On-demand Webinar

Transforming Marketing Planning at HubSpot

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Chloe Washington, Chief of Staff to the CMO at HubSpot

Chloe Washington

Chief of Staff to the CMO

Jim Williams


In the dynamic world of marketing, responding to basic questions from stakeholders can prove to be a complex task. Questions such as how did a campaign perform? If you had an extra $500K tomorrow, do you know where and how you’d invest it? Do you know where to cut 30% from your budget if necessary?

As Chief of Staff to the CMO at HubSpot, Chloe Washington plays a key role in strategic planning, helping to streamline processes and coordinate the implementation of marketing initiatives. Chloe will share how HubSpot tackled this challenge by establishing a single system of record for marketing plans, budgets, and work.

Revamping HubSpot’s planning process across a team of over 500 marketers is a significant endeavor that cannot be achieved overnight or in isolation. Effective change management depends on securing early buy-in from both your team and stakeholders and maintaining their support throughout the entire process.

Join us for an open and candid conversation:

  • Discover better planning processes.
  • Prepare your enterprise for managing and embracing change.
  • Understand the tangible impact of this transformative change within HubSpot’s marketing strategic operations.


0:07: Good afternoon, morning, whatever it might be wherever you are.

0:11: Thank you for joining the Uptempo webinar today, Transforming Marketing Planning at HubSpot. My name is Jim Williams. I’m the CMO at Uptempo and I am delighted to be joined by Chloe Washington.

0:28: Hi, everyone. I’m Chloe Washington and I’m the Chief of Staff to the CMO at HubSpot.

0:33: We’ll learn a little bit more about Chief of Staff to the CMO HubSpot. As I’m sure you got questions about it. I have questions we’ll dig into that later. But before we jump into this, I’ll just say a couple of words. I’m really excited about today’s event for a variety of reasons. One is I’ve already heard Chloe speak and she’s fantastic at it, she’s spoken at a number of events that I’ve been at. Always very thoughtful in your presentation. I’m looking forward to this. We’re, of course, going to dig into what planning looks like at HubSpot.

1:11: If you’re a marketer, you type in a question about marketing and HubSpot comes right up in your Google results all the time. Their content is fantastic, with tips, tricks, templates, etc. This goes beyond the surface level of what you find in a Google search result and actually get into how marketing is done all the planning is done in HubSpot. It’s going to be very, very fun before I jump into that.

1:42: Please ask questions, we encourage you to use the Q and A feature in the zoom interface and we’ll get to those at the end.

1:54: We’ll also be doing on this webinar something we’ve been doing on a, on a few of these, which is what we call the backstage pass, which is basically once we get to the end of the presentation, you get through Q and A, if you wanna stick around and I would encourage you to and see who up tempo is and what our platform does.

2:14: We’ll do like a quick 10 minute overview of the software behind the planning at a company like HubSpot and that’ll be done by Owen my colleague. He’s very good at it.

2:24: We will of course record this, we will share the recording, we will post the recording.

2:28: So, don’t worry about it. If you miss something, you can always go back through it.

2:33: And I think that’s everything I need to say for getting us started. Why don’t we just go ahead and jump right into it?

2:42: I will give a really quick intro to who is HubSpot, who Uptempo is and why we’re talking about marketing planning with HubSpot today.

2:52: The reason is pretty straightforward… Here kind of sums up what we hear from marketing executives when we start to talk to them about the marketing planning process:

It’s actually a pretty sad state of affairs because while we have this incredibly sophisticated martech stack with tools like HubSpot and others it’s how we execute and measure marketing. The way we do planning is what I call steam powered, right? It’s run off of freeware like PowerPoints and spreadsheets.

3:27: The entire plan has run off of a gigantic powerpoint which probably can’t be found easily by anyone. And it is probably out of date and when the CEO asks exactly what is going on right now, what’s going in the market, it’s not really easy to get those answers.

And generally, as it says here, it’s just not a good look.

3:52: Uptempo helps to solve that problem. For enterprise organizations, we say we help them run marketing like a business or run the business of marketing.

