CMO Insights: Cynthia Gumbert, SVP of Marketing and Analytics at Quick Base

May 29, 2018

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Cynthia Gumbert, SVP of Marketing and Analytics at Quick Base.

In this video, Cynthia shares;

  • How Quickbase is focusing on Account Based Marketing initiatives
  • How her team is looking at every piece of the customer journey to improve the customer experience
  • The challenge of having a diverse audience set and still provide the right content at the right time.

Learn more about Cynthia from her LinkedIn profile.

For more great CMO interviews like this one, please check out our CMO Insights Playlist on our YouTube channel.

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi, welcome to Revenue Marketing Television. I am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today on CMO Insights, we have Cynthia Gumbert, who is Senior Vice President of Marketing for QuickBase. Cynthia, welcome to the show. T

Cynthia Gumbert:

Thank you so much, Jeff.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So it’s great to have you so many exciting things happening at QuickBase. So tell us a little bit about the transition of the company and what your role is as SVP and marketing

Cynthia Gumbert:

Sure thing. I’ve been here now just three months at QuickBase and the company is going through a lot of transition. We used to be part of Intuit for many years. Quickbase is actually about 20 years old. And about a year and a half ago, QuickBase guts spun off. It’s now private equity owned with the intent of growing very rapidly and you know, probably being on the public markets within a couple of years. So we’re doing extremely well growing, but also going through a lot of transitions in the markets that we’re going after. As well as a lot of the product features that we’re adding and investment in product as well.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So historically a QuickBase was more SMB oriented, right?

Cynthia Gumbert:

Yeah. As part of Intuit the market was very much targeted to very small companies, sometimes one to five person, small businesses which is the same market that you see, you know, for TurboTax and other Intuit products. And QuickBase grew to about 6,000 customers. A lot of them smaller businesses who don’t have anybody who’s, you know, an application developer but just needs you know, needs, needs, workflows needs the forums, and it’s been very, very successful that way. But also despite that we do have half of the fortune 100 companies in our customer base.

We’ve had a lot of success in enterprise. It’s, it’s really been driven more by a use case that somebody finds us for rather than, you know, large enterprise approach. So we’re, we’re kind of turning that on its head and saying, we are really a platform that larger companies can adopt across multiple business units. And that’s the big transformation we’re going through right now,

Jeff Pedowitz:

This big shift going from say one to five employees to fortune 50. So from a marketing standpoint, that’s, that’s quite a bit of strategic coverage. So whether, how are you approaching that for this year? How are you organizing your team? What’s your strategy? What’s, what’s the plan?

Cynthia Gumbert:

Well, you look at some of the most successful SAS companies over the last, you know, 10, 15 years. A lot of them did start with that SMB base as a customer, even Salesforce with selling to small businesses when they started out. And you know, it’s much, much easier to go up market you know, Slack. Some of those really hot, fast growing companies started where they spread like wildfire through smaller companies. And then suddenly, you know, the large enterprises are looking at all, the cool kids are using this tool, so we should adopt it as well. We’re taking the same approach. The other, you know, great kind of convergence of what’s happening in the market for us now is seeing that, you know, this, the no code platform combined with being able to develop a powerful solution that can solve an entire enterprises needs like CRM, which we’re using internally is, is really at the right place right now.

I think when you see kind of a younger generation of workers or people who were either in startups or graduating from school you know, the millennial generation they just want to do things themselves. They, they grew up in you know, schools in areas where there’s maker labs. They, you know, they’re learning to three D print, which I used to be in that industry. They’re, they’re learning to, you know, create everything they need for themselves. And, you know, here’s this platform where you don’t need to buy ready-made tool. You don’t need to take what your, it department’s giving you. You can just develop it yourself exactly to fit your workflow or your needs. But at the same time, we’ve got the security, the scalability and the platform that it can, you know, very much condone and adopt across an enterprise. So for me, it’s great as a marketer, it’s kind of a perfect, a perfect storm.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you’re, you’re about three months in, but in terms, as you start thinking about how you’re going to build your team people-wise organization, because that’s, that’s a lot of coverage, right. From the SMB marketing enterprise marketing. So what kind of people are you looking for skills? How are you structuring structuring that? I guess the organization

Cynthia Gumbert:

Skills wise, we’re developing a very large account based marketing muscle, which didn’t really exist here before. We have some, you know, great team members who have been doing marketing campaigns and programs and utilizing marketing automation. We have some, you know, nurture capabilities here as well as a fantastic community segment of our team. So just, you know, skills wise looking at, building out that account based marketing muscle, a group that can work very closely with enterprise sales and go after specific customers with the right approach and programs is, is the main area that I’m feeling out. That aside too, we’ve worked on revamping our company values and that’s rolling out right as we speak. And we are all, whether you’re marketing sales product you know, HR, no matter what team here, we’re looking for people who fit with our new company values.

