In this episode of The Next CMO podcast, I speak to Will Devlin, the VP of marketing for MessageGears. MessageGears provides a customer marketing platform that connects directly to your data and helps you reach millions of customers with the right message at the right time and place.
In this episode of The Next CMO podcast, I speak to Will Devlin, the VP of marketing for MessageGears. MessageGears provides a customer marketing platform that connects directly to your data and helps you reach millions of customers with the right message at the right time and place.
Message Gears powers consumer conversations across email and mobile for leading consumer brands like OpenTable, Home Depot and Chick-Fil-A
Will and I talk about the evolution of messaging, Will’s strategy for marketing to large enterprises, and how Will grew from the first marketer at a high growth company to the leader of a growing global marketing team.
More about Will Devlin
More about MessageGears
Check out the MessageGears Podcasts
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Peter: [00:00:00] Hey, well, thank you so much for being on the next CMO podcast. Really exciting to talk to you and actually see you in person. For those of you who are listening, you may not know that I'm actually looking we'll in the eye and a will. And I have known us known each other for a number of years. But the audience doesn't especially know you well.
So let's, let's start a little bit of why don't you tell us about yourself in a little bit about messaging.
Will: Thanks, Peter. It is an honor to be here and
it's great to see your face. Yeah.
so I'm, I'm will Devlin. I'm the VP of marketing at message gears. I've been with the company for seven and a half years. And while I wasn't a founder of the company, I was there, their founding marketing member. I was their first marketing hire.
After they, you know, a couple of developers built a product and needed some help selling it and marketing it and creating a real brand. So I've seen it grow up quite a bit over the seven and a half years. Message gears is a, a customer marketing platform. It's [00:01:00] basically email and mobile messaging and cross channel.
Campaign management for really large consumer facing brands. So if you've gotten an email from a company like best buy or home Depot or Chick-fil-A, or if you have the app and get something from like open table and you get a push notification, it's likely coming through message gear software. And so we.
You know, we exclusively sell and provide tools for those big, what we call super centers. And it, because their needs are greater, their customers are, you know, all over the place. The, the speed and the immediacy of data is important. And that's what our platform enables. So.
Peter: That's awesome. And I know a little bit about that space. Having spent a number of years in working with large marketers, and I know they can be an interesting audience to deal with. I'm sure you love them all. That's the way that works.
Will: I do love them all. Yes.
Peter: exactly. So, but what I wanted to key in on [00:02:00] first will was the fact that you were the OJI marketer.
So you, you were the first guy and and what, what's it been like? What's the transition of marketing looked like from, from six and a half years ago from just you to, to what it looks like.
Will: I've told people often that it feels like I've worked at seven and a half different companies in that amount of time because and I've certainly, you know, I've benefited, I don't think going through all of those stages Generally common. I think there are some people that are good at coming in and being that first marketer, and they've got to get their hands dirty, but then at some point of growth, you need, you need a different skill set and you need to be able to scale and you need to be able to develop a brand and put processes in place and things like that.
And so I've been fortunate enough to be able to, to continue to grow myself as the company has grown and have the confidence from. At messaged [00:03:00] gears to to continue to be in that spot. But yeah, it's, it's completely different. I mean, being, you know, day one where I was handed a laptop and was basically like, you know, do your marketing thing.
We don't know what that means.
or anything. What do you need from us? We're not going to give you any money to do that, but here do it to you know, really, really thinking about how we, how we scale and get sophisticated from a, you know, An entire marketing department and sales development organization.
It's, it's quite different. It's, it's much different place and I I've loved every step of it. I'm not sure I'd want to go all the way back and do that again. But you know, I really I'm enjoying what I do now and have enjoyed all the lessons learned throughout the process.
Peter: So now, was it your first marketing leadership gig? Well, when you, when you took the job at message gears
Will: it was my first I would say, yeah, I mean, I, I was a mid-level manager and other, other jobs. I, I spent about nine years as a e-commerce manager [00:04:00] and email marketing lead at a company called Gander mountain, which is now Gander outdoors. So I was on the, on the retail side, on the e-commerce side.
For awhile and that's where I cut my teeth. And then I worked for another software company in between for a few years as well. So, but really from a clean slate this is, you know, this is your baby help. Let's, let's help you know, help do it. That it was definitely my first, my first opportunity to do that.
