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Episode 66  |  40:00 min

What It's Like to Be a CMO and Co-Founder with Uberflip's Randy Frisch

Episode 66  |  40:00 min  |  06.17.2021

What It's Like to Be a CMO and Co-Founder with Uberflip's Randy Frisch

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This is a podcast episode titled, What It's Like to Be a CMO and Co-Founder with Uberflip's Randy Frisch. The summary for this episode is: <p>There are CMOs and then there are founders. But Randy Frisch? He's a CMO AND a co-founder at Uberflip. On this episode, Tricia sits down with Randy to discuss what it's like to do two roles at once and how he helps his team weave storytelling into everything (yes, everything), they do. </p><p>Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends. You can connect with Tricia and Randy on Twitter @triciagellman @randyfrisch @DriftPodcasts</p><p><span style="color: rgb(3, 28, 51);">For more learnings from Tricia, check out her quarterly newsletter, The Path to CMO 3.0 </span>https://www.drift.com/insider/learn/newsletters/chief-marketing-officer/ </p>
Takeaway 1 | 00:37 MIN
Realizing There are Various Teams You're Accountable To
Takeaway 2 | 01:10 MIN
Opportunities for Tech Disruption
Takeaway 3 | 00:48 MIN
Rocket Ship Heading to the Moon
Takeaway 4 | 00:46 MIN
Actions That Helped Build a Category
Takeaway 5 | 00:44 MIN
Hub Concept for Marketing
Takeaway 6 | 01:07 MIN
Storytelling Messaging Starts in Marketing
Takeaway 7 | 00:46 MIN
The Contact Lifetime Value
Takeaway 8 | 01:10 MIN
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There are CMOs and then there are founders. But Randy Frisch? He's a CMO AND a co-founder at Uberflip. On this episode, Tricia sits down with Randy to discuss what it's like to do two roles at once and how he helps his team weave storytelling into everything (yes, everything), they do.

Guest Thumbnail
Randy Frisch
CMO at Uberflip
Randy Frisch is the CMO and Co-Founder at Uberflip, a content experience platform that empowers B2B marketers to create personalized content experiences for demand generation, ABM, content marketing, and sales enablement at scale.
Connect with Randy

Tricia Gellman: Hey, everybody. Welcome to CMO Conversations. I am Tricia Gellman, and I'm excited in the episode today to talk to a unique flavor of CMO, and that is Randy Frisch, the CMO of Uberflip. And what is so unique about him is that he's not just the CMO, but he is a cofounder, and you don't really find that many cofounders of tech SaaS companies that are also the CMO. So, Randy, why don't you introduce yourself and talk a little bit about your role at Uberflip.

Randy Frisch: Sounds great, Tricia, thanks for having me. And I'm going to steal that unique flavor line because I usually just warn people when I'm interviewing a marketer, I'm like," I'm not your traditional CMO." And by that I often mean that I need a really strong marketing team around me because as a cofounder I'm being pulled in various different directions that sometimes are not just marketing. Now, I also know that that's the reality of a CMO, right? Let's be honest, and you probably know that, too, Tricia. When you get to that C- level, when you get to that CMO level, or any C- level type of title in an organization, you have to start to care, not just about the marketing function. You need your eyes going all over the place. And I think that's one of the things I've talked to other CMOs, other chief revenue officers, other just C- level or VP- level individuals. And I think that's that next step you take. It's realizing it's not just about... It's one thing I say often, it's not just the team being described as my marketing team. It's realizing you have other teams you're a part of, right? You're part of an executive team and you have responsibilities to bond with them and gel with them in just the same type of way. So that's the way I try and look at being a CMO and a cofounder. It's realizing you've got various teams that you're accountable to.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. But as a cofounder, with the solution that's being sold to marketers and CMOs, there's a lot of work, I would imagine, that you have to do not just as first team leadership, second team maybe marketing, but there's a whole slew of things you probably have to do in terms of defining where the product is going, I would think.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely. And I mean, I don't know if this is in all companies, but without a doubt at Uberflip there's influence as to what we do based on my passion and my cofounder, as well, but in many ways, when we were getting started together and looking at a problem to solve, we actually took influence by both of our passions, mine being marketing, and a lot of what we do at Uberflip is designed to solve for the problem of a marketer like myself who has great ideas, not to pat myself on the back, but has these ideas-

Tricia Gellman: You wouldn't be here if you didn't have great ideas, so you know.

