CMO Insights: Nicole Wojno, CMO, UserIQ

CMO Insights: Nicole Wojno

October 16, 2018

CMO Insights: Nicole Wojno, CMO, UserIQ

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Nicole Wojno, CMO at UserIQ.

In this video, Nicole talks about:

  • The difference between being customer focused and customer service oriented
  • Finding strength in a focused, diverse team
  • Building a robust MarTech stack that helps Marketing and Sales align

Learn more about Nicole from her LinkedIn profile and follow UserIQ on Twitter.

You may know: How the C-Suite Benefits from a Strategic Marketing Operations Function

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. Today, we have with us as our guest, Nicole Wojno, who is Chief Marketing Officer at UserIQ here in Atlanta. So Nicole, welcome to the show.

Nicole Wojno:

Thanks so much for having me here, Jeff.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Tell us a little bit about UserIQ.

Nicole Wojno:

Yeah, so UserIQ, we’re a customer success platform and we’re really helping companies and SAS companies improve end user adoption and onboarding and accelerating that time to value.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And that’s fascinating because so many companies today are talking about, we have to be more customer focused versus customer service oriented in your mind. What’s the difference?

Nicole Wojno:

Yeah. So I think, you know, that customer focus versus that customer service oriented, the customer service oriented is very reactive. Why the customer focus is being more proactive. So getting out in front of things, you know, how do you do things that are gonna help your customers, you know, from the get go before they even ask for it. So anticipating their needs and providing those services that are going to help them. And before they can even ask for those,

Jeff Pedowitz:

I think it’s, it’s easy to say hard to do, right?

Nicole Wojno:

Yes. It definitely is. You know, you get caught up in the day to day of the firefighting, those support tickets and issues. So I think there’s a whole other side of things of setting those strategic time aside to really focus on how you going to plan for, you know, their onboarding and adoption and making sure they’re properly implementing your product, getting all the value out of their features inside of the product. You know, once they’ve gotten that, you know, how are you retaining them, making sure that everyone is still finding value in those features and then turning them into advocates for your product as well.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. So Nicole, I’m curious, how, how are you applying that customer focus to your role in marketing?

Nicole Wojno:

Yeah, so I’m really applying that focus to my role in marketing, by talking to our customers, I would say going out and meeting with our customers, seeing how they’re using our product and finding out, you know, from that, how I can find more customers in that way and, you know, bring those into our product as well. So I think, you know, we like to look at who our best customers are, how they’re using our product and then saying, you know, let’s go and maybe market to those kinds of groups and customers you know, through ABM and other targeted marketing meth methods and, you know, find new customers that would be the best fit for us as well.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So what’s your mix look like? How much of your time and program budget is allocated towards net new client acquisition versus existing?

Nicole Wojno:

I would say, you know, I would probably 85% of my time as net new right now. I think it’s the nature of the game and a startup and a growing company right now that the majority of that time has to be focused on net new. I hope, you know, a little more in later this year in early 2019, maybe some of that will change, but I think I can’t really be a successful marketer unless I’m spending time talking to my customers. You can only do so much with technology and spending time in technology, but you can’t really understand the right messages unless you’re spending time talking to your customers as well and making time to do that. So I’d love to, that’s really a goal of mine is to make more time to talk to customers

Jeff Pedowitz:

Amen to that. So how much time do you and your team actually get out into the field and talk to customers?

Nicole Wojno:

Probably I’m spending right now, two to three days a month just going out and doing site visits with our head of UX to talk to customers. That’s awesome. Yeah, it’s really great. I do get on sales calls and we use sales loft so that it records calls. And that’s a great way to listen to some of those. If you, you know, I can’t be on a live demo as well, but I’ve used that a lot for our SEO purposes. So if a prospect is coming in, you know, the CLC will ask them, you know, how’d you hear about UserIQ. And then that really has informed a lot of how we’re doing developing our content strategy, SEO strategy, even our paid ad strategy of how the prospects are saying they find us and the kinds of terms that they use to talk about UserIQ, because the way we talk about UserIQ in terms we might think of everyday, it’s not going to be the way prospects talk about us. So I always think that’s interesting, you know, to separate how we’re thinking about things internally and actually go to the market and hear what they’re saying.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Amazing how that works, right? Yeah.