Peter: Well, it's really exciting because I know a lot of people who are earlier in their careers who are trying to figure out how do I break into the. First marketing leadership job in an interesting way to do it. Of course it start when a company is really at its infancy and in grow it where you have to be the leader because there's no one else there.
And, and it's, it's a really rare thing will for, for you to be able to last and scale. With a, with a company like that. And it's impressive. And in some of it is [00:05:00] probably that, it sounds like you spent a lot of time actually in the domain that you're selling to for a w with the marketers. Right. If you're doing e-commerce marketing, if you're doing large scale communication to a, to consumers, then you probably have a really good affinity for what the customers are.
And that was that your. into the job or, or was it just you know, you, it was your, your brother-in-law's company or something like that.
Will: No, it was not my brother-in-law's company. But yeah, I did. It was, it was initially the hook of or certainly a benefit right. Of I know this, this person that we're trying to sell to very well because of sat in that seat before. And so that was helpful particularly early on. I think, you know the longer, the further away I am from having sat in that seat myself the more purpose I have to put towards keeping myself grounded to that person's needs, but you [00:06:00] know, it wasn't that far removed from being that person.
And so I had worked with. Work with vendors that message gears was trying to compete with. And so I knew, I knew the experience as somebody that was using or getting sold that software. And I knew what I thought message gears could, could do and how we can position ourselves and how we could try to win business there.
So it was definitely a benefit in those early days. And I think, you know, just in, in terms of the. Continuing to grow with the company as it's grown. I mean, I think it's just an incredible motivator to, to feel like well, if I don't get the job done Then, you know, I'm going to, they're going to bring somebody else in.
And I very much view this as as my baby in, in so many ways. You know, and and, and I don't want that to happen. And so it's it's an incredible motivator you know, fear, fear in some ways it's an incredible motivator. And I think that just keeps me you know, keeps me on my toes, keeps me wanting to learn, keeps me wanting to do better.
And and that.
[00:07:00] It's worked out so far.
Peter: That's great. That's an understatement. It seems like it's worked out really well. So let's let, let's lean back a little bit. I I'd love to understand a little bit more about your marketing strategy and sort of how you organize yourself to go. To, to go deliver on that strategy. So it sounds like your customers are large retailers and, or, or large, large consumer marketers.
Let me not get a little bit more specific. I don't want to narrow your total addressable market. Yeah. So large consumer marketers. And so what, what's your strategy for, for marketing to, to reach these people and what are you trying to get them to do?
Will: Yeah. I mean, I it's funny in the early days it didn't have a strategy. It was just like, okay, make sure people know about us. But I think for us today, it's, it's trying to, to take a step back and understand the broader motivations of what is happening and [00:08:00] what those companies are trying to accomplish.
At the, at the highest level, not just at the marketing level, because it's very easy when you sell a piece of marketing software to say, okay, we can come in and Mr. Or Mrs. Marketing manager or marketing director, we can help do these specific things to make your day. But the there's broader context, if you, if you step out a little bit more and saying, okay, what is the broader trend for retail right now?
What are the things that retailers are trying to do? For example, if we're, if we're thinking about that segment and you know, some of those answers are. All retailers are being disrupted in one way or another by, by online and digital. Right. And everybody's chasing Amazon. Amazon has given us new behaviors as consumers that we just then expect everybody to be able to deliver on if you've ever ordered from somebody and their delivery time is like seven days.
You're like, what the heck? Like, so it just, it trains us. Right? And so that's a disruptive [00:09:00] mechanism and obviously we know physical retail. Is, is generally in decline unless you're, unless you're tying that with digital experiences really well. And so the disrupted need to act like disruptors and I think COVID COVID and the pandemic has accelerated that need.
Right. And so the broader context of what retailers are trying to do, which is to reach their customers digitally first is. Then helps you then helps you understand the motivations down to the level of, okay, this team that we can help, we're going to help them do these things. And that's going to also benefit the Oregon at whole, because you know, they're going to be able to tie together experiences in store and call center and online and through email and mobile channels.
And so that's, that's how we try to frame the market. Talk to the opportunity of what message gears can do?
and help them realize, you know, being able to tie those together seamlessly and in real time,
Peter: So is [00:10:00] part of what you guys are focused on is the not only the delivery, but the orchestration of the message. And cause I I'd imagine that with. New kinds of consumer engagement models, especially in retail. Again, we're narrowing your focus. I know you guys are broader than that, but at retail as an example, there's there's now a con contactless pickup in all of the communications related to that.
