Is The Traditional Marketing Funnel Dead?

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This is a podcast episode titled, Is The Traditional Marketing Funnel Dead?. The summary for this episode is: DG sits down with Kate Adams (VP of Demand Generation at Drift) to talk about a big change she recently made to the marketing funnel at Drift.

Speaker 1: What's up, everybody? Thank you for listening to another episode of The Swipe File. You know what the tagline for The Swipe File is?

Kate: What is it?

Speaker 1: Your favorite marketer's favorite marketing podcast, I think.

Kate: Your favorite marketer's favorite marketing podcast?

Speaker 1: Think about who your favorite marketing person is, and this is the podcast they listen to. And if it's not, I just made a tagline that makes it seem like it is.

Kate: I think it should be every marketer's favorite marketing podcast.

Speaker 1: Oh, that's pretty good, too. Every marketer's favorite marketing podcast. All right. So, Kate here, Kate runs demand gen here at Drift. And I love Kate and she's really good at what she does. And I realized that I'm not doing a good enough job with this podcast. It's not just me talking. I thought, look, we're marketing people doing marketing to marketers. Let's talk more about what's actually happening. And you made a change recently to our whole funnel at Drift. And I wanted to talk about that on this episode of The Swipe File, because I want to get in the weeds and talk about it. So, give me the whole backstory. I want top to bottom. This is why I didn't prep, because I already have the prep in my head.

Kate: Okay. So, the whole backstory on how I changed our entire marketing and sales funnel.

Speaker 1: Boom. There's your clip. There's your clip. There's your clip.

Kate: Okay. So, here is the entire story. So, as you know, before I joined Drift, I was a customer. I'd been a long- time fan, I was a long- time Seeking Wisdom listener before you killed it.

Speaker 1: Let me tell you something. If you want to know, maybe we'll put this episode out next week, but if you want to know what I did for an hour last night while I was rocking my son to sleep is Kate's blowing me up asking me about," Why do you keep waffling on bringing Seeking Wisdom back? It's a staple of the brand. You better do it." And so, we have a plan, but anyway, yes. Long time-

Kate: I think actually what I said was," Why do you keep killing things people love?"

Speaker 1: Yeah. Which is actually, there's something actually real in there that I thought about this morning walking to work, was I actually do think that one marketing mistake that I make over and over is killing the hits as opposed to, I was listening to another marketing podcast and they were talking about, it's almost like a show. You have a successful show on Broadway or something and it's successful in that one market. And then you just, you're like," Well, it's working here." Versus what we should be doing is taking like," Whoa, if it's successful in New York, I wonder if we could take it to Boston, take it to Chicago and take it to Paris." And yeah, that is a weak point, so thanks for kicking my ass and we'll get back in there.

Kate: Yeah. You're welcome.

Speaker 1: Okay. So, the funnel.

Kate: All right, so, I'd been a long time-

Speaker 1: First time call, what's your joke, first- time caller?

Kate: Long- time fan, first- time caller? Yeah.

Speaker 1: Yeah.

Kate: And I'd just been listening to you and DC and all your stuff for a long time. And so, then I got here and started working here, and I saw the power of Drift as a customer, and then I got here and I was like, they're like," Okay, so you got to do some webinars." So, I started to get on some webinars, talking about conversational marketing, the power of it and the power of what we saw. And I get on the webinars and talk about how B2B marketing is so lost and it's so broken, and why is it so lost and broken? It's because we have optimized for acronyms instead of optimizing for people. And I'd talk a lot about that. And I'd say it, and as you know, you say that and everybody's like," Yes, yes, yes, yes. So broken, so broken. Yes. Why do I do that? I hate that." And then I take off my headset and be done with the webinar. I'd come back and be like," Okay, team, where are we at? Where are those MQAs at? Let's go."

Speaker 1: So, MQAs is what we had been using for measuring lead gen. We have marketing qualified accounts instead of marketing qualified leads. There's a whole separate topic we could do on leads versus accounts. So, we were doing MQAs. So, basically, you felt like the real answer is we had this perception on the outside of we're telling this one story to the world, but then even as a marketing person, a marketing leader, demand gen leader at Drift, you felt like, wait a second, the story that we're telling the world is not what I'm measured on my spreadsheet here that I have to share to the exec team.

