CMO Insights: Kira Mondrus, CMO, QASymphony

CMO Insights: Kira Mondrus

October 9, 2018

CMO Insights: Kira Mondrus, CMO, QASymphony

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Kira Mondrus, CMO at QASymphony.

In this video, Kira talks about:

  • How she built a marketing team from the ground up and what skills she looked for in her team members
  • Streamlining their MarTech stack with a centralized business function that owns the stack, eliminating redundancy
  • The challenges associated with becoming a global company

Learn more about Kira from her LinkedIn profile and follow QASymphony 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 am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. And today we have with us as our guest Kira Mondrus, who is Chief Marketing Officer at QASymphony. So Kira, welcome to the show.

Kira Mondrus:

Thank you for having me. Hi.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Hi. So a lot’s happened since we had that launch. We had a year and a half ago, your CMO you’re driving all kinds of stuff. Tell me a little bit about last year. What have you been up to?

Kira Mondrus:

Well, it has been a whirlwind, I think back to our lunch. I joined QASymphony back in October and essentially my mission was to come in and really help build the marketing program to scale for significant growth. We are a you know, very fast tech company here in Atlanta last year, we had 113% year over year growth, so there’s a lot going on. And we really had a go-to market perspective. So I came into our build a program, build a team and you know, definitely not too many dull moments over the last nine months.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what’s the big highlight for you? What’s been like a big aha or one of the biggest changes you’ve had to deal with?

Kira Mondrus:

Hmm, well, I think the biggest challenge that I have to deal with is I went from a pretty big company with a very large marketing team to when I came in here, there were three individuals, three very talented individuals, and we very quickly wrapped up and by January. So before starting the team grew to eight people. And so we now have like a fully staffed little mini marketing ecosystem. And that has, yeah, that’s definitely been a huge accomplishment as well as a big change from my previous role where we had quite a few people in the marketing,

Jeff Pedowitz:

It was a big change. So essentially you’re, you’re kind of building the team from the ground up. What are you looking for? I mean, what kind of skills, personalities, outlooks attitudes and building your organization.

Kira Mondrus:

So I think one of the reasons that has been as successful as we have is because we have just a tremendous culture in your company. Everyone has a great sense of where the company is going, what you have to do to get there and what you need to do to treat so the company is successful. And so when hiring culture is certainly a very key factor, culture fit for what we’re looking for. But ultimately what I needed on the team was to add some modern marketing skills. So we, we have a very big focus on demand generation, of course. So we have some individuals that have a lot of allergy marketing best practices and are quite tech savvy, and very, very data driven to build out and support the demand program as well as marketing operations. We implemented field marketing, which we hadn’t had before.

 

We, we grew up doing most of our business and have heavily inbound lead folks from, from the web. And one of our key missions is more business farmers, which requires a different type of strategy approach. So we said, we need a marketing function and are heavily focused on campus marketing strategies. And we worked very closely with sellers to go beyond the digital space and relationship marketing. We were SAS companies, so making sure that we take good care of our customers and our rules, this is critical on them anymore. So a lot of moving pieces kind of demand gen was top of mind content was key and we invested in their content strategy. So definitely adding some really key functions to their marketing stack for sure.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And what are some of the things that you’re measuring your team on in terms of performance and accountability?

Kira Mondrus:

Sure. Well, first and foremost, we have a revenue target that as a marketing group, we have agreed to hit and that is looking at marketing contribution and role. So it’s both as well as influence. And then we have KPIs to work our way back in terms of opportunities bought by these. So we pass over to the talent sales team and then of course, very fair to talk about because that’s where it starts to concern that we have metrics that we essentially every every week.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So. Okay. So we talked a little bit about how you’re measuring your team. So you’re growing fast, you said over a hundred percent last year, what are some of the things you’re doing from an infrastructure perspective, process technology? The scale?

Kira Mondrus:

Great question. So actually when I came in we had no shortage of technology in our tech stack. So I would say anything we’ve really streamlined our investment and set up a, buy a lot of the tools that we’re using. One of the things that Kay symphony has done really well that has not experienced in any other face at work is we have a centralized business operations function. And what that means is that sales ops, marketing ops and customer offs all sit and say the department. And this is the team that ensures that we are aligned on a single set of definitions end to end process. They own all of the technologies across the board. Because, you know, last year we had a lot of them done in sales and marketing.

