The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 11 months ago

Ep 24: Building a Marketing Team from Scratch with Nicole Wojno Smith

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 24: Building a Marketing Team from Scratch with Nicole Wojno Smith

Hello and welcome to the revenuecollective podcast. My name is Casey. Let Gordon and I'm your host. Today. Ihave the chance to sit down with Nicole Bueno Smith, the vice president ofmarketing and tackle. Nicole is not only the head of marketing there, butshe's also the head of our Atlanta chapter for the revenue collectivecommunity. So I'm very excited to sit down with a fellow woman, a fellowAtlantan and one kick ass marketing leader to talk about. How do you startas marketer number one inside a high growth company? Nicole is going toshare with us how to align leadership in your board, how to avoid the shinyobject syndrome, how to build trust and easy four step process for any marketerto be able to set themselves up for success. I also want to give a hugeshout out and thank you to our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by QuotaPath Commission tracking software built by salespeople for sales people. If youwake up in a cold sweat, dreading the commission's process quota path is foryou. Quote. A path provides commission transparency for everyone involvedwhile motivating reps to sell more. Plus, it's so easy to on board it'll berunning before your next commission cycle. Ditch the spreadsheets andformula. Simplify commission calculation at quote a path dot com.Let's get started. Hello and welcome to the revenue collective podcast. I am soexcited to be sitting down with, ah, fellow Atlantan today, Nicole Boy. No,Smith. She is the vice president of marketing at tackle. She is really, youknow, such a leader in the revenue collective community. I know that youlead the Atlanta chapter, but I swear between slack and email I see your namepopping up all the time. So I am so excited to sit down and talk about howdo we build marketing at the very beginning? Like we hear about a lot oftimes these high growth companies and you hear about the later stages. Butwhat there's a deficit in, especially when it comes to content, is how do westart? Where do we get in? And, you know, actually build that foundation.So, Nicole, thank you for joining me today. I'm very excited for us. Toe.Have this chat. Yeah. Hi, Casey. Thank you for having me. It's a topic I'mpassionate about, so excited to talk about it today. Toe Help Get theaudience familiar with your background. I want to just read off a bit of yourbio so that everybody understands you know where you're coming from and maybeeven situate themselves in your own narrative. So you have 15 yearsexperience building B two B brands to drive demand, increase awareness andaccelerate revenue growth prior to tackle, which you join January of thisyear. So we'll talk about what that looks like. Joining a new company,building the marketing practice during a pandemic because you know don't haveenough of those stories. You were the CMO at user I Q. Where you built themarketing team from the ground up, resulting in significant year over yourair our growth when you're not at work. I understand that you enjoy cooking,spending time on the water with your husband and to Ozzy doodles. I need apicture of that. That sounds cute as hell. And also, as I mentioned runningthe Atlanta chapter of Revenue Collective, it sounds like you are onebusy woman. Nicole. Yeah, I like it that way, though. You know I get boredif I'm not busy, so it's better that way. You are the second woman inrevenue collective I've caught up with today, and you both said the same thinglike burnout Israel, but also boredom Israel and I've got to keep going. So Iempathize with that a lot. My husband sometimes says I find projects just tokeep me going, and I don't think he's wrong. Yes, my husband says the samething, and right now, you know, I also have some home projects that we'redoing around the house going on, so I could never have enough projects. Iknow we need to create like a husband support group for yes, All right. So,Nicole, what we're going to talk about today This was actually born out ofsome of our conversations going on in...

