Growth Marketing Camp
Growth Marketing Camp

Episode 2 · 1 year ago

How to Be an Agile Marketer and Pivot in Hard Times

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jaime Punishill, CMO of Lionbridge, shares the much needed digital transformation he’s implemented that helped them adjust to the pandemic. He also talks about how to get marketing buy-in from C-suite and how he aligns sales and marketing by focusing on revenue.

Welcome to growth marketing camp, where we sit down with our favorite marketers to de mystify growth and give you the insights to help turn your next campaign into a major success. Let's get into it, all right, everybody. Hey, this is bobby nurrague from open sense. I'm joined today by Jamie punishchill CMO at line bridge. This is the growth marketing camp podcast and we are so excited to have you today. I want to go ahead and dive right into it, Jamie, because I know we're approaching Christmas Eve here and this is arguably the last thing both of us have to do this week. So don't want to spin wheels here, but let's just get started. Would love to have you just start by sharing with our audience today a little bit about yourself. Your Cmo at line bridge today, but tell us a little about your journey to get to that position and some of the things that you've accomplished along the way. Yeah, thanks so much for having me, bobby. It's great to be here, and on Christmas Eve to Christmas Eve, such as it were. Yeah, look, so I'm Cmol of Lion Bridge and, for those who don't know, a line bridge is one of the world's largest translation and localization companies, which is a fancy way of saying we help companies who operate multiple markets really address design their experiences in their communications specifically for all of the markets they they operated. If you ever asked or thought to yourself, wow, isn't an amazing that a company like apple could launched the iphone in forty countries on one day, and then you think to yourself, how do they get that product to work in all those languages and all that the product marketing materials, how they get their supply chain to do that? That we're key part of helping organizations like that do those kinds of those kinds of things. As far as my background goes, I have a relatively non traditional background for a CMO. I actually started my career as a salesperson and in fact my very first job was a no draw, one hundred percent commission job and I did it for a couple of years and but I share it, even though it was many moons ago, because I think particularly in any kind of an intermediated sales are sale process business or buying business. I need, particularly in the BE AB world, really understanding the sales organization and the life of a salesperson and the challenges, the blind spots, the great parts, etc. Has Really made it. I think it's really important for the perspective I bring and I push our organization to bring in the way in which we work with sales in the go to market motion to drive revenue because in the end, and you know the subject of the podcast is growth, there's only one metric that's matters and it's revenue and it's growth. And we can talk about impressions and leads and likes and all these other marketing metrics that are important in their own but in the end you either move the dial or you don't, and so I think that sales mentality and that sales experience I had ways in much of my career was actually spent in digital transformation. I built the first online broker for Bank of America back in the mid s because I was much younger. I was twenty five and I knew at the interwebs were have made me qualified. But what that really has done is it's put me at the forefront of digital transformation since just about the beginning and I really just followed the river of digital transformation and for a while that was about product and and then it became content and it was experiential and an overtime. Actually, more and more of these things started to move in the marketing discipline. Marketers took on on boarding. They take on product, they're taking on CX, they're taking on digital and so on, and so the natural home became marketing and then along with that came more traditional marketing activities like brand or demand or growth. And we're have you and that's how we ended up here. I'm glad that you mentioned digital transformation. I think in some of our prerecording conversations...

...you talked a little bit about the transformation at line bridge since you joined back in in seventeen and I would love to because because I think it'll help set some context for a campaign that we talked about shortly. But maybe you can give us a little bit of background on what the last three years have looked like for you at line bridge and perhaps even how your investment in time and effort and strategy over that time maybe uniquely prepared you for, I think, a more digital world today than perhaps we've ever experienced before. Yeah, no, it's been a fun journey and I'm literally just passed my three year anniversary, my joint in mid November of seventeen, and I think there's a couple of interesting, you know, starting points. I inherited an organization that it was doing all of the right things. If you took some checkbox from a serious decision things that you should be doing in marketing or hit your organization in your list, where's there the an ABM program yeah, there was something right. Is Their Marketing Automation? Yes, is their attribution, yes, and so on and so forth. But they were really disconnected, by and large, I think, from the business units and the business objectives that the general managers had and there was really not a great relationship with sales. I came in and said, okay, great, show me the dashboards and what do you have? And I see, hey, look at all these leads we've generated and look at all this pipeline that we've influenced. And then I go out and I start to talk to the leaders and they talk about how they're getting no leads, marketing having no impact, etcetera, Exeter like, wow, how could this be? Because I'm seeing data that says one story. And so I think, and you see that in a lot of organizations where the doing all the right activities but the not necessarily connected to the company and the company isn't perceiving it's help driving it forward night. I think that's a that's an important marker for what the the Como of today and tomorrow, has to do to be have the right see at the table, put get marketing in that strategic set and really part of that go to market motion is really understand how the company thinks about what's key priorities, whether that is valuation and perception or that is revenue growth, net new logo versus existing etc. Where are those key levers that you can then help and pull so you've got that relationship with sales, so you drive avenue. Then the second thing that was important as the foundational step for Lionbridge is it really had and some of this was market based and some of this was company based. It hadn't grown organically in the decade and so it bit been rolling up companies and buying things, etc. But if you looked organically, and this is actually an industry dynamic, it's an industry that is very operationally focused and you, and with a only a few exceptions, do you see companies that are successfully really driving growth. And we were purchased by a PD firm, taken private and one of the key things was, hey, let's get this organization growing organically. So that kind of sets the stage for the North Star and the objective set and by first thing I did was start talking a lots of folks and I brought in a couple of leaders. We needed some key leaders. New Head of Demandin, a new head of brand and content and and the three of us really just a sessful landscape and came up with really effectively a three year turnaround story. And there were such a disconnect between sales and marketing, as I said, to the point where we had something like Elevenzero lead sitting and sales force that hadn't been picked up. So I got a marketing team screaming who all the ways were generating and I got sales saying we've got no leads and I'm trying sales people, Hey, but look they're right here and they're like, oh, we had no idea. And that's where, and I tell you that because it led to some really interesting conversations with the CRO and the CEO where we all we actually looked each other and said this, turn it all off. It's not like anybody's going to notice. And so I made...

