July 8, 2021

Climbing From B2B Startup to B2B Scaleup

Transitioning from startup to scaleup sure does come with its growing pains. Marketing teams are stretched as they recruit for new and necessary functions, systemize demand gen efforts, and update their brand story in the market. Add in a global pandemic, a team spread across nine time zones, and a competitive labor market and you’ve got yourself an immense challenge.

For Bynder CMO Andrew Hally, this is not his first rodeo. Bringing in lessons learned from scaling up at Allego, Andrew shares how his team adapted to advance the brand’s growth phase in style. This is a fascinating episode about the marketing strategy behind two different scaleups, as well as why leading starts with listening and how to optimize intent signals in your category. Don’t miss it!

What You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Lessons learned from scaling up Allego and Bynder
  • How to scale up marketing teams and demand gen efforts
  • How Bynder adapted post-COVID

Renegade Thinkers Unite, Episode 248 on YouTube

Resources Mentioned

Time-Stamped Highlights

  • [0:27] Scaling Up Allego’s Marketing Team
  • [9:41] Systemizing Allego’s Marketing Operations
  • [14:07] The Challenges Behind Allego’s Scaleup
  • [17:27] The Value of Listening in the First 90 Days
  • [21:04] Scaling Up Demand Generation and Intent Signals at Bynder
  • [31:05] How Bynder Adapted Post-COVID
  • [37:40] Andrew Hally’s Scaleup Dos and Don’ts

Transcript Highlights: Drew Neisser in conversation with Andrew Hally

[0:27] Scaling Up Allego’s Marketing Team

“That's another common thing I see when I’ve gone into some scaleup situations, that the product marketing function hasn't really been built yet.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: Hello, Renegade Thinkers! If you’re a regular listener, you know this show is essentially a chronicling of the CMO journey. The remarkably challenging CMO journey.

What’s amazing to me is that even after 247 episodes, there are still variations of that journey that we are yet to cover. For example, one journey we haven’t explored with any depth is that pivotal transition from startup to scaleup and the critical skills needed to make that happen.

Well, it just so happens that our guest today, Andrew Hally has been in that situation twice, first as the CMO of Allego and more recently as the CMO of Bynder. With that, let’s get to it. Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Hally: Thanks, Drew. It’s great to be here.

Drew Neisser: First of all, how are you?

Andrew Hally: I’m warm. It’s a heatwave here on the East and yeah, I’m warm but good.

Drew Neisser: All right, and where are you?

Andrew Hally: I’m up in Vermont working remotely. It’s lovely up here even if it’s a bit warm today.

Drew Neisser: Yes, well there are worse places to spend the summer. Before we get to your experience at Bynder, let’s talk about some of the things that you learned about scaling up at Allego. What was the situation like when you got there?

Andrew Hally: Sure, well, Allego is a sales training and enablement platform. It was a really interesting situation in that this was a case of really category establishment, right? There wasn’t really a category yet for that.

Allego, though, thanks to Yuchun Lee and Mark Magnacca, the founders, had really found an important niche and was having customer success. That critical product-market fit was there. Customers across medical device, technology, and other industries, financial services, were really seeing a lot of value, yet it was still very much a missionary sale.

There was no category. You couldn’t say, “Oh yeah, we’re Allego. We do this.” You had to explain it. But the clear success for the customers was there and that’s that most critical foundation that you need when you’re trying to scale up a company.

Drew Neisser: Right, so the good news is you have a product or service that is going to get some traction. In this case, you described this situation as, “Okay, we’re kind of creating a new category.” That has its own things—we’ve done a lot of episodes on category creation here.

But let’s fast forward. So, 32 months later, when you left Allego what had changed? And if it’s everything, let’s take it one by one. From a marketing standpoint, what were some of the key things that changed, and let’s go through them one by one.

Andrew Hally: You bet. Well, one thing is, we had different people on the bus. It’s a natural transition people-wise from that startup into that growth phase. On the one hand, sometimes that can be hard, but on the other hand, it’s often a very good thing. You find people just thrive or appreciate different stages of a company.

