SaaStr Podcast #345 with PagerDuty CMO Julie Herendeen

Ep. 345: Julie Herendeen is the CMO @ PagerDuty, the real-time operations platform ensuring less downtime and fewer outages, meaning happier customers and more productive teams. Prior to their IPO in 2019 PagerDuty raised funding from some of the best in the business including Accel, a16z, Baseline, Bessemer and Harrison Metal to name a few. As for Julie, prior to PagerDuty she was Vice President of Global Marketing @ Dropbox. Before Dropbox Julie was CMO @ Lookout and before Lookout, Julie enjoyed VP roles at both Yahoo and Shutterfly. If that was not enough, alongside her role at PagerDuty today Julie is also an angel with Broadway Angels and a Board Member @ Hubspot.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

* How Julie made her way from the world of consumer into the world of enterprise and came to be CMO @ PagerDuty today? What were some of Julie’s biggest lessons from her time as VP Global Marketing at Dropbox?
* Does Julie believe that marketing should be held accountable to a number tied directly to revenue? How does Julie believe sales and marketing should work in unison? How can sales be involved in pipeline generation meetings? Should AEs make themselves responsible for sourcing new leads also? What does the ideal handoff look like?
* How does Julie see the best marketing and product teams working together? What can marketing do to collect the most valuable data to inform product decisions? In what forum should they be relayed to product teams? How should product and marketing leaders interact most efficiently?
* How does Julie think about the relationship of customer success and marketing? Does Julie agree that with the increasing amount of marketing content used post-sale, marketing is doing much of the work of CS? Where does Julie see many going wrong when investing heavily into thought leadership and content marketing?

 

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Jason Lemkin
SaaStr
Harry Stebbings
Julie Herendeen

Below, we’ve shared the transcript of Harry’s interview with Julie.

Harry Stebbings: This is the official SaaStr Podcast with me, Harry Stebbings, and diving straight into the show today, I’m very excited for this guest as we welcome Julie Herendeen chief marketing officer at PagerDuty, the realtime operations platform ensuring less downtime and fewer outages, meaning happier customers and more productive teams. And prior to their IPO in 2019, PagerDuty raised funding from some of the best in the business, including Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Baseline, Bessemer, and Harrison Metal, to name a few. As for Julie, prior to PagerDuty, she enjoyed an incredible career spanning vice president of global marketing at Dropbox. Before Dropbox Judy was CMO at Lookout, and before Lookout, Judy enjoyed VP roles at both Yahoo and Shutterfly. If that wasn’t enough, alongside her role today at PagerDuty, Julie is also an angel with Broadway Angels and also a board member at HubSpot, no less. 

Harry Stebbings: But it’s now time for our episode and I’m so excited to hand over to Julie Herendeen, CMO at PagerDuty.

Harry Stebbings: Julie, it’s absolutely fantastic to have you on the show today. I’ve heard so many great things from Jen Tejada. So thank you so much for joining me today, Julie.

Julie Herendeen: Thank you so much for having me.

Harry Stebbings: Not at all, but I do want to start today with a little bit of context. So tell me, in terms of your entrance into the world of SaaS, how did you make your entrance into the world of SaaS, and how did you come to be CMO at PagerDuty today?

Julie Herendeen: My journey to SaaS and to PagerDuty really started with my roots as a consumer software and internet product leader. I actually didn’t start as a marketer. I started at brands like Apple, Yahoo, and Shutterfly early in my career. And one thing I really loved about working on B2C software is that marketing could really measure what they were doing and measure the customer journey. And with the move to SaaS models, building and selling B2B software is probably more similar to B2C than it is to traditional enterprise software marketing. So it’s been a great opportunity to take what I learned in B2C in my background as a product manager and apply that to B2B because I think the fundamentals are really similar.

Harry Stebbings: Yeah. It’s so interesting to hear about kind of the transferability of the fundamentals. Are there any that don’t carry across?

