CMO Insights: Kyle Lacy, VP of Marketing, Lessonly

Kyle Lacy

June 12, 2018

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Kyle Lacy, VP of Marketing at  Lessonly.

In this video, Kyle talks about:

  • Strategic priorities in the customer journey
  • Positioning and messaging in the market
  • Remaining agile in the use of business processes

Learn more about Kyle from his LinkedIn profile and follow  Lessonly  on Twitter.

Read: 9 Myths About Marketing Automation

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. I am your host, Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today we have with us Kyle Lacy, who is Vice President of Marketing for Lessonly. Kyle, welcome to the show. How are you?

Kyle Lacy:

Thanks for having me. I’m good.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I like that. And I know you’re braving the cold today, so really thank you for being a gamer. So Lessonly, cool company. Tell us a little bit about it.

Kyle Lacy:

So Lessonly’s headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and we are a online training platform. So that means that we help companies all over the world with training their employees. We specifically focus on sales teams and high growth software companies and customer service teams at consumer based company. So any team with high churn, quicker onboarding, they need better productivity, whether that’s increased in sales or an increase in NPS score. That’s kind of where we focus as a company. We have 85 employees, about five years old and that’s about it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

All right. So so tell us a little bit about what some of your priorities are as vice president of marketing.

Kyle Lacy:

Yeah, so I have a team of nine and our focus stretches across the entire journey. So Everett, from the point where somebody enters a funnel as a prospect to when they become a customer to when they become a bigger customer, which in the software world, that’s all we want, right. We want great customers and expand. So my role in particular is strategy as well as product marketing and leading the team. And I have a team, we have two teams, we have a demand gen team that focuses on top of the funnel and we have a brand team that focuses on culture and the overall story of lesson. So we, so we touch every part of the customer journey from start to finish.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. And so from a strategic priorities, what are some of the things that you’re really focused on in 2018?

Kyle Lacy:

We have our first conference coming up in April. It’s here in Indy with 250 people. That’s number, you know, that’s a huge yeah,

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s a big deal, those conferences. Sure.

Kyle Lacy:

Yeah. It’s it’s, it’s been amazing. We it’s going amazing right now. So that’s, that’s an April it’s next month. And then mostly it’s positioning and messaging in the market. We are, we’re in a very competitive market in the learning management space and the market’s getting bigger because we’re having people like Salesforce and Amazon kind of talking about how corporate training’s really important for any business. And so it’s really, my, my goal is to how do we continuously and rapidly improve our messaging and story in the market so that we differentiate from our competitors. And ultimately that’s my job when I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed and probably when I dream as well.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. So I, you know, I, I think a lot of marketers always wish for having just that whole wide open market and they could be the only player in town expansion with all kinds of stuff. But so whether some of the things that you’re doing, because yeah, you’re right. I mean, LMS, I get calls once a week from different LMS vendors out there. So how are you positioning yourself? And what’s unique and special about Lessonly

Kyle Lacy:

So many LMS providers go after the entire org. So they usually sell to HR and L and D teams learning and development teams Lessonly focuses on very specifically team training. So we aren’t selling to be an HR tool or talent management tool. We are specifically frontline team training. So whether that’s a sales team, customer service team, it’s the people that have boots on the ground that are talking to customers constantly. So that’s how we kind of position against LMS. Other than that, we, we have a practice component to our products where sales team can practice pitch emails, where you can practice chat, where you can practice written responses or even like video, like we’re doing right now. You can practice video response.

So how is somebody how is a salesperson going to pitch a product in person? And then that manager can give that feedback. So the way we’re positioning it as like, it’s more about scalable coaching than it is anything else, because anybody that is in a high growth environment, you know, you’re hiring people like crazy and it’s really important. Then you could try to scale your skill set as a manager. That’s what Lessonly does. And most LMS is they focus on the knowledge development side, but they don’t go any, any deeper than that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So you mentioned you had nine people, so what are you recruiting for? What kinds of skills and then how have you organized your team?

Kyle Lacy:

We recruit for proactivity. That’s probably the biggest thing. We use PI predictive index to do some type of personality profiling beforehand, but the biggest thing is can you be proactive in a fast paced environment? So that’s what we recruit for whether that’s designers or web dev or demand gen or field marketing. We just, the team set up into three different teams. You have product marketing, you have brand, and then you’d have demand gen and within each of those teams is as different a players that have specific responsibilities that they’re tasked with.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Alright. And what are you measured by? What are you held accountable for from your boss? And then what do you in turn, hold your team accountable for

Kyle Lacy:

Ultimately revenue marketing, since we touch every point of the customer cycle life cycle, we I’m going to start.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Go ahead. That’s all right. Okay. So we’re, we’re

Kyle Lacy:

Managed on pretty much revenue because I made it a point to make sure that marketing was involved in every point along the customer life cycle. So inbound and SPE specifically has a revenue number. We have marketing qualified lead. We have a first meeting number. We have a sales qualified lead number. We’ve got a opportunity number. And then we look at how we’re influencing expansion of revenue on the other side of the contract. So if we’re, if we’re dropping in any of those parts, you know, it’s really, how can we become more involved in the process of that so that we are not just a, I think marketing a lot of times it’s looked at as just a lead driver and I believe marketing fundamentally is brand. And if you focus on brand from start to finish, you can win a market because of it. And that’s kind of what we’re measuring.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay, nice. So as you continue to scale, are there certain business processes you’re focusing on more than others?