First of all, we brought in different sets of people on demand gen, on marketing operations. It was a new function that, really, you have to have for that scaleup phase. And then another thing that we started to build out is product marketing. We didn’t really have that. That’s another common thing I see when I’ve gone into some scaleup situations, that the product marketing function hasn’t really been built yet. The key thing I would say is, first of all, different set of people on the bus.

Drew Neisser: Let’s break that down a little bit because those are really three different types of people demand gen, marketing ops, and product marketing. Particularly right now, it is very challenging to get people in any of those three areas, but particularly marketing ops and product marketing.

What did you look for in those people and how did you make them see, “Hey, we’re going from startup to this scaleup, and this is really exciting!” What kind of carrots and promises do you put out there for this growth stage?

Andrew Hally: Well, as you know, Drew, this might be the question. I wish I could really say I cracked the code. I’ll tell you some of the things that were helpful at the time—and you’re right, it was super challenging.

So, one thing we had the benefit of at Allego is we had a nice network of people who had worked with us at previous companies, in particular, a marketing automation company that Yuchun had started called Unica that we built into a public company before it got acquired by IBM.

That was just a great situation. Carol Meyers, who’s been on your show, she was the CMO there and just really built a great, high-performing team. We were able to draw on that network, in part, to help fill some roles.

We also got one hire in through a referral, which is always great. So, if people are happy in their job, the referral was a situation. And then I was really fortunate that we had an intern in the house, a gentleman named Jake who was just doing a great job. I just immediately could tell that he had real talent as a product marketer, so we grabbed him as a full-time hire for that initial product marketing role which worked out really well.

The thing that, as we were hiring, I would really sell was the founding team, in particular, Yuchun as a proven entrepreneur who had built big successful companies as well as the interest of the space. Front office, selling to sales, selling to marketing is a lot of fun. And then, of course, the opportunity. It’s a real unmet need here and real potential to deliver a lot of value and potentially make a lot of money.

Drew Neisser: There are a couple of things that you said I want to put punctuation points on. First, this is, I think, one of the critical things for CMOs—and this is something for you junior marketers—think about your network now. Start building that network of who do you want to bring along with you.

One of the real signs of a good CMO from a great CMO is how many people want to work with them at their next company. It’s not just being the nicest boss, but it is thinking about how you are developing your people today so they can be their whole selves and be their best selves and want to and recognize your skill as a leader who can provide air cover and all these wonderful things that great leaders do in marketing in particular.

So, build that network because, when you go to your next job, you’re going to need to fill them and wouldn’t it be great if a bunch of people wanted to come with you? Your ex-boss may not like you for that, but that’s okay.

Andrew Hally: The second thing you said, Drew, the second thing you said is just so critical. You’re helping your people grow.

That’s self-interest because, again, if you’re in the scaleup stage, your company’s growing, people are going to be having to do more, so you need your people to be growing so that they can grow their span of control. But at the same time, personal growth, I find, is probably the number one thing people really care about.

Assume reasonably competitive salaries and assume that someone’s manager isn’t a jerk. Beyond that, really just am I growing and doing more new interesting things? I think that second part you said is just as critical as keeping the network going.

Drew Neisser: Yeah, and particularly that is one of the things that a scaleup—we’ve started up, we’ve done pretty well, we’ve got proof of concept, we’ve got real customers, but now it’s like, how do we get to 100 to 200 to 300 people and $100 million ARR and all those good things?

Well, that really requires everybody to both buy in and recognize that, “Whoa, I’m going to grow fast. I’m going to be doing things I may not know how to do. I’m going to have to wear a lot of hats.” That’s a very strong part of that world.

I love Jake the Intern. Cool. We need more of those. it’s interesting, I hadn’t really thought about how getting a chance to work with founders is an interesting part of that.

[9:41] Systematizing Allego’s Marketing Operations

“You're never going to go wrong by having a ‘no lead left behind’ mentality.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: In terms of demand gen versus marketing ops versus product ops, were there any differences in terms of being able to build those teams and what you were looking to do in the case of Allego?

Andrew Hally: The first vision that comes to mind is just getting a handle on it. A lot of good work was getting done as I mentioned before, but to take it to that proverbial next level required just another step of systemization.

