Delight & Deliver Value in Every Aspect of the Business | Christy Marble
Katie: Welcome to Revenue Talks. I'm Katie.
Justin: And I'm Justin. And on this show, we get real about what it takes to build pipeline and successfully scale businesses.
Katie: By having conversations with folks who have been there before, we explore what it takes to create strong cross- functional alignment, how technology factors in, how different teams think about attribution, and so much more.
Justin: If you're looking to win in the revenue era, you're in the right place to learn how.
Katie: Hello everyone. And welcome to another episode of the Revenue Talks Podcast. Today, I joined Christy Marble the CMO of Pantheon. Welcome so much Christy.
Christy: Thanks for asking me.
Katie: Pantheon is a webops platform that empowers teams to collaborate and iterate with speed and agility to deliver websites that produce extraordinary results. And I know speaking from my own professional career and anyone who might be part of a business, obviously a website that performs is very important to the bottom line. So we are so excited to have you. You are a three time CMO, and we're going to have a conversation today about how you're thinking about marketing's role in delivering a positive customer experience and generating more revenue throughout the entire life cycle of a customer. So to start things off, I actually want to bring up a quote that I was reading from an interview that you did with the MarTech series. So you say," For the CMOs that I talked to, our biggest priority is driving measurable results. We are accountable for market making, which means driving pipeline and accountability for revenue growth." That deeply resonated with me. And I actually wanted to start by asking you, how do you think about measuring revenue accountability for marketing at Pantheon?
Christy: Great. Thanks for asking. Yeah, it's kind of one of those careful what you ask for things, where gosh, years ago, I remember marketers didn't necessarily have a seat at the table. They weren't in the board room and the focus was more brand and awareness. And now that, careful what we asked for now we're called growth marketers. Now you see the rate of, the pace of change for CMOs moving from company to company. But at the same time, it's really exciting. And when at Pantheon, a similar approach that I've taken in the last couple of companies, probably because I started in the direct to consumer world with really some of the hyper growth work that I had the opportunity to do. And so one of the things that I've brought to Pantheon and my prior organizations is a couple of things. A concept that first we really aim to delight and deliver our customers value at every aspect of the business. And so that means that marketing is touching the whole customer life cycle. And the beauty of that is it really aligns us with the entire company, and the entire revenue organization. So the whole go to market process. And so at Pantheon, that's really key to us. Marketing collaborates with every part of go to market at every touchpoint that includes channel partners. We have a product led growth, all the rage channel with the trial. We have a direct sales organization, and we have account managers that are responsible for customer retention and growth. And so we really work with all of those organizations, even into the end user advocacy, we are a developer relations organization. And so our marketing goals are not based on a percent contribution of marketing. They are 100% aligned to our sales organization. And that means we're not looking at what percent does marketing influence this or that, or channel is all this or channel is all that. We can see with our attribution modeling that marketing is actually, marketing activities are influencing every channel, every activity, and many if not most of the people that end up purchasing and using Pantheon. So we strive to influence 100% of revenue, and 100% of the customer journey. That's our true north. And that really unifies us-
Katie: Yes, it's such a rising tide too, that when you were a business hits its revenue targets, it's a rising tide that lifts all boats. And I think it changes the entire dynamic of that partnership between sales and marketing.
Christy: Absolutely. inaudible
Katie: To be able to say, it's not your target, it's our target. It's just a whole different dynamic.
Christy: That's right. It makes such a difference when you have, well, first you can even align your organization right up to it, and we've done that. Our field marketing is lined right up to our sales segments. And so that's the other dilemma. Okay. Well, how could marketing be hitting their targets and sales is not, or how could sales be hitting their targets and marketing is not. And it seems like there's always where in the area that I've been in growth, really growth marketing, you're penetrating new markets. You're trying a new market for the first time. It's really hard to be an American company and go into India, or to Japan. Those are very, very different markets, the way people interact and buy and what they expect for products. And likely also sales segments, small business versus enterprise. So we really try to line right up to the sales segments, and have people inside of marketing whose responsibility is to be working right there beside our counterparts across that organization and share those goals.
