CMO Insights: Diego Lomanto, Chief Marketing Officer, Talent Inc.

May 17, 2017

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Diego Lomanto, Chief Marketing Officer for Talent Inc.

In this video, Diego shares

  • Some of the challenges and opportunities of leading a marketing team for a startup organization
  • The ‘tech debt’ he inherited and how he is restructuring his MarTech stack to be more effective
  • Some of the key data points his team is tracking to connect marketing efforts to the bottom line.

Learn more about Diego from his LinkedIn profile and follow both Talent Inc. and Diego on Twitter.

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

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hello, welcome to Revenue Marketing Television. I am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today on the CMO Insights Channel, we have Diego Lomanto, who is the First Chief Marketing Officer for Talent, Inc. Diego, welcome to the show.

Diego Lomanto:

Hey Jeff. Thank you for having me. I appreciate you having me on.

Jeff Pedowitz:

No problem. So I am very curious as to what Talentm Inc. does because everybody’s looking for talent.

Diego Lomanto:

Yeah. yeah, it’s actually a, it could be deceiving by the title. We are not a talent agency. What we are is a service for job seekers in which we provide them tools and advice on helping them find the job of their dreams. Most specifically the product that we offer as a resume writing service. So what we do is we help job seekers write their resumes in waves, you know, help them write a better resume so that they get more interviews faster and are more appear, justifiably, more qualified for the jobs that they want to get. We work with millions of job seekers a year. What we do is we offer free evaluation of your resume. So you know, most people are doing their resume on their own. They’re having a friend look at it. They’re, they’re looking at resume samples and they’re trying things, but they’re not writers and they’re not marketers.

Right. and so they do their best, but usually they’re not writing their resume effectively for the, for the jobs that they’re seeking. So we look at it, we give them some feedback on, you know, from a, from a mechanical and an automated perspective. What are the, what are the automated filters telling saying about you? You know, how, how are, how are the machines interpreting your experience before he even gets to a person, right? How are you being filtered? What are the keywords that are being parsed? How are you being categorized by the the automated filters? And then we have a person look at it and tell you, okay, you know, your objective statement is strong or not. Your bullets are not quantified, et cetera. And so that, that mix of sort of automation and human oversight gives people advice and information. They need to make their resume better. And so many is to take that, yeah, many people take that, do that themselves, update their resume themselves, but we offer a paid service to do it for them. And that’s what our business model is and how we generate revenue. Right?

Jeff Pedowitz:

Well, as someone that’s reviewed thousands and thousands of resumes and hired many people, it’s definitely very valuable for sure. So you, yyou are the first chief marketing officer at talent. So what are some of the main challenges you’re facing right now as you build out this team? Yeah,

Diego Lomanto:

I think for, for many early marketing hires or at least early marketing leaders you know, you’re inheriting a, you’re walking into a situation without any structure or processes or really formalized strategy. And you need to bring that to the business while also not disrupting the things that are making them successful. Right. I mean, the reason that I got hired is because the company is growing fast and they’re ready to put their gas on the pedal and grow through their customers through, through marketing spend. And so looking at, you know, what, what they have, what they don’t have and figuring out a strategy to take them to more of a sophisticated and robust marketing strategy. So you know, talking to people inside the company, really understanding, you know, what’s the story of this business and to the customer, what are we you know, what, what is our value to the customer? 

What benefits do we provide? How do we help them crafting that story and starting to get everyone on the same page from a brand perspective. But this is the third startup I’ve worked for. And very much like the other startups is inheriting technology that was, you know, not built with today in mind, but the past getting to today in mind. So there’s a lot of tech debt. There’s a lot of complex information in different systems and integrating that and sort of unifying that in, in a, in a singular platform or a single point of view of marketing is one of the things that, that I’ve been working on.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what kind of talent are you hiring for a talent or what kind of skills do you need to get going? Yeah,

Diego Lomanto:

So the first the first person I hired I sort of went the right brain left brain situation try, try to try to build out a robust team here. So I hired a director of marketing communications who was also a career advice expert. So Amanda Augustine she’s on our team. She’s a career, but she she’s, she’s known inside the career world as a job advice expert. And so we brought her on to, to have her be our director of marketing communications and also be the face of this business to the rest of the world. We wanted to humanize it. We wanted people to see a face and understand, Hey, there are people behind this service. It’s not just machines. It’s not just technology. There’s there, there’s, there’s a person there. And so we brought her on to build the brand and start to generate awareness and a face of the company.