One thing I think about during that scaleup phase is you’re trying to systematize excellence, right, but at the right pace. You don’t want to bring in something systematic too early because then you’re kind of bureaucratic and maybe you’re quashing things or maybe you haven’t really figured it out well enough to know what to systematize.

With the case of Allego, one thing we did is just really get the systems in place. We also brought onboard a sales enablement manager who was a partner with marketing ops—I should say a sales operations manager—who was a partner to really get that marketing into sales lead flow much more systematic.

Adele and I found I want to say, 2,000 leads that just had fallen on the floor. I think when one of your listeners takes on that first VP of marketing, that first CMO role, and it’s that scaleup situation, one, you’re never going to go wrong by having a “no lead left behind” mentality. Go find all the leads that have fallen on the floor and get those things in the pipeline, get those things followed up. That right there is almost always going to deliver some incremental value. It’s not additional spend; it’s going to deliver some extra pipeline. And that’s always a concern.

Drew Neisser: Yeah, well what it just reminds me of it is, as you’re buying time as a new CMO, look for those quick wins. Finding leads on the floor, not leaving them behind makes a lot of sense.

So, we’ve got the right people on the bus, now you’re starting to talk about systemizing. I’m imagining that we’re also having to scale up the technology that you might have had as a startup where it’s Band-Aids to a more sophisticated system. Was that Part Two of this thing after getting the right people on the bus?

Andrew Hally: We did. Yes, some of it was a lot of Salesforce work and just having the right account hierarchies. That turned out to be really important. Allego delivers just outsized value in markets where it’s a high-value sale—so medical devices, technology, financial services—and there’s a finite universe there. But sometimes, these are big companies with lots of divisions, so we had to get that account hierarchy in place so that we could tell that this was a division of that.

That’s not something you want to be worried about when you’re in that startup phase. But once you’ve got enough customers that you want to be selling back into that base expanding into other divisions, that’s something that, again, I’ve seen that now multiple times that we’ve had to tackle.

The other is on the website side also. We had to up-level the site and some of the technology behind that to bring in intent, to be able to customize the site more, and to up-level the analytics really some more I think there it was a lot of kind of up-leveling the analytics. And then bringing in technology to help build out that database.

Once we realized we had some really strong target industries to go after, we wanted to build out the addressable market so that we could partner up with the BDR team. That’s the other thing we were doing at the same time, building a BDR team to be able to go out to the market proactively. But they need a database of accounts and contacts, so we brought in some of the data tools to enable that to happen.

[14:07] The Challenges Behind Allego’s Scaleup

“We didn't see the inbound search performance that we'd hope to see, and I think that’s related to being in process with establishing the category.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: As I’m thinking about this, and that we can talk about it—it’s easier to talk about things that didn’t work. Were there some things that you tried at Allego that just didn’t work?

Andrew Hally: No doubt. I don’t try to, but those somehow find a way of falling out of my memory. But definitely, I mean, hiring was tough and slow. We didn’t always have the folks that we wanted to keep up ahead of the Salesforce.

We expanded into the mid-market and that took a while. The buying was quite different there, so we really broke our drill bit on that rock for a little while. Let’s see… it was also… we didn’t see the inbound search performance that we’d hope to see, and I think that’s related to being in process with establishing the category.

We hadn’t yet figured out, what is it, when people have the pain that we can solve, what are they doing to go find solutions? That digital marketing, I didn’t get that cranking the way it usually should and that I’m sure by now it is.

Drew Neisser: Before we take a break, as you think about that experience in the context of what you were about to take on at Bynder, what do you think your key learnings from Allego were as you entered Bynder?

Andrew Hally: I definitely think that people thing was a key one. Just being real good about bringing the right people in, but also you’ve got to know when something’s not a fit.

I think I’m like most CMOs in that I’m really a glass-half-full person. You always are thinking, “Oh, I can work with this person right and help them and grow them in if they’re not seeing some success.”

I think, in some cases there, we had a couple of folks who just weren’t quite a fit and I was able to really do that. I think being more objective about who’s a fit for a role or not is a lesson that I took from Allego.