Randy Frisch: ...has these ideas that I want to make come to life. And sometimes I just don't have the technology at my fingertips to do it. And I remember I often talked to my team and others on our product team about this idea that when I was in university, then like, I was the guy that everyone wanted in their group, because I could do amazing things with PowerPoint. I was that PowerPoint guru that I wasn't going to write the paper, but you wanted me in there because I would make it animate in amazing ways. And that's because PowerPoint was made for people who couldn't cope. And even though there's better solutions in PowerPoint today, it's that same motivation that gets me going with any piece of technology. It's, has it let you do something without having to involve other stakeholders that are just going to slow my team down at the end of the day? And that's why I love Drift. That's why I love a lot of the other parts of our technology stack.

Tricia Gellman: Well, so, how does that play out into how you help to define, like, are you meeting regularly with the product team to lay out features you need in the road map? Or was that how it started in the beginning and now it's more like you're just in touch with the customers and it's more about the CS post- purchase process and being close to the customer?

Randy Frisch: Yeah. I mean, that evolves over time. I remember when we were... I mean, to give perspective, our team's around 150 people right now, and we're hiring a lot, so maybe by the time this airs, we're 180. But we're around 150 now. But, I remember when we were under 10 people and it was me and my cofounder for perspective. My cofounder is a very product- minded individual. He can build stuff in amazing ways that really make it simple for marketers like me. And we would sit around one big table, our team of under 10, and I'd look up and be like," It would be really cool if it could do this." And four hours later, it could do that. I mean, that was the fun stage where you're really iterating in the moment and coming up with these great concepts. As you grow, first of all, that's not the only way to get input into your product. It's not just the founders. You now get to the point where you've got customers, and some of your customers are much more sophisticated even in their go- to market. I mean, think of Drift, think of Uberflip. We're both growing companies that are probably heading to an enterprise size, but if we're serving enterprises, we've got to get their voice into the conversation.

Tricia Gellman: Right.

Randy Frisch: So using things like customer advisory boards, using things like product technology as well that gives us voice of the customer, that's a big part of it, but one of the things I always say is, we've got to listen and understand our customers. That's a big part of our core value. But, at the same time, we always have to remember, it's not just what they're asking for. It's sometimes looking at the things that they're saying and realizing that they're doing things in a broken way and still being disruptive. So those are the areas that I still like to get involved, is push the limit and kind of look and say," Okay, well, they're doing it in this way, but that's kind of broken. How do we make it more efficient?" And that's the part that I like to get still involved in, is to kind of challenge the norms.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. I think and I've seen that with other founders in the past. They've been more like engineering founders, but I think that as a founder, you understand the vision, you understand the underpinning of what's in the technology stack you've built. And then it isn't really just about doing what the customer says they want. It's about understanding the pain and the root of what's happening so you can then evolve your solution to lead people.

Randy Frisch: Yeah. It's like," What are they really trying to do?"

Tricia Gellman: Exactly.

Randy Frisch: And not how are they doing it? But, what is the ultimate goal? I remember one time I was visiting some customers on the West Coast and this was a late stage actually prospect. So I was pulled in to try and help it move along. But I went into this room and didn't say anything. I watched the CMO and two of their senior individuals in a room talking about a workflow. And you just saw the CMO's mind blowing it how broken this workflow was that these two individuals were honestly, they were great and they were just trying to explain how complex what they needed to accomplish was. And it was all this idea of trying to gate a piece of content, build a landing page, finish the content asset. It was like a cart before the horse situation. Do we build the landing page first? Do we finish the content first? And you saw the CMO just realizing how broken this was. And I was sitting there watching the CMO be like," Can you fix this?" Because they had two really bright people, and those are the opportunities, I think, that tech disruption comes in, is looking at something where you've got people hacking away, using technology not built for the purpose, and saying," How do we do this better?"

