#Marketing: Coffee With a CMO w/ Jill Rowley

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This is a podcast episode titled, #Marketing: Coffee With a CMO w/ Jill Rowley. The summary for this episode is: Jill Rowley is not a CMO, and we didn’t drink coffee during this interview. That should tell you just how much we wanted to interview her. Jill is the Chief Growth Officer at Marketo. She’s been in sales her whole life, although she has a soft spot for marketing and loves to study the best CMOs in the world. In this one, she told a crazy story about landing a deal at Eloqua that was a decade in the making, talked about her time at Salesforce, and shared when to walk away from a potential deal. Use the promo code SEEKINGWISDOM when you get your tickets to HYPERGROWTH 2018 and save $500 today (just $199 for your ticket). Visit https://hypergrowth.drift.com/ to get your tickets today and come see speakers like Jocko Willink, Molly Graham, Chaka Pilgrim, Amelia Boone, Grant Cardone, and more in September. PS. The Seeking Wisdom Official Facebook Group is live! One place, finally, for all of us to hang out, get updates on the podcast, and share what we’re learning (plus some exclusives). Just search for the Seeking Wisdom Official group on Facebook. On Twitter: @davegerhardt and @seekingwisdomio

Dave: Okay. This is Jo Raleigh, by the way, in case you didn't know. She is here in Boston at the Drift HQ. You got a big week, you're in town for a big week, you got a lot of stuff going on. And a lot of people say," I thought this is coffee with the CMO, what...?" I couldn't resist though.

Jo: It's Diet Coke.

Dave: It's Diet Coke with a not- CMO.

Jo: Never could be. Actually, I studied the best CMOs in the world and I am in awe.

Dave: Who are the best CMOs in the world?

Jo: It changes, and it's relevant to the... There isn't one size CMO, and there's a great article about this by Kim Whittier, Darden Professor, went to UVA, Oahu UVA, and it was the skills and the experience that you need at a different stage company, at a different buyer profile, at a different size. Right now, they can't find a CMO for Facebook. Who wants to be the CMO of Facebook right now?

Dave: What do you even do? That's what I was saying. I was lucky enough... We were in Palo Alto, like March, and Elise and I got to meet with Gary Briggs, who was the CMO at Facebook at the time.

Jo: He is still acting CMO right now, because they can't find-

Dave: Right, but they're trying to find... They can't find a replacement, yeah.

Jo: Because who wants that job?

Dave: Yeah. And it was just fascinating. And the week we met with him was when the whole Facebook-

Jo: Russia.

Dave: Yeah, it was the Russia thing in March, and so we were like," There's no way that he's still going to meet with us." And sure enough, he came in and he was like," You know what? After the week that it's been, I actually am looking forward to this meeting," And he was super cool. But that's just as a side note to say-

Jo: Was that an off camera meeting?

Dave: He was off camera, yeah.

Jo: So he could actually tell you how his life is?

Dave: Yeah, it was cool though. He didn't say anything bad, he just was honest. He's like," The hardest part is the communication and the story, and blah, blah." I also feel like if you're the CMO, if you're an executive at Facebook, there is no such thing as" off the record". You can't say something to somebody over a coffee on the street and not expect that to go somewhere. Yeah, but that's interesting. I guess it's a different skillset, do you want to be the CMO of Facebook? What does that skill set entail? So you-

Jo: That's a huge turnaround right now.

Dave: But you're not a CMO.

Jo: No.

Dave: Have you been in sales? Have you been in sales your whole life?

Jo: Yes. So I would say I'm a sales professional trapped in a marketer's body, and I was the number one-

Dave: I'm going to steal that. I am a marketing... Take this [ inaudible 00: 03:01]. I'm a marketing professional trapped in a sales person's body.

Jo: And what does that mean to you?

Dave: I don't know. I think it means I think I could sell. Just like I think salespeople think they can do marketing.

Jo: But see no, because I'm different, Because I told you I can't run marketing. So the thing is, I know..., And I always say, that the lines between sales and marketing are blurring and the roles are blending. And the lines are somewhat disappearing, right, they're being erased. But at the end of the day, they are different, and the things that you do in marketing are actually different from the things that your head of sales does in sales. And because at the end of the day still, the way that things are structured is, he owns the number, he owns enough revenue number. You might be compensated on helping him get to that number, but he owns that number. And what you own is more outreach, and an impact on revenue. But if the deals don't get closed, he doesn't get kudos from the board, right?

