CMO Insights: Leo Tucker, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, PGi

August 8, 2017

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Leo Tucker, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for PGi.

In this video, Leo shares

  • How PGi has made a real effort in connecting to their customers with very specific outreach initiatives
  • The shift to a more personalized approach with their marketing efforts
  • How digital infuses all areas of the organization in some way allowing for more interaction and partnership between deparments.

Learn more about Leo from his LinkedIn profile and follow PGi on Twitter.

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, Live. My name is Jeff Pedowitz, your host, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. Today on CMO Insights, I’m pleased to be speaking with Leo Tucker, who is the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for PGI. And we are at PGI headquarters here in Atlanta, Georgia. Leo, welcome to the show.

Leo Tucker:

Thank you, Jeff. Glad to be here. And I appreciate you having me.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And through all that catching up in the last few minutes, I think we realized we had a lot in common and so I’m just really interested in, in today’s day and age, PGI has gone through a lot of different kinds of growth. I’m really curious about PGS approach to customer engagement and across the whole life cycle. What are you doing now? Only at the top of the funnel, but what do you do with customers throughout the life cycle?

Leo Tucker:

Well, one of the things that’s an obvious trap is sitting in the ivory tower and trying to make all the right decisions. Ourselves. PGI has made a real concerted effort to listen to our customers much more than we ever have. And that starts at the very beginning of the cycle. So we really try to talk to our customers and more importantly, listen to our customers through three primary ways and we do lots and lots of interviews. So we survey every single and every single loss that we have. And then from that about 10% agree to speak with us. And so we will get on and make sure that we’re understanding what we do well, but we don’t do well. What they like about our products or services, how we approach them, the sales cycle, all of those things literally a daily basis. We also have an advisory council, which is fantastic. 

It’s a chance for us to set for a full day with our customers and as opposed to a lot of, of advisory councils, which are all about product, ours is all about that customer so that we can understand what challenges are they facing, where are they getting their information? What subtle shifts may have occurred in their marketplace that enables us to then approach them in a better way. And then finally we do paid research. So we’ll do a voice of the customer study practically every year using different vendors. So between our conversations with the customer, as well as what we learned through surveys and third parties, we felt like we have an excellent view of what they like about PGI, what they love about PGI and what we want to change.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And so how, how much are those insights informing your marketing strategies?

Leo Tucker:

It’s a tremendous amount that informs our marketing strategy at the end of the day. If you’re not able to reach the right target, you don’t know who the right target actually is. Right. And if you’re not speaking language, which has evolved with what their needs are, what you’re selling them, doesn’t matter. Right. So where we really spent a lot of time just making sure that we have our messaging and positioning, right. And that we’re reaching them appropriately, appropriately today, as opposed to what we may have said six months ago, because it does change.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So speaking of change, what do you think’s changed the most for marketing in the last few years? And what do you think is going to be the big change coming up?

Leo Tucker:

That’s a, that’s, that’s a great question. This is probably one that you’ve heard before the use of technology and the ability to actually measure what we do as something that’s exponentially different than what it was five years ago. So the ability for instance, to visible, to have great attribution of exactly what content, what digital presence, what is it that people have touched? Or where is it that we have touched people I should say is way beyond what it was five years ago. So we measure everything that we do, whether it’s the classic open rates on email or website, traffic, all of those things we have just like everybody does to it.

But now we take it down to exactly which piece of collateral did they look at, exactly what webinars did they attend? How many sales interactions that they have did an LTR elite development round call that person. We know every single touch. And then we allocate credit for all of the revenue that comes in by every single contact point so that we know what’s really working and driving the business. So I think that’s the biggest change from five years ago, which was, we had certainly had some metrics and some of the basics that I mentioned at the beginning, but we didn’t track it to the extent that we do now.