Tricia Gellman: Yeah, I love that. I think that's the secret sauce of a good founder. So it's interesting that as a CMO, you kind of like, we'll talk later about your storytelling. It's like, you hear this, you see it, you can work with your team to say, like," Hey, guys, what they're saying is one thing, but what they need to solve is the other," and then you can follow it up with the storytelling component to kind of lead everyone in the right direction.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely. And that's the part that's fun to watch companies evolve. Right? I'll be honest, I remember when I first heard about Drift, I was like," We kind of have like chat communication tools already. What's so unique?" But, as you saw your own narrative or your company's narrative evolve, it was like," Yes, you can do that. But what if you can do in a smarter way? What if you can do it without setting the number of rules that you may have set in the background?" That's what over time starts to develop, and you've got to pull people in both to what you can solve for their current pain, but also where you're going and get them to come along to where you're going. That's the fun part.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. Well, on that level, and when we last talked, you talked about how every presentation that you guys do, it starts with this one fundamental slide. And I think, to me, it struck me that this is a way that you're not trying to move the market, but you're trying to move your own employees and make sure that employees are aligned to really deliver on your mission and your vision. So can you tell me about this inspiration for the single slide and how you embedded it in your culture?

Randy Frisch: Yeah, absolutely. So, first the inspiration came from an advisor, one of my advisors very early on. We always surrounded ourselves with people who are smarter than us, and this person definitely was. I'm actually chatting with him tomorrow just to get another tidbit. I don't know what it's going to be, but it will be something good. And we were describing this idea of trying to challenge the norm, and he reminded us of a book that I'd come across earlier in my career called The Innovator's Dilemma. And The Innovator's Dilemma, if you haven't read it, it's a very simple concept that we see all the time of an incumbent solution selling to a buyer that may not be the buyer of the future. So, one of the examples in one of the versions of the book is Blackberry, who was selling their devices to the IT buyer inside of an organization. But as we all know, we were like," I don't want the business to give me my phone. I want to choose my phone. I'm an Android user, or I'm an iPhone user." But there was a point where that disruption was not for sure. It was this idea that there was a shift in the company buying your device to you buying the device. So the incumbent in that case, the Blackberry, was being overtaken by iPhone and Android because they had to solve for this new buyer, new demand. In our case, over at Uberflip, we used that and it's often depicted as a kind of slow growth rate, if you will, for the incumbent, for us and what we sell for. In many cases, that's a CMS. And it's not that there's anything wrong with the CMS. Just like Blackberry was a pretty good capable device, but just as Blackberry didn't have the apps and the cool things that we wanted, the CMS doesn't have some of the things that a marketer wants, right? It's built for a web developer. So meet though this intersecting point where within that you end up seeing the idea that what's important to the marketer end of day, is going to evolve and it will become more front and center. And that's something to your point that we rally our team around. And the idea is that it's not about getting to that inflection point or getting beyond it overnight. It's going to be a process and there's going to be ups and downs along that way. And we have to build functionality and we have to get people on board. And we actually depict that as a rocket ship. So that's crosstalk

Tricia Gellman: I love that. It's like a rocket ship going to a planet, basically.

Randy Frisch: Exactly. We say the moon, right? Going to the moon, this really far off concept is something that's exciting and that we can strive for. I actually was chatting with one of our team members just a couple of weeks ago. And she said when she joined the company just over two years ago, she understood in a way what that meant, but what's exciting to her is that in the two years, she can better understand what the moon is, because we're better painting what the moon looks like. We're better explaining the things that we've done to move from one point across that line to the next point, and what we need to do to get to that true inflection point where someone's coming to us versus their CMS, right out of the gate, versus us having to teach about that disruption. And you take that back to thinking that iPhone and Blackberry, there was a point where you were kind of a rebel to go get the iPhone, right?

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. Well, and you weren't even allowed. If you got the iPhone, you weren't allowed to use it for work because IT people said," No, we're not going to put it on the network. You can't get your email or do anything."