Dave: Yeah. But don't you think if I don't, in my role, if we're not generating the right leads or any of the other metrics that feed revenue, don't you think I wouldn't have my job?

Jo: If you are measured on those metrics, yes. In selling, nobody wants to be sold to, nobody wants to be marketed to.

Dave: I have this slide to speaking at the same event. I'm not the keynote, I'm just a speaker, I have 10 minutes. What am I supposed to do in 10 minutes? Like," Hi, I'm Dave Gerhardt, follow me on Twitter, have a good day." But I had this-

Jo: Not follow me. Engage with me.

Dave: Engage with me?

Jo: You don't want followers. You want engagers.

Dave: I know, it's just something about saying," Engage with me." It's implied-

Jo: Change the language.

Dave: I say," Say hi to me." Yes, let's have a conversation.

Jo: Let's have a conversation.

Dave: But I talk about why you need to build a brand today, and the key point is that you and I, or anybody, we don't get sold to anymore, we buy, right? We make the decision to buy. And there's so much research, say whether it's Forrester, Harvard Business Review, the Boston Consulting Group, everybody's saying that now the last place somebody goes when they're making a purchasing decision is your website, Right? And so they Google search- I do this all the time. I go on LinkedIn, I say," Hey, does anybody-" I'll use Marketo as an example.

Jo: Yeah. Great company, by the way.

Dave: Great company.

Jo: Great.

Dave: Does anybody have any experience with Marketo? I would write that on LinkedIn, and they'd fill up with comments, and I would feel like," Okay, I should go use this product." And then I would ask to do the same thing on Twitter-

Jo: And you should, actually, we should talk about that.

Dave: I heard, I heard, we should talk about that off camera.

Jo: Yeah, on camera.

Dave: And on top of that, then you go and read G2 crowd reviews, right? And then when I'm ready, then I go in and engage with salesperson and hope that they can answer the two or three class questions that I have before I buy, right?

Jo: Right, right.

Dave: And so I made the decision to buy, not somebody sold something to me, and I think that's such an important one.

Jo: It is. So look, salespeople are being replaced by search engines, because you Googled, social networks, because you went to LinkedIn. But ultimately it is, and I say this all the time, your best salespeople, Drift's best salespeople are not in this building, they're not. They're your customers who are willing to be your advocates, and you see it. You guys are creating this movement, and this incredible conversation around what it is you're actually helping companies do. Can I be real with you?

Dave: I would hope so, this is the point of this, but yeah.

Jo: So when I started at Eloqua back in 2002, and I had familiarity with Eloqua because, when I was a rep at Salesforce, Eloqua was my customer.

Dave: Wait, when were you at Salesforce?

Jo: 2000 to 2002.

Dave: Pre IPO? They go public in 2000?

Jo: Oh honey, pre- revenue.

Dave: Pre- revenue?

Jo: Pre- revenue!

Dave: Oh yeah, that's right!

Jo: Salesforce was founded in 1999. I was one of the first 20 salespeople.

Dave: Did you have a Hawaiian shirt?

Jo: Oh, addresses.

Dave: Okay.

Jo: Yeah.

Dave: I am just trying to show it to you that I know my his-. I'm trying to prove to you that I'm credible. I'm trying to give you that I know my history.

Jo: I already know that you are credible. Because I wouldn't be sitting here with you. Like I do my research. So I already know that you're credible.

Dave: So you're first 20 salespeople. Salesforce.

Jo: Yeah. And I never carried a bag. I didn't know what buying signals were.

Dave: Well, how did you get that job?

Jo: So, Google is my best friend. So I had to research what buying signals were and what traditional sales language. So it was really, I was living in San Francisco. Yeah. I had left the consulting world. So you want it? I'll even tell more.

Dave: I want-... Inaudible So like 98, 99 is your year at San Francisco?

Jo: 97 I went out there, because I was in consulting, and April 15th, 1999, my husband and I had our first kiss.

Dave: I heard you said kid. Our first kiss. Okay.

Jo: We had our first kiss, and-

Dave: Do you know the date?

Jo: Oh yeah.

Dave: Because of your first date?

Jo: Tax day.

Dave: Tax day.

Jo: Tax day. So April 15th, 99. We had our first kiss that was after-

Dave: We need like a calendar to come in during this segment.

Jo: Oh, we need a calendar! Yeah with like a...

Dave: First kiss. Okay.

Jo: And it was like...

Dave: Yeap, April 15th, 1997. 99.

