When they come to you with feedback, you listen. Then, you take action and go back to them to let them know you have taken that action.
In this episode
Getting buy-in from your team can be a difficult task.
Getting buy-in from those who aren’t your direct reports? Nearly impossible.
In episode #156, Meagen explains the importance of being able to influence those who you collaborate with outside of your team and how to collaborate across functions within your organization effectively.
Meagen Eisenberg is the Chief Marketing Officer of Lacework. Previously, she was CMO at both TripActions and MongoDB. She is currently a board member for G2 and has acted as an advisor for companies like Loom and Productboard.
Tune in to hear all about Meagen’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!
Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.
Give feedback in real time
Communicating during exits
Collaboration across functions
Systematic culture of feedback
Leveraging various aliases
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Connect with Meaean on LinkedIn
- Follow Meagen on Twitter
- Subscribe to the Supermanagers TLDR newsletter
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 00:19
Meagen, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. I know you’ve worked at a number of different companies across leadership roles, everything from a companies like TripActions, MongoDB, DocuSign, and today, you’re the CMO at Lacework, so lots of stuff for us to dive into. But one of the ways that we like to start the show is by diving all the way back, thinking back in time to when you first start to manage or lead a team. Do you remember some of those early mistakes that you used to make that maybe you make less of today?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 03:17
I sure do. I mean, I’ve certainly kind of throughout my career, have held various leadership positions where people report to and sometimes when they don’t report into, and I think that’s almost something harder that you have to mass master as you move up in your career or the ability to influence people who don’t work for you. But when I think about lessons that I’ve learned, I think, number one, feedback and not giving feedback in real time. I think it’s a mistake, if sure you might have a weekly one on one or an opportunity to go back. But I think it’s critical. If you have something for your team to let them know not in a public setting. That’s not something you do in front of others. But I think it’s important, as soon as you can pull them aside, and having very concrete examples of what you mean. Because sometimes I think we give feedback at a high level, it doesn’t relate until you show them the business context that it was in. And I think it’s very powerful to give feedback and you build trust over time with your team. Because they know you’re always going to be there to help develop them, give them feedback, and you’re going to do it in real time. And you’re going to have real examples. So I think that’s part of it. And second, early in my career, I really wanted to avoid conflict. I you know, like many people, I would rather have a happy fun environment. We all get along. We all have the same ideas and agree on that. But you quickly learned that there are going to be different ways people have different information that they bring to, to a debate or discussion and it’s really important to to listen and understand and to be okay with conflict because you’re probably going to get to the better result. You wouldn’t want everyone just agree with what you say. You actually want to have that conflict and I also think it’s a great way to get to know people because as you get through conflict, you bond and you build The relationship and so how you go about it, I think is important as well.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 05:03
Lots of great insights, the conflict is okay part is very interesting. Like, if you were to think back, is there a story or example? I wonder how you learned that lesson? Did you avoid conflict? Maybe in the beginning and then realize that actually avoiding it makes things worse? Or how did you draw that conclusion?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 05:23
Yeah, you know, I learned a lot from a peer of mine, Carlos Della Torre. He was the CRO at MongoDB. And I actually ended up working with him again at tripactions. And he had this book and training that he did with the sales reps that I actually read and learned a lot from, and it was crucial conversations. And it really made me realize my style. And in in avoiding that crucial conversation, I was making things worse. And that there’s a really, you know, easy way to do it, to ground yourself to be able to take feedback and to give feedback. And so many times is you imagine sales and marketing are trying to figure out how to build pipeline drive revenue, partner together, and communicate. And the best way to solve problems is to put them all out on the table, discuss them, and you’re partnering together, you’re facing the same direction, it’s not a you versus them. And to do that, you have to be able to structure a good conversation and have those crucial conversations. So I think that’s a great example. And I really learned a lot just from reading that book.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 06:24
Okay, shoe nowadays, like when you think about what is the situation where you think that, you know, people want to think about it, that there might be a conversation worth having that maybe they’re avoiding having like, if you were coaching someone? How would you suss that, out that this might be a conversation that needs to be had that hasn’t yet been had?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 06:44
