Sales Pipeline Radio, Episode 241: Q & A with Drew Chapin @drewchapin
By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
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This week’s show is called “A Former Military Officer Talks About Teamwork and Sales/Marketing Alignment” and our guest is Drew Chapin, CMO at Hyland.
We start with the backstory of how representing Xander Schauffele came to be and how this became part of the marketing mix for Highland. Drew also explains the X-Factor campaign and talks about the broader sales and marketing mix and how it has changed in the last 12 months.
He tells what he had to pivot to… and now as we see a little light at the end of the tunnel, what adjustments may become fixtures for his marketing mix moving forward.
We also talk about something that comes up a lot when we talk to CMOs and marketing leaders, especially with fast growing companies, and it’s marketing’s role in M&A. He shares a what that means for a marketing team. When you’re trying to drive growth, when you’re trying to drive pipeline, acquisitions can be a distraction, and they can be an accelerator. sometimes both, sometimes one of the other. Listen in for this and a lot more!
Listen in now and/or read the full transcript below.
Matt Heinz: Alright. Well, welcome everybody to another episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. My name is Matt Heinz. Thank you very much for joining us. We are here every week, on Thursday at 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern, live. We have always been live, and now, as you can see in our new format, we are live on LinkedIn, doing it with full video. I still have a face for radio, but we’re turning the video on now, as well. If you are joining us live in the middle of your workday, thanks so much for joining us. We have got a good 20-25 minutes planned, talking a little B2B sales and marketing.
If you are listening on the podcast and are joining us, and if you are a subscriber, thank you so much for listening regularly. If you are discovering us for the first time, you can find every episode, all 278 I believe now, past episodes of Sales Pipeline Radio available, believe it or not, at salespipelineradio.com. We are featuring each week some of the best and brightest minds in B2B sales and marketing. Today is absolutely no different. Very excited to have with us Chief Marketing Officer of Hyland, Drew Chapin. Drew, thanks so much for joining us today.
Drew Chapin: Thanks, Matt. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Matt Heinz: I have a lot of questions, we have a lot of ground we could cover, but my first question is about Xander Schauffele. It is not every day that I get a chance to interview a B2B CMO who is part of the marketing mix in sponsoring a PGA golf professional. And I mean, you see this with Workday, I saw this with Concur and Jason Day, and I’m just curious, what goes into… A lot of marketers are thinking about webinars and trade shows and driving pipeline. I would love to hear the backstory of how this came to be and how this became part of the marketing mix for Hyland.
Drew Chapin: That’s a great question. That sponsorship has really been a lot of fun. It really started with my boss who runs sales, marketing services, and customer success being interested in sports sponsorship. It’s more like the chairman’s choice strategy, if you will. “Hey, go sponsor this team or this player.” We were able to talk him into slowing things down and letting us think about it more strategically. We partnered with our agency partner and did some research. What we learned was the audience that we coveted, what they were interested in were things like golf, tennis, Major League Baseball, and so we landed on golf because of its global reach, and we were lucky that Xander Schauffele was available and interested in a partnership. We have been at this for about a year and a half now, and it has been a lot of fun. We created an integrated campaign with Xander that is in market and doing really well. We’re getting a lot of engagement and conversions from the content that we created with him, so it’s been a lot of fun.
Matt Heinz: That’s awesome. I’d love to have you talk a little more about the X-Factor campaign, because I actually spent a little time with this the other day. It’s a really great way of taking, just like… You got a guy who’s on the tour, who’s on TV every weekend, if it makes the cut most weekends. Right? And so, giving, obviously, some value to the brand, but then how does that play in? I mean, do you have to negotiate with the player or their agent for how much time they’ll spend on this? And then how do you… I mean clearly, this is a brand end demand effort for you. How does that come to be, and how do you build that mix?