Randy Frisch: Well, I remember there was a point where, and this was actually not that long ago, I mean, Uberflip had been founded. We had employees and had watched this happen at the end of the day. They would take their work phone at like 5: 00, whatever, then shut it off, put it in their bag, and then take out this other phone. And I'd be like," We're fucking paying for that other phone. What is going on there?" Bu you saw that, and I guarantee that there's situations with technology in the same way where the company's probably paying a lot of money for some sort of antiquated solution and someone's turning it off, putting it in their pocket, and they're pulling out this more nimble solution that they've either bought themselves on online or they found some side budget. That's this idea of disruption and that's what's exciting. I think that's what marketers want to do. They want to be in control. They want to be able to be quick, be nimble, and that's what we're trying to play into, but also get to the point where it can be more strategic longer term.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. I think that that's really cool. And I love the Clay Christensen Innovator's Dilemma. I think it's a timeless model. It doesn't matter if it's back in the day of Blackberry and iPhone or today in terms of what you're doing. I think as a CMO, you also have to think, who are the disruptors for me? Even if you're disrupting something else like the CMS, who's going to disrupt you and what does that mean and what does that sort of around the corner thing that you have to look after? One of these things of using this rocket ship to the moon slide to motivate your teams, it kind of plays into this storytelling. And you talked about how one of your superpowers is really storytelling, which goes back to probably why people wanted you to be the person who did the PowerPoints when you were at university. But, talk to me little bit of, you're creating a new category and in order to create that category, you have to tell a story. So, how does that fit together? And what is the love- hate and thing that you're doing in creating this category?

Randy Frisch: Yeah, I love inaudible the way you put it. There's days I wake up and I see someone come out with some sort of PR announcement that they ranked in a Forrester Wave as a leader or a Gartner Magic Quadrant. And I sit there and I'm like," Oh, I just... That looks so easy." I know it's hard because you go through any of those processes submitting for a wave, et cetera. That's hard work, but I'm like just to have something to latch onto, and be the defacto leader, that's exciting. But on the flip side of that, it's also fun to create that. It's a lot of work and there's days where you get a win from it and it all feels worth it. And there's other weeks where you're butting your head around trying to figure out how someone's changing even the acronym that you came up with. We coined the term content experience at Uberflip and I remember early stages, we had this big debate as to, is content experience going to be shortened to a CXP or a CEP? And we're like," Oh, can't do CXP because there's customer experience platforms." And just a few weeks ago, some great research by a group called Aragon came out and they pointed to us as leading in content experience platform. But they're now saying it should be called CXP. And I'm like," Really? Like everyone's confused enough as is. You're just giving me nightmares now." So these little things that you get really passionate about, but you've got to look at the bigger picture, which is really, you're just trying to help provide people guidance on what they're trying to solve for. And to me, there's a lot of things that we do to build a category. I'll give you a few that we've done at Uberflip. One was working... You want to work with the analyst. That's going to take time. So working with even more forward- thinking organizations that get customers involved. So one is the G- 2s and the TrustRadius of the world. I mean, we worked with G- 2 early to create the first content experience grid. And that was really exciting because we helped them come up with some of the criteria. We got some of our competitors even to buy into it, which was crosstalk tricky stuff to do.

Tricia Gellman: inaudible there's still category if it's just you.

Randy Frisch: Exactly. So we did some of that, and a lot of us when we were thinking that category was, it's not enough for us to say this is a category. As you just said, others do, how to inaudible. So competitors. Once you're on G- 2, you've got your customers' voice echoing that every time they put a review and they start to use that terminology. Another bucket that's big that we've done was having a big customer event, and we ultimately learned in, and I called it a customer event originally on purpose because we called it the Uberflip experience. And after a year we had a good turnout, but we're like," No, we need people who haven't bought into Uberflip at this thing." And we changed the event. We invited some of our competitors again to come speak at this type of event. And we called it the content experience event. So little things like that, even getting to the point where I wrote a book that became a best seller on Amazon and really stripping Uberflip out of it to make it more of a concept that people could relate to, regardless of where they were in their tech purchase.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah, I think that that's great. And I think it plays back. I mean, what you're talking about is different ways to tell the story, right? So you're telling the story of what's needed, why, what's happening with this transition to content experience in an event. You're telling it in the other activities that you're talking about in the book. And that, I think, is a key thing to think about when you're building a category, because I think that's a big debate. We've had multiple guests on CMO Conversations talking about category creation, but everybody has this debate. Do you need to create a category? Or can you just be successful in putting a unique solution out in the market without creating a category?

