The Delicate Balance of Digital and Design | Mike Impelluso

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Delicate Balance of Digital and Design | Mike Impelluso. The summary for this episode is: <p>When it comes to digital experience and design, you can't think of one without another. </p><p><br></p><p>No one knows this better than Mike Impelluso, the Vice President of Marketing, Brand and Digital for CentralReach.</p><p><br></p><p>In this episode, Mike explains how he aligns CentralReach's brand and digital teams to work towards the same goal, how he thinks about the ROI of brand plays, and what he considers as "must-haves" for a positive website experience.</p><p><br></p><p>You can connect with Justin and Mike on Twitter at @justinkeller, @MImpelluso, and @DriftPodcasts.</p><p><br></p><p>See who Drift's other Marketers to Watch are: </p><p><br></p><p>Learn more about the Forrester New Wave™ Report:</p>

Justin Keller: Welcome to Revenue Talks, the show where we get real about what it takes to build pipeline and drive expansion as a go- to market team. I'm Justin Keller, the vice president of Revenue Marketing at Drift. And on this show, I'm here talking to folks across the entire go- to market organization, which means marketing, sales, and customer success. About how these conversations, technology and cross- functional alignment to build more pipeline and drive expansion, because revenue, it's everyone's business now. Hello, welcome to another episode of Revenue Talks. I'm Justin, I do marketing here at Drift. And today I'm really excited to be chatting with Mike Impelluso, who is the VP of marketing for CentralReach. CentralReach is a software that supports autism and intellectual development, disability care for individuals at home, school and at work. And I'm very eager to learn about that, but also about Mike who focuses heavily on CentralReach's brand and digital experience. So today we're going to talk about how the two work together to drive revenue for CentralReach. One other note before we get going, Mike also made our top marketers to watch list this year. Congrats Mike. So if you haven't checked out that blog, make sure you do. It's in the show notes. Lots of really incredible marketers in there. And with that, let's get into it. Mike, welcome. I'm hoping that you could really quickly set the stage for us and give us an overview of CentralReach, who it serves and how you go to market?

Mike Impelluso: Awesome. Thanks very much for having me, Justin, for that introduction. And yes, I work at CentralReach. We are a mission driven organization. Basically what that mission is, is we want to provide software and services to the caretakers, to everyone who kind of supports individuals with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities along their journey, their lifelong journey of care. So from the therapy setting, the clinical setting, the software and the services that are needed to properly deliver, be compliant and support those learners with what they need, as well as in the education setting, they need those dedicated tools, all the way through adult employment and independence. So we provide those software and services to help those that care take for that community. It's very important mission for us and it's something that even as a marketer, you don't often get the chance to work for a software and services that really provides a positive impacts to the community willing to help. So that's, the mission that we have here at CentralReach. And from a brand perspective and marketing perspective, it certainly is unique and it's a very, very fun and positive challenge for us to work towards.

Justin Keller: That is great. Marketing for a cause is such an important thing. So kudos to you on that. And your title at CentralReach is Vice President of Marketing, comma Brand and Digital. As a marketer, there's so many orthogonal relationships and the different disciplines of marketing and how they intersect. You see brand and inaudible sometimes, you see digital and demand, but I feel like you see brand and digital together a little less often. So I'm interested to hear from you how you think a company's digital experience influences their perception of your brand?

Mike Impelluso: Yeah, I love that question, because I think a lot of it breaks down to just impressions of feeling. I think that there's sometimes both tangible and intangible ways to kind of measure the impact of brand, but the impact of a digital experience I think is hard to argue at this point, particularly for tech companies and really most companies who are looking to have a digital presence. So that, brand element of how that brand kind of projects, what it does and how it makes people feel as well as the digital experience is really how users are able to find that information. And then just how the general experience feels to them, am I getting what I'm looking for? Am I getting something that's valuable to me? Do I understand what this solves for us or is it a problem that I even have? A lot of that kind of rolls into the digital experience and really I think that there's an element of problem solving within all of it from a design perspective, from a development perspective, from a brand perspective, all of these kind of intersect and then they come out with our content, our messaging and how we visualize it.