...the revenue collective community.People were saying, like I mentioned in the intro is that when I'm starting ata company, especially as a marketing leader come in, you know, maybe there'sa round of fundraising that's happened or some sort of event where they'resaying, Hey, we're moving beyond a CEO or founder and we're building out thatleadership team and marketing is such a key component to that, especially in Btwo B. Tell me about where you came in and maybe tackles journey of growth andwhat your mandate was coming in the door. Sure. So this is the third timenow I've done this and come in as the first marketer and an organization, Um,and coming in to tackle they had about I think they were at about 30 peoplewhen I came in. Maybe a little less, Um, but they have been very successful, haddone a great job and sales product customer journey, but had no marketingto date. And But I was just blown away by everything they've been able to dio.But they wanted to someone to come in and to really build the brand. We werein a space where we really don't have competitors are competitive. Nature isreally that, you know, someone's gonna build it rather than by. And so how canwe build this category around what we're doing and tell that story andthen start building this inbound demand? Gen engine Israel And what we do is wehelp companies open up a new revenue engine Thio establish operating skillrevenue through the cloud marketplaces. So aws Azure and G C p marketplace. Soah, lot of our inbound referrals have been coming through the cloudmarketplace providers, which is great to have that relationship with them.But we wanted to make sure that we weren't relying on them forever. So howcould we build this content marketing engine and demand Jin engine around?You know, just people knowing about tackling coming to us instead of goingthrough the cloud providers for that? So I was really brought in to buildthat and establish a great you know, relationship of that marketing to saleshand off to so a few, you know, big priorities. And, you know, at firstwhen I came in, they were saying, You know, you might be the only market, orthis year that we bring in, you could do this all yourself, and I knew thatwould be a reality with our growth goals of wanting Thio three X revenuethis year and then thinking about next year what we wanted to dio and so itreally, you know, had to be having those open and honest conversations.Even in the interview process of Hey, if we want to do this, here's how wehave toe feel to set up a team. Here's what budget needs to look like. And,you know, if I accomplish these goals, here's how we should be looking atgrowing the team this year. A swell. Okay, so you said a couple of thingshere. You said you started those conversations in the interview process.So as you were speaking with leadership, the board, maybe of bringing you in,You set that stage before you even had the gig. Yeah, that's correct. And Ithink that's really important to be transparent and honest and theinterview process of especially when you're coming in for as the firstmarketer in a V. P. You know, head of marketing role, anything like that. Ifthey're wanting you to take on a role that's both, like that strategic andtactical role and be the only person you need to understand, you know whatthe company goals are and how you're gonna align to that. And if you'regonna, you know, they're expecting you to be the only marketer for a while,which you know is totally fair. You know, everyone's got to kind of do itgroup. It works and get your hands dirty. I understand that. But havethose conversations of Okay, Well, when will I be able to hire? When will I beable to build my team? You know, if I can't hire someone right away, what isbudget look like for me to outsource work? I need to agencies. And you know,when can I start doing that? You know, you maybe you're not doing that on dayone. But it's not realistic for someone to come in and just be able to doeverything in an organization, especially a fast growing fastorganization themselves, and absorb all...

...that and be ableto really like thinkbig picture and get down in the weeds. So you need help. I've had theseconversations in the past, and I'm curious your take. I find that in anorganization, marketing more than any other function, is oversimplified. Yes,I completely agree with that as well. Um, I see that all the time, and I seeit a lot. And you know, people I'm talking to in revenue collected thatare looking for new roles. Especially now since Kobe and with the pandemic.And as people are looking to hire a new revenue leaders, marketing leadersthere, you know, really putting a lot of pressures. Marketing teams have beencut in wanting people to do so much more with less, with less budget, withless teams. And it's really challenging situation right now. Yeah, I have somuch empathy for that. I've been a sales and marketing leader in the past,and you at the onset. It feels like being conservative is good. You know,you're trying to manage headcount toe output, but in the long you end upstifling growth so significantly. It's almost, you know, cutting off your legs,so to speak, in the sense that you're preventing the ability to scale and sothat that balance and I empathize. Also for founders, that air, you know, ourleaders that are making those hires. Yes, it is. It's definitely tough, andI feel like sometimes it could be the last place to get budget and anorganization. And then the first place where it's cut. Yeah, preach. So yousaid that this is your third time doing it. You negotiated or, you know, hadthese upfront conversations this time around. And you it sounds like you knewsome of the milestones that hit right. Like when we hit this kind of revenueor these KPs can I bring on a team? Here's what a budget might look like.That sounds like somebody who's done it before. I want to hear about, like,tell me the time that it was not that clean. Or maybe what are some of thelessons learned? Because I think that a lot of times people that are listeningto this this is their first time ever doing that. So they may not even knowwhat budgets need to look like what revenue goals look like. So I'm curiousif you have any insights Or maybe lessons learned from when it wasn't asgood as it is a tackle. Yes, for sure, I do have some good ones and you knowtough things I've learned along the way. And I think, like I said, it all startsduring that interview process and really getting clarity and, you know,talking to as many people as you kind on the leadership team and, you know,talking to the board as well and getting and having those openconversations and it's hard. It feels uncomfortable. I think when you'regoing through that to ask about like, you know, what are the sales? There aregoals. What's quota attainment? What's your churn rate? Um, you know what?What budget are you going to plan on giving me? And, you know, companiesmight hold back on answering those questions. And I think if they areholding back on giving you that information, that raises a red flag tome. And, you know, there was one company that I was at for Onley threemonths, actually. I took a CMO position there and then ended up leaving, butthey were They were very hesitant on giving me answers to some of thosequestions, but I thought it was a really good opportunity to take on abigger role than I had. And I realized then when I walked in the door thatthey were what they thought of a marketing leader, and what I thought amarketing leader would do were completely misaligned expectations. Andthey they did not want a strategic marketing leader they wanted so intojust come in and create white papers and thought again it was my example ofyou should have 300 leads a month just right now. And whatever you need to doto get that is all we need you to dio instead of actually taking a biggerpicture. Look, aligning with every you know, other leadership team member,understanding their departments, understanding our customers, looking atmessaging and really, strategically putting together a plan for marketingand how we scale a marketing...