Randy Frisch: It's a good question. I think what really helps is sometimes just framing it for your buyer, right? What we have to keep in mind is that unless you're truly selling to the C- level on every deal, which, I'll be honest, we don't. We often get a champion on at the right point, but who is at that executive level? But you need that person to be able to go to their CMO, to bring them in and say, or whatever seat level it is that you're selling into, and say that," This is why we need this. And it's not just that it solves this problem. It's that, here's research on it. Here's the category leader in it. I've done research and these are the other players that are going into it." We know that anytime we're selling, there's going to be other solutions that are being looked at, and I want good competitors in there. I took a call with a prospect just last week on behalf of our sales team, and they were looking at some really small rinky- dinky knock- off of what we do. And this is an enterprise. This is a company that's really scaled. I think this company was going to sell for maybe 10% of what our ECV was. And I looked at this product and I was like," Listen, it's a nice copy, but for that price, even, they're not going to be able to support this enterprise." So I went on the call and my point was to get her not to buy this other solution, but I told her," If you're not going to buy from us, buy from some of our competitors." And I told her who some of our legitimate competitors were, because my point there was, we also want people to have reference to companies that are doing this well, that are actually helping to solve for the problems.

Tricia Gellman: I love that. I mean, I love that sort of leader play of just being strong in your solution and putting out there the competition and others, because you feel confident that if people understand the true problem they're solving and why they would need your solution, then it's going to come back to you.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. Well, so, I think that that's really motivating that you're involved in the product development. You're listening to the customers in the prospects cycle. You're listening to customers as they're the customers, you're motivating your team with this to the moon and back kind of mentality that you talk about all the time. Let's talk a little bit more about how you're motivating your team. You talked about this analogy of the rocket ship to the moon, but then you also talked about how you're taking that into an awards framework, even within marketing.

Randy Frisch: Sure. Yeah. And that's relatively new and something I think people really bought into, though, so it's exciting. So, first, back to storytelling. I believe it's all about consistency. You find something that works. You don't have to reinvent it all over the place. In fact, when you do, it becomes confusing both to your internal stakeholders and even more so to your buyers or external stakeholders. Because, remember, they're only getting a glimpse of you so often, so they need consistency. They need to hear that thing seven times to really have it stick. So one of the things that we do is take some of these ideas internally, like the vision to the moon, and this Innovator's Dilemma, and we try and trickle it into everything that we do. So it's a rocket ship heading to the moon. We talk a lot and we're building to our goal- setting structures. We use a structure called V2MOM to do our goal setting. It's very much baked into the methods that is part of V2MOM. The newest thing that you hit on that we're doing with the marketing team is actually having awards that also tie to this. And this is fine. I mean, we've had awards that we give out quarterly company- wide that tied to our core values for some time. But when we get it in the marketing team, we wanted to remind them what we're after. We after getting to the moon. We're after that big inflection point. And so what we did was we came up with different awards. We've got five awards. I'm not going to nail all the names, but right now, off the top of my tongue. But they're all revolving around the impact that our marketing team is having as a team, but also on the rest of the company. One of them is the Comet award, which is all about ROI. So the comment ties back to that analogy of getting to the moon. But another one that we have is not just being nominated by marketers to nominate other marketers, but we actually loop in both the CS team and the sales team in different awards. So my favorite name by far is the Big Dipper award, just because, who doesn't love the Big Dipper when you find it? And the Big Dipper award is that idea of scooping in and helping on the customer side. And I think more than ever, marketers in the last maybe 12 months since the pandemic took off, have realized the importance of helping not just the acquisition side, but the retention side of the crosstalk equation. And it's something that we're excited about to make sure that our team is recognized, and also that we give an opportunity for our CS org to really say," This is someone who's helping me." And it's gone a long way to helping the customer at the end of the day.