Justin Keller: I love that. I think that makes a lot of sense. And you said something like," Am I getting what I'm looking for?" And I think that is a post- it note that should be on every B2B marketer's monitor at all times, is my audience getting what they're looking for? Especially because, I looked this up last week for reasons unrelated to this, but people like ourselves are hit with between 4, 000 and 10,000 digital brand impressions every day, which is just a, I mean almost absurd amount of noise. It's kind of gone past obscene and into absurdity. And you are bringing your creative and digital teams together to make sure that you are cutting through that probably with, I mean, tell me if I'm wrong with the question," Are my my audience getting what they're looking for?" How do you make sure that those teams are working together, the digital and the creative teams to make sure that they're fully aligned in answering that question for your audience?

Mike Impelluso: Yeah, another great question. One of the things that I like and even in this remote world that we're in now, is being able to have some of those strategic conversations together. So whether it's designers, writers, demand gen specialists, everyone kind of looking at it from a different angle, but questioning it from the same angle of, is this worthwhile for someone to give us their information for this piece of content? Are we communicating the most important element of the messaging that we're trying to do quickly and easily? If it's social media, did you deliver a message that someone is going to stop scrolling to just pause on for a second? Or did you put just a wall of text up that you want them to read but they're just going to go right past it realistically? So kind of challenging sometimes what do we want the user to do and are we actually delivering something that will get them to do that? Because, across all different marketing functions, sometimes we get caught up in what we want the user to see, what we want them to do, but are we realistically taking a look at it from the user's angle and saying," Oh, this is my problem that I'm having right now and they're kind of summed it up very quickly and I'm going to take a click deeper in of those 4, 000 brand impressions that I might get hit with today. I might take a moment to click on this one." You really have to cut through the noise or you have to hit the nail on the head in terms of," I do have this problem and it is worth investing 30 seconds or 60 seconds just to take this a step deeper." And maybe that is now the tip of a prospect lead that I have where that's the very first interaction that we were it made or maybe it's the third interaction and I got them to take a little bit further this time. But am I giving them what they need, is the question that really all marketers should be asking and I like having that conversation together or we're talking about a piece that we're putting together or tactic that they were going to use or goal that we have, in terms of just always putting ourselves in the user, the prospects angle of are we giving them what they need to get what we want?

Justin Keller: So you said something there that really struck a nerve with me. You said you got people looking the same thing from different angles. And I think that especially in bigger tech companies, you get so siloed, you get so process and task oriented that a message starts at point A and it goes through the assembly line and then it shows up in front of someone's monitor. But I think exactly that question, having different people's perspective on one thing, is something that it's hard, especially now that we're not in offices together anymore. But how do you solve for that, or do you? Is that a challenge that you have? How do you incorporate and get everyone's perspective so that you make sure you're looking around those corners and incorporating all that feedback? Because, it does solve that problem about are you giving them what they want?

Mike Impelluso: Yeah, I would say one, be very open minded and really kind of open to feedback and constructive criticism. Because, sometimes you might work on something and put it together and you're so emotionally attached to it but then it's just not hitting the mark. But it's not that you have to throw it out, you might need to just change the angle a little bit. So kind of creating those relationships and resources that you can depend on for honest angles. So as an example for CentralReach, one of the things that differentiates us as a company, is that we employ a lot of BCBAs, board certified behavior analysts, which are one of the top type of clinicians and people that use our software, we employ a lot of them. So a lot of times we might put a piece of content out where we want to make sure that it's hitting the mark from their perspective. Me as a marketer, I might want to be communicating something about the product or the need, but I need to make sure that it's hitting the mark from their standpoint. And then the same really applies to other angles, whether it's from a technical angle like that or just from an experience angle, is this hitting the mark? Sometimes it's as simple as the title to a white paper. Is it really resonating with them or are we just forcing them some technical jargon that's just not going to hit? So sometimes it's not everything needs to be completely recreated from scratch, sometimes it's just being honest in terms of having someone who can give you the proper angle or the proper insight and being willing to make those adjustments.