4:02: And why do we do that? It’s to give marketers confidence, let them lead with confidence and love their jobs. It’s hard to be confident if you can’t get basic answers to questions about what you’re doing. We solve that and we solve it so that you can just be more agile right plan, better spend smarter pivot quicker. Giving you a platform to actually run marketing on.

4:24: We are a 250 employee firm. We work with many, many leading enterprises, HubSpot included, and we manage just over $4 billion in marketing spend across our platform. I’ll turn it over to Chloe so we can learn a little bit more about how HubSpot does it?

4:48: Thank you, Jim. Hi, everyone again. I’m Chloe Washington, the chief of staff to the CMO Kipp Bodnar at HubSpot. I am incredibly excited to be here today.

4:58: I love talking about this stuff and I’m hoping that I’m able to share some things that maybe you do know, but things maybe you don’t know. Not only about HubSpot about the chief of staff role about planning at HubSpot and otherwise, and then how we were able to use Uptempo (spoiler alert) to make money, life and the lives of 500 other marketers a lot easier. As I said, I’m Chloe and I currently lead the marketing strategic operations and planning team.

5:24: The acronym for our team is SOAP. It was unintentional, but we clean up messes.

5:35: I was in Mark tech consulting, advertising events, other SASS companies and I have lots of years of experience with project and program management.

5:43: Change management, which I will be talking about is something that I have had plenty of opportunities to both fail and succeed at. We can talk a little bit about the fails in the Q and A.

6:04: I also have to say that I’m a proud alumni of the University of Georgia and a huge football nut. Go dogs! And outside of work and spreadsheets and all of those things I try to use the creative side of my brain too and I’m a content creator with beauty industry brands.

6:19: Let’s get into it. What is a chief of staff?

6:23: It’s a question that I had when I was interviewing for this role. Now, we see it a lot on linkedin, but I think there’s still a lack of what, truly, what, what do I do and what do I not do?

6:37: You know, when you think of Chief of staff, I think of the show West Wing and I think of someone running down the hallway with the President following them and looking busy and putting out fires. There’s a little bit of that.

6:47: But here’s what a chief of staff is and what a chief of staff is not.

6:52: I think that’s very important when you think of a chief of staff, whether you’re interviewing for the role, working with the role, hiring for the role, or wondering, hey, is this something that’s in my career path?

7:04: A chief of staff is a strategic operator and planner. This is not a paper pushing role.

7:10: You have to have an opinion. You have to be informed in this role. You’re going sometimes wide and not necessarily deep. You have to know a little bit about every single thing that’s going on in the company. Not only do you have to know at least a little bit about everything.

7:24: You have to connect those dots for your leader, for your team, for other teams that you’re working with, you are a confidant and a keeper of secrets.

7:31: Can’t be a gossiper and a successful chief of staff. You will know things that maybe you feel you have no business knowing before everyone else knows them. And you’re also the righthand woman or man to the executive. A chief of staff is not an executive assistant. I partner very closely with executive assistants. My boss’s executive assistant and others, but that is not in my role.

7:52: It is not a project manager. I use my project and program management skills to help me to be successful in the role. But this is not a project management role.

8:01: You were not just checking off boxes in a timeline, that’s part of it, but that’s not the full role. You’re not on the mar tech team, you may be in charge of marketing stacks, tech stacks needing to know what’s going on but you are, but that is not specifically your role.

8:16: And while it may feel like you are, you are not a PR specialist, there’s a part of coms – internal and external coms. But again, that’s not the entire piece of the role.

8:27: let’s talk about planning season, communicating, collaborating, how we do it at HubSpot and best practices that I (even outside of HubSpot) use when I think about planning season.

8:38: Here’s HubSpot’s initial planning cycle.

8:42: Here we are now kickoff execution, executing on the agreed upon strategy from planning season a few months ago.