Tricia Gellman: I love that. So talk to me a little bit more, because I'm a really big believer that marketing needs to be the hub of the company. Marketing is helping to define the brand and trying to put the brand out there, but you can't have a great brand if every CS experience, every sales experience, every experience with the product, is crappy because all those things contribute to the brand, too. So marketing has to be involved in that as well as, like you said, in the pandemic, I think, every marketer started to realize, success isn't about new business revenue. If every person that comes in is falling out the bottom of the funnel, it's not success for the company. So, really, this hub concept is important to me because you need to help with the people team so that your team understands how to represent the brand. You need to help with CS because you need that post- purchase experience to be awesome. And you need to help with new business because you need to make sure that you're helping to drive this engine in this flywheel. How do you guys look at those relationships? Because you have awards for it, but what's the expectation for the team?

Randy Frisch: Absolutely. First off, this is important to me, both in terms of how we execute internally, but it also, ironically, is so core to our beliefs and what Uberflip was built to accomplish. I, like you, I believe that marketing has got to, whether you call it the hub or really set the tone in some sort of way, I believe that storytelling messaging starts at marketing. It's on marketing to build a story that everyone can buy into. And the problem is when we don't, or we don't do a good job at trickling that down, you end up with what I just called broken telephone syndrome. We see it all the time where marketing has some sort of story, but by the time a BDR gets it, they're like," Oh, well, I'm going to tweak it a bit." And then you have a second BDR on your team who takes BDR one's version and says," Well, I'm going to put my spin." And like seven BDRs and three years later, the marketer hears the pitch, and they're like," We're selling what?" Your head spins and you just get so frustrated in that moment, but that's because we're not doing a good job at owning messaging and trickling it down. And the problem there, I think, really comes down to content as a whole. And that doesn't mean that marketing's got to be the protector and police and own everything, and sales can't do anything, or CS can't do anything. It's more we have to empower. I have this great slide that I show that shows a typical Slack conversation in any organization, because some companies are like," No. No, no, we've got a great channel that people jump into with Teams or Slack or whatever you might use." You've got this one marketer named Katie, and Katie's there to arm people with the content of the stories that they need. But as your company scales and grows, as great as Katie may be, as much as Katie may want to help, she replies," No problem. I've got you." The next ask comes in because these days we're all invested in strategies like IBM, where it's all one- to- one. So, like, what we supplied before doesn't work for the IBM account you're trying to land, or the Amazon account you're trying to land. So every minute Katie's trying to adapt, that just doesn't scale. So my belief is, marketing's got to set that tone, but then we've got to arm these other parts of the organization to people that access and personalize and customize that story, case by case. That's a real challenge for a lot of organizations. It's stuff that I've seen in our own company. It's not like we've got this down, right? We've learned, we've seen the ways it breaks, but that's stuff that we're also trying to solve through technology. It's part of the belief that Uberflip has empowered that. I know there's some great tools out there to just directly empower sales or directly empower CS. I get concerned though with some of those, because they're going to go and craft their own unique story if it starts there. So I believe it's got to trickle from marketing.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. I think that that's really interesting. I think a lot of marketers pride themselves, let's say, on creating this category and then doing the things to market into the category, but maybe the sales organization or the CS organization isn't really bought in. So how do you... You just said, success is when the sales team is actually following along on the story, right? If you have them changing everything along the way so that in the end the version they're telling in the market is not what you expected, that's a failure, really. But I think that's a lot of work that you have to do probably from CMO level down. How are you really bringing along the CS and the sales organizations in your story to make sure that as a company you have this unified story that is trying to change the world?

