In this episode, we speak to Adri Gil Miner, the CMO of Iterable, a growth marketing platform for cross-channel experiences.
Iterable is a cross-channel platform that powers unified customer experiences and empowers marketers to create, optimize, and measure relevant interactions and experiences customers love. Leading brands, like Zillow, DoorDash, Calm, Madison Reed, and Box, choose Iterable to power world-class customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle.
Adri has 20+ years of experience in high growth marketing executive roles. She was previously CMO at Qumulo and Artefact, and held leadership positions at Tableau, Weber Shandwick, and American Express.
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Peter: Hello, Adri. And thank you so much for joining us on the next CMO podcast and to set the table. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and about Iterable?
Adri: Thank you, Peter. Good to see you. Well, yeah, happy to talk of course, about interval. So we are a MarTech company and basically what we do. We provide a communication layer for companies to engage their customers via email SMS. In-app messaging or web messaging. If you think about those notifications as say your door dash that says, Hey, your Dasher is near your house is arriving your house.
That's powered by us. And many other, both B2C and B2B company. So we're really at the cutting edge of essentially the digital transformation's been happening over the last few years. And we're in a really good spot right now. And I just joined. Months seven months officially ago.
So I say I'm in the, past the honeymoon phase and now really having a good [00:01:00] sense of how the the path forward for the company.
Peter: That's great. And you joined as the CMO, obviously we're on the next CMO podcast. People will see that in a little background. But that's it's an amazing role for an amazing company. Give us a sense of the scale. I think the company's about 10 years old. I think you're at about a series E you've raised a whole bunch of money, but it helps our audience to understand a little bit about the scale of the company that you can talk about publicly.
Adri: Yes, of course. Yeah, so we are, so last year we announced we, we are actually what you call now a centar so we're over a hundred million in revenue. So not only a unicorn, but actually as centar, which there's something about 1500 unicorns in the United States, but only about 150 or 160 cents.
So that gives you a sense of like the rarity. The scale that we are. We just announced about a couple months ago that we surpass a thousand customers worldwide. So that's another great milestone. We're a little over 700 people. We have offices in San [00:02:00] Francisco, London, New York.
In Denver. I had to remember that one and and yeah, like honestly like really great growth. I'd say, at this point is what you call late startup. We're still privately held and yes, we are. We are series E startup. So I think we phrased close to 300 million, but don't quote me on that go to pitch book or tech crunch.
Peter: Yeah, I was just on crunch base and it started with a three. I can't remember it. It's a fair amount of money.
Adri: If I correct, if I remember correctly,
Peter: Yeah, and good news is E even in the environment that that we're in right now which is a little bit turbulent on the on the financial side obviously at that scale of revenue then it's probably great for you to defend that status of a unicorn. So you're a company that has obviously been well established a thousand customers and is an amazing milestone by the way.
So congrats on that. And I, that's helpful for people to understand sort of the scale that you're at, because the way you think about marketing obviously is a little bit different. [00:03:00] So what I love about conversations like this Audrey is that you not only are a marketer, but you sell to marketers and your market to marketers.
So that gives you a unique perspective to help educate us all a little bit on sort of the ways of marketing. And maybe we can start. By having you frame a little bit the space and sort of the need that we're in in this area of you call it. Let me pull some words from your website which is probably horrifying sometimes to say, when did I last update that?
Adri: We're in the middle redesign.
Peter: let's say the phrase I pulled out from a couple places said that you're a growth marketing platform for cross channel experiences. How's that.
Adri: Jargony they should really should do work on that. no but yeah, maybe to.
Peter: is that? What does that mean? So help us deconstruct.
Adri: Yeah. So I I mean, generally this space is called either customer engagement or [00:04:00] customer relationship management, CRM, and really, it is like what, all the ways that you activate a person. Essentially once they're in your database, right. So, and that might be in consider a customer or not, but once they're in your database and you have essentially permission to engage with them you can do all kinds of things, right?
Depending on your business model, that might mean, for example, retail. Hey, I'm trying to drive to that second and third purchase, right. That wore that first purchase. If in many freemium type of business models, maybe you're trying to like convert. You know, from free to actually paid, or if you're in B2B, you're trying to drive adoption.