8:50: You’re moving into Q2 and you’re reviewing and refining the short term and the long term strategy, Q3 strategic planning goal planning for the next year begins. I always feel like in Q3, I’m like, wait, I feel like we just started Q1 and we’re getting into this and now we are in Q3 planning for the next year.

9:07: And as you all probably also do Q4 aligning on the strategic planning and budget for next year and you do it again and again and again.

9:13: But the part that makes this the most successful is that you’re constantly iterating, reviewing and executing on this.

9:21: At HubSpot and hopefully for you all and something that’s worked well for me. When you get to Q2, you can change your mind.

9:28: If there’s something that you executed a strategy that you had planned for Q1, it’s not quite working, not to say you need to throw it out the window, but maybe you need to refine it, maybe you need to extend your timeline, maybe you need to shorten your timeline.

9:41: It’s going successfully. Why would we make this a two year plan? Let’s make this a one year plan. So as you’re going through your planning cycle, don’t say Jan 1, we’re doing this March 1, we’re doing this. Yes, you need to do those things. And this goes back to what I said about being a good project and program manager, especially if you’re leading planning.

9:58: You also can’t just look forward, you have to look back and you have to look in the current and see what it is working well, what is not working well where you’re going over budget, where you’re going under budget, you cannot have tunnel vision to execute a success planning cycle.

10:14: And I feel like myself along with other chiefs of staff at HubSpot and other leaders and not only leaders, individual contributors, talking to people that are actually executing on your plan, getting internal feedback from them.

10:27: Obviously, your customers and your clients are gonna give you that external feedback as you’re executing on your strategy. But look internally as well.

10:34: Going back to what I said chiefs of staff were all over the place and you have to be too execute and to collaborate a lot of this planning cycle.

10:44: I mentioned to you, I’m the chief of staff to the CMO. Well, I have to collaborate with the chief of staff to the CEO. What is the company thinking? Not only am I leading marketing, but I need to make sure sales, customer success, product engineering, make sure we’re all moving in the same direction.

10:59: Planning is not just putting pen to paper and saying we’re doing this. Well, how does team A work with team B and is this working? So keep that in mind as you’re planning.

11:11: So I alluded to this a moment ago, we do top down planning. But if you look at the bottom of this, we’re also kind of talking sideways. Yes, the company strategy needs to inform the flywheel. I’m sure if you know, HubSpot, you know, the flywheel attract engaged to light. Working with marketing, sales, customer success, that trickles into our marketing strategy, which then trickles our marketing team as well over 500 people.

11:34: So it’s not just what’s the marketing team doing. The marketing team is not a monolith.

11:38: There are several VPs, several leaders that lead teams that are doing different things and maybe going in different directions and making sure that we’re communicating that we’re aligning to go in the right direction. Or if we’re working on collaboration, when you think cross-functionally, you may think marketing and product. No, we have to work cross-functionally within the marketing team too. And that is what has made us.

12:04: So as a company, we’re thinking of individual groups. Yes, we’re starting at the top down.

12:09: Obviously, the marketing strategy has aligned with the company strategy. I don’t think you would be too happy with myself or Kip if it didn’t align. But as you can see at the bottom of this, the C suite chief of staff to the CEO, we’re all talking in two-way communication. It’s not just what oh at the company level we want when you’re executing planning and when you’re in charge of it, you cannot forget to communicate.The biggest part of planning is collaboration and is communication and making it a two way street.

12:43: So let’s talk about effective change management. I know when change management has failed. But I bet it’s harder for you to think of change management when it’s successful. If change management is seamless, it’s successful.

12:57: But people don’t think people think of it as an afterthought then it’s successful.

13:00: So let’s talk a little bit more about it. So here is the dictionary definition of change management. I wanna make sure we’re all talking about the same thing as I go through my change management.

13:11: Change management is the people side of change. It’s not just a new process, it’s not just implementing a tool. It is also getting the people to align.

13:23: And frankly, I think that’s the hardest part of change, getting the people to do what you want the people to do. So when you’re implementing change management, don’t forget the people.