Drew Chapin: Getting into a little bit of the detail, you do negotiate for his time and that is what essentially, you are paying for. You do get some branding right now. We’re on Xander’s sleeve. But we paid for content creation, so he participates in a production day annually with us, where we are able to create video. He’s done interviews for us on podcasts and other formats, as well. That’s all negotiated. So, that is something that we negotiated upfront. But as far as the X-Factor campaign, we have a hard time explaining to our buyers and our customers the value that Hyland provides. One of the ways that my boss and our CEO has explained, it is kind of like a Swiss army knife. It’s like a tool that you can use to solve a lot of different problems in your organization, and it’s kind of like an X-Factor. Right? It’s like a special sauce that you can apply to fix a process that might be broken or to automate a workflow. We work a lot with unstructured data with what we do, and we see Hyland as an X-Factor for our business. And we just fell into the… off the luxury, hit every lucky branch on the way down that Xander was available, and we have that pneumonic connection between the X-Factor and his name.
Matt Heinz: That is really cool. There is a halo effect there in terms of people joining the company and thinking that it is pretty cool to have the company… I mean, it’s on the sleeve, but to see your company name on TV on the weekends, there’s got to be some cool X-Factors internally for that, as well.
Drew Chapin: Definitely.
Matt Heinz: I want to talk about the broader sales and marketing mix. We are twelve months after we all went in a hole and tried to stay away from a global pandemic. Talk a little bit about how the marketing mix has changed for you in the last twelve months. What have you had to pivot to? And now as we maybe see a little light at the end of the tunnel, what adjustments may become fixtures for your marketing mix moving forward?
Drew Chapin: Well, I think COVID really accelerated what was already happening in the marketing mix. We were really investing a lot in digital, in our data infrastructure, in analytics, and when the world shut down a year ago and in-person events were canceled and that was no longer a viable option for us, we really doubled down in digital, in our paid advertising, in our paid search, in our SEO efforts, in the technology that we use to run our business. And I don’t see that going back. I think that digital engagement is here to stay.
The other thing I would say is it is also changed on the buyer side. Historically speaking, the buyer journey was serial as it relates to sales and marketing, marketing would develop and nurture the opportunity, and then they would hand it off to a sales rep who would handle from lead to close. Well, now, it’s a buyer-driven process, and that buyer bounces back and forth between a marketing tactic that they’re consuming, or a piece of content that they’re reading to learn more about your solution, and having a conversation with a sales rep. So, it really has changed the dynamic on both sides of the equation.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. it is interesting you say that because I think we are seeing the buying behavior change, and despite the fact we now [inaudible 00:06:53] marketing teams that are more remote and more distanced from each other, we are seeing evidence that that is driving them closer together. Right? That that force, moving away from field marketing events, knowing that there is this more complex buyer that is forcing sales and marketing teams to work more closely together.
We are talking on the Sales Pipeline Radio with Drew Chapin. He is the Chief Marketing Officer for Hyland. There’s so much ground we can cover here. I want to talk about something that comes up a lot when we talk to CMOs and marketing leaders, especially with fast growing companies, and it’s marketing’s role in M&A. You guys have done a lot of M&A efforts in the last, I don’t know how long time, but it seems like I see you guys associated with acquisitions and growth that way quite a bit. Talk about what that means for a marketing team. I mean, when you’re trying to drive growth, when you’re trying to drive pipeline, acquisitions can be a distraction, and they can be an accelerator. sometimes both, sometimes one of the other. How do you manage and balance bringing an acquisition in from an marketing perspective with just more evergreen marketing goals?
Drew Chapin: Well, it’s really a great question, and lately, we’ve been on a little bit of an acquisition spree, and so it has created some disruption. At Hyland, we have a seat at the table when we are making these decisions and evaluating companies. So, I’m usually brought in pretty early, and I understand the strategy behind the acquisition, and that sometimes affects the downstream and what you do, whether are you a buying a customer base or are you buying technology? That obviously, affects the branding decisions that you make. So, there is definitely a strategic element of marketing that must be considered as you’re bringing these new companies into the Hyland fold.
And then, of course, there is a lot of operational decisions that need to be made. So, one of the lessons I have learned is that some of these acquired companies have more mature processes than we have because they are smaller and they are able to move a little faster, and maybe they are a little more modern than Hyland is. We will be over a billion dollars in revenue this year, and so we have learned not to make quick judgment of the Hyland way versus the acquired company way. We like to take our time to evaluate what our new teammates are doing, or were doing, before acquisition, see if there is anything, we can take advantage of with more resources that we have at our disposal at Hyland.