And the, the, the sort of the other side of the coin I brought in digital marketing people, people who understand funnels leads conversion optimization paid social paid search and you know, various other marketing channels. But we want them to get both things going, build the brand, go the story, but also build out that funnel on those channels. And then third you know, we, we are are a lot of our businesses is generated and conducted by email. And so I brought in an email marketing person a leader in the space, someone who really knows email marketing inside out to create a relationship based email marketing program. And that’s sort of the main hires that I’ve I’ve.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So tell me about some of the things that you’re from a process and technology standpoint to scale.

Diego Lomanto:

Yeah, so so we, you know, when I, when I started, there was actually one person already on the staff are Jenna she’s, she’s great. She’s manages mostly our social media and our community which is important in our business. We ratings and reviews are really important for us. And so we had that in place and she’s doing a really good job, but, you know, we’re S we needed to scale up and hire more people. We’re still not a huge company. I have about 10 people now. But what we did was we organized people into product marketing, marketing, communications, digital marketing, those and marketing operations, and analytics. I have 10 people they’re spread across those, those, so there’s four liters there and underneath them with one or two people each, and really from a process perspective, the most challenging thing for a small company, as, as they’re growing up is going from everyone reporting directly to me, when we, you know, we had two or three people, four people can five to a 10 person team.

I can’t manage my people and they have all have some reports. And so managing that communication across the team has become really important. So I’m trying to build is that we have LG that we use that keeps us on the same page and communicating, but it doesn’t inhibit, it inhibit the flexibility and the flow. So we have a, you know, a weekly tactical meeting, a monthly strategic meeting, a quarterly goals and, and the FA goal defining meeting, and then a yearly planning session. So sticking to that each team individually has a daily sort of scrum meeting and any special projects have a daily scrum meeting. But from there we report into the general team. Okay.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So it sounds like you’re using some agile techniques then as you’re building out your team. Yeah,

Diego Lomanto:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s a mix of agile and, and more traditional I don’t know if you’ve read death by meeting or the Rockefeller habits, but, you know, there’s some, some really good, I think you know, process advice in those books and those, those are great. But also from an agile perspective, so, you know, so many things are happening so fast that we do need to keep communicating on a constant basis. So I did try to do sort of the daily scrum with everyone, and we found that there’s too many different things going on that are not interrelated, and it wasn’t effective to get everyone together every day. So we found that weekly, it was the rhythm that works for us, but on a, on a special project, those people are meeting every day quickly and doing an agile process there. So

Jeff Pedowitz:

You mentioned email marketing. Are there other parts of your more tech stack that you’re investing in?

Diego Lomanto:

So email is the key one right now. We, we had a, we had a homegrown system that that was once again great for getting the business off the ground, but as we want it to become more sophisticated and expand it, wasn’t, it wasn’t sufficient. So we rolled that out that we wrote, we were in the process rolling out a more sophisticated marketing email marketing platform. And that’s really been the focus right now from an overlay perspective, what the biggest challenge I have right now and where I want to go next is attribution. Just understanding what channels are driving the customer you know, along the way in the customer journey, what channels are contributing, and what’s the first touch last touch, and what are the touch points in between? So that’s where we’re going next with, with, with the tech stack and we’re gonna make our,

Jeff Pedowitz:

So speaking of attribution, what are some of the outcomes that your boss is measuring you on? And then you are 10 employees, whether you holding them accountable for

Diego Lomanto:

Yeah. So so, you know, revenue is the first thing you know, like all, all CEOs and all marketing leaders we’re looking at the numbers and, and, and, you know, I have a number to hit. And so we’ve, we’ve broken that down into different channels so we can track which channels are driving the number organic to paid as being the big categories. So we’re tracking between, between revenue between those, but we’re also tracking leads generated. We’re also tracking marketing assists. We, we have a lot of, you know, a lot of our leads are generated by partners that we, that we have we partner with job board. So, you know, if you go to a glass door or a monster and you upload your resume, they’ll ask you, would you like a free evaluation from one of our partners from our partner top resume?

