This episode of Marketing Trends features a CMO roundtable with Meagen Eisenberg (LinkedIn | Twitter), Harsh Jawharkar (LinkedIn | Twitter), and Thomas Butta (LinkedIn | Twitter) of TripActions, Atlassian, and SignalFx, respectively. They discuss how to succeed as a new CMO, the future of SaaS marketing, how to work with a board of advisors, and much more.
3 Key Takeaways:
– When starting as a new CMO, don’t come in with an agenda or preconceived notions about what you should do. Be open to suggestions and feedback.
– In a SaaS environment, it’s crucial to be tightly aligned with your CFO so you can plan, understand, and justify acquisition strategies.
– Whether joining them or forming them, advisory boards are a great way to gain exposure and form a community.
As Chief Marketing Officer for TripActions, Meagen Eisenberg (LinkedIn | Twitter) is focused on delivering an amazing customer experience while driving worldwide awareness of TripActions. Prior to TripActions, she spent more than 20 years in high-tech and was previously CMO of MongoDB (Nasdaq: MDB) and VP of Demand Generation at DocuSign (Nasdaq: DOCU). Meagen was recently named Top 50 most retweeted by mid-sized marketers according to AdWeek and Top 25 for B2B Marketing Influencers. She is also on the board of G2 and advises over a dozen tech companies, four of which were acquired this past year. She has an MBA from Yale School of Management, and a Bachelor of Science degree in MIS and a minor in CSC from Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo.
Harsh Jawharkar (LinkedIn | Twitter) is currently the Head of Marketing for Enterprise Cloud, Platform, & Ecosystem at Atlassian. He also has experience in product and marketing at PayPal, Zendesk, and Slack, among other leading technology firms.
Thomas Butta (LinkedIn | Twitter) is the Chief Marketing Officer of SignalFx. As a marketing leader and brand strategist, Tom has helped some of the world’s most successful enterprise SaaS companies in rapidly-changing categories achieve the coveted positions of thought leader and trusted guide to the Fortune 2000. Prior to joining SignalFx, Tom was Chief Marketing Officer at Sprinklr, where he was responsible for positioning Sprinklr as a vital partner to large enterprises needing to digitally transform around the connected customer. As consultant-in-residence for the market development team at Andreessen Horowitz, Tom helped define and package the venture capital firm’s points of view about emerging technologies to position itself as the place for executives to learn about the future of technology. Tom has also served as CMO of AppNexus, NICE Systems, PTC, and Red Hat, for which he helped take the company public, expand globally, and establish open source as a viable software platform for modern enterprises.
– “I think empathy is really important. In the first 90 days, you’re going to hear ‘This is broken, this doesn’t work. This is why we hired you,’ or ‘Don’t mess with this. This is awesome,’ but ultimately I think empathy and listening are key. You have to be able to show that you care as much as every single CEO or founder. They have to really believe that you’re there to help take them to the next chapter and you’re not going to be a passenger.” – Harsh Jawharkar
– “I also think it’s really important to not come in with an agenda. I mean, you might know that you have to reposition the company, but to out of the gate say, ‘look, this logo’s awful, it doesn’t play, and our positioning is weak.’ You put people on the defensive right away and then they don’t share as you talk about. And that’s what you absolutely need.” – Tom Butta
– “When you’re brought in as a CMO, you’re brought in for a reason and they want your viewpoint. For that first board meeting, if you are on the agenda, they want to hear from you. And so I think they want you to come in and, if you’ve had enough time, lay out what the first 90 days or the first six months look like.” – Meagen Eisenberg
– “Currency, in almost every company, is going to come from the customer. How many times have you seen the salesperson in the room saying, ‘You know, I just came back from a week in Europe and talked to 22 customers and the consistent feedback was X. We’ve got to shift the product roadmap or this asset.’ Currency comes from the customer.” – Tom Butta
– “Part of trust is a consistent experience over time. And so we’re building trust so that our customers do want to renew, and stay because we’ve built trust and transparency in the process.” – Meagen Eisenberg
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