CMO Insights – Emily Reagan, Vice President, Lifecycle Marketing at Bazaarvoice

Emily Reagan, CMO of Bazaarvoice, shares her wisdom on TPG's CMO Insights with Jeff Pedowitz

January 24, 2017

In Emily’s role she delivers high impact demand generation campaigns to turn prospects into customers as well as effective client retention and upsell programs. She is also responsible for delivering a cohesive customer experience across the Bazaarvoice journey and her main goal is to maximize revenue.

Learn how Emily grows their pipeline and revenue by differentiating Bazaarvoice from their competition using moderation services and how she addresses the challenges of running a lifecycle marketing team by using a variety of tools from the revenue marketing stack including marketing automation and CRM software.

Click below to watch the video and learn more

Full Transcript

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hello. Welcome to the Revenue Marketing Television, the video channel dedicated to thought leadership from the world’s top marketing executives. I’m your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today’s guest is Emily Reagan, Vice President of Lifecycle Marketing for Bazaarvoice. In Emily’s role, she delivers high-impact demand generation campaigns to turn prospects into customers, as well as effective client retention and upsell programs. She’s also responsible for delivering a cohesive customer experience across the Bazarrevoice journey, and her main goal of course, is to maximize revenue. Welcome to the show, Emily.

Emily Reagan:

Thank you, Jeff.

Emily Reagan:

So for those of us that don’t know about Bazaarvoice, maybe you can take a minute and tell us a little bit about your company and what you do.

Emily Reagan:

Sure. Bazaarvoice is a network of the world’s largest brands and retailers as well as consumers where consumers go to find information about the products and services that they’re looking for. They get great content from other consumers that help give them confidence to, to buy whatever product or service that they’re looking at. And this network delivers a hot, tremendous amount of value for both for both our brands and retail clients who see greater ROI on their programs as well as greater conversion on them.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So is the revenue mom how has it monetized? Is it through these retail partners?

Emily Reagan:

Our revenue model is a software as a service model, so it’s it’s annual service fee that each customer pays based on their the size of their their site and the number of impressions and the number of pieces of content that they’re, that are generated about their products.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So who would be your top competitors?

Emily Reagan:

Our top competitors are companies such as power reviews turn to yacht, ho reboot, just to name a few. We also are in the visual calm content and commerce category. So companies such as Olapic and Curalate are also considered competitors in the visual content and commerce space.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. And how are you differentiating yourself?

Emily Reagan:

Our key differentiators in are a couple of areas. The first and primary is our, is our our moderation services. So we moderate every piece of content that goes into our clients, goes onto our client’s sites. So every review that is submitted, every photo that is submitted and is, is looked at by an actual person. And therefore it is vetted for brand consistent and standards that are defined at when the client comes on board and that it is also vetted for authenticity. So we make sure that there are no bots, there’s no false content. There are not things that are being submitted by our clients, themselves, all sorts of things. We have a very tight and very robust moderation policy. And we offer that service as part of our service to our clients. We also differentiate through the use of our client’s service director. So each each company, each client has a named CSD who is responsible for the success of their program. And it’s a huge value add to our clients, particularly those two are smaller that gives them that, that consultative approach and that framework for not just managing and implementing the technology, but actually building CGC content programs on top of them.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s fascinating. So what would you say your number one challenge is running lifecycle marketing?

Emily Reagan:

My number one challenge is always determining and, and my contribution, the marketing’s contribution to our bookings and our pipeline and, and being able to measure and articulate that. And there’s always a lot of things that we could be doing, but our focus has to be on what are the highest value things? Where are we getting the greatest results? What are, where are we seeing leads, turn into pipeline, ultimately turn into close business. And we have to look at that entire funnel and, and being able to effectively assess have the data, have the reporting and the tools to be able to know what’s working and what’s not is is one of our biggest focus areas and definitely a change.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what were some of the tools and processes you’re using to measure it and how are you overcoming some of these challenges?

Emily Reagan:

So we we use a variety of tools in our marketing stack from, you know, basic marketing automation, such as Marketo, which we use as well as Salesforce, which is our CRM. We use tools such as DemandBase, that Ronald went back on the backend of our forms that tell us who these people are. Give us a little more information about them to help build a better profile of the, of the folks who are visiting our website or who are completing our forms. And we use we have a robust content management system that we run on our website that allows us to customize and deliver personalized content to different audiences. So and then when it comes to that, that those were the two, the tools that we used to deliver on the experience.