Jo: We met in 97, and the day I met him I called my mom, and I am like, oh my God mom, I am in so much trouble. She said," what'd you do now?" Like I met my future husband. She said," Great!, you're not a lesbian!". I'm like, mom, I would have told you if I was a lesbian, right? I would have told you. And I sort of, I knew I wasn't lesbian. And so she's like," great!". And I said, no, what? He's married, yeah, he's married. And so, I off limits, didn't pursue sort of still flirted with him, he flirted with me. There was something there, there was really something there from the minute we locked eyes. He remembers exactly what I was wearing the day we met. What guy remembers what-

Dave: That's controversial. Yeah.

Jo: He remembers what I was wearing. So anyways, we didn't kiss until April 15th, 99.

Dave: I was not prepared for this interview by the way, go ahead.

Jo: Nothing's off limits. Like this is, this is the real Raleigh, right?

Dave: Yeah. That's what this episode will be called,"The real Raleigh"

Jo: The real Raleigh.

Dave: With Jo Raleigh and me-

Jo: And DG.

Dave: Yeah.

Jo: Okay. So, I was in consulting. We started to have a relationship. We worked together. He was my boss's boss's boss. So it was time for me to leave. I couldn't stay there. So I was like, okay, this is my opportunity in life to get off of this path of consulting and becoming a partner in a boring ass company, or going and finding my passion, which is sales. I knew I wanted to be in sales. And I wanted to sell something that was easy to sell. Not services. I didn't want to have to reinvent the wheel every single time. So I wanted to sell a product. And it was super hard because no one wanted to interview me because I was six years into my work experience with no sales experience. So, who was going to hire me? And it was through my network. I was at a networking, a physical networking event and met someone, Drew Seacrest. And he in just hearing me, he said," you should come interview at Salesforce." Okay?.

Dave: Had you heard of the company? No? Okay.

Jo: No, because although I was in Silicon valley, I wasn't in the tech scene at this point. So I didn't know of this world. And, the minute I learned of this world, I was hooked.

Dave: So you go to Salesforce in 99?

Jo: 2000 is when I actually got the job for two years.

Dave: And were you there for two years?

Jo: Two years. Eloqua was one of my customers.

Dave: What do you take away from the two years at Salesforce 2000 to 2002 that you still like?, and want to show people today or educate, or what's has stuck with you? Because I feel like I'm just a fan and I have read the book and the whole story. I feel like that just must have been such a crazy time even to just be there for two years. I'm just interested in what you took from that.

Jo: It was really awesome. I definitely caught the Benny off Bug.

Dave: Do you know Marc Benioff?

Jo: Yes.

Dave: You do?

Jo: Yeah, I know him. He knows me. That's actually even better. I know him, that's easy, but like the fact that he knows me, it's a lot harder. Can I help you get to him? What do you want from him?

Dave: I want to have him sit here.

Jo: Here? He's a big guy.

Dave: I would go to him. I would go to him. I'll go to Benioff's office.

Jo: I want to go to his Hawaii's house. I have dreams about Benioff.

Dave: You do?

Jo: Often. I do. And my husband's okay with it. It's okay. It is okay to have those kinds of-, and people are those- they get like star struck with celebrities, like Jamie Fox. We had them at Marketing Nation Summit. Lindsay Vaughn.

Dave: We had Will Smith.

Jo: I don't care. Like those people are not interesting to me.

Dave: Benioff is interesting.

Jo: Because I actually can see a little bit of me in Benioff. Certainly not the billions of dollars that he's worth and what he's actually done. But there's a little bit of me that I can see in Benioff. I can't see any of me in Lindsey Vaughn or will Smith.

Dave: I can see that. Yeah. I think what people don't admit they miss. I'm fascinated with people like Steve Jobs and Benioff. Not because of who they are, but they are the best marketers in the planet, right? There's been multiple CMOs at Salesforce, right? But there's only one CMO at Salesforce, that's Benioff, right?

Jo: That's right.

Dave: There's a reason why there was never a CMO at Apple. Steve Jobs always had an agency and a VP of marketing. And the reason why is because he is a CMO. So I love unpacking. When I think about who the best CMOs are. I think about Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Benioff, it's those type of people that really get it, I think from a marketing perspective. So it must've been amazing just to get a couple of years there and learn.

Jo: It was amazing. I got to actually be in Benioff's office and, you'll love this, so I bought a Blackberry in 2001 I think is when I bought it. And it wasn't Salesforce issued because that wasn't a thing back then. And I took the article reprints from the wall, because this is pre- email really, before email was ruined. And I took the article reprints and I built HTML templates in Eloqua. I got to actually use Eloqua as a sales rep. And so I took all these articles and I put them into HTML templates, and I started to use email as a standard.