Five years from now or three years from now, what’s it going to be? I would have to say a more personalized experience. We’re starting to dabble on how do we make every single unique visitor feel special. And a lot of that’s done digitally. Can’t go through all of the specifics at this point because we’re just starting to really get our toe in the water. But I think we’ll see a return to individualized marketing even through mass channels.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Alright. So through all those channels we’re starting to hear a lot more about artificial intelligence. What role do you think that’s going to play in marketing and driving that personal experience?

Leo Tucker:

Well, that gets back a little bit to actually the PGI process. So let me answer it that way within the context of what we do, which is collaboration, audio, web, and video conferencing, artificial intelligence is going to revolutionize over the next several years, how that’s done. So for instance how do we anticipate what somebody might need as an outcome of the meeting, right? What materials are gonna need to be sent out as the outcome of a meeting? So things like that I think are gonna revolutionize collaboration. So apply that to marketing. If you think about what you and I do want to think of the basis, Jeff, so much of it is about talking to our colleagues, talking to our customers as we were speaking, making sure that we’re driving the organization the way that we want to back communicating with them. So I would tell you that artificial intelligence is going to enable better collaboration, which will in turn enable better.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. That’s great. So let’s talk a little bit about talent. So maybe as you’ve been managing global organizations for a while now, what’s changing for you. What type of people are you looking for in 2017? How are you structuring your teams, and how are you getting the most out of your talent?

Leo Tucker:

I think the thing that doesn’t change is there’s always a market for fantastic people. So I couldn’t be more blessed at PGI. I have an absolutely unbelievable team. And I think the key to that team is being able to offer people opportunity and cutting edge thinking, cutting edge technologies, cutting edge marketing processes. So whether it’s digital, whether it’s account based marketing, you know, the buzz word of the last couple of years, whether it’s artificial intelligence, is that improves. Being able to offer talented people. Challenges is something that we always were looking to do at PGI and within the marketing group. I’m sorry, there was more to your question?

Jeff Pedowitz:

So how are you structuring teams given that they do need to be more technical, just do they need to be more digitally aware of need to be more accountable for financial types of things. Are you changing how you’re staffing structuring your organization?

Leo Tucker:

I think probably it’s less of an org change and more of a improved interaction between the teams. So we still, at this point organized in a couple of ways, we have different channel groups. So we have a very strong partner channel here at PGI. So we have a team that works on the partner channel, and then we have the direct group. And within that, we have all of the classic marketing functions, Marco and product management, lead generation, all the things you’d expect. One thing that we do a little bit differently here is we all sales enablement, which I think is fantastic. Marketing has to extend to enabling the sales person to execute on the market, the advantage of the market.

Jeff Pedowitz:

How do you define sales enablement?

Leo Tucker:

It is all the assets, all of the training in our case. So not only product training, but also sales process training, which enables us to make sure that we build into those processes, all of the marketing activities that we’re doing to drive me and follow up and so forth. So to get back to kind of the core of your question, the interaction is hugely important. Digital four years ago, Lyft by itself and its own place. And it didn’t touch some of the other parts, digital infuses, absolutely everything that we do today. So I would say that’s the biggest change we haven’t changed our organization beyond that. Okay.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So just in terms of how hard can we use view, are you finding that you’re expecting them to run it more like a business than say five or 10 years ago, without a question

Leo Tucker:

Without question. So every single month I’m reporting up to our executive management team and our board of directors, exactly how we’ve done from a return on marketing investment perspective. It’s less about website hits and open rates. And some of those things that we talked about earlier, and it’s all about what’s our closed one revenue and how much did I have to spend in order to drive that revenue. And there’s still some tangible pieces that as you can imagine, I find advocate for because they’re are important and are always measurable show, but it’s, it’s a, I’m treated the same way as the owner of a sales channel.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you’re being held accountable for a number basically. Oh, absolutely. Okay. What about your team?

Leo Tucker:

Same thing. I will look down to my direct reports, so it depends on what they’re working on. They have the partner channel, for instance, from a marketing perspective would have her number tied to the partner channel revenue, same with direct, but I absolutely roll it down, even if there’s not necessarily a direct correlation because we all contribute to the success of the company from a revenue perspective.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s awesome. So what would you say your biggest challenges?