There's your ordering process. There's there, there's all these new ways that require. And in some cases, a bunch of communications, whether it's a in-app message and email, et cetera. And so are you guys involved in, in, in, in that orchestration of those communications?
Will: We are, and, and it's you know, it's, it's an orchestration of just exactly what you said. There's a mix of marketing and triggered and transactional and informational things that all have to happen quickly. And, [00:11:00] you know, it's very easy when you're a consumer to you know, expect brands like best buy or, you know, Starbucks or something to get it right.
And it's very noticeable when they don't and you're like, well, you know you know what happened? And. If you take a step back, it's hardest for them to get it right, because of all those touch points because of the elevated expectations. And because they've got millions and millions of customers that they have to try to personalize an experience too.
But yeah, we, we enable that. We that's what. Our entire part of our value proposition and the fact that you know, those retailers and travel companies and restaurants, or whoever needs that data, they need it quickly. They need it, need it to be accurate. There is no point in sending an email to somebody about a product they've already bought, even if they bought it two minutes ago.
Right. And so the access to that data and being able to tie into that quickly is paramount to, to stay.
Peter: It makes a lot of sense. And I, I tell ya, I think [00:12:00] speaking of the elevated expectations, I'm really blown away by how well so many. Consumer companies are actually doing this today. It really is getting better than it was before. So if you think about, so one of the things I was thinking about with a complex system like this, that you're trying to sell, I imagine it's a long sales process.
It's, it's probably a, I'm sure there's lots of value, but there's a little bit of cost associated with it. So it's probably a long decision process. When, when you think about. Sort of reaching out and getting that signal from a prospect who you're trying to find. Is it people who have some other kind of system and they're struggling, is that people who are Greenfield and how do you find those signals as a marketer to identify opportunities that you can tee up to your sales organization?
Will: It's hard. I'll start with that. You know, in an established space, you know, email is the bread and butter in [00:13:00] communications and Virtually everybody has an email platform, right? So there is, there is an existing thing that you're trying to replace in the vast majority of cases. Now, sometimes that existing thing may be something home grown that that is, that has been built, but by and large it's It's a tool from Salesforce, marketing cloud, or Oracle or Adobe, or there's some, you know, great upstarts like braise and Iterable and some things like that.
Right? So there's, there's largely largely a presence of a tool existing today. And you're really trying to cut through the clutter of saying, you know, those tools aren't built to serve you. They're, they're served, they're built to serve a different audience for a broader audience and you have specific needs.
Right. And so That's that's somewhat of trying to cut through, but there's two different audiences basically, or that we have to figure out how to market, to, and, and, and take signals from there's the, I'm trying to convince you to make a switch, which is a much longer play, right? It's you know, what you're doing [00:14:00] today is broken.
You might not realize that it's broken, or you might not realize these pains are associated with. The, the tech you're using and I'm trying to tie those together. And that's most of the market, I would say, you know, two thirds of it on any given year, but there's that third that's already made the decision to switch.
And that's the, you know, obviously the who we're really trying to get in front of, because. The hard work of trying to convince them to switch platforms or think about switching platforms has been done. And now we just need to make sure that message gears is on their list and they understand what we do and how we can help them you know, take, take their marketing and their operations to the next level.
So we try to, we try to hone in on those more so than the broader market, but we obviously play.
Peter: So it's interesting the way that you described that. Well, because I think it's really smart segmentation. And it's really about sort of where they are in their consideration or decision process. So the question is, do you have, [00:15:00] is your marketing plan organized that way? Do you have marketing campaigns that are organized to basically find the signal of people who, you know, are in market for the thing that you have and other programs that are designed to, to teach and speak to the pain and educate and sort of the more strategic long-term development?
Will: It is. And I won't say it's perfect, but that's, that's how we look at it. Right. We look at it in those two broad buckets and then go from there. And so there's an evergreen you know, essence that we have where we're looking at intent data, we're looking at, who's going to. Trade shows and conferences or attending webinars and what they're talking about.
We're, we're even getting to, you know, it w we will scour job postings and see if there's signals. We can glean from that. We obviously work with partners to, to get some information there. So we're always trying to find that Intel on who is in market or who could be in market. And then, you know, again, that just shortens the sales cycle for us.