...organization was just like, no sorry.Anything you say doesn't matter. Just go put out white papers to get leads,which is, like, the most archaic thing I've heard of. Actually, yeah. I mean,to me, so much of the especially in this world. I mean, it's highlycompetitive for talent, the culture, peace and not of, you know, Rob, wehave a pool table, but culture piece around like, what do you hold important?What autonomy give employees, you know, how do you set goals and allow peopletoe, reach them or fail, but and and do that Those all speak volumes. And Ithink that you know, something you said is moving from that tactical market orinto that strategic marketer, and that's a journey within itself. Butwhen you hit that point, you begin to look for different things inside anorganization. I'm curious if you can share a bit about your background. Likewhere? What was that journey to go from a beam or execution oriented intosomeone that now leads, you know, teams and large organizations to growth. Yeah,so I just kind of got my background of where I started on all of that. So Istarted actually on the PR side of things and was in the agency worldstarting out. And then while I was there, I was getting my MBA inmarketing and business and then decided Teoh had a great boss who understoodthat this probably wouldn't be forever, that I would stay at that agency doingthat. And then he decided to give me a shot to run marketing for the agency.And at that time, that was really my first foray. And so how do I runmarketing for a company? And we were selling toe all be to be health care It customers. So again, that was the introduction as well. I needed into SASand understanding that space. But I would just started doing marketing forthe agency and then one while I was there. We also started using marketingautomation at the time. And as you know, you might know health care. I t tendsto be a laggard industry to on. And, uh um, none of our customers were usingmarketing automation. So I kind of spun up a agency program where I partneredwith a bunch of marketing automation agencies like Part Ott and Hub Spot tooffer these services to our clients of helping them implement marketingautomation. So I went from just doing marketing for our agency to then doingeverything from, like the biz Dev side of Things going out on pitchingproposals. Thio, then actually doing the implementation Thio helping themwith marketing campaign. So it became a whole literally, like practice out ofbeing the quote unquote brand marketer for the agency. Yes, and then the storyI say is like, That's when I, my CFO, stopped hating me, I say, because, likeI learned, that's what I think. I really took the turn from being sotactical to being strategic because I learned about Okay, here's how wegenerate revenue. Here's burn rate. Here's you know actually where money iscoming in and out and okay, I'm generating R O I now for this, you knowthe agency and this is what matters. And I think that's where the careerstarted, taking a bit of a pivot instead of just me. Reallyunderstanding. Okay, here's where I could bring in money and here's where Icould help and then really aligning that to what our biz dev team was doingin the agency to and starting to pick up on things. And that's when I reallystarted to grow my career and understand the strategy side behind alot of that. So I think that's fascinating. Anytime, you know, turnone roll in and then turn that into the ability to sell a product or service. Ihave a lot of a lot of respect and appreciation for that. That's the worldI come from. So I I understand. So you then, to get into becoming more of thisstrategic marketing leader, I find that and I love your input on this. I thinkthat sometimes during the interview process, it's scary to your point tosay, Hey, the goals you're setting out aren't attainable because then, doesthat say something about me? Or does it...