Leo Tucker:

Biggest challenge. I think retaining good people whether that’s actually the biggest challenge or the biggest worry, I guess we could quibble about. I’ve been very fortunate here in that we’ve retained the vast majority of our good people, but that is what keeps me up at night. The thought of some of my best people walking out the door beyond that in terms of a true challenge in managing the database business, it’s probably the complexity of the business and competing priorities. PGI has six to eight key products. We’ve acquired four companies in the last two years. We have a robust channel. We operate across all continents. And so one of the things that we always have to balance is I can’t do everything for every one of the budget that I have. How do I prioritize? That’s the other child?

Jeff Pedowitz:

So you’ve talked a little bit about your collaboration with sales. What’s that relationship like?

Leo Tucker:

It’s fantastic, but it’s taken work. It’s taken work.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Do you have the shared goals, shared planning?

Leo Tucker:

How long, the exact same revenue goal that the sales team is? And then what we do is we commit to a certain percentage of revenue that we’re going to contribute from marketing source leads. So very, very common, but in addition to that marketing component, actually on their revenue number. So we’ve got consistency in terms of how they’re measured and that caught focus. One of the things that causes us to work very, very well together. Well, look, it’s, it’s all about establishing relationships, right? And we begin that by trying to give first and ask for something second. And I find that if, if they know that you’re going in with the approach that we’re going to give to you, and then I’m going to come back and I’m going to ask you for something too, because we both need to be responsible stewards of their relationship. I find that works very well.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s healthy. So from a process standpoint as you said, you can collaborate you about why allow companies for companies. But what are some of the things that you’re doing in marketing from a high level process standpoint? The scale

Leo Tucker:

It begins with a couple of things. One is global organization. So historically we’ve been structured by region as opposed to being global. And as a result of that, we ended up having much more duplication of effort and work than what we needed. So of course you still need some local flavor in anything that you’re doing, but to be able to leverage particularly centralized functions like competitive reviews, as an example, the win loss analysis to which are referred to do those things globally really allows us to free up people to do other things at the scale, the marketing does this and then a second is technology. So organization and technology.

So we’re right in the process right now of consolidating marketing automation platforms, because with all of those acquisitions, as you would expect, came every marketing automation platform on the sun. So by consolidating those, not only did we save on technology, we save on skill sets that we have to maintain. And it allows me to run all things marketing, for instance, out of AMEA or North America or Bradford,

Jeff Pedowitz:

You could do that. So it sounds kind of like a center of excellence approach you’re taking

Leo Tucker:

Probably it is, it’s kind of a hybrid, there’s a center of excellence approach for the shared services within a local approach to the actual last mile to touch the customers.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So what’s the next big thing coming to market that we should be thinking about

Leo Tucker:

The next big thing. That’s great question. I don’t have an answer for the next big thing, because for me it always comes back to what we spoke about at the beginning of the interview. If you follow your customers and listen closely to what they’re doing, they’re going to lead you to the next big thing, as opposed to sitting in my average tower, hoping I’m smart enough to figure out what it is. So I’ve got a colleague who said, I’m proud to say, we’ve never had an original idea for our product because it means we’re listening to our customer and we try to treat marketing the same way.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s very helpful. So you’re driving a lot of transformation. So in closing, what advice would you give to your fellow executive? Who’s starting their transformation for their teams

Leo Tucker:

Start with the right people know, and like I said, I’ve got a fantastic, and so starting and not skimping on the people that you hire has to be. That has to be the starting point. And then beyond that align to the goals of the business and then prioritize the biggest as we mentioned, the biggest challenge trout is trying to do too much and trying to please everybody. So understanding what the business wants you to do, prioritize around that gives you a chance at success.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Great advice, thank you.

Leo Tucker:

Thank you.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s all the time that we have today, but I wanna thank you again, Leo, for being on the show.

Leo Tucker:

Thank you very much, Jeff. I appreciate it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

You bet, thank you.

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