I'm not sure I would do this again, honestly in retrospect, but we turned the DIMAND JEN engine off for ten months. The benefit of that is it really allowed us to take this three phased approach which I roughly bucket as a sess. Tear down, build was kind of year one, strengthen and optimize was year two and the goal was year three, which was going to be two thousand and twenty, which was really scale and really just turned the fly wheel. And so that's what we did. And so when I say assess and tear down, we basically concluded we should rip everything out, and so we took the whole marketing text back out, with the exception of Marquetto and even then it was like a remodel, or I left one wall up, even Marquetta. We ripped all the day to out be duped, it cleansed, it enriched, it re redid lead scoring, readd you know, lead routing, and then put it all back in. We even changed how it synked with sales force. Yeah, and then, and that's and that was not a small undertaking. That took us a little while and then we systematically started laying a new pieces of infrastructure, from sales enablement tools to actually we did two digital rebuilds. We did a temporary we tour website, one hundred page website down. We just wiped it down to eight pages and then said we're going to rewrite every piece of content, every word, every new every contents going to be recreated. And in stages we just rebuilt, even though we knew we're going to take a hit and Seo and and some other things were I could will be better to be completely fresh and new than to try to remove all of the old stuff that was just not working the way it needed to. And so that's kind of what we did. We demolished it in about two three of eighteen. I rebranded one of the very first things we did, and that was because we had something like seventy five brands and sub brands and attribute brands, product brands, and there was just a mass. Yeah, and so what I had was I couldn't even get the six thousand Lion Bridge employees to tell the same story. Yeah, and if I couldn't get internally, we couldn't get the same story. How would we expect externally to be a good understanding of who we are? And as my old boss used to say, branding starts at home, and and so for us we the rebrand was really important right out the gate. In other places that might not be the first need, but for us it really was the foundation stone, and then we just built really everything on top of that. First we watch a new website. Then we moved into full fledged localization, which obviously we do for folks, but we hadn't actually been doing a good job. Our whole industry actually doesn't do a good job. Or all with dentists who have no teeth. Yeah, but how many industries do you know who do that? I'd love to know. Does bombar use its own data? Yeah, yeah, do it sales pedable use their own intent data? I Bet I'd be surprised that. Yeah, at that kind of thing. I'm not picking on Bombar. I you could probably run all the way through to see all these companies who don't do their own stuff. Absolutely that they're preaching and we were no different. And a lot of testing and learning in your two that's really what we did. Okay, let's go really understand the buying behaviors. What do we get that's in bound? Whoa what do we get? How do we land and expand? What's our real penetration in some of these customers and is it? Is it one product, is it multiple services? Really how well do they understand the breath? We did a big brand study to and to, you know, really get a sense of how does the market perceive us and what we do, and all of that was designed to lead up to, like I said, you're three here where we could really start the flywheel. Oh by the way, we ended up with about a ninety five percent turnover of people, and most that was voluntary. That was folks just feeling the change and saying I don't know that I fit or that I want to go through this change, and that's okay. I actually love transformations. I've let a few of them. I love them when people say, you know what, this isn't the home I had and I'm okay not being a part of it. I'll go find another home that's better for me. No problem. I actually wants her to story that when Andrew...

Carnegie would buy a steel mill, the first thing he would do is fire everybody and the second thing you would do is put a table right outside the factory with a stack of job applications. Cool and not that he didn't want. He didn't want the employees. He actually didn't want people to leave. What he wanted them was to not feel like something had happened to them. He wanted them to opt into the new journey. That's a that's empowering, that's pretty smart and it is it's choice. You can either be a victim, Oh, new leader, oh, he doesn't get it. You always get that. I got that, you know, my first day. And but it's much harder to be a victim when you've chosen to be there. And that's what we ended up with. We actually had people from other parts of the organization choose to come into marketing and take on new, great roles, and with that sort of new culture and reinvigoration, we also, I had the luxury, because I was tearing everything down to really architect against, I think, what most of us would think over the key attributes of modern marketing. Right, how do I really have a super agile, very responsive process? That turned out to be incredibly valuable in two thousand and twenty yeah, given the crazy yer we've had. We know buyers are so digitally oriented. Great, do I have the right infrastructure? Am I helping my sales team understand all of the gray in sales intelligence, customer intelligence, as a good example? But as we've been rolling out our ABM orchestration this year and intent data, we were able to see a really big arep that we got from an existing customer at the sale team didn't know was coming. We could show them with the intent data and with our own web traffic two weeks in advance. This is all all rolling through and that was part of the old wow the market hume's got all kinds of really interesting information. It's going to help us kind of move forward. So it's been. It's been one head of a ride, let me tell you, yea coming into this year. I want to ask you, before we get into the specifics of this year and again, how you've been able to leverage the work that you put in over the last three years to execute effectively this year. I wanted to ask you. Three years is a long time and one of the things I heard you describe or mentioned earlier in our conversation was that you're a marketer who commits to revenue not to impressions, not to lead. It's not to some of the leading indicators but, frankly, the indicator that matters potentially the most. Thinking maybe in a private equity situation, maybe even more than usual. But I'm wondering for marketers out there who may be listening to this and who are looking at a frankly, a transformation within their own organizations, I have to imagine that the commitment to revenue is cover ultimately, if you're not committing to revenue as a marketer, why would I, as a business owner or a leader, grant you the time to execute? And so I'm really curious, and this is maybe a little bit tangential to art corver conversation today. Obviously there's going to be growing pains there. How do you appease your your stakeholders internally beyond the commitments that you're making a revenue along the way, because there have to have been ups and downs. I'm just asking just from your own experience, like how do you deal with sort of the I guess it's a political thing and internal politics. I don't know. How would you describe that, that problem and having managed that out of the last three years, if you had. They're about ten questions in there, bobby about it's all a good blits now. Yeah, no, no, no, that's the great they're all the right questions and they're all stacked up next to each other. I got I guess I'll say a few things. I don't know, and maybe it's because of my, my, my, what's call again non traditional background? Yeah, I don't know how you don't focus on revenue. I don't even. I don't actually, I literally do not understand the conversation business that I don't work for a not for profit. So my business is objective is quite simple. It is to generate revenue and a profit for shareholders. I'm pretty sure that is the objective of almost all other corporations. There's other objectives to go along with it. And again, pe firm and P owned...