You're, [00:16:00] you're already talking to. You know, a six month to nine month process when somebody is ready to do something at this scale, at this level. And so however, we can shorten that even if it's by a month or two is fantastic. So I would say, you know, we spend a lot of time focused on how to build the other programs, the programs, trying to convince people to switch and what that messaging should look like.
We, we spend a lot of our, our dollars and our, our efforts focused on trying to get those signals because that that's the easier play.
Peter: Now tell me, well, what is the general kind of size of this audience or how many companies are in your target? Is it hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands. What's the general scale.
Will: We have identified for our ideal customer profile. And I, I always internally emphasize ideal there because it doesn't mean that that's the exact amount of customers we could ever have, but ideally there's, there's somewhere around. Five to [00:17:00] 6,000 US-based companies that would fit the profile.
So it's a decent sized ecosystem that's that's that we've identified is, is large enough. Has, you know, is in the right has, has the right amount of customers sends the right amount of email that, that it would make sense or that we would really shine for.
Peter: Yeah. It's it's interesting. Well, because it's probably that number is quite similar to the number of customers. When I started out at my. My last and I was going to say most recent, but maybe it's my last CMO gig, man. I know maybe there's another one in me who knows my, maybe it's my last CMO gig. When I was at this company nuance in, at the beginning of my time at the company, we focused almost exclusively selling voice interaction to customer service.
Applications in attended to be people. And it's about that, you know, somewhere in the five to 10,000 targets of people who sort of processed [00:18:00] that number of calls. So it's that same kind of scale. And it's, it's funny. Cause the, the reason I brought it up is we had an interesting approach and I don't know if you've tried something like this.
We would we used what was you'd call today, ABM, but this was before people called it APM, but it was a targeted account. Strategy was developed by a brilliant guy by the name of Mike Thompson. I hope you listen to Mike, cause I called you brilliant. I'll have to let you know that. I said that on my podcast now I might've done that more than once.
But Mike is now in private equity making the big boy money, I think. And but back in the day, he, he designed some of these great segmentation approaches. And part of what we do is identify the people we really wanted to go after. And we would create a vision clip, which was basically a before and after experience.
And it was really fun because what you do is you go and you find the people who you're trying to reach out and you say, I'm going to, in this case, it was customer service experience. You [00:19:00] basically record a call with you, call customer service and you record the experience. And it was really bad a lot at the time.
And it's the same kind of thing you go and you go buy someone's product and, and see what it was like. And, and it's interesting because then you can take that and say, here's what it's like today. And here's an artist's rendition of what it would look like in a few. And I don't know if you've done that before, but in a very targeted way, it can be really interesting way to go after and get those people who are who don't really know they have a problem.
In some cases, it really highlights the pain.
Will: You know, we, not exactly that example, but a few years ago, we did a campaign where we asked we asked marketing and marketing operations pros who are our primary, you know, persona within these accounts to. Describe something like describe a campaign that they would love to, to run that they just couldn't run.
It was, it was a dream and do scenario [00:20:00] basically. And we had, you know, submissions come in, there were several dozen that came in. We looked at some of the submissions and targeted like, okay, these are on our ideal account list. And we, we recorded a video of, well, here's how you can do that with message gears.
Like you could actually do that campaign with us. And so it wasn't quite the front end experience you were describing of like, you know, here's how a customer would interact with. Today versus how they would interact with you on, on message gears. But it was sort of the backend experience of, oh, you wish you could launch this campaign easily and you can't do it today.
Here's how you could do it with us. And it was, it was a success. It was, and it was a lot of fun. It was labor intensive, but for those targeted accounts, it was worth it.
Peter: Yeah. And it's one of the things that you labor-intensive is definitely the, the, the issue with an approach like that. But if you have a really refined kind of set of targets, it can be a really interesting way [00:21:00] to to try to to, to get in at some of those things. If you can program eyes, it it's good.
The downside of it of course, is that sometimes you offend people because.
Peter: And the approach we haven't said, Hey look, your baby's ugly.
Will: Exactly. You have to be careful with tear downs or any of those things like
Peter: yeah, it's a little tricky, but I tell you it, it worked. And we had some, we, we created some really interesting deals by using that strategy in, in, it would break all the way through sometimes.
To very, very high levels of an organization because they're the people who tend to think more strategically about what the customer experiences is, is all alike, which is kind of interesting. So the, the other thing I was going to ask you well, is that again, you've got a fairly complex sales cycle. And it's, it's probably, you know, measured in months or quarters, not in minutes or days.