13:35: So here’s me and here’s change management. Every time I implement change, I’ve been doing this for a while, but it feels scary every time I’m the fearless girl changes the Wall Street bull. But I also when I think about this picture, think about how this feels for your team, think about how change management feels to them.

13:56: Not only you executing it and implementing change, change is hard for everyone and it might not be the most top of mind thing for people in your organization, whatever change you’re trying to implement, maybe they’re not necessarily against it or maybe they are, we’ll talk about that a little bit later but think about how this is impacting them, how this feels like a bull staring them in the face.

14:19: I mentioned collaboration. I mentioned communication and planning but also empathy in both planning and change management.

14:27: Remember we’re talking about not only the process side of it but the people side of it. So in my role, we do a lot of budgeting. We being me do a lot of budgeting. I’m the person that when I send that slack to people like, oh, is she gonna take my budget or is she giving me more budget?

14:46: So it’s, it’s the good and the bad but no matter which side of budget planning you’re on, if you’re executing it or telling people what their spend is or if you’re spending it, it is painful and you’re going to need one of these headache pills, I’m sure.

14:59: So what was hard for me?

15:00: What I found is I was implementing planning and thinking about the change that needed to happen in the organization, finding a single source of truth with the marketing sub teams that I mentioned, our organization of 500 plus people figuring out their spend, everyone’s making that spreadsheet with their initials at the end of it and cloning it.

15:21: And you’re like, what is the truth? And why do I have 30 spreadsheets open and it’s continuous and it’s cyclical and it’s painful but we all do it. I have, I had before we implemented Uptempo. I probably had nine or 10 different versions of blah, blah, blah to figure out.

15:38: And then I’m thinking, did I change their budget? Did they change their budget? How does this work? We’re in meetings. We’ve got slacks and back and forth email trails. I’m trying to figure out the version control of version 14 of this spreadsheet it caused over and underspending.

15:53: How can you figure out where you’re what you’re spending if you have no visibility, the lack of communication led to a lack of trust, not only with the marketing team, we’re trying to plan, we’re trying to collaborate, we’re trying to communicate, but with the finance team marketing, what are you, what are you doing?

16:09: You, you said you were gonna spend this? Did you spend this? I don’t know. Let me look on version 14 of the spreadsheet in the fifth tab like that’s not an effective way to communicate and collaborate.

16:19: And this is all I’m talking about change management and I’m also talking about planning, but they’re really in lockstep. Nothing like a planning season for a lot of people to figure out that you need change management and what needs to change.

16:33: As I said, when you’re planning, when you’re changing, talking not only to the leadership back and forth, as I said a few slides ago, talk to your individual contributors, talk to your managers, your senior managers, you have to collaborate at all levels.

16:50: So as I said, this communication and this lack of trust is not only for the finance team.

16:58: But if someone needs, “I need to buy this tool or hey, we need to, you know, set up shop at this event or can we sponsor this” And you’re speaking to your leader and you’re like, I don’t know if we have the money. Let me get back to you in two weeks. That’s not a feasible solution.

17:12: Spreadsheets.

17:13: In this case for planning, they didn’t deliver results, they didn’t tell a story.

17:18: Like I said, the version control is a mess and this was not something that was unique to HubSpot. It’s not unique to your organization. I’m sure most everyone on this call has experienced this or is experiencing this additionally, time is money, right? So all of us that are in the versions of every spreadsheet trying to figure out if version 14 is right and reconciling it when our marketing team in my case should be marketing, it’s taking time away and it’s keeping everyone’s eye off the price.

17:51: So enough about budget season, I think you get my point. It’s pretty clean, it was pretty painful.

17:56: So let me tell you what I was looking for and how I got got to all of this important context is that I’ve been the chief of staff at HubSpot for three years.

18:05: So got through that first planning season, saw everything once figured out how painful it was, went through the next planning season and figured out, ok, there’s still, it’s not just the newness in your role or working with this ops team and maybe there’s not clarity here, it was process as well.