...firm and will have a liquidity event at some point, as all pe firms will, and so I know that valuation is an important thing and, like any leader, should understand the corporate objectives and then say, okay, how can my function be in service of those objectives? To me that's entirely self servicing. Cells still self serving, by the way. Right, how many marketers do you know that complain the CEO just doesn't understand, they don't get why brand is important, to which I say, you're not doing your job. That's your job to go educate them and prove it. And prove if I can show that, awareness goes up and six months later top of funnel grows and twelve months later I'm making dates up and twelve months later more revenue throws through the pipeline. I have just made the case for why brand matters without having to sell people on why it's the emotions of brand and why it's important. Yeah, it's. And so I don't want to when I say revenues the ultimate metric. In the end, I've got stakeholders, a CEO's got answered to, a board, a CFO who holds the keys to the funding kingdom. And what are the metrics that they're measured on? If you're not, if I'm not managing to that, I'm talked about swimming upstream and, frankly, even having a more difficult conversation with stakeholders. Sure than and and this is where I think a lot of marketers get themselves their challenge, particularly with Croros. And, like I said, this at our very first s Ko two months in. Guys, I understand how we sell here, and we really are primarily a big, big enterprise, big relationship, big partner oriented organization. Was Our long sale cycles. They our relationships that grow and develop over time. We are a sales led industry in a sales led service model. Okay, great then. My job is to help, is to get people in front of our sales people who want to buy more and faster, like it's just that simple. I got to build the World Class Marketing Rization that does that and in the end helps the salespeople believe. Wow, look at marketing is helping me do more and also convinced that, hey, guys, when you listen to me and you do some things I'm asking you to do, like social selling, which seems like some frudy stuff but maybe important, know this is all in service of ringing the commission check for you and the Revenue Bell, and that's that's how our Cron I like. We came together quite nicely because it was super simple, same objective. Share that, Jim. How do I help you hit the number? Yeah, whether I formally own that number or informally just commit to it. I know he's got to go do it, so I've got to help him. See, here's how I'm going to add a hundred million dollars to your pipeline, so you can go hit the number. Yep, because of all the board wants to hear. Yeah, so I this. It is a hard one for me because it doesn't seem so complicated, because I know the CEO isn't measured on brand awareness. Yeah, this all goes back to what you described as an early part of your career, which is that it started in sales and aligning yourself with an understanding of how sales people out right, what's important to them. But your willingness to collaborate with the crow seems to be prerequisite for your ability to be successful in the things that you've done over the last several years, and so that's definitely a takeaway that I'm hearing. You always hear that. What was the famous there's a very famous phrase over the last couple of years bridging them, the gap between sales and marketing. That seems so intuitive. What the heck are we talking about here? To your point, like the primary objective of corporation is grow revenue. In most cases, the key stakeholders are obviously need to be an alignment. That makes ton of sense. I think it's actually more than a willingness in this case, or I think in many cases it's not just willingness, it's a prime directive. And so if he's in so I work with a Crro, really talented, CR SMART Guy, but he operates from a position of skepticism. Right,...

...it is. I won't believe you that the stove is hot until I put my hand on the stove. Sure, okay, great, now I know that. Yeah, my job is to go build an array of data and proof points. Yep, to show him, Hey, this is how it works. That's not just willingness. I've got a I've got to figure out how to sell him and bring him along to get may hell, have him say, you know what, I want to come to the table, because what I've got, as a marketing organization in a market CMO, who is my key partner. Yeah, so that, because I also need him to do some things. I need to sales people to adopt some behaviors or to support the activities, because otherwise I'm going to do go off again. I go back to I can generate a lot of leads. If nobody picks them up, I'm just pitching into the backstop absolute and it doesn't matter. Yeah, there's a truck, there's a trust that's built there. The other thing that that sort of jumps out to me is the idea of instant gratification. I have this great idea for how we're going to transform the business and I want to execute it. Well, you're not always going to be able to just go and execute. You'll have to you'll have to basically prove it, maybe in small bits and pieces along the way, to get the stakeholder by and required to execute the grand or vision. And there was plenty of pain, and you ask this right, this was one. I turned the demand Gen engine off. Yeah, so that mean that is a that is a race against time because, and I knew the whole thing was when I kept saying this to my team. Okay, we have the right plan. We have to survive long enough, yeah, for it to really start bearing fruit and everybody that goes by they got they got up. That fruit better be getting riper and something better and yeah, get more of it, because that is the race. And last year we had some tough moments, we had some wins and a bunch of losses. Sure, you just weren't quite we weren't ready, we weren't at full maturity where I could very confidently start to turn the fly wheel and go from a more reactive survival mode into a proactive listing mode. And and that's really what's happened this year. I'm going to ask one more question. I promise we'll get back on track here. As you're going through the ups and downs and you're experiencing the pain and you know that you have that ticking clock. How do you manage doubt as a leader when you have an entire set of stakeholders that have bought into you? You said ninety five percent turnover and new staff. You're the person that's saying we're turning off to manngin and I and my and we're going to execute this plan. How do you, as a leader, and again it's not related to growth, it's personal, how do you deal with doubt when things don't go your way? And in acute situation, I think, yeah, you have to be as much of a duck as possible, calm on the surface, even if your legs are going crazy underneath. And there was a lot of the there's a lot of that. In my case, I always I really try to be thoughtful ahead of time. I'm not a let's just jump in and do stuff. I don't come in with a preset view of the the universe, not with any levels of specificity. I've got sort of big principles that I use, but I took my time to understand this organization. It's culture, the people, the problems, and I try to do like you, in any kind of transformation, at whatever level it is. It's your like. It's not life or death, but you're like a trauma surgeon, right, you're the goal that you have to keep the patient alive long enough to let ultimately to let the patient heal itself, because that's a real magic of medicine, right is doctors don't actually save people. What they do is they prevent death so that the body can hear itself, and I think that's that's a lot of the the mentalities. How do I? How do I avoid death as long as possible and just keep saving things and keep you a little bit more surgery and a little bit more repaired, a little bit more healing, until you can then move into hey, let's get strong and let's become an Olympic athletes and then and those kinds of things. I don't know...