Right. And maybe it's like onboarding, you know, that activation around onboarding. So it can mean we generally call it customer activation because that conversion, that action that you want a customer usually happens. With then as a result of communications, digital communications. Right? So again, this is why you think about the overall journey of you know, it's different to [00:05:00] have to have someone that's been a loyal customer for many years.
And what is that next action you want to drive them to versus someone that's very new. So this space is very rich. It is interesting because I would say they're we're sort of in the third phase, you know, I like to think about industries. I mean, all industries go through evolution, so.
Many years ago. We had a lot of the legacy players, you know, when email really became richer. And it's really the workforce of marketing. You saw a huge amount of companies like responses and qua at the time, you know, that really formed around email and bringing that to a more modern way at scale, you know, richer format, all kinds of things, segmentation.
And so that, that was like, you know, the first wave about. 10 plus years ago, that kind of like peaked and a lot of companies are on those legacy platform, those ESPs or email servers providers. Then the second wave started to come. You know, again, around 10 years ago or so, which were like [00:06:00] point solutions, because what happens is, especially in B2C, you know, oh, mobile started to come out.
Everybody started to come out with mobile apps and turns out that you need notifications for that. And you know, all that stuff. So you started to see lots of startups and lots of newer solutions that were really coming out to solve. The, you know, SMS problem or the in-app problem. So sort of like individual channel based communication, more modern solutions, but the challenges they don't really scale and, you know, the orchestration didn't quite happen.
And now we're in
Peter: was like localitics is a good example
Adri: Yeah, exactly. And so, you know, . And so then, so now we're kind of like in the newer generation, you know, so, so yes ourselves there's a couple of players are really this like cross channel. That was the jargony part, the cross channel, which means essentially we're using.
Multiple channels. Like I said, email, SMS MMS in app, even direct mail. So like essentially any engagement channel, this is like where your customers live. And if you think about it in, in today's world we went, you [00:07:00] know, they used to be these, all these digital engagement channels used to be kind of like secondary or complimentary to.
To your primary, whatever your primary brand experience was brand interaction. Now they became the primary, especially in companies like, you know, retail or in industries like retail and travel. That's how you primarily interact with a brand is through digital channels. So the challenge that most companies have and where we really focus on is one is that you need to.
Be able to be much personalized and much more orchestrated across the entire life cycle. And across all of those channels. Right. It's no, no longer sufficient to have like your email program over here and your SMS program or here that doesn't work. You know, it's creates a lot of essentially opt outs and especially with the world of, you know, like Facebook and Google and all this, like apple.
Clamping down on data and data sharing permissions, like every company, like your database [00:08:00] have become even more valuable. Right. And in your ability to like you know, a crew data and manage that data and more importantly, activate that data for engagement. That's really like the big challenge or the big problem and where we see demand or why we exist and why we're growing is because that problem is prevalent across every single industry.
And it's even more acute in the time of, you know, third party, essentially third party data clamping.
Peter: Super helpful. And that's a, it's a great way to frame it. And I like the way that you explained these three waves from sort of the olden days which is funny. I'm sure they hate to. Thought of as those olden days people, but I used some of those tools before and as well as the second wave.
And and in fact, I used some of the much, much older technology I was involved in personalization back in the late 1990s when it was very new. And and it was interesting cuz the biggest challenge we had. Back then when it came to delivering personalized [00:09:00] messages. And this was really in one channel, not in multiple channels was really about getting the marketers to understand some of the very basic kind of. that you need to understand, like you need to segment before you personalize as an example. And and then you've got all these other sort of complexity layers that have come in when you start having multiple ways to communicate to the customer, because not only does marketing have multiple ways to communicate to the customer, but they're operational systems that are communicating to the customer across many of those same channels.
And I know. That Iterable is really strong with retailers as an example. So do you ever run into issues that marketers have to deal with when they're trying to communicate a well orchestrated multi-touch multi-channel message at the same time that they may be hearing from a customer with a curbside delivery as an example.
And how do you think about the wild complexity [00:10:00] of messaging? As a marketer. As it's just gotten. So outta control, how many potential message deliveries there are coming to every single consumer.
