CMO Insights: Christine Nurnberger, CMO, Bottomline Technologies

November 15, 2018

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Christine Nurnberger, CMO of Bottomline Technologies.

In this video, Christine talks about:

  • Being fearless and how that attitude helps her with her team
  • Deploying new technology that increased pipeline and doubled leads without increasing budget
  • The importance of traditional events and building relationships

Learn more about Christine from her LinkedIn profile and follow Bottomline Technologies on Twitter.

For more great CMO interviews like this one, please check out our other CMO Insights Videos or our YouTube channel.

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi, welcome to Revenue Marketing Television, the CMO Insights Series. I am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today as our guest, we have Christine Nurnberger, who is Chief Marketing Officer at Bottomline Technologies. Christine, welcome to the show.

Christine Nurnberger:

Thank you so much, Jeff. Thanks for having me.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet. Well, we’ve known each other for a while. We got a chance to do a panel together a few months back. You’ve had quite an amazing career.

Christine Nurnberger:

Thank you. It’s been a good ride so far.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. So I think, you know, as you reflect back what’s been the biggest change for you personally.

Christine Nurnberger:

I think it’s changed for me personally. And the thing that excites me the most is just looking at the speed and the pace of innovation and digital transformation in marketing. When I think back to the tools and technologies and processes that we were even using just two or three years ago, we’re just light years ahead of that. And it’s both exciting and it’s a challenge to stay ahead of that curve, but it’s really transformed the way we do business. And that’s been the biggest change I’ve seen

Jeff Pedowitz:

When you first got into some marketing. Did you have any idea? Things would move as fast as they do today?

Christine Nurnberger:

No clue. I think we were still handing out coffee mugs and stress balls at trade shows. When I, when I first got into marketing and ROI was a really big and elusive dream that no one could really attain. So I had no clue that this is what I’d be doing all these years later.

Jeff Pedowitz:

My first marketing internship, we sent out catalogs for our bank direct mail. So it was even before there was email before the internet. Yeah. So that probably dates me just, just a little bit. So you’ve probably learned a lot as you’ve risen through the ranks. I mean, if you had to go back though and, and like whisper in the ear of your younger self, what would you say?

Christine Nurnberger:

Be fearless. That’s what I would say. I would say that you know, especially as a woman in technology, you really have to find your voice and use it and go with your gut. And you know, there’ll always be times when you doubt yourself or times when you question, am I really up for this task? And I think the, the most important thing that I’ve learned is when an opportunity’s in front of you just go for it and be fearless. So that would be what I would whisper to my much, much younger self.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And so how does that attitude help you with your team today? Do you also look for fearless people and I mean, how are you building the skills and driving your organization?

Christine Nurnberger:

I do, you know, I tend to hire more for personality, charisma, intellectual horsepower, and intellectual curiosity, curiosity than I do for pure marketing skills. Cause I feel like that we can teach people and they’ll learn if they’ve got, you know, a high degree of intellectual curiosity. But I, I really look for people who are just hungry, passionate, passionate about learning, about marketing, passionate about business in terms of talent development. One of the things that I really focus on with my team is that you’re a business person first and marketing executive second we’ve really align our objectives with the goals of the company from a revenue perspective. And that’s always the lens in which we review our activity. And so I think that that really helps everybody in the marketing organization really understand their objectives as they support the overall business goals.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Love that. So then with that in mind and what are you being held accountable for? So what was your boss measure you on? And then in turn, because you are business focused, what are you measuring your team on?

Christine Nurnberger:

Yeah, so our ultimate objective and measurement in marketing is direct contribution to pipeline and direct contribution to bookings. So we manage this, the marketing team much like you would a sales team where on the onset and the budgeting and planning process, we look across the business, understand the revenue objectives. We then align our marketing resources with those revenue objectives. And that’s what we’re held accountable for. So on a quarterly basis, I read that out to the executive team and on a monthly basis, we’re reading that out to the sales leaders, across the organization to ensure that we’re always in lock step. The other thing that we do is, you know, obviously as a team, we have a pipeline and bookings target and in district contribution, we don’t really focus on influence.