I mean, certainly when I’m talking to someone on my team, and they’re making a statement about another person, whether it’s in our org or someone else’s, and they’re making assumptions, and I’ll ask, Oh, so what did they say when you told them that? And if their response is, oh, well, I haven’t had a chance to say it, I can just tell I just know, this is how they’re going to respond. And I’ll say, no, actually, why don’t you walk over pick up the phone, you know, Slack and email is not a great way to deliver feedback, often, because tone is can be misinterpreted. And there’s nothing better than having that direct conversation. If hopefully, you’re in the office together, you can walk over I find those are constructive conversations. And a good way to build relationships are pick up the phone. And ask don’t assume, especially if your assumption is negative I my feedback is often always assume good intent, and be comfortable asking the question and understanding and I find when I’m willing to do that the intent is good, and they have a good rational, most people are rational. So you should ask the question and not assume,
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 07:45
you know, I love this, you know, have you had that conversation with them? And what did they say? What do you think about the scenario where I often find with feedback, especially so someone might say, you know, something critical about something that’s going on in another part of the org or in another team? And then you might, you know, ask that question, you know, what did they say when you told them that, and sometimes, you know, people think that they’ve communicated that, but they haven’t necessarily super directly said it. So that is extremely obvious. Are there ways that you found like to coach people so that they’re better at giving that type of feedback so that you know that it’s landed,
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 08:22
certainly, you can do roleplay with them, I had an executive coach at my first cmo job. And there was a lot what I loved about it, she did a lot of roleplay, where there was difficult conversations I wanted to have, and she would roleplay it back and forth, and give me feedback on my style. So I think you can do the same with your team, you can roleplay it if they’re having if they’re anxious or nervous about it, the risk of a leader if you continually allow someone to escalate, and then you have to go give the feedback to the third party is one, you’re not building those relationships, you’re not empowering your team. And at some point, you become roadblock. And you won’t function and scale as fast as you need when your leaders are not communicating are able to do that. And what do I mean by that? You know, I think about a CEO. And the lesson I learned at a prior company, is I would have these conversations about something. And he would say, Well, have you had the conversation with the person? And I was like, Well, I wasn’t sure. And he was like, no, go have the conversation. Because at some point, if your CEO has to keep being the broker, he’s going to hire or she’s going to hire new leaders. Right? At the end of the day, we need to get our jobs done. If you can’t, you don’t have leaders on your team that can communicate, you need to go find people who can. And so they have to figure out that skill or they’ve hit a ceiling, because it’s a waste of time of manager to have to broker between two peers after the first second or third time and I have three children, three daughters, and you know, they have their own list of conflicts and I am always trying to get them to work it out together. Sure you can escalate it to mom or dad and have a suit but they’re not Learning the Crucial Conversation skill, being sisters working together. And that’s, you know, different the sibling thing. But I think it very much applies in business, you’ve got to be able to communicate if you want to continue to grow in your career and have tough conversations.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 10:14
That’s super useful. I guess I have a related question. So say that someone on your team who reports you wants to, you know, have some feedback for someone who has appeared to you so that it’s not appear to them, but appear to you say, the CRO, you know, and what do you do in that situation? Do you still send them to go directly speak,
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 10:34
I do. And I’ve done it many times, I’m not a hierarchical person. In that way, I feel if my team has feedback for a leader, they should set up time and give feedback, have those conversations, I don’t also want to be the middle person, they have all the data, they have the information, and it allows them to get visibility and other orcs. And actually those leaders, the CRM will come back me Oh, wow, you know, Ryan reached out, or grant reached out and I really appreciated the feedback, and you’ve got this great team and, and if they’re nervous, I’m happy to give them coaching and do roleplay with them. But that is an important skill, to be able to talk to people at all levels in the business. And you know, it allows me at some point, I’m going to want to promote that person. And when as you get more and more senior you need, I need my peers to agree, yes, that person should be a director, yes, that person should be a Vice President, I’ve seen the work they’ve done. But if I don’t allow them to have that relationship, or give that feedback to the CRO, I won’t have that support, because they’ll never have met them, they’ll never have seen them in action, or what they bring to the table. And so I also think it’s important for development and promotions.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 11:39