Adri: Yeah, it's funny you say that because I, myself too, and this is one of the reasons I was so excited to come to interval. I did too in the late nineties work and personalization, you know, the web and the internet were just really. Coming to to, to age and, or really starting I, I worked on an affiliate, the affiliate program or affiliate programs
Peter: do. Yeah.
Adri: And there was a lot of just really starting to like tier the program and personalize and what messages could we serve, what products and stuff.
And so there, there was a lot at Ben and at that time, you know, I was a, and then American express and a lot of what I would say the ten first, 10 years of 10, first years of my career. Really focused on digital, essentially digital marketing. And if you think about it, like I'm now, you know, 20. Plus years since then has passed since then.
And I realize I'm like, it's the [00:11:00] exact same problem. The problem hasn't changed, you know, it is still about the right message to the right person in the right channel. Like it is still about that. Right. But the complexity, like you say, the, how we get to do that is. You know, it's double edge floors, or like on one side we can do so much more.
We can arrive to a level of position that was completely unimaginable. Back then, you know, 20 years ago and it would've extremely hard to do. And and on the other end, it is so much more complex to do, you know, because. Yeah. I remember again, in my years of doing, you know, campaigns, like just by doing like a simple segmentation, I'd be like, oh, Hey, 20% lift 30% lift that's not no longer enough.
It's it's so much more complex, even segmentation. So this is one thing I talk about. Around personalization, you know, like there are different levels of personalization, like you were saying, you know? And for the most part, I think most companies and most marketers, hopefully have figured out a way to get to [00:12:00] market to people like me.
Right. So, you know, let's say you're trying to reach Latina moms in Seattle for the most part we've figured out, you know, any decent company with any like decent market. Team has been able to figure it out with technologies. The problem is that again, that is no longer sufficient exactly.
For the problem that you're saying. Right. Because first of all, the customer experience today is not that disjointed, right? Like it is about service. It is about. When I'm getting my delivery, but it's also about when I'm like wanting to get that 20% coupon. Right. So it's about, so like the worlds of, and we've said this for a long time, but now even more, it's pretty obvious that in the digital world, there is no marketing in, in servicing or transactional and promotional messages.
It's just one, right. It's just one customer. And so the real challenge is to say, how do you market? How do you. Not people like me, but exactly me Adri and Seattle that did X, Y, Z, that [00:13:00] just purchased this thing. Maybe didn't purchase this, just moved like all of this, like the context of not just the person, but their actions.
And also their environment has to be to that level of personalization. So that's what it will be called individualization, you know, to get to that next level of personalization. And that, I think that's what we need to understand as marketers that it's not, I mean, again, the problems have been the same for the last 20 plus year, if not longer.
So it's always, we've always been that, trying to do that. The, how you get to do that is different and the level of personalization, the level of getting that right message in at the right time. And the right channel is much more precise than it's ever been. It's just no longer enough to really see those left in results and really to engage that customer.
And, you know, the noise is and that's part of the noise. Why what is considered spam today keeps going up, you know, like it's the [00:14:00] threshold keeps going up. And so that that is an evolving target. And I think that's the challenge that we need to, that we need to see.
Peter: Okay. So now that we've terrified everyone with how difficult this is what I want to do is let's bring it back to earth a little bit, right? So obviously it's a very complex problem. And it's funny, you mentioned I won't. Pick the system that you mentioned earlier, but I used some of those in the past, in my team.
And you needed to be a like a nuclear physicist to use. These systems are quite complex. There's a lot of custom code involved. There's a lot of data work involved, et cetera. And because of the sophisticated kind of experiences that you've talked about in this idea of individualization, as an example, obviously, Everybody is there at that point.
So let's talk about starting. So if you are a, if you're a marketer and you're just getting started on this journey toward creating a more coherent [00:15:00] cross channel kind of communication, or starting with personalization, what's step one for a marketer to think about as they embark on this.
Adri: I think it's really focused on what data do you have? What do essentially, what do you know about your customers today? And that again, it's good. What data do you have about your customers? Do you know, do you have demographic data? Do you have some behavioral data? Whatever that is, but start with that and start to, you know, it starts with the data strategy and thinking about, and the good news.
Yes. It's terrified. And it's good to understand, but at the same time, like we're in an era where. All this have been democratized. So you just say it about the nuclear physicist, by the way, my uncle's a nuclear physicist so I was like, I know exactly what you mean. He cannot do our jobs. I'm telling you.