Just, yet we’re really still focused on direct contribution. But the other thing that we do is we make sure that that trickles down into individual roles. So even if you role is in social media, as an example, you understand exactly how social media is impacting our awareness, our brand employee amplification, therefore how it’s helping to drive web traffic, therefore how it’s helping to drive inbound leads and opportunities. So no matter what role you play in the marketing organization, you can see a clear line between your day to day job and the overall top line objectives for the team.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Nice. And I guess that in doing that, that probably helps them prepare better for the next role as they take on more responsibility.

Christine Nurnberger:

Absolutely. Okay.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So how would you describe your relationship with sales?

Christine Nurnberger:

Very tight, very tight. We are operating as one integrated organization. One of the things that I am sort of most proud about in my work here at bottom line, when I joined bottom line in particular, they didn’t really have a strong centralized marketing function. And so in marketing didn’t really have a strategic seat at the table. They weren’t really involved in the revenue discussions, understanding where we’re going and helping you shape product discussions, et cetera. And that’s really transformed over the past four years where we have a strategic seat at the table with sales, with the executive business leaders. And we’re really seen as a strategic partner, not, you know, again, the folks handing out coffee mugs and stress balls at trade shows. So it’s come a long way.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I’d probably still do a little bit of that, but not as much as they used to. Right. So bottom line technology company, I’m assuming a lot of your revenue is subscription-based that’s right. Okay. So I’m just curious because I was there so much, the subscription model is it’s it’s, it’s acquire and keeping it growing and reducing churn, but from a marketing perspective, how are you dividing up the mix? I mean, how much is spent on that new acquisition versus trying to kind of keep in drive lifetime customer value?

Christine Nurnberger:

I would say it’s about 70% focused on net, new 30% on upsell cross sell on the customer journey. And it varies pretty significantly by our different product lines. Some of our product lines are, you know, more like a true three year enterprise sales deal where our technology is very sticky. And so we’re not having to do much initially to cultivate that relationship. Once we get the solution installed, we’re, we’re stuck there for a good while and then another and other solution categories. We do have to continually ensure that we’re providing our customers with a journey of increased value and in a much more transactional and rapid fashion. So it, it varies, but overall we spend about 70% of our time on net, new 30% on install base.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. It seems, it seems like a good mix. So I think I’ve known you probably for getting close to 10 years now. I’ve always been one of those executives that seems to know what technology should be investing in and applying it. Cause, you know, you’re kind of out there. How do you do that? Like what just, what’s your, I guess your process, your methodology having, you know, what she should be investing and then trying and not,

Christine Nurnberger:

I have a great team of people around me and we’re all really passionate about the tools and technology. And it’s something that I’ve always just been really interested in personally and professionally. And we’ve been able to see how it’s transformed even this past year. We literally doubled our production of qualified leads. We doubled our production of pipeline. New pipeline created the marketing budget was flat. There was no incremental head count.

It’s all from deploying the right tools and technologies. One of the things that I started this year with my broader team, as we kicked off the first annual marketing innovation contest across the whole global team of 40 some odd people. And we had people submit their ideas in the areas of process improvement tools and technologies, data, campaign ideas. And we had 37 amazing submissions. And out of that, we’ve identified three or four new tools that we’re going to deploy, and that was directly from the team. So we’re looking at air table, we’re looking at a tool called knack, a we’re looking at a tool called open prize, and this was all from, you know, the passion and innovation that I have in my leadership team has, you know, extended to the broader team and they all got to contribute. It was a great contest and I’m awarding the winner next week.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Wow. That’s awesome. Congratulations on that. So I know all the CMOs watching this, right. Okay. So you doubled your leads this year without any increase in budget. They’re going to want to know, sorry, Christine, what tools did you use? Why, what was the magic button that you pushed? How did you get it done?

