MarTech Interview with Alison Durant, SVP of Corporate Marketing, LogMeIn

MarTech Interview with Alison Durant, SVP of Corporate Marketing, LogMeIn
Alison Durant, LogMeIn

“From the outset, you need to be ready to enable sales to cross-sell and upsell new products, empower the marketing teams to deliver compelling content, and most importantly, be ready to create immediate value to the customer base.”

Tell us about your role and journey into technology. What made you join LogMeIn?

I currently lead a team of talented and passionate marketing professionals at LogMeIn. I’ve been in the tech industry for more than 25 years leading marketing teams at both small and large organizations, and now I have the opportunity to lead the next stage of growth at one of the largest SaaS companies in the world. LogMeIn had such a great pedigree before I joined that making the decision to move to a high-growth company was a no-brainer.

With an assortment of products at various stages of maturity, and the nuances of a B2B and B2C funnel, there was a lot of opportunity to both add value and grow my career. In addition, our teams are some of the smartest I’ve had the pleasure of working with and I love how, as an organization, they truly understand the value of technology. Coming from the B2B tech world, the alignment between the technology used and the go-to-market strategy is critically important, and I saw a tremendous opportunity for LogMeIn to capitalize on that.

As a woman in tech, what are the biggest challenges to leading Marketing Operations in the Marketing and Sales technology ecosystem?

I think the biggest challenge for anyone in this space — man or woman — is figuring out which of the wealth of tools out there is going to help us best serve our customers and prospects. There is no shortage of options, but it’s on me and my team to ensure that we are aware of all of them and are deploying the ones that are going to offer the best possible customer experience at every stage of our buyers’ journey.

What valuable lessons did you learn from Oracle’s acquisition of Endeca?

The acquisition of Endeca by Oracle was an integration bootcamp for me. Not only did I lead the integration from the Endeca side, but in my first three months at Oracle, I had three more acquisitions to run with. Oracle’s acquisition of Eloqua helped transform our go-to-market motion from a license model to a SaaS-based motion. At the time, this was a tremendous shift for the industry and my teams, and it was a wonderful and educational experience for me. But more than the model shift, the biggest lesson I learned was how to approach a redesign of an organization through acquisition.

It can be easy to choose a team based on people you like or the ones you’ve worked with in the past, but each of those integrations challenged me to figure out what the most successful new team structure would look like to accomplish deal objectives. Each of those exercises reaffirmed what I already knew — people matter.

How did it transform your vision into marketing infrastructure and tools?

During the course of my career, I am constantly reminded that Sales and Marketing programs are only as good as the systems and data within those systems. From a tools and technology perspective, it’s critical to onboard acquisitions in a meaningful way, designing infrastructure that will support a new go-to-market motion.

I was responsible for helping to migrate marketing data from Endeca into Oracle’s systems, which helped lay the groundwork for a new customer-centric Marketing Automation infrastructure. At LogMeIn, we have a world-class infrastructure in place already and a strong team who’s dedicated to optimizing our MarTech stack. As LogMeIn continues to grow, it’s a huge area of focus for me and my team.

Tell us about your go-to strategies to support rapid growth. What lessons did you learn through periods of massive shift and transition?

When you grow as fast as we did at LogMeIn (literally overnight), the only truly effective and efficient way to onboard all the new parts of the business is to have a strong MarTech foundation. From the outset, you need to be ready to enable sales to cross-sell and upsell new products, empower the marketing teams to deliver compelling content, and most importantly, be ready to create immediate value to the customer base.

That’s a huge undertaking for any organization, and having the right tools and technology will make the process monumentally easier. Ensuring marketing professionals are focused on core competencies versus process is also key to career growth, which is a priority for me and my leadership team.

How do you mentor your product marketing ops team at LogMeIn?

First and foremost, you must know what motivates your team. In a growth business like ours, it’s important to continually shine a light on the impact each team member is making on the bigger picture. With over 200 people in the marketing department at LogMeIn, it’s critical for us to have team buy-in on the work that we are doing. I personally try to provide opportunity for both formal and informal recognition of successes as well as offer an open forum to discuss challenges. We all learn from each other, myself included.

From the technology industry, who do you huddle with more often and share your ideas?

Throughout my career, I have been blessed to work with colleagues and friends that I still rely on for advice or a fresh take. I also really find myself leaning on colleagues in other departments within LogMeIn that have similar responsibilities. I truly believe that having perspective is the key to success. Especially in our business — we are balancing 16 product lines, selling to B2B and B2C customers, as well as working through both touch and e-commerce channels. That variability in our go-to-market requires a lot of viewpoints to get it right.

What does your technology community look like?

I take a lot of pride in the group of people I surround myself with both at LogMeIn and externally. Our Director of Marketing Technology, Justin Sharaf, runs a group called “Marketing Tech in the Hub,” which runs quarterly events for marketing and marketing technology leaders in Boston. He has also spoken at the MarTech Conference in Boston and San Francisco. Two of our Program Managers, Lisa DeDonato and Lindsay Becker, delivered a phenomenal keynote on our ABM efforts at TerminusFlipMyFunnel event this past summer.

