CMO Insights: Randy Frisch, CMO and President, Uberflip

October 30, 2018

This week’s guest on CMO Insights is Randy Frisch, CMO and President of Uberflip.

In this video, Randy talks about:

  • How Marketing is now responsible for accelerating pipeline
  • The importance of understanding which content channels are most effective
  • The difference between point solutions and platforms in the MarTech landscape

Learn more about Randy from his LinkedIn profile and follow Uberflip 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 we have with us,my friend and excellent CEO and CMO of Uberflip, Randy Frisch. Randy, welcome to the show.

Randy Frisch:

Thanks, Jeff. Great to be on here. Just for clarity. I’m not the CEO, I’m the CMO, but I’ve got a good partner in crime Yoav who carries that CEO visionary piece over here.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Okay, perfect. Well, you know, from our point of view, the CMO kind of really runs everything anyway.

Randy Frisch:

Absolutely. I mean, yeah, especially when it’s a MarTech company, you’re like on the road getting to talk to other CMOs. No better opportunity.

Jeff Pedowitz:

No, no. We set the strategy, right? We drive pricing we’re driving demand. We’re all we’re accountable for performance, right? So why not?

Randy Frisch:

Absolutely. I mean, there was always that stat and I feel like the date of when they talked about it as getting closer and closer with the CMO would have more budget than, you know, the CTO and CIO CTO or CIO. I can’t remember, but I feel like that was 20, 20 or 2022. So we’re, we’re narrowing in on that.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah. It’s a, it’s been a pretty, a pretty fascinating time, I would say over the last 10 years. So what do you think’s changed the most in marketing?

Randy Frisch:

Yeah, I would say that, you know, I’ll, I’ll frame this first of all, more than a B2B type of world where both you and I spend a lot of our time. And I think a lot of what’s changed is the understanding that we’re not just responsible for generating leads, but we’re responsible for accelerating pipeline. Right. And we’re ex we’re responsible for getting people over the line. So, you know, in our organization, I have not just you know, our marketing team looking to me saying, Hey, how are we going to hit our lead targets? But I have our sales team looking and saying, okay, well, how are you going to support our efforts to nurture the accounts that we’re targeting?

And at the same time I’ve got our VP of success saying, okay, well we need a better, better way to buy in on what they’re selling. You know, how are you going to arm us? How are you going to train our team, you know, to use that same terminology all the way across. So it’s, it’s really, the words are somewhat become overused, but the buyer journey and owning that buyer journey at every stage versus, you know, if you will madman style marketing.

Jeff Pedowitz:

No, that makes a lot of sense. So of course, running a content company yourself and enabling technology content has always been important to marketers, but how do you see a strategically changing, especially with all of the channels that are now available to reach, reach the customer?

Randy Frisch:

Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, the first thing is what channels are actually working. I kid you not this morning before we started to record this, I was in a budget meeting planning for our fiscal 2019, our, our 2019 starts in the fall. So we’re, we’re not that ahead of the game. I wish we were, but and, and we actually started to look at the way that we’ve been reporting on budget and reviewing budget and, and we realized that our eyes had to go up and down and then all over the place to try and make sense of it and instead try and say, okay, well, how do we actually break up the way we report on our performance in a way that more so mirrors who’s owning each bucket in the business. So now back to your question as to what’s changing there, I think it’s understanding which of those channels are most effective.

I mean, one of the big changes that I know a lot of people have embraced is embracing more of an ABM approach, right. Which if you, if you went back, say what five, eight years, we’d all be saying, okay, we’re all in on inbound. And, you know, I mean, forget about trying to target accounts anymore. Let’s just bring them all in. And if you have kind of field of dreams style, if, if you build it, they will come. And I, by no means, am I suggesting inbound should be ignored? I actually think ABM works best when you have a strong inbound funnel, but I it’s understanding where we’re seeing the most impact made. And that’s, you know, to do that, we obviously need advanced technology that we can track accurately to where we’re accelerating that, that opportunity the most, you know, does it, does it get to the point where they’re ready to buy us through those inbound activities? Or do we really need to take more of that ABM approach where we start to nurture that account and personalize what our solutions will mean to those accounts so that we can close them at the end of the day. And so understanding that those are two different budget line items for us is really important understanding how much we’re spending on each and where we’re seeing the most impact makes a lot of sense. So