And I get a lot of people who ask these questions about, well, how, how do you think about measurement in that case? [00:22:00] So one, what are the targets that your marketing organization is driving toward? Are you trying to create things at the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel? Do you measure revenue and then how do you really think about measuring the effectiveness of the campaign?
it is. It's a great question because having come from the e-commerce world where we sold, you know, I sold, you know, boating accessories and haunting equipment. And so you could measure the success or failure of your campaigns, pretty, pretty instantaneously. And you could pivot very quickly if something wasn't working.
You could see that very quickly and say, okay, plan B you know, run a coupon. But when you're selling a complex piece of enterprise software, you may not know if you did something good or, or blew it. You may not ever know, but you may not know for months, right? I mean, you just may not know the long tail effect of your marketing efforts and that can be a.
[00:23:00] Discouraging. It can be, it can be a lonely place. Right? And so we, we try to measure we're, we're focused primarily because we're in growth mode or high growth mode. We're primarily focused on top of the funnel and getting new opportunities created. And so there's the campaigns that we're, we're creating and that we're measuring are all around.
Are we moving people down a, down a top of the funnel? Stage to get closer to contacting them. So ultimately the goal is, are they going to get a meeting with us? Are they interested enough to get a meeting with us? And is there a real sales opportunity from that? And then from there there's support that marketing provides, obviously, and we have a sales enablement function that helps try to accelerate the deal getting closed.
There's a lot of work on our end on the marketing and sales development side. And then there's a lot of work. Once we get somebody to an opportunity. Level. So when we, we have our our ultimate goal is opportunities, but there's a lot of mechanisms ahead of opportunity [00:24:00] creation that we measure to see is our, you know, our campaigns being successful or are they working or not?
The S the stages are pretty, pretty simple and pretty high level, right? So it's, it's unaware, aware, engaged in marketing qualified. And we measure the accounts that are on our different campaigns. So we segment, you know, campaigns by vertical, or sometimes we'll put people into again at the highest level we'll put into intent or no intent.
So if we know, or if we're getting signals that they're in market, They go into that intent list. And then they kind of go down into other campaigns that we create and then it's okay. Were they aware of us? Cool. Our goal is to get them to, if they weren't aware our goal is to get them to be aware. And then if they're not aware if they already aware our goal is to get them to be engaged, to read more content, to, you know, come to a webinar, to see us in an event, those kinds of things.
And then if they're in that engaged stage our goal is to get them to. [00:25:00] Get to this marketing qualified account level, which is basically they've done enough activity enough people there have done enough activity where we're going to try to reach out. We it's the equivalent of the intent signal. Right?
It's the they've done enough with us where I think they're interested in talking about. And so our goal there is to get a meeting. So we measure it almost. I mean, we w we look at it weekly, but we S we S we report on it monthly of the progression of accounts in our different campaigns. Going through those stages and we can tell, okay, this campaign's progressing people down closer to that.
MQA faster than these others. What can we learn? And then we can click down and see, you know, here are the mix of ads and emails and. Outreach and things like that that are underneath that campaign and kind of try to figure out what, what was the right mix of things to get them to do that. So we have not perfected that, but that's how we look at it today.
And that's the only thing that keeps us [00:26:00] saying in a long sale cycle is, is moving people closer to the contact.
Peter: Oh, it's, it's great. And it's great to hear the way you think about. We'll cause that you think about it, like your a large-scale sophisticated digital marketer, right? You're you're thinking about customer segments and campaigns and how to advance people from one segment to another and things like that, which is, which is fantastic.
And by the way, it's completely applic applicable to this B2B. Kind of approach. And I think it's exactly the thing that a marketer like you should do is it's really about taking your very well-defined target audience of that, you know, number of thousands of customers and your goal should be getting as many of those in advanced position as possible into, into that, you know, awareness and consideration to the point where they're ready to engage with you and and getting to the point where you're really understanding.
A really cool tactic. I've seen you seen used a couple of [00:27:00] times before is figuring out when renewal cycles are. So it's, especially if you're dealing with a, sometimes a fairly significant investment someone's made in, in a system. And if they have a curious three-year contract, as an example, knowing when it's.
