Interview with Kim Ann King, the CMO of SiteSpect

Kim Ann King - SiteSpect

Digital & Wise recently interviewed Kim Ann King to hear her thoughts on the future of digital, her top tools and her favourite quote …

1. What does your typical day look like?

I’m fortunate in that I get to work on a wide variety of projects. On any given day, I’m planning and executing our global marketing presence, which includes both online and offline elements. For example, our website,, content strategy, online advertising, lead gen programs, public relations, social media, email marketing, and trade shows and events, to name a few. I particularly love writing and working on creating digital marketing initiatives that help illustrate SiteSpect’s value proposition of non-intrusive optimization.

2. What quote has inspired you throughout the years? 

Oh that’s an easy one! It’s by Antoine de St. Exupéry from my favourite book, The Little Prince:

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

3. What digital strategies have you used to get your brand out to the market?

We’ve pretty much tried everything, from retargeting, remarketing, and super-targeted PPC to digital content marketing and promotion, which is very successful for us. This year we overhauled our website – brand-new look and feel, navigation, and content and I’m thrilled with the results: our digital presence has never been better. I’m intrigued by virtual events, but we haven’t participated in any yet. I’d be curious to get feedback from your readers whether they find them effective.

4. As Chief Marketing Officer, what are you responsible for?

I work as the Chief Marketing Officer of optimization leader SiteSpect, where I’m responsible for demand generation, brand awareness, and organizational enablement efforts that support customer acquisition and retention. I like to say I live for the collision of data, creative, and strategy, because that’s what marketing is all about these days. That was not true when I started in BtoB marketing 28 years ago.

5. How do you measure the success of your digital campaigns?

Measuring Success

Basically two ways – I want to know the cost per acquisition as compared to other campaigns and channels and the quality of the leads in terms of potential customer fit and willingness to purchase. Some of what we do is more difficult to measure; I’m still hard pressed to find measurable ROI in social media and public relations, but those are important activities for brand awareness, which in turn supports our lead gen efforts. You really can’t have one without the other.

6. What’s the strangest project you’ve been involved in?

I’m not sure they’re strange but the two that stand out for me are:

7. What do you see as your biggest challenge within the world of digital?

Trying to cut through the clutter and noise. There’s so much vying for people’s attention these days that it can be difficult to be creative enough to make an impact. It’s an exciting challenge to tackle.

I also find it challenging to keep everything fresh and up to date across all channels – the splinternet is not the easiest thing to manage!

8. What’s your most exciting opportunity within the world of digital?

The ability to connect the dots, which is manna from heaven for marketers. Consumer marketers have already been doing this, but it’s still pretty new for BtoB marketers. The idea that you know who someone is when they come to your website, which pages they visited, what they downloaded, what their inquiries have been, how we’ve reached out to them, what the response was – just being able to track the whole customer lifecycle is huge. From what I understand, only 28% of B2B marketers in the U.S. are doing that, so I feel like I’m on the cutting edge (or the edge of sanity, sometimes I’m not sure!) and I keep pushing to make more of this happen.

9. What have been your favourite 2013 tools? How have they helped you?

Well, SiteSpect of course! We eat our own dog food and are about to launch some new tests that will improve the online experience even further.  I’m also finding I’m spending even more time on Google tools than in the past and that’s been a big boost for productivity.

10. What are your top tips for others in the industry?

11. How do you stay up to date with the industry and latest technology?

Like most B2B marketers, I subscribe to industry newsletters, read a lot of blogs, media sites, and publications, get alerts on news I’m interested in, and talk to colleagues. I don’t find conferences that useful anymore, but that was an important source of staying up to date when I was younger.

12. What did you hope to be when you were younger?

I wanted to be a writer so I went to school for Public Relations and went into marketing when I graduated, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I am doing what I wanted to do when I was younger, and I don’t know many people who can say that!

13. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love how marketing has changed over the decades; it’s so different from when I started out and the pace has been exhilarating. I’m really lucky because I work for an awesome company doing really cool things for amazing customers like Walmart, Target, ASOS, Staples, etc., and I work for an incredible CEO who can see and appreciate what’s possible in marketing. It’s the best place I’ve ever worked and the best position I’ve ever held.

14. Why do you love ‘digital’?

Because it makes everything possible. I can create things that weren’t possible before, more quickly, more easily, and for less cost – I love making things and making things happen, and digital has been instrumental in both. Being able to be more productive and do more in less time has made me a pretty happy marketer. When I started in marketing, I literally typed newsletter columns, cut and pasted them into layouts, copied them, and mailed them out! I typed and mailed out news releases. I developed photographs with chemicals. It didn’t seem inefficient at the time, but thinking about it makes me glad I’m working in the digital age.

15. What’s the future of digital?

I think B2B marketers will continue to adopt and adapt, B2C marketers will need to get more careful about consumer data, and consumers themselves will get more savvy about the choices they make in their online behavior and the information they share. For example, I was talking to a friend and asked him why he hadn’t posted pictures of his new baby on Facebook and he says he wants his daughter to be able to choose her digital life when she’s ready, not have it created for her by her parents. That struck me as incredibly thoughtful and forward-looking. We have a saying at SiteSpect: with great authority comes great responsibility – and I think that’s true not just of our tool, but also of the entire digital world. So be responsible, folks – because of digital, we’re all in charge now!

That concludes our Digital & Wise interview. For more from Kim, follow her on Twitter: @kimannking

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