Could you tell us about your role and journey into Technology?
I am COO and CMO of Contentstack, where I oversee Marketing, Product Management, and Operational functions such as legal.
I am an astrophysicist by trade and have been working in tech for most of my career. I’ve always been drawn to understanding and dissecting big ideas, questions and challenges and I take pleasure in taking complex problems and translating them for real world situations.
You’ve had a long track record of successfully leading change at SaaS companies?
Yes, for the last two decades, I’ve dedicated my professional life growing a wide range of B2B software and SaaS businesses. Highlights include launching the Mobile Platform at Salesforce and growing Built.io – an enterprise SaaS integration platform – from a brand new entrant into a market leader that was acquired by German software powerhouse Software AG in 2018.
As a CMO and COO, how do you jointly manage your global customer base?
At Contentstack, we emphasize close collaboration between all departments that interact with our global customer base. This includes Marketing, Sales, Product, Customer Success and Ops teams. Our cross-functional dedication to our customers is probably one of the reasons why we have the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, as you can see on public forums, such as Gartner’s Peer Insight’s vendor comparison.
How do you plan to extend the benefits of your latest funding to your customers and partners?
Our recent funding ($31.5 million Series A led by Insight Partners) will be used to extend Contentstack’s reach as a digital experience platform, and to help our growing company scale. Sales and Marketing is ripe to reach more parts of the globe and we’re expanding our partner ecosystem and community.
Which markets and industries in them are you currently targeting?
Contentstack already has a strong presence in the US. We recently opened up our European HQ and are experiencing rapid growth, which we expect to further accelerate as we build out our team and partner ecosystem across the region. We have marquee brands in pretty much every industry – spanning Finance and Insurance, Manufacturing, Media, Sports and Entertainment, Travel and hospitality, Technology etc. – and sharing their success stories and best practices is going to be a big focus for the next year.
What is the Marketing Technology you provide? Where does this position you as a company in the MarTech space?
Contentstack offers a modern technology stack for all your digital content. Content is typically a company’s most precious asset as it’s the primary way a brand connects with an audience. In a world where content is everywhere and comes in all shapes and sizes – Web, Mobile, AR/VR, Voice – audiences only engage if you can offer them a truly meaningful, personalized, digital experience, a traditional CMS just can’t keep up. Contentstack offers a modern way to connect and engage with customers through digital content and digital experiences and pioneered the shift in the CMS industry toward a MACH – Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless – architecture.
Contentstack is quickly becoming the “system of record” for digital content across Marketing, the same way Salesforce became the “system of record” for customer data across Sales. Our turnkey integrations make the system even more compelling because you’re able to tap into rich data, meaningful insights and powerful third-party tools and functionality without ever having to leave Contentstack. This makes Contentstack a powerful center of gravity across the very busy MarTech space.
Which Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support technologies do you leverage at Contentstack?
We are habitual early adopters of new technology across all of our departments. You name the tool – we’ve used it. True to the vision we paint for our customers, we believe in assembling a best-in-class technology stack ourselves, rather than buying into the idea that a single vendor – and their pre-packaged suite – can do it all. As a result, our tech stack tends to be quite dynamic and includes some more mainstream tools like Salesforce as our primary CRM, Contentstack to power our website, Monday.com for Marketing planning – we also use some more esoteric, AI-powered personalization and conversational engagement tools
What makes Contentstack different than its competitors?
Most vendors in the space cater to either Marketing users or developers; Contentstack is designed for and equally intuitive and useful for both. Contentstack allows an unprecedented collaboration between business and IT teams. It’s the first product of its kind with turnkey AI integration and provides a revolutionary Editor Experience that allows for powerful new functionality to be made available and easy to use to business users
How do you measure the performance of your products?
Performance has to tie back to business results to be meaningful for our customers. A customer might track things like how long it takes to launch a Marketing site or e-commerce app. We can save them 90% of the time it takes to get to market that frees up valuable resources to pursue additional business opportunities. With Contentstack, you can turn ideas into content and content into revenue in days, rather than months, so now you can track things like revenue acceleration and ROI in a meaningful way. From a pure technology aspect, we of course also track things like responsiveness of the Contentstack platform, making sure customers can always scale quickly and seamlessly while preserving service levels (which at 99.99+% availability are among the highest in the industry).
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Marketing Leader?
AI is poised to take over most parts of the Marketing stack. A simple example: A great, intuitive marketer can come up with a compelling headline, but an AI-powered SEO and analytics engine can both validate and supercharge that same content. Nearly every aspect of Marketing represents an opportunity for AI to add insights for better decision making and automation for faster results and more efficiency. Given that AI is evolving at a breakneck pace – with an ever-changing vendor landscape to match – it’s critical that marketers and marketing organizations pursue an approach to technology that allows them to be flexible and adopt the latest and greatest innovation when it becomes available.
Gone are the days where a single vendor or single product suite can solve it all. What’s considered “best-in-class” today might well be replaced by a better solution a year from now. Nowhere is this truer than with AI. A microservices-based architecture helps tremendously with that.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
I am pretty lucky to be surrounded by technophiles and tinkerers and as a team we’re constantly playing with new tools and technologies, so there’s plenty of inspiration to go around. More often than not it’s actually the team that inspires me to adopt a new technology or service.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I am a big fan of Slack and Zoom, which help our global team collaborate effectively. I also use and love our own headless CMS product, Contentstack because it allows everyone across the company to contribute to the content experiences we can offer our customers and partners.
Which superhero character/movie do you most profoundly relate to:
At the risk of mixing superhero universes but I am very much drawn to both Iron Man and Batman’s characters. Neither have any true superpowers but they’re great strategists, innovators and never give up.
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I try to get to Inbox 0 every day – the psychological boost you get from a clean slate can be amazing. Gmail has a great “snooze” feature that allows important messages to be out of sight but not out of mind.
What are you currently reading?
These days, I rarely have enough contiguous time to pick up a book and read in the classic sense, but I’ve discovered audiobooks as a fantastic alternative. I am currently listening to a fascinating novel called Shantaram which follows the journey of an Australian ex-convict who settles into a tumultuous life in Mumbai, India. Highly recommended!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” It’s a quote by Walter Hagen that has been mirrored in advice from my parents and several key people in my life I look up to. The advice makes more sense with each decade on this planet.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Two things that I’ve made a habit of my whole life: I like to consider all the consequences and possible outcomes of an action, as well as the angles to a given situation. The other is to try and notice what others don’t. We like to pre-judge and jump to conclusions, which of course can be a very efficient shortcut to get something done and see quick results. It’s also the easiest way to overlook a hidden gem. When it comes to people, I believe everyone you meet has a story worth listening to and I am always curious to try and discover it.
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Neha Sampat, CEO of Contentstack
Thomas Gottheil, CEO of Frontastic
Thank you, Matthew! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Matthew Baier is the COO and CMO of Contentstack™ and Co-Founder/former COO of Built.io® (acquired by Software AG). He specializes in building enterprise technology brands and has 20 years of experience growing a wide range of B2B software and SaaS businesses.
Previously, Matthew led Product Marketing for Oracle’s database portfolio, Salesforce’s application development and mobile platforms, as well as product management and marketing for many of Sun Microsystems’ marquee products and brands.
Contentstack – the pioneer in API-first, headless CMS technology – accelerates and simplifies content management across today’s and tomorrow’s digital channels, including web, mobile and IoT. From desktops to smart phones, from kiosks to smart watches, from billboards to jumbotrons, from dashboards to VR headsets – content is delivered with the push of a button and optimized for every screen, device and channel.
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.