Is in sort of digging for that intelligence can be really effective way to do marketing because then you start to do life cycle marketing related to the time they should be starting to think about the fact that they've got a big renewal coming up. I don't know if you've tried to experiment with that
Will: Yeah. So it's definitely something that, you know, if we know it we put it in, right. It's in our, it's in our CRM. And you know, we also, as an interesting aside, you know, spun out two new products a couple of years back to combat some of that because what'll end up happening is particularly with these large brands, big investments Email is email, especially is a big driver of revenue.
It's, it's, it's [00:28:00] responsible for a lot. So long-term contracts, you know, three to five-year contracts getting signed for, for some of these other vendors. It's pretty common. So are, are, are in, at those organizations is not to go sell email or in is to go see. The value prop of, okay, we're going to connect directly to your data, which has always been our, our value, our differentiator, but we're going to help you do the customer segmentation ahead of email.
Use that other vendor. You sign this long-term agreement with for sending emails out the door, but use us to tap into that real-time data internally. And then you can send that over to your email provider or your mobile provider. And so we actually. We do, we do try to use signals and market around when we know somebody is renewing.
But if that renewal is really far out, we have ways to combat that as well as a, as an additional, that would be an add on and not a replace at that point, with the goal of now our foot's in the door, [00:29:00] we will eventually replace and we have some big clients that that's exactly how we got our foot in the door.
They told us initially, if you're here to talk about email, we can't talk. Like there's nothing. There's nothing for you here. But we got in and now we're sending all.
of their email and then it's, that's an incredible success story there too. So it's not just the marketing, it's the, sometimes you can create products to help combat that.
Peter: So one of the things that is really fascinating about your role will is that not only do you have to be a reasonably expert person when it comes to enterprise B2B marketing, but you also have to be able to speak to B2B B to C marketing because of what your customers. And I suspect that you guys see a lot and know a lot.
And I'm wondering if you have a thought around what are the things that not enough B to C marketers [00:30:00] are doing and taking advantage of. With sort of the state of the art kind of messaging communications out there. So is there an example of something that you think more people should be doing to take advantage of sort of this kind of communication capability, this kind of messaging to, to help them grow their business?
Will: You know, I think it's, it's tricky because there needs to be a broader understanding in a, in a more shared understanding of. Data and where your data's coming from and how you can use it. That I don't think enough marketers particularly early on really understand.
Right. So, you know, when you're, when you're first starting out as a marketer on the B2C side, you're focused on, you know, how do I get these emails out the door?
How do I get these ads launched? Or how do I get this thing up on the website and how do I drive more traffic to it, but you're not really focusing. On, you know, providing a great experience, you're [00:31:00] kind of locked in for your customers, right? You're kind of locked into metrics and you know, you get sold these really pretty journey builder things.
And so you, you feel like a scientist because you're doing all. Cool drag and drop stuff. And but you know, at the end of the day, you're really not thinking about like, what is this like for the person on the other end, you're thinking about, you know, when I put my report together for my boss, it's going to show, I saw, sent this many more emails and got this many more opens.
And so I think, you know, I think people focusing on. That and then an understanding. Okay, well, how do I know how to do that? Like how can I, how can I send Peter an offer that matters to Peter or give Peter experience that matters to him versus will that experience? It matters to him. And how do I do that in a timely fashion?
It requires an understanding of operations and data, and it doesn't mean that you have to do all of that, but you have to have. Some knowledge of where your D where, where your data on Peter is stored [00:32:00] and how you can access it in a, in an automated fashion and how long that takes. And not enough marketers have that understanding it's getting there.
But I think the world's moving faster than the knowledge gap is getting closed.
Peter: Yeah, I, I think you're you're right. Will and I have to tell you my favorite example of someone who's taken the marketing to an extreme where they clearly don't understand the data enough. All right. And this is an example where I, I went my 20 year old daughter had a little booboo with my wife's car at one point.
And I figured out that if I went and got this trim piece at the local BMW dealer, it was going to cost me about $800. But I could get this thing for about $120 on eBay. So it was part of a bumper cover. So I went and I found it on eBay, a brand new part, and I, I bought the. [00:33:00] For three years, I've been getting regular email promotions for bumper covers from.
Peter: sorry. I will never, ever I hope by another
Will: to do it again.
Peter: And it's really interesting that, that, there's a, there's this point, it's almost like the you know, when you use automation and it's a little bit awkward, it's almost like that uncanny valley experience you get with sort of AI kind of things where it's like, it's annoying because you have to know when to back off and you have to know when, when a signal that you get.