...that there's any magic other than I knew I had I knew I had hired good people. I knew we had been super thoughtful about the end state. We were clear on the end state and in some sense, I guess this is like it. How too, founders know, if you have your idea and you're committed to it, you're going to have a lot of doubters and a lot of missteps along the way. You've got a pivot. You pivot appropriately. So just swing in the wind, but recognize when circumstances have changed or victory can come. There's some luck along the way about, but luck is usually not missing the things that happen in front of you, because things are always happening. That's that you can take advantage of. And and then and surviving the tough there's going to be some tough periods where it just doesn't go. Keep going back to our my principles. Right, just the narrative. Is the end state right? Yes, okay, then the only thing that needs to adjust is the path I take. Wow, I sometimes say this. I think this is the to me, this is one of the keys to think this could be about any conversation, but I think it's one of the keys to modern marketing. Think of it like a GP us. And so I live in Connecticut. Lionbridge is headquartered in Massachusetts, and so I was driving up almost every week to the Boston area. Every time I got on my car to go, the same two things were true. My starting point was true, say the same, and my destination was the same. And that was true every week for however many years. But wasn't the same almost ever. Was the drive? Yep, traffic is different, weather is different, construction is different and the GPS makes adjustments. And it doesn't just make adjustment week to week, it makes adjustments drive to drive, minute by minute in the drive. And that, I think, is modern marketing. Right. The objective was clear right. The informations coming in real time. You're choosing what to adjust to what not to adjust to. Sometimes you can't control it. There's just a ten car pile up in front of you and you're going to get stuck. So that's such a good analogy, such a good analogy. I really appreciate you sharing that. That's a good one and I'm going to be thinking about that one all weekends. I want to get into a campaign because a big part of what I'm hoping this podcast enables in the market place is the demistification of growth to some extent, and I think one of the easiest ways to convey that is by just sharing a specific play that you've run or a specific campaign that you've executed and talking a little bit about perhaps what objective it set out to address and the methods and outcomes. Look at me and asking another four questions in one year, which I guess is maybe my style or something I just need to work out, but I'd love to get into that and I think you've built up the story of the last three years at line bridge and again I think it sets you up for an ability to get on that offensive in two thousand and twenty, in a year where perhaps many other companies may be caught flat foot it. But maybe we can talk a little bit about how you leverage the position you gained by working the last couple of years to put yourself in a position and maybe we can get into a specific campaign that that you you think might be helpful for audience to understand some of the tactics and some of the nuances to executing yeah, no, I'm two thousand and twenty. Has Been so interesting because, again, even take what we've lived throughout of it for half a second, we were already teeing ourselves up for this was the year of scale. We went into the budget season saying, all right, we've earned the right, we've learned a bunch of things, give us a bunch more money. I got a cro who's basically saying, okay, man, like I've been patient and you've done okay, but I really need you to be cranking this year. So that's how we're coming into the year. We're still negotiating some of that as we come into January. And as it turns out for us, and I think this was a little bit of luck but played really well,...

...we actually have a facility in China, not too far from Muhan, and so very early in January we've got the flares going up because we're hearing word from the facility and as an organization, and again this is, as I said to you earlier, luck is a lot about seeing what's in front of you and not missing it on multiple levels of first, as an organization, we're very quickly going into okay, is everybody okay? What do we do? This starts to raise the bigger question. Okay, what's our business continuity planning for the facility in China? Now is weeks are going by and we're working through this. Suddenly it's she's what's our business continuity plan? Generally, this thing might get bigger and we saw where we were strong. We had a few weaknesses as a leadership team and the CEO rallied all the leaders around and we are diving deep. Could we go work from home? What? How would we pivot? How do we take care of employees? How do we operate? And we were when the shutdowns happened. We literally got the last of this laptops to the last crew and Mumbai before moldy shuts the country down. And and now I got six thousand people operating from home. And that was really early. So we weren't caught flat footed by it and then having to respond to it because we had we the signals. We responded to the signals and we pivoted and that part of what that did was we then went through what we looked at. I said every company is about to go through this. Every company's now about to one have to think about how to he do I start communicating with my global employees when I don't have local town halls? Oh, you know what? They're going to need. They're going to need internal communications. So by the second week, maybe the third week of March, we launched our first campaign and it was free internal communications. Translation. It wasn't a big it was a small dollar amount. I can't but I promise you we have multibillion dollar corporations who send us thank you notes for what amounts to a couple thousand dollars of a free product. Because right there, at the moment of pain, which is what any good marketing should do, I understand pain. I have a solution to your pain. It isn't eared by my stuff. You have pain I have solved and so that was the very first thing, was a little free offer for internal communications, because we knew everybody was going to be going through ever, and we had hundreds of customers take us up on that and we knew right on the other end of that was going to be external communications. So the first thing there were do is get all their employees together. Okay, here's what working from home looks like. How do we take care of everybody? We have to rewrite policies. And then quickly it was going to be okay. What do we do about customers? And there we were with our next campaign offer. And again part of this was marrying what our own journey was, because we had been leaving, but we also could get the sense that this was happening and we quickly pivoted that to offense. And so my next campaign out is free external communications offer along with a money back guarantee, which isn't something you see a lot in this industry. If you have a problem with one of your other providers and you want to switch to lion bridge, we have a rapid sixty day on boarding program with a money back guarantee if it doesn't work out for you. So what do I do? I know you might have a problem. We could. We actually were starting to hear from some customers that some other providers hadn't been prepared to work from do some other things. Now they needed help. Could we help? We said great, let's tell everybody we can help and, by the way, we will do risk it for you, which everybody needed in this environment. Was To de risk it. So again, very self serving on one level, but very also meeting the pain of wow an organization. How I find a new vendor really quick okay, I dig into these little bit. I'm so sorry to sure you, but there's some interesting things. So your initial offers were made to it sounds like your existing customer base. Is that right now? What? We put it out in the broad universe and okay, we turned on. We started. We probably spent more in March on digital advertising than we had...