Show Break

Drew Neisser: We’re going to take a break and if you don’t mind, I’d like to plug CMO Huddles for a second. Launched in 2020, CMO Huddles is an invitation-only subscription service that brings together an elite group of CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness. One CMO described Huddles as timely conversations with smart peers in a trusted environment while another called it a cross between an expert workshop and a therapy session. If you’re a B2B CMO that can share and care with the best of them, hey, visit cmohuddles.com and ask us for a guest pass.

[17:27] The Value of Listening in the First 90 Days

“We needed to break down those silos, as always grow demand generation, and then eventually to give the brand an update.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: September 2019, you arrive at Bynder. What was your mandate?

Andrew Hally: The first mandate was to actually just be a leader. The company Bynder had been through an acquisition, another acquisition that didn’t come to pass where some leadership hires didn’t come through because they thought it was going to come as part of the agreement.

There was a little bit of a vacuum and, at some level, Drew, just showing up was a bit of a victory. Just being able to be that person that the teams could work with and communicate through. So, first of all, just be there and be present.

A second mission was to start breaking down some of the silos that had occurred due to the history of the company. It’s a broadly dispersed team across nine time zones with a big contingent in Europe and another big contingent in Boston and San Mateo. You combine that breadth with a while without a leader, some silos had really built up.

So, we needed to break down those silos, as always grow demand generation, and then eventually to give the brand an update. That’s another thing I’ve seen a couple of times right when you go into a startup to scaleup situation—that brand and positioning that worked really well as a startup, that starts to run out of gas and you need that second stage rocket engine to really get into orbit.

Drew Neisser: Let’s break these down one at a time. How do you break down silos? Nine time zones? And this is of course right before COVID, so we’re still all working in offices, but we’re remote. What kinds of things specific [inaudible] silos?

Andrew Hally: Well, one was a lot of listening. I did one-on-ones with all 35 or so people on the team and really just listened. That provided my data set. Also, I just sat in on every meeting that happened, so I did just do a lot of listening, which for me isn’t easy, so it took a little discipline.

But I really listened. I got a long line of notes and from that, I started to see where I thought some of the breakdowns were. I formalized a marketing management team meeting on a weekly basis and I worked with that team to optimize the value of an hour spent together and when we could have that.

Then, again, to the people dimension. Just getting the right people in the right roles, I was so lucky that there’s just such strength on this team. Sometimes in the more junior roles, sometimes it was promoting some people into having more responsibility. There was such a wealth of talent at the organization. Getting the right people who were natural communicators and then just getting them starting to set the patterns after listening to them.

Drew Neisser: Always good to listen. Sometimes I find that there’s not enough of that and sometimes I’ll see a CMO go in and have all the answers within two weeks and say, “Really? Interesting. That’s impressive!”

[21:04] Scaling Up Demand Generation and Intent Signals at Bynder

“You're always looking to test different things and squeeze out another 1%, 2% of conversion.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: After you’ve done the listening, the next thing was to build demand generation and get that up and running. What was the situation like when you first arrived?

Andrew Hally: You bet. I was very fortunate in that Bynder, in the original startup phase, really built a great brand presence within the creative community. Digital asset management (DAM), the core, initial set of users are the creative team, so they built a strong brand especially in Europe. There was a healthy foundation here to start with, which was great.

There was a lot of inbound demand. DAM is an established category, so unlike Allego, we could spend on Google AdWords, on review sites, those sorts of things. The places where buyers go to find out about platforms, so that was already working fairly strongly.

The thing that we started to add is to complement that, again, with a more systematic outbound capability. There are six or seven verticals, five verticals that we’re very strong in reach, and a set of geographies, and starting to build out a database so that we could have a proactive component to marketing as well.

Drew Neisser: I’m going back to the nine time zones and I’m trying to remember, no matter when you schedule it, I’m imagining that your stand-up meetings with your team, somebody is up in the middle of the night or somebody up at the crack of dawn. How have you worked that out?

Andrew Hally: Well, there’s this one- or two-hour window when it’s okay for just about everybody to be online. That is such an incredibly crowded window and meetings in there are always getting stepped on.

But we’re able to formalize one or two spots during the week with the marketing managers and then the whole team could get together and it’s within that 9, 10 am East Coast time.