And the number one value on that list is customer obsessed. So can we find people who are, you know, ups not, not customer, you know, first, not customer focused, really obsessed with, with doing the right thing for our customer. Filling out those values are trusted. We have to be, you know, that trusted advisor have our product be trusted by the largest enterprises in the world. Courageous looking for people who are courageous exceptional and in simplify is the last divert values where we don’t want this to be complex or product has to be, you know, dead simple to use and to adopt,

Jeff Pedowitz:

You know, I’m a lot of successful marketing executives are making a shift towards really building customer focused teams that how do you do that from an operational perspective, right. Cause it’s one thing to say, Hey, we want to focus on the customer, but how do you actually do that from a marketing standpoint?

Cynthia Gumbert:

Well, you know, we look at every piece of that customer journey from digital to, you know, the human interaction part on the phone and in person face to face. And for me, it’s, you know, are we consistent and are we providing a consistent message to our stakeholders, you know, being customer obsessed or customer first doesn’t mean if you take that to an extreme, we would give away our product for free and say, Hey, we’re doing great things for you here. You know, here’s a free product. But you know, it’s really more about is that journey matching to our brand promise.

Are we dead simple to use and to adopt, are we being very, you know, upfront and communicating with them on, on what they’re getting, are we integrating, you know, support into, we have a free trial, you know, a month free trial are they getting enough support during that trial to understand, you know, how to use the product. And then as they transition to a paid customer, is that transition from marketing to sales, to support seamless and, you know, best best possible experience for them. So that’s, we’re operationalizing it, not within marketing only, but within the transitions between marketing sales support and product. So all teams are working very closely together to make sure we have that seamless experience.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what is, what is your boss holding you accountable for as you guys go through this transformation, and then what are you in turn holding your team accountable for?

Cynthia Gumbert:

We are accountable for the entire number of new, new logo acquisition and growing our active user base. So we’d like to continue growing our customer roster. My goal is sales is goal is product school. It’s all shared. It’s not just, Oh, marketing will generate this number of leads and a piece of it. You know, I feel accountable for, for all of it. And if we’re all successful, then marketing is successful. You know, same thing is growing the active user base. We don’t want to be selling product that isn’t getting used. We want our customers to be, you know, very successful and satisfied and continue to grow within, within accounts as well. So those are our two main targets for, for the year. And my one on ones with their CEO each week are around how many new customers if we won. And do I understand that pipeline and funnel enough to know how much needs to go in to get, get the right amount, you know, out the bottom.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay, good. So being a technology company yourself from a, from a marketing standpoint, what’s your approach strategically to investing in technology to scale your team?

Cynthia Gumbert:

I think, you know, it all has to meet our in targets in the end. Investing in technology is very interesting here at QuickBase and different from anywhere I’ve been in the past where we’re using our own tool for CRM. We’re using our own product for all of our reporting and dashboards content, calendar, and events management. So that’s, you know, the great part of it is we get to build whatever we need which is lacking. And the more we use, the more we have something to market ourselves. So I can market to marketers as much as you know, to, to that it stakeholder otherwise to fill out the technology platform is you know, anything to get us better connected to our customers.

So tying back to our value, hoping customer obsessed, are we using marketing automation in a way that’s not just sending more emails and, you know, sending more nurture communications, but are we segmenting? Are we personalizing? We have technology that ties into the product itself Evergage which enables us to personalize, you know, the end product experience and get better with that as well. So we’re trying to, you know, meet customers where they are and, and, you know, get a lot more effective at sending the right message to the right person at the right time with our technology.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Nice. I mean, I think that’s certainly a built in advantage for you, right? That you have that platform that you can build so many things on top of. So I know you’ve only been there for three months, but what’s what’s been your biggest challenge so far.

Cynthia Gumbert:

I think that biggest challenge is serving large, medium and small businesses and not dropping the ball, not swinging the pendulum too far to say, we’re going to speak to CEOs at large enterprises and that’s it. We have to do it all very well. So how do we maintain kind of a more transactional, you know, try and buy system at the low end and keep that, not just working but continually improving, but also improve our ability to, you know, make that connection at a senior executive level, large accounts and build the ABM muscle. So, you know, keeping a lot of balls in the air putting more balls in the air while the originals are still there is important a lot. And you know, really bringing up our PR muscle as well. Nobody’s heard of QuickBase, you know, some, some people have heard of it is you know, part of Intuit still, and that’s been a year and a half since we separated from Intuit. So you know, I need to build up our brand awareness at the same time as is running the demand programs.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you’ve that’s great. That’s great advice. So you’ve been a VP for awhile now at several different companies. What advice would you give to and were women starting off earlier in their careers that want to aspire to become a marketing executive? What would you tell them?

Cynthia Gumbert:

For me, it’s just stay close to sales. Don’t be a marketing person that, you know, has your own goals that aren’t necessarily connected very close to the business. So, you know, I don’t care if you’re in B to B software or hardware or consumer which consumer marketing usually is the sales department in itself, but, you know, stay close to the business, do, do something that’s important to the CEO. So even if you’re starting out you know, be relevant, find out what the company goals are and then, you know, be be important to those

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great advice. Yeah. So thank you so much for being on the show today. Your comments were very insightful. And we’re going to be looking forward to track your progress at QuickBase over the next year or two. It sounds like it’s going to be an exciting journey.

Cynthia Gumbert:

Thank you, Jeff. It’s been a pleasure.

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