Jeff Pedowitz:

Tell us a little bit about, you know, strategically what you’re trying to do in marketing at Uberflip. Cause there are so many content technology companies now attacking every part of the spectrum. So where does a company like Uberflip go what’s your value prop to the market and how are you really getting that broader, deeper reach?

Randy Frisch:

That’s a great question, Jeff. I, I look actually late last year and I kind of had one of these apifany moments or realizations. I was actually on a flight and I was on my way to Dreamforce if I remember right. And I started to write a post of something I’d been thinking about the night before. And it was just this reality of looking at the content marketing landscape. Right. Which a lot of people say we’re a content marketing solution. And I was reading actually it was a report. I think it was a Gartner report and it was, it was on the content landscape and I looked at it and it kind of painted us on the outskirts. Right. Like we weren’t, we didn’t make their quadrants. And you know, we kinda got that nice, honorable mention, but that we were missing certain things.

But then I, I looked at it and I was like, well, yeah, we’re definitely missing things because we’re not trying to be what they were defining content marketing platforms as right. They were looking at solutions like Kapost and news credit and divvy HQ, like great companies. And I, we actually partner with a lot of them. I love their founders, good people. But they are more about content creation of workflow. And I kind of had this realization that we’re trying to attach ourselves to the wrong terms. Right. I mean, even looking in marketing organizations and a lot of the times we’ve gone and hired content marketers, like we actually made a job title for it. But the idea there is not that they are going to leverage content. They’re just going to create content. So where Uberflip comes in is that point where you’ve created a lot of content you’re sitting there and you’re saying, okay, what do I do with all of this? 

And how do I actually start to map that through the buyer journey as we were talking about before? So it was kind of a, as I said, that aha moment my team kidded later, they called it my Jerry McGuire moment where like I wrote that mission statement that night and I, and I wrote a blog post. So the blog post was titled fuck content marketing. And then there was a subtitle of course, which was start marketing your content. Or ultimately, as we like to say, focus on the content experience. And that is how are people going to consumer content? What does that look like in your organization? And the reality was not that content marketers, weren’t going to be part of that. And in fact, we realize they’re not going to be offended by us, time them to you.

What, but more so they’re going to say, this is great. Let’s get the demand gen teams, let’s get the digital marketing teams, let’s get the new ABM teams that are popping up to realize we’ve created all this great content to help them engage with customers, to help them, you know, win the hearts. And that’s, that’s really where we come into play is how we actually going to go out there as a company and help people win business through the content they’ve created. So that’s, you know, my focus right now. I actually, in a couple of days I’m flying out because I’m spending a lot of my time as CMO here, working with analysts I’m out next week, meeting with Forester to talk to them about where they see this solution living because you kind of have those content marketing platforms on the left, as I said, and then you’ve got, you know, call it digital experience management, which is traditionally a CMS living in that other world, but there’s, there’s a world in the middle that the marketer needs to control, not the web teams that brings us all together. What’s your take on MarTech overall? Do you think

Jeff Pedowitz:

That there’s just too much of it now? The right amount? You know, cause I, I see so many companies just getting overwhelmed with the sheer amount of categories, choices, different things. I mean, when is it too much?

Randy Frisch:

I mean, we’re definitely at the point of too much there, there’s no question about that. You know, I mean, Scott Brinker, who I love and I get along really well with, but his, his landscape is ridiculous, right? I mean, you know, we have this fun game when it comes out where it’s like, who can find our logo the fastest in our company, right? It’s like where’s Waldo situation going on there. And it’s become humorous because there’s so much out there. I think we’re starting to see some consolidation. You know, there’s, you know, I can tell you that I get, I get calls probably two to three times a month now from companies that have had some traction, but just have realized that their solution is not a standalone solution. I think when I look at MarTech, I look at kind of two buckets. I look at point solutions and I look at platforms, right. And being a point solution is not a bad thing.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Right.