Yeah, yeah, that’s an excellent point. And there’s enough to do in the day. And if you have to serve as a mediator for everyone, then there won’t be enough time at all. So very good point. I did also want to ask you about something else. So very interesting. You’ve been a part of or contributed to 18, successful exits, three IPOs, 15, mergers. So lots of organizational change. I wanted to ask you about, you know, after having done this so many times, what is the hardest thing about communicating in such circumstances? And what have you learned?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 12:13
I mean, communicating and exits, what I would say, as you’re scaling companies, and you need communication, certainly, and you’re not going to have one of these exits, whether it’s merger, acquisition, or IPO, if you haven’t built a strong team, right? It’s a team that’s going to execute that delivers results, that’s great at communicating. And it’s never a straight up into the right, there’s going to be challenges along the way. That’s why you hire people to solve problems, and to build and to scale a company. So because it’s going to happen, the best way to deal is one have strong relationships, communicate. And I think that’s just part of it.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 12:51
So in terms of communicating, I know you’re also passionate about this idea of getting buy in from your teams, whenever it comes to, you know, creating change or driving something forward. What are ways that you’ve learned to get buy in from your teams, whenever there’s any sort of change in direction strategy, or just want to make sure that everybody’s rowing in the same direction? Yeah. So
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 13:14
I think there’s three things that, that allow teams really to come together and work well. One, it’s building the models together. So you’re building your objectives. You’re building how you’re going to measure success, you’re, you know, in sales and marketing, maybe it’s building the persona, together, the accounts, you’re going to go after together, the scoring model together, how you measure success. So you all have to align on what you’re building what your goals and objectives are. The second thing is habitual communication. It’s constantly checking in getting feedback, moving things forward, that matters a ton and alignment. And then the third would be transparency and results. You have to be upfront, and truthful, because that’s part of trust, and things are going to fail. And you need to highlight that. And these are to be successful. I think the challenge for marketers sometimes is we spend so much time highlighting all the great things we’re doing because by the way, we’re doing a lot of great things. But without the balance of trial and error and what’s not working, it becomes less credible. And when you’re in sales, and you’re winning and losing all the time, and you’re measured by closing business all the time. Sometimes it can be hard to say well, marketing says hey, we’ve delivered all these leads, we’ve done our job, everything is awesome. And sales is has sees the challenges of winning and losing to come together. You have to say, Well, we tried this, it didn’t work. We tried that it didn’t work. It just becomes more balanced. Incredible. So I think, you know, build models together, build it together, your goals, transparency, and results, what’s working and what’s not working, and then habitual communication. And you put that on a layer of technology that allows you to track and measure that I think a place a dashboard where you all come together and can see how you’re progressing against your targets. And you’ve agreed on the metrics I think there’s no better way to build teams.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 15:02
So dig in a bit and get a little bit tactical. So how do you make sure that systematically because you’ve been involved in large teams, how do you make sure that systematically people are communicating both the wins and the losses to build that credibility? Like, sir, a structure to a meeting? Or is there like a format of communicating especially like, all the way down the org? How do you make sure that this is happening?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 15:26
So certainly, I think, as leaders, we set expectations of what we expect. So out of a campaign, or budget or anything you’re going to run, you should have objectives, you should have how we’re going to measure success. And then you should report and check in on how you’ve measured success. Take a press release, or take a product launch, which involves a potentially website update, press release social media, you should have one alignment on what’s going to go out but a whole metric sheet. And it’s not just how much reach did the press Get? It’s how much social and reach it’s did traffic jump up on your website or not? Did you get message pull through? Did you have three pubs published a story? Did you have three customer case studies that went with it, and you should track that, and you can track it against all other product launches over time to see how you’re progressing? And, okay, we didn’t we didn’t get as much coverage here. But we did great on social, or Wow, this customer case study really resonated. But how do you know and align the team if they don’t know what they’re being measured on? And what the objective is? So I think you can apply that to any project at any scale. It’s what’s the goal is what’s the objectives and our strategy? How are we progressing against it? And how are we measuring success? And then what was the outcome? And you should always check that and you should ask questions and inspect and, and develop your teams to be looking for that.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 16:47