I noticed that everyone’s schedules evolved a little bit. I get up earlier and I’m working 5:30 am so I maximize that overlap with the team in Europe. I think the team in Europe probably shifted their work a little bit later and then our folks out of the San Mateo office, yeah, they had the roughest go of it. They almost always had a cup of coffee in their hands whenever we had our meetings, but we found a couple slots and those are fairly sacrosanct and that’s been enough.

Then we just—we work offline. Slack, Google Docs… There was no way around that which I’ll tell you put us in a pretty lucky spot when COVID hit, and everything got locked down and we couldn’t be in person. We already were having to work in a distributed away just being across nine time zones.

Drew Neisser: Before we get to brand, let’s just talk about the demand gen. You were talking about how you were lucky that you had this foundation and one group, and there was a category that existed.

What is it that you focused on? So we’ll talk about the verticals, for example, and how you evolved what you were doing in that area?

Andrew Hally: So, some good analytical work before I got there had established five industries really had an outsized propensity to buy and ability to pay, so things like consumer brands as our strongest; technology, high tech; industrial brands; sub-segments of healthcare; and sub-segments of financial services.

Also, there are other strong verticals outside of that, but those are the ones that were really our strongest for us. We were able to rally around those and partner with the sales team who, as at Allego, in concert started really formalizing and building the BDR team as we built a database as well as joint motions to proactively prospect into these attractive verticals.

I’ll tell you another thing that’s a real winner for us. Again, because we’re an established category, it’s intent and getting intent signals. We’ve piloted that. That works very well and we’re rolling that out more robustly internationally.

Drew Neisser: Just in case my dad’s listening, BDRs are brand development reps?

Andrew Hally: Business development reps, yes.

Drew Neisser: These are folks that follow up on inbound leads, maybe send them an email, sometimes make a phone call, whatever it is. They are the ones who decide and help a prospect to become a qualified lead.

Andrew Hally: Exactly. Just such a critical role in this whole process.

Drew Neisser: And then this motion is a notion of what are the steps that you go to in order to get a suspect to a prospect to a sales qualified lead. Let’s talk about intent signals for a second—are you using technology to help you identify those?

Andrew Hally: Yes, we started off by piloting intent from a couple of the review sites. People like Software Advice, G2, Capterra, where if you’re a marketing leader or creative team leader and you have an issue with your digital assets and need to get that under control, people just go to these review sites.

They can go to these sites, and they can reach out to you directly and you can get a sourced lead from them, but also, if they don’t go that far, you can get some insight into organizations that might be starting a buying process. That just can help inform your process either if you can implement outbound programs to take advantage of that—now you don’t know who it was, but if you’ve got a good database and BDR function, you’ve been mapping the account, you know who you’re buying personas are, and you can do some outreach to them.

You can do highly targeted social media advertising to just get that brand out there and just be engaging during that buying process and try and tilt the field in your favor a little ahead of time.

Drew Neisser: It’s funny, so when it comes to working with those sites, are there any things that you’ve learned that help you both maximize the conversion right there, so they do say, “Hey, click to see demo” or something like that while they’re on the site. And/or anything you’ve learned in terms of following up. I mean, it feels like a perfect opportunity for programmatic if you actually can figure out at least where they are, what company they’re at.

Andrew Hally: Right, so I would say on the first, it’s just classic testing and optimization. Our head of digital, Leonie, just does a great job with that. Maybe six months ago, we tested a new set of landing pages for Capterra, which is a great source for us. You’re always looking to test different things and squeeze out another 1%, 2% of conversion.

She also tests varying the spend levels. Is it worth paying extra to get up to the very top or is it the better ROI on second and third? Then there are different categories. These vendors have an interest in having as many software categories as possible, so they come up with these new ones and you’re like, “Is anyone really going there?” We’ll test the new categories.

So, kind of classic testing there on how you get them to click and reach out to you. On the follow-up, I think here’s where it helps to be building out that database. We should know every business that is a consumer brand in the US with more than 500 people. We should be able to have 95% of that. That’s a finite number even if it’s a large number.

So, if you’ve got that and you’ve done some sort of mapping to try and find out your key personas—CMO, Head of Creative, Head of Digital—then when the company comes in, there’s actually a decent chance you might already have talked to them at one point. If you’re able to reach out to them, you can.

