729: What to Do in Your First 100 Days as a CMO w/ Guy Weismantel

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Guy Weismantel, CMO of Pushpay.

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There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be tob executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BB growth show. We are here today with Guy Weisse Mantle. He is the CMO at push pay. Guy, how you doing today? I'm doing great. Thanks so much for having me. I am really excited to chat with you today. Guy. I was in your neck of the woods a few months ago now, meeting with somebody else from your team and our friend, my river friend, Kent, and he had mentioned that stepping into the CMO roll at a push pay recently and I thought, man, it's that would be a really compelling episode if we talk to you about your first one hundred days as Cmo at push pay, but before we do that. First, can you give listeners just a little bit of context? What is push pay? And then I'd love for you to give, you know, listeners a bit of your background and and what kind of led you to taking on the role that you're taking on at push pay today. Yeah, absolutely, happy new James, and it's great to finally contribute to this podcast after listening it, for listening to it for so long. So I'm glad Ken set us up. Kent and I both work at this company called Pushpay, were we're headquartered just outside of Seattle, down the road from Microsoft here in Redmond Washington. Push pay is really interesting company. I you know, I joined just a few months ago and it's in a really interesting space. It's a mobile application platform and it's focus really in three markets that are a little bit different churches,...

...schools and nonprofits, so really in this philanthropic type of market place and it's was founded by these these two friends from Auckland, New Zealand, who really had an idea that these markets were really being underserved from a mobile technology perspective compared to, you know, how mobile tech and mobile apps were being developed for all these other types of industry. So they started this business and came to the US about four years ago and the companies really started taking off since then. It's interesting. We're actually publicly traded and listed in New Zealand and Australia, but really have been, you know, working in markets that don't get a ton of publicity here in the US. So it's growing like crazy. And when I got the call to take a lip at the company last year, you know, I wasn't really even looking, but the farther I dug into the opportunity and the growth and the market, you know, as a market. It's why I was looking for great stories, right, and you know, for when you get to work with organizations that are actually doing really great things in the world and they do that with your product, that, you know, the stories kind of tell themselves. If you're able to, you know, build new wells or build orphanages or fee people like those are great stories. And so, yeah, it's really interesting to work in an organization that is the product that has a sort of impact. I love it. And so, guys, I want to spend the rest of our time today talking about your first one hundred days as a CMO and and as we were talking offline. I I just think this is going to be really valuable for anyone looking to step into this role. It's obviously, you know, there's a lot of VP's of marketing listening. There's some CMOS listening, but I know there are a lot of VP's of marketing listening and looking to make that transition probably in the next few years into a CMO roll. And we had a call a couple weeks ago just to kind of talk through some ideas and you are you're sharing some of the things that you learned in your first one hundred days at push pay and even just, you know, right before we hit record, talking through some things and and there are three very specific things that we're going to be talking about that you learned in your first...

...one hundred days that I think are going to be extremely beneficial for the marketer listening to this that either is in the midst of their first one hundred days as a CMO right now or they're looking to make that transition in their career soon at the first thing you mentioned is this idea, Guy, of do not harm. Can you can you elaborate on on that idea for us? Yeah, absolutely. So I think you know as I've had the chance to increase responsibility and and, you know, move to to more senior roles throughout my career. I think those of us that aspire to that or have some interest in leading others were we're inherently kind of hardwired to try to come in and fix things, especially if you're being brought in at it, you know, at an officer level or as senior level. You're interviewing with the CEO and the other senior executives, you're interviewing with the board of directors. So you're going to hear, you know, all the things that they want marketing to accomplish. And I think we all know from this podcast and anything you read online that you know the CMO role today is incredibly complex and has it has its hands and lots of different things and opportunities. And so you know because you come in, and especially if you're coming in to kind of help help the company do something better or different, they're just inherently you're going to want to come in and start to make those changes. And that could be on people, that could be on process, that could be on technology, that could be across a lot of different sense and you know I've certainly made these mistakes as I've come through my career and one of the things that I've really learned to do is is to kind of take a step back a little bit when you come in and you know, let the kind of the game come to you. You hear about professional athletes. They don't kind of just charge job, they kind of let the game come to them, and I think that's a really important skill set for for senior marketing leaders because you know, as you're interviewing even from the outside, as you hear all the details, you make it at your chance to interview with the team you're going to manage. You're still going to learn so much more about the team, about some of the dependencies that didn't come out. You know, by the time...

