Interview with Christopher McLaughlin, Chief Marketing Officer, Nuxeo
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role and how you got here? What inspired you to be part of a Content Services Platform provider?
At Nuxeo, I am responsible for both marketing and products. It’s really an ideal role, where I can shape our longer-term product and go-to-market strategy based on the needs of the market and then drive our roadmap to take our vision and make it a reality.
Before coming to Nuxeo, I spent the last six years at EMC, working for their Enterprise Content Division. Most recently, I was their divisional CMO, responsible for bringing their Documentum products to market. Before EMC, I was the CMO at Thunderhead, a UK-based start-up in the Customer Communications space. And, prior to that, I held senior management roles at FileNet, another enterprise content management company, and at Inforte, a consulting company.
As you can see, I have spent the better part of my career, working in and around the Enterprise Content Management market. However, in Nuxeo, I saw something that was fundamentally different. I saw a very modern product that offered the full breadth of content services, but without the complexity and high cost of ownership. And, let’s face it, this market is ready for change. Organizations are frustrated with their current vendors as well as the lack of new thinking. The time is right for next-generation solutions, like Nuxeo, to come to the forefront. And this is what I saw in Nuxeo – a young, innovative company that is poised to take on a large, established market and make a difference.
MTS: What are the major enterprise content problems that Nuxeo solves?
As I mentioned before, I think the enterprise content market is poised on the precipice of change. Yes, it’s a mature market. Much has been written about the demise of ECM and many of these technologies haven’t lived up to their billing or promise. But, the basic business problems associated with ECM still remain: most companies create a massive amount of content daily; they often struggle to even find information that already exists; and, most importantly, they often can’t extract insight from their information.
These problems aren’t going away and, in most cases, are more important now than ever before, particularly as companies look to stay competitive in a digital era. So, I don’t care if you call it ECM, Digital Asset Management or Content Services, there is still a massive opportunity to help companies better leverage their information and to gain new insights into their business.
MTS: How do you see the trends in customer experience management and social messaging influencing enterprise content strategies?
One of the biggest influences is that these digital channels are incredibly content-intensive. So, increasingly, our customers are thinking about how they can be more efficient and productive in creating new content, either to make the customer experience more personalized or to help build their brand ecosystem through social channels. And, in particular, social media is so immediate, so dynamic, that it’s critical that distributed marketing teams can quickly find and deploy new content across an ever-increasing number of social platforms. Content is so important to a compelling customer experience and, from a strategic perspective, our customers are being forced to rethink their entire content supply chain.
MTS: Tell us about the B2B dynamic achieved with top marketing cloud and automation platforms you’re leveraging?
Ultimately, it’s about providing a personalized, highly relevant experience for every customer and prospect, and I think marketing automation platforms play an important role here. Increasingly, we are thinking about the entire customer journey and how we can better partner with our customers throughout their lifecycle – from initial purchase, to successful deployment, to renewal and referenceability. Yes, customer acquisition is important, and we use automation to be as targeted and thoughtful as possible in providing relevant information to help inform the purchase process. But, as a subscription business, our success is predicated on our customers’ success. Therefore, it’s critical that we continue the partnership dynamic beyond the initial purchase experience and we are finding that our marketing automation tools play a critical role in customer success and retention as well.
MTS: How should brands reinvent themselves using content management solutions within a brand self ecosystem?
One of the primary use cases we address with the Nuxeo platform is digital asset management, so brand management is a topic that is close to home. Principally, brand ecosystems are driven by compelling, relevant content, which – increasingly – includes rich media assets like video. Content Management solutions, like Nuxeo, play a critical role in helping companies to streamline the creative process, making them much more efficient in creating new content. Additionally, we find that many companies, particularly globally distributed organizations, really struggle to get full value from their brand assets. We also help with asset distribution, making it easier for organizations to find and reuse valuable digital assets and content. The increasing importance of digital marketing is a key factor here. Channels are proliferating, which is only increasing the demand for new content, and the pace of play is accelerating dramatically.
MTS: What startups are you watching / keen on right now?
As a category, I am really fascinated by AI and think it will play an enormous role in the future of our market and information management as a whole. One company that I am keen on right now is BitVore – an AI technology that identifies risk and opportunity in the financial services space.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
For a small company, we have a pretty amazing MarTech stack at Nuxeo. Fundamentally, we are a company of technologists and, culturally, we love to explore new apps and solutions.