Kate: Yeah. Yeah. And then it was also just, I think words matter. You talk about this all the time, words matter. And so, words are incredibly important. And so, what I get up in front of the company and talk about every Monday during our Monday metric session, and what you get up and talk about is like," Okay, here's where we're at with MQAs." And it's like, okay, so marketing qualified leads, marketing qualified accounts. No, those are actually people. And so, all of the amazing stuff that we've been talking about for so long, we got lost in a little bit ourselves too. And that's hard. And so, we've been taking the traditional marketing funnel, that every great marketer and salespeople use today, and put it in Drift and said," This is our funnel." And I was like," No, it's not, our funnel is different because we're customer- centric and we're people- centric. And we remember that people are there." And so, I just changed it all, which went over really well, actually.

Speaker 1: Well, I think it probably went over well because you had a real story behind the why. I think what a lot of marketers do is, and I've tried to do this myself is," This metric isn't working for me. I'm not hitting the number. I want to change the metric to be this because I can hit this." I think you had a deeper story there, which is like," Look, we're trying to write the new playbook for modern marketing." And the one thing that I think everybody can agree on today is nobody wants to be marketed to, we all just want to be treated like people. We want businesses to treat us like people, but then the huge disconnect is you're a person, you're Kate, you show up on somebody's website, but then you fill out a form or go in through chat. And all of a sudden, you're like," Boom, that's now a good lead in the system. Ooh. VP of demand gen at a really fast growing SAS company. That's a good lead." No, that's Kate. That's the big difference.

Kate: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. I say that to people and every marketer just literally sits there and starts being like," Yes, a hundred percent. Why am I talking about these acronyms? Why am I talking about MQL, SQL, SQA, SAL, all of these things?" Yeah. It's like, no, that's just Dave. And so, when I go out, if I were to open the store right now and go out and talk to one of our sales reps, and I said," Hey, why aren't you calling my MQLs?" They'd be like," Well, because this and that and all these other reasons." But if I went out there and I said," Hey, why didn't you call Dave?" That would be a different conversation. The context of that conversation is entirely different.

Speaker 1: Right. So, I'm going to diagram for you. So, this is one stage of the funnel. So, we have interested people. Before we go down the funnel, tell me more about what are the inputs and who gets counted? Because marketers, yes, we did change the definition. It's much more friendly, but at the end of the day, we're marketers, the people that listen to this, we still want points. We still want credit for the interested people that we're generating. So, tell me how somebody becomes an interested person in your funnel today, our funnel.

Kate: Yes. So, we changed it. So, I think one nuance there is we changed the name. We did not change the definition. So, we changed it from MQA, marketing qualified account, to interested people. We're going to make one other change, which is we're not going to talk about accounts because businesses don't buy from businesses. People buy from businesses.

Speaker 1: That's a hot take, by the way, because that flies in the face of everyone out there who talks about ABM, you're marketing to accounts, but it's people inside of that.

Kate: You're not marketing to accounts. You're marketing to the people within a business. And if anyone out there, I've said this on a couple of webinars now, I haven't gotten it yet, but this is my outstanding challenge. I would somebody to bring me a contract that they have signed by a company, bring it to me to show me that the business who bought from your business.

Speaker 1: That's a challenge.

Kate: Show me where LLC actually signed that contract. They didn't.

Speaker 1: There's always someone that has to make the signature, yeah.

Kate: Dave Gerhart signed that contract. Kate Adams signed that contract. Actual Dan signed that contract.

Speaker 1: Dan's Slack name is Actual Dan, which is pretty good, because there's, fun fact, bunch of Dans. Okay. So, in here is webinar registration.

Kate: People who attend our webinars that meet our specific criteria. So, for us, it's, we won't talk about all the secret sauce, but you meet specific criteria. Every business has that, where you know who your ideal customer profile is, who you're most successful at selling to, and who is most successful with the tool that you are selling. And so, then you actually deliver those people to the sales team. And so, we didn't change those definitions. It's still your website, it gets this much traffic and you have this, you meet this criteria. It didn't change any of those things, but they're actually, they're interested people at the very top.