Justin Keller: I think that is right on. Not being attached to a message is something I found to be a key to success in marketing. I think a lot of the best marketers have little to no ego and are just there to synthesize and pull feedback in. Which interested in how this shows up for you, because I know you've got a background as a designer, as a creative director, which is like the name of the game is not having an ego about what you're building, because you're going to get a ton of feedback. But then seeing a VP of marketing with that background is a little less common in businesses like ours. So how does that background, how's that kind of shaped your path as a marketing executive that might be different from some other people?

Mike Impelluso: Yes. So for me, I mean I always knew I wanted to be in marketing and advertising. At the same time I wanted to get some technical skills along the way and then I just led the areas that I was passionate about, take me further and further. But at the same time, I think I've always had, and I maintain tying to tie business value to creative output. So it's just what does the business need? What's delivering value to the business? And then how can we across all of the different creative teams from a design concept, development concept, content concept, social media, there's all of these different areas that you can align what your work is to supporting the business instead of just, Hey, I'm trying to win award by designing an amazing website, that's awesome, but at the same time, is the website delivering value? So I think even when I was a creative director and deeper into design and development, I was always thinking about how that is going to impact conversions. How is it going to deliver the message that we want them to see first. What is the prospect? I'm trying to drill into basically, what the sales team needs to understand. What are their problems, what are the needs? How can I resonate with those and use that to stop and grab their attention. Hey, is this a problem that you're having? There's a better way to go about it. And that goes into the design that goes into the development. Is the page loading quick enough and we're getting the information up top. Is there just a form? Is there a way to prolong the engagement once they are engaged with us? So back to your question, and I think I always kind of see it as a problem solving perspective, whether it was in design, whether it was in development, whether it was in anything from content marketing to PR to social media, it's always just a problem that you're looking to align to, which is that all right, the business delivers this, the needs of the prospects is that, how can I design an experience that communicates that message better? How can I develop it, so it's quickest enough? How can I hit the mark in the best way for the user?

Justin Keller: I think that's right. I think if you're listening to this, that's probably a moment where you wanted to hit that reverse 15 seconds button a couple of times on the podcast. Because, not that I was going to try and trap you with a trick question, but one thing I was going to ask you, is kind of like what comes first? Is it the design thinking and system or is it kind of the demand gen or the pipeline targets of both? And from the sounds of it, am I right, would your answer be, it's both?

Mike Impelluso: Yeah, it's definitely both. I love to be tethered to demand gen, pipeline and sales. Meaning what is the sales experience? What are those conversations? How can I support that better? How can I set up the sales call in a better way? How can I align to the pipeline needs? If someone says," I really want this piece of content right now, because we just need it." And at the same time I have the demand gen team saying," We really need to fill pipeline in this area." Well I'm going to tether myself to what the business needs and I'm going to factor everything in. But you're right, where you really have to balance it, and I think it's not good when marketing gets too far from what sales needs and is trying to deliver. These two work together hand in hand and the closer you can be to understanding what the sales team needs and what the prospect needs, you're going to be delivering more effective marketing materials.

Justin Keller: Absolutely agree. I always say the closer a marketer sits to revenue, the better that marketer's going to be. Which is true in this day, because we live in the digital era and everything we do is measurable in one way or another except for brand marketing. Back in the day, brand marketing was the only marketing there was and now it's kind of like I'm seeing and sensing from conversations with people like you and peers and friends, that a lot of people feel like we've swung pendulum too far in the direction of being highly metric, data driven exclusively and being like, look, we need to bring the soul back into our business and we need to think about brand and how that influences pipeline and revenue. The tough part is, brand is kind of hard to measure. So how do you as someone that does have a brain for brand measure the impact on revenue to your broader customer facing team?

