CMO Insights: Katrina Wong, VP of Marketing, Hired

March 5, 2019

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Katrina Wong, VP of Marketing, Hired.

In this video, Katrina talks about:

  • Importance of emotionally connecting with the audience
  • Demand Generation’s future and running marketing like a business
  • Using technology to help prove how marketing is effecting and driving revenue

Learn more about Katrina from her LinkedIn profile and follow Hired 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’m your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today as our guest, we have Katrina Wong, who is Vice President of Marketing for Hired. Katrina, welcome to the show.

Katrina Wong:

Thank you Jeff, for having me on.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Oh, it’s a pleasure. What, what a great career you’ve had and now at one of the really coolest companies hired tell, tell us a little bit about your role, what you’ve been doing for the last year.

Katrina Wong:

Great to be here today and thank you so much. The past year here at hired B2B marketing is quite new for the company. We’re a two sided marketplace and we connect candidates with employers top companies that, you know, are looking to hire the best candidates out there. And yeah, just spent, you know, the year kind of building up B2B marketing from the ground up. So it’s been a blast and super, super excited to be here and to chat with you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s great. It’s great to have you, so you’ve been doing demand generation for while you’ve had the role in a couple of different companies. Do you, do you find the demand gen is changing not just in trying to drive demand, but do you find more emphasis on having to run marketing like a business, not just filling the pipe?

Katrina Wong:

Absolutely. you know, I think gosh, around six or seven years ago, the tools have gotten so robust that we actually can run marketing like a business. And what I really mean is you know, we measure our success as demand gen marketers, as marketers as a whole just like sales. And we ask ourselves right every week, how much of what we’re doing is actually bringing in revenues and we really have gotten pretty sophisticated and we look at even assisted conversion to revenue.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Wow. That’s a, that’s fantastic. So what, whether some of the things that you’re investing to drive that are, are there certain investments in analytics, are there investments in process and assessments and technology? I mean, how are you, I guess, enabling that enabling marketing to be run more like a business

Katrina Wong:

All of the above. So, you know, when we think about what we do and how we set our goals, we look at what it is that we’re doing today to ensure that, you know, we hit our goals, you know, today we invest in systems and processes and we think about what it is that we have to do today to ensure that we continue to hit our goals two to three quarters out and then ultimately scale out the org. So certainly across all three sectors.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So given that you’re in the business of placing great people with great companies, what are some of the things that you do internally to find good people and whether some of the things that you’re doing to build your own culture?

Katrina Wong:

A couple of things is kind of a stand out when we think of our culture and how we recruit. We give everyone on the team really interesting problems to solve regardless of where they are in their career. So we give them complete problems to solve, and we challenge them really in that way. So even if they’re executing on just a small piece of that, it’s really thinking about the problem holistically. For more senior team members, I give them cross functional initiatives to really run so that they understand the business as a whole and not just marketing. Team members get pretty excited by this, right? Because, you know, with marketing, there’s both the art and science, the science we know because that’s the measurement piece. The art is, you know, I guess pretty creative and it’s oftentimes really easy to up the bar and get more, more creative with our campaign ideas, so on and so forth, but it’s really internalizing the business and how marketing maps to all of these other orgs and how together right. We get to business goals. That’s what keeps people kind of motivated and further developing their business acumen.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So it’s interesting that you mentioned the art part. I, one of the things I think I’ve noticed with, with the pressure for marketing to become more accountable over the last few years is emphasis on technology and measurement science and process that along the way, the storytelling, the emotional connection with the customer, the reinforcement of the brand promise sometimes gets deprioritized. So how do you keep all of that in balance?

Katrina Wong:

Yeah. what are the core tenants that we have right? Is, and we’re lucky here at higher, because we’ve had, you know, over well over 2 million candidates sign up on our platform. So we have a lot of data and insights, but we talk a lot about the wow factor. So whether it’s an event or a campaign we challenge ourselves and we’re like, okay, we always have the data component and we’re offering a value, right. Some way to enable our customers to do their job better or to meet their success metrics. But what truly right is the wow factor and having that emotional connection with your audience shins shouldn’t really go away. That’s still a pretty core. So here’s an example of a campaign that we ran earlier this year. So we know the salary information that you know, top companies pay.

So each year we come up with a wage gap report and we time it around equal payday, which is, you know, around, you know, the first week of April every year. And, and we thought to ourselves and we said, okay, we do our typical PR launch. We get a panel of folks together and off we go. And this year, what we ended up doing was we commissioned Facebook’s resident artists, and she has a neck. This is Albert. And she has a knack for taking data and kind of visualizing that in three dimensional art. So we created this art exhibit, you know, and it was a three D art installation that was, life-size actually bigger than life size. And it was a week long where we curated conversation about this topic with top HR leaders. And we offer really interesting data, right. That, that helps them do their job better. And it was an interesting Hawk cause it was just, it was somewhat controversial and made people feel a little uncomfortable. The art was meant to elicit that emotional response. And so we were covered, you know, in fast kill design, so on and so forth. And so that creativity and bring that level to the campaign. We made sure that it was still a core tenant.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I love that. Can you send me that because I, like, I have to say it, was it like a super infographic?