We also have an extremely talented group of Marketing Automation professionals who participate in our internal Marketing Automation Community. That group meets weekly and has a very active Slack channel where some extremely innovative ideas develop.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?

We have roughly 70 marketing technologies managed within our marketing organization and dozens more sales technologies managed by our Business Applications and Sales Operations teams. One of the most important projects we’ve been working on this year is implementing a new instance of Marketo. It will be one of the biggest implementations they’ve ever done. We also work with Salesforce and Terminus as other key pieces to our stack.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Marketing Operations for 2019-2020?

Without a doubt, the number one disruptor for Marketing Operations over the next few years will be AI. At LogMeIn, we offer industry-leading AI capabilities through our Bold360 customer engagement suite and we’ve already started implementing that technology across all our own sites to offer our customers and prospects a modern, user-friendly, always-on experience. We also know it will lead to better conversion through both our Touch and eComm channels.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

We try our hardest to keep our finger on the pulse of cutting-edge technology. We were very early adopters of Intercom and Clearbit, two companies that have grown tremendously since we began working with them. We are very interested right now in emerging technologies focused on onboarding experiences, technographic data, attribution, and a number of AI and Machine Learning-focused technologies.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

The key is to embrace it. AI, if used correctly, can be a marketer’s best friend. There is so much available data out there on current and potential customers and AI is going to help us to make strategic use of it. Knowing who your customers are, their preferences, buying history, etc. helps marketers run more targeted campaigns and arm sales teams with relevant information so they can have better conversations. It’s about creating the type of customer experience that provides value for the customer and leads to long-term loyalty.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I’m lucky in that I have a really seasoned team that understands how the right technology can help us all do our jobs more efficiently and effectively. For those that may need a little nudge, though, I simply show them the benefits firsthand. Technology removes many of the manual processes that have traditionally been part of our daily jobs, opening us up to leverage customer insights to drive better, more effective programs and outcomes.

One word that best describes how you work?

Straight-shooter.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

In my personal life, I couldn’t possibly live without Cozi. It’s an app that keeps my family’s schedule and to-do lists accessible and in one place. We all have so much going on, it’s great to have a tool that can keep us organized. On a professional level, Slack is my lifeline. I have team members who are located all over the globe, so being able to connect with them one-on-one or in teams at a drop of a hat is immensely empowering.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

I schedule meetings for either 50 minutes or 25 minutes instead of the full hour or half hour, so that I have time to regroup, create an action plan and address any hot items so I’m not a bottleneck to my teams.

What are you currently reading?

I have a few good reads on my table right now, but I tend to gravitate most toward books that help me hone my leadership skills or, more importantly, help me navigate my role as a working mom. As far as how I consume information — I tend to do better reading small bits throughout the day. I was taught speed reading at a young age and it’s a skill I’m so grateful for — it made for an easy educational experience and to this day, I consume a lot of content.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

To ensure work-life balance. I’m a firm believer that it’s hard to feel good about either if you’re short-changing one or the other. It is possible to have it all, but it’s important to be present wherever you are.

Something you do better than others — the secret of your success?

I really try to focus on what really matters to the business, to our customers and to our employees. It can be so easy to get caught up in initiatives that sound good, but realistically don’t drive impact. That being said, I believe in strategic risks and empowering my team to think and act innovatively. I challenge our group to take chances and make smart mistakes.

Thank you, Alison! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

As SVP of Corporate Marketing, Alison is responsible for leading all aspects of LogMeIn’s global marketing organization, including demand generation, customer engagement, corporate communications, brand & creative, and web and eCommerce. Alison joined LogMeIn in 2015 from Oracle, where she held leadership positions in Oracle’s applications business. During her tenure at Oracle, she was a key player in the transition of the go-to-market for Oracle’s applications business from a license- to Saas-based model.

Prior to Oracle, Alison was VP of Corporate Marketing at Endeca, which was acquired by Oracle. Earlier in her career, Alison helped launch Horn Group, a digital marketing agency. In her 10 years with Horn Group, she developed marketing strategies to complement business plans and contribute to overall growth of clients, including technology companies like Oracle, EMC, ADP, Lucent, PeopleSoft, Sophos, Novell, Gartner, and IDC. Horn Group was recognized as a top agency to work for by The Holmes Report and Working Woman Magazine.

Alison earned a B.S. in Political Science with a Minor in French from Franklin & Marshall College. She lives in So. Dartmouth with her husband and two children. In her free time, you can find her sailing on Buzzards Bay.

LogMeIn Logo

LogMeIn, Inc. simplifies how people connect with each other and the world around them to drive meaningful interactions, deepen relationships, and create better outcomes for individuals and businesses. One of the world’s top 10 public SaaS companies, and a market leader in communication & conferencing, identity & access, and customer engagement & support solutions, LogMeIn has millions of customers spanning virtually every country across the globe. LogMeIn is headquartered in Boston with additional locations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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.

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