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After ten years operating as a CMO and head of marketing across multiple SaaS companies, in 2018 Ty Lim founded Averoos, a B2B marketing firm focused on helping SaaS companies develop and execute winning marketing strategies. We spoke with Ty to discuss:
- The evolving role of the CMO in a B2B SaaS Company
- The complementary need for data alongside stories
- How to measure the impact of brand-building activities
- Marketing’s role in breaking down silos in an organization
This interview has been edited for length and context.
Matthew: Hi Ty, thanks for taking the time. Let’s go a bit through your journey. I’m interested in knowing about where you started and how you got to where you are.
Ty: I view myself as an entrepreneur and operator as well as a marketer or CMO. I say that because throughout my entire career I’ve been a builder. I spent the first half of my career in ad tech with roles at Google, then in various roles at a large ad network called Connexus, where I ended up running one of their business units. Soon after, I started my own digital marketing agency.
There, I learned a ton about how to build high-velocity machines. I learned how to take a revenue-centric approach to build a business, and look at everything analytically. A small lever or percent change in conversion ratio could very well equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit.
In the second half of my journey, which is where I’m at now, I took a rather large pivot and said, “I want to run marketing at a startup.” I took on a couple of roles at some VC-backed startups, particularly in B2B SaaS selling into IT, and had some pretty good wins.
Matthew: Interestingly we both started in ad tech. At Google, I was on the AdSense side of the business before moving into the work that I do now. I guess because AdTech is so transactional and so tech-driven that, in my case, it didn’t feel creative enough.
Matthew: The cool thing about what we do is in combining the ad side with technology and creativity, which is ultimately a different challenge. I’d be curious to know what you consider to be the CMOs main function and how you conceive of the role?
Ty: In B2B SaaS specifically, I’d like to see a change. The types of engagements I’m looking for would be where the CMO is directly tied to the customer and revenue. In the traditional sense, marketing at SaaS companies is responsible for top-of-the-funnel, high-level awareness. And then there is a responsibility to convert that into known leads, and then hopefully joint-own the processing of converting those leads into opportunities. The majority of my experience has been in B2B SaaS and selling high-ticket solutions. But what I envision is where the CMO is responsible for all the touchpoints with the prospect from lead to close to renewal. In the past, I’ve found success in aligning marketing with the customer success team. That allows us to pull out and extrapolate fully deployed use cases.
The end goal is to build relationships with customers so we can integrate that voice and that story into everything we do – inside webinars, press articles, connections with analysts, field events, advisory boards, et cetera.