Kyle Lacy:

Yeah, we yeah, a lot to say the least,

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yes, everything.

Kyle Lacy:

I feel like we have a new business process every year.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Let me guess there’s a whiteboard to the right of you or something. And there’s like, they’re all written down.

Kyle Lacy:

Okay. So we, so from a marketing perspective, we, we, we do, we change our business processes weekly. We work off of one week sprints. And if we see a process that’s breaking at any point we try to change that in that week. So I don’t have a list of the business processes that we focus on. It’s just, we have very set objectives as a team. And if we see something breaking in between product and marketing and marketing and sales or sales and product and marketing and CX our customer service team we try to fix those right there. Most of them are built within Salesforce, the CRM, so our CRM tool. So we are constantly trying to evolve those processes and make sure, making sure we have a center of excellence for our Salesforce process, because ultimately data is the only thing that matters when it comes to how you measure yourself. So our, our process has changed all the time, and that’s why I love the, the, the point that our businesses at right now, at least our size.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you mentioned Salesforce as one of the technologies. Are there other platforms or tools you’re using

Kyle Lacy:

In marketing? We have a lot. So we, we use lead genius for lead development and enrichment. We use Terminus for ad delivery. We use, of course, Google analytics. We use autopilot for marketing automation. Salesforce is our CRM. We have hot jar for mapping on the website. We also have plenty of other ones visible for attribution modeling.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Your team told you there was going to be a quiz on this, right? So you’re going to have to

Kyle Lacy:

The problem. I think that the underlying problem here is that I can’t remember half of them. So I should tell you something, we use type form and form stack for a foreign management. And then we’re pressed for our website Pantheon for our hosting,

Jeff Pedowitz:

And it’s all beautifully integrated together, converging into a database, right?

Kyle Lacy:

Yeah. We don’t have any problems with him perish. Yeah.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. That’s good. That’s good. Okay. so tell me a little bit more of, I mean, obviously a software company or you’re trying to keep customers for a long time subscription revenue, but how do you, how are you approaching lifecycle marketing? Cause you’re still trying to get a lot of new logos of courses and you’re, you’re in high growth mode, but walk me through what you’re doing with your resources to engage the customer across the full license.

Kyle Lacy:

So we do a lot of direct mail. I am a huge proponent of it. I think it works

Jeff Pedowitz:

Direct mail. All right. 2018. Okay.

Kyle Lacy:

Well we do a lot. We so that works for us. We do very targeted, very creative, direct mail pieces. I have a very creative team that can come up with stuff. I, I think that the biggest, the biggest issue across all digital marketers, especially in software is that they focus so much on top of the funnel. When the value of a software company comes in retention. If you can retain businesses at 120% of ARR of our annualized revenue, then you are a much more valuable software company. So we focus a lot like 70% of our time is focused on Legion, but that 30% that’s focused on customer service and customer. The customer experience is something that we are, we are putting more time and energy in. I would like to see that probably more 50, 50 than 70 30 right now. But direct direct mail. We do a lot of Terminus ads. We do a lot of nurturing through you know, we do a lot of content sponsorship through associations.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So tell me direct mail. Are you doing this in house? Do you work with a print house provider? Did it, you’re doing this digitally custom mailers?

Kyle Lacy:

Yeah, we have we have a provider called a Wellington group out of Kansas city. They do all of our fulfillment. We do, and they are 3d pieces. So this quarter we did a golden llama campaign. That was just a little Lamas, our mascot. It’s just a little golden llama that we we’ve sent out 500 now that were all spray painted gold by us. And they’re really working because they’re not a sales pitch. It’s like, here’s the golden llama. We give the golden llamas Lessonly to people who deserve it, that work hard, give your goal to love it as somebody else and share it.

We also have swag boxes that we have a form within our content portal that salespeople can fill out for, for three or four different types of direct mail. And those can be sent whenever they want, they just have to fill out the form for, for prospects. And then we have, of course, just the normal swag that we take to events in a perfect world. We would have that more automated using more of like a Sendo so or a PFL to automate some of that stuff upfront. But right now it’s very, it’s very hands on.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So there’s no call to action on the Lama. You just signed it out and give it. And then you’ve

Kyle Lacy:

The call to action is sharing on social because after that we sent three postcards that were more case study oriented. Got it. So I, I just, I worked at a company called exact target, those email service provider that got bought by Salesforce. And I learned so much there. And the one thing that I learned overall was that brand wins. You can, you could do all the demand gen you possibly could want, but if your brand is crap, you’re going to lose in the long run. So we spend a ton of time and energy cultivating our brand in the market so that we’re seeing the way we want to be seen and making sure that that’s different from everybody else. And ultimately, if you can figure that out, you will, you will beat the market. And so that’s why direct mail to us works.