Katrina Wong:

Yeah. I’ll send you the coverage. I’ll I’ll actually send you photos. We have a video of the art exhibit and the whole campaign. Yeah. We were recently, we just got nominated for a CV business or two, so the team’s really happy. They put in a lot of work.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s really awesome. Congratulations. That’s great. You’ve mentioned the word tenant a couple of times. Is that like a core value at hire?

Katrina Wong:

You know, we certainly have you know, a number of core values, you know, really be an owner you know, no sacred cows, we can debate about stuff, but when we make a decision know behind it you know, we set ambitious goals. But yes, yes, the bias for action, all of that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Excellent. So over the years what’s changed most for you in marketing.

Katrina Wong:

It really is the technology. I can’t say enough how that’s really enabled marketers to have a seat at the table and, and really prove our value and demonstrate success and demonstrate how marketing can, you know, drive revenue in a direct way as well as an assistant way. So that’s, what’s really changed I think in, in marketing,

Jeff Pedowitz:

Do you think we have too much now too much technology

Katrina Wong:

In some ways, yes. Right. you know, when you have so many metrics, right. And you’re measuring everything with, with a different piece of software it can, it’s almost information overload and what metric is really your North star and what’s moving. We keep it simple. So we have a complete stack, but not, we’re not over architecture. So we run off of your CRM system, your marketing automation. And then I have one other solution that does my multichannel multitouch attribution within Salesforce. So, you know, not only are we running marketing like a business, we’re actually running marketing and revenue, like the same business with the same set of dashboards. And it’s presented in both the marketing meetings as well as the revenue. And so there’s alignment there.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I love that. So what, what is that system that you’re using

Katrina Wong:

Full circle insights. Yeah. So they were built by Salesforce, alumni, actually, marketers, I think. And so it’s wonderful because it looks like Salesforce, so there’s no other interface. It gets installed on top of Salesforce and all the dashboards look the same. All the, you know, it just looks like custom objects, but they look like their standard objects in Salesforce. So sales loves it cause it’s consumable for them.

Jeff Pedowitz:

No, that’s great. And actually having, so here, you looked at the same things. Do you have the same goals? So does your team also have a quota?

Katrina Wong:

Yes. Close to a quota. We don’t get commissioned. Right. But the way that we look at our goals, there’s both up top down approach as well as a bottom up approach. So all the marketing leads quote, unquote, carry a number like events, marketing, how many events do they think they need to do to hit, you know, a pipeline goal, same thing with demand gen across all the different channels.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s excellent. How do you it seems like you’re pretty disciplined. How do you approach budgeting and planning? Do you have pretty form? I, it seems like you would have a pretty formal process based upon everything else you’ve described.

Katrina Wong:

We didn’t start out that way. We used to do planning just in quarter and and that worked for a while. But as our revenue goals got larger and larger and larger, just larger even sales teams and more leads we needed to bring in what we started doing was biannual planning. So it’s it’s it’s pretty concise. It’s two days long, right? The entire marketing marketing work goes. And what we found was that if we did and kind of front loaded our planning and really afforded the time to be strategic, we were getting much better results because we’re running much larger campaigns are integrated and we gave ourselves the room to do so much easier said than done because again, that’s sort of surviving a million miles an hour. And so sometimes you’re just fighting to get to your number in a quarter. But once we instituted that it’s, you know, it’s paid dividends. The other thing I think about is really the 80 20 rule you know, 80% of what we do, we aim to, to the extent possible to have it planned out, but we do leave room, right. Roughly 20% of what we do to be spontaneous. We want to be able to react to market changes so on and so forth. So it’s definitely structured. Yeah.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So do you, with your, with your managers today, then if everything that they want to request for, do they have to, I guess forecast what kind of outcome or ROI they’re going to get on the item before they get approved?

Katrina Wong:

Yes. Yes. But, you know, to be honest, they love that. Cause you know, it holds them accountable. Right. And it allows some to actually get to the results in a pretty predictable way. Right. So the days of just, okay, I’m just going to run a few campaigns, we’ll see what happens and I’ll continuously plan and I’ll make a for it. Like we don’t have to do it that way.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. so if you could be doing something differently or better than what you’re doing now, what would that be?

Katrina Wong:

I would say that so much of marketing, you know, what you, right? Like six months ago, 12 months ago, certainly 18 months ago. Yeah. So I would say if we could do something differently or better it’s really spending even more time experimenting and trying out all the new tools out there and just giving ourselves the bandwidth to like brainstorm more. Right. so you know, it, it’s the same thing with planning and strategizing like front-loading that and having even more time to do so and making time in our day to really kind of do that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I think we all wish we had more time to do that. I mean, it’s a, there’s so many, so many different things and not enough hours in the day. So as you continue to progress finish this sentence, I guess a year from now, my team at Hired will be

Katrina Wong:

Gosh, a year from now, my team at higher will be sourcing 50% of closed won opportunities here at higher. That would be a nice school.

Jeff Pedowitz:

All right. 50% it’s on tape. Okay, great. Where are you, where are you now

Katrina Wong:

Happy to share that we are contributing and sourcing well over kind of the industry average for SAS. Right. So according to serious decisions that typically is in and around 33% of close revenue, that’s healthy. We’re currently sourcing well over 40% of one opportunity Sierra hired and we can report against it. We can show that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. Well, based upon everything that you’ve told us today, I am not surprised at all. Great performance over there. Katrina, thank you so much for being on the program today.

Katrina Wong:

Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Jeff, for your time. Really appreciate it.

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