Mike Impelluso: Yes. Always a challenging question to answer, because there's never going to be one exact answer, especially when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of brand and brand teams. But it's really something that can be answered when merging things together. So there are tangible metrics you can get that will say a design or that a concept we put together is or is not working. If it's a digital experience we're designing for, obviously it's not the designs team's challenge to get people to the page, but once they are getting there, what's the experience? How long are they spending on the page? What's the conversion rate? Can we impact that with the change to the designs? So there are definitely metrics from a performance standpoint depending on what we're talking about, of how is the content performing? How is the campaign performing? Then there's less tangible things, which is just the brand in general, just the design overall. How are you measuring that? There're ways within PR you can measure that, share a voice, positivity, net promoter score, things like that. But I would say A, I think a creative team needs to maintain the creative aspects of what drives them at their job. Meaning, they have to be able to think outside the box, try new things, experiment. It's important to make sure they understand what they're designing for, what the goals inaudible the piece are, what the key message is, but allow them to give that freedom. A lot of times I'll measure a brand team's performance in a very indirect way, which is that are people coming to me saying that they're having good experiences designing with the people on my team? Are they coming with different ideas? Are they open ended? Do they work well with criticism? Are they able to deliver at the dates and the timelines that they were expected? Generally, I have a pretty good feel for these things and that's how I know if the team is working well and it's kind of more on me to make sure that the output, what we are producing is performing well. Is the content performing well? Is the tactic actually being effective? Are we maximizing the use of a piece of content or something that we produced? Oftentimes the answer is no. There're more ways that you could be using it to make it more effective. So it's not an exact answer, which I think is often the case here. But again, I think, as long as the design team understands the goal of what we're trying to achieve, they want to know that it performs well, as well. And I can bring that back to them," Hey, this did really well for this reason, so we should keep using that kind of approach from a design perspective." But inaudible yes, it's a different inaudible.

Speaker 3: Interrupting this episode of Revenue Talks, to let you know that Drift has been named a leader in the Forrester New Wave Conversation automation solutions, Q3 2022 report. This report consists of detailed findings from Forrester and how a vendor is scored against 10 specific criteria, as well as where they stand in relation with one another. We're thrilled to be included amongst such a stacked group. To learn more about this recognition, click the link in the show notes.

Justin Keller: I feel like there's, disagree with me if you want, there's like two points, there's two different parts, two receptors in a marketer's brain. Whatever the chemical is that gets released when you hit your pipeline for the quarter. You hit your metrics revenue goal. That feels great. That's like, let's get some champagne and celebrate tonight. And then there's the highly influential buyer that comes through and is like," Look, I just love the entire experience you put in front of me. The website, the branding, the experience was all awesome." Wildly different part of your brain fires feels... I mean it's almost like they're two different drugs, two different eyes that you get from them, both are important. And maybe that's something marketers should think about, are you rewarding both sides of your brain?

Mike Impelluso: Yeah, absolutely. And sometimes I would say design challenges can come to the brand team in very unique ways and if you're willing to take on the challenges those teams will feel the support. As an example, we had a sales team who was trying to make a big sale recently and they needed to present a very buttoned up presentation for onboarding, just to show what the timeline is, the details, everything to make that customer feel comfortable. We didn't have it in the presentation that was very clean when delivering what those timeliness are, what the details were, but they needed it. So we worked with them to create a very visual presentation that we couldn't just use for that customer, but probably for all customers moving forward, again, it proves the customer experience helps support the sales team. Now, they can visualize implementation and spot any kind of risk within the implementation process that they need to solve for. And again, that's not a material that's going to draw a new lead in. We already had someone, but we want to make sure that the entire experience and presentation of our company, our brand, that they're on the ball and that they have really great way of communicating things. Again, that's an example of something that wasn't attracting a new prospect or anything like that, but at the same time a design challenge came to the brand team to help improve the experience for the sales team to the customers and we're able to help there. And that's an example of just button up and get as close to revenue as you can, because when that chance arises, even as a marketer, you should take it.

Justin Keller: I think that shines a really sharp spotlight on the increased responsibilities that are on our marketer. I mean we went through a one way door, we're all digital first now, there's no going back. And it used to be one of those things where marketing can have a great inaudible. They can for example, put together a really good deck and then send a salesperson off to go visit a customer, a prospect in their office. And that face- to- face relationship building could carry a lot of water. And that is unfortunately, well for better for worse, maybe not the case anymore. So that, digital experience has to carry so much more of that what was left in the wake of that relationship building, that human to human interaction, it's made our jobs more important and more difficult. So what do you think from your company's perspective or just more broadly speaking, B2B marketers. What are the must haves from a digital experience that your website or your just broader digital presence needs to have to influence pipeline, improve conversion rates, I mean you've talked a lot about time on site, all those things?