And then when it comes to measuring and reporting on the experience, we, we leverage both Marketo and Salesforce as a way to capture the data from the systems and, and do analysis around that. And we do all of our all of our reporting is full funnel. So we look all the way through from beginning to end in Salesforce so that we can see those leads and how they move through the system. And it’s a challenge because you know, we like many companies we’ve made a lot of changes to our Salesforce instance. Not everybody has the same permissions and the same views and trying to make sure that all of the salespeople and all the marketing people and all the other roles in the company know how to use the tool to effectively manage and work leads. And that the tool is effectively capturing what’s happening in a way that allows us to report on it effectively is where we spend a bunch of our time.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you’ve been running marketing for, for a long time, whether some of the biggest changes you’ve seen over the last four to five years

Emily Reagan:

At bizarre voice the speed of change here in marketing is, is certainly significant. I mean, the number of tools that I have at my disposal to go to go improve performance or to do different things, to innovate around demand generation from a MarTech perspective is has just mushroom has totally blown up and I can barely use the technology. I have much less the idea of adding more technology and there’s so many great, cool things to do out there. So the question is just, how do you, again, how do you figure out what’s really, really working and then invest more there and then figure out what tools can help you be more effective there? I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed and easy to get distracted, which we admittedly have by trying this thing or that thing, or this hot new thing without really having a strategy or a cohesive approach for how we’re gonna, we’re going to pull that technology or that innovation into what we already have in place.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So with all that change, are you finding that the skill sets of your staff also needs to change and how you’re approaching it? How are you finding the team? How are you structuring your organization? How are you keeping them current?

Emily Reagan:

So I’m, I’m finding that we’re spending a lot more time on training. And that’s just a it’s critical. And I tried to come up with lots of ways to not do it use using peer to peer and, and and, and, you know, documentation in ways to have people get up to speed faster. And those are certainly great tools, but they can’t replace that. Hands-On training that our team members need to use the tools and systems that they have at their disposal. So that’s the one area is we’ve just invested more there. I certainly have become more proficient at hiring the right people that truly have the expertise and, and our place certainly have that high value on people that know how to work in marketing automation platforms, and then understand how they work. And who’ve worked in several who overworked deeply in Marquetto.

 

So I definitely have increased the number of people in my team that come from that background from a certification standpoint. But at the end of the day, I would say my number one strategy is to hire smart people, because if you hire smart people who are versatile and who have an aptitude for learning and growing, and for being curious, then you’re going to find that you’re going to get the results that you want. So so I definitely want to make sure that even though I’m looking for particular technical skills, that I’m also just really looking for and not overlooking people who are just really smart.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what would you say is the blend, are you getting kids right out of school? Are you looking for people that have a few years ago from her older people? Yes. To all of the above, or

Emily Reagan:

Mostly, mostly experienced hires. We are a fairly small team. And and so we need people who can in immediately and who have experienced building and running campaigns or events or programs, marketing programs. And so we don’t have a lot of, I would say you know, entry-level bench here at bizarre voice. Everybody works at both a strategic level as well as an execution level. So definitely depending on the role, you know, three to five years experience, probably at the low end up to a more senior level manager or director level person might have eight to 10.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Now, do they work all onsite or are you finding people that work virtually as well?

Emily Reagan:

Most of the people work in our offices. We definitely have we have an office in New York, so we have a couple of staff members in our New York office. And then the bulk of them are here in Austin where we’re headquartered, people have the ability to work remotely as they need to, but we don’t have any remote only staff.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So how are you seeing content play a role? I mean, of course content is always important to us as in marketing, but are you seeing a changing its function or its impact over the last couple of years then? And it did before?

Emily Reagan:

Well absolutely. And, and we are I feel like we’re constantly chasing that and trying to figure out how to, how to make that work, HeartMate content work harder for us. A few years back, we actually started the editorial calendar process here at bizarre voice. And that was a huge shift for us to start thinking about building comprehensive content programs, things where you could tell a story in a bunch of different channels and a bunch of different formats different links for different parts of the sales cycle. And and that philosophy has continued to evolve your FSR voice. I think an area where we probably don’t do as much as we showed this video and we’d love to do more of that. And our teams are definitely are definitely innovating more and investigating that channel more often than not now trying to figure out ways to do quick short videos, to tell our stories in ways that people are willing to consume them.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So what keeps you awake at night?