Dave: That's what you were sending out to people?

Jo: Right.

Dave: That's awesome.

Jo: I sent one to Benioff. Because all the other reps weren't doing anything like this and I'm like, why isn't everybody doing this? We need a way to make everybody do this. So I sent it to Benioff and he replied," get every sales rep using this!!", Exclamation, exclamation. That was back in 2001.

Dave: So Salesforce was Eloqua's customer and-

Jo: Not a customer!

Dave: How are you using it?

Jo: Because they were my customer.

Dave: Oh, I got you. So they were like," Hey, let you try this thing out." Yeah.

Jo: You try this thing out and then you sell it internally, right?

Dave: That's a great idea. Yeah.

Jo: That's a brilliant idea. And it worked. So I got that note back from Benioff saying get every sales rep using it. And unfortunately I wasn't able to do that while I was at Salesforce. But then when I was at Eloqua, I was on a mission, to get Salesforce as an Eloqua customer. Like" A Mission." And I joined Eloqua in 2002. Salesforce became an Eloqua customer in 2011. August 17th, 2011.

Dave: It took nine years? Do you know who the rep was?

Jo: For that deal?

Dave: Yeah. You? You were there for nine years?

Jo: I was there for 10 years.

Dave: You had to work that deal for 10 years?

Jo: Nine years. I worked it. Hashtag, never give up!, Never give up!. I worked it, Worked it!

Dave: That's amazing. That's a lesson, right? Because we talk about- and especially in this business, it is monthly, it's quarterly, it's this deal slid, this deal is never going to come through. It would have been easier for you to say," screw this", like I used to work at this company, they won't even freaking buy this product, right? And then 10 years later...

Jo: Yeah. And it was so awesome to be able to still have that Blackberry. I still had the Blackberry. And I kept the charger because you have to keep the charger. So I turned it on and when I was the rep, so when I got the 3 hour 19 people committee demo- session, I brought the Blackberry in and I had everyone look at the Blackberry and the note that Benioff had sent me, saying to get every single rep using it.

Dave: Nine years.

Jo: Nine years.

Dave: Amazing.

Jo: And, thank God Dan Darcy, if you guys don't know Dan Darcy, he is a great guy, he works at Salesforce. And, it was DreamForce of 2011, and I took the Blackberry with me. And I had it with me for the opportunity that I got to show it to Benioff. And Dan arranged that I got to show the Blackberry to Benioff of the note of him telling me to get every sales rep using it.

Dave: What did he say?

Jo: You know what he said?" This is fucked up", this is really up. He looks at me, and he's a big guy, right?, and his presence is just so there. And he looks at me and he says," is this our Blackberry?"

Dave: You're like," you didn't have the policy back then. This is not a company phone, my friend" Ms.

Jo: It was not. And I looked at him like I was such an early adopter.

Dave: That was the first thing you said?

Jo: That was the-, like, I had stolen the Blackberry!

Dave: That means there is some stuff on those blackberries.

Jo: I still have the charger.

Dave: That's amazing. This is all worth it. Just for that one Salesforce story. So let's wrap up. What are you doing now? You are at Marketo and, you are Chief Revenue Officer, which is a new a role that's popping up more and more and more in this world. So how did you-, what do you own at Marketo? And, what's on your radar? Like what do you have to do this month? This quarter, next quarter.

Jo: Yeah. So truth of the matter is my title is Chief Growth Officer. I know, but it's misleading, and I feel, I need to make a confession right here. It is. It's misleading because look, my peers in the C- suite, which first off I never had aspirations of being in the C- suite ever. I have been an individual quota carrying sales rep my entire career. And I don't do politics. I don't suck up to people who I don't respect, and to get into the C- suite, unfortunately there's a lot of" sucker uppery", that has to happen. And oftentimes a level of maturity that I just resisted. So I have the Chief Growth Officer title because what Steve Lucas, who, if it wasn't for Steve, I wouldn't be at Marketo. There'd be no way. Because he understands me. He wanted me to be the Chief Marketing Evangelist. And this was back in May of 2017 that he came to me and he said," I want you to be our Chief Marketing Evangelist". And the first thing I said is, I don't want to be an employee because I hadn't been an employee of a company for four years. I said in two, being an employee means you're fireable and I've been fired. Like I was fired by Oracle, Google, Jill Raleigh, fire by Oracle, was actually fired by Salesforce.

