Interviews

Interview with Marketing Manager, Clutch – Sarah Patrick

“the number of providers offering marketing software will continue to increase, which means businesses that may benefit from martech have more services to choose from”

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.
I’m the marketing manager at Clutch, a B2B research, ratings, and reviews company headquartered in Washington, D.C. I joined the team as the eleventh employee, shortly after graduating from Georgetown University in 2015. Since then, we’ve seen tremendous growth and have more than 40 full-time teammates helping us work toward our goal of helping businesses identify and hire the best business services for their needs. (These services span marketing, development, design, creative, IT, human resources, accounting, and more.)
Clutch grew from the idea that both buyers of business services and sellers of business services need to connect to tackle business challenges together – whether these challenges are hiring the right service provider to build a mobile app or execute a marketing strategy or finding the right clients to grow a business.

We know that more than 60% of B2B researchers use third-party sources such as reviews before approaching a business, so it’s important for business service providers to show up in Google searches when prospective clients search “company name and reviews.”

When companies create a profile on Clutch, our team interviews their clients over the phone, edits the transcripts, and publishes the conversations to the company’s profile as long-form reviews/case studies.

This process makes Clutch stand out from other B2B ratings and reviews websites. Companies with profiles on Clutch get help with online reputation management and prospective clients get access to all the information they need to make an informed hiring decision.

Given the proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
I foresee three trends in the martech landscape over the next few years.
First, the number of providers offering marketing software will continue to increase, which means businesses that may benefit from martech have more services to choose from. For small and mid-market businesses, this makes harnessing the benefits of martech difficult. While big-name providers such as Salesforce are recognizable, they may not be the best fit for a small business seeking to invest in marketing software for the first time. Sometimes having access to too many capabilities makes integrating software into your marketing plan more difficult.

Second, artificial intelligence (AI) will make martech more personalized and instantaneous. For example, AI-powered martech may allow you to display content on your website that corresponds to a visitor’s demographics, device, online behavior, and location. Push notifications triggered by location or online behavior allow you to communicate with a customer when your company or service is top-of-mind.

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
I’m excited to see how AI changes marketing in the coming years. I believe AI provides an ability to target and interact with customers in a more personalized and instantaneous way. This comes with challenges, however. For example, how many push notifications or AI-informed social media ads are too many? How will marketers keep pace with the changing technology, especially as consumers become accustomed to fast-paced communication?

What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
The main challenge for CMOs is keeping pace with new technology and determining the tools and use cases that fit their business needs. While automation and personalization make it easier for companies to communicate with customers, it’s important to consider consumer privacy and know what marketing actions may toe the line.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
For Clutch, preparing for AI means ensuring our content is optimized for voice search. Search engine results now matter not only on mobile and desktop/laptop but also on platforms such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.
I personally use Apple’s Notes app and Google Calendar to keep track of my daily to-dos and priorities.
Clutch’s marketing team uses Trello to collaborate with contributing writers who apply to write for Clutch and part-time writers who work remotely to create content for The Manifest, our sister website that covers business news and trends.
The full Clutch team uses HubSpot and tracks website traffic and keywords in Google Analytics.

Sarah Patrick is the marketing manager at Clutch, responsible for branding and content strategy. She also leads The Manifest, a business news and how-to website. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2015, where she studied international politics and conflict management. Outside of work, she enjoys running and camping.

A B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, D.C., Clutch connects small and medium businesses with the best-fit agencies, software, or consultants they need to tackle business challenges together and with confidence. Clutch’s methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presences.
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