Kate Slyker

CMO of General Communication Corp (GCI)

GCI CMO On Why B2B Marketing Should Be Creative & Consumer-Centric

Kate Slyker oversees marketing and communications strategies as Chief Marketing Officer of General Communication Corp (GCI), an Anchorage-based telecommunications company and Alaska’s largest internet, phone, mobile, and TV service provider.

B2B marketing doesn’t have to be boring. Instead of taking the route of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Kate Slyker discusses her strategies to create a distinctive customer engagement experience in a digital landscape that keeps customers wanting more.

Slyker is well-versed in the telecommunications and tech industries. She’s dedicated her career to telecom after a long stint in advertising and agency life—a background that has offered the unique ability to infuse creativity and imagination into B2B work.

In a vertical that often lacks variety, she says, “The ability to stand out [in B2B marketing] should not be that hard.” As the CMO of GCI, Slyker has made it her mission to make the brand stand out for both B2B and B2C audiences.

In this episode of Change Agents, Slyker gives her take on:

  • How to approach the most common challenges facing midmarket and enterprise B2B marketers, including strengthening customer engagement and relationships in a virtual world.
  • The benefits of “standing out” and offering a creative digital experience for consumers, especially in a repetitive B2B market.
  • Why understanding consumer habits—from day-to-day life to geographic locations—should inform each aspect of B2B marketing.

In this episode, we also discuss what drives B2B marketers to keep innovating. GCI is a quad-play company that supports phone, internet, mobile, and TV service. Given that her marketing team is at the intersection of these various sectors, Slyker notes that there are several moving parts that she and her team consider before large-scale decisions.

One of Slyker’s consistent goals as CMO is to make her decisions and initiatives measurable. Though success can be challenging to quantify, she says, “there’s pretty much always a way to measure.”

From surveys rooted in a genuine need for research to goal-setting for revenue, margin, and lift, Slyker ensures that her team reviews and improves upon the goals they set together.

Her philosophy to keep the team engaged?

“I’m a big believer in scorecards; I think the better your scorecard, the better you’re going to be able to know where to pivot.”

As a changemaker, “pivoting” is a word Slyker appreciates. She is (self-admittedly) addicted to change and uses scorecards as a roadmap to guide moments of rapid adjustment for her team.

Watch the interview to see how Slyker applies her agency experience to the CMO role. Slyker proves B2B marketing doesn’t have to be static, especially when “standing out” is one of your primary measurable goals.