But it's first of all, like we have for the last 10, 15 years, there been amazing amount of what I call democratization of data, right? So, you no longer need to be a data S. To like [00:16:00] really do some really sophisticated stuff at the same time. You also don't need to be a, you know, computer scientist to be able to code some really sophisticated stuff.
Cuz we have all these no code, low code technologies that allowed us to do very complex thing and technically ha savvy thing to, you know, non. People like me and you like, we maybe, well, I don't know about you, but I do not have a technical degree. I come from a techy family, but I certainly am not a technical person.
And and the ability. So while I can understand conceptually what's happening, which is typically what's have as a business person, I understand what I want to do. I understand the kind of experience I wanna create for my customer. I don't know all the ins and outs exactly. Of well, the coding that goes in that, but that's the great thing about the consumerization of technology that we've seen in companies is that it is so much easier to do you do not need an army of developers and data scientists to to get to that level in utilization, because you have technologies like integral and like many others that have really made that much more [00:17:00] accessible and said that you're right.
It's good to understand okay, great to know where the vision. But where am I today? And for most companies that are in this early stage, like I think they're somewhere in between. Like I said, I find that most companies today are doing some level of segmentation, which is good. Most companies today have some data of their consumers and or their customers.
And so it's about organizing that where you at today and how can you improve that customer experience? And when I say improve as meaning, be more relevant, be more of service. I like to tell people like, if you really think about not as a marketer, but as a service person what's the difference between again, spamming and service.
Like when you get a notification that's like helpful, right? Like that 20% discount sent when you get it, you know, randomly in your email, you're like, whatever right. Spam. But when you're like, Hey, you're buying this pair of shoes. And you're like, oh, by the way, there's a 20%. Or there's like similar [00:18:00] shoes that are like 20% discount.
It's the exact same message. It's only that it's right now, it's much more relevant for you. So it's perceived as service to be helpful. Not that you're spamming me. And that's really what we're striving for asset marketers, really thinking about how can we be more helpful to our customer? You know, get them in that time where they're looking for us, where they need us.
And so, you know, like starting with that, organize your data, understand what, you know, what you don't. And then how can you activate that data? Because I think a lot of people focus, especially I come from Tableau, I spent. Almost seven years there. So I'm very familiar with the data world. And we spent a lot of time.
A lot of company has invested a lot of money into building a great data stack. They store it, they have great storage, you know, they normalize it. They analyze it. So you have all that great data stack, but you do not activate it. You're not asking and you're not saying, Hey, how can I put that data to send a message to activate to, you know, communicate [00:19:00] with my customers?
That's the layer that I think you start. So that's why I say you start with organizing, what do you know, what do you have today from a data perspective? The next question is how can you start to activate? And we've seen it in customers by the way. Over and over, they start with, you know, just a simple segmentation.
They start by organizing their messages based on their, on the life cycle. And they start to see already, you know, improvements, conversions, better open rates. A for example I'll give you an example of a traditional, very traditional company that I think does amazing things. Fender. Are you a guitar player?
Peter: I'm not, but I know what guitars are. How's that?
Adri: good. It's well, I'm I, that this is my pandemic project was to learn guitar. I've sadly have learned two songs. But but I, so, you know, fender is a manufacturer. They do guitars they've had, they've really had a great app. If you haven't use it and you wanna learn guitar, I highly recommend it.
I've used it. To learn [00:20:00] guitar and really it's all that experience. And as a traditional company, when they venture into that, they really, you know, they really took it to another level and they started by organizing their data stack. And like I said around, like what data we know how we can start segmenting and really organizing, they focus on that onboarding, you know, those first 90 days, like what happens when somebody.
Their membership, their app. What songs do they play? What videos do they see? And really just focusing on that onboarding play. And they saw some pretty big successes by just focusing on that one part of the life side goal and like them, we seen companies like seat geek, you know, it's another, this is an entertainment.
You know, ULA in the UK, they're like the so of the UK. So like usually we see customers starting in that very first. Like I said, organized into data and then focusing on one part of the life cycle to start to activate. And then they started oh, we learned this stuff and it's working now.
Let's go extended to other places. So it's doable.