And if you say yes, then they introduce you to us and we take it from there. And so a lot of my marketing spend ended up helping to close those leads which is, you know, we get into the attribution model. Is it, is it their credit? Is it, is it my credit? So tracking that and understanding how much money are we spending to close a lead that came from somewhere else? How much can we afford to spend there? And what, what, what, what drives Lyft in partner generated lead? So we’re looking at revenue, we’re looking at partner assisted revenue. We’re looking at the number of leads, the resumes uploaded. And then from a broader perspective, we’re looking at things like social following and SEO and organic traffic that we’re bringing in and PR mentions and PR hits to see if the brand is starting to resonate.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So from a customer life cycle perspective, is your product something that you can continue cross selling upselling, or is it, you know, someone comes in for a short period of time, they buy it and then they’re hired, so they don’t need it.

Diego Lomanto:

Yeah. so it is, it’s both of those. So the immediate need is filled, right. You know, we get some, we, we, we do someone’s resume you know, typically within three months to six months there, they get a job and they’re happy and they’re not going to need us again. But the average person changes jobs 12 to 14 times in their lifetime. The average person changes jobs every 4.4 years, 35 million people in the U S alone change jobs every year. So it is a market that people will come back to it and we do a good job. We’re seeing them come back. The company is only four years old, so we’re actually just starting to see that repeat business. But we’re very interested in maintaining a relationship with the customer beyond that first sale with, you know, career advice beyond getting the job. How do you manage your boss? How do you manage your working with the employees? How do you grow your career? How do you get, how do you get a promotion so that when they go back out into the job market, they come back to us and get a resume refresh

Jeff Pedowitz:

From us. That’s great. So just curious, this is is this your first CML? Okay.

Diego Lomanto:

Yes, this is my first CMO position. I was a VP of marketing previously. And they’re relatively similar, but yes, from the CMO perspective.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. Has anything surprised you with this role?

Diego Lomanto:

You know, anything surprised? That’s a great question. You know, it’s, it’s still, regardless of what the title is, when you’re in an early stage company, it’s still very hands on. You know, I, I, you know, I, I obviously have a team and I hand off a lot and I set the strategy and, and the pace, but I’m still getting in there and, you know, helping figure out, looking at analyzing data, looking at Google analytics, figuring out where the traffic is coming from. You know, I’m never gonna, I don’t think I’m, I don’t think I’ll ever hand that off. I enjoy doing it. And I think it’s important to do so, I guess when I, you know, when I thought about my career 10 years ago, when I thought, you know, what would a COO, when I, when I’m, you know, it was hopefully a COO, what would I be doing? I thought it would be more people giving me reports and, you know, me sitting there and signing things and, you know, helping to drive strategy and just grow people, but there’s still a lot of hands on work involved. And I’m actually glad for that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what advice would you give to your fellow CMO? That’s just beginning their growth and transformation?

Diego Lomanto:

Yeah, so I think I think the, the number one thing we haven’t really talked about this, but the one thing that I want pointed advice, I think I would also give is, you know, from a, get all your digital marketing channels, get your specialists, get your social media going, but don’t forget the story of the brand. It’s really important and it’s easy to focus on the, the numbers and the channels. But if you’re not also building a story, a narrative, a position that’s differentiated in the market from, from your competitors you know, all that stuff is I won’t call it busy work. It’s important obviously, but you know, that’s short term management. You really, at the same time need to be looking at how you’re developing the brand, what story your brand is telling. And reinforcing that across the business. 

I walked into a company that didn’t have marketing before. It was, you know, a business development led company. We, we partnered very quickly with a lot of job boards and we grew very fast and we didn’t have a story. We were white label for most of the time. And so, you know, paying attention to that talking to the founders, the, you know, you’re the understanding what the core, you know, what is the, you know, the, the why behind this business is really important. You know, don’t take your eye off that ball because that’s, you know, you’ll find yourself two, three years just still, still working, you know, pushing a rock up the Hill because you’re not having people coming to you and you’re not, you know, telling the story, generating word of mouth, if you’re not paying attention to the brand and the story. Great advice,

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great insights, Diego. We’re out of time, but thank you so much for being on the show and we’ll definitely keep, keep in touch.

Diego Lomanto:

Alright. Thank you for having me.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet.

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