Katie: And I think I loved what you said too about marketing's responsibility at every touchpoint. And I think there's a huge opportunity, we've been talking a lot about the go to market strategy, and how that manifests externally. But I think marketing has a unique responsibility internally to be that red thread, that connective tissue, just to add a little bit of that surprise and delight element to employees. What's your take on the role of bringing that culture, the role that marketing can bring to a culture within an organization?
Christy: Yeah. I really think you and I are very aligned, that when you put, and this is so passe, it almost seems like a cliche kind of thing, which is put the customer in the center, but it is so true. It's not because it's just a saying, it's when everybody in a company is really focused on how you can bring value to customers, when you really nail that, and it's hard and it's a constant improvement because the market dynamic is changing. But I really, and that's what I look for when I know there's a executive team that I can really work with and get in, I look for people that are, they're really passionate about their better way, and their better way is for customers. For their customers. And so when you can live that, when everybody in the company can really be looking at not how can I sell this? Not how can I market this? But when I deliver this experience or this value right here, how can I predict what someone would want right here? And when you have those experiences, it is like magic.
Katie: Yes, it is. And if we think about our own experiences as consumers, as buyers, a drift we talk a lot about this paradigm shift that's occurred, from businesses having had all the power, to buyers now having all the power, and that's greatly been accelerated as we've gone from a world with digital, to almost a digital first world overnight, over the course of the past two years. You have a background coming from digital. How has that unique perspective helped you to navigate this digital transformation, this moment in time we're living in, and where do you see other companies potentially missing the mark?
Christy: Yeah. There's two things that I see maybe that set, maybe this I'll call it natural digital first thing in place, and make people really effective. And first is an ability or a hunger to be constantly testing and learning. So growth mindset, to apply that to everything that we're doing for our customers every day, and create those hypotheses. What if we did this? What if we did that? And to do it from a purity of, if I can deliver the best experience for the customer, then they're going to want to do more business with me. The value that they're going to achieve is going to make them say," Yeah, I want to see what they're going to deliver next for me." And I've seen that. One of my favorite experiences, one that I've looked to emulate in some of our PLG workers is Miro. And they let you come in as you are. When I went in for my first time to use it, I did what I usually do is I'm kind of going to test it out. And so I used my personal email, and that's a dilemma for us marketers. We want to get that experience so people can try things with their personal emails, and be that open for them. We're all about open source. So we want to be that open for them, but then it means that, gosh, we don't know if they're already at one of our customers. And then what if we charge them, and then we have to back it out on the back end, because they realize, oh, well we have a Miro account. And I'll use Miro as an example, because I did that with Miro. And then when I went in, they said, they just gave me that little trigger, which is," Oh, well, if you're with a company, would you like us to check and see if your company is already a customer?" And I thought, well, gosh, sure. I will do that. Now they're bringing me value. And so I did, and certainly we were a customer at the time, the company I was at. And so they changed and I went and gave them my company address, and I got to use Miro for free rather than having to go through that whole trial experience and then convert everything over. I don't know what the conversion would be. I kind of wish I would've tried it to see if that was seamless to. But to me, that's an example of bringing me value that is so good. That of course, I'm going to do even what they want me to do, because it's a better experience for me.
Katie: Two things stand out for me in that example, the first is choice. You were empowered to choose, do you want me to do this? Which I think is really important in this empowered age of the consumer. And the second was this idea of value. So they were able to deliver value to you. As a CMO, how are you able to understand what your buyers want, or what they need so that you can deliver that value without even needing to be asked?