I started to put together a new organizational structure after this kind of first hundred days was hitting, I was on probably version eight or nine, and that was because of different things I'd learned, as I'd gotten new insights into skill sets and where people were, you know, going to be great and maybe not going to be great, and had to make a change. And I just think that the the instinct is to come in and apply a fix or you know, this website's horrible, so let's get started on a new website project and and instead. I think it's really important and you'll get more credibility down the line. I know it certainly helped me in this role to kind of, you know, spend the time getting to know your people, spend the time getting to know your peers, spend the time with the board and Double Click down on what you heard, because chances are they're going to share you know infinitely more now that you're one of them and on the team, and it's going to help you get a much different perspective that ultimately is going to help you go faster. It's certainly is helping me go fast now and I really appreciate that. I've had to learn again, sometimes the hard way, about, you know, maybe not letting that person go the first two weeks, even though they're not performing well. Let, you know, see what there's another place they can go if there's a reason why that's happening. And thing with products. You know there's lots of instances, but I think the important thing is you get to this, is you're going to be expected to have that organizational maturity and kind of view across the org and to do that you're going to need to take some time to really understand what you have. You know what you have and where you have some gaps, and then make the decision from there. I love it so so not coming in guns ablazing, really ready to cut people in products and, you know, restructure and entire organization in your first week, but slowing down, really focusing on doing no harm in the as you first come out, come on board, and letting it really pushing into getting a lot of insights. It sounds like having a lot of conversations, really getting trying to get a more holistic view of what's actually happening in the organization so that you can start to take some action. The the next one we're going to talk about, Guy, is...

...getting clarity on the alignment of goals. Can you, can you talk to us more about what this looked like for you? For sure, you know, at this level you're you're interviewing again with, you know, executives in the company, certainly with the Board of directors. They're going to you know, I've heard many friends who are in this role tale, and you hear this from boards. You know today it's a really difficult role for for companies to hire. There's a lot of great articles and and folks that have spoken on the fact that, you know, you you really have to understand kind of what what the job is as you come into it, because there's lots of different CMO profiles and different skill sets that we all possess, strengths and weaknesses, and so you know, I think as you come in there again there are fifty things that you could do and fifty things that you may want to do, but I think that the the important thing is spending this kind of first hundred days, in the midst of listening and learning, really getting incredibly strong alignment and in kind of being ruthless in your prioritization of what needs to get done first, because you're going to have, you know, people who are going to come to you and push pays a great example. The people are incredibly Nice, incredibly driven and I lost track on the first few weeks of people saying I'm so glad you here, I've been waiting till you got here. I have this thing, I have this project, I need help with this, and I think importantly, you know, take that note, put it down, say great I'd love to meet with you on that and learn more. However, you know, with your CEO, if you're reporting to CEEO, if it's a cro you know, fine time with the board members, take them out to coffee or have a call with them and really understand what they're looking for in the role and where you need to prioritize your time, because having having that accountability is super important to establish the credibility that you need with this group early on if they see you're really focused on the right things versus the maybe the flashy objects that are maybe more fun to do. A rebrand is always something that we think about as CMOS. We could probably improve upon the last person who is in the seat, but it...

...the brand's fine that. That may not be it. It may be around, you know, something around customer satisfaction or product launches, whatever it may be. Make sure you've got a clear understanding with your boss of what those things are, how you're going to be measured, what constitutes success, what their expectations are in terms of timing. You know, some tough conversations because it might be the very nebulous thing a senior leaders were asked to go do, but really getting a lockin of what what that expectation looks like is going to set you up for success downline, so so so that you have a filter to run all of all of these folks that are coming to you saying I've been waiting for you to get here so I can bring this idea or collaborate with you on this. But if you don't have that conversation with with the other senior leaders on the team, you don't have a filter to filter all those ideas through. And so that that makes perfect sense. The third thing that you talked about, you know, kind of lessons learned from the first one hundred days as Cmo is that you want to start to get some quick wins now. This this kind of flies a little bit in the face of the the do no harm kind of you know, don't feel like you need to come in guns ablazing, but but there's this balance because you do want to establish credibility, you alluded to that earlier, and you want to get some quick wins under your belt. So how do you toy with that balance of not coming in and like changing everything too quickly, but also knowing, Hey, like you're on the clock, like it's time to put for shut up if you will. Yeah, I know, I think that you put it perfectly. Yeah, after you know what, as soon as you step out of that new higher training, you're on the clock and people are going to start to come after you. I think you know, making sure you know, and and all of us coming into these job we kind of know. Okay, you should, we should know like, okay, this is really where the focus needs to be. But I and so I think that you know, buying the time and setting those expectations is super important so that you can you can act, you know in a can act, you know strongly, and start to take action and scale beyond the hundred days, because it's not just about the first hundred, it's about the next several hundred...