...in almost any other month in the previous two years of my team, except for one test we had run. But you'd running a relatively lowburn. But we were ready. We were already transitioning to more digital engagement and media spend. Any way. That was already the plan for this year, based on the data we had learned about some of the other tactics or all of our tack extent, we said this is the best way for us, the best mixes primarily digital. And then, of course it became all digital this year. But it was it wasn't just internal. We knew if I put it out there, everybody was gonna need it and so I could use it both for new logo acquisition as well as my existing customer base. What were the is another two part question. What were the channels that you found or that you executed and found to be relatively successful? And and the second part of that question is you mentioned your service oriented business model. Are the channels that you executed in uniquely optimized for your specific business, the translation services business, or in general? Do Service centric businesses execute within similar channels? And if that question makes sense now, it does. So let me take the second one first. I'm not sure that across most alistic would be to be buyers for a second. Of Be a little simpler, just to put it inside of their hawks, and I know it's in. So I do my own belly button research on this. Okay, how do I find new vendors? What am I doing? I'm rolling through Google, Yep, I'm reading a couple of content specific science. I'm going through thought, leadership and analysis, etc. And none of this is rocket science. Right. There's hopefully nothing I say today is rocket science. This is what's simple to understand, is an easy to execute necessarily, and so much of this is just fundamentals and basic right. Everything I talked about. It is like such a game of fundamentals, and we talked about this before. I'm, of a New England Guy, I'm a Patriots Fan. Part of what I think makes bill bell check so great is just about and Nick saven for that matter, and those guys are buddies. What do they do? Unbelievable. Stress on the fundamentals, don't give away the easy stuff and then hopefully you're in a position to take advantage of the big stuff as opposed to go for the big stuff. So what were we doing? Be Tob buyers that they're consuming so much information, trying to be smarter, but they're also overwhelmed by information. So now you got to go back even pre campaign. We set a strategy where we said look, the low globalization is actually still a growing as a concept. Most companies actually operate as multinationals, not as globals. Okay, so their start. Think about go back to the apple example. That's real globality right, every market one day, as opposed to the old days where the iphone would be announced and then four months later be available in America and six months after that I'll be available in the UK. Sorry, Yep, etcetera, etceter because it is very slow cascading roll out across the globe. That is not the world that we live in right now. And think about two thousand and twenty right the digital landscape is flat. You put it on your s website, every customer around the globe can see it. So seven billion people are watching whether you want to or not, because we no longer have this sort of the geographic boxes. We're not limited by physicality and even almost time I publish it now, in a few hours, somebody's going to see it in Asia kind of thing, and so that's a little bit of a different mentality. So we knew we needed to be a very content led value add story that we then look to syndicate, propagate and then amplify. Right, for me, media is just a way that we get our thought leadership and...

...our content and our ideas out in front of more eyes, draw you in and get you into a conversation with one of our salespeople who can understand your circumstance and match it so that gets to the channels. Yeah, we knew. I'd spent years, the last two years, building up and massive content repository. Yeah, I've now got lots of ammunition to work with. Now I say great, what is it that people are talking about right now? Let's amplify that in some sense because of where we were in our journey. But I think this is partly about discipline. To is we had really spent a last couple of years optimizing SEO and doing it in ten languages, and we are. We're killing it, especially relative to our industry who haven't paid as much attention. So I'm already or where people going to go when they're stuck at home? They're going to the search engines. I'm already in the catbird seat before I even started to spend a dime of media, because we've optimized for that. And then we said great, so let's start with the engines and let's amplify where we're having success. Where can we find buyers? We know, okay, great, so let's move over to Linkedin, where I can go buy I can do named accounts and by I could target buyers. And again, every industrytier point will be a little different. The right home for different industries probably, but really where you, I think that happens is in the next tier where I start to say, okay, where do I find other places? Find those buyers? Visit on the whatever? Is it the MARTEC community? Is it the localization buy our community? Is it the we serve many verticals we do. We support games publishers. So we got xbox and playstation, but one out this year. Okay, where am I going to find those guys who are building minecraft in a hundred languages or whatever whatever the hot game is? And we've worked on a bunch of them. If you're playing a game not in English, the odds really good. We've helped with it. And so we got different buyers in different places, but they're all going to be on Google and bing. Many of them would be on Linkedin, with a few regional differences. There's different one in Korea, but with teered it out that way and we've really leaned in hard to those core tactics and we haven't gone a some totic yet. So I we just having this conversation about next year's budget where we can see I could spend probably twice as much money still have a commenser at growth. Yeah, in the pipeline and will hit saturation at some point, but we haven't hit it yet. That's that answers the question. No, it's it totally. Does it totally does, and one of the things I'm enjoying so much about this conversation just learning more about your business. It seems so the idea of having the website in ten different languages, for instance. I don't know, obviously right, like it makes ton of sense. Your Translation Services Company, like Duh, like that makes obvious sense. Okay, so let's go back, because I think what's so interesting so far about this two thousand and twenty approach? Number one, it leverages a digitally transformed Marketing Organization, which we've talked about a little bit here. But number two, it's fascinating that you would have had at office like near Wuhan, by the way, that's mind blowing. I can still remember in February I was, believed or not, in India for a wedding, and that's a country over from from China, and it's still wasn't real yet. There was no sand. It's is sanitizers of the airport's or anything like that. So it's interesting that you have that little bit of lead time, because there's still a lot of confusion, I feel like here in the states. But then you start pivoting your or you start spinning up these these sort of really relevant campaigns for the situation. How did they pan out? Did you get some early success by in the seem like things that naturally like a twenty early points about digital transformation, that this might be the time that sort of catalyzes a lot of that in many organizations. So these I'm assuming as a lay person here, that these would have been successful. And how would you judge that? And they were. And one...