Julie Herendeen: I think the things that are really different is when you’re doing B2C, you’re really marketing to the consumer emotion. So while I think the go to markets are very similar now in terms of the role of digital, what you’re trying to communicate to the customer is really a little bit different. The other difference is the role of the sales force, right? In B2C your marketing is leading that whole journey in most cases. In B2B, you’re really in a partnership with sales. So you’re constantly thinking about how can I take my marketing and provide the air cover for customers that sales needs in order to be successful?

Harry Stebbings: Totally with you in terms of that air cover and kind of cross functional seamlessness. I guess you mentioned some of the incredible companies you’ve worked at. Some of them went through these incredible periods of hyper growth, I mean, Dropbox especially. I guess, what were your core takeaways from seeing these periods of hyper-growth firsthand and how do you think it impacted your operating mentality?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah, and Dropbox was such an amazing experience. And for me, it was an opportunity to not just build a global marketing team in a company that was growing exponentially, but it really taught me the power of a digital first model. And that includes the power of a freemium model. And what was incredible about Dropbox was that even as the company grew and started building B2B solutions, almost every one that was B2B customer had started with the free product. And once you understand that, once you understand that the customers are trying the free product first and then upgrading to the premium product, your approach to marketing really changes, right? Because the product becomes a really interesting part of that customer go to market for the marketer. So you need to understand not just how customers are coming into the product in the first place, but understanding how do they graduate from a free product to a premium product? And that really becomes a partnership between marketing and product because that customer journey is happening inside of the product, essentially.

Harry Stebbings: I do want to touch on that kind of partnership between marketing and product. I do want to ask, though, especially though, in terms of the freemium elements, it’s so tough because you have to provide enough secret sauce in that first product that the user engages with, but also hold enough back that there is an upsell opportunity to convert and graduate them, as you said, how do you think about that balancing? What were your kind of thoughts on what works?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah, that balance is critical to a freemium model. And again, that’s a really important partnership with product and marketing because you need to understand what you keep in the free product and what you hold back, and you need enough in the free product that the customers get a taste of the value that they’re going to have in the premium product. So part of what you want to make sure you’re crafting is that customers see and understand the value of upgrading to that premium product when they’re in the free experience. So it’s not just about where you draw the line, it’s really about what experience do you need to create in the free product in order for people to understand the value of the premium product?

Harry Stebbings: Totally with you in terms of kind of seeing that kind of tangible value in the premium products. In terms of kind of the graduation of clients that enter the premium products and actually paying and kind of being aligned, so to speak, on the revenue chart, in terms of marketing’s relationship with revenue, I often have people say on the show that marketing has to be tied directly to a number related to revenue. Do you believe that marketing should be directly held accountable to a number directly related to revenue?

Julie Herendeen: Harry, really it’s different in every business. And I think at a high level, yes. Right? The reason you’re paying for a marketing department is to help grow your business and the way you’re going to measure that is, has marketing contributed to growing the revenue? Now, the level of direct accountability of revenue from marketing is going to be different in different businesses. There are businesses where marketing owns an eCommerce or a self-service business, and there, they’re owning the revenue line for business. I’ve done that in many of the businesses I’ve been in, but there’s also ways to measure how marketing contributes to revenue. Right? And I think that’s really important for marketing teams to have those goals and understand how are their actions, how are their campaigns, how is the digital marketing, how’s the website, all contributing, ultimately, to the revenue of the company into kind of happy loyal customers, which you can also measure by retention and upgrades?

Harry Stebbings: If you unpack kind of how it contributes to revenue, what does that look like when you unpack that in terms of incentivizing and placing accountability around marketing teams?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah. I mean, it starts really with how you align marketing’s goals with the business goals of the company. And I think what you do as a marketing leader is you make sure everyone is really clear on the performance metrics that you’re going to measure across the team. So it takes time to get those metrics right at the beginning of, let’s say, the beginning of your year. And then as a marketing leader, you need to be operationalizing those metrics. You need to be bringing them into every meeting that you do. You need to be talking about them when you do performance reviews. And sometimes you’re going to set metrics that are hard to get to. Right?