Christy: Yeah. And that goes back to the testing and learning. And we, I just think back to the days of direct mail. Direct mail, and it was so slow, but direct mail were the days, and I was in the consumer, B2C world then. But that champion challenger testing that you would constantly do in direct mail. And I remember in, I was in consumer finance and we had, it took us two years to beat our direct mail champion with all of our testing. And we were like," Are we ever going to beat this?" Because we're in marketing, we're getting tired of the old grade. We're like, we're all tired but the market's not. It took us two years and we finally did beat it. And we ran that champion. But now, with first marketing automation, and now all of the automation that we can deliver, even personalize and persona base, and across the whole customer life cycle in all of our digital, on our websites, we have at least 10 experiments running every day on our website. Different experiences for different personas. And we're constantly trying to improve it. And we've seen so much improvement in every little detail. It ranging from how fast does our page load on your mobile phone, which is really important, to do you prefer to provide some information via chat instead of forms. And I'll tell you, the answer is yes. Not surprising to you, but the answer is yes. If I'm chatting with you, I'm probably much happier if I can just do what I need right there. And you can direct me there in a matter of seconds, rather than, oh, close down and go to this form. So testing and learning is really everything, and doing it with the concept of not just history, like these things, but Hey, let's think of something that we think would be really innovative. We've also tested some things that really we thought were really cool and they were like," Nope, don't do that." So that's important too, being willing to kill things that are not.
Katie: Yes. And arriving at that quickly, that fail fast mentality of test, test test. See what works, see what doesn't and move on.
Christy: Absolutely. And so often it's the nuance too. I've seen that so many times with whether it's price increases or things like that are just so... You're worried about them anyway, because you really don't want to upset customers, but you realize maybe you haven't done, at a company and that's happened for me numerous times that, gosh, it's been the same price for five years. And there's an impact. And everyone wants, customers that love you and are advocates. They want a company to be successful too.
Katie: That's right.
Christy: Because they want to keep using it. So things like that, it's often, it's not the concept, it's the nuance. And that's where really getting into the testing, and learning what it is that truly works, and what it is that doesn't work.
Katie: And I love that concept of nuance, because as we think about the individuality of the people we're selling to, and how you talked a little bit about B2C versus B2B, I'm hearing a lot these days about business to humans, where we're still selling to humans, whether it's humans within a business or direct to consumer, having that nuance and appreciation for their individuality, I think helps a marketer stand out, helps a brand stand out in a very noisy marketplace at the moment.
Christy: Definitely. And use for experience testing, I'm so fortunate, we have a great user experience team and we get to use the same team that works inside of our product, which is really a huge luxury. I haven't always had that. And they just love to take something and test it. Some crazy ideas and test it before we push something out there and maybe bother people, but they come up with just some really creative ideas that we might not have otherwise that give you that like, what if I was right here? What picture myself, have that empathy of, if I was right here, what would I want? What would I... And that prevents you also from that overt marketing. Because I never want people in my face, where I feel like I'd be sold.
Katie: No. So much of that empathy, when you're putting the customer at the center of everything you do, that is empathy on display. It's not egocentric, it's putting the customer and having the best of intentions for the customer at the center.
Christy: Yeah. Absolutely.
Katie: You mentioned a little bit about your experience with direct mail, and it just got me thinking about this digital first push to more chat, more online experiences and how you balance that with some of the more standard marketing practices. I mean, every now and then I still enjoy getting snail mail or something at my home. So how are you thinking about that in your marketing mix, balancing digital with more of the standard or traditional marketing plays?
Christy: It's so funny that you say that because, just last night, I forget what I was doing. I have somewhere in my kitchen, which is where my mail all comes into. If it was probably opening my mail, which was probably more boring, little envelopes and things. Then I was thinking, gosh, strange to be thinking that you miss something at the beginning of COVID, but I kind of miss that era when we didn't have events anymore. And we were all trying to figure out how to do something a little fun and different to engage people in the virtual world. And we were testing coffee kits or virtual wine tastings and all of those things sounds like, oh, there hasn't been one of those recently, the good news is there hasn't been one of those because we're starting to get in person again. And I've been thinking recently, I'm going to have to trade in my uggs. Those are my slippers for inaudible
Katie: I have some on right now.
Christy: I know, that's the fun thing that we can actually get out and make human contact again. So I think bringing some of that forward though is really important. And for us, one of the things that I think happened for a while is when nurtures became the rage, they were these strings of, and I remember I was at one place and there was this 90 node nurture.