We’re paying for two different tools that were tending to the same thing. Essentially they had different sets of definitions and there’s this line on KPIs and such. So by having a centralized business office function who are really getting ready to a lot of ways to see and have great alignment across all of our jeans and our tech stack is actually pretty simple. We implemented Marquetto in October and ordered press or website not, not

Jeff Pedowitz:

It’s about the simplest tech stack I’ve heard in quite some time.

Kira Mondrus:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, not a ton of technology right now. We’re going to try to work on getting one on process and then we’ll figure out what technologies

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. And then that central team, they own a WordPress and marketer, or do you have someone on your team that’s running it?

Kira Mondrus:

So WordPress is actually what they might demand center through our site. Marquetto is managed out of the marketing ops group. That’s within the centralized business. Our smashing is actually my head count my budget. But that the day to day management is not mine.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Interesting. Okay. And you mentioned some of the other roles on your team and you talked about because you’re in a subscription business status, the customer, what what are some of the things you’re doing from a marketing standpoint to organize around the customer life cycle and retention growth, I guess, longterm adoption with lifetime value?

Kira Mondrus:

So we have our, our customer marketing program is really aligned to the customer segment. So we have to define we have segment or customer base both based on the size of the company, as well as the amount of investment that they have made with this. So depending on which group they’re in, either they have a very high touch, personal care or in other cases is much more automated and more basin. And we’re just in the process of building out the the height purse or the moon touch program with an email nurture that really uses the power of Marketo to be able to stay in front of our passengers without having too much of a personal attach involvement. And then on the ones that are touch, we do a lot more face to face with it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So if you were to give advice to a younger, you, what would you go back in time and tell yourself based on what you’ve learned?

Kira Mondrus:

It’s what I tell all of my marketing team members and that is going to sales.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great advice. I love that one. Yeah.

Kira Mondrus:

Yeah. When I look back and think, man, I could be making so much on my mail and having a marketing deal, all these amazing things for me and give me all these release, I then could be killing it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Alright, I got it. And I finished the sentence a year from now. My team at QA symphony will

Kira Mondrus:

A year out. My team at QASymphony is going to acquainted on a desk today. We actually just went and asked a merger with a company by the name for centers. Also the testing space, significant global presence. So in Europe, now we are going to be a global organization, not really just mostly focused in North America. And I think we’re going to have to be serious, none of your a hundred percent. So that was a major, it said.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So are you going to need to do some things differently now that you’re going to be global versus mostly U S

Kira Mondrus:

Yes. I think you’re gonna have to do a lot of things quite differently. I have the luxury of having my entire team sit out here and in my office we are going to be in a highly geographically distributed environment with people, you know, in the same department located, not just in different cities, but also in different countries. So I think we’re really gonna have to congregate when it comes to communication and collaboration and being sensitive to cultural differences. You know, for one, I think in terms of how we go to market and the marketing partners we put together again, we’re going to have to take into consideration all litters, cultural nuances, as well as timelines or translations and things like that. So it is going to be very different. I’ve gone through this for most of my career. I’ve worked globally. So I’m familiar with the study for the gene is going to be really new.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I’m sure you have a lot of exciting times ahead. So I’m just curious, cause you may have been doing this for awhile now. I just, over the last five years, what do you think has changed the most in terms of marketing and how it impacts your job?

Kira Mondrus:

Hm, well, I think obviously technology, right, the tech technology has enabled us to do so much more and to see so much more in terms of visibility to results and what’s working and what’s not working. And just being able to really the customer experience that we as marketers deliver and angry, right, and much I think more, much more personalized, much more relevant, much more authentic in many cases experience or for the audience that we’re trying to target. I have really enjoyed my ability, you know, your, to get much better visibility that it results in our view contribution right down to the daily pieces of content.

And how can we turn your pipeline, which I come on about five or 10 years ago. And I think ultimately the talent that, that that is coming and that is growing up in marketing is really, really strong. I think because as marketers, they always had access to this technology. They’re just, they’re strong and they’re getting better and better. It’s, it’s, it’s quite a different world than it was Sandra. Can you join yourself?

Jeff Pedowitz:

Amen for that? Absolutely. So Kara, so great having you on the program congratulations on all your success and let’s check back in a year and see how this whole global expansion thing is working out.

Kira Mondrus:

Awesome. Thank you so much. This has been really fun. Thanks for having me.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet.

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