Julie Herendeen: And for teams, sometimes they can push back and say, “I’m not sure how to hit this metric,” but as a leader, by putting that metric out there, you’re talking to your team about what’s important. You’re talking to them about where they need to go, and it can be a stretch metric, but it’s a really important signal for a leader to talk about what are the metrics that they’re going to measure, because that really helps the team align around what’s important.

Harry Stebbings: It’s really interesting you said that about kind of those stretch targets, but often people feel they might be slightly out of their grasp. It’s one of my biggest challenges and thoughts where I think, how do you think about a balance between real stretch targets that people have to really push for, but also not creating too much of a stretch target where they’ll be disincentivized and discouraged if they don’t hit them? How do you strike that balance?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah, Harry, I think it’s creating a combination of metrics, right? Because there’s some metrics where you want to be a hundred percent sure that they’re hitting or exceeding those goals. When we think about something like your marketing source pipeline, you want to make sure that you’re bringing in enough pipeline as a marketing leader to really support what sales needs to do. But in setting a stretch goal, let’s say you were setting a stretch goal around new customers. I think you just need to communicate to the team that it is a stretch goal. And what we’re doing is setting a stretch goal and it may not be for a single team, right? Maybe this is a way for marketing and sales and product to come together and figure out how do we do things differently to hit that stretch goal?

Julie Herendeen: But you also need to communicate that it’s okay if that stretch goals in the red for a while. Sometimes you have a culture where it’s not okay to have metrics that are in the red. And I think that’s important when you have stretch goals is recognizing that it might take you a little while to get there.

Harry Stebbings: Absolutely. And I think that kind of culture of understanding and patience is key. Getting back to the elements of kind of accountability to revenue for marketing teams. I think the one that really strikes me also there is what does that mean for brand marketing, which maybe is less correlated or related necessarily to direct revenue or is even less attributable? How do you think about brand marketing and that tie to revenue?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah. I mean, brand marketing is oftentimes the most important marketing that you do. And I always say as a marketer it’s the hardest marketing that you do because it’s very hard to show a quantitative value for brand marketing. So at one level, I’d say you need to be aligned with your leadership team, with your CEO and everyone else, around the importance of brand and how you’re going to approach it and how you’re going to measure it in the market. And then you make that commitment, right, because brand marketing is also not just a point in time. It’s a set of activities around–when you say brand marketing, a lot of people think about a paid brand campaign and billboards, but it’s really everything in terms of how you reach out to your customers, how you talk about your company, how your customers talk about you, that all goes into brand marketing.

Julie Herendeen: So when I step back and have conversations about the investment in brand marketing and how you measure it, there’s a lot of things you can do around surveys and looking at brand attributes and how they change over time. You can look at NPS and how that changes over time. A simple one is really looking at the organic traffic that you have to your business and your website, right? What’s coming through word of mouth and do you see that building over time based on the brand work that you’re doing? So I think the most important thing is aligning on how you think about it with your leadership team, how you’re going to measure it and what good looks like around brand, because I’d say when brand is working well, generally everyone knows it. And when brand work isn’t hitting the mark, generally everyone knows it, as well.

Harry Stebbings: Totally with you in terms of that kind of just general feeling and resonance and all about how brand is kind of performing. The final one before we move on to kind of the cross functional relationships is just kind of creating elements of thought leadership and content marketing. Obviously it’s more and more important than ever before with the rise of bottoms up and as we said, kind of freemium. How do you think about content marketing today and creating that thought leadership? Because the thing that I see as the biggest problem is people invest in it briefly, struggle to see returns on a very short term horizon and then withdraw. How do you think about both the content marketing strategy today and then the delayed ROI that’s inherent within the strategy?

Julie Herendeen: Content marketing is important on so many levels, right? Because at the end of the day, content marketing is about you telling your story and you having something relevant to say to the customer. And I’ve had the opportunity to be on the board of HubSpot, which is an amazing company. You may know them. And HubSpot’s really the founders of inbound marketing and inbound marketing really says the most important thing is that you have something relevant to say to the customer, right, and that that’s what draws them in. And that’s not just a point in time. So to your question, how do you measure it over time? I think as a marketer, content marketing is essential. I think you have to build it in to your plan upfront, and then you measure what you can measure with content marketing. Right? Because you can absolutely measure how you’re doing on the social channels.