...of the beauties of the digital channels, if you constructed it, was you get pretty instantaneous sense of what's working and what's not working. Yeah, do we get take up? Absolutely right. I can see the traffic, I can see the lead flows and I get and I even just have even anecdotal sense. Is the sales force feeling like activity is happening? Yes, right, because sometimes you can see stuff in the salespeople for whatever reason still aren't feeling it. So it's a little bit of art and science here. And one of the things we did for our CEO did very early was set up daily stand ups all across the organization. But we did it in marketing and actually all we ended up going all the way through the year with it, thirty minutes every day with my team. We and we started really ad hoc and a lot of it was just so that we could have I could get it. We can have instantaneous response. What was he hearing, what was he feeling, what were we seeing and if I needed more budget or we needed the pivot a tactic, there was no delays and decisions or those kind of things. So see EO CRO and me with some part of my team on the phone every day for thirty minutes, usually at the start of the day. And again we started that at crisis response and after about two months, because there's a lot of work printing for those meetings and it's atter, I said, Hey, can we stop this now, and they actually said no, the like this is our favorite meeting of the day. You guys, you come in, we've got data, we're being responsive for affecting the business. It's smart, it's thoughtful. I said, okay, we're gonna have to organize us a little bit differently and so we ended up picking things right. The Monday was sales, enablement and text a conversations. Tuesday was all about paid media. Wednesday was all about sort of the content plan. Here's what's been published, here's what's resonating. Here's what we have in the queue kind of thing right. Thursday was a vertical dive. Friday was about our core business and really thinking about campaigns and to end so that we weren't looking at just little pieces of the marketing stack and that ebbden flowed. And now you think about go back to the revenue, the growth mindset, the revenue objective and how many organization and I didn't have in I think our CEO would say he didn't come into the year with a great understanding of the team or a lot of the tactical mechanisms of how marketing works. Was that not his background? Kinds of companies? He's come from its Ad Ra and and he's it's been wildly successful. Oh, this is why you guys do this. Oh, that really is quite impact Oh, I can be quite helpful over here. And so now you've got real tight alignment. That makes budget and conversation, strategic conversation, so much easier. I can get a sense from him if something's pivoting right, the board is shifting or something happens in a new direction and I can have my team reponsive. And that gets to the heart of I think one of the other key things you we talked about agile marketing. Lots of people are trying to move faster. How many people can respond that quickly? That is that's that you have the right people. Do you have the right process? Have you eve, do even have a mindset that says, how do I both take data in not be buffeted by every wind that? Because you don't want to do that either, because you do get Consu want some consistency. And we even had to work with them to understand, Hey, I can't change this campaign every week, like I can't write content that fast. And a week isn't enough for you to know we're going to have good weeks and bad weeks. The stock markets. There's no saw from my stock market day's watching the stock markets like watching a man walk up a hill while he's playing with a Yo Yo. Everybody focuses on the Yo Yo and miss is the fact that he's very slowly walker the hills. Marketing is a little like that, and so even in the weird year where we wanted to be highly responsive, we wanted to make sure we were still walking up the hill. Absolutely, and the process, and I think going back to the GPS, example, having a good sense of key verticals, key buyers. We knew, for example, like we have a bunch...

...of travel and hospitality clients. We knew exactly what was going to happen there. It was just a question of time before revenue went and we still okay. How do we reach out to them and be supportive, knowing that we want them to be survived and come out the other end and they will come out the other rest and we want to be a strategic partner. But I'm going to approach that quite differently than all of a sudden every retail or discovering that e commerce is the most important thing. Ever, I hate that it took two thousand and twenty sure too for some people to have that realization. Sure, but they did. Now how do I make sure that is wherever you are in your journey, as you're waking up to global, multilingual e commerce? Yeah, you start. I've never thought about International Seo. Oh, I better, because, by the way, how somebody searches for the same product in German is not how they search in English, and so just translating the content doesn't just work, but you bet you have to rewrite your whole content strategy to pull that off. Yeah, and so that go back again simple stuff. I know what we knew our customers. It's the same set of customers and we just were turning dials. Who is going to likely buy more stuff? Who would likely buy a little less? What was their pain? How do we anticipate and help and how do we be ready and make sure that they know that we're there to help? Because again, in these days we didn't nobody knew what the status of their vendors were. Can you take more capacity? Can you help me? And we had a few, like I said, we had a few competitors who, at various points in the year slipped and as soon as we heard it, boom, instantanea campaign going straight at that. We're here, we're ready, come on board, we can take your capacity. It's just fascinating here all this, because the patient that you need to keep alive sort of analogy. It sounds to me that this year maybe you had them with their IV drip, walk into the bathroom, okay, and then maybe they're starting to shed that even and put their socks on and maybe go for a jog outside, because it sounds like you have a game plan going into two thousand and twenty one. That is oriented around optimizing for the situation, which is just the reality that companies are being forced to move digital and, in doing so, are now operating on a global scale, thereby creating a massive opportunity for line bridge and and in your industry in general, which, by the way, yes, and which, by the way, this has been true for twenty years. And this will sound like a quick aside, but I I think about this a lot. There's a great documentary on Netflix about General Magic. I don't know for general magic. You might have to be as old as me to remember general magic. The general magic was the original, was the first sort of PDA smartphone idea. In it's like one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine. That's how long back it goes. What's fascing about general magic? One, it's a compelling story to everything you know about mobility, smartphones, IOS, android, ipod. It's Adra everything you can all the people, the team that they assembled in the early s all went on literally to lead Google, lead apple, lead Microsoft, etc. Etc. They were way out ahead of their the consumer, they were way out in front of the technology and it's one of these s world fare videos. When you watch this and you realize, like these guys created emojis, they stought everything. The world just wasn't ready sure and and globalization is a phenomena. I can make the argument that almost everything we're going through right now in the world all start in the late S, late s and early s with the Internet, ghost commercial we start to move into a software world. You get the windtell alliance, we...