Mike Impelluso: So I mean I'll skip past I think the page load stuff, because I think do think that is super important and my background as a developer at times just makes me kind of nerd out on that. But always important to make sure you're delivering the content as fast as you can. I would say, just focus on some more specific items. I am a firm believer of pricing pages, whether you want to share the exact pricing or not, I think it's important to share the factors that go into your pricing. Why? Because, users are looking for it. No matter what that they're looking for it. So either you're going to provide them a path to pricing or if you're not going to provide the specific pricing, but either way, it's a high value page to get them to. You can probably make some assumptions that there's probably some interest around your company or products if you get them there. And when you pair that with another, I think vital aspect of the digital experience, which I'll say is chat. And one of the reasons I've been a firm believer for chat for a long time, is that I would say a lot of my experience in digital and across the web brings you to the conclusion that people consume content in different ways, at different times for different reasons. I'm the type of person who would prefer to consume things I think through video format, whether I'm learning something new, but anything extended that would be my chosen type. Where some people I've worked with, they just want to read a technical white paper on something. They say," Give me all the details and let me inaudible it out and get deep into that." Same kind of applies to digital experiences, which is like, do I want to watch a video? Do I want to read content? Do I want to call someone right now and do I want to submit a form? Do I want to just chat with someone right now? These are different ways to contact and I guarantee you that people have different preferences. I just want to talk to someone on the phone. I don't want to talk to someone on the phone at all. I have a question that I can't find it, is it easier for me to just find that within chat? Can I prolong the engagement? Right now instead of just submitting a form and hey, I'll see you in a week maybe, maybe I can kind of prolong that experience, answer some questions, give you a case study that makes you feel a little bit better about another company that's similar to yours that has gone through this process that achieved success. These are all of the elements. What are they looking for? Does it solve the problem? How much does it cost? Can I make the pitch to my boss without having to come back to you with more materials? All of these kind of go into the research that's happening digitally and if you're going to make it hard for them to get everything that they need, then there's a good chance you might be left not even in the conversation when they're making a decision. So make sure that you're making it clear what you solve for, you're making it clear how you can get a path to, not just pricing but maybe a demo of the product. Are there technical questions? Sometimes there could be something deeply technical," Hey, do you back up Azure within this environment?" And if I can't get that answered, I don't know if this is the right sale. Can you provide a quick, easy answer and chat that is low touch, so that when they're ready to have that conversation, then we have given them all the information they need. And now they are a very mature prepared prospect for that sales conversation.

Justin Keller: Geez, I mean we started off this conversation with your kind of rhetorical question," Am I giving them what they need?" And you just went through a laundry list of all the things that a marketer needs to be thinking about and remembering," Am I giving this person what they need?" And I reverberate, not from the digital experience, the ad, the click through, what the experience on the landing page is, but product marketing. How are things being positioned? How is my phrasing of this going to impact the page, the time on site? It's got to be something that marketers are obsessed with and you're really making me think," Are we doing this enough here at Drift? Am I constantly asking this of my team?" My gosh. But one thing you said, and I agree wholeheartedly with, is the concept of the pricing page. If you're listening to this conversation and you have not gotten into a fierce debate slash argument with your product marketing, your product team, your sales team, about what your pricing page strategy is, set that meeting up right after you get off this podcast, because it's huge. That's always been for me a huge top of funnel driver, whether you show pricing or not.

Mike Impelluso: Same. And a lot of times companies are hesitant," Oh, I don't want to share it." And I understand it. The sales team wants to build value before they extract value, before they tell you, this is how much it costs, they want to make sure that you know. But, if this day and age 2022, the way that people are doing research and buying, is they're getting a lot of that information ahead of time and then they're having the conversation. So if you can't even say what factors go into your pricing, then depending on the sales cycle, depending on what you're trying to sell, you might find yourself on the outside looking in on a decision that you want to be included on.

