Conversation Intelligence Hero Spotlight: Ann Armstrong

min read
Conversation Intelligence Hero Spotlight: Ann Armstrong

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? A plane? No, it’s a Conversation Intelligence Hero! 

Invoca’s new Conversation Intelligence Heroes program gives our customers a platform to highlight their successes with conversation intelligence technology. It also has perks like personal branding opportunities, VIP invites to regional events, access to private beta programs, and more. 

As part of the program, we’re putting a spotlight on our most inspiring heroes. Today’s featured hero is Ann Armstrong. She’s the director of marketing technology at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on providing healing and hope to individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Check out our Q&A with Ann below, where she shares her career progression, advice for young marketers, and how Invoca helped her transform patient experiences.

How did you get started in marketing? How has your career progressed since then?

I've been in the technology industry for many years. I started in 1980 at a school district and worked there for 21 years. One of the main parts of my job was growing with technology as it advanced — for example, making the switch from mainframes to network computers. I also had the pleasure to develop the school district’s first website in 1997! It was a really exciting project — I loved working on the web and learning about new technologies.

Then I moved to the Hazelden Foundation, as it was called at the time, and continued in a technology role. First, I was system administrator, then I did some website project management, moved to a business systems analyst role, became a senior project manager, and finally transitioned to the marketing department. The vice president of marketing strategy brought me onto the team because she saw my interest in the internet on the website throughout my time at the company. 

Since then, I've grown a team of experts in marketing to do digital technology. We do the website, we do social media, and we're in charge of all the databases. This includes the customer databases, digital ads, paid ads, and organic digital marketing.  

What is your favorite part of working in marketing?

Our marketing programs bring people to us who need help. We're in the treatment industry and our mission is all about helping people. That's where my heart is — getting people the treatment and resources they need to improve their lives. And that's what we do in marketing. While the technology team is great for enabling that kind of stuff, it's really marketing that does that outreach to people and connects them with our services. And that's what I love about it.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I'm really passionate about my family, my home, and the wildlife that's around me. I live on 10 acres of wooded land. I feed the deer and the squirrels and whatever critters come to the house every day. And then I take photos of them. I love photography. I'm the crazy lady that's out there taking pictures of bugs on flowers. 

What benefits have you received from being an Invoca advocate?

The advocacy work has helped me create relationships within Invoca that I really treasure. I’ve met a lot of people from across the organization that I can reach out to when I get stuck or need ideas. It’s also helped me get more value out of the Invoca platform.

Plus, the team sends me goodies in the mail every once in a while, which doesn’t hurt!

How has Invoca helped your organization?

We started by tracking the call conversions our marketing campaigns drove. We originally had another vendor, but we switched to Invoca because it was much more user-friendly. Implementing Invoca was easy and we got immediate value from the reporting.

Then we got more sophisticated and tied Invoca call data to Salesforce records. This allowed us to get end-to-end attribution all the way through the treatment journey. We can now see how someone advances from calling from a digital marketing campaign to getting an assessment to being admitted to being discharged successfully. This is something I’ve wanted to do since the beginning. It’s helped us make smarter decisions to get the most bang for our buck from our marketing campaigns.

What are your predictions for the future of marketing?

Marketers will be hit hard by the decline of third-party data and the demise of cookies. First-party data is going to be more important than ever to build customer profiles. I'll be interested to see how companies use CDPs to collect more first-party data. 

I also think the user experience is going to get more important over time, especially as personalization improves. It's not going to be as simple as saying “Hi Anne” on an email. Marketers are going to have to understand each customer on a deep level and serve them messaging that truly resonates.

And, of course, SEO will continue to evolve as well. Chasing Google is like chasing a moving target. SEO always evolves just a step behind where Google is. I'm real interested to find out where Google goes, and where it takes the entire SEO space.

What is the biggest mistake you see marketers making?

I often see teams jumping in and running campaigns without first doing the hard work to define the goals and the strategy. It's doing, and then figuring out a strategy later. It should be the other way around. You should have a strategy and a hypothesis. You should be able to test what you're going to do instead of jumping in and saying, “Oh, maybe this will work.” 

To change that mindset, you need to look hard at your data. Then you can create concrete goals around that. 

What advice do you have for young marketers who are starting their careers?

When you start your career, you need to be brave and trying new things. Always make sure you’re measuring your results, adjusting accordingly, and testing again. Don't get stuck in the rut of doing the same thing over and over and over just because your team has always done it that way.

The most successful marketers are lifelong learners. The industry changes by the day. Keep up on your skills, pay attention, and absorb as much knowledge as you can.

Claim Your Cape and Become a Conversation Intelligence Hero

Are you interested in becoming a hero? Turns out you don’t need to get bit by a radioactive spider. You just need to be an active Invoca customer and participate with the community in some of the following ways:

  • Media articles/interviews
  • Internal or external speaking opportunities                                    
  • Case study interviews
  • Press release features
  • Supplying a quote
  • Sales reference calls
  • Social media competitions 
  • Sharing expertise and best practices in the Invoca community
  • Logo placement 

What do you get out of it? Below are some of the perks that Conversation Intelligence heroes enjoy:

  • Elevate your personal brand
  • Connect & learn from peers
  • Gain access to private beta programs
  • Win industry awards
  • VIP invites to Invoca regional events

You can register to become a Conversation Intelligence Hero here or scan the QR code below. Just remember: with great power comes great responsibility. 

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