Julie Herendeen: You can measure how SEO is bringing people into your own site. You can measure how much that organic traffic is converting to business. Right? We have great attribution now. So, to a large extent, you can measure content marketing. And I always say it’s slower to ramp, but it’s the gift that keeps giving. And I had an example from two teams that I had in different parts of the world. I had a team in Latin America and I had a team in AMEA and my AMEA team took the time, this was a previous company, to make that investment in content marketing and start to really create that content and brand air cover in the market. And it took longer for them to get the traffic and the benefit that they wanted, but it was more enduring. And then when they did do paid spend and more performance marketing, it performed better because the brand air cover was in place.

Julie Herendeen: I had a Latin American team that started with performance marketing and, for a whole variety of reasons, hadn’t done the content marketing and hadn’t built the brand air cover in the market. And you can see that while they could get a return on investment in the performance marketing, it wasn’t as good a return. And once you started spending the money, that went away, so content marketing and brand really provide that air cover that helps all of the rest of the marketing that you do perform better.

Harry Stebbings: My question is honestly, Julie, today when you look at it like that content marketing expands now so much into the sales funnel that actually we’ve kind of seen the integration of sales and marketing. I guess, how do you feel about that integration of sales and marketing with content marketing and brand marketing playing such a core role of even the sales process and that decision making process for the buyer? And what is that optimal relationship between sales and marketing divisions?

Julie Herendeen: Well, it is essential. And what I would say with my sales leaders there’s no light between sales and marketing, right? Because you’re dead on, Harry. Everything we’re doing at the top of the funnel in terms of the thought leadership that we’re putting out and the content that we’re putting into the market, the webinars that we’re running, right, you’re setting the stage in terms of the messages that you’re delivering to customers and the content that you’re engaging them on. And to build a truly integrated go to market and a truly integrated campaign, all of that information needs to carry through to the sales team. So we need to be agreeing as a sales and marketing team what are the key messages? What’s important to our customer at this point in time and how are we communicating that? And then as customers come in to the sales process, helping the sales team really have that continuity, right? So if they know that they saw a content piece and they watched a webinar, sales should have a really clear set of calls to action based on the way the customer came into the sales pipeline.

Julie Herendeen: So to me, that’s really, what you’re saying, is essentially integrated sales and marketing, and the action sales they’re taking and the conversations they’re having with the customer should connect all the way back up to the brand and content marketing, you’re putting into the market.

Harry Stebbings: I’m so with you there on that integration. How do you think about doing it literally, though? Is it bringing marketing into sales pipeline meetings? Is it bringing sales into pipeline generation meetings? How do you literally think about creating that very, very tight loop in terms of how they think about the handoff process and ensuring a very high quality pipe?

Julie Herendeen: It starts with integration between, I’d say your sales, marketing, and product leader. All three of those people need to be aligned in terms of the go to market and the strategy in terms of what we’re putting into the market. And then practically, to your point, you do need to structure those touch points so that sales and marketing are staying in sync because it’s not a point in time. An example is we just built an integrated campaign with our sales team and there’s weekly meetings and there are sales representatives in the weekly meetings. It’s driven by marketing for the top of funnel campaign, but we’re aligning and talking about the sales playbooks that are part of that. And it’s not a point in time. We need to keep having that conversation on a weekly basis. So we understand if it’s working. Right? It’s like any campaign that you do as a marketer, you’re going to optimize it, you’re going to adjust it. You’re going to get feedback.

Julie Herendeen: So you have to have a really tight lockup with the sales team to make sure you’re having that conversation and getting that feedback so you can optimize the campaign over time. So I think both teams just need to be really committed on the strategy. And then you’re constantly optimizing to make sure that the way you’re going to market is hitting the target.

