Liz talks about the key to effective software marketing campaigns with Celine Nabais Kahoudji, who is the Senior Field Marketing Manager (South Europe/Benelux) at Couchbase.

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Designing a successful campaign, what made it work well, and learning from the process [01:53]

Advice on running campaigns to increase brand awareness for B2B software solutions [04:11]

Marketing tactics that have the most impact [05:19]

Measuring the success of a marketing campaign [07:08]

Other tips on successful marketing campaigns [08:48]


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Liz Lemarchand: How is it that innovative software solutions have the ability to change the world yet they don’t sell themselves? How is it that I know my target market but I’m not able to generate enough sales opportunities? How do I even get started to create visibility for my brand when I’m not an expert in marketing, that is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. Welcome to simplified software marketing made simple.  

Hi everyone, this is Liz from MediaDev and today I have the pleasure of being joined by Celine, the Senior Field Marketing Manager at Couchbase. Hi Celine, how are you today? 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: Hi Liz, I’m very good. Thank you. How are you? 

Liz Lemarchand: I’m great, I’m really excited today to talk to Celine who has a vast experience in software marketing and our topic today is software marketing campaigns that work, what’s the secret? So, I will just dive right into the questions. 

So, Celine, maybe you could start by introducing yourself and giving our listeners a little bit of information about your background, you know, how did you become a software marketing expert? 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: Alright, so being based out of France, southwest of France and beautiful Bordeaux and I started my career as a Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager about 15 years ago. 

So, I started to work with a company working with navigation technology, worked for ERP software vendors, and also healthcare solution and now I’m working for database,  SQL database provider called Couchbase. 

Liz Lemarchand: Great, so could you tell us a little more about your current position and tell us a little bit more about Couchbase. 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: Sure, so Couchbase provides a database role SQL solution that empowers the models and architects to build, deploy and run their most mission-critical application so the company headquarter is in the US and I do work for the southern European region. So, my main goal is to generate high-quality leads on land accounts for my sales rep across South Europe and BENELUX region. 

Liz Lemarchand: Excellent, so, what with your vast experience in marketing, maybe you have a story that you could tell us about a successful campaign that you designed, what made it work well and what did you learn from that process? 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: Alright, so maybe I can talk about one campaign that I actually worked on and got executed through MediaDev. So literally I will do what to collect information to ensure that our technology was the right fit for some specific company. So how did we proceed and how can we call a campaign successful? I think it’s a combination of multiple factors. Let’s say a perfect recipe would involve, first, the people we work with really close collaboration and a really clear understanding of the goals. 

Second, is working on a clean database, so making sure we feed the sales with the right leads means that we need to provide the vendor with the exclusion criteria, the leads that are already in our system to ensure that we are on the same page and that we are targeting net new leads for the prospect. 

Third I think that is very important is the briefing, making sure that the company, the agency we work with understand what we do, not necessarily in a deep-dive technical level, but understand what is the business value of the technology that we are offering and that we have them question and ask the right question to our targeted audience because we don’t want to sound like a boilerplate, right, when we target an audience, we just want to tell them and show them we care about their pain and how our technology is going to help them to solve those pains. And that’s where we focus the briefing with the agency.  

And I think the last but not least, is the ongoing conversation so making sure that we align on a regular basis to make sure that we do collect the high-quality leads that we are expecting. If quality is not there, provide the correct feedback to make sure that we readjust and do the right approach to make sure we empower the agencies to do their job properly. 

Liz Lemarchand: Absolutely, I completely agree. So, as we know, the sales cycles of most B2B software solutions is very long. What advice would you give to people who are looking to run campaigns to increase brand awareness for those types of software solutions? 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: So yeah, so the top of the funnel, let’s say the most complex one I think at the top of the funnel, what is important for brand awareness is to make sure that you position your brand in front of the right audience. So, the people who are more likely to buy, so when it’s a software vendor like my current company, you need to make sure that you position either your ads, either your cold calling campaigns, or either emailing campaigns toward the right audience and also that, you know, messaging is not right away focusing on the product features, but more looking to question and to be tailored to buyer personas. 

So, we need to really focus on the business standpoint and how you solve those pain points rather than sound like a boilerplate again. 

Liz Lemarchand: So, what marketing tactics do you find have the most impact and why? 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: I think it’s a combination of tactics today the buyer journey, I mean if you tell me you have a recipe to connect someone, like from cold calling and get a hot list that is going to convert immediately to prospective customer, I would say please give me that recipe.  

We know the buyer journey is like taking forever and we need multi-touch campaign, so whether it’s an ad served through social media, whether it’s a digital property campaign, whether it’s outreach through cold calling, you need to combine all those campaign type and tactics together and to make the journey as smooth as possible for the buyer. For some buyers everything is happening in the digital space and for some other, they still need this kind of a more personal approach and the conversation. So, I don’t think there is one recipe that is going to be right for everybody. I think we need more and more personalization. 

Liz Lemarchand: Yeah no, I completely agree and having really a holistic, you know Omnichannel type of approach, obviously is even more critical these days than I think it ever has been in the past and you know, we try as much as possible, as well, to work with our customers to have always-on tactics to be, as you know, doing campaigns in a silo really has a very limited impact when we’re thinking about that buyer journey over time. So yeah, completely on the same page with you with that. 

So how would you measure the success of a marketing campaign? I mean, a lot of people do that based on sales, you know, they compare the ROI based on what they spent on the marketing campaign and then what they got back in a sale. But it is hard to do that, especially when you’re saying the top of the you know top of the funnel leads and how do you measure, you know, brand awareness and education, which is obviously critical as a part of the process so you know, what are some ways that you measure the success of a marketing campaign? 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: So, I would say that how I measure one specific campaign is through multiple factor, so the first one is going to be how much contact I’ve generated within my target account base. 

The second one would be how much people who responded to this campaign are and are more likely to provide consent to receive communications to, to engage with our future communications webinar, and also a bit of a more high-level one. And the best one ending up having an appointment with a qualified prospect. So I think we have multiple layers, but also I do believe that we can’t really, really measure the results of one campaign as you said earlier itself it’s a combination of multiple campaigns that is going to enable to measure the return on investment of the performance. 

Liz Lemarchand: Sure, sure, especially we weren’t talking about long sales cycles and you know it is for them to only rely on pure sales as being your indicator. 

So, so do you have any other tips or advice that you’d like to give to our audience today about successful marketing campaigns or you know, secrets that you might want to share of how people could get started designing and executing a successful marketing campaign. 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: so it’s a combination of multiple things, so I think the number one is communication with people. 

So communicating with the agency but also communicating with the sales team on a regular basis to make sure that we are all working and targeting the same goals. So alignment and regular alignment. 

The second one would be also understand the stock of the technology we have in place in each company and how we measure within this company, like how do we define success and stick to that goal. 

On the other hand, and the last is, reporting and communicating again. So, making sure that once we finalize the campaign that we do communicate to the vendor where the successes are and where do we need to improve and do that sound the same to all the sales team, too? 

Liz Lemarchand: Excellent, thank you so much Celine for being here today really appreciate your insights and expertise. 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: Thanks, thanks for inviting me. 

Liz Lemarchand: Take care. 

Celine Nabais Kahoudji: You, too. 

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