Matt Heinz: That’s such a smart approach, I think, because when you’re the company being acquired, there’s an awful lot of fear and uncertainty around that, and there’s an assumption that like, “Okay, we lost, and the company that bought us won.” And there’s plenty of companies that treat it that way. Right? But these are going to be your colleagues moving forward, your ability to handle that with some grace and empathy upfront, and to take your time and be patient with that is an important part of that. You were talking about the elements of sort of culture and team-building and respecting the people behind the marketers and the people behind the professionals. I imagine that has been, as a leader, that has been a particular big priority over the last year. Talk about ways that as a CMO, you have prioritized team-building and culture in the last 12 months amidst COVID.
Drew Chapin: Well, we were fortunate to have a pretty strong foundation to begin with, Hyland is a very employee-centric and people-centric culture, and so we treat our employees really well to begin with. With COVID, it got more difficult, though, because a lot of what our culture delivers is done in person. If you ever go visit a Hyland office, it has a feel to it, it has a very open and collaborative culture that is happening. And with Zoom and with virtual environments, it was hard for us to bring that culture to our employees.
So, last summer we started doing really fun things that weren’t work-related to help energized the culture and keep people engaged. For example, we had people submit baby pictures of themselves, and then we sent those pictures out to the team and people had to guess who was who. And then we met at 5:00 o’clock and had a beverage and revealed all the baby picture names. It was a riot; we were all cracking up. We liked it so much, we did a fast follower, which was an activity you did from age like eight to 12. So, you had ballerinas and baseball players, and it was a fun way to stay engaged with your teammates on a personal level since we were not seeing them in person anymore in the office.
Matt Heinz: That’s a great idea. I remember one of my assistants, a few years ago, when we were in the office, we used to do birthday celebrations, and she had secretly emailed my wife. I show up that day, and there’s pictures of me from high school around the office and I may not look like it now, but I had long hair in high school. I was a musician; I was trying to go for that… My joke is that I was trying to go for like a Michael Bolton look, and I ended up more like a Yani, or somebody a little bit of the opposite. So, I was looking for a Yani look, and ended up more like Michael Bolton. It wasn’t pretty. I appreciate being follicly challenged now. This is way easier to maintain.
Drew Chapin: Yep.
Matt Heinz: But I think finding ways to create and manage and facilitate that culture is important. Talk about the workplace productivity side of that, then. When you’ve got a distributed team… And I am not sure, maybe, talk about how you were all like in the office before this happened where you have a chance to see each other in the hallways or on the way to get coffee. There’s always that small talk before and after meetings. That’s a lot weirder now with Zoom. What have been some of your best practices and lessons in creating not just connectivity, but productivity and focus for your teams in a remote environment?
Drew Chapin: Well, the benefit of Zoom… And we’re a hybrid organization, we had 60 to 70% of our people in offices and 30% remote. But what it did is it democratized that once the pandemic hit because everyone was on a level playing field, so our remote employees really appreciated the change for making sure that their voice was heard and participating in that.
In terms of productivity, the thing that we had to be really careful about is fatigue and overworking people, because it’s pretty easy to jump on a Zoom. It seems to create more work sometimes than it did before, where before you are scheduling breaks, or you are making sure you are taking time to decompress. Where when you are going from Zoom to Zoom the Zoom, it can get overwhelming for a lot of folks sitting. So, what we have encouraged our employees to do is to take breaks. Sometimes if they are on an all-hands call, listen to it while you are walking around the block or walking your dog, and at the leadership level, demonstrating that. I’ll take breaks. I exercise during the day. I want to encourage my team to do that because of the risk of potentially overworking them through the more efficient way that we’re now engaging each other.
Matt Heinz: Yep. I love that. And I’ve found just even managing our small team through this past year, explicit permission and leading by example are really, really important. If I am going to tell people, “You need to take your time and take your personal time and PTO time is yours.” I cannot be doing email on nights and weekends; I cannot be checking in on vacation. I love that. I think so many people feel pressure to be on the video and on the Zoom call when sometimes you’re listening in, you can participate just as well while getting outside, getting some sun, getting some exercise. We do a CMO group, and we have some people that will show up on Friday mornings. Some of them are literally on their treadmills. I have seen a couple of people that are on their Pelotons and they are literally just like, they have just set up their camera or whatever and they are just getting something else done. So, giving explicit permission to do that, I think, is really important.