Justin Keller: Yeah, let's keep clicking on this pricing page as a proxy, because a pricing page, the reason I said it starts a fight, because it does. Everyone's got strong opinions on it. And that could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Because, I think at the end of the day, you're in a unique position Mike, as someone that needs to make sure that all these teams are aligned, your sales team, your digital team, your brand team, the creative team, your product marketing team even, they're all pulling in the same direction in a way that is in the service of pipeline. So how do you go about bringing those teams together, corralling them and saying," We got one goal here." And making sure they're all part of that same experience.

Mike Impelluso: Well I think you just led me right into it, which is that first you define what that one goal that kind of brings us all together, what is that common denominator? Sales team, you guys are looking for more qualified leads right now, correct? You don't want to be cold calling people. You want good quality leads? Demand gen team, you want to fill the pipeline with the highest possible quality leads that we're getting over to the sales team. And I think the entire company just wants revenue. That's what success for all of our teams. So first, that is the goal. We want to deliver more leads, more high quality leads that are able to accelerate their ways through opportunities to revenue more quickly. So that's, the goal. So I'm going to set up that meeting about pricing saying that I know that if we put efforts to getting people to the pricing page, that's just the effort to getting them there. Then the people who get there generally are going to be more qualified for a potential conversation around sales than people who are just landing on higher top of funnel pages. That is a high in 10 page. Now, once they get there, the team, the design team, the demand gen team, we all need to be focused on converting them out of there. So what information do they need now? How do we get them to speak with us right now? Do they have a question around pricing? Is there a specific thing that they need to know that we can deliver or support? But how do we get them to engage now? Now, that we have them on the page, whether it's through chat, whether it's submitting a form, whether it's calling us. That's now a separate goal that goes to that higher level goal. And for the sales team, if you get someone who comes directly into you from that pricing page, is that converting at a higher rate than other leads? Probably, would be my hypothesis, but probably months later we'll come back and take a look at that. Look at all the leads that are coming out of the pricing page are generally converting at a higher rate than leads that might be coming from another campaign. And so, when you deliver that to the team, where again, it's one goal that kind of ties us all together and then there're different aspects of that that go into that. So we don't want to share specific pricing. What are these factors that we want to make sure they know go into it? What are the crucial elements that they might need to make sure that we can support? They need compliance within the US for this, so we want to make sure that they know that here. But again, starting that conversation around the common goal that we all have and ultimately, getting to a point where we are all seeing increased performance, seeing increased pipelines, seeing increased conversion rate, that we actually have a way to measure that we've thought through ahead of time as well. So once this is implemented, this is going to be how we measure success and this is going to be when we review it and obviously make changes to evolve it.

Justin Keller: Awesome. Now, in that there's a critical point that I think it is always a little anxiety inducing for marketers and that's the handoff. Can you tell us about what that's like for you? And by the handoff, what I mean is, a lead in account, what have you, goes from marketing and goes firmly into a salesperson's hands, where you don't get to control that experience anymore. How do you think about that? Do you try to control for that at all?

Mike Impelluso: Yes, a hundred percent. And I love that you asked that question, because I think sometimes that gets lost among everything that's going on in marketing and in sales. But that's again, that's the user's experience and that's something that we can control. And once you're going from one team who's done everything to get them to convert, now it goes to the other team and you lose some insights in terms of how that lead is going. And at the same time, the sales team doesn't know how that came to them sometimes. So as a perfect example in setting up the handoff, if our call to action was," Hey, book a demo to see the software today." But then they get on the call with our sales team and they're just looking to have a conversation about what they need first. They're not ready to show this software yet. Now, that we've created some friction on that initial call, instead of setting a cleaner expectation, which is that," We have an expert who's going to ask you some specific questions about your business, come up with the right solution and then present you with that solution." We created a better handoff by creating a more accurate expectation. And I think that's important as well, where you want to set that table properly so that there's not, they hop on the call with someone for the first time and they already aren't seeing eye to eye and what they're supposed to be doing at that moment in time. And then on top of that, I think on a marketing or general perspective, we want the user to have the smoothest possible experience once they submit their information. The last thing we would want is them to go to one sales team and then they're like," Oh, this isn't the right fit. We're going to send you off to another sales team." Now, they're getting passed off and handed around. We want to make sure that again, we're setting the right expectation and that we have thought through the logistics internally on what that experience is going to be from the handoff. So is there an SDR is going to get a call first, they're going to get some information and then they're going to set up a call that they are on with the sales team and we can kind of see every point that the user was going to be handed off throughout the process and does it feel cohesive to them? Does it feel like one company who is putting this all together or does it feel like they're being handed off and passed around? Because, we don't want the latter at all.