Speaker 1: So, I had been out all summer basically. And then I came back, and the first week that I was back was an event that we had, which was the B2B sales and marketing exchange. And it was cool because I didn't know a ton about what you had done with the funnel. And then I saw the next day, Tammy who's on your team was like," Hey, we had..." Basically, our marketing ops team sends out this daily email that's our marketing pacing, which shows how we're performing against our goal that day, so it's a great snapshot. It's my favorite email I get a day. Even though I'm not a metrics guy, I do love that email link. And so, in the email, it said," Hey, we had 41 interested people from B2B MX yesterday." And I replied to Lynn who runs marketing ops for us. And I was like," Whoa." I was like," That's awesome. What is an interested person?" She's like," Oh, it's people that came by our booth and had a conversation with us." Think about how different that sounds. Mostly, it's like," Those are 41 badges we scanned in our booth." So, to see that, I felt that firsthand, like, oh, 41 interested people to go up to somebody's booth at an event where you know someone's going to try to sell you something, that is a sign of interest. And so, I love the positioning of that and kind of seeing how that actually fits in the funnel.

Kate: Yeah. And we also don't do the badge scanning for the sake of badge scanning. I've been at places where we do that and have encouraged teams of people to do that. But we do not do that here. I learned that. That was an important lesson.

Speaker 1: But I think we're learning, we're out there, we've got to rewrite this playbook. And I think you and I are both really passionate about trying to push the rest of the people that we work with, on the exec team, for example, at Drift to rethink this because we do want to write the new playbook out there. However, there are some things that you can see, oh, yeah, it would... So, sure, we don't want to have badge scanners, but we do want to get the contact information of people we talk to. And so, our challenge as a marketing team is how do we figure out, what's the new way of that, where it doesn't feel so like," Hey, I'll trade you a$ 5 Starbucks gift card if I can scan your badge." So, we do stuff, like we had books at our booth, we had t- shirts.

Kate: We create lounge experiences, where it's like," Hey, do you want to just come here and hang out? And let's talk about what you're doing for marketing today." That's fundamentally different. Don't come to me because you want to pen. Come over here because you want to really talk about how we can help you achieve your goals and how you can stand out in your organization as the best marketer there.

Speaker 1: And I think that's what you have to be as a sales and marketing team today, you have to be positioned as experts in your space. I want to buy from an expert. My foot has been bothering me and I got to call my doctor and got to go check on my foot. I don't know what it is. And I want to go to somebody, I want to go to an expert. I don't want to Google what's wrong with my foot. So, same thing is true. I want to buy my sales and marketing software from somebody who actually knows more than I do. All right. Interested people, number one, then further next step down the funnel is scheduled conversations.

Kate: Scheduled conversations. Yeah. So, that's the other piece, so we would call that meetings. Other places would call that a sales qualified lead, an SQL, et cetera, more acronyms, any acronym you can think of, people have thrown that in there. And it was like, what's the point of every marketer today? Why does marketing exist? Marketing exists to start and nurture conversations through a process so that you can help people achieve their goals. And that's why every marketer should wake up every day, which is how do I just get more conversations?

Speaker 1: And this was great because I mean, you still diagnose the funnel in the same way, but I think we even had discussions this week about," Okay, there was this many interested people, but this number was off, the scheduled conversations. Okay. Well, why? Well, this person was out. And so, we didn't follow it." It gives more structured conversation other than," Why are you not following up with these leads, salespeople?" It's like," No, we had interested..." And the way you position is interesting to see you do it. It's like," Hey, sales team. We had interested people who we have not scheduled conversations with yet."

Kate: Yeah.

Speaker 1: That feels different than you just yelling at a sales team like most marketing leaders do, like," Follow up with these goddamn leads."

Kate: No, because our job does not stop at just generating interested people. Our job doesn't stop until we have extraordinarily happy customers who are buying more seats and telling the world about why Drift is the best tool that they've bought in the last five years. That's when our jobs stops, which is we have a lot of work to do.

Speaker 1: Yeah. I mean, ultimately, it doesn't matter. If we juice the interested people number but they're not scheduling any conversations, then we have a different problem.

Kate: inaudible.

Speaker 1: What's this bucket? Money?

Kate: No. So, there's scheduled conversations, and then there's held conversations. And then from held conversations, that's when most organizations begin to opportunities, which I think it's crap. And here's why I think it's crap.

Speaker 1: Opportunities?

