MarTech Interview with Chris McLaughlin, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Nuxeo
Tell us about the role/team you handle at Nuxeo. What inspired you to join the company?
I have an amazing job. I am Nuxeo’s Chief Product & Marketing Officer. So, not only am I responsible for our go-to-market strategy, but also our product strategy. My team manages everything from our product design and roadmap to our messaging, programs and campaigns.
As to what inspired me to join Nuxeo, that’s simple. I fell in love with Nuxeo’s product and its people. I have been in this space for a long time and I thought they were truly doing something different and exciting. Simply put, it was a story that I wanted to help tell.
You are one of the senior-most Martech CMOs in the tech industry. What unique challenges did you face in your transition from the dotcom era to AI-driven Commerce?
(Laughing) When did that happen? When did I become one of the senior-most Martech CMOs? It seems like only yesterday I was a young Product Marketer at FileNet…
Honestly, I think there have been a lot of incremental changes between the dotcom era and today. In the dotcom era, eCommerce sites were just getting started. Many organizations were still struggling to grasp how to move beyond brick-and-mortar operations. B2B websites were still largely brochureware. And, of course, we were working with a lot of first-generation Web technologies.
So, it’s not like any of this happened overnight. But, I would say that the biggest challenge we face today is the degree of complexity we have to manage in our Marketing. Yes, we have more data, more analytics, and better tools than we have twenty years ago which is all truly helpful. But, there is also so much more noise to cut through. And, today’s customer expects a highly personalized experience, which means we have to tailor our content and our campaigns to so many different personas and customer journeys, not to mention different channels.
Further, in a modern SaaS world where retention is crucial, we not only need to market to prospects but also existing customers. I am constantly amazed by the sheer volume and diversity of content that we have to create and I am so grateful to have a really good team to keep up with it all.
How is Nuxeo different today than what it was 5 years ago? How do you empower your customers and partners with automated ECM capabilities?
Nuxeo is a fundamentally different organization today than it was five years ago, both in terms of our products and go-to-market strategy.
Five years ago, we had a classic open-source strategy where customers would come to our website, download our software, and – if they liked it – they would purchase a subscription and support agreement. It was very much the RedHat model and our customers were primarily small to medium-sized companies in Europe, primarily France.
Today, with the support of our investors, we have transitioned to a true enterprise sales model and count many of the world’s largest insurers, retail brands and financial services companies as customers. And, the majority of our revenues come from the US.
In terms of product, we are now almost entirely Cloud-only. We do have a few on-premises customers and this remains an option, but the bulk of our customers either run in our Cloud or their own. In fact, in just the last three years, we have seen more than one-third of our customers move to our Nuxeo Cloud services.
Additionally, we have introduced new Artificial Intelligence capabilities that are bringing incredible value to our customers and helping to solve some long-standing challenges in the content management space. What hasn’t changed is that Nuxeo still offers the most modern Content Services Platform in the market today and continues to innovate in order to ensure that it stays that way.
CDPs and AI-based contact centers have taken the limelight away from ECMs and DAMs. How do you continue to stay relevant in this largely diverse B2B commerce landscape?
What we focus on with our customers is the critical role that content or digital assets play in their organization. Customer Data Platforms or CDPs are great and it is incredibly valuable to aggregate customer data from across the enterprise. But, once you have it and you want to market or sell to those customers, what do you need? Compelling digital assets to promote your products and services. Content to support your sales activities.
Similarly, AI technologies for contact centers are very effective in enhancing the customer experience and efficiently servicing customers. But, it is content that underpins a lot of those customer interactions. It’s content that informs your CSRs. And, in many cases, it’s content that enables customers to self-service, bypassing the call center altogether.
One of the things that we are really excited about at Nuxeo is the role that digital assets play in helping our customers bring new products to market much more quickly. By making these visual assets available across the digital supply chain and by pairing them with critical product data, we can reduce the time it takes to bring a new product to market.
We can accelerate product design as well as packaging design as well as campaign development and execution. Trust me, when you tell a multinational clothing brand that you can shave months off their time to market for new products, you can retake a lot of that limelight.
We know that you have a diverse customer base across industries in North America. Tell us about your go-to-market strategies for emerging tech regions like APAC and ANZ.
Honestly, right now, our Marketing in APJ is very limited. We have a small presence in Japan where we are working with some fantastic partners, but today we are really entirely focused on the US and Western Europe. This is not because we don’t think there is an opportunity in the region, it’s just because — as a relatively young vendor – we can really only focus on a couple of geographies.