We have a sophisticated, multi-touch attribution system which allows us to identify hot leads and to quickly connect customers and prospects with the right resources in our company. We currently use Marketo and Pipedrive, combined with RainKing, for marketing and sales automation, though we are planning on implementing a new CRM solution next year. We also use AI to respond to common customer questions or provide appropriate content to a prospect. Conversica is our solution for this.
From a digital perspective, we use several tools to provide a more personalized experience on our website as well as other channels. From chat to content personalization or social media, we want to provide a consistent, compelling experience for customers. Evergage and Intercom are two key technologies we use here. Bambu is also a nice tool for employee advocacy.
One of the other things that we do, which I think is unique, is we actually use our collaboration tool externally and invite customers and partners to engage with us directly. We use Slack for this type of collaboration.
We also use Trello to collaborate on internal projects and ProdPad is a great product for managing our roadmap.
MTS: Tell us about one of your standout digital campaigns? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?)
We have been very successful this year in focusing on digital asset management and, in particular, brand management as a use case for the Nuxeo platform. Standout campaigns begin with a good understanding of your target audience, and my team has done a lot of upfront work to segment the market and understand key buyer personas. Our target audience, in this case, consists of both marketing and IT personas that support the creative process for brand assets. And, we segmented the market to focus on larger enterprise accounts in key industries in our target geographies. Measuring success could be a long answer. We literally measure the performance of every asset, every activity and every channel. However, the bottom line is always how are we impacting revenue outcomes and Marketing contribution to pipeline is a key metric for us. Year to date, 55% of our new pipeline has been sourced by Marketing.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world as a marketing leader?
I have to give you a two-part answer here, as a marketing leader and product owner. From a marketing perspective, much of what we do is about personalization, relevancy and immediacy. And, much of what we do today is rules-driven, i.e. if a prospect or customer takes a certain action, this is how we respond. I believe AI will enable us to be much more nuanced and, forgive the pun, more intelligent about how we personalize the customer experience. Ultimately, also, I think AI will actually fuel very dynamic customer interactions.
From a product perspective, we think AI will dramatically change how we work with information. I believe that one of the biggest challenges we face today, in business, is information overload. Not all information is valuable. But, with AI, we think we can better deliver the right information, at the exact right moment, to enable users to make better, more informed decisions. Additionally, we believe that we can increasingly automate routine processes and decision-making, allowing valuable knowledge workers to focus on more complex, more strategic activities.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work:
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
PowerPoint and Excel are still my tools of choice for planning and presentations. I am a growing fan of Slack, which we use for collaboration and quick exchanges at Nuxeo. And, while I am terrible at keeping up with it, LinkedIn is a fabulous tool for networking.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I am a habitual early-riser and find that getting in early is a great way to start off each day with a couple of very productive hours, where I can focus on more strategic activities and getting larger projects done. Later, it’s just too easy to get caught up in meetings, phone calls, email, etc.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
First, I love to read and you will usually find me, iPad in hand, whenever I have down time. I make time every morning to read the news. For business, I am currently reading Everybody Lies, which is a great book about big data. And, for pleasure, I just finished the latest Lee Child novel, The Midnight Line.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Learn to trust in your own informed intuition. As a product and marketing leader, being second isn’t really a great option. So, you often have to make important decisions and take new directions based on minimal inputs. Being first to market involves a certain degree of risk. But, when you are a student of the market you serve – more often than not – your first instinct is right.
MTS: Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
MTS: Thank you Christopher! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Christopher McLaughlin is a Chief Marketing Officer at Nuxeo. He specializes in Marketing Strategy, Product Strategy and Marketing, Field Marketing, Financial Services and Insurance,Partnerships & Alliances.
Nuxeo, maker of the leading, cloud-native content services platform, is reinventing enterprise content and digital asset management. Nuxeo is fundamentally changing how people work with both data and content to realize new value from digital information. Its cloud-native, hyper-scalable content services platform has been deployed by large enterprises, mid-sized businesses and government agencies worldwide. Customers like Verizon, Boeing, Electronic Arts, and the US Department of Defense have used Nuxeo’s technology to transform the way they do business. Founded in 2008, the company is based in New York with offices across the United States and Europe. Additional information is available at https://www.nuxeo.com/. In 2016 Goldman Sachs and Kennet Partners invested $30 million to help Nuxeo accelerate our rapid growth. We’re investing heavily in expanding customer success and support, boosting R&D, and increasing our global reach and market presence.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.