Kate: Opportunities are crap. And so, I think it's crap because they're not opportunities, they're future customers. When you get to a point when you are creating, what in the Salesforce paradigm, they're saying is an opportunity. Whatever medic or band criteria you're using today in order to find when you create an opportunity, what you're saying is, there is a chance that this person is going to be a customer. And so, that means that they are future customers. Whether you'd lose that opportunity in the next 90 days or not, they are still a future customer. They could come back in six months. We see it all the time. Which is, oh, they considered us six months ago. Then they walked away. They tried something else. It didn't work. Now they came back. They were always a future customer in that time. And so, and I also think it just, again, words matter and it's powerful. It's like, oh, actually, yeah, great news. You're our next customer. It may be in the next 15 days, it may be in the next 30, it may be in the next two years, but you are a future customer. And that context is wildly different, too.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Because opportunity, it's a moment in time. Maybe it could be renamed to someone that might actually become a customer this month. Whereas an opportunity, somebody emailed me the other day, said he's been a fan of Drift for three years and he just bought. And so, that person was probably in our system for three years. And how would we ever track the lifetime of that person and what it was that made them buy today?

Kate: Yeah, totally. So, it's future customer, and then it's not deals, it's customers.

Speaker 1: Customers.

Kate: And that's a people- centric view of the funnel.

Speaker 1: Ooh, that's a good title. A people- centric funnel. I'm just writing this down for my notes. Dan's zooming in on me writing for God knows whatever reason. Okay. I love it. I actually thought of something else while you're on this, and I think we should talk about. I want to talk about, so, this is a funnel. Only goal of that was to say, look, think about your funnel differently. And if you really do believe in this philosophy of there is no more B2B, there is no more B2C. There's only marketing to people, selling and marketing to people. I think our challenge to you would be see if you can rename your funnel and then come and let us know that you did it. Take a screenshot of your dashboard. You can blur everything out and send it to Kate and I, that would be amazing. And I think this is cool. I actually think this is a talk that you should go give later this year.

Kate: Yeah, totally. The other thing. So, the feedback I get on this from people is," How do I go sell this internally to my CEO? How do I sell this to my executive team?" And hundred percent, I am one of the luckiest demand gen people in the world because I work for an executive team that are like," Yes, that is a story we've been telling for three years. You're right. We should do this." And actually, so when I shared this, I shared this in the marketing Slack channel here, and I had sales people coming in and being like," Yes. And by the way, what's our people- centric sales process look like?" And it started this whole other conversation, which was amazing. I'm incredibly lucky to have that, but I understand, and I know if I were to go sell this into other organizations I've been at, people would have laughed at me or just not had the reaction that I got here. And I get that it's hard, but I think you have to go tell the story about why this matters. You have to go tell that story of, listen, show me the contract that says, oh, Amazon bought from us. Do you know what I mean? It wasn't. It was Jeff Bezos who bought from you. And I think you have to tell that narrative and talk about why it matters. And this has to be a value of your organization. And you have to talk about why you think that this is important.

Speaker 1: And even, the other thing I just thought of is oftentimes, yes, the signature of the person who might sign the contract is not even the person who might even use the thing that you're selling. So, we had the CMO of SurveyMonkey speak at Hypergrowth this week. She was awesome. And she has a team of 90 marketers. She signs all the marketing contracts, but I asked her how she bought, and it didn't come up in that conversation because we only had 30 minutes, but the night before, I asked her how she bought and she said," Well, to be honest, I don't really have a good answer for that one that you're going to like, because I let my team do the buying. I have hired people that work on my team and I trust them. And so, if Kate or Dave or whoever comes to me and says,'Lila, we need to buy this thing', I say,'Great. Is it in the budget? How are we going to track it? How are we going to prove it successful? Okay, cool. I'll sign.'" And so, there, even more important because it's not even the person who signs it. There's probably five, six, seven other people who are going to use that product, that's who matters the most. And by the way, if that doesn't work or you didn't deliver on the right promise or the rep gave them a bad demo or the marketing experience was bad after they signed up, that all reflects across, you might have multiple people inside the company, they're going to block you from buying that you don't even know about.

Kate: Totally, totally. You need to know serious decisions inaudible call that, the demand unit, the demand unit waterfall and all those things. And now we'll do more acronyms and take the people out of that even more. Do you know what I mean? But yes, there's a group of people and they are together and they are making decisions. And one of those people will sign the contract, but three others will make it the decision and give you a red or a green light, for sure.