...say something about your goal setting?I have found that the right organizations and great leadersactually love when you educate them during the interview process. Based onyour experience is based on the goals they have set forth for you to say, Hey,this isn't realistic in my experience, not always. But my experience isthey're so grateful that you've include them in on a possible misstep, and itchanges the dynamic of the interview process. Negotiation, role development,all of those things. Yes, Casey, you're 1000% right on that one. And I thinkit's a sign of a great leader that you want to work with as well. If they are,you know they're hiring you because they haven't had this person in theirorganization before. Because, you know, if you're the first marketing higher,then it's probably, you know, they need a bit of education on marketing, andyou know how this should be working in their organization or the first saleshigher the same thing. So you know something's unrealistic then. Yes, it'sup to you, Thio, you know, level said, and provide you know, based on yourexperience, how maybe this should be working and, you know, Yeah, probablyexpect that they might go back to the board and say Hi. I heard this from theperson that we're thinking about hiring for this marketing role. What do youthink of the word? Probably say yeah, Based on our experience. They'recorrect in that assumption. But I think that just sets the tone for a reallyhonest relationship that you're going tohave coming in with, you know, yourpotential CEO or whoever your reporting. Thio and I completely agree that it'sgreat on those air. Probably That's a company you wanna work for. Totally. Soin the past, have you had the board conversation come organically throughthe interview process? Or has it been something that you've asked for? I'vehad it come organically through the interview process of usually thecompany wanted me to talk Thio. You know one or more board membersthroughout that process got it perfect. So you get a you get alignment insidethe organization prior to even starting right. It's let's understand, alwayslet's set KPs. Maybe I am individual contributor to start, but I need toknow at what milestone I can bring in other support or budgets for outsideparties. Talk to me about any other you know, watch out missteps that you mighthave establishing. You know, your marketing practice inside anorganization. Yeah, Another one that I kind of say to watch out for is onceyou get started is the shiny object syndrome, and, you know, you might beaware of that, but I have found it's very common in early stage companiesand, you know, especially when you're the first head of marketing or head ofsales, that you might experience this a lot. But you know, founders or CEOs,it's hard. You know, you see something that a competitors doing or you'regetting a lot of input from the VC firm or your board, and they're saying like,Hey, someone else So and so is doing this like they just launched thisproduct. Or have you seen this copy that they have on their website? Um,they're doing this type of event. Why aren't you doing this? And it becomeshard to ignore that noise sometimes, and sometimes I think marketing gets alot of the immediate reactions of Hey, you need to go do this right now,because again, Company X is doing it, and we we need to try this. And I thinkif you don't have really clear goals or you know, whether you're using, likeOkay, ours for V two moms or something like that to be measured, it's supereasy to just say Okay, sure, we can try that and tested and slip into goingcompletely off track, and then you're getting to the end of the quarter orend of however you're measured and you realize you haven't hit any of yourgoals and you're having to report in a board meeting and everything iscompletely off track, and it's really...

...no explanation of why. It's just likewe decided to test this and something is not working. And I think that's, um,something I see a lot in here about happening that hits home to me so much.In a previous role, I we had a quarter where we needed to do some customerresearch around some new offerings. We were coming out with our sales team,you know, because we were closest to the customer, chose to take that on,but What we really didn't realize at the time was by saying yes to that wewere saying no to doing the actual sales work. And so we were turning downor you know, not, not intentionally. But we were not focused on what thenear term revenue goals where we were focused on what might be in 12 to 18months and then to your point at the end of the quarter end of the year whenwe had to sit down and have those conversations. Yes, we learn somethingnew that made our business better, but we also weren't able toe handle thingstoday. And I think that that, you know, especially when you're working closelywith a board or a founder CEO, whoever that could be a really challengingposition to find your voice and your confidence I have found Okay, ours. Youmentioned those. I have found those to be super effective mechanism to say,Listen, we've already laid these out and it's almost like an if thenstatement, right. If if this is your goal and we agreed to do these things,then there is no place to put this, and if we are introducing it What else areyou going to remove from my plate? And I find that a lot of times what couldbe a flippant idea like, hey, so and so is doing this. They may mean it andjust this is an idea. And if you're taking it as Bible, so to speak, if Ihave to do it, there's, Ah, disconnect. And so, by having that taking a beat,having that conversation of Do you really want this to be a trade off ofthe work I'm doing today? I have found that usually the answer is No, no, staywhere you're at. I This was just a nice idea. I was sending your wedding. Oh,that makes sense. But if you are changing course, then at least it'salignment across the board. Exactly. And I think, you know, seeing havingokay, ours, too. The great thing is that it usually is so tied toe. Otherorganizations, you know, everything waterfalls down from what the CEO ofwhat the company goals are. So if something changes in marketing, it'sprobably affecting sales, and it's affecting customer success or product.And you know, if you look at that and say, well, then I'm not going toaccomplish this, and it's like, Oh, well, then this may impact sales,hitting their goals or something and product, you know that we're not gonnabe able to communicate this product release, and you really start to thinkabout it and tie it back. It's not a simple it's just like Okay, well, thenthis got pushed in marketing two months. That's a bigger ordeal and something tothink about. So I really I love okay, ours. And you know how they can reallyhelp in organizations. See the bigger picture around. What's important inthat, you know, a little decision of changing course or messaging onsomething you know someone might have an idea to try can really make a biggerimpact. For those of you, they're listening. That may not be as familiarwith Okay, are is it's a framework called objective and key results, inwhich you can help set organizational all the way down to individual goalsthat align Thio Whatever your company is trying to accomplish, there's agreat book called Measure. What matters, I believe, is the name and it's it laysit all out, gives a lot of tangible examples. The thing I will say I havelearned okay, Are there never perfect their first roll out? They take time,but just the act of doing them builds a muscle organizationally, that createsso much focus and clarity that even if you do it 50% of the way, it's betterthan not doing it all exactly. Yeah, they I think they take at least a yearto get right. I feel like, honestly, it sounds really painful, like a lot ofwork, but they do take a while to get right. But once you get into thatmotion, you know, just like you said, at least doing them getting 50% of theway there is better than nothing. Totally. I think a year is a veryrealistic timeline. I know at a...

