CMO Perspectives: Aimee Catalano, Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing, Google Cloud

Digital transformation, velocity, and value of business relationships and people are critical for partner solutions success at Google Cloud. Aimee Catalano and her team thrive on teamwork and working strategically with partners and customers to achieve fast-paced growth for Google Cloud year over year. Foundry’s Global Chief Revenue Officer, Matt Yorke, sat down with Aimee to learn more about how her partner marketing insights and strategies can help other partner marketers achieve results. 

The Importance of Global Partner Marketing in an Organization

Aimee emphasizes the crucial role the partner marketing team plays at Google Cloud in driving year over year growth for the company, likening partner marketing to “full-spectrum marketing” in its end-to-end ownership of “the go-to-market strategy and marketing plan” for each partner. This includes everything from driving demand generation for partner campaigns and delivering customer success stories to the market. By lifting mindshare to develop unique and engaging partner experiences and the most innovative programs on the market, Google Cloud’s partner marketing strategies help keep their partners relevant in the highly competitive cloud market. 

Go-To-Market Strategy in a Post-Pandemic World

Despite Google’s status as a pioneer company of our digital world, the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges of its own to Google Cloud’s partner marketing organization. The pandemic catalyzed what two years ago would have been decades’ worth of digital transformation, and Google had to pivot quickly in assessing their digital marketing best practices and adapt go-to-market strategies to the pandemic landscape.

While navigating the new digital landscape required rethinking time-tested strategies, Aimee notes that it paved the way for new and more effective marketing forums and channels—namely, the ability to host and promote broad-based and high-touch marketing programs virtually, which allows them to reach a greater audience. For example, Google’s annual Customer Conferences that once hosted tens of thousands of people around the world annually have been reimagined as hybrid forums — catering to both in-person and virtual customers and partners, and creating new opportunities to network, present, and engage audiences. 

Importance of DEI Initiatives

Aimee also notes that the pandemic brought Google and its partners together in a way previously unseen, which sparked the launch of a partner Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) group. “I’m really excited to see […] new programs to engage both our partners, but then with our partners to our customers, around important DEI programs, social impact projects, and how we’re really teaming together in some of the most important work out there together,” says Aimee. As DEI becomes central to both corporate conversations and operations, Matt Yorke notes these initiatives by Google are” bringing the scale that Google brings—and the resources—to help partners address DEI challenges.”

Advice for Partner Marketers 

When asked about top challenges for partner marketers to overcome, Aimee stressed the importance of finding and defining lanes. “Coopetition,” she says, is key, as there will always be situations where large partners work together and find aspects of their businesses overlapping. Partner marketing at its best finds the space where “1 + 1 = 3,” says Aimee, which requires savvy marketers to “navigate the more complex waters” of business overlap, where partners can best coexist in the spirit of innovation. 

About the CMO Perspectives Video Series:
This series spotlights industry-leading executives that are making a difference within the tech marketing landscape. Our host, Matt Yorke, Global Chief Revenue Officer of Foundry, dives into the latest marketing trends, providing peer insight for tech marketers.