Speaker 1: I dig it. Okay. Let's spend maybe five minutes on this before we wrap up, but I want to just shift to talk more about you as a marketing leader. And a lot of marketing leaders and future leaders listen to this podcast. What are some of the mistakes you've made in your career as a first time marketing leader? Not that you're a first- time marketing leader now, but if you were to go back 10 years ago, what are some of the things that you would want to tell yourself before you got that first director job, VP job?

Kate: Yeah. The number one lesson that I've had in my career over the last too many years has been, so I'm incredibly analytical. I'm incredibly driven and I'm incredibly just numbers- driven. I am always thinking about the, when I walk out of the office every day, I don't think about the 30 things I got done today, I think about the 10 that I didn't. And that leads to not a great positive outlook on myself all the time. But when I started managing teams, my manager at the time reminded me that management is not about just getting the outcomes you want. You have to work on the soft skills component of that, too. And you can be amazing and great, but if your people dislike you and hate you, or don't feel like you care about them and don't understand the why, between why you're doing some of the things, then it's all useless and you'll go nowhere. You will not be successful. And that was the number one biggest lesson. And it's helped me, I have to remind myself of it all the time, but it's helped me tremendously throughout my career.

Speaker 1: But you've probably seen a difference, the more that you've worked on those skills and created a team environment that people want to be on, you probably end up getting better results because of that.

Kate: A hundred percent, a hundred percent. The teams are happier. They're more cohesive. They understand the why. It's all of those things, but there's definitely times where I overextend on one thing, then I have to come back. It's a pendulum swing.

Speaker 1: It's hard though, right? Because you can be in a meeting with the whole management team or whoever. And there's a lot of pressure to," Hey, why is this number in the red?" And it's easy to then go back to your desk and be like," Okay, I got a plan. We're going to do this. We're going to do this. I need this person, this person, we're going to here." And then you just drop that on the team and go. And I think I do this a lot, where I don't think about what I need to do in between that meeting. I just come back out of that meeting and then drop it on the team versus maybe I should grab four or five of them and we should all get together and go for coffee or something and say," Hey, look, how's everybody doing? Okay, cool. I need your help on something." I've gotten great feedback from Michelle, who's one of our amazing designers. She's like," I do better work on this stuff when you come and you get me excited about it and you tell me a story about it versus just when you drop an email that's like, I need this thing by Friday."

Kate: Yep. Even in the demand gen team meeting now. So, I recently just listened to, I didn't read, Trillion Dollar Coach by Bill Campbell, which is...

Speaker 1: Hold on, you don't need a qualifier, it's the same. You're going to read a book in your car sitting on the 95 every morning? That'd be terrible.

Kate: That'd be awful. Okay. So, anyway, I listened to that, and Bill used to start every one of his meetings, there's a lesson in there where you had to give a weekend report. And it was like, you had to actually report on your weekend, the reason why you did that.

Speaker 1: That's actually a nightmare." Hey, what'd you do this weekend?"

Kate: And so, that to me felt like, yeah, I would hate that because it would be the same thing every time. I chased Henry around for two days, and now I came here so I could rest.

Speaker 1: inaudible The realest thing, yeah.

Kate: And so-

Speaker 1: "Oh,I can just go for a walk right now and get a coffee by myself. This is amazing."

Kate: "I can go to the bathroom for two minutes. Oh, okay." Anyway. So, yeah, that would be boring for the rest of the team, too, so we don't do weekend reports. And I would also get incredibly depressed by hearing the team being like," Oh, I had this amazing brunch with my friends for three hours." I'd be in a puddle of tears afterwards.

Speaker 1: Dan was telling me that he just moved. And so, yesterday after Hypergrowth, I told the whole creative team, I said," Don't come into work. Please just stay home." And I was like," Oh, so what'd you do?" He's like," I just kind of had one of those days, went grocery shopping, cleaned the house." I'm like," I would write a blank check. I would write a blank check for that day."

Kate: One of those days.

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah.

Kate: "Youknow, Dave, one of those days."

Speaker 1: Yeah. I'd get the laundry done, I'd watch...

Kate: I was literally folding a shirt last night, folding a shirt. And at the same time, pulling the window shade cord back from Henry's neck, which I'm sure I'll get all these comments being like-

Speaker 1: That's why you've got two hands.

Kate: Yeah. It was crazy. Anyway. So...

Speaker 1: So, he would start off the meeting asking people about the weekend.