Yeah. So this is very interesting. So once this stuff is created to at least work, I mean, is this documentation shared? And like anybody in the company can see what the results were and look it up for themselves and super transparent that way?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 16:59
Yeah. So we publish it to those that we think will care, certainly, we publish it to the marketing organization, something like a product launch of results, I will forward to the X team, I’ll certainly forward it to the CEO. And it’s more of a if you’re interested, you know, we do measure it. Here’s the results. And I’ll give an executive overview often of okay, I think we did an A and here a c here, we’re going to work on this next time, I think it’s important to kind of give your spin especially if you’re sending it to executives, to just send it and make them like trawl through all the data might not be a good use of time. But you can have your sort of takeaway. And then if they want to drill in to the data, they have it as well. Okay, they’re
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 17:39
just a quick note, before we move on to the next part, if you’re listening to this podcast, you’re probably already doing one on one meetings. But here’s the thing, we all know that one on one meetings are the most powerful, but at the same time, the most misunderstood concept in practice and management. That’s why we’ve spent over a year compiling the best information, the best expert it buys into this beautifully designed 90 Plus page ebook. Now, don’t worry, it’s not single spaced font, you know, lots of tax, there’s a lot of pictures. It’s nice, easily consumable information, we spent so much time building it. And the great news is that it’s completely free. So head on over to fellow dot app slash blog to download the Definitive Guide on one on ones. It’s there for you. We hope you enjoy it. And let us know what you think. And with that said, let’s go back to the interview. Okay, and you mentioned the X team. Is that just the executive team?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 18:39
The executive team across the company? Yes. Yeah. Got it.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 18:43
Got it. And so we talked about collaborating, you know, building by and you talked about the three steps that matter. You also mentioned the technology stack. And I know you’ve also talked about in the past, having too much technology, and technology overload. So how do you think about that these days in terms of, you know, building out your teams, how do you know when you’re, you know, technology is helping or hurting? or what have you learned there?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 19:10
Yeah, I think teams need people process technology. I’ve certainly had and used a lot of technology successfully over the years, I think we have over 40 pieces of technology and marketing alone here at Lacework. But I think what matters is you have a champion for the technology. Someone who says yes, we need this, that’s going to make sure it’s implemented, that’s going to measure success that’s going to check in on results quarterly. And that is going to be there at renewal to say, yes, we still need this. So I think you’re always auditing your use. It’s been just like any budget item, whether it’s a campaign or technology, you should audit the ROI on it, and you should stack rank it because at some point in your company’s trajectory, you’re probably going to make cuts, you’re gonna grow and you’re gonna make cuts and you should be able to very quickly say okay, out of the 40 technologies if I have to cut 10 These are the bottom 10 And I know that because I’ve been measuring how we’re using it, the results is driving etc. And I have certain champions, I think every time I enter a company I audit software that we’re using, and if nobody will claim it, kill it, stop it, right? Because you get too much technology, you have to digest it and implement it. And if they’re not, you know, you don’t want to technology for obviously, technology sake, you need to get the results out of it. And you don’t want to create a bunch of busy work for your team or for operations to maintain it. And you’ve got to weigh all of that the results. That’s part of the ROI, the results and the cost.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 20:35
Yeah, and what about the people who implement that technology? Like, is this the sort of thing for example, in your teams that you think that? Like, can anyone bring in tools? Or do you hire certain people that are responsible for that? Or like technologists that you hire? Or how do you make make that happened?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 20:54