Peter: Yeah, it's [00:21:00] interesting Adri that back when I was working with personalization stuff in the late nineties, as an example, I saw a lot of people really struggled back then around even. With the more simplistic tools, they got way over their skis and tried to take on way too much at the beginning. And I worked for a company called ATG in Boston, which became Oracle commerce, but they had an amazing personalization server that allowed you to create these dialogues.
We called it scenario personalization and it was a really cool tool. And I, one of the value propositions was that it was business user. Kind of access to these tools. But what we discovered really quickly is that most of the business users had no idea to even think through their logic. And they came up with these really complex things that didn't work and they just fell apart.
So what we ended up doing in most cases is pushed them to start with something that was about as simplistic as you can imagine. So this was a lot of website [00:22:00] personalization as an example. So for them it's okay, well, Let's segment into customers and non-customers, what do they wanna see? Let's start there.
And literally start with this, you know, crawling before you can walk before you can run. And that was really helpful for people. And I think I've seen too many people try to get way too sophisticated way too quickly. And there's an amazing amount you can do just by doing. Some of the basic first steps to get that level of improvement.
I I wanted to ask a couple of things. So many questions here. So, one is there's a. School of thought. I've heard that I don't believe in, but I want you to help us debunk it, that this kind of message coordination and personalization is really for B2C marketers only, not B2B. So help me debunk that.
Adri: Oh, yeah, happy to first. I did wanna, you know, maybe add or edit one thing on the previous [00:23:00] thing, you said something that really is really important actually, you know, more than personalization for the personalization's sake or whatever the most important, I think for people that are starting and whatever they are is like focus on a pro on a problem that you want to do, like in a business problem.
This is important for, especially now with a economic downturn. Do you want to increase a, you know, free convers. Do you want to maybe it's I wanna increase the number of second purchase or there's a dropout you know, once we have, you usually have subscribers and they are not renewing like.
Focus on a problem and it's gotta be tied to revenue because that's how customer engagement or any of these strategies. And so it's cuz otherwise it just feels, especially when you're trying to justify money and trying to resources and stuff. Cuz you know, none of this happens without coordination.
With it or your data team or your even like, how are you gonna justify personalization when you're just [00:24:00] like, oh, personalization, that sounds like a marketing thing to say do, and you know, we all know that whenever people say it's just marketing, that's AKA, it's fluffy, or it's not important. That's really what they're trying to say.
So if you try to, so I would, that's I think a reframing of that first step is like, what problem are you trying to solve that it's going to drive more revenue or growth for your company? And then focus on that and then you can see okay, what level personalization or what kind of level of, you know, orchestration do I need to solve that problem?
What's the minimum I need to do.
Peter: That, that makes a ton of sense. Completely agree. And I wanted to ask you, and I gonna give you a chance to debunk my B2B rumor in a second here. But I also wanted you to just comment a little bit on the. Economic justification for these efforts, cuz obviously, I mean, there's the technology, but there's just the effort.
There's the resources internal and external that you may use. So talk about B2B as being a reasonable thing in general, but I'd also love to hear your [00:25:00] view on sort of the, how a marketer should think about the business case for approaching personalization and coordinated.
Adri: Yeah, no, that's a great question. So I'll start with the B2B side and, you know, I always think that B2B is like a little bit behind B2C. Yet there are some things that we do that are different and I think more advance. But for example all site, like for example, in, in the B2B world are lead scoring and sort of like propensity by all of that science that goes behind, like really that demand gen.
It rarely exists in B2C or, you know, and I think it's very sophisticated and like the B2C companies could learn from B2B . So haven't been in both, I've been in both sides, you know, and I have things I love about both sides, but I do think that the B2C world, you do see this like level of, again, personalization and use of different channels and in B2B, [00:26:00] Absolutely.
But first of all, like sales have fundamentally changed in B2B. Like you, we're not, I doubt that we're gonna go back to a hundred percent in person, you know? So, so you have now, and by the way, like sales tech, you know, you have companies like gong and outreach and all this that are really getting into, again, like that scientific of understanding, like what, not only the acquisition, but then what happens, right?
What do you, and you're in the SAS world. So it's not just that pre-sale experience, but that post-sale so. Something as simple as like a business phone number, which used to be our core data point in to validate that it was like a real lead for example, or, you know, in all of our capture forms, that's no longer relevant people are working from home.