We have, we have other direct mail. That’s very CTA oriented. I mean, I’m not gonna lie. Go to Lama was the first one that was more brand, but we have prospects sharing it on LinkedIn pictures of who they gave their golden llama to. And, you know, talk about lead gen. You just, just searched the comments and the likes of people who are liking that, and you find a wealth of people to start contacting.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s really cool. So now, but now is your name attached to that gold Lama or it’s just hashtag old mama?

Kyle Lacy:

No, it’s, it’s, it’s hashtag golden llama. We, we ask them to add at Lessonly, but it’s not, it’s not that important because if we’re following that hashtag we’ll just retweet it say thanks. So we’ll share it on LinkedIn.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. you know, one of the favorite things I love about the show is I ask some more Southern questions, but I, there’s never the same set of answers. And I just love some of the contrary and things that you’re doing and how you’re approaching about marketing and the way that you’re interweaving brand with demand gen. And then you’re also just using some older conventional techniques. Cause I know a lot of people are like today. Wow. Direct mail like now. Yeah. So that’s, that’s really cool. Yeah.

Kyle Lacy:

Well, I mean, we’re both marketers, right? It’s about telling a story and it’s not about selling something. I mean, ultimately I want everybody to buy our training product, right. But it’s, it’s about telling than these stories so that people get bought in the act in the, in the culture of how we go about doing business because our software is just as competitive as everybody else in our space. And the only thing that differentiates us is sorry, the retail. And I think that three D objects in the mail is a hell of a lot different than just a banner ad on ESPN. And if you could connect those two together and you have a really powerful story, as long as you’re not just trying to, to sling your wares everywhere. I mean, it’s just trying to figure out how to get through the noise is probably the biggest issue that we have.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I think that’s going to be a new tagline too, not showing your wares, so that’s good, but it could be now cause it, you know, so a hashtag like yeah, so now this is very cool. Well, your insights were brilliant. Really appreciate you coming on the show today. So thank you very much.

Kyle Lacy:

Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet.

You May Also Like…

REVTalks Masters: Ruben Varela

REVTalks Masters: Ruben Varela

In the new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks and dive into their stories to help you with your journey to revenue marketing.

read more
REVTalks Masters: Elle Woulfe

REVTalks Masters: Elle Woulfe

In the new blog series, “REVTalks Masters” we sit down with a few of the speakers from our upcoming event, the REVTalks and dive into their stories to help you with your journey to revenue marketing.

read more

Marketing Operations

Increase efficiency. Remove roadblocks.

Customer Experience

Wow Your Customers

Lead Management

Accelerate Leads to Revenue

Digital Transformation

Turn Strategy Into Action

Inbound Marketing

Right Channel, Right Message

Account-Based Marketing

Accelerate ABM Success

Flexible
Options

Four options. One result: Greater marketing-sourced revenue.

Marketo Engage

Marketo Platinum Partner

Pardot

Accelerate Leads to Revenue

Microsoft Dynamics

Optimize Your Instance

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Certified Silver Partner

Salesforce CRM

12 Years of Integration Experience

Partners

Additional Technology Platforms

Oracle Eloqua

Oracle Platinum Partner

Adobe Experience Manager

Provide world-class experiences

Revenue Marketing University 

Training for marketers of all skill levels.

F5 Logo

F5 Network's Case Study

How a Network Security Giant Unified Global Marketing Operations

F5 Logo

Rackspace's Case Study

How a Cloud Solutions Provider Unifed And Expanded Global Marketing Capabilities

TraceLink’s Case Study

How a Supply-Chain Solution Provider Built Crucial Capabilities For Revenue

Xylem's Case Study

How a Global Water Solutions Company Nailed Marketing Automation To Win

Gilbarco Veeder-Root

Gilbarco Veeder-Root's Case Study

How a Global Fueling Leader Transitioned To Win

Telecomm Case Study

How A Multi-Channel Inbound Strategy Achieved A 600% Increase In ROI

A credit card, representing a Fortune 100 client of The Pedowitz Group's

Financial Services Case Study

How a Fortune 100 Credit Card Company Closed The Loop On Revenue

Resource Hub

Read, Watch and Download

Trending Topics

Our Most Popular Content

Blog

Our Latest Articles

CMO Insights

Hear From Industry Experts

Get Timely Insights

Take an interactive assessment and get immediate results

About TPG

How are we different? Get to know us a bit better!

Case Studies

See real results from customers just like you

How We Work With You

How can we help you?

Partners

Learn about some of our Partners.

Introducing: The Loop

 

Revenue models are outdated. Here’s your update.

About TPG

How are we different? Get to know us a bit better!

Case Studies

See real results from customers just like you

How We Work With You

How can we help you?

Partners

Learn about some of our Partners.

Introducing: The Loop

 

Revenue models are outdated. Here’s your update.