CMO Insights: Jeanne Hopkins, Executive Vice President and CMO, Ipswitch

May 17, 2018

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Jeanne Hopkins, Executive Vice President and CMO for Ipswitch.

In this video, Jeanne talks about;

  • The changing role of of marketing and the CMO’s role over the past 14 years
  • How putting in the work with sales and marketing to align will improve results in the short and long term
  • Her words of advice to up and coming CMO’s.

Learn more about Jeanne 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, the CMO Insights Series. I am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today, we have my good friend and customer Jeanne Hopkins, who is Chief Marketing Officer at Ipswich. Jeanne, welcome to the show.

Jeanne Hopkins:

Thanks. Great to be here.

Jeff Pedowitz:

We’ve been spending a lot of time together. Wait, wait. Huh. So I think we first met, it was probably about 2004, 2005. And I think you were sitting in the back row, but you were, you were very, you’re a great, great student, even that

Jeanne Hopkins:

I asked you a lot of questions and I remember that and you were being very patient with me because I, you know, trying to, I was working for a company called Symmetricom at the time and we had five different divisions and different sales needs, different marketing needs. And I was trying to figure out how to be able to support those individual sales organizations in the best possible way. And you were very, very patient with me. So I thank you for that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Thank you. Well not being married three kids, I guess you gotta learn it somewhere. Right. So 14 years later, what’s what’s changed. Do you think the most cause you were COO back then and you may have had a couple of great opportunities in between, but what’s changed the most, do you think in 14 years?

Jeanne Hopkins:

I think it’s there’s definitely a consensus within different organizations that there has to be complete sales and marketing alignment. A lot of these organizations and are typically build up a fairly large sales organization, but marketing hasn’t figured out how to support them, how to segment the database, how to be able to actively support the sales organization and hitting their objectives. And I think that most CEOs and most boards are looking to marketing, not as a marketing function, but as a demand creation function, to be able to deliver pipeline.

And I think, you know, 14 years ago what you were working on in terms of the concept of automating certain aspects of marketing, to be able to make it work faster and be able to tie it to specific results is really happening now. But I think like most things, you know, there’s, there’s different kinds of marketers and a lot of marketers are very comfortable in the promotion aspect or being arts and crafts, marketers, where they, they get all hung up on the design of a website, the design of a logo, the design of a data sheet.

And they don’t think about the effect of what you’re doing. So you end up spending time on things that perhaps are not delivering the best possible results and not really fully understanding the, of lead management or customer marketing, if you will, that we, we really need to spend more time as as marketers to be able to think, how do you keep your customers? How do you get a customer? How do you keep a customer? And, and those are, I’m going to just say those things have changed dramatically because most SAS companies, now they’re all about reducing churn. You know, you don’t want to, you want your customers to stick with you. So in, in mind environment at Ipswich, we sell perpetual licenses. So somebody can buy a license and what you want is you want them to have maintenance, to be able to come back and get the updated product. Well, how do you communicate that effectively? And those are some of the challenges I think having sales, not just be 100% marketing fed, which is what they expect. You know, you always hear the statement, the leads suck, and I want more of them. And then yeah,

Jeff Pedowitz:

Never heard that before all

Jeanne Hopkins:

Or never that. And, but on the other hand, you’re trying to say, man, you can’t just keep cherry picking leads. It’s it’s sometimes there’s so many leads there’s and, and the, the cadence for, for salespeople or are, hasn’t been firmly established because a lot of sales managers are used to doing things an old way. So you could be 35 years old and you could have been selling for 13 years, but the world has changed just like, just like you were saying, 13, 14, 15 years. Things have changed in five years. Things have changed in two years. If you look at what’s happening now with all the conversational chatbots that are on the website, people are moving faster. You know, if you can not miss an opportunity to be able to have a warm handoff from SA to sales from some sort of a marketing campaign.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And now that’s a lot, sorry, Jeff. No, I was just, I was just smiling because as I always, when I, when I ask you a question, you usually not only answer it, but then we answer for other questions I was probably going to ask. So it’s great. So tell me what’s going on now, it’s switched in terms of, you mentioned a little bit about having the time to find the balance of, of really marketing to longterm existing customers, but what are some of your other strategic priorities for 2018?