Sixth sense: the Future of ECMs – Your take on the reengineering of ECMs to support Omnichannel Customer relationships models based on AI, Voice, bots and numerous other tech applications!
ECMs, or Content Services Platforms (CSPs) as we refer to the next generation of offerings in our space, have always been about interoperability. And content is a foundational pillar of any successful customer relationship. Think about it. Content drives your marketing. Content fuels your website. Content is consumed across different channels and mediums. To a certain extent, content defines your customer experience.
So, yes, it’s critical that a modern CSP, like Nuxeo, supports Omnichannel content delivery and customer engagement. But, the important thing to note is that Nuxeo was designed with this in mind, so no re-engineering is required.
You have worked closely and extensively within the Salesforce economy. You have seen it acquire major firms and tech partners. What lessons do you take from Salesforce commerce and how do you apply it to your customer relationships at Nuxeo?
Obviously, we have a long way to go before we get mentioned in the same sentence with Salesforce. But one of the key lessons I’ve learned from working with Salesforce is really about not trying to solve every problem yourself and not trying to be everything to everyone.
Salesforce is an incredible organization, but I really think the secret to their success is that they know what they’re good at and they have built an ecosystem of partners that complement what they do. These partners have enabled Salesforce to expand into new markets and bring new capabilities to their customers. Along the way, Salesforce has made a number of these partners very successful which, in turn, has brought more partners into their ecosystems and spawned numerous acquisitions.
One of the things that we focus on at Nuxeo is really sticking to our knitting. We know what we’re good at and we invest our roadmap and engineering resources in building the best Content Services Platform in the market. We have also invested in building a partner ecosystem – though quite a bit smaller than Salesforce – to complement what we do. We try to find best-of-breed solutions, not always from the biggest or most established vendors, but from like-minded companies who prioritize innovation and architectural excellence.
From a customer relationship perspective, this means that our customers can expect us to continue to innovate and to focus on what we do best. And they can take advantage of new products and services from innovative partners who are helping us to shape the future of the Content Services market. Like Salesforce, our goal is to make these partners wildly successful and to attract other partners to our ecosystem.
What are your thoughts and experiences with GDPR, CCPA, and other data privacy regulations? How do consumer data privacy laws affect your business?
We have had to comply with GDPR – and more recently CCPA – in our Marketing efforts. Generally, I think it’s good that we have to be mindful of our customer preferences in how we market to them and enable them to opt in to communications.
But, more importantly, our technology is actually helping our customers to comply with GDPR, CCPA, and other data privacy regulations. This has become a reality of doing business, not just in Europe, but also in the US. I believe there are 14 other states now that are considering legislation like CCPA and a lot of our customers are scrambling to prepare for this.
Not surprisingly, for a lot of large organizations — particularly those that have grown through M&A, like many banks and insurers — it’s a massive challenge to be able to easily identify what information they have for a particular customer. There are so many different information silos in these organizations. Additionally, should a customer request it, they have to be able to delete this information and, for a lot of our customers, this is another challenge because customer data is stored in a format (typically with a lot of other customer information) that makes this virtually impossible.
So, Nuxeo is helping many of these organizations to modernize their information infrastructures. We help them to bridge their silos and easily and efficiently identify customer data. We also help to transform existing data formats so that customer information can be readily deleted. And, we even can help manage the subject-action request (SAR) process related to these customer inquiries. It’s really an exciting opportunity for Nuxeo.
Which superhuman character/literature icon do you readily connect with in life –
(Laughing, again.) I have always loved Wolverine. I can’t say we have much in common, but he’s a great character.
A unique message for all young Marketing and Sales professionals in the tech business – What kind of training certification should they focus to make it your team at Nuxeo –
Candidly, the best training is doing. I remain a big fan of the Pragmatic Framework and would recommend it to anyone. I also think Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm is a must-read. But, what I really look for in candidates is curiosity and passion. I love people who have a passion for what they are doing and are endlessly curious about how things work.
Passion is contagious and invaluable in both building great products and great marketing. Curiosity ensures that people are lifelong learners and are constantly looking for new ways to do things better. So, by all means, invest in building skills as a marketer. But, more importantly, roll up your sleeves, get out there, have some success, make some mistakes, and then bring that experience – along with your passion and curiosity – to Nuxeo.
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Thank you, Chris! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Christopher McLaughlin is Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Nuxeo. He specializes in Marketing Strategy, Product Strategy and Marketing, Field Marketing, Financial Services and Insurance, Partnerships and Alliances.
As CMO, Chris guides Nuxeo’s go-to- market strategy and is responsible for all aspects of Marketing worldwide.
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.