...cell phones really start to jump the shark and gets get small enough. You get the World Trade Organization, you get the EU, the EC the EU and the Euro, China in India start to modernize and pick up the all the outsourcing deals. And so really what we have is we're thirty years in now to this great big globalization phenomenon, which is where the company got founded. We're founded in the mid S with this vision, probably ahead of its time, and it's sailed along with it. And and you really is that go back because it is our twenty five anniversary next year. So we're doing a lot of studying of the history and you get to see, wow, these guys were so right, but there's so many general magic mo wins as just ahead of the curve. Yeah, that and then put, if your patient, to your point. We know the vision is right. It's frustrating that it doesn't necessarily catch up because it NNA never goes at the pace you want. This year what a catalytic event to wipe out all the resistance because the buyers are ready. We're becoming digit here's a stat that I love to throw out, that little that I think blows my mind every time I say half the US workforce is pretty much under the age of forty five. If I if I go to forty three, and this isn't been the US workforce. It works for Western nations, Rit large. Okay, that's a generation born after one thousand nine hundred and seventy seven, which means their entire adult life the dominate information organizational paradigm is Google or is search? Okay, think about that. Have to workforce. When they need something, their first thought is to search for it. Yep, how many companies have organized, have thought about their content and the buying process starting with search as the dominant input set? Yeah, that's a great and that part is how we structured the strategy. Is Thinking that through. Now it is all coming together and don't miss the pitches it comes across the plate. Absolutely, absolutely. You've worked the last three years to get to this opera, this opportunity, to this point and it sounds, to piggyback on the baseball analogy, it's teat up for you. So that's really exciting. Jim, you've been super generous of your time. I promise. I just have one or two questions left just to wrap up here and and then I'll let you on your marry way. If you've got the time I do, let's go keep doing I'll keep it super brief. First Question of the the last two is, in just thinking about growth as a subject matter, as a sort of a business objective, I feel like, what does it really mean? And so one of the goals that I have in having these conversations is trying to understand from folks like you, like when you come into line Ridge three years ago, are you coming in looking at the business, how it's operated for the previous twenty one years and coming up with a set of goals, objectives, Kpis, strategies based on what you're observing? Or when you think about growth, do you have a set of guidelines and principles that you maintain or you've developed and that you believe in, that you bring to, frankly, any organization or growth opportunity that you might be addressing. How do you think about that? So I think about that a couple of ways. Think a younger version of me what would have been really quick to throw everything from the past out and come in with the mindset, Hey, we're going to we're going to figure this outs, all going to be forward, etc. Etc. And and I've had enough experience now and a few opportunities to operate differently and I think it's a challenge for some really young, smart guys to understand how much, you know, value there is in the history and the heritage. And my mindset coming in was really an inquisitive one. And after just a couple of weeks here, because because I look at the numbers were not great, the story was not awesome, the Pe firm was able to buy Lion Bridge for, frankly, a discount because the numbers hadn't been great. So the number suggested...

...a lot of problems. When we dug in underneath, I said to my boss, I remember saying this just a couple weeks and I said I can feel it already. If if you ask, there's not a question we'll come up with or an idea that we're going to come up with that hasn't been asked here before and doesn't have a very thoughtful set of responses or response. If we dig around, we're going to find it all here. There's some really smart, really talented people. They are where they are for a whole host of reasons. It wasn't for lack of vision or understanding customers or some of that other stuff, which was great. Well, we had was great ingredients that hadn't necessarily been prepared into a good meal, and I'd rather have that. There wasn't like a great veneer and hollowness and toxicity underneath. It was the opposite. It was like the joke that was like the high schooler who thinks they're ugly, so they're huddled in a Hoodie, hiding and the convinced horrible, but actually they're really awesome and beautiful underneath. They just needed to be reconvinced of it. And we had some execution issues, etc. And so that, I think, was super important, was to really understand what you have and I think that, which gets to the second piece of the perspective. I I don't have a set playbook because every situation is different. I tell this to my team all the time, like you want to sit in my seat. Do not follow my career path because that was my career path. It worked for me and the time and the situations. Learn what you need to learn from it and then adapt it for your time and your situation and your personality. What works for me, risks I will take with my career you shouldn't or won't be comfortable with. And I'll go back to the bill belichick example, because I think it's part of what makes him so successful and I like to try to incorporate really is you can only work with what you've got. You've got the players, you've got the people, you've got the circumstances, you've got the industry, you've got the tools, you've got, etc. Trying to force that into a prefabbed system. You can do it. I think the odds of success are a lot less than if again, you I've got principles. There are key things. I know. The buyer is the buyer and the buyers going to be digital eccentric and the buyers got pain centric and and I can bring that anywhere. That is, if there's a universal playbook, it's modern marketing principles. What we know about buyers. That should be true everywhere. What I really then need to see is, okay, what are the levers here? What are the ingredients? Where can I get wins? Where can I stop bleeding? Where and I heal the patients a little bit? Can I buy myself time to buy in the places where we'll have real success? Or we can find real advantages and bring the organization in the position that when the when the Matrix all becomes clear. Yeah, and it all dials in. I'm ready and my team is ready, and then the organization is ready. You know. And I go back to we were set up to, I think, have a good two thousand and twenty. No matter what, the universe saw fit to give me a set of conditions that were even better than I could have asked for in some ways. Yeah, because it's stripped to the extent. Again, I my sales folks were just beginning to do social selling, but hey, I can just get on a plane and go meet with people. Now I can't. So the resistance is less. Oh, I have a solution for you to help and so on and so forth, and I think part of why that works is, may have said this to you before, I think a lot of people are going to the Kabuki theater of modernization. There's a lot of customer centricity written in annual reports from organizations none of us would describe as actually customer cyric yeah, a lot of marketers who talked about agility, they talk about digital, they talk about customer Centricity, they talk about being data driven and so on and so forth. You talk as cheap and it...