Randy Frisch:

You know, a solution like Marquetto, if you use Marketo or Eloqua or Pardot or whatever, I view that as a platform, it’s going to allow you to run various different activities on your marketing team. I typically on as much as a daily cadence then you’ve got point solutions and there’s, there’s really great point solutions out there. Like I would put a solution like video card is a point solution. I would put a solution like six stir as a point solution. These are really good solutions that help you, you know, manage video and understand how that’s working, or it was six, their manager, your email signatures. And they do a really good job at both of those, even in the content space. There’s other, other companies who we play really nicely with like snap app, if you know, Seth over there where, you know, again, they’re, they’re very focused on how do I create an interactive content asset Uberflip ourselves.

We’re, we’re more on that platform side as well because people will use as for their inbound, they’ll use us for their demand. Gen they’ll use us for their ABM. They’ll use us even for sales enablement. So we’re used by different members of the team on a regular basis. I think at the end of the day, the question though is how do you get your platforms and your points solutions to work together, right? And there’s a couple of ways to do that. You know, one is you have a really strong marketing operations team that understands how to manually integrate these together and create work workflow processes to get them tall, you know, sync together at the end of the day or perhaps you’re using solutions to help bridge the understanding between them solutions like Bizible or BrightFunnel that’ll help you understand like what’s, what’s doing what, and the, the other ways is to rely on some of these platforms to make sure they’re doing the heavy lifting to ensure that there’s a good ecosystem for those point solutions that matter to integrate with.

And I, that comes back to your question, like, is there too much out there, hundred percent there’s too much out there. I think what’s going to clear the path is those solutions that work together and those that don’t because there’s only so much work we can count on those marketing ops teams to focus on internally is that, is that makes sense.

Jeff Pedowitz:

That’s great. Great, great answer. Very well said. So just curious, cause you’re fast growing company what kind of people do you hire for, for your team? What kind of structure are you building? And I mean, I would imagine that today’s marketer, regardless of your level, is a lot different than it was even five or 10 years ago.

Randy Frisch:

Absolutely. I mean, my marketing team’s way smarter than me. Yeah, I have this. Yeah, I’ll talk about how we hire as a, as a whole. But one of my philosophies around hiring that came earlier in my career was always hire people that are better at me at what I have to give up. And I had to learn to do that because I was somewhat of a control freak to a degree where I just wanted things done perfectly. And now ultimately realize that if I was hiring B players, I was never going to be happy with how they did it. But if I hired people who, if I’m going to hand this off, I’m going to just sit there and either be intimidated or admire, or hopefully admire what they’re doing, then I’m off to the races. So I’ve got a great team and I’m really lucky to work with them and learn from them.

In terms of our company as a whole, we’re very strong on culture. You know, every person that we’ve hired, we’re around 120 people now that we’ve ever, ever hired yo of our CEO or myself have met before that final offer goes out. And yeah, there’s a couple of our core values. I’ll speak to you that they kind of answer well, what you’re, what you’re talking about there, the first one is we have a core value that that sets precedence or order. And it’s the idea we put culture first and then revenue, right? And the reality is most companies, they don’t say something like that. And as a result, they fall into a trap, right? Especially in Marquette companies, which is, they say, well, we’re going to put revenue first. We have to hit our revenue goals. So the next thing that happens is you’ve got this big, shiny deal on the table, you know, with a great logo who’s willing to buy from you as long as you build the following.