So if you think about like other channels, like chat, which has grown a lot in B2B of course like mobile, you know, that's like the next frontier. So emo is no longer. Really to me, like sufficient to [00:27:00] really engage a customer in, in, in the B2B world. So I think we're in that precipice that like the B2B companies are gonna see like explosive growth and that are gonna continue to not only survive, but actually.
Thrive are going to be adopting multi channel. So one is again, multiple channels to engage customers and to drive that growth. And then the second one is that they are going to need a level of personalization. We are already seeing it. I mean, we have, you know, great customers like I dunno if I can say them.
So I'm not gonna say that, but like big B2B companies I'll get back to you about which ones we have that are applications that essentially act like B2B to C. And that's what, you know, again, I'm coming from Tableau. That was very much the model. We acted like B2B two C, like we still engage the individual user and the organization.
So that, I mean, in any SaaS company, that is the motion, you know, like no matter what you're selling, you're still having to engage multiple personas, like individuals within an organization. [00:28:00] And so that's what I think it's really exciting about this customer engagement world is that we're bringing, you know, B2C scale applications, you know, like some brands typically have 40 50 million between 10 and 50 million users.
There are plenty of B2B companies that have those levels of databases. Plenty, you know? And so like it, again, to me, it's just, it's not even like a choice. It's just that's the reality. Like when you're having B2B companies that have that level of scale, You cannot do that, you know, in a Marketo or in you know, you cannot just send some newsletter emails like that.
Doesn't do anything. So that, that to me is just I think if your B2B and in this world of, you know, customer engagement, customer experience is super exciting because it a lot is converging in the mentality of the businesses. Like we're seeing it, like SAS is really. Especially if you're in the SaaS world is really about, you [00:29:00] know, like the entire customer journey.
So it's like really exciting. We can do some very new things that we haven't been able to do or even have had the support to do. So that's how I would debunk it. But there's more to that. So your second question about justifying it. Look, I, first of all, like I'd say first of all, I say it's important for every marketer to think of themselves as a company builder.
And this is why I was saying like let's reframe from personalization to really what business problem you're trying to solve. And I think that's always a parting point even, you know, for justifying, not just money, but frankly, even your priorities, right? I mean, every marketer out there, like our goal, whether you're in communications and some more indirect channels to more direct channels.
We're here to help a company grow, you know, like that's our role. So I think justifying, starting from the standpoint of what problems or what levers are you as a marketing organization have in your [00:30:00] portfolio of things. To help revenue grow. The second thing is that the idea of a portfolio, like you cannot justify any one channel in isolation, like marketing is a, it's a portfolio.
And this, I got from one of my mentors who was a former CMO of. Tableau, Lisa Frank, she used to say marketing is like managing an investment portfolio. You have some things that are like quick, you know, quick return and some other ones are long term and you kind of have to balance out. And I think it's a perfect analogy.
And every time I use that with a CFO or finance, they like, ah, get it so I'm like, look, it's not about justifying this one campaign or this one channel. You really have to look at return investment across. So that's my second point. And then my third and final point is that then I would break it down to like specifically is like you have broadly, you know, particularly in growth marketing, you have.
Your acquisition, you know, motion. And then [00:31:00] you have like your essentially, once you have them in their database, like your retention, your loyalty, however you wanna call it CRM. Like lots of people call it different things, but essentially one is I wanna get more names in my database per permission to market them.
And then the second one is like, how do I get more value out of that database? What's happening is in the downturn. The cost of acquisition are going higher. Typically. That's where you get most of the budget cuts, right? Cuz people get that. So really where you have to turn on is like, how do you get more value out of your existing database?
You know, of course you're gonna continue to grow that database, but maybe not as aggressively as, before, not at any cost because the new metric, the golden metric for every business now is EF. Sustainability and efficiency, so that all points to your CRM efforts, you know, so that's how I would justify it is look at, you know, essentially what's your return from you already sunk.
You already, you know, sunk the cost to acquire that [00:32:00] name. Now, how do you get more value out of that name?
Peter: Yeah I love the way you think about this Adri and couple of points that I'd add to that one is that your. Your analogy of the of a portfolio view. A financial portfolio is interesting. We think about it as what we call it RO return on marketing plan. So it's basically look at the entire investment.