Kate: Asking people, a weekend report. And so, at the demand gen meetings now, we start, I set it for every week, but we start with, last week's was," I want you to share a failure. It doesn't have to be at Drift. Doesn't have to be over the last week." Although this is also going to be a recurring agenda item, which is share a fail from that week, which I did at my last company, too, which every week, we'd get in and everybody had to share a fail. And if you told me," Oh, I failed because I had to take a day of PTO this weekend. I didn't get as much done." I'd be like," That's the worst fail I ever heard. I don't want to hear that. That's crap. Don't give me these self- aggrandizing fails. I want to hear for real." So, somebody would come in and be like," Oh, I failed because I sent an invite to 50, 000 people for a webinar that was actually on the wrong day." I was like," Yes. That's so good. That's so good."

Speaker 1: Did you see my LinkedIn post a week ago?

Kate: No, I didn't.

Speaker 1: I said something like, look, LinkedIn has become, and I'm guilty of this too, become a place where marketing people just go and dump on salespeople, so I'm going to try to change the narrative. I'll share two huge marketing mistakes that I've made. One of them was leaving the wrong AdWords campaign on for seven days and probably cost us 15 grand. Sorry, Will. And then the traffic numbers were off for about a year. And then one of them was, the exact email example, I just sent a email template to just 10,000 people. And we're marketing to marketers, the amount of people on that list, that made their day to just tell me that I did that. I'm like," I know. I screwed up. I'm sorry."

Kate: I'm sorry.

Speaker 1: I love that. It makes it real, yeah. I think the PTO example was like, okay, whatever, what did you really screw up?

Kate: Yeah. I want real stuff because I don't mind failing, what I mind is failing the same thing three times and doing that three times over and learning that same lesson again and again.

Speaker 1: So, the soft skills matter.

Kate: So, soft skills piece. So then, the other thing, so now in today's meaning, the soft skills piece, the thing that we're covering, and the reason why Bill does this also is it builds a team, so we get to know about you as the whole person of you, the whole you and build a culture of psychological safety among the team, which is, there was a huge study on that, they did a huge study at Google, which was the teams that were most successful had that culture of psychological safety in them. But anyway, so that's why we do that. And so, I have to build it into the reps and sets and the rituals that we have as a team, to also do that. But also, I have to remind myself. Sometimes, I'm just like, okay, we are not saving lives here.

Speaker 1: Yeah, we're not.

Kate: We're helping marketers achieve their goals. Nobody's going to die today.

Speaker 1: No, no one's going to die.

Kate: If they don't get a chat bot.

Speaker 1: Yeah. It's hard in the moment, though. You definitely feel the pressure of that. Okay. So, failures and soft skills. I dig it. That's all. I'm done with my notes. Anything else on your mind?

Kate: All those notes.

Speaker 1: I mean, I thought I did a pretty good job on this, to be honest with you. They're not as thorough as my questions for the SurveyMonkey CMO.

Kate: Those are next level.

Speaker 1: Okay. So, I was really stuck. So, here's the deal. I asked you, I actually got advice from you because I try to be super self- aware, just in life. And I mean, maybe I don't always do it. And that would be the biggest flaw, if I'm talking about how I'm very self- aware, but now I'm not. And I just have this big fear of most panel interviews and fireside chats just absolutely stink. And they're not good. They say the same thing." Oh, wow. You went to Wharton? And tell me about after Wharton. You went to Bain for three years?"

Kate: Oh, God, It's so terrible.

Speaker 1: That's what everybody does.

Kate: It's like, walk me through your LinkedIn profile.

Speaker 1: And so, I just didn't want to do that. And so, I asked you, I got some other advice, like, hey, what would make this not suck? And then I had this, I was really struggling to prep for this because I didn't know how to do it in a linear way. I didn't want it to be a linear way, so then I literally, one day I got out of the shower and I just had this kind of, there's basically five different buckets that I just came up with that I wanted to talk to her. So, bucket one was career story. Bucket two is how she buys as a CMO. Another bucket was the role of the CMO. Another bucket was questions I had about her team. And then another bucket was this fun kind of marketing word association. And then I just worked there to then fill them in with questions. Then I just typed these up because there was no way I'd ever be able to read my handwriting on stage. And that was good because then it gave the interview, I didn't have to go from here to here. I could basically pick off a topic and go. And the feedback was great. And it also helps when the biggest flaw, I think, is most people that you interview, you have to understand when you're being interviewed and you need to push back, meaning, and you were great on this podcast, but a lot of people could come on and they're like, you just answer the question that I asked you and then stop. Next question. Where it's like, the best interviews are when it's a conversation.

