resources were consumed building it.

We are able to pivot more quickly based on user feedback. If they hate it or don’t use it that’s ok; because less money and resources were consumed building it.

Tara Quehl
Tara Quehl
Fidelity Investments

D.D.: Many companies, especially in these challenging times, have turned to digital advertising to gain a competitive advantage. As a result, analytics has been crucial to understanding what drives revenue to the business.

Why should companies invest in gaining accurate marketing data insights, now more than ever?

T.Q.: More so than ever folks are at home leveraging technology and there is less of the sharing of this great thing in personal aspects of your life. Digital advertising is crucial now to expanding your prospect universe, but also in communicating with clients. There’s a lot of conversation around CPI’s and how these key Customer Performance Indicators will inform which firms are able to accelerate, optimize, and outperform competitors in the future.

By tracking both customer-centered metrics and KPI’s, you create more tailored outcomes for the business. Why is this important? You will be able to advocate to your leadership for better funding, headcount, and ultimately what’s most important to the customer. Marketers will always demand more from their measurement strategies to justify the higher investment.

D.D.: 2020 is slowly drawing to a close and organizations are currently focusing on their 2021 strategy. What are your learnings from this year and what are 3 areas you’d like to focus on in the new year?

T.Q.: Number one learning in this past year is that sales shouldn’t be the only ones accountable for being measured on business impact. At the end of the day, if Marketing isn’t doing their job, the firm isn’t winning together.

The top 3 key areas: 

  1. Stronger ABM strategy supported on the foundation of a tight partnership between Sales & Marketing
  2. World-class Customer Experience
    Fidelity prides themselves on their customer experience, but it’s not enough for just the phone reps to provide that experience. It must start from the beginning of their journey through a connected frictionless experience
  3. The Internet of Everything has already made an impact and it’s here to stay… How can we at Fidelity leverage all the great data to inform better-personalized experiences?

D.D.: If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

T.Q.: At my favorite coffee spot with my kids reading books and eating treats

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