As VP-principal analyst at Forrester Research, Laura Ramos keeps her finger on the pulse of the B2B marketing industry by conducting copious amounts of research. She helps Forrester's CMO clients plan, build and deliver marketing programs that combine traditional, digital and social approaches that lead with business issues and fuel their companies' topline growth.
While she has been an integral part of Forrester's team since 2001, from 2010 to 2013 Ramos led industry marketing for Xerox's Services business as part of the U.S. field marketing organization, where she drove demand in the managed print services market for education, financial services, government, high-technology/telecom, manufacturing and retail. Ramos holds an MBA from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. She's active in social media, and you can follow her on Twitter at @lauraramos.
What is your proudest work achievement in the past year?
In Q3, my research report "B2B CMOs Must Evolve Or Move On" won a Forrester research award for delivering customer value. This was a proud achievement for me since, as a returning analyst, it was wonderful to receive the client and peer recognition that said "welcome home, kid, you've still got it." This report was also special because I helped Forrester to partner with the Business Marketing Association, an organization to which every B2B marketer should belong, to conduct the research survey that fueled the report. The BMA featured the research during the keynote address at the national conference last year when chairwoman Kathy Button Bell of Emerson asked me to join her on stage to present the findings. I think this type of collaboration broadens our reach and is essential to tapping into key B2B marketing trends.
What do you like most about your job?
Helping clients improve their marketing smarts, practices and strategies. No two days are ever alike and I get the opportunity every day to talk to hard-working marketers who are trying to solve some really thorny problems. It's very satisfying to know that I help someone's job get a little bit easier each day.
How can more women be successful in the B2B marketing industry?
Truly support each other in getting ahead and being successful. Men are great at networking; women need to sharpen their practices and lean on each other as well. Women marketers should also embrace the more scientific side of marketing; hone your marketing performance management, data analytics, or dashboarding and reporting skills to help demonstrate that marketing is really about driving revenue, not just creating ads and polishing the company image.
What's your best piece of advice to women in B2B marketing?
Determine your "gift to the world" and work on delivering it weekly. Figure out what you want to give to others freely without expectation of personal or immediate commercial return. Build your reputation around serving that gift and you will receive countless—and unexpected—benefits in return.