Harry Stebbings: I mean, in terms of the strategy and hitting the target, and I’m sorry for getting off schedule, but it’s just too interesting to me. In terms of pipeline generation meetings, I often sit in many and essentially you go around the room or the Zoom call, discuss what you’ve done on the week and the meaningful accounts you’ve added to pipe, is that the right way to structure a pipeline generation meeting? And how do you think about structuring it in an optimal fashion?

Julie Herendeen: So I think there’s different types of pipeline generation meetings. I do think the metrics are key to have a productive block up because you know, you’re all busy, so you need to be able to come in and look at top level metrics so you understand at any point in time, what is marketing bringing into that pipeline and how is it actioned? So that’s kind of the metric level, and for marketing, marketing needs to measure not just pipeline, but what of the marketing pipeline turns into revenue? So we do need to be looking at metrics and dashboards that take both marketing and sales all the way through the full pipeline experience. So the metrics are important, but then more importantly, I think is zeroing in on who are we bringing into the pipeline and a business like PagerDuty, we have targets that span across enterprise, mid-market, and SMB.

Julie Herendeen: You need to really be quickly able to get a view of what’s coming in, in each of those segments and understand are we hitting the target? Right? Because we’re looking for a very specific set of customers and we want to make sure that marketing is bringing those customers into the pipeline and when sales reaches out to them, they feel like they’re able to action them in the right way.

Harry Stebbings: Yeah, no, I totally get you in terms of that kind of quality perspective. The other element I have to ask is, in terms of the relationships within marketing, the one that strikes me now is so much of the content that marketing creates actually is so functional for customer success. How do you see that blend of marketing and customer success? And how do you think about the relationship between customer success teams and marketing today, given the overlap?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah, there is a lot of overlap, because if you think about kind of the marketing experience, you want to attract the customers. You want to engage the customers. You want to make them into loyal advocates for the brand. And that means marketing’s job isn’t just acquiring customers. It’s continuing to have a relationship with the customer all the way through that marketing life cycle. And really that becomes a partnership with customer success in a couple of different ways, right? And for your smaller customers, that partnership with customer success is probably around programmatically how are you reaching out to customers, right? Because if you have an SMB market, it may not be effective for you to be reaching out to customers via your sales team. You might want to start with programmatic marketing that you’re putting in. And then if you look at your mid-market and your enterprise customer segments, there you get a lot of really valuable feedback from your customer success team.

Julie Herendeen: So they usually have a great pulse of what’s happening with customers. So if you’re thinking about, from a marketing standpoint, you’re running a campaign to help educate them on a new product or capability that’s come out, you really want to be partnering with your customer success team to do that. So I think where you’ve got that human touch, thinking about how are you partnering with that customer success team and even where you’re going in programmatically, having that communication with customer success on what do those programmatic campaigns look like? Because some of them might come from customer success and some of them might come from marketing.

Harry Stebbings: Absolutely, in terms of kind of where they come from and especially the programmatic elements. I do want to kind of move it a little bit more personally though, Julie, in slightly almost into a mode of self-reflection, really. When you think about yourself as a marketing leader today, you’ve worked with some of the best from Lookout to Dropbox, now with PagerDuty, I often hear about the CMOs building a playbook and the importance of that playbook. How do you feel about a CMO playbook? And do you think it’s true?

Julie Herendeen: The way I think about the playbook is that no plan really survives. There’s a saying no plan survives first contact with the enemy. And I think that way about playbooks, right? They’re great to have. It’s really good to have as a marketer, kind of what’s your framework for developing your marketing strategy and operationalizing it and how you think about the different marketing functions in doing that. So I think that’s critical, whether you call it your playbook or you call it your marketing framework, it’s important to have. What you need to be really sensitive to is staying in touch with the lead indicators of your business, because, particularly at a time like this, things can be changing really rapidly. So if you’re too strict in adhering to your playbook and how you’ve traditionally gone to market, you may completely be missing the mark with your customer.