Katie: Oh my God.
Christy: And I was thinking, does it have to be that complex, and how will we know which one's working, and which we should take out. So it was really amazing work, but people want to talk to people.
Katie: They do.
Christy: Eventually, they want to connect. That doesn't mean that they want to right up front, they want to try a little bit. But if, once you get to a point where you have a question, you want a quick response. And you want it the way you want it, you want it the way you learn best. And so personally, I like chat for some things in my own experience. And sometimes I'm just, just like you think of the, when you dial in airlines are the best example, when your flight's been changed and you dial in and you get the voice system, and you're just like," Connect me to a rep."
Katie: Yes. Live person.
Christy: Human. Yes. So I think that's the testing and learning. We have to span across the digital, to human aspects and tap all of those elements of technology so that we really can, it is still about the right message to the right person at the right time. And so there a role, I was just on a call just a few minutes ago. Is there a role for the BDR, SDR, MDR, whatever you want to call them? Absolutely there is. Absolutely.
Katie: Well, it goes back to your earlier point around choice. Give the consumer, give the buyer the choice for how they want to engage with you. I think that is critically important.
Christy: Yes. I totally agree.
Katie: From an attribution standpoint, you don't look at percentage contribution. I think this is a radical idea for a lot of businesses. As attribution has been the age old debate in the marketing community. It's less linear than sales, it's harder to tie impact. And in some organizations who might not be as progressive being able to speak to influence just isn't enough. So if you were forced into a box where it was both influence and direct attribution, or even just direct attribution, what would your advice be? How are you thinking? Is it first touch, multi- touch last touch? Talk to me a little bit about how you're thinking about attribution.
Christy: Oh yeah. We've used the, first point of attribution we've used the U shape, the W shape. We've tested all of those things in, I've done that in multiple companies and we definitely use attribution as attribution, but gosh, to do the extreme, how many sales are actually achieved with one contact and one point of attribution in the B2B world. So we do have some through our online channel. We definitely have people who go in there, and do their thing and create a website and take it live in there. So we have that. That's an example. And typically though, they knew us from somewhere else.
Katie: Right. You're not that new to them.
Christy: Yeah. They're in an agency. Someone said, oh, you should go use Pantheon. So we definitely have that. We can see that. But in our more complex situations with customers, future customers, there are multiple people in the buying process, and there're interacting with different types of I'll call it content, and that's really not right, because I'm not going to call it BDR content, but they are value too. So they are engaging maybe better way, they're engaging with different activities at different stages based on where they are. And so the important thing to do with attribution is to look by source. And I know that's a... There was an interesting thing on LinkedIn recently about source with that Carol Lu. You may know her that she, she posted and I loved it, so we look at source like a VIN. The circles overlap. They are not clean, but we still look at them because we know that different activities are important to support our partner channel, than they are to support our PLG channel. And there's different activities that are important for small businesses than our very large global multinationals. And we even know that we have different people who actually hold budget and buy in Europe, and Asia than here in north America. So we have to look at all of those things. We have to look at it by source. We have to look at it by contact, and we have to look at it by account and by opportunity. And when we do that, then we see the patterns that matter. And the key is to be segmenting so that you are getting the right message to the right people at the right time, and not trying to be one size fits all. Because even with all these fancy targeting things we can do in marketing, if we're still delivering it as if it's a mass strategy, that is a mass strategy. And so that I know is very complex. That is the reality of how we look at attribution.
Katie: It's one data point that informs your broader strategy.
Christy: That's right.
Katie: On this one to many, one to few, one to one journey that you're taking your different customer segments or different prospect, all of those different journeys.
Christy: Yeah. And if you try to keep it as pure as possible, and remember these are people, or we were talking about earlier, these are people coming through. So what is the combination of things that they're going to need at the different stages of their buying process. You think of the challenger sale methodology, it's a shift in mindset, and we are disruptive just like you are. We have a disruptive capability that sometimes people can't even imagine that they can do the things that they can do using Pantheon. And so we have to bring them along, so that they can see the old way they did things versus the new way that they can do things and get super excited about it.