...previous organization, there was a lotof discussion amongst the leadership team. Well, if it takes a year, is iteven worth it? And what we saw that a year to get perfect. But you startedseeing benefit a quarter into because you're developing just a new way ofoperating. So stick with it, guys. It's worth it. We promise. Okay, so wetalked about building new to an organization. You know, getting thatleadership alignment at the onset, getting your board on board. Look atthat board on board. Uh, you are You're avoiding shiny object syndrome, whichis so like classic like anybody gets that. I think inside a company,marketing and sales get it, get it worse than most being. And then one ofthe things you and I were chatting about is in this. I'm fascinated tolearn about your experience joining tackle right before the pandemic hit inwhich most of your work has been remote building trust inside an organizationas a marketer. Ah, lot of it is painting a vision of what could be andgetting people to align and buy into that while also having to still proveit out. That's tough, and I think that it takes some stamina and focus andvision. And so I'm curious. How do you go about building that trust and maybeeven some tangible examples of your time and tackle this year? Sure, Yeah,I think that's one of the most important things that you can do is amarketer when you're the first person in or at any time is you know, you haveto go trust across all parts of the organization because you are. I mean,you're really that bridge between every part. You have to showcase whateveryone's doing and make sure like that you're putting everyone's work,you know, front center, inside of marketing. And you know, you can't goin on day one that you start and start blowing everything up and saying, Youknow, this doesn't work. We're not doing this the right way or I'mchanging everything on the website. Um, so I think understanding, listening andthen starting to say, like, based on what I've heard, you know, after thistime, here's what I think we should do and why. But no one's going to trustyou to start doing that in month one. You know, I kind of think of things islike four steps, and I'll kind of talk through each one. But I like to saylike you have to prove it works and you can do it yourself. Then build aprocess and then, you know, help build your people on your team. And then youthink about technology first. But what I like to say is like, you know, proveit works, and you could do it yourself, eh? So, you know, you can't spend yourfirst, you know, not 30 60 90 days in the job, just observing. You know, youdefinitely do need to be observing and listening. Like I said, you don't justgo blowing things up. But you should be thinking about like, what are thosequick and easy wins? You can get that a line around company and priorities andstrategy. And again, like, hopefully you did your homework like I wastalking about during the interview process. So you know, some of thisalready. So when you're jumping in that you're like, Okay here, some of thethings I already know that I wanna like hit and, you know, get up and runningright away. So at tackle when I started, you know, a really big deal. Waas. Wehaven't really done it. We didn't do a great job. We had so much stuff goingon in product and engineering. I mean, our team is just we're probablyreleasing, you know, at least 2 to 3 new releases each week with ourproducts. So, like they're just a machine but we weren't doing a greatjob of getting the word out about that. So right away, I was like, Okay, I'mgonna at least start doing a monthly roundup log posts about this to, youknow, condense some of these, um, topic so that we can at least start puttingthat out to people have this communication of what we're doing totalk about the product and then dio bigger post each month around Ah,bigger release announcement when there's something like, really big thatwe want to talk about and doom or, you know, press and promotion and femalesaround that as well. Another big piece was kind of So yeah, e I want to talkabout that. So you took the question right out of my mouth in the sense thatyou get in and listen. But don't wait...