So I think it depends on the size of your business. I think as companies get bigger, they have teams that are managing technology, there’s security reviews, and approval cycles, and business cases and RFPs that you have to run in a startup environment. If that is not all in place, you’re obviously starting to build that out. But I have always on the marketing side brought in a technologist who you know, can help assess the technology, not just Yes, this is great, we would love it. But the implementation, is it a quick implementation? Do we have to hire contractors or consultants? Can we do it? Does it impact other teams integrate into our website or into Salesforce? And there’s different approvals hasn’t gone through a security review? What’s the budget? Do we have the budget? Who’s the champion? So yes, I think you need a technologist, if you don’t have one on your team, then you need to partner with your IT department, or you need to partner with the software vendor you’re working with to provide professional services, and know that you can still maintain it once they walk away, I certainly am not recommending that use ongoing professional services to manage software in a marketing department. Although you could if you want to outsource someone that runs Marketo or Eloqua, for you, but I’ve always hired those in house.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 22:05
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So one thing that I want to go back to, which is in this area of collaborating. So marketing is obviously a very broad function works a lot with all areas of the company, what are things that you have learned about making sure that your team does collaborate with all the other parts of the company? So traditionally, for example, you know, there’s a lot of tie in with products, you know, for example, and figuring out what the environment is looking for Product Marketing being one of those roles, for example, and specifically when it comes to who makes the decisions, right, like everybody’s going to collaborate. But when it comes to understanding who’s going to drive certain decisions or outcomes, how have you made that a lot more seamless within your organization’s?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 22:55
So let’s go back to the original question that you were asking. Yeah, so
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 22:59
basically, just around how to enable collaboration across functions, how to make that better?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 23:07
Yeah, you know, I’ll give an example. Because I think you’d like the tactical side of it. And my first time as a CMO, I came in I before, I’d always reported to a CMO. And I really understood the value and importance of collaborating with sales. And actually, part of my success in my career is collaborating, understanding what they needed delivering building pipeline. And those three things I talked about earlier, I want to became a CMO. I would say I failed in the first year too, because I did a great job managing marketing. And I did a great job partnering with the head of sales and listening and building the models together. But I did a sucky job partnering with product. And part of it might have been I had come into a very technical company MongoDB. And maybe I was intimidated by or maybe I, you know, was busy. But it was a point of failure. Because I really needed to partner with product and engineering, I needed to understand the roadmap and what was coming and whether I had the technical, technical skills or not, I had to have the right domain expertise. And I had to bring credibility to that. Because we’re taking those products to market, we listen to the customer, we can provide feedback from the customer. And it’s a really important part of the handoff between engineering and product through marketing to enable the sales team. And so I really realized that all of those relationships matter. So I need to be with the head of sales because we need to go to market with them. I need to be with product and engineering because I need to understand what’s coming to provide a feedback loop and really translate the value of the why we built the products we built. And I need to work with the head of finance because we need budget I need to prove ROI. And you know, marketing budget is one of the largest expense. So you have to be a good steward of that. And you have to prove that you have the right controls and process and ROI evaluation in place to be able to get more budget and to be seen as a revenue driver and not a cost center. And so that’s an important relationship. And then you think about marketing from an HR standpoint, you’re doing employment branding, you’re trying to bring more people and to create this amazing culture. And marketing has a lot of skills and work around that, to create the culture, bring in talent and help out. So you need to partner very closely with your people team.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 25:15
Yeah, so lots of relationships. So what was the lesson there? Like? Do you think that? Like, how could you have, you know, going back, like, what would you have done differently? tactically speaking?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 25:27
Tactically, I mean, I would have spent more time face to face with the head of product, I would have spent more time with engineering.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 25:33
Got it? And so when you are looking at like, do you do things today, like, you know, calendar audits, like, do you think about these sorts of things of like, how much time do I spend with with each sort of these groups? Or is it just you make sure that with all the leaders in the organization, you have, like recurring one on ones? Or how does that practically look so that like the system is set up?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 25:53