Now one thing we do learn and it’s kind of obvious—I don’t think this is any great breaking news here—you don’t want to be obvious about it. You don’t want to say, “Hey, we were spying on you, and we know you were looking at software.” You just want to reach out and be present and be top of mind as they get their process going.

Drew Neisser: Right, maybe follow them around the Internet a little bit.

Andrew Hally: Everyone loves that. [Laughter]

Drew Neisser: “Not to be creepy but… remember us? We’re the guys you visited while you were at Capterra.” Just kidding. You’re not going to do.

I love that—you know, it’s funny, when you said intent data, I immediately thought of platforms like 6sense and others that are really getting into that space and doing this ABM that you’re starting to describe. Did you move beyond that and have you adopted one of those type tools?

Andrew Hally: In process, Drew. You’re exactly right.

[31:05] How Bynder Adapted Post-COVID

“We actually transitioned into a more formal sprint style, agile style of working.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: You mentioned after we built the demand generation, the next thing up was brand. At what point in your Bynder journey, did you start to look to do a brand refresh?

Andrew Hally: That was going to be a key project for Q2 of 2020 but, as you may recall, some things happened that kind of scrambled our eggs.

Drew Neisser: Q2 2020, so in other words, you put that on hold and still have yet to address that?

Andrew Hally: We did put it on hold. Again, I’m not alone amongst marketers where the first thing when something as disruptive as the pandemic happens is you kind of pause to see what’s going to happen.

We trimmed back the marketing spend a little bit, again, not knowing really what was going to happen. And put the brand update on hold, not so much because of the spin but because this had the look of something so disruptive it could actually impact the way you want to talk about your company.

And then also, it turned out there’s a lot of really important and interesting things to do with our customers in the short term. We marketed to marketers and we were kind of in the same boat as our customers. We actually transitioned into a more formal sprint style, agile style of working.

We weren’t using agile before that, but things were moving so fast. We moved to an agile footing and every three weeks we put out a new—I don’t know if I would call it a campaign—but a new set of content, sometimes a campaign, an initiative, based on what we were hearing from Bynder’s topflight CSM team. So, in real-time, what we were learning. The first thing we talked about is remote work from home. Bynder, the digital asset management system is first and foremost the system of record for digital assets.

When all of our customers sent everybody home, many of them had a real need to be able to get the content to salespeople, customer support people, things like that. We very quickly offered free light users for anyone who all of a sudden had thousands of people who needed access to systems and hadn’t before.

The first thing was all about, hey, how are you going to get stuff to all of your constituents digitally? We did 2, 3, 4 of those. That was pretty intense but pretty rewarding in that collaboration with the CSM team and realizing we were going through the same things. As marketers, we felt like everyone’s in the trenches together, and it was an interesting though intense time. 

Drew Neisser: What’s interesting is, in theory at least—I talked a lot about this on the show last year—in the first six months of the pandemic, you really found out whether or not your company was essential or not, if the service that it did was considered essential. Because everybody else was put on hold by the CF(N)O who said, “I’m not spending a dime unless you’ve got a 30-day ROI on it, and mainly that ROI should be about saving me some money.”

But there was this whole other category of, “You can make me operational on a remote basis.” So, it sounds like, in some cases, you kind of fell into that essential bucket.

Andrew Hally: Yes, definitely. Let me share a couple interesting anecdotes with you. First of all, our COO and Head of Sales, Bob, knew right away—change the sales cycle, talk to the CFO early. We made a change to the process because what you said is exactly true.

One thing we found out, for example, we actually had some customers who accelerated buying because they realized, “We’re not going to be able to send out photographers and videographers into the field. We have got to learn to reuse all of our assets much more so than in the past.”

That was actually something that led people, because in a modern organization, you can’t market without great creative now, especially in the realm of consumer brands, products, things like that. Our system allowed people to reuse content they already had because they couldn’t go create more of it in some circumstances.

And then the other thing was, when budgets got trimmed back in industries that were hit harder—travel, hospitality, things like that—we actually had some purchases because they realized, “If we can’t have so many marketers, so many creative team, we’ve got to reuse better. We’ve got to be more efficient.”