Jeanne Hopkins:

Well, it’s an excellent question, Jeff. And you know that you’ve been part of the transformation here that we brought you on board. Just about a year ago, a little under a year ago, to help us take two legacy instances of Salesforce. One was for a network monitoring product and one was for our secure file transfer products. Both of those legacy instances of Salesforce had been highly customized. I mean over 50%, both of them, but they were not done in the same way. So I mean, as you painfully are aware, you know, the way you put in States, the way that you created opportunities, everything was totally different. And we had to take those two plus they were synced to two legacy instances of Marquetto and they were synced to two legacy into instances of portals or partner finders. And the best, the thing of all was we used a tool called scribe to talk to everything and also pulling from our license server to be able to deliver that to the end customer.

So with your help, we took a look at the list management, what was optimized? What did we want to happen from a lead management standpoint so that when we did the one Salesforce and the one Marquetto, we were able to have it meet the requirements of the business on a longer term from scale, very painful process, lots of lots of inputs as, as you know, and we’ve had to, unfortunately, some of the things that were mandated by members of the sales organization, we’re not, they’re not really best practices. So we’ve had to go back and rework them and team members, Colby specifically has been saying, you know, now that you have a new sales leadership we have the opportunity to be able to do this better. So we had created PQQ Wells and that’s not a state that we’re working on anymore.

We want to get the leads into the hands of the sales organization faster without throwing them into a queue for them to, you know, mold molder away or whatever. We want it to go faster, faster, faster, and it’s happening. And that transformation, we click the button back in October, as you know we worked in November and December and now coming into January, Gary, we have a very strong relationship with the North American sales leadership, the new head of sales, and we can do segmented emails, sends a win back campaigns, whatever, to a segment. And then that list gets loaded into the sales person’s name. And then they do a call blitz over the course of the three days. And what’s happened. Well, pipeline what’s what’s happened is I blind. And for the first time network monitoring coverage, as an example, pipeline coverage as recently as October a pipeline coverage was about 1.6.

So that means that the goal for the quarter, we only have in created opportunities, a 1.6 of us of that, which is lousy. You really want three as at a minimum, right? And so we ended up yesterday coming out of a pipeline meeting and our pipeline coverage for North America network monitoring is 3.6. And that’s just absolutely amazing. And then in the meeting, we also one of our team members he, he said, well, do you think that we should take the forecast up? And I mean, what have you heard? Like it’s going so well that we’re going to take the forecast up and that’s just the best possible news I think. And it’s great. And you know, I’m working with budget. I don’t have additional head count. I mean, I, it sounds painful, but I have 6.3 million of my budget and that’s a lot of money, but it’s global and I have, and tied into that about the 6.3 is 2.8 million is all headcount on a global basis. So, you know, the rest of it has to be, you know, the, the infrastructure, the programs, and it’s, can’t be paid media. I mean, just everything that we’re trying to do, Marquetto everything in our tech stack to be able to deliver the results for the sales organization.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Shane I’m curious, cause you know, you got a lot of marketing executives hearing it drive better performance, get better ROI, you’ll get your budget should increase the year over year. So in your case, you’re crushing it. The forecast is going up. Are there some additional challenges you’re facing as to why your budget got an impacted as opposed to them investing even more in the marketing organization?

Jeanne Hopkins:

Well, I think what I’ve had to do is I took from the back half of the year and pushed it into the front half of the year because if we have a good you know, one H 2018, I feel confident I can go back to the board and ask for funding for the back half because I need to set up 2019, but just running at steady state without being able to juice up the numbers and be able to fill the lead pipeline or the demand pipeline for the sales organization. We couldn’t just keep going the way that we were going. So we have been testing some paid opportunities, but the good news is because we spent so much of 2017 working on SEO, working on product reviews. So you needed to get to 150 product reviews before Google would start putting stars on your your, your search findings.