...too long to do something right like you.You're 60 days in and you're observing at some point, somebody's gonna lookaround, say, like, and what are you doing? And so I find that and I'mcurious your point of view. But within those 30 60 90 milestones to set aperiod of time in what you say you know, the 1st 30 days I'm going to observe.But by day 45 I'm going to make a recommendation or setting up thatproactively I find in the the absence of expectation or a narrative, peoplewill build their own. And so being able to get ahead of that and set thoseinside to the company is really important. And then even what you weresaying around the block post around, you know, the release that was makingyour peers and your teammate looked really good to write, like you're doingsomething that does solve a customer need but also celebrates what thepeople inside the company are doing. And I find that that, you know,marketing a lot of times is telling those internal stories just as it is,you know, building customer demand. And yeah, I think it's it's really likefinding out what's important. Thio, each team member and their department.So you know, what is it? What sales? Biggest priority that you could helpwith right now. What is customer success? What is it for a product youknow, and then going in and saying okay, like, how could I help each of them youknow, right away. Like, what is something small I could do to make abig impact here and then going in And, you know, figuring out how in thosefirst, you know, 30 or 60 days, you could start to do that. Like sales.They needed ah, little bit of help with some of the hub spot automation. E cango do that. And I can could help with some data sheets that they needed donein customer success. You know, that was some stuff of How can we help with somecustomer marketing materials as well? So again, it's like these little winds,you know, you want to set up more strategic process around this. You know,this was also like I was building budget beginning of the year andfiguring out more strategic programs, but you cannot sit there and not doanything on. Just say I'm just thinking. I'm just listening to calls. The firstthe 1st 30 days, I'm just going to observe meetings. You have to still bedoing some stuff, and it's not all going to be right and perfect, andyou're probably gonna redo a lot of it is you go on but be doing some thingsand you're gonna learn, I think is a market or two. You're gonna learn a lotwriting things in the early days. Like my product stuff I wrote it first wasterrible. I was learning the product and but the federations and as I keptgoing about this and revising and learning more just that helped meactually like, understand tackles, products and what we're doing and how Iwanted to talk about it and I think drives customer empathy out of the roofbecause you're learning about the product for the first time to just likeyour customers are in a lot of ways. So you going through the learning processof what resonated? What did not what did you not understand? Helps you adapt?You know how you communicate it. So you get in, you say, prove it works and youcan do it. Then we talked about process. Where are there Gaps in theorganization on Um, I love that you said like technology comes later. Likefirst we had the gap. So tell me, Talk to me about that. Yeah, So I thinkthere's always, you know, things of like, especially when you're coming in.On the marketing side of you know, things aren't necessarily ever writtendown, especially at the start up of where people have just been movingextremely fast. So, you know, for example, we had been starting to dosome. We were starting to do things like weekly office hours where peoplecould come and ask us anything on these and they were open to prospects andcustomers, and we were recording them. But there was no like process for this.And then what happens after someone comes to office hours? How do we followup? What's the process? And then same thing with Webinars, Um, again. So justdocumenting and a Google doc, anything...

