MarTech Interview with Shane Phair, CMO at Campaign Monitor

MarTech Interview with Shane Phair, CMO, Campaign Monitor

“Email is an incredibly effective way to communicate important topics and updates to employees and keep them engaged.”

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Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Campaign Monitor?

I’ve worked in the technology space for over a decade, starting in Sales at Motorola, Ipswitch, and Brainshark, before leading the Marketing and Demand Generation teams at Cleo. This led me to join the Campaign Monitor team and larger CM Group family of brands in 2018. I was interested in joining the Campaign Monitor team because of the investment strategy. Having the ability to be a part of the larger story CM Group was building, to offer customers the ideal Email Marketing solution, regardless of their scale or sophistication, was highly attractive to me.

What is Campaign Monitor and how does it fit into a modern CMO’s MarTech stack?

Campaign Monitor is a global technology company that provides a powerful yet approachable Email Marketing platform focused on easy-to-use design, Personalization and Automation tools. It was founded in 2004 in Sydney, Australia with the mission to provide customers with the tools needed to create meaningful connections with their customers.

The modern CMO’s MarTech stack is continually evolving, as is the industry, so I fully believe Email Marketing will always be a strong piece of the stack. This is because Email Marketing has a return-on-investment (ROI) of $44 per $1 spent. I bring this up because the strength of Email Marketing is one of the reasons Campaign Monitor continues to be dedicated to email even during a time when other brands are pivoting to be a full-service Customer Relationship Management tool, leaving behind the specific needs of email marketers.

With this in mind, Campaign Monitor is the ideal solution for businesses and nonprofits that are looking for an email service provider (ESP) that will allow them to easily build beautiful campaigns while beginning to dive into more advanced levels of Personalization, Segmentation, and Automation.

How is the Email Automation Technology ecosystem different today than when you first started here?

The automation space has continued to evolve and one of the changes that I’m most excited about is the creative marketers are implementing in terms of automation. As technology continues to advance, we are seeing email marketers use automation in new ways to create personalized, in-the-moment conversations with their subscribers. This will only continue to expand as marketers begin truly crafting the way they use data in their email campaigns.

How big is your Product Development team? How does your Sales and Marketing teams contribute to Product development?

The Product development team for Campaign Monitor specifically is made up of about 50 team members. Our Sales and Marketing teams work to actively contribute to the development of the Campaign Monitor product by working closely with the Product team to provide them with suggestions from our customers and prospects.

Which businesses are fastest to the adoption of Marketing Automation platforms? How does it impact Branding and Marketing operations for B2B and B2C customers?

Typically, B2B businesses have been the fastest to adopt Marketing Automation platforms. This is because many B2B businesses have higher average order values, longer Sales cycles, and a lower Sales volume compared to B2C businesses. For example, a company selling manufacturing equipment for $1M per item is going to need a tool that allows them to nurture high value leads through a series of drip campaigns, score those leads based on their interactions, and alert the Sales team of any new interactions. Whereas B2C companies have less complex Sales funnels and therefore use Marketing Automation features far less often. The main outlier is companies in the e-commerce space which almost always have some Marketing Automation to help recover abandoned shopping carts.

In terms of how this impacts branding, companies need to think about what their automated messages say, when they are triggered, who they triggered to, and how frequently. All of these factors can have negative consequences on a brand if they aren’t done right. For example, I recently signed up for emails from a furniture retailer as they were offering free delivery in exchange for your email. Unfortunately, the Marketing team hadn’t updated their promotion and I found that it had actually expired when I opened the email.

From an operations perspective, Marketing Automation has the ability to make your life significantly easier. Today there are tools that can automate many of the tasks that used to be manual, giving you more time to think about new tactics and strategies. In fact, Marketing Automation is really the key to any Marketing and Operations team that wants to get ahead of their competition.

Tell us about the most epic moments in your career. How did you focus on transforming customer success for clients?

An epic moment in my career was when I saw my first seven-figure deal close while I was leading the Marketing and Demand Generation teams at Cleo. We knew that the deal was a direct result of our marketing efforts and it was an incredibly inspiring moment in my Marketing journey.

Apart from B2B commerce, Email Marketing, and CX, how can Companies better leverage Campaign Monitor for business?

One really interesting use case we’ve seen is our customers who use Campaign Monitor for their internal communications. Email is an incredibly effective way to communicate important topics and updates to employees and keep them engaged, and we see this as another way our customers utilize our easy-to-use email builder.

Tell us more about your product roadmap for 2020?

In the upcoming year, we will continue to make improvements to our platform that will further enhance the customer experience and offer new ways for customers to build relationships with subscribers.

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

All brands within CM Group, including Campaign Monitor, use a variety of marketing and sales automation tools, such as Salesforce, Chili Piper, and a mix of our own email service platforms.

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

There are many emerging technology companies that we as a company are keeping our eye on, specifically technology that could benefit our customer base.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Marketing Leader?

To best prepare, I think it’s important for Marketing leaders to focus on maintaining a balance between taking the leap into utilizing AI while not underestimating the continued importance of the human mind. While AI has continued to grow in popularity and has improved certain areas of business, there are just some areas in which AI cannot replace the creativity of human problem-solving.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

Inspiration starts with empowerment. I have always ensured that each member on my team knows if they bring a solution to the table that adds value, I will support a pilot.                                   

One word that best describes how you work.


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

I use Slack, Asana, and Moz everyday.

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

Cut your weekly meetings in half to allow more time for execution.

What are you currently reading?

I read at least 5 books a month, mainly due to the amount of time I spend on airplanes. I prefer to consume information digitally, but more often than not, I resort to paperback out of necessity. I’m currently reading “SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome” by Mary Beard — I’m fascinated by ancient history.

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

Don’t trade what you want at the moment for what you want in the future.

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

I think the secret to my success has been my ability to test methodologies. Marketing changes constantly, so it’s important to take risks sometimes.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

I would have loved to see Steve Job’s answers.

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

Shane Phair is the Chief Marketing Officer of CM Group. Prior to joining CM Group, he led marketing and demand generation teams as VP of Demand Generation at Cleo, a global leader in enterprise integration solutions. Prior to Cleo, he held Senior sales positions with Brainshark, Ipswitch, and Motorola; while also spending several years in South Korea working in the education space.

Shane holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and earned his bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University.

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Campaign Monitor, a CM Group brand, is a leading email marketing platform trusted by 250,000 customers worldwide. We strive to provide the best product and services, ranging from easy to use email marketing tools and automation to full-featured email platforms used by teams of all sizes.

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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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