Christine Nurnberger:

So one of the cool new tools we deployed was within our tele marketing group, it’s a tool called Senbloom and it really helped increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the email outreach that’s done by our tele team. So that was a kind of cheap, easy tool that we deploy without any assistance from it. And it’s had a very big impact in a very big lift on the productivity of our telemarketing team. We’ve also just deployed drift, which is a new chat tool. That’s helped us really streamline the front end of our chat process. You know, a lot of times with inbound chat, it’s our telemarketing, you know, qualification business development reps that are fielding all those inbound inquiries. A lot of times people are just looking for customer support and it’s easier than finding a number on a website or they’re looking for something not related to a near term sales opportunity. 

So by using drift, we’re able to kind of carve those off and get them to where they need to go faster. And therefore also increase our productivity from a teller perspective. Another thing that we’ve spent a lot of time on a huge focus for my team is the quality of content that we’re delivering. Our webinars are seeing, you know, easily six, 700 registrations across the board on topics like GDPR payment fraud. And we’re really working to provide thought leadership content and provide content that elevates us as a trusted advisor versus just a vendor relationship to our prospects and customers. So we’ve seen a huge uptick in our content consumption our webinar, registrations and attendance. We are we’ve put in place a number of customer engagement engines or nurture programs. And we’re seeing people interact with our content, you know, one individual interacting with 10 plus pieces of our content. 

So that’s certainly improved things. And I think there’s one more thing that had a big, Oh predictive lead scoring and predictive analytics. So within bottom line technologies, we have a group that’s really focused on advanced machine learning. And so we have raised our hand in marketing to become the Guinea pig for our own technology. And so we’ve employed some of our machine learning and predictive analytics tools to help score increase. So the inquiries, you know, you’ve got thousands and thousands of inquiries coming in in a week and we’ve used our predictive lead scoring engine and machine learning technology to rise the increase to the top. That should be prioritized from a perspective of getting to an MQL and a qualified opportunity faster.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s fantastic. Well, you’re definitely busy is how many people are on your team?

Christine Nurnberger:

Oh, 40 globally. Wow. That’s a, that’s a pretty good size. Yeah. And they’re great. That’s team I’ve ever worked with.

Jeff Pedowitz:

All right. Well, without speaking to the microphone right in the definitely I have to let them know that. That’s awesome. So who inspires you, Christine? I mean, is there a business leader or sports or anything that, that you say, Hey, you know, that’s the person that I really want to be like,

Christine Nurnberger:

Sir, Richard Branson, I just, I just adore him. I love his mantra of training people well enough so that they could leave you, but treat them well enough that they don’t want to. And I really think about that every day. And I think about that with my team and my leadership team every day, I believe that every interaction creates an impression and that mantra from Richard Branson just really hits home for me. And you know, I really want to build a top notch team that wants to stay and do great work at bottom line and beyond. And so that, that phrase from Richard Branson inspires me for sure. No, actually I saw him in what I saw him in my Orca. He used to own a hotel in Majorca, Spain, and I was having dinner at the hotel and I saw him and I was so tempted to run and jump in front of his car to say hello, but my friend restricting to me that story,

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s my, the restraining. Your first, before you got to the car?

Christine Nurnberger:

No, he was just by himself, walked down, walked down the stairs and got right in his car. So I missed my opportunity to meet him, unfortunately.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well, you know, maybe next time around or, you know, we’ll we’ll talk to one of the vendors. We’ll see if we can bring him in as a, as a guest speaker. So what’s your take just on more of the traditional events now, cause you mentioned you do a lot of the webinars and you know, you and I spend all that time at conferences together, are they as effective as they used to be?

Christine Nurnberger:

I think they are, you know, it’s interesting. It’s like this shift where everything, the pendulum swung to be so digital and now it’s swinging back to the middle to become more human. And so I do think the face to face events and conferences are really important, especially in certain geographies and our Geneva business. As an example, face-to-face events are a huge revenue driver for us because it’s a small market. The relationships there are really important. I still think it’s really important to make sure that you’re executing events with an eye toward ROI and making sure that it’s as measurable as possible. But I do think that human to human face to face connectivity, you know, there’s something to be said, you just can’t be behind a computer screen all day every day and lose that human connection with your prospects and your customers.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Have you managed the cost just because it seems like the, it goes up astronomically every year with each of these events. So are you doing something in a more streamlined way to get better ROI?