...works, you can do whatever you want.It's written down but again documenting the process of like what happens beforethese events. What happens during the event? What follow up do they get after?How does sales follow up? How does marketing follow up like, what are therules of engagement? Things like that? I think that just makes it really clearof who owns what what are expectations and also, you know, Then there's noteliminates friction to between departments when you can lay that outand have conversations about it totally. And I think it organically leans intothings that might be, you know, skill sets that come from marketing rightdocumenting process, better communication. I found I came from thesales organization, and then later, you know, took on some of the marketingroles. And what I found is that you know, your sales people they love to bein the moment. They love to be with the customer doing their thing. They're notgreat, always the process that comes before And Soto have a counterpart thatcan lean in and really helped to develop and documents something so itbecomes less of that burden of I got to do something I don't like, but ratherI'm just checking off my list. I think that does a tremendous amount. Thiobuild camaraderie across teams. Yeah, I agree. And you know it's our job. Ithink is marketers make it easier for sales. Thio move leads through thefunnel and get a deal closed, and I think anything we could do There is,you know, a big part of the role, and I love that you said like we did theoffice hours. And then what? I cannot tell you how many times I put out, like,we're going to do the thing. We're gonna go to the conference or D o r.And then somebody says, And what happened? It's like, Oh, I talk to 10customers. But what happened? It's like, Oh, I don't know, because you get sowrapped up in that that you know that good momentum there that you you forgetthat there's this whole cycle that you have to document. And, yes, sittinghere on this podcast, it sounds like Duh, obviously. But when you're in thethroes of a sale cycle and you get excited about that one or two prospectsbeing able Thio document sometimes feels like an afterthought, for sure.And it's a pain to like have to sometimes like through that and goabout it and, you know, remind set up reminders and all of that, so get surefor sure. So you got in identified gaps. Then we talk about, you know, youmentioned if the onset that, you know team is always something like resourceis, I don't think any function can ever have too few or too many. Um, usuallyit's, you know? Hey, I need more people. I we could do better things. So how doyou go about deciding what kind of team you need? What do you in house versuswhat do you outsource? Um, what level of team member do you need? You need,you know, somebody that's more entry level or manager versus a director ormore senior level. So talk to me about how you begin to assess team needs.Sure, I think, too. That also depends on some of the goals of theorganization where they are, you know, in revenue. And so for tackle. We werelooking to build a lot of the brand and content around that, and, you know, howdo we explain what we do? Because it is a new category, and so there's not alot of education out there of what we're doing. So we knew like we had alot to develop around that. So my first hire was ahead of content and brand tohelp me develop that narrative and story and one of the things you know,we did. So we didn't do this and we didn't even start this. Told June. Soit was like almost six months after I started, um, that we decided Thio redothe website kind of update the brand update all our messaging and content.But again, this took a long time. Like a lot of learning and understanding ofwhat was next and conversations with the leadership team before we did this.Thio make this change. But, you know, I hired her and, you know, we took somesatisfaction, said, Let's do this. But, you know, that was based on this is ourThis is the position we wanna be into. That would be the strategic firsthigher, and then I usually you know what I was looking at. Okay, we havebig goals, pipeline goals, and we need...

...to drive top of funnels to my nexthigher was a demand gen manager to help do that. And then, um you know, someother things I will look at is, you know, I want to make sure kind of allmy functions aligned to functions in the organization. So you know things.I'm looking out for next year's I grab my team where things like productmarketing, customer marketing, you know, more, more content is always somethingthat I want and to build those areas. But I think you know things. I looked aoutsource, our bigger projects, like websites. You know, that was outsourced.Initially, I was outsourcing. Some of the work we're doing for our marketingautomation system were like Hub Spot supported, helping us get some of thatset up when I was first here and just didn't have the bandwidth to do itmyself. And then we do outsource some content and design needs is well, rightnow, we just don't have in house people that can do all of that. So it soundslike the way you think about the team is almost through. The customer journeyitself right is its product. It's the parts of the organization that we needto tell the story. But I love that. You said it's early stage demand gen itscontent to that parent brand, and then it's post sale customer. And how do wemake sure that each of those parts of the organization or SAPO sorted throughthe marketing lens? Yeah, that's correct. Just really want to make sureall of that is the lines and that marketing touches all of those areasthrough the funds. Have you had any pushback from the board or leadership?Is you expanded your team, or have you been able to build a case like whatdoes that look like? I think so far I've been able to build a good caseabout why we need this. Um, I have a great I think support partner to in myCR Oh Don, who has been great about, you know, supporting what marketingneeds and the same thing. Like my CEO, John is very supportive of marketing,So I think when you have a great leadership and, you know, gets a builda team like that and you know they understand why marketing is importantand you can show to that marketing is driving results from what you're doing,that's important. And I think when that happens, and then you could make thecase of like, here's why we need this person. Here's what they're going to bedoing. And here's kind of some of the results I would expect this person toachieve then that's a little bit easier, I think if I hadn't been able todeliver results this year and I was asking for more people. That wouldprobably be a harder conversation. Yeah, but I think that speaks to you, and anysort of marketing leader is that you're responsible for building the businesscase. This is not something that the business comes to you and says, Hey,what do you need next? You have to be grateful of thinking ahead and, youknow, sitting at the table of those growth conversations talking with theboard to say this is what we have to accomplish. And then you're able tocome in and build a case as to why you know your department organization toschedule? Yeah, exactly. And then finally wetalked about technology, which I just love that you said it's the last thingbecause I think that you know, a market, or sometimes we can get excited aboutevery new tool available and go out and say, Oh, my God, I'm gonna get allthese in my tool kit, but not necessarily have a dedicated use orhaving vetted what is most important. So talk to me about how you then beginto go from people into technology. Yeah, yeah. Don't get me wrong. I love tools.As well, and I am just a big, biggest sucker for, like, a great, you know,marketing text back as the next person. But yes, if you when you are cominginto the first marketer, I am just a firm believer. And do not go out andblow all your budget on tools right away. Because first off, you don't havepeople to help you, you know, implement these tools and you don't wanna berunning a huge tech stack on your own either. So I really think that it takessome time to understand what you're really gonna need as you build thissystem and what makes the most sense what tools actually make the most sensefor you to be using? So, you know, really, this year, a tackle, I you know,I added some minimal tools to the marketing tech stack of, you know,things that are pretty easy for us to...