Julie Herendeen: So I think the important thing with marketers, whether it’s the kind of change we’re experiencing now with COVID, or it’s simply trying to manage through any market that’s rapidly changing, you need to be balancing your playbook with really great lead indicators around what’s happening with your customer and what’s happening with your business. And you need to be looking at that data literally on a weekly basis to make sure you’re skating where the puck is.

Harry Stebbings: Yeah, no, I agree. And I love that mental plasticity applied to willingness to move away from the playbook, so to speak. I guess the final one before the quick fire is really an element of, over the incredible years you’ve had in multiple different, amazing scaling orgs, how have you seen yourself change, not only as a marketer, but also as a marketing leader, do you think?

Julie Herendeen: The biggest way that I’ve changed as a marketing leader is really around my ability to start with the end in mind. I think earlier in my career, I’d see challenges and I’m very oriented towards action and I’d run hard at them with my teams. And I think now, by having been on executive teams and sitting on a board, I’ve just been able to build a clearer view of what marketing needs to deliver to the company at the end of the day. So really thinking about, at the end of the day, when you roll all of the effort up, if you roll all of the marketing up, how are you communicating it to your executive team and to your board, and do they understand the value that you’re bringing to the company? I think that’s one thing. For me, the other piece that has just become so important to me as a leader as I’ve progressed is really the value of the team that you’re on and the team that you build.

Julie Herendeen: Almost nothing is more important. Obviously you want to join companies that have great products that customers love, but at the end of the day, you want to make sure that the team that you’re on is really strong and you’re going to be able to lock up with them and solve problems and really align on how to go to market. And the team that you build is absolutely critical, bringing together people who are experts in their area and that can really run together, it’s one of our PagerDuty cultural values, in order to achieve great impact to the business is critical. So I’ve really learned that the value of hiring and developing great team members, and one of the things that’s most satisfying to me in being in the industry is continuing to see those team members go on and do great things in their own careers. So building teams and making teams successful is something that I love.

Harry Stebbings: It must be very rewarding to see. In terms of kind of these incredible developments, have there been any challenging elements to really scale and grasp over time? And what have those been, do you think?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah, I think one of the hardest things in scaling is really understanding how you make sure you get the right resources to the right place at the right time. And when I say that, I really think about marketing leaders as having to be conductors. Think about them as a conductor of an orchestra and the orchestra isn’t just your team members. It’s your agencies, your technologies, your freelancers are all part of what you deliver as a CMO. So I think one of the things that’s hard is making sure at any point in time, you’re bringing together the right resources in the right way in order to have that impact on a business. And as a marketer, sometimes you have to pivot and change and move really quickly. So at that point in time, you need to know how to do that. Right?

Julie Herendeen: Whether it’s someone you have on your team or for a marketer, sometimes it means knowing which agency to bring on and have you help get where you need to go. That’s part of what you need to do as a CMO. You may not know exactly what’s going to happen in the course of the year, but you need to have access to resources that help you get there no matter what comes up.

Harry Stebbings: Speaking of that access, and I promise this really is the last one before the quick fire, but in terms of that access to the resource allocation, in terms of the relationship to the CEO, how do you think about the optimal relationship between CEO and CMO, in terms of kind of efficiently thinking about resource allocation, but also just transparent communications?

Julie Herendeen: Yeah. I think the relationship between the CEO and the CMO is your most important relationship. I’m so fortunate. I work for Jen Tejada at PagerDuty, and Jen is both an incredible CEO, as you probably know, but she also comes from a marketing background, and I feel very fortunate to be working with a CEO that comes from a marketing background because has such an amazing grasp of the opportunity and the impact that you can have with marketing. So when I think about that relationship between CEO and CMO, the CEO is setting that strategic direction for the company and then the role of marketing is really to come in and help contribute to reaching those strategic goals. And the lockup with the CMO is an ongoing conversation around where are we investing? What’s our framework for investing? How do we measure the impact of what marketing is doing in order to ensure that we’re able to fire on all cylinders to help the company hit those goals?

