Lynne Capozzi is the CMO of Acquia, a global marketing technology vendor that industry analysts bill as a headline act on the digital experience main stage alongside some powerful vendors. Ian Truscott sits down with this passionate marketer and finds out what get’s her marketing mojo working….
Hi Lynne, what would be top of your rider for your next marketing gig?
I’m a CMO driven entirely by passion. Whether it be the space, the company, or the people I’m working alongside, I have to feel inspired and believe in the vision whole-heartedly. If you’re a business, I want to know how your product works. If your company is in growth-mode, how fast is it growing?
Also, l love working in the city. No suburbs for this girl! And there must be music — more on that in a few questions!
What or who are your marketing influencers?
Early in my career, I was toggling between sales and marketing positions, undecided on which one would be my sole focus. To help with my decision, I took the time to read everything possible about career building, as well as sales and marketing positions and expectations. While I leaned more towards the marketing role, my sales background still serves me well today and I’m fortunate to have experienced both.
A few other inspirations include leadership books and ad campaigns, particularly the large brands that are edgy and provocative. One of my favorite times of the year? Superbowl commercial time of course! A marketer’s dream.
Lastly, I still remain intrigued by the advice that other CMOs give, whether it be a podcast that you can listen to anywhere or news articles. One podcast episode I’d recommend is Valerie Beaulieu, CMO of Microsoft US, who shared what leadership looks like in the digital age (see here). Marketing has changed so much in the past few years and continues to evolve, so it’s imperative to keep up with the latest trends and their impact on your organization.
If I was Spotify, what would I play for you first thing Monday morning to get you going?
Anything by Michael Franti and Spearhead. It’s always my walk on music for events and I listen to at least one song on the way into the office. “Say, Hey (I Love You)”, “Sound of Sunshine” — how can you not feel upbeat after listening?
The curtain pulls back, you step out on the stage of your new marketing gig – what do you open with?
PEOPLE, DATA, AND TOOLS. You’ll hear those three words on repeat within the Acquia marketing organization.
People: Surround yourself with the right talent for different positions within your marketing department. Some key roles include marketing operations, demand generation campaign experts, data analytics, web content, customer experience, etc. Don’t be afraid to hire those with a lot of experience and those who are still junior. It’ll bring both expertise and new ideas to the table to keep your department ahead of the curve.
Process: Marketers are being asked to do more than ever in their current roles so it’s vital that you have the right processes in place to help streamline your marketing operations. Take a step back to see what is and isn’t working within your organization and don’t be afraid to make changes to create more efficient teams to generate pipeline.
Tools: Marketing organizations are much more data-driven these days, which means that it’s less on gut instinct and more on data-driven insights. Marketers have tools in the stack to help with looking at what’s working and not working by being more data-driven. This allows us to stop what isn’t working and double-down on what is, all at a faster pace than ever before.
The audience is dancing in the aisles, it loves that track. What keeps the house jumping?
Data-driven decisions are key now so all marketers should be able to measure and adjust fast. Web analytics, NPS scores around customer satisfaction, customer experience, and multi-touch attribution analysis should be used to drive smart decisions. And be quick about it! Those who linger will lose out.
You’re playing a huge stadium – how do you know the audience can hear your tune?
It’s all about marketing ROI. For us, this means building new customers, maintaining existing customers, increasing our sales efforts, and maintaining costs for retaining and growing new customers. If we can’t measure it, I don’t want to do it.
If there was a billboard chart for marketing trends, what would be your Number 1?
Personalization tools and processes is both the biggest change, and when done right, can also have the biggest impact. In my opinion, if you are not successful at personalization you are not going to be successful at marketing. So many great brands are setting the bar high for customer experiences (for example Amazon, Netflix, Apple). We are all expecting these great customer experiences and mastering personalization is an important part of this.
What would you throw from your hotel window into the Rockstar CMO pool?
The old adage that marketing can’t be measured – it is so not true! Success and marketing can be measured, and should be on a consistent basis.
What’s got you rocking today?
We recently acquired a company, Mautic, which provides marketing automation and campaign management software. Between this and our personalization products, we are marketing and selling to marketers. How fun is that — being able to sell to your peers?!
We also are trying new things for brand building and awareness including billboard campaigns running in Boston, Austin, and San Francisco, and a train station ad takeover in Kendall Square area of Boston, which is a high-tech mecca near MIT. Given that these were new initiatives, we measured their success through the uptick in website traffic and our recruiting/hiring efforts which soared with new candidates.
Lastly, our customer and partner events for conferences are also great expressions of our brand. Not only do we find creative ways to express our brand like wrapping taxis with our logo for our Engage Europe event, but also living true to one of our core DNA values of giving back. For those of you who aren’t familiar, “giving back” stems from our open source roots and ability to give back to the community. As such, we have a charity component to all of our events, giving back, supporting organizations like Girls Who Code, No Barriers (for underprivileged children), Cancer Research UK, WaterAid, and more. Acquia, our customers, partners, and our employees are all encouraged to donate. It’s an important part of our events.
If there was a marketing hall of fame, who would you induct?
Marketing success stories are usually about great teams, rarely just one individual hero. I admire great teams that have accomplished a lot in creating a new category. For example, Hubspot’s creation of Inbound Marketing and Drift’s conversational marketing. These companies have created categories and established themselves as leaders and innovators within those areas.
I also love the marketers that have perfected the customer experience. One that comes to mind is Princess Cruise Lines, who found a way to personalize the “cruisers” experience from start to finish, through its Ocean Medallion technology. Bigger brands like Disney, Netflix, and Amazon have also set a high standard for customer experience, while smaller brands like Workfront and Sunrun have top-notch marketing campaigns given their digital-first approach and attention to the customer.
Any final words before you drop the mic?
To marketers looking for advice:
- Learn all the different facets of marketing and be diverse in your marketing skills — including demand gen, events, and customer marketing — whatever it is that you don’t yet have experience in. Don’t be afraid to branch out from your comfort zone to understand how all facets of marketing must work together to be successful.
- Take the time to know what marketing metrics are important and how to measure ROI.
- Set an objective about learning each area. That makes a great foundation for becoming a CMO.
Thank you Lynne!
As Acquia’s chief marketing officer, Lynne Capozzi oversees all global marketing functions including digital marketing, demand generation, operations, regional and field marketing, customer and partner marketing, events, vertical strategy, analyst relations, content and corporate communications.
Lynne is one of Acquia’s boomerang stories, first serving as Acquia CMO in 2009. Lynne left Acquia in 2011 to pursue her nonprofit work full-time. She returned to Acquia in late 2016 to lead the marketing organization into its next stage of growth.
Prior to her experience at Acquia, Lynne has held various marketing leadership roles in the technology space. She served as CMO at JackBe, an enterprise mashup software company for real-time intelligence applications that was acquired by Software AG, before that Lynne was CMO at Systinet, which was acquired by Mercury Interactive. Prior to that, Lynne was a VP at Lotus Development, which was later acquired by IBM.
Outside of her work at Acquia, Lynne is on the board of directors at the Boston Children’s Hospital Trust and runs a nonprofit through the hospital.