And now we have the stars and we’re close to 200 reviews right now, product reviews using a variety of different website tools, G two crowd, you know, kept Capterra Trustpilot all those guys and now we’re, we’re getting that more visibility for us. So we’re also able to reduce the cost of an MQL creation and eval, that sort of thing, where we’re getting, we’re being more efficient and it’s happening across the board on a global basis, which is really awesome. So the challenges I’m faced with is you know, right now I’m like I’m looking for $50,000, right? So so $50,000 so that I can I, I need to fund a retainer and I’m trying to find $50,000. And I’m kinda like walking around with a cup to the various, my peers, to be able to say, please donate.

Jeanne Hopkins:

And it’s because it’s important for the business, right? But the company here has always spent on the backend, the back office stuff, the R and D the, the, it support, all that kind of stuff. But the front end has not really been sufficiently rewarded. Now in 2016, I came at the end of that year, they were spending a hundred thousand dollars a month on Google ad words for network monitoring. And I can show you that those were not translating into opportunities. They just weren’t because there’s was part of, it was a sales organization part of it. So they, they were looking at, you know, spending a lot of money in order to juice up a MQL, but that’s not how you did it. So we spent 2018 with nine 17, but 2017 with SEO content creation, working on our blogs, making sure that we had more visibility.

So that’s, that’s pretty much the challenge is can we keep it up? Can we keep driving efficiencies? Cause I’m not convinced that paid media is the way out, right? I, you, we need to get found more and but we need to move faster. I was talking this morning that we have a drift implementation and I had it installed the application on my phone. And then I have it on my computer as well. And outside of the normal business hours of nine to five, where we’re having visitors to our website that are asking for pricing. And, and so we were automating, the playbook is automated. Well, somebody get back to you sort of thing, but I’m saying seven to 9:00 AM. You know, if you’re an it person assist admin, we better have some coverage, you know, and I need to start investing in some coverage for those early hours because let’s face it. Everybody is moving faster and faster and faster.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Absolutely. That’s the whole point. Right. So I ask you questions in your answer, and then I just, I just keep smiling because you always answer a question with seven. So I’m like, okay.

Jeanne Hopkins:

Stuff. It’s so great. It’s just so much fun to be, to turn something around, have it be winning and just, it’s just great. And I’m so lucky I have such a great team. I love the people I work with. I love the vendors that I get to work with. I learn constantly, I’ve learned so much from you and your team just doing this entire implementation, and it’s been painful as you’re, as you know. And we’re working with you right now on re-upping the lead management component of things and, and re realigning what we’re trying to do in terms of the plan. And we’re also doing a huge content creation, a workshop with you to be able to make sure that the content that we’re putting into our lead nurturing emails and on our website resonates so that we can get the conversions. And it’s a lot of fun. It really is.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what, what advice would you give? And this is going to be one question, cause we’re almost at time, but and marketing executive coming up, what would you, what advice would you give to that person? What should they do to become, I mean, if they’re gonna become a CML, they want to become a CMR. What advice would you give them?

Jeanne Hopkins:

I tell them to spend a year selling I’d say you need some sales experience in order for you to be really good at your job. You need to know how hard it is to sell. And a lot of marketers do not understand the sales team sales team members have a very difficult time. I mean, so much of it is time management. It’s not even the, the skills, you know, you can have a natural sales personality, but there’s always a playbook that you have to be able to follow. And I feel that more, if more marketing people had sales experience, they would have empathy for the sales organization. And when the sales organization says these leads stink, you know, and then you’re sitting on the other side saying, well, no, they don’t. But if you’ve ever had bad leads, you’ll know, you’ll feel that pain because if you don’t have the right kind of leads, you’re not going to make your quota. You’re not going to get, you’re not going to move into accelerators. You’re not going to go to president’s club. So I think a good marketer needs sales experience.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great advice, Jeanne. As always, it’s a pleasure. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Jeanne Hopkins:

No, it’s just great. I have a feeling you’re going to get the most stars. Everyone loves listening to you. So thank you again. Thanks Jeff. Appreciate it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Thanks.

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