Katie: It's interesting too, the commentary around the combination of tactics and aggregate that pays off the experience. I remember at a previous life being in a meeting with sales leaders, and they wanted to drill down specifically into what is the top performing tactic. And we were always very careful to say, yes, that's an important data point. We can look at that, but it's the complete journey that we're taking people on, that is actually the true differentiator for us that really drives full impact.
Christy: That's absolutely right. And events, I'm sure as a marketer, you always get... Well, now that we're back into the event world, we always used to get that like events, put most of the money in events. We need events, get me in front of a human and I will close the deal, and true, very true for really fantastic, amazing sales people. That's pretty late in the sales process that get in front of a person and I'll close the deal. There's a lot that has to happen beforehand. And even if you think of the best call it outbound, the best outbound happens when the person you reach has heard of you.
Katie: Yeah we are. You can connect it. It's less work that the BDR has to do just to get someone to answer the phone.
Christy: That's right. And it's really expensive if it's your sales execs, they're making that first call and then having to create awareness-
Katie: Right. Exactly. Yeah.
Christy: In that first Inaudible.
Katie: And that's actually how you argue for the power of awareness. Is to create a little bit more mind share, to make it easier for that AE to get a foot on door.
Christy: That's right. And are we doing our job as marketers, if that awareness isn't there?
Katie: Right. Right.
Christy: That's hard in a very new market. When you're first entering a new market, it takes a while. That doesn't happen overnight. But, it is a combination of everything we do that builds out awareness. Brand is about this customer experience.
Katie: That's right. It's all the touch points in aggregate.
Katie: I'm little bit out of both sides of my mouth, because you are talking about an aggregate. But I curious to hear from are some of, how are you thinking about tactics right now, especially as we enter this hybrid world of some virtual events, some back in person, thinking the whole marketing mix. And then how does that vary from first touch when a customer is just, or a company's just learning about you, to perhaps you're trying to cross sell, or upsell, or retain a customer. How are you thinking about the way your mix changes, or tactics change through each of those different life cycles?
Christy: Yeah. We are, the thing that's consistent across each of those parts of the life cycle is really thinking about who is the person. And because we do have a couple of different personas, we have different people who are in our software every day creating websites, coding, versus people who are buying, and people who are putting content in. So we have different activities happening for different people. So that is the thing that's consistent, is we really try to look at the person, and deliver the right thing for the person. One, we have two points in our customer life cycle that we're really focused on right now. We have a new product that we launched, and we're really focused on getting good at adoption. Helping our customers through adoption of this product, because it's not just go turn it on and use it. It actually takes a couple of steps. It's a little complicated. And so that's one area that we're focused in marketing, is really what we do there. And that's a very targeted outreach that we are working with our customer support organization. It's a combination of activities that include our customer support organization, reaching out to targeted customers. I'll name products. We have Pendo, that we use for in product. We have a couple of support and services types of things that we use email, but some of our customers don't really want to receive emails at all, even service type emails, that's not where they live. And then our account managers are working very closely with them based on making sure that we're working with the customers that have raised their hand. Have mentioned interest. So it's a very dynamic combination of making sure that we're reaching everyone and creating that awareness in a very hands on bespoke type of way, so that's one thing. We have account based marketing in two flavors right now that we're really deeply going into market. We have a few, very few accounts that we have existing relationships within, and we're tapping very tailored events to tell their story, and reach others inside of their organization to expand those on a global and national basis here, and their kind of distributed types of organizations. So in account based marketing, we have that, which is very much events, webinars. We have a little bit of emails, and we definitely have nurtures so that when they come in. And we also have things on our website, so that if they do come, we can identify and-
Katie: Personalized experiences on your website.
Christy: Personalized, social, all of those. We're really testing to get it right there for each of these customers. And then we have the targeted ABM where we have some groups or segments.
Katie: Coworks. Yeah.