Yeah, man, I think that’s part of it, meeting one on one listening, working with the different departments and making sure your teams aligned, making sure my Head of Product Marketing is working with the head of product, their teams, and they’re aligned, that you’re taking feedback, you’re listening, when they come to you with feedback, you listen, and then you take action, and you go back to them and let you know that you took that action. So I think there’s a lot of, you know, building trust across teams is also delivered as showing results, and being respectful on communication. And you know, that time and spending time with those leaders.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 26:29
Yeah. And then in terms of like systems that you set up, so that feedback is part of the relationship? Are there things you’ve done? I mean, part of it is obviously just to know and like, there’s the people side of you should always ask for feedback. But are there systematic ways that you’ve just ensured that there is a culture of getting feedback with your collaborators?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 26:49
I always ask my leaders when they send me something to prove, who have you reviewed this with? Has someone in product looked at it? Has someone and what was the feedback from sales? And if the answer is they haven’t done that yet, then I say, Okay, go do that. And then bring it back. It’s really important, we validate this, especially in a very technical software field, you want to make sure product and engineering looks at it, you wouldn’t want to put something in the market and then have, you know, your buyer, you know, discredit you because you’ve obviously said something off mark that’s not relevant or is ridiculous for your buyer. And part of that validation is having multiple people review it. And actually, nothing leaves the company or nothing supposed to leave the company unless it goes through an alias, I’ve got an alias setup that has all the directors and above on it, and you have to have two approvers to directors approve anything, whether it’s a social media ad, whether it’s a white paper, an email, you name it, anything that goes outside public facing goes across the directors alias, and you have to get to, but what that does is it actually puts everyone in it puts the brand people can see it and provide feedback, product marketing can provide feedback events can provide demand gen, there’s no leader that doesn’t see what’s going out the door. Now, they might not all get to it first, but they have an opportunity to review, I look at every single thing that goes across that alias. And sometimes I’ll provide the approval feedback, but I won’t put it out in front of everyone, I’ll put it back to the person. So they know I looked at it. And they can still go get to or use mine because I don’t want to stop the rest of the team from having an opportunity to look at it. And I think that’s a really important part one, we align on everything that goes out there, but the level of quality goes up tremendously. And you always get your approvals within 24 hours, unless maybe it’s a weekend. But with that many people we have enough directors and above, it’s not hard to get to. And so I just find it a really good way. Now I don’t know if you scale that pressed a 3000 person company, but in a sub 1000 company, the approval alias works really well. And we’ve caught a lot of issues before they actually go out messaging, people catch link breakage name spelled wrong. Grammar. You know, it’s amazing what you catch, and you reward people for that. Some people push back and say, Oh, well, you know, I feel like I’ve lost my empowerment of writing an email that goes externally. And I said, No, I’m actually you’re being stopped from failing. I think feedback is about your peers, not letting you fail publicly. And you should embrace the feedback and be thankful that they took the time to read it. When someone in another department, you know, recently I had someone on the our partner leader, we have an event coming up. That’s a big partner ecosystem event. He hadn’t seen the project plans. He wasn’t on the Slack channels, all the things that we would normally do for whatever reason, he wasn’t in this particular one. So he was kind of worried that it wasn’t happening. And so he’s kind of we’re sitting in a meeting and he’s like, Hey, I’m a little bit worried that we’re dropping the ball on this and I haven’t seen it. I was like, Oh really? Oh, well. Let me get you that and I ping the team and we send them the doc. So we added them to the slack. We did a bunch of things. And he came Becky’s like, Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have bugged you on that. I should have known you, you guys were all over it. And I just said, No, thank you. Obviously, you weren’t on the right alias, and you helped me for failing, it would have been way worse than two weeks. Had you not flagged something or something was missing? And you told me then I’m thankful for your feedback. And I think that’s how you build relationships as well. You embrace feedback, and you let them know, and they’ll continue to take care of you. That’s what a team does, regardless if they’re in marketing or not.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 30:29
Yeah, I love that. I love the you know, why do I have to do this? And the response to that, because I guess like, sometimes, people might think that, oh, this is I don’t have the autonomy to be able to do what I want. But when you frame it that way, that no, this is actually a good way for all of us to learn. I think that’s awesome. I do have to ask you, when you first came in to Lacework was this, a thing that you set up right away? Did it exist? Or, like, tell me the story,
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 30:58