...use. Like we're using Canberra. We'reusing Vimeo things like that, a sauna, but nothing that's like a majoroverhaul. I mean, we have hub spot for our marketing automation platform, andso we had some of those basics, but you know, nothing super expensive and bignext year will make some of those bigger investments Now that we have abigger marketing team. We've added a director of Rev. Ops. But I just don'tthink that it's a big thing that you need to be doing, at least in the firstsix months. Yeah, thank you for forgiving those tangible steps. I thinkthat that sometimes when I I hear content, I you know your story isinspiring, right? You've done this three times over. You've joined thisamazing organization, but I walk away and say, Okay, how do I start toimplement this? So the four steps just to plan back to people you know as yourmark as a marketer, number one coming into an organization and you'rebuilding something new, come in and prove it works and that you can do it.Don't spend the 1st 90 days just observing. Yes, listen, yes observed,but demonstrate quick wins. The second are identified gaps in the organization,particularly as it relates to your function and being able to solve thosefor your peer group can go immense, can have immense value and building trustand alignment as the organization. The third is people begin to assess wherebased on those gaps, where do you actually need individuals to join yourteam? And where can they make the most impact? Being able to build thatnarrative over the course of your tenure there and paying attention tobusiness goals and outcomes will help you tell that. Build that case and then,finally, technology. It's the least important factor. You know, at the endof the day, we all love great tech tools and and marketing stack. But youhave to be able to demonstrate value first and then figure out what toolsyou need toe make it come to life. Anything to add there? Nicole. No, Ithink that sums it up. It's ah, Like I said, I think following those foursteps really has helped me, as I've done this now for my third time, focuson what's important and get it right. And this has definitely been thesmoothest transition I've made into running a marketing team at a earlierstage company. That's really fast growing, and I think again, you know,focusing on when, even when you're interviewing, understanding thosequestions, you know, asking the right questions, you know, and then buildingthe trust as you go along in the organization. Well, really set you upfor success. Excellent. Nicole. If people either and you know we'll talkabout in the revenue collective community, they want to get in touchwith you about their own journeys. What's a good way for them to do? So?Yeah, they can reach out to me on LinkedIn. I'm always happy to chatthere, or they can email me as well. It's Nicole dot smith at revenuecollective dot com. All right, you heard it. Here. Nicole Smith. NicoleGino Smith. I want to get that right. Thank you for being a guest today onthe podcast. Thank you for sharing your journey. Obviously incrediblysuccessful having done this three times over and appreciate you sharing, youknow, lessons learned along the way of how someone starting out as marketernumber one can come in, Um, set the right expectations and make an impact.Thank you so much for having me. It was so much fun to chat with anotherawesome Atlanta Revenue collective later. Yes, Atlanta represent. Allright, Nicole. Alright, Revenue Collective. We will see you next time.This is Casey, like Gordon I'm your host. And this is the revenuecollective podcast that waas one of my favorite episodes.Thank you, Nicole. So much for bringing very tangible, very hands on advice andhonestly, just representing Atlanta in the marketing community. So well, thisepisode was brought to you by quota path. Quota path is the first radicallytransparent and and compensation solution from sales reps to finance.Get started free at quota path dot com.

And your next commission cycle could betotally automated. Thank you, Revenue Collective. Thank you to this community.I'm Casey, like Gordon, and I'll see you next time.

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