Right. And as soon as you say, okay, well, we’ll do it. Let’s get that deal. As soon as you do that, you frustrate their rest of the product roadmap because you’re, you’re going to let go of something else that was planned, tied to the vision. And as soon as you do that, you piss off everyone else in the company from a culture perspective, because they’re all counting on their deals coming in on other other aspects or they’re on the customer success lines, trying to explain to customers why that solution is no longer going to be built at the way it was. So what we do very specifically, as we say, we put our culture first, we put our people first and we put what we stand for as a company first. You know, then we focus on what the product roadmap needs to look like.

And if we do those two things and revenue doesn’t necessarily fall into place, but if it falls a little bit more predictably and you know, we know what type of customers we’re going to bring on. So, and through that, we’ve, we’ve lost some customers that we would have loved to close, but I think we keep our, our, you know, greater customer base happy. The, you know, in terms of the individuals again, we’re, we’re big on culture. And when we were putting together our values of the first time I went to, to my moral compass, which is my wife and I kind of ran them by her. She’s a social worker. So she’s, she’s good at emotion and all those things. And I said, okay, well, one of them is that we are going to hire for hustle, like people with hustle, which to me is different than effort, right?

Hustle to me is like, I’m going to get it done today versus tomorrow. So you can have two people who put 40 hours of work into something, but the guy does it in three months versus the guy who does it in one week. I’m putting my money on the guy who does it in a week. Right. because we’re in a, you know, both of us are in, you know, high growth businesses where it’s all about disruption. And if we don’t win today, someone else will, right. If we were in the toilet paper, business, maybe different, right. You can wait three months for that thing to be built. I’m still waiting for a better solution to tow that paper, but you get the idea. So, but my wife said to me, she goes, I don’t know, like hustle. So like I think hustler, I I’ve got like bad associations.

I was like, no, no, no, no, no, no. We want, we want the good hustle. Now we want the good hustle on people. So I kinda took her advice and I went back and we ended up turning it into an acronym and our team, it’s more of an internal rally, cry. Our team buys into it, we interview across it. And each of the letters in hustle stands for something. So I’ll take you through them very quickly that the H stands for heart, which plain and simple is we want to work with good people or the other way to look at it is no assholes. Right. And you know, Yoav, and I often call it the hallway test. It’s like, do we want to pass that person in the hallway? And, and you know that if you don’t, if you’re not willing to pay a person in a hallway, you do everything possible.

It’s like, yeah, I gotta just go to the bathroom or grab a coffee. And I guarantee our customers do the same thing. You know, they don’t want to engage. You they’ll find something else or they’ll find another option. So, so that’s hard. Unique for us is the diversity that we have in our workforce. You know, the different backgrounds the different cultural backgrounds people come from and their families and their personal lives and the, you know, countries they may have come from. And it makes us stronger by having, you know, different views of the world. The S is skill, which is plain simple. We need highly skilled people in our organization. The tech piece is not that people have to know how to code here. A little secret. I don’t know how to code. I was kind of the guy we built Uberflip for, and that I was a marketer with creative ideas.

You wanted to get stuff online, but I love technology. I just loved simplified technology. And the idea that would tack I could do more than trying to figure out how to build something from the ground. The lean is do more with less. And the entrepreneurial, which is E is not the idea that we need people who want to start their own business. I mean, that’s great if they do, but it’s more people who own what’s in front of them. Right. And that’s how we define being an entrepreneur. So the idea that if all of us all 120 of us are working together, then we’re going to be much more productive than just, you know, hoping that some leader in the organization is going to pave the way for us.

Jeff Pedowitz:

I love that. So hustle!

Randy Frisch:

Hustle. Yeah, we got bumper stickers and everything.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Yeah, you might, and you might have to license that out. You could sell tee shirts too. So well, we’re going to have to do a part two interview because it’s awesome and you’ve covered so much ground already. And there’s so many more questions I want to ask you, but, but we’re out of time Randy, thank you so much for being on the program. So easy to see why you’re having so much success at Uberflip and we wish you all the best and continued good luck.

Randy Frisch:

Thanks so much, Jeff, great being on this and great, always being a partner with you and your group over at Pedowitz Group. It’s, it’s been an honor and thanks to everyone for tuning in.

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