We have got just a few more minutes here with our guests today on Sales Pipeline Radio. Drew Chapin, he is the Chief Marketing Officer at Hyland, and we have been spending most of this conversation talking about you as the seller. I want to flip this around and talk about you as the buyer. So, I have to imagine, as the Chief Marketing Officer of a large, growing enterprise software company, you get a handful of sales pitches from time to time. Talk about what gets your attention. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time like SDR shaming because I think we’ve all got a few examples of the terrible appointments and messages we get. Let’s talk about what’s working. Let’s talk about what gets your attention? Why does it get your attention? What elements within those seem to be working?
Drew Chapin: Well, I think when I get introduced to new vendors or new solutions, that sometimes I am not even looking for, it is through Google searches about a problem I am trying to solve. I land on a thought leadership piece, a blog around SEL optimization, digital advertising, AI, or these things that we are thinking about. Some of those are our traditional channels, but some are new or more modern. I land on a vendor site because they wrote an engaging piece that’s not really selling me anything, it’s just telling me, “This is the way you may want to approach solving this problem. And oh, by the way, we happen to have solutions that can help you.” And so, I think that that is a great way, through thought leadership, educational content that is helping CMOs solve their problems. It is a great way to get my attention.
Matt Heinz: Well, and I think what you reference there that I want to cover, as well, is not just that value-added content, but CMO-level value-added content. Talk about some ways that… How important is it that someone levels up and understands the perspective you have on a particular problem, versus maybe other departments or other people in your organization as a way of creating more compelling content that gets your attention?
Drew Chapin: Well, I think for me, it’s not just marketing related. My peers across the company, like I mentioned earlier, I am in M&A conversations, I have regular engagements with our CFO. We’re looking at five year business plans. I am interested in knowing the CFO perspective on CMO. How do I brief my board more effectively? Or how do I brief the CEO better? Things that are related to cross departmental education for someone like me that does not just lead a marketing organization but is also part of executive team and must engage and collaborate across the entire company.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. Yeah. I love that and I think the last question as a buyer, I think there is plenty of salespeople that say, “Listen, if I can just get to the top person in the organization…” I think there’s a book literally called Selling the VITO, and VITO is an acronym for Very Important Top Officer. So, if I can just get to Drew and have the tall with him, I’m going to get somewhere. Talk about how you make buying decisions and what the buying committee means within your organization when it comes to deciding to do something.
Drew Chapin: Well, it’s interesting you bring that up because nothing bothers me more when I feel like a seller’s going around one of my leaders to try to sell to me directly and almost create a wedge between me and someone else on the team. And so, I would prefer that if someone is trying to sell to me, that they get the buy-in of my leadership first because I trust them to make the right decisions. And by the way, they’re the ones that are going to have to live with those long-term on their teams. So, the way, in my opinion, to get to the CMO, and it might be bi-directional and maybe through the thought leadership content we talked about earlier directed at the C-level. But the selling must happen to get that buying unit and that aligned before the executive gets engaged. Because the executive’s generally going to go off the recommendation of the buying unit.
Matt Heinz: Yeah. It’s such a good point. Respecting the buying process and the way that your prospect wants to buy versus the way you think you want to sell, is so important. There’s this ongoing thread in the CMO coffee talk group that we co-manage, that literally… There’s a hashtag now that is a, “Damn it,” and then an analyst firm at the end of that. I won’t name names. It starts with a G, and they end with artner. But the sales tactics are copying the board, going over someone’s head, a salesperson may feel like that is getting them leverage. I guarantee you it is doing the opposites on your deal. So, good feedback. And I want to make sure we cover that from you, as well.
Drew Chapin: Thank you, Matt.
Matt Heinz: Thank you, everyone, for listening and watching. We’ll be here again next week, 11:30 Pacific, 2:30 Eastern, live on LinkedIn. If you are listening, we will have new episodes up on salespipelineradio.com soon. Thanks for listening. My name is Matt Heinz. We’ll see you next week.