...that you're there. So you know, taking those initial steps is important and you know there are going to be whether it's a politically or just it's expedient, or you can get someone off your back or just you know someone has been super nice to you and there's a way that you can kind of repay them and start to start to develop relationships. I think that, again, if you get to this level, then then all of us have some degree of savviness that allows us to kind of understand, hey, here's here's a way that we could, you know, maybe get back in good graces with a Department or team that that you know, isn't super happy with marketing or marketing, as I been pulling its weight, or that we may need a favor for from, you know, going forward. And so I think that there's you know, there's got to be a realization that at some point you own the problem, and generally that's pretty quickly and although there's going to be this grace period, because people will you'll be in a lot of those first meetings where it's like hey, this is before you got here, at some point, you know, I'm not really in any of those meetings anymore. There fewer and far between, and so I own the problem and I own the challenge and I own the opportunity. But in this first three months I also really try to make sure I found and not to be fake, just because really helped me establish credibility, to help my team kind of re rejoin the rest of the company and become a really important part of our growth engine here and made our team round really increased that they were contributing and so we found different ways to kind of really go out and find ways we could partner and get some of these wins on the board and sets us up for and have a lot of momentum going into the rest of the year. Yeah, can you, can you explain what some of those quick wins were? Guy, we were talking to about them a little bit offline. I think having some tangible examples of of what you did, the quick wins that you are able to come in and get will help give a lot of context to folks listening. Yeah, absolutely. So you know it's going to be situational, but I think as you have these kind of intro meetings, you know, really just asking some of the areas where they could use marketings help or some of the challenges they've had with marketing and, you know, just ask them very, you know, honestly and just say hey, I'm here to work...

...together, but what are some things we could be doing better and or what are some things that are broken? And we found a few areas that that in the you know, the first few months, we really work fast to correct. One of them had to do with how we were launching products, and the great thing about our companies we've got an amazing development team and product management team, but on the marketing side we had no really product launch rhythm, and so we would introduce these features and kind of through Osmosis, they the sales team was expected to, you know, learn about them and then kind of put two and two together and tell a story to prospects. And so really quickly identify that if we got in a regular release calendar that would not only help marketing thematically in the market and we can start to have a more cohesive discussion with prospects around why, why we might be the best solution for them, but it also helped that product team really understand that they could start to group features and Functionali together and allowed them to kind of see the proofs of their labor a little bit faster. So and you know, in the first few months we put together a product release calendar, we had our first product launch. We said, Hey, this is we're going to muscle this one through. It's not going to be pretty, but we're going to get into the rhythm and you know, our next one is going to be here in the next you know, forty five days or so. So now we're getting on this rhythm with them and everyone's really bought in and excited about it. Who the same thing on the sale side, where you know, hey, there's they've been getting leads in the stdrs, are making those calls. But increasingly as we move to account base selling, you know marketing hadn't really made the switch to account base marketing and so we've been able to stand up some tools, we've been able to re engineer some processes and really get out to the field with the a's and and identify those, those top target accounts that we can be going after. And again, it's not pretty yet, but we're getting a rhythm, we're getting a process in place and that's helping, say, our get much more confidence that marketing knows what they're doing and they're going to be a good partner to continue to grow the business. And so you know, we'll get better. We're going to keep iterating and and get to the point where really all up on our skis. But I think in those first few months seeing the other teams, you know appreciate that we're in this with them and we're taking action. There's a ton of credibility...

...for any new CMO. Yeah, this guy, this has been fantastic. So so to just to go over those three again for those listening, the first one being do no harm, don't come in all guns ablazing, slow your roll a bit, get a get a feel for the organization, have lots of conversations. The second one being getting clarity on the alignment of goals, making sure that you and your CEO are very aligned on. Hey, how am I going to be measured? What? What are the things that that, from your perspective, is the CEO I need to be focused on? And then, thirdly, getting getting some quick wins and establishing that credibility you pretty pretty early on in those first hundred days. So I I think this is this is going to be an incredible episode that our listeners are going to get a ton of value out of guy. If there's somebody listening, maybe they want they want to stay connected with you. They want to learn more about push pay. What's the best way for them to go about doing both of those things? Yeah, one of the things, I think is CMOS. We appreciated the incredible power of a network, and so I'm I love connecting with other marketing leaders and, you know, pitching things and learning from them as well. So you can find me on Linkedin, Guy Wife's Mantel on twitter at guy wife Mantel as well, if you'd like to connect that way. And if you're interested in learning a little bit more about what push pay does, you can always visit us that at Pushpaycom and get a better sense of some of the amazing customers that we get to serve every day. Is Pretty Cool. Love it wonderful. Guy, will again thank you so much for your time today. This has been incredible, so I really appreciative. Thanks. This was really fun. I really appreciate the chance to be with you. A James appreciated. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our...

...listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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