Christy: Yeah. That we're also bringing through all the way from digital ad type buys, digital and social buys. So those are a couple of the things that we're doing. We have one point right at the BDR stage where we're also working with the best integrated nurture. So not just that the, you get eight emails and then you're going to, all of a sudden be, you're going to know everything you need to know. It's more the, oh, here's a reason to call. Oh, what's the next type of conversation that they're going to want to have, are they going to demo? Are they going to want to try to get in the product and test it out?
Katie: What I love about these specifics that they really pay off the vision that you stated front, which is marketing, is this connective tissue collaborating across every part of the business. You talked about your partnership with service, your partnership with BDRs. And the other piece that stood out to me is just this whole idea of, yes the tactics are necessary, but it's the journey. It's the email plus the BDR conversation, it's all of the different ABM touches that an aggregate deliver personalization. So it's great to hear another marketer living and breathing the philosophy. So we're not just all buzz words. We're living and breathing what we say is the right thing to do.
Christy: It's almost like everything is a surround if it needs to be. And not everything does need to be, like that first PLG example. Some people, we definitely have really powerful developers who just want to go in and create a website. Leave me alone. I know what I need to do. I'm going to get in there. So we need to honor that too. The worst thing we do there is create a popup or something, to try to intercept them. That can't happen.
Katie: Right. Well, that leads us to our final question, which we ask every guest who comes on Revenue Talks. And that is, and we may have touched on some of this already, but what is the one thing that your team is most focused on to accelerate revenue for your business this year?
Christy: Gosh. It is moments, I'm going to call it moments that matter. But for us is really thinking about everywhere we can bring value. Every single place that we can have, and it's a feeling. Value is a feeling that we feel as customers that is like, oh yeah, they get me. And so that's that moment that matter. We want our customer experience to feel like a dialogue. We want it to feel comfortable. We want people to feel like we are with them, and of them, and they're part of us too that we're in this together. We're really, our pride enjoys when we see our customers creating websites that deliver extraordinary performance, and that's all aspect of performance for their customers. So for us, really figuring out new ways to innovate, and nail that is what makes us super excited.
Katie: I think you're speaking to the power of community, and creating that community with your customers and their customers. And everyone wants to feel seen and heard. Like you get me, and you're right, that is an intangible feeling, but it's very powerful and it's a real differentiator. Because people can tell when you're being authentic or when you're not being authentic in that community space.
Christy: That's right.
Katie: Well Christy, thank you so much for being here today and sharing some of your wisdom with all of us and our listeners. We wish you the best of luck in 2022, and hope to talk with you again soon.
Christy: Thank you, Katie. It was a pleasure.
Katie: Take care. Thank you so much for listening to Revenue Talks. We'd love it. If you'd love to review wherever you're listening, and hit subscribe so you never miss a new episode. You can connect with us both on Twitter @ katiefoote with an E and at @ JustinKeller, and remember revenue it's everyone's business now.
It's no secret that on this podcast we believe revenue is the responsibility of all go-to-market teams. But that begs the question, how do we think about attribution for sourced revenue?
Christy Marble, the current CMO of Pantheon - a WebOps platform that empowers marketers and developers to create, iterate, and scale websites - has been thinking about this question for years, and she always comes back to the same answer: Marketing's job is to delight and deliver value to their customer's at every aspect of their business.
In this episode of Revenue Talks, Christy explains what exactly delighting customers and delivering value at every aspect of the business looks like at Pantheon. She and Katie discuss leveraging automation to find out what buyers want and need, and they reminisce on direct mail - is it really dead?
- (1:40) How Christy measures revenue accountability for marketing at Pantheon
- (6:07) How marketing can impact the culture of an organization
- (7:53) The growth mindset for digital transformation
- (10:54) How to figure out what your buyers want and need
- (15:32) How Christy thinks about balancing modern digital marketing plays more standard, traditional marketing plays
- (19:20) How Pantheon’s marketing team thinks about attribution
- (25:32) How Pantheon’s marketing tactics change for different stages of the customer lifecycle
- (30:31) What is the number one thing Pantheon is focused on to accelerate revenue for its business this year?
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