Keepin’ it 100 with Eduardo Valladolid, Thought Industries (Part 2)

Keepin’ It 100 offers bite-sized tips and encouragement for revenue practitioners.

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The hosts:
Trinity Nguyen
Christian Kletzl

On this Keepin’ it 100, Trinity is joined by Eduardo Valladolid, the Head of Demand Generation & Customer Marketing at Thought Industries, a B2B customer education and external training platform provider.

“I think the new ‘this is how we've always done it’ is ‘this is off-brand.’ That's where I encourage marketers to get out of that brand box and open their eyes to a new font, a new color palette, less stock imagery, introducing custom images, or revamping the event agenda. There are different ways of expanding while you're small. You have a great opportunity to treat it as a sandbox and do different things.”

If you are hesitant about taking on a new role, Eduardo Valladolid shares how to orient your mindset for success. The core of his message: Keep an open mind and actively seek out new ideas.

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Guest headshot

Eduardo is a customer-obsessed marketing leader who understands the end-to-end customer journey in enterprise sales. He's driven by data and results, leads by example, and has a track record of successfully partnering with sales leadership, global teams, and demand gen at enterprise technology companies.

Read Transcript

Trinity: Yeah. Hey, everyone. It's Trinity Nguyen again, and I'm back with another episode of Keeping It 100 – helping revenue practitioners better tackle a new role or project. And joining me again today is Eduardo Valladolid, Head of Demand Generation and Customer Marketing at Thought Industries. On this episode, Eduardo gives his advice for anyone hesitant about taking on a new role and at the same time reminds us to keep an open mind to new ideas, especially from new hires. Ideas that might seem a little, air quote, off-brand. Check it out. 

Eduardo: So, I obviously came from a larger company. However, starting at Thought Industries, it's kind of like walking into what I walked into at BlackLine, which isn't a bad thing at all. It's actually quite exciting to be part of that growth and figure out where you fit into that growth and how that's going to be part of your story. I remember specifically our Chief Revenue Officer, Chris Murphy at BlackLine, who's now the Chairman of the Board here at Thought Industries. He once told us all at BlackLine at a big event that to all the new people, respect the people that were here before you because they did something special that made this company attractive to you. To all the older legacy employees, he encouraged them to embrace and welcome the new ideas that were going to come from these new people, because they're going to help us get us to the next stage. I think coming into this environment and still being attached to Chris, the Chairman of the Board here at Thought Industries, I kind of keep that mentality in mind, and knowing what he appreciates and the new versus old, but also just kind of going towards a really nice new, upper direction for the company. One thing that's really difficult to face sometimes is that mentality of this is how we've always done it. While I haven't heard that here yet, or in any organization, no one ever is ever going to raise our hand and say like, well, this is how we've always done it. But I think in sales and marketing and some hypergrowth environments, we fall into the trap of saying it in a different way. And I think the new, this is how we've always done it is, this is off-brand. So that's where I would encourage marketers to kind of get out of that brand box and open your eyes to a new font, a new color palette, less stock imagery, introducing custom images, revamping the event agenda.

There's different ways of expanding while you're small. It's, you're in a great opportunity to treat it as a sandbox and do different things. You're not Coca-Cola, you're not Google. You still have a lot of wiggle room in what your brand is. So don't feel like that's already been defined and it's etched in stone because it's completely flexible.

I think sometimes people are just afraid to go outside of, like I said, the brand or even the department. Don't just stay with marketing, like talk to the end users within the organization. Talk to your CEO, talk to the subject matters – subject matter experts internally that you have –  because those are all resources that are going to help you grow as a marketer.

Then, beyond that, talk to your customers. If you really want to get excited with this go outside of your industry, go outside of like your service offerings and see what other companies are doing. A company that I look to a lot for inspiration is Gong. They're positioned as a sales enablement tool, but I actually argue that they're also a marketing enablement tool. I've made some friends with a few of the folks over at Gong, and I tell them all the time, like I use you guys so much in my marketing because I like to listen in on those conversations and hear the language and the questions that the prospects are bringing up. I use that language against them when I'm writing marketing messaging or a subject line. I want to use the exact words that other end users are using within these organizations, because I can do marketing fluff all day long, but that's not going to help me get a good open rate and certainly not going to help me convert into a meeting. But if I'm talking to these people, using their language, they're going to see that I'm actually empathetic towards what they're doing and I have some sense of understanding of what's going on in their 

Trinity: worlds. How do you handle self-doubt and going outside of your comfort zone, have you experienced that?

Eduardo: When the rules started, no one ever had this job before me, so I was able to create the template from the ground up. There was no, this is how we've always done it or this is how the last guy did it. I didn't have to face any of that. There was certainly some discomfort because, going back to what I used to do with just events, like how is he actually going to drive enterprise pipeline?

They enabled me to be creative and they actually really encouraged me to be creative. I appreciated that because I'm not a marketing buzzword guy. Like I don't speak like a marketer. I don't do the whole, this is what we should be doing. I'd rather just go figure out if I can do it and do it. I want to understand what budget I have and how I can actually turn that into something for the company, so I played around with a lot of things. At the time I was getting excited about direct mail because a lot of people were sort of talking about direct mail, but it really wasn't a thing at the time. That made a huge impact for BlackLine. 

Trinity: Do you have a notes of encouragement or insights to share?  Email me and we'll get you on the Thanks for listening.