Randy Frisch: Absolutely. No, it's a great point. I think that's where you need that alignment with sales leadership, not just the VP of sales, but the sales directors as well. Take as an example some of our strategy and those of other marketers they speak to. More of the company- wide messaging you may be speaking to the general problem, the disruption, like we talked about earlier, but as you start to focus more say on a segment or a vertical, now you're going to adjust that story. And what we don't want is, at that stage, is necessarily for sales to go and say," Okay, well, this is how this applies to healthcare." And if you're a healthcare selling company, that's one thing. But if you're segmenting and going after healthcare, you need to start to put marketing horsepower behind that as well, and not just say," Okay, well, sales, you should figure that out." Now, in some cases you need to allow some freedom, right? But once you start to create enough of these vertical focuses, then you provide that blueprint for the person who's maybe selling to your SMB or commercial group to go on and say," Okay, well, I've seen what they've done for healthcare. I can figure out what to do to these other niches based on that." So you start to create that, and I would say that until you get to that point where you can support that, you really want to try and stick to a consistent narrative. Even though we want to truly customize, we just stay consistent because that's going to trickle down to the voice of the customer we spoke to earlier, even on sites like G- 2. One of the things that kills me is when we have someone do a G- 2 review and it doesn't use the language that we're trying to set for what we do. And that's not the customer's fault, but it's our miss in educating and getting them to buy into this bigger vision. Now, when there's changes as well, we should catch on to that and we should figure out if we have to adjust. Because this idea in wrapping that up of, how do we take this high- level thought all the way at the beginning, ensure that at every stage it is consistent or it's something that we're comfortable with how it evolves, all the way down to that ultimate end point, which is a customer referral.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. I love that because I've seen that repeatedly. I mean, you think that you have a story, you think you talk about the problem in one way, you think you talk about what you're doing in one way. And then everybody goes off and talks about like," Oh, I love Uberflip because they do this thing." And you're like," We do that thing? No, we don't do that thing. We do so much more." I mean, that's I think what happened with Drift, is like we started conversational marketing to help people create more leads. And it's great. Conversational marketing is great at creating leads, but at the end of the day, marketers need to do more than create leads. And so we ended up having to reframe the conversation because we wanted to make sure everybody understood, it's not about the leads. It's about the leads that make it to revenue and that you're much more efficient in terms of what you're doing. So you don't have 5, 000 leads and 5, 000 conversations happening with your sales org. What you have is the right conversations with the right people.

Randy Frisch: It's interesting. So, about a year- and- a- half ago, we were interviewing a board member, and she was a CMO of a very large organization. I can't say which one. We didn't bring her on this, at the inaudible right now. So because of that, she had gotten to the point that she had done some demos, she understood what we did. And we were out for lunch, actually the serious decisions event. And she said to me, she goes," I got to tell you, I'm so wowed by what you guys can do. But I checked with someone on my team who used you four years ago, and they see you as such a narrow solution for the following." And it was actually like, we used to solve for resource centers was like our only sweet spot, or really anything that we did. She's like," But what about all these other use cases? She doesn't even know you do that." And it was this moment where I was sitting there with my founder. We were both out for lunch with this woman, and we realized that we had to evolve what our story was, not just with the current buyer, but everyone who's out there. And I think that happens with a lot of disruptive tech companies. Drift, you talked about the evolution that you've had to go through. The thing we have to remember, especially if you're a part of one of these disruptive companies, is what your product does is changing so quickly. I mean, you're evolving, you're building. So your story on day one has evolved if you're a year in or even more so, 10 years in. You've got to make sure that the person who got to use your platform 10 years ago understands these are the modern day capabilities. This is the modern day story. And that comes back to this idea of the responsibility of marketing to work with customers, to even work with... I always say, it's not so much the customer lifetime value. It's our contact lifetime value, right? That contact will move on into different organizations, and crosstalk