...turns out that a lot of not great behavior or not real adaptation was hiding underneath just most sheer momentum. And then in one fell swoop the momentum got like just completely eliminated. And I spend ice. I took the time this year to spend a lot of time with my peers and these round tables and councils etc. Partially I really wanted to learn like how are the people adapting, etc. And what I really learned was we were right in the principles we set and we had put ourselves in a good position and a lot of people were frozen or not sure or suddenly found themselves needing a two year turn around, but having two weeks to do it. Yeah, yeah, and which I think goes back to fundamentals. Stick to your fundamentals, adapt to your situation, work with what you have. Yeah, commit to your plan, execute, exequy up. So, just to recap what I heard you say, they're two things that stood out to me. Number one was again this idea of sustaining yourself long enough to see the long tail effective effort that you're putting in. So basically winning small battles with the victory of war on the horizon. And then the second one, and this is a lame phrase, but success equals opportunity plus preparation, and you've that's I bet you could describe, you know, what you're confronting and going through as an Organizam. Like I said, folks look for magic bullets and magic pills and and, and it almost always is just fundamentals and and a lot of it's paying attention. Right, if I look forward, we all know right, like our whole lives are about to change with data privacy. But GDP are was the first torpedo in the water and it's had some effect, but it's we're just starting to really feel it CCPA's on its way. Frankly, covid distracted a lot of us from what's happening underneath. The new European digital protections are going to take this even a step forward. And how many people are really really ready for the First Party world? For exactly? We've been lucky. I could get information about you, whether you wanted to give it to me or not. Yeah, which allowed for a lot of Lazy Marketing. What's going to happen when actually have to earn the right? I have to get you to give it to me now, which is going back to the old days? Really, we all know it's coming. It's actually old William Gibson line. The future is already here, just unevenly distributed. This has been coming for a couple of years. How many people are really prepped for it? Oh, I have to worry about that. Yet it's so it's just understand your environment, lay your foundations, do the basics. Learning a ton today. I appreciate that. Last thing you mentioned the round tables. For folks listening to this today, who are some of your peers that you recommend they pay attention to? Is there a particular marketer that comes to mind to cause the give your yours, that that you admire, look up to or is someone that we should pay attention to. Man, there are so many good people out there. I think, HAH HOO boy, Latan cone and but six cents, I think, is a super good sense of the space. She's led with Matt Hines some really great Friday morning regular meetings. Actually wish I'd been able to participate in more of those. They just kept colliding against them internal stuff. Who Else? Mark Tak, who's actually sitting really as a fractional CMO now. He was at integrate for a while and get really focused on this idea of revenue enablement. Another guys in that category Steve Di Oreo, who's done some really amazing work on marketing, accountability and revenue enablement. fact, he's just created the revenue enablement institute. I could go on this so many there's so many really good, smart folks out there that just try to take, you know, the best of what they've got and adapt it to again, to my principles. In my situation, not in some of it's great and I can't use it, and that doesn't mean I shouldn't learn it. Yeah, it goes to what people talk about a lot,...

...but I still don't think a lot of people do, which is you have to be in continuous learning mode. That's when you think about how much we've all learned just in two thousand and twenty. I think it's leaking out of my ears so much good stuff so quickly, and hopefully it'll be a little less frenetic pace in two thousand and twenty one. Yeah, yeah, I was like, I don't think leaking from years is a symptom of covid but but maybe it isn't sense of cabatity. Neither here nor there. I really appreciate you sharing that. I think there's a couple of names on the list that I recognize and one or two that I don't, so I'm looking forward to researching that and I think, to your point, I've personally learned a lot in the last hour or so, so I really do appreciate your time. One thing I'll leave you with is I met you in person at this event in Chicago and I don't know how many people would they see in their title spent all day out of booth talking to prospects one on one. I recognize that about you and certainly admire that in respect, that about you. I just wanted to let you know that I feel that way because we're there, but we're we're relatively small company, but for you to be there talking to customers prospects all day, I think is probably goes back to that initial theme of alignment between sales and marketing. You're basically selling at that point. But yeah, thank you. And I think that one goes even more right, which is be close to your customer. And I'm certainly not the first to do is. I love the stars of guys like Med Johnson, who is the CEO Fidelity. For so many years he was on the when the call center, when the calls were coming in. He's in the calls taken up like there is no I think this is it's always the challenge of being an executive is getting too far away from the edge and and whatever that, whether that's a use, a military higher anywhere on the anywhere you got a hierarchy, and I actually think with the fluid environment that we have right now, so many new disciplines and things and so many coming down the pike, that the I think one of the things that has made me successful is just about everything we're doing I've built as a more junior person in some way, shape or form, right whether it was, you know, social media, or it was digital or experiences or plans or products or what have you. My team could tell you. I will go down to five feet and debate. Varies very specific thing. I can't obviously you don't do that with everything. I can't do that with everything, but I can absolutely which it gives me an understanding, and so I think things like that event are I can't be there three hundred sixty five days a year, but can I take a couple of days out of the year to go sit there and say, okay, so here's all the stuff we created and we set up. How's it going? What's the response? That's real time, day the input for me to then go back and take that context and either it's a pulse check that says hey, wow, we are really right on it, or might even be the slightest pivot of a story or something that ultimately allows me to scalably and leverage, create leverage throughout the organization with this little pivot because I align it just a little bit better. Yeah, knowledge and credibility, I think, is the other thing is that when you get that close, when you could pick up the phone and talk to a customer, that carries a lot of water, I think, as you're guiding an organization. I do pride myself and I tell the sales, but you want me off on with a customer any time, any day, anywhere, I'm there to support you and help tell this story, etc. And again, I think with that revenue mindset, of course, like if that happens, that's what the organization needs to sell. Sign me up, and it's easy. I this is little like say this. You the CRO has to come along for the ride. Some will, some won't. Every in divorce. Divorce I can. You can have a friendly divorce. Why? If you say the kids are really the most important thing, everybody says it the you live it. If you hold that principle high, it's actually quite easy. So things like going to spend a day in a boot super simple. If we're revenues the most important thing. Understanding customers is the most important thing, and so on and so forth, because you get real clarity of purpose at that point. Absolutely otherwise it's just the Kabuki theater. He is the Kobouki theater. That's exactly right,...

...which you have unfortunately, we're too many people are there, either too distant or it is the appearance of whatever, not the actuality. Jamie, I really appreciate your time today and enjoyed this conversation tremendously. I feel it. Learned a lot about your business, about your approach, about some of your tactics this year, and I'm excited to be able to share this with our audience. So thank you again for your time. Thanks for having me. I love doing these, particularly good when there's good questions and a nice back and forth, and so this has been great. I'm happy to come back any time. And well, there were three. The ideas are in my head. Yeah, and I'm sure there are other amazing stories to share as well, so we may take you up on that. Hey, it's awesome, Jamie. We should you and your family a very merry Christmas, stay well and safe and we'll catch you in the new year. Right, and the same to you and yours and everybody in the audience. Thanks about her. All right, take care,.

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