Nicole Wojno:

All right. Get outside of our bubble

Jeff Pedowitz:

Famous story of Amazon and Jeff Bezos that they had the empty chair and all of his board meetings, executive meetings, and that represents the customer. And in the beginning, he would literally just talk to the chair and say, yeah, because he’s trying to get the customer’s point of view on how to shape the service. So I’m not sure if you guys have that, but you know, maybe we all want to be the next Amazon. So tell us tell us a little bit about your team. How have you organized them? What kind of people do you look for in building agriculture?

Nicole Wojno:

I look for people that aren’t me, I would say, you know, I want everyone to be a little different and bring different ways of doing things in different ways of thinking to the table. My team is very focused. We have two people that are more focused on demand generation and then a content person, and then someone that’s on the community slash trade show and social media side and organizing that. But I think no matter what everyone on the team has to bring that sort of an analytical perspective, I would say that’s been the most important thing I’ve seen as I’ve been growing. My marketing team is that analytics is playing such a role. Right now my team is driving 70 to 80% of the opportunities in revenue for UserIQ for, from inbound, from an inbound perspective. And so we’re very tied to everything that’s coming through the funnel and what we’re doing. So if we can’t show measurement through everything we’re doing from SEO through paid and content and events and everyone on my team has to understand that, then it’s a real challenge for me. So I think we just all have to really be understanding that and be able to show that,

Jeff Pedowitz:

No, that makes a lot of sense. So because you are starting up and growing fast, I guess scale is really important. So what are some of your priorities? What kind of infrastructure are you putting in place to help you grow faster?

Nicole Wojno:

We’re putting on a lot of our priorities as we go forward, and it’s a good time to talk about it. Cause we just did our budget for the second half and first half of the year. And we’re placing a heavy emphasis around all of our digital programs. You know, I just don’t see that going away. What, where we’re seeing the most success is through SEO and paid. That’s just been a great, great channels for us. And I think we’re going to just, we’re just continuing to double down on that, but also content, I don’t think you can get rid of content and it’s not necessarily even just content marketing, it’s all the channels, you know, where are you doing content across everything and just kind of that success that, that brings in. I think it’s just kind of, the message has to be consistent across everything. So it’s just kind of building that everywhere we go and doing it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah, no, that’s great. And cool. Thank you. I miss all good things from an infrastructure. And I’m just curious from a technology perspective. So for a company your size, what are some of the priorities that you’re investing in

Nicole Wojno:

We’ve invested heavily so far and everything that we’ve invested in has been really to help sales and marketing align. So, you know, Salesforce, Pardot, sales, loft, and reporting tools where we’ve used insight squared. So that’s really helped us capture insights across the funnel and to what’s going on. And I think as we move forward, we’re going to probably do a little more marketing investments. So it’ll be more ABM tools. If we decide that’s a strategy we want to stick with, you know, and I think there’s a million different tools you can go with there. I wouldn’t even know what to say right now is where we want to end up there, but there’ll be some different tools there. And also some marketing attribution tools. It’s really important to us to understand what channels are driving the right leads for us and really how we can attribute that throughout the funnel. 

So I see that being a big investment for us and then as well as probably chat on our website I love tools like drift and how they’re doing it. I think they make it much more conversational and the human element. And I think it’s really important to just reduce any barriers to sales and that entry. And I’m just seeing that people want to, you know, sometimes people don’t even want to fill out a form anymore, pick up the phone and have a conversation. They just want to get their answer and be able to get a demo right away. So I think we can, we need to do everything possible to reduce those barriers. And there’s a lot of ways to do that. So that’s something we’re going to be looking at putting tools in place to do that as well as we go forward.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Makes a lot of sense. So what, what are some been some of the big trends that have been happening in marketing the last couple of years that you’re yourself are focused on or that we should be paying attention to?

