Lauren Vaccarello is the chief marketing officer at Talend, an award-winning executive, and a best-selling author. She has had extensive marketing experience and a commendable track record in “accelerating revenue growth for the fastest growing SaaS companies in Silicon Valley.” Her background in demand generation allows her to excel at “building scalable integrated campaigns that leverage cutting edge marketing techniques.” While sustaining a company’s high performance defines her approach as a marketer, she also believes that businesses “need to tell compelling stories and build a brand if they want to own a category.”
As an executive at Talend, Lauren Vaccarello focuses on “keeping the team aligned, engaged, and excited.” She also works with her team leaders in setting the vision and strategy for the marketing department. Her department also lays down “aggressive deadlines” and holds “weekly pipeline forecast calls.” In terms of work ethic, she claims that she is a “fairly hard driver.”
However, Lauren Vaccarello holds the people she works with in high regard, and she wants to make sure to support them. As an executive, she has also mentored several people who have gone on to become executives themselves, such as chief marketing officers and vice presidents.
Lauren Vaccarello has written the books “The Retargeting Playbook” and “Complete B2B Online Marketing.”
Check out more interviews with women leaders in business here.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Lauren Vaccarello: In the early 2000s, I was bartending and was in need of health insurance. I got a job doing paid search marketing at an online dating company. I moved to New York City and applied to another bartending job and also a position on Wall Street. I was hired as a sales trader and then quickly moved over to marketing.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Lauren Vaccarello: In 2008, I decided to quit my day job and start my own company that would focus on creating a network to sell ads in the financial vertical. I self-funded the entire company but didn’t understand macroeconomics. I began my venture three days before Lehman Brothers crashed. I spent most of my savings and worked really hard, but I was selling ads to banks that were going under. I paid my rent and supported the company with additional marketing consultation work. I got very good very quickly while driving direct revenue for companies that were in a really tough environment. I decided to forgo the founder role and take a full-time job at Salesforce — and the rest is history. Through it all, I learned to how to be quick on my feet and push things forward in difficult situations.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us What lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Lauren Vaccarello: To this day, I’m still made fun of for this. When I started working on Wall Street as a sales trader, I had to complete a two-week onboarding boot camp. A person from the marketing department came in and said they were working on paid search marketing, which I had done at the online dating company. Young Lauren thought it would be good to let them know that I could do paid search better than anyone in the department. I chock this up to youthful arrogance, but they accepted my offer. I volunteered to do the extra work for free on top of my sales job.
Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from good to great? Please share a story or an example for each.
Lauren Vaccarello: Here are my top five.
- Clear vision and direction
Part of Talend’s brand journey was to determine how we could show up differently for the public and our customers. We had to be really clear about our long-term vision and the specific value we provide — what did this mean for our role as a strategic business partner? We wanted to look at how we were perceived from an outside perspective.
- Strong, high-performing team
I believe greatness begins with people. The fact is, you never have as many resources as you need, so building a culture of psychological safety is essential. This fosters a sense of trust and helps ensure a high-performing team. In the end, you’ll get more out of the people you have.
- Willingness to change
Going from good to great can be a big transformation, and the people in your organization need to acknowledge that how they got to where they are is important, but continual adaptation and change are essential; they need to able to transform.
- Determination and drive
When COVID hit, I led Talend through an intensive brand transformation that included the conversion of all our events to online platforms. The ability of our sales and marketing teams to push against the challenges and execute and deliver was pretty astounding. We transformed Talend Connect, the company’s in-person user conference, into three virtual events, which included health and wellness sessions and live entertainment. Held in May 2020, it was wildly successful, with more than 5,000 registrants and 2,300 attendees around the globe. The success of this event led us to launch Talend Connect World Tour 2020, held on October 28–November 11, 2020, in NORAM, EMEA, and APAC.
- Sense of urgency
As I see it, there is no time to waste when moving from good to great. You need to find ways to give precise direction, while constantly inspiring your people and instilling company drive.
Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?
Lauren Vaccarello: I read a LinkedIn Workplace Culture report that said that nearly nine out of 10 (86%) of millennials (those between the ages of 22 and 37) would consider taking a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values align with their own. This is also true with older generations, but a value align is becoming more important to up-and-coming employees. Their work is not just about what gets done — if employees can connect emotionally too, their performance will be better.
Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience What are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?
Lauren Vaccarello: Improving conversion rates involves a few different things. You need to identify what types of visits you’re getting, then assess how you can attract the right people and show them value even before they reach the sales stage. These right people will interact with you and understand the value you provide, but the role of marketing doesn’t stop at just driving a lead. In fact, that’s really where marketing starts. You have to instill trust and work closely with your sales team on how to influence a lead with your company’s brand points. I recommend making sure your sales teams connect with your marketing team from lead to close.
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
Lauren Vaccarello: Earning a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand begins with the impact a brand has on its customers. Talend approaches this goal with a customer-first mentality. We deliver value and set goals for that value and redefine it as needed. We then find creative methods to showcase our highlights and successes to convey that we’re a trusted brand.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Lauren Vaccarello: Look for me on Truth Be Known, LinkedIn, and Talend Twitter, and look for my byline on article contributions.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
The post Meet Lauren Vaccarello, Chief Marketing Officer at Talend appeared first on Tekrati.