If you may think you're in a segment, but you're really not, you know, in, in, it's amazing that people don't even pretty sophisticated marketers, which I assume they are. E-bay haven't quite got that perfectly for some reason.
Will: It's very hard. I mean, it's, you know, sometimes there's people leave and there's these programs that just are always on autopilot and. [00:34:00] I would venture to guess there are people at EA that don't even know that that program existed don't know that those emails get sent out and they're just kind of going and yeah, that's the experience you get.
I mean, you, you get it all over. Sometimes it's over a span of years. Other times, it's just over a span of, you know, even a week or two where, you know, oh, I just bought that product or I booked that flight. Why am I getting you know, upsells. For the same thing. And so it, it does create a disconnect and I think if more marketers understood where their data was coming from and how they could capitalize on that or in avoid awkward experiences, if they can't get to the data quickly enough it would provide better experiences on the front end.
Peter: Well, that, that that's great. I appreciate that. Well, we're, we're almost at the end of our time. Believe it or not in maybe my, my my penultimate question is just help people understand where they can learn more about message gears and learn more about about,
Will: Well sure. Message [00:35:00] gears.com is where you can learn about message gears. And you know, we have we have a podcast as well called in gear. We actually have two podcasts, one for women in technology called message gals, and then in gear, which is when I host. So if you're a podcast nerd and feel, feel inclined to check those out, please do, and then you can learn more about.
me I'm on LinkedIn and would be happy to connect with.
Peter: Great. And I'll, I'll put links in the, in the show notes here for people listening. If you want to check those out, there'll be able to find information as well asked. And then the last question that we always ask people who are guests in the show is what advice would you give current or aspiring CMOs?
Will: It's a good one. I have, I have four things and they're, they're kind of broad be sure of yourself. Don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to admit. When you don't know how to do something and don't stay in your lane you know, be sure of yourself. I have I'm an introvert and have especially as a first time marketing leader [00:36:00] and, you know, every, every new challenge that comes at me is a new experience for me as a marketing leader.
And I wasn't always sure of myself or my decisions. It took me a long time to get there. It's been very freeing to be sure of yourself. And I think it bleeds into the next one, which is don't be afraid to fail, which is you're not going to be perfect. I don't think anybody expects you to be perfect, but you know, fear of failure can hold you back.
And again, it was only when I really put an emphasis. Not being afraid to, you know, just go for something. And you know, how, how stupid it would make me look or how much money we were going to waste or whatever. You know, if I, if I was sure of myself I would, it kind of takes the pressure off of that.
Not, not being afraid to admit when you don't know how to do something. I, that was a lesson I learned more recently within the last, maybe three to four years. I, I think it's it's viewed as a, as a good thing. When you say I don't have to do that. Instead of. Pretending that you do or not [00:37:00] admitting that you don't.
Right. And so it's, it's incumbent upon you to then go find out how to do that or to hire people that can help you do that. And, and that's what I strive to do now, but I think just not being afraid to admit that is, is something that gives you more credibility in the long run. And then the final one don't stay in your lane.
I don't mean this in a malicious way or in, you know, a land grab type of way. But I do think that if you have opinions on how other areas of the business should work or improve upon I always, you know, early on felt like it wasn't my place to say anything or express those opinions. And it is as you're getting into a trusted advisor role, if you're looking to be a CMO or, or executive within your organization, The other executives are looking to you to have an equal voice.
And the CEO is looking to you to help set the direction. It's, it's important to not only know what you're doing or have, you know, strong [00:38:00] conviction of what you're doing on your side, but have opinions and voice them on how the company in general is run. And again, that's an area where I've learned that more recently, but it's very freeing and it helps you helps you grow.
Peter: Well, that's, that's great advice. Well, and those attributes are consistent with what I've seen in some of the greatest leaders in marketing, in, in any function, because of course those are, I think just really important thoughts and ideas for, for leaders and executives in general. So thanks for sharing those.
And thank you so much for being on the podcast. We'll definitely check out Will's podcast. We will put a link in the show notes. And if you have ideas or guests that you think should be on the next CMO, if you want to be on the next CMO, reach out to us, send us a email@example.com. We also have a.
Community that I encourage you to join and continue on the conversation with people like me and will, and and other people, including some smart ones. [00:39:00] And I thank you for listening and we'll talk to you soon. Thanks again. We'll.
Will: Thanks, Peter. It's a pleasure.