Tricia Gellman: Yeah, and that's super powerful, especially every single one of hyper- growth companies because there's a lot of movement within the teams.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. Well, that's really interesting, and I love the fact that the storytelling really plays through everything. It plays through how you're telling the new story, how you're evolving your story. But then also I love this idea that you really need to partner with your CS organization. You need to be connected to the customers because the customer is signed up for one thing and, hopefully, you take them on this journey and they're just wowed all the time.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely. Yeah. That's the idea. You want someone to be bought in at every single stage and you got to think about what's going to resonate with them. I mean, we hear these cliches of right content, right person, right time. But it's so true. I mean, that's our lives, right? We turn on Netflix. My Netflix is probably playing in the other room with my kids right now. I mean, they get the right content to them at the right time of day. It's so nailed. And that's the experience we have to create in marketing.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. And I think that's our vision at Drift. We've been talking with you about how do we actually do this? Because I think that's where the digital transformations that have been happening during the pandemic, really point out that so many CMOs think of their website as just like a static place that they sort of like set it and forget it. And you really have to be committed, I think, to the storytelling through your site, and also like you're saying, the right content at the right time.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. I love that. Okay. Well, so we're almost out of time. This conversation has been so great. I like to close out my show with one question and hopefully we brief this with you because sometimes people-

Randy Frisch: I know it's coming. I'm ready. I'm ready.

Tricia Gellman: Okay, you're ready. You're ready. So, I like to close out the show with this consistent question, and that question is, what is the most important marketing lesson that you feel you've learned in your career?

Randy Frisch: Sure. So as you said, I'm an interesting flavor of marketer, right? You led that off, so-

Tricia Gellman: Full flavor.

Randy Frisch: ...flavor. Yes. So my approach is very simple. It's, I want to want to buy what I'm selling, plain and simple. So one of the things that I do all the time with my team is, I'm like," Send me our marketing. I want to get our marketing," whether that's the latest email drip, I want to get dripped it in the same way that we're going to send it to someone else. If we're sending out a really cool direct mail, a gimmicky type of situation, send it to me. I want to get it. I want to see what that unboxing experience is. And when I do this, I often will record that unboxing, or I will take screencaps of exactly how that email came to me, or how I saw that ad served to me. And it allows me to not necessarily go back and critique, but really just decide, did it stand out? Was it sent in a way inside of my inbox with all my other messages that stood out relative to what came to me in that moment? So I think that's my advice to people is, subscribe to your own marketing. And if it stands out to you, then you've got a good chance it's going to stand out to your buyer.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. I mean, I think that that's even more critical today because I think the world has become so noisy while we work from home and we have our kids in the next room and we have the opportunity to pop in and out of a Netflix show for 30 minutes and everything else that is happening. I mean, it's really evolved people's expectations, but also, if you have marketing that is not standing out, then people are just going to skim over it.

Randy Frisch: Absolutely.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for participating in CMO Conversations. How can people connect with you? Are you active in LinkedIn? And do you take new contacts and followers and engage there? Or is it Twitter? What's your best way for people to continue the conversation with you?

Randy Frisch: Yeah, sure. If you want to directly connect with me, LinkedIn is best. That's where I'm probably most active posting content and ideas. If you want to tune in with me as well, like you, I get to chat with CMOs on a weekly basis. I think we're going to get you onboard, too, onto the marketer's journey. So lots of sharing, lots to learn from other marketers.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. That's excellent. I love that you have your own CMO communications and that you're sharing your own point of view in terms of the marketer's journey. So I encourage people to reach out and reach out to you in LinkedIn, but then also subscribe to your podcast and to really start to listen to the point of view you have of, where are we going with this sort of content at the right time to the right place, the right people, because I personally believe it's a big thing that we need to think about as marketers.

Randy Frisch: Thanks so much, Tricia. Thanks for having me.

Tricia Gellman: Yeah. Well, thank you everyone for listening. If you liked this episode, please go to wherever it is that you get your podcasts and give us a six- star review. We want to understand what do you think about the podcast series. We're now delivering things in video. So there's a lot of feedback that you can give. Also reach out to me in LinkedIn. I'm happy to hear about CMOs and topics that you would love to hear me talk to visitors about. There's so much complexity to the role of a CMO and really the changes that are happening in marketing today. That's the point of this podcast, and hopefully through your input we can continue to cover the full realm of what's happening in marketing as we all continue to evolve in this world of marketing, sales and revenue. Thank you so much, and look forward to our next episode.

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