I set up right away within about two weeks, because I know I had a 63 person team that was putting stuff out in the market everywhere. If anything, I needed visibility of what was in real plan, you don’t want to stop everything, and then make every one one on one meet with you. But an alias is a great way to bring everyone together. And then as I give feedback, and I respond to the entire group, they start to see what I’m expecting what I’m looking for. And sometimes, alright, this is really boring. That graphic doesn’t mean anything. Can we find something better? Or, you know, really, the layout looks kind of terrible? Maybe we should up level a hay brand team? Can we create some templates for the demand gen team? Or, hey, you spelled this wrong? Or this copy is so long, nobody’s reading this email. And so people start to see the feedback. And they go, okay, oh, I, you know, let’s think about it. Can we simplify this? Hey, maybe let’s take the extra five minutes to make a better graphic. You know, let’s look at the layout. Oh, by the way, I’m looking at this on mobile, and it looks terrible. Did anyone check mobile? Oh, shoot, we forgot to look at how this renders on mobile. And so because some people have gone on on their laptop, some will be on mobile. And I would say even today, we find at least one piece of feedback on everything that goes out. And what I tell the ones that are really pained by it. As soon as you get something through the alias. And there’s zero feedback, we can have this conversation.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 32:22
Yeah, super interesting, too. In terms of Vega, this gets very tactical here. But how do you ensure that there’s like, you know, practically speaking, is it usually some people who give most of the feedback? Is it pretty distributed? How do you encourage that? Like,
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 32:36
there are there are certainly some leaders that I find tend to do more of it. But when I meet with the others, I asked them, Hey, have you seen it? Hey, I will also pull people in if I think it’s a branding issue, and the branding person hasn’t provided feedback in a while, say, Hey, I’ve noticed this, you know, afford it to them directly and say something. And when people respond, I’ll say, Wow, thank you for the eagle eyes. I missed it. Because I’m pretty good at this stuff. I’ve been doing it for a while. And so if someone catches something I didn’t catch. I’m also I make sure they know like, hey, that’s awesome. Thank you for taking the time. And so I think some of it is rewarding folks that do it. Others is reminding or pulling them when it’s something in their kind of realm that they should be aware of. But it’s making it a team building, helping each other exercise. It’s not an embarrassment thing, if I think it will embarrass or shame I don’t do it publicly. I’ll do it direct to that person. But if I think it’s like something we’re doing over and over again, I’ll make sure the team sees it. So we can correct it.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 33:35
Yeah. And it goes back to the thing that we were talking about earlier, which is just creating buy in. I mean, this is another way to just get all the teams aligned. Is there anything like this that exists like across marketing? Or do you set up like, how often do you set up aliases? Are there other aliases that include both sales and marketing? Or?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 33:53
I mean, certainly the company has aliases. They’ve got a market aliases. We have a marketing team alias, we have a leadership marketing leadership alias. And then we have an approval alias. And so the approval alias is any directors and above in the marketing organization that can provide the the approval and there’s plenty of them.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 34:12
Yeah, totally. That That makes a lot of sense. So, Meagen, this has been terrific conversation. We’ve talked about so many different things, starting from the importance of feedback to how to we’ve talked about conflict systems of collaborating, this really cool workflow on setting up aliases, and using those for approvals. I mean, certainly this stuff happens in software development, everything is peer reviewed happens in academic so why wouldn’t it happen in other places as well? So really cool to get a tactical view on how to set that up. We talked a lot about creating buy in within the teams and the three steps you outline to doing that. The question that we always like to end on is for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks or words of wisdom that you would leave them with?
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 35:00
Yeah, I would say continue to read, reading a couple nights a week. I’m reading all sorts of, you know, marketing books, business books. And I think that we can never stop learning and reading blogs. Because technology is changing so fast channels that which marketers and our buyers buy from, you know, think about all the social media channels, and how that’s changed in the last few years now with chat GBT and everything else, you need to keep learning otherwise you’re going to age out on as a leader. And that also means bringing in fresh talent, because you’ve learned from new talent. And that’s I think part of innovation is always reading, learning. So to state the obvious, keep learning and hire people who keep learning.
Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app) 35:46
That’s great advice and a great place to end it may and thanks so much for doing this.
Meagen Eisenberg (Lacework) 35:50
Welcome. Glad to be here.