Justin Keller: Yeah, there's nothing worse than... And there's so many examples of this, but giving them all your information and then having to do it all over again with the salesperson. It's just like, you know what? Let's get through this part as quickly as you can. Holy shit. I feel like I have never had one of these podcasts where I've come out feeling like I've got so much homework to do and so much to think about. This is great. I'm going to wrap things up here with the signature Revenue Talks question and that is what is the number one thing your team is focused on this year to accelerate revenue as we head into the next year?

Mike Impelluso: So I'm going to take it right from that last question. So the handoff has been something that I have been kind of focused on lately. And we have acquired some companies, added some new products, expanded into some new markets over the last 12 to 18 months. And a way that I think that we can help accelerate revenue, something that we're focusing on is capturing those critical data points that will change what the appropriate product fit for them, is doing it as easily as possible. Meaning, I'm not going to just keep adding extra fields and expecting the user to submit 20 pieces of information. I'm going to use the tools that I have at our disposal to try to capture those pieces of information. And again, align to sales and the SDR teams. What are the pieces of information that you need to know upfront first, because there are those questions where do you do this? Yes or no? And that is going to change the way that we wrap that and what the product that we worked at. So can we capture that upfront in a way where, again, are we providing content that is delivering value to the user? And when we're asking for information, are we asking for information that is critical to what we are going to attempt to sell them? And if we get that information, is it going to improve our chance of conversion as well as the time that it takes us to potentially accelerate that into revenue?

Justin Keller: Amazing. Great way to part with us. Everybody, Mike Impelluso, VP of marketing at CentralReach and one of Drifts 2022 top marketers to watch. Clearly for good reason, because I've got so much to be thinking about myself. Mike, thank you so much for joining us. This was an awesome conversation,

Mike Impelluso: This was fun. I love getting to nerd out on marketing with you, Justin.

Justin Keller: Dude, I'm here for it, anytime. Thank you so much for doing it with our audience and we'll talk soon.

Mike Impelluso: Awesome. Thanks very much everyone.

Justin Keller: Thank you so much for listening to Revenue Talks. If you like this episode, please consider a leaving a review wherever you're listening. You can connect with me on Twitter @ JustinKeller and at the entire Drift Podcast Network. At Drift podcast. Remember revenue, it's everyone's business now.


When it comes to digital experience and design, you can't think of one without another.

No one knows this better than Mike Impelluso, the Vice President of Marketing, Brand and Digital for CentralReach - an end-to-end software that supports autism and IDD care delivery at home, school, and work.

In this episode, Mike explains how he aligns CentralReach's brand and digital teams to work towards the same goal, how he thinks about the ROI of brand plays, and what he considers as "must-haves" for a positive website experience.

Talking Points:

  • (1:26) What is CentralReach, and how does it go to market?
  • (3:12) Mike's take on how a company’s digital experience influences a prospect’s perception of the brand
  • (5:12) What alignment between CentralReach’s digital and creative teams looks like in order to deliver the best experience for its customers
  • (7:58) How Mike makes sure he incorporates everyone’s feedback in the digital workforce
  • (10:07) How Mike’s creative background informs his work as a marketing leader
  • (14:14) The ways in which Mike communicates the brand’s impact on revenue to the broader customer-facing team
  • (17:50) Mike's thoughts on marketers needing to work both sides of their brain
  • (20:15) A website’s must-haves for more influenced pipeline & increased conversion rates
  • (25:26) How Mike aligns all of CentralReach’s marketing and sales teams to understand the one end goal
  • (28:36) The importance of monitoring a marketing-to-sales handoff
  • (31:10) The #1 thing Mike’s team is focused on to accelerate revenue for CentralReach this year

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