Dave: What happens if I Google Oracle Jo Raleigh fired?

Jo: You will have two articles to read. One is the San Francisco Chronicle. And one is the Business Insider article. Okay. Read them in that order. The Chronicle and then the Business Insider. So, you can read it and y'all can read it too and tweet about it please. And so I'm like, I don't want to be an employee. It just puts me in this position of being fire- able again. And so I said, I want to be on your board. I want to be Board of Directors at Marketo. And what I didn't know is, I didn't understand the whole vista private equity. And so I didn't understand that that was inconceivable because being on the board of private equity-, and so he says-, and then two, he didn't have a Chief Marketing Officer at Marketo. I can't come and do anything-, if I was to come.

Dave: How can I evangelize marketing if there's no-, yeah.

Jo: There's no running market. Like running marketing.

Dave: Because that would mean run marketing like what? Yeah.

Jo: And I would suck, I would literally fall on my freaking face, if I had to be the CMO of Marketo. And so I have tremendous respect from my peers because they do things that I functionally can't do. I love scale and I love process and I know how important those things are and I understand how they, how they come to be, but I'm not an execution person anymore. I've grown out of that role. And I just don't operate that way anymore. So really at Marketo, what I feel like I do is I'm really more of the Chief Engagement Officer. There's nothing I would rather do in a day than engage with customers, future advocates, I don't call them prospects, but I always think about eventually 9, 10 years later, Salesforce became a customer. So I had to treat Salesforce and everyone I met through those 9, 10 years as a future advocate.

Dave: For sure. Because it can take that long. You never know.

Jo: You never know. Jonathan Becker at SAP, he was the EVP of Field Marketing at SAP. Then the CMO. He's now CMO of the sharks. And we still have this wonderful relationship where he didn't buy from me at SAP. I was the rep for SAP too. And I lost that deal to LeadFormix. And I didn't get a commission check from that, but I've gotten so much more than a commission check from that-,

Dave: Yeah. Because you probably learned why you didn't and then how to what you could do for other people, and for sure.

Jo: Or when to walk away. When it's political and it's beyond winning for the merit of winning and objective evaluation, when it's going to be something not in your control then don't and you've got to be smart enough, and have experienced enough people around you to know, like with drift. I don't know if you guys will ever actually use Marketo because you guys are trying to approach things from a radically different point of view.

Dave: Sure. But are you not going to let me off the hook for 10 years now though?

Jo: Probably not, probably not.

Dave: That's what I'm learning.

Jo: Yeah. But I will never be in your face" salesy", and try to put a deal together that-,

Dave: That's the question, is I have an honest question for you. Why are you not using Marketo? Stop threatening, its...

Jo: And the more I learn about you, I don't even have to ask the question. Because I know the answer because I know you, and all I want to do is be able to help you in what you're trying to achieve. And if that doesn't include using my software that's okay.

Dave: All right. Well look, I could talk to you for hours, but you got some important stuff to do.

Jo: Weeks!

Dave: Hours!, weeks!, months!, 10 years! I'm signed up for 10 years-,

Jo: 10 years.

Dave: Of Jo Raleigh now. So thank you for doing this.

Jo: Thank you.

Dave: I appreciate it. And even though I think we had to break the rules for this one because I think you're here, and I know you're going to put a bunch of kids CMOs for later, too. All right. We're out. Well.

Jo: We are out. Peace!


Jill Rowley is not a CMO, and we didn’t drink coffee during this interview. That should tell you just how much we wanted to interview her. Jill is the Chief Growth Officer at Marketo. She’s been in sales her whole life, although she has a soft spot for marketing and loves to study the best CMOs in the world. In this one, she told a crazy story about landing a deal at Eloqua that was a decade in the making, talked about her time at Salesforce, and shared when to walk away from a potential deal. Use the promo code SEEKINGWISDOM when you get your tickets to HYPERGROWTH 2018 and save $500 today (just $199 for your ticket). Visit https://hypergrowth.drift.com/ to get your tickets today and come see speakers like Jocko Willink, Molly Graham, Chaka Pilgrim, Amelia Boone, Grant Cardone, and more in September. PS. The Seeking Wisdom Official Facebook Group is live! One place, finally, for all of us to hang out, get updates on the podcast, and share what we’re learning (plus some exclusives). Just search for the Seeking Wisdom Official group on Facebook. On Twitter: @davegerhardt and @seekingwisdomio