Harry Stebbings: As I said, I promise that will be my last question. So we will move into the quick fire round now, after I think probably the fourth last question, so apologies for that, but I do want to do the quick fire. So I say a short statement and you give me your thoughts, about 60 seconds or less. Are you ready to dive in?

Julie Herendeen: Absolutely.

Harry Stebbings: Who’s the CMO you most respect in the SaaS world and why?

Julie Herendeen: You know what I love about being in SaaS, and I think SaaStr has helped enable this, is really the community of CMOs that we have in SaaS. And we all confront similar issues in different ways. So I feel really fortunate to be part of a community. So I’d say it’s no single CMO, but when I think about the CMOs that are part of the SaaS community, Janine from Zoom, Ryan from Okta, Julie from Slack, Kip from HubSpot, these are all amazing CMOs, and what’s exciting is being able to have that exchange and really be a community that helps each other move forward.

Harry Stebbings: It is an incredible community, I have to say. On the flip side of, community I think is something that makes kind of the SaaS world actually very special. What elements would you most like to change in the world of SaaS today?

Julie Herendeen: There’s so much that’s positive in the world of SaaS. But I do think, at times, and you mentioned this in one of your questions, it’s easy to get too focused on the metrics. We have amazing metrics now for our business, which is so valuable, but I do find that it means, as a team, you need to make extra effort to make sure that you’re spending enough time with the customer and you’re getting deeply engaged in understanding the customer problems we can solve and understanding the voice of the customer. So as marketers, I think it just means you need to set goals that are not only metric goals, but also goals for how do we spend more time with the customer?

Harry Stebbings: Final one. What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the beginning of the time with PagerDuty?

Julie Herendeen: The thing I know now, which I actually knew when I started PagerDuty, but didn’t know deeply enough, is the point that I just made, which is it’s really about the team you join and the team you build. And the thing that I really appreciate about PagerDuty is how much time Jen Tejada spends, our CEO, on building a strong team. And I knew that about Jen and about PagerDuty when I started, because I had been an advisor there for two years before I started as the CMO, but part of what attracted me to the company was the strong team that she had built. But now that I’m in the company and I see how that plays out, and I understand the value of that lockup between sales, marketing, product, and within my own team, it’s just really reinforced. I think it’s deepened my appreciation for the value of the team and how that team interacts and what are the cultural values of the company around teamwork.

Harry Stebbings: Now this really is the last one, but you mentioned HubSpot earlier and it’s so interesting because you sit on the board of HubSpot. On kind of the board side, not within the company, but then obviously being in the CMO role you are today, also with PagerDuty, you sit within the PagerDuty side. I’ve just joined my first boards over the last few years. From having that kind of unique experience on the board level, what would you advise me in terms of what makes the most effective board members?

Julie Herendeen: When I think about is really what value do you bring to the board? So I think for every board member you want to be thinking about where is the company at this point in time? What do they need and how can you partner to really contribute from a strategy standpoint, from an input standpoint, and it’s going to be different for public boards versus private boards and certainly there’s a whole element of managing risk and the more defensive aspects of a board member’s job. But I think the most important thing is thinking about, based on your background, based on your unique capabilities, where are the areas where you can really move the needle? I mean, it’s the same way you would think about your job in a company, except it’s a very different type of job, but at the same time, I think it’s incredibly important for board members to not try to cover everything, but really understand kind of what’s their position of strength and where can they add the most value as a board member?

Harry Stebbings: Listen, as you’ve discovered from my last question, last question, last question, this has been such a joy for me to do, so thank you so much for joining me today, Julie, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear this.

Julie Herendeen: Harry, likewise. Thank you so much for spending the time.

Harry Stebbings: As you could tell, there were more and more last questions there and Julie was just such a pleasure to have on the show. I really did so enjoy that one. And if you’d like to see more from Julie, you can on Twitter at Herendeen. Likewise, it’d be great to welcome you behind the scenes here. You can do that on Instagram at Hstebbings1996 with two bs. 

Harry Stebbings: As always I so appreciate all your support and I can’t wait to bring you a phenomenal episode next week.

 

Published on June 24, 2020

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