Kate: Yeah. Lila was great at that.

Speaker 1: And she was great at that.

Kate: And the other thing, what I love there is the path to the CMO piece, which is, don't just tell me, okay, then you did this. Tell me about your time there. And I was like, I don't know.

Speaker 1: No, she said one of the most real things, this is a great topic. She said a real thing, which is like, as we think about career levels and structure at Drift, it's even interesting. She was like," I was a director at LinkedIn, but that was basically a VP job. There were 6, 000 people at the company." And I think that's so important because yes, job title at the company stage is also really important. A director level person at a 6, 000 person company. And so, she actually shed light on that. She didn't just say, and then, so she said," I was basically already doing that job. Then when I went to OpenTable, they had 800 people. Being the VP of marketing there was like something I had already done."

Kate: Yeah, totally. And a different scale, she was already doing it. Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 1: Yeah. And then to become CMO, she went to a company that had 40 people.

Kate: This was my favorite line. I tweeted that line, where she was like, because you were like," Well, how did you become CMO? How did you get the title of CMO?" And she said, and I think every person needs to hear this, but I think specifically women needed to hear this, which was, you said," How did you get the title of CMO?" And she goes," Actually, I think the job was actually written as VP of marketing." And she goes," I just asked for it to be changed to CMO." It was like, not enough women specifically in the interview process would ever think to do that. It's just women specifically always go back and they just assume," Oh, well they must have, clearly they've thought this out and pontificated around the title of this for a very long time, so it's probably non- negotiable." The reality is, no, if you want something, just ask for it.

Speaker 1: Make it a requirement as part of your thing. I love that. I mean, she was real, and that's the level of stuff that I know you and I would want to go sit around and have a coffee and listen to, not the whole career story stuff. I want to know that.

Kate: I love the rapid- fire, too, where you were like," Okay, one word. Event." And she was like," Tiresome." I was like," Yes, thank you!" So good.

Speaker 1: It was perfect. It was perfect. Okay. So, if you weren't at Hypergrowth, I did marketing word association with Lila. I just wanted to ask her one word. So, I did podcasts, LinkedIn, webinars, events, YouTube, AI. The one I didn't get to was TikTok, but I don't know if she would have had a good answer to that. And it was great because we were announcing our AI product later that afternoon, and her answer to AI was," Over- hyped." And the whole crowd was like... But we just loved it. All right, let's go. Let's go eat some lunch. We eat lunch at 11 o'clock at Drift. So, it's 11: 46, and that means there's going to be no food.

Kate: It's brunch. It's the only brunch I get. I don't get brunch on the weekends. This is the only brunch I get.

Speaker 1: It's like," Oh, you eat lunch at your desk?" I'm like," Yeah, because it's lovely. I can be on my computer and eat lunch. I don't ever get that opportunity at any other part of my life." All right, Kate. Thank you for doing it. If you're not connected with Kate, go do it. Look her up on LinkedIn, Kate Adams. I'm going to plug yourself, and then also follow on Twitter. I think it's KAdams24.

Kate: We've got it.

Speaker 1: Not KateAdams24. That's Instagram. KAdams24. So, go and follow Kate. And if you follow Kate, then I can convince her to post more content like this on the regular, because I think people need to hear it. Hey, thanks for listening to another episode of The Swipe File. I'm having a lot of fun doing this podcast. And so, because it's fun for me, I hope it's fun for you. And it would mean the world if you could leave a review. Reviews really help. And so, go leave a review, go to Apple Podcasts, leave a review. Let me know what you liked about the show, didn't like, want to hear more of. And also, if you're not already subscribed, make sure you go subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the show is everywhere that you get your podcasts, probably where you're listening right now. But if you want more content like this, if you want to go a layer deeper, join me on Drift Insider. It's drift. com/ insider. We're teaching courses, we're sharing videos and we have exclusive content for people just like you in marketing that we do not share publicly. So, go and check it out. drift. com/ insider.


DG sits down with Kate Adams (VP of Demand Generation at Drift) to talk about a big change she recently made to the marketing funnel at Drift.