We were actually able to help some clients who are in tough, tough industries. They’re mostly recovering now, fortunately, but exactly like you said, we did find out that we could be an essential part of the marketing organization.

Drew Neisser: Right. So, it’s interesting, in some ways, you went from a nice-to-have, “Oh, it’ll be really good to have that” to “Boy, we really need that now,” which is a very fortunate situation to be in.

Andrew Hally: Let me bring it back to the brand, Drew, because it’s a third category that happened. It took a little longer, right, it wasn’t quite as fast as some of those examples that I just mentioned.

As the pandemic unfolded and it became clear—there are all these quotes, like remember Satya Nadella said something like, “We’ve had three years of digital transformation and just two months”?

There became this bigger realization that the digital economy fast-forwarded an enormous amount. What then happened is, it turns out that this whole digital experience that marketers then had to create, there’s a huge content component. You just can’t have a great digital experience which is the key battlefront for competition now.

You can’t have a great digital experience without great content, so digital asset management really is emerging as the creative content engine to help power digital experience. Everyone was focused on data before, on the touchpoint systems, the CMS, things like that, but all of a sudden, wow we can’t do what we want to do if we don’t have a great pipeline of content coming in to fuel this.

Drew Neisser: Interesting. I’m imagining that in the next six months to a year there will be a new brand story to talk about.

[37:40] Andrew Hally’s Scaleup Dos and Don’ts

“Don't be scared of trusting your instincts.” —@andrewjhally @bynder Share on X

Drew Neisser: As you think about this and if other CMOs are now considering jumping into a startup that is looking for dramatic scale up, let’s give them two dos and a don’t.

Andrew Hally: One is easy. I would recommend a book called The First 90 Days. Do you know that one, Drew?

Drew Neisser: I do, yes. I’ve recommended it to so many CMOs, I can’t tell you.

Andrew Hally: Okay, good. I’m glad that you recommend it also because that would have been super awkward if you didn’t.

Drew Neisser: Number one; it’s the first thing. I’d have it on speed dial if there was such a thing.

Andrew Hally: It’s just nice to have. It gives you a framework to think about the process of entering a new organization at an executive level. It’s super helpful to organize a frame and understand what kind of a situation it is. Is it the burning building or the medium or the finely tuned machine? That’s a do.

I think another do is just really get to know the sales organization and your counterparts and sales leadership. That’s just such a critical relationship, and you know, sometimes when I’ve stumbled in my marketing career, when I look back, sometimes it’s because I just—even though I thought I was—I just didn’t have a deep enough understanding of really what the sales team needed and was doing as well as the learning that comes from that. So I think, number two, you can never go wrong with saying spend time with the sales team and get to know and learn from them.

For a don’t, I guess I would say, don’t be scared of trusting your instincts. I know several times in the past I’ve doubted myself after I had been through the scaleup situation once or twice and I had an instinct about something and I’ve learned to trust that a bit more now that I’ve seen enough and it’s informed by experience and knowledge as opposed to whatever gut reactions come from before you have experience and knowledge.

Drew Neisser: No, I totally buy that. And part of it is this is the value of experience. You have a little perspective, and you can say, “You know what? I’m going to trust myself on this one,” so that’s great.

Well Andrew, thank you so much for being on this show. What a really interesting story that we’ve been able to tell together, so thank you.

Andrew Hally: It’s been a lot of fun, Drew, and I look forward to the next CMO huddle.

Drew Neisser: There you go. Love that. For the listeners, I have two dos and a don’t. Do number one: go to your favorite podcast channel and give us a five-star rating. That would be awesome. Two, share the show with a friend. And don’t? Don’t be a stranger

Show Credits

Renegade Thinkers Unite is written and directed by Drew Neisser. Audio production is by Sam Beck. The show notes are written by Melissa Caffrey. The music is by the amazing Burns Twins and the intro voiceover is Linda Cornelius. To find the transcripts of all episodes, suggest future guests, or learn more about quite possibly the best B2B marketing agency in New York City, visit renegade.com. And until next time, keep those Renegade Thinking Caps on and strong.