Hello to Canada’s SaaS Community,
Marketing-driven revenue growth is the dream for any SaaS company, and Clio has achieved it. Speaking with SAAS NORTH, CMO Reagan Attle explained how she structures her role (and the Clio marketing team) for maximum impact.
- A CMO’s first job is to understand what potential customers might want from your solution.
- CMO’s need to collaborate with both revenue and product leaders on a regular basis to ensure continued alignment.
- There are opportunities in all market conditions, so CMO’s should be curious rather than scared.
Co-Founder/Producer, SAAS NORTH Conference Editor, SAAS NORTH NOW
Marketing is directly responsible for helping drive revenue at LegalTech scaleup Clio. That puts CMO Reagan Attle in an interesting position—she’s a c-suite executive with direct revenue accountability, meaning she has to drive growth both at the planning and execution levels. Speaking with SAAS NORTH, Reagan shared more about how she structures marketing as a growth driver.
What a CMO needs to focus on
Having worked in marketing her entire career, Reagan is comfortable with the buzzwords and mechanics of setting up a campaign. But as CMO, her world is much broader—specifically, she focuses on two different buckets that help her make plans.
1. Understanding customers and the market
Clio serves lawyers and law firms, helping them drive efficiencies in their operations. So the first thing Reagan focuses on is understanding them, the legal market more broadly, and what a lawyer could possibly want from a solution like Clio.
“My job is to really understand what do our customers and our future customers want from Clio,” said Reagan. “And then, how can Clio satisfy those needs.”
This focused understanding—not just the market but what someone might need from Clio—is the foundation for Reagan bringing the voice of the customer into marketing decision making.
2. Brand vision
Reagan said a big part of Clio’s success is its brand within the legal community as a partner for law firms going through digital transformation. But her focus is less on the flash and more the mechanics of what success looks like for customers once Clio is implemented.
From there, she sees her job as enablement—figuring out both what needs to be said and developing the education necessary for Clio employees to deeply understand the messages that will resonate with customers.
“[There is] often a misperception about how you build a company brand—[assuming] that marketing builds a company brand,” said Reagan. “But it is really your employees and your customers that build a company brand. And so I see my responsibility to facilitate that, to guide that, to enable that.”
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While Reagan does a lot of her own planning, she was clear that marketing does not work in a silo. Instead, the CMO role is about collaborating across the organization.
At Clio, Reagan said collaboration looks like a mix of two things: first comes company-wide, leadership-level collaboration, the outcome of which is objectives and key results (OKRs) for the entire company.
“Those are what guide every function in our company around what we’re wanting to do, what we want to focus on, and how we’re going to measure our success in the execution of our strategy,” said Reagan.
Then comes go-to-market collaboration, specifically with Sales, Revenue Operations, and Product. Reagan said she connects with those teams’ respective leaders on a near-daily basis, talking about her own plans and learning about theirs to ensure continued alignment.
“We do work really closely with each other to make sure that what I’m planning aligns with what they need and what they’ll want to be successful,” said Reagan. “And what our customers ultimately are going to benefit from.”
During difficult market times, Reagan sees this collaboration as even more important because it drives efficiency. If the teams were all operating in silos or not communicating as much, they might go in wildly different directions that lead to wasted spending, which wouldn’t be tenable.
“We’re no longer in the ‘growth at all cost’ kind of mandates with the markets evolving,” said Reagan. “And so that data and growing and understanding how each dollar you’re spending is driving the outcome that you want is super important to us.”
Spotting opportunities wherever they may be
While Reagan is focused on ensuring marketing spend is efficient, she’s confident in the company’s ability to thrive in any market conditions.
“Clio was founded in a recession,” said Reagan. “So we understand this. We understand how hard working through a recession is and how our customers tend to operate in a recession.”
With this knowledge, Reagan is far more focused on opportunities than threats. And she sees two coming on the horizon: first is an opportunity to grow. She said since Clio’s solution helps law firms become more efficient and ultimately save time and money, there is a growth opportunity if more companies are looking to tighten their metaphorical belts.
The second opportunity is talent. As tech layoffs continue across Canada and the US, Reagan is excited for the chance to possibly work with really talented people who otherwise may not have been available (PS—Clio is hiring for many roles).
“There’s been lots of amazing talent that has come on the market recently,” said Reagan. “And Clio is really invested in our people. Clio is really wanting to make sure that we’re bringing on the best talent to help our business grow and to support our customers. And so I think that’s an opportunity as well.”