Emily Reagan:

Definitely hitting our, our bookings plans and, and our marketing contribution of that. Are we, do we have enough leads? Do we have enough pipeline? And are we going to be able to, at the end of the quarter, come to the team and to the, to the executive leadership team and the sales leadership team and say, we met up, we did our part and we met our goals. So that’s probably one of the key things I think staffing and having the right people on the team. You know, the Austin job market is super hot, so we’ve got you know, always new people that we’re looking at. And we’ve got people who are leaving to go take other opportunities. So I think, you know, kind of just managing that stat team and keeping the team staffed, keeping people trained and inspired is, is where I spend a lot of my time.

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s the whole team being a gold and measure on accountability, or is it more at your level?

Emily Reagan:

No, the entire team, our goals for pipeline and bookings which is something that we really started doing and holding people accountable for, for the last couple of years. So so I have the goals and everybody else on my team.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Is that done through an MBO? Or do you guys get commissioned like a sales organization?

Emily Reagan:

No, we are not commissioned like a sales organization, but we are you know, it goes into both our merit. Did you meet your goals and did you do what you said you were going to do as part of your, kind of just your yearly annual merit cycle and then and then you know, certainly a percentage of people are on a bonus program and, and that those bonus programs are are rated based on your achievement towards your goals. So if you achieve your goals, you’re going to get a hundred percent of your payout. If you wig way, way over delivered, you might get more than your, your, your you might get an incremental piece.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So what are some of the things that you’re doing to attract and retain personnel?

Emily Reagan:

We are working on some internal things that we’ve heard from our teams that are that are important to them getting job satisfaction and feeling like they’re making a contribution. And those are things like from a leadership perspective, more communication, more integration of other teams into our conversations. We’ve recently implemented a weekly standup meeting where we get all of the marketing team together for 30 minutes. And we just do a quick around the horn to to share what’s hot in each of our inboxes, so that we can compare notes and find areas where we need to collaborate more. That’s really a key, we know a key intrinsic motivator for people is that they feel part of something bigger and that they feel like you’re making a contribution and that, and that we’re working together collaboratively. So a lot of focus on those types of activities. We obviously use you know, financial rewards and, and you know, compensation tools, you know, as needed. And as we have them to reward performers where, you know, when we have that opportunity. So certainly a mix of, of monetary and non-monetary ways to to try to keep people engaged

Jeff Pedowitz:

Some really good ideas. Thank you. I’m going to have to probably bring some of those back into mine.

Emily Reagan:

It’s tough. It’s tough. It’s the tech space and the marketing space. There’s just so much going on. There’s so much opportunity for people. And so you know, I think what we do is fascinating and amazing, and we have a great team, but there’s like 20 other people right around the corner to do this that are the same way. So it’s always have to be keep your eye out for for that competition and the recruiting

Jeff Pedowitz:

Original line. Absolutely. So I am closing, what advice would you give to a marketing executive that’s beginning of their transformation?

Emily Reagan:

Well, I think just understanding what you’ve got in front of you what the biggest, the biggest issues are and the things that are gonna make the greatest impact first, I think that’s certainly certainly a a good strategy, regardless of whether you’re marketing or not as to really prioritize where to focus your time and your energy, because it’s easy to get sucked into a ton of different initiatives. So so that, for sure, I think building a a credible relationship with sales partners is really, really important. We have a tremendous relationship with our sales team here at bizarre voice, and it’s taken time and effort and lots of fostering, but it is so worthwhile because we truly feel like we have a partnership. And I think for any demand generation marketing executives to be successful, you’ve got to have a a strong partner on the sales side. Who’s willing to get in there and tell you what you’re doing wrong and give you feedback and hold you accountable, but also share in the success and want to see you be successful. So that’s a really key component building that relationship.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Awesome. Thank you so much, Emily. I really appreciate it. My pleasure. Okay. And we’ll talk to you soon. Okay. Thanks.

To view more: CMO Insights

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