Christine Nurnberger:

We have been really conservative with our event spend and we tend to do a lot around the event and Nessus and not necessarily have a huge booth and a huge trade show space on the floor. We do a lot of private dinners. We do a lot of meetings near the events. We really try and make it a 360 degree experience with our prospects and customers at those events so that we don’t have to spend 70% of our budget just on booth space and AB and you know, the cost to just get on the show floor. So we tend to really try and maximize our ROI by having, you know, the appropriate presence for the size of the company and the size of the show, but then also really doing a lot around the event to increase the interaction between the attendees and the bottom line, bottom line, attendees

Jeff Pedowitz:

Smart. So finish the sentence a year from now, my team at bottom line will

Christine Nurnberger:

A year for now. My team at bottom line will have launched or world-class PR program and implemented a real time personalization across all of our digital channels.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well like it, and you’ll probably double leads again. Won’t you?

Christine Nurnberger:

That’s the goal?

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well as always, it’s a pleasure, never enough time to get some of your brilliant insight by it’s so easy to see why you’ve been so successful. So, Christina, thank you.

Christine Nurnberger:

Thank you so much, Jeff. It’s a pleasure speaking to you. Take care.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet.

Christine Nurnberger:

Thanks.

You May Also Like…

REVTalks Masters: Ruben Varela

REVTalks Masters: Ruben Varela

In the new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks and dive into their stories to help you with your journey to revenue marketing.

read more
REVTalks Masters: Elle Woulfe

REVTalks Masters: Elle Woulfe

In the new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks and dive into their stories to help you with your journey to revenue marketing.

read more

Marketing Operations

Increase efficiency. Remove roadblocks.

Customer Experience

Wow Your Customers

Lead Management

Accelerate Leads to Revenue

Digital Transformation

Turn Strategy Into Action

Inbound Marketing

Right Channel, Right Message

Account-Based Marketing

Accelerate ABM Success

Flexible
Options

Four options. One result: Greater marketing-sourced revenue.

Marketo Engage

Marketo Platinum Partner

Pardot

Accelerate Leads to Revenue

Microsoft Dynamics

Optimize Your Instance

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Certified Silver Partner

Salesforce CRM

12 Years of Integration Experience

Partners

Additional Technology Platforms

Oracle Eloqua

Oracle Platinum Partner

Adobe Experience Manager

Provide world-class experiences

Revenue Marketing University 

Training for marketers of all skill levels.

F5 Logo

F5 Network's Case Study

How a Network Security Giant Unified Global Marketing Operations

F5 Logo

Rackspace's Case Study

How a Cloud Solutions Provider Unifed And Expanded Global Marketing Capabilities

TraceLink’s Case Study

How a Supply-Chain Solution Provider Built Crucial Capabilities For Revenue

Xylem's Case Study

How a Global Water Solutions Company Nailed Marketing Automation To Win

Gilbarco Veeder-Root

Gilbarco Veeder-Root's Case Study

How a Global Fueling Leader Transitioned To Win

Telecomm Case Study

How A Multi-Channel Inbound Strategy Achieved A 600% Increase In ROI

A credit card, representing a Fortune 100 client of The Pedowitz Group's

Financial Services Case Study

How a Fortune 100 Credit Card Company Closed The Loop On Revenue

Resource Hub

Read, Watch and Download

Trending Topics

Our Most Popular Content

Blog

Our Latest Articles

CMO Insights

Hear From Industry Experts

Get Timely Insights

Take an interactive assessment and get immediate results

About TPG

How are we different? Get to know us a bit better!

Case Studies

See real results from customers just like you

How We Work With You

How can we help you?

Partners

Learn about some of our Partners.

Introducing: The Loop

 

Revenue models are outdated. Here’s your update.

About TPG

How are we different? Get to know us a bit better!

Case Studies

See real results from customers just like you

How We Work With You

How can we help you?

Partners

Learn about some of our Partners.

Introducing: The Loop

 

Revenue models are outdated. Here’s your update.