Nicole Wojno:

I think kind of along that trend of the chat, it’s really humanizing. The marketing is one I’ve seen and I’m have, we’ve been really focused on that at UserIQ is how can we not sound like just same SAS technology platform that everyone else is out there. I’m not use a lot of jargon, not to bore people. You know, I want to have a human voice behind the brand show that we’re real people. I want every email we send to sound conversational and, you know, we write, we all write our own emails. Like our sales team is really great at personalizing their emails. And again, it doesn’t, I don’t want things to sound automated. Like I think it’s so easy to do when you get into marketing automation and sales cadences. I think that’s a big trend and I’m excited to see that trend in the marketplace.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. I, I, it’s been interesting chatbots and just engaging people. Also the mobile is really starting to pick up the pace even though chats been around for awhile. I agree. I think it’s taking on some more humanizing forms and you combine that with the AI. It really makes it an interesting channel to engage search. So what would you, if you were going to advise a younger version of yourself just starting their career, what would you tell you? Tell you?

Nicole Wojno:

My advice to my younger self would be to do a little bit of everything in marketing. You don’t have to pigeonhole yourself into one role, whether it’s content or social media, you know, a great place to do that is whether it’s at a startup or an agency, but where a lot of hats learn a lot of things, again, from startup to demand generation marketing automation, to be dangerous at a lot of different things. And I think that really sets you up well for a future career. You know, whether you want to be a VP of marketing and our CMO, and you’ll learn a lot that way.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Is there something different you think they should be teaching a school for business graduates and marketers that they’re not today?

Nicole Wojno:

I feel like I didn’t learn that, you know, they didn’t teach you anything that has to do with marketing automation. I wish they taught something around that or even how to use Salesforce. I can’t believe that’s still not taught in school these days. Cause it’s such a major component of every marketing and sales role and you know, probably there’s not even anything taught around really, you know, marketing, budgeting and marketing forecasting. You know, you don’t learn that until you’re actually in the role and having to do that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And it’s it’s funny. They also, they still teach the four P’s right. And they talk about price, but they don’t really teach you how to optimize price. They just tell you it’s important, but it’s like, but I think so many businesses don’t spend enough time even on that. And that’s an accident not to mention the other ones. It’s interesting times

Nicole Wojno:

It is. I think you get so much better experience in the real world than you probably do in most of your classes. Not that you shouldn’t, I mean, obviously go to school kids, but no, I mean, they’ll get right, but there’s just so much more you learn. I think then I think classes, you know, can be doing so much work, but I’m so glad that I’ve see so many students today starting internships, you know, in their first year of college and taking those, the initiative to do that. I think that’s great because they’re learning a lot and they’re going to be ready for those roles when they’re 22 and getting that first job out of college.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Answer this question a year from now my team at UserIQ, well,

Nicole Wojno:

A year from now, my team at UserIQ will have doubled in size and we’ll be successfully using ABM tools and driving more inbound revenue than we already are today.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay. I like that. So any parting words of wisdom for your fellow CMOs out there?

Nicole Wojno:

You know, I would say I think my biggest lesson and things I’ve learned and words of wisdom would probably be to talk to your customers. That’s been the most helpful thing for me is to step out of my box and talk to customers. And it’s helped me, I think drive a lot of change and innovation and ideas these past few months. And that will continue. I know we’re all tied up and busy and it’s hard to spare those few hours in a data or even an hour to make time to do that. But I think getting face to face with customers more often, you can do that. It’s really gonna impact your whole marketing funnel and cycle. And even who you look at as potential prospects

Jeff Pedowitz:

Very well said, Nicole, thank you so much for being on the program today. I really appreciate it.

Nicole Wojno:

Thank you, Jeff. Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah.

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