So I find one of the things that infuriates me, that marketing people, cherry pick. So they say, look at what this one initiative has done. And I used to see this all the time. Come to a board meeting and say, Hey, look, this is great. We did this thing. And it generated, you know, 14 X return on my investment and I'd say, great.
Well, how much did you spend on that? Well, a hundred thousand dollars. What was your budget? Last quarter? $4 million. Where did the other 3.9 million go? And what did that return? Right. So the idea of really looking in at the whole thing and understanding the whole context and also you really made the point [00:33:00] well that you need to be able to connect.
Your activities to some financial metric and ultimately it should be revenue or profit contribution or something similar. And even if you can't make a direct tie, you should be able to have a thesis for how it's gonna influence those things. And I think marketers struggle with that sometimes.
And it sounds like you've got your arms around that a great deal.
Adri: I think that's been honestly, five years at American express, you know, you just learn to speak finance. And I would say it was a great school for me and I encourage all of you to, to marketers, to Honestly become financially, literally understand a balance sheet, understand how to do an ROI, understand how to do a cause benefit analysis.
Like all of those things. I am so thankful that I had, you know, five years of, you know, really like spreadsheet love. And having to really justify you know, you, you just learn from a financial perspective. And so I, it served me so well. Of those years. So I encourage people like, because especially when you're talking in [00:34:00] CFO into business, like you have to translate, you can't be using like, oh, conversions and leads and, you know, MQL.
That's what , you know, it's like, it doesn't mean anything to, to the rest of the business.
Peter: So I have a chapter in my book that does exactly that. And it's, it sounded like you've you could have written a chapter yourself, or maybe you read it Audrey. I'm not sure. The,
Adri: I haven't, but I'm taking that now. Cause that sounds, it sounds like you're you and I are from the same school.
Peter: I think we are so believe it or not we're actually at the end of our time, but we do have one question we'd like to ask everyone.
So I'd love you to weigh in on what advice you would give to current or aspiring CMOs.
Adri: I have two one is this idea of be a company builder first in a marketer. Second. that's important, you know, like you're especially for CMOs and aspiring CMOs, you've already, I'm sure. Proven that you're a great marketer. So now it's about it is [00:35:00] about building that company and what does it help and really tying what we're doing to, to that broader strategy.
So that's really like a mentality, a practice, a skill to nurture. And the second one, especially in these terms is. It's really like to me, it's like taking us a learning opportunity and focus on positive leadership. It is so easy to get overwhelmed with negativity. It is hard. I mean, we've gone through a pandemic, we've gone through all kinds of things.
And look I come from a country where I've seen a lot upheaval, you know, Kuda task things of my family, lost everything. Definitely, you know, I'm not sure everybody out there has their share of, you know, lived experiences and it's not easy, but I will say like in every downturn that I've lived through and I this will be the third economic downturn in the us not counting the ones in my home country.
It I learned that there is. That's where like creative thinking happened. I can't, I don't know who says this, but don't waste a good crisis. [00:36:00] and is like in crisis, there is opportunity. There's usually more openness for change because you know, when things are not working or they start, they're not working like they did before.
People are more open to change. So this is, you know, as hard as it is and as difficult as it is, there is so much opportunity for all of us to get to the next level, learn pivot experiment. And I think that that to me is like super important to not only survive, but like again, thrive through these times.
And with that, I would say like my every time, the best thing I have in order to keep that positive mindset has been my colleagues turn to each other. We are we're a big, but very small village of marketers. And so turn to each other, share best practices, vent. learn about what other challenges have.
I think the best thing that I have right now I is really my group of ex colleagues and, you know, Like also new CMOs [00:37:00] learning, sharing opportunities, sharing best practices. It's just a fantastic support system.
Peter: Well, that's awesome. And a two for one from you, Audrey. So, you've, you're overachieving again over delivering on the expectation with two pieces of advice. Really appreciate it. Really appreciate you being on the next CMO for those of you out. Who here, who haven't subscribed, make sure you do.
So, if you have ideas about what you'd like to hear in future episodes, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org follow us on all those social media things. And thanks for listening and have a great day. Thanks Adri.
Adri: Me Peter. Bye