18:23: So trying to get people to move in a certain direction, trying to set the tone for the strategy of the business and being informed, not only in my role, but for the CMO I need to tell my boss and ensure that he’s kept in the loop.

18:37: And I found myself not able to do that in a reasonable amount of time when you’re looking to implement change management, especially in relation to planning.

18:46: Think about the friction points, think about the things that don’t make sense.

18:50: Why should it take me X amount of time, let’s say two weeks to update my boss on something that should be simple, especially if you’re a marketer, especially if you’re in charge of budgets, you’ll feel the friction and I’m sure you can think of 1 to 2, maybe 10 examples of what you’re living right now.

19:09: So going back here’s what I wanted, I want an online financial management platform for marketers where we could plan budget, had automated reconciliation and integration capabilities.

19:17: I had my wish list for Santa basically. And I had zero experience in implementing a tool. I just assumed something this should somebody thought of this, right? Someone’s figured this out.

19:28: So the first problem that I had to solve was if this even existed, sometimes when you’re moving along, like I said, planning season needing to implement change, sometimes the change is unclear, but you know, you had to make a change.

19:41: And in my case for 500 plus marketers.

19:47: So what did I do? I researched, I went to doctor Google and I started typing in keywords and hoping someone’s SEO was right.

19:55: I really, I didn’t know names. I didn’t understand, went and looked at the G two grids trying to figure things out and I formulated my initial plan for change. Now, mind you, this was also while we’re still active planning. So everything that I was talking to you about earlier with planning season was still happening and still going full force.

20:12: But I knew by that time next year, we couldn’t be doing this again and I knew that I had to execute and move quickly while still doing my quote unquote full time job and doing what I was doing in the first place.

20:25: I went on a listening tour of impacted groups. I’ve said it probably four times at this point. Talk to everyone at all levels within your organization.

20:34: If you’re continuing to just talk to leaders directors, they’re not always in tune with what the pain points are for those that are more entry level or mid-level in their career. So talk to everyone I talked to in this case, the finance team too.

20:48: What were their pain points? You can’t just think about what’s in it for me if you’re implementing change, but you can be guaranteed that your stakeholders, the people that you’re talking to want to know what’s in it for them.

21:02: So I went on a road show, I had four or five slides and every time that I talked to someone I I added to it or I tweaked or modified it because I wanted to understand what their competing priorities are and the, what’s in it for them. I wanted people to get excited.

21:17: I mean, people don’t generally get as excited as I do about budgets and spreadsheets and marketing up stuff, but we had to at least get them on board because this change was, was essential. And part of when you’re implementing a change within an organization or even if you’re implementing planning at an organization, you have to be a little firm, you have to, you know, jumping to the getting out of order.

21:40: But making a point here, it wasn’t an option. I didn’t give them an option.

21:44: Hey, I’m thinking about doing this tool. Maybe we can use this, maybe we can use your spreadsheet.

21:50: No.

21:51: Hey, we have a pain point here. I’m implementing something. I’m still figuring out what it is, what it’s called, where we’re going with this. But I’m making this change and this change will happen in the next year. This will be our one source of truth. This will be where our budget is kept. If you wanna keep your spreadsheet, go for it. But if you’re talking to me about needing money for something, don’t send me a spreadsheet. This is, this is how I will respond and how I will work with you.

22:16: You have to teach people kindly maybe a little firmly how to work with you. When you’re implementing change, what change your why the change going back to what’s in it for me? This change is not just for me, Chloe in my case, this change is for you too.

22:33: I wanna take you away from all the spreadsheets. I want you to focus on being a marketer and here’s how and here’s why.

22:40: But I was also honest with them that we will have to train. This is going to take you more time. Initially, there will be ramp up with this. It doesn’t have to be all sunshine and rain, sunshine and rainbows. You do have to be honest with your stakeholders about what they’re getting into.

22:55: But again, you have to be firm that this is where we’re going. This is the plan and you have to, my favorite phrase, you have to, my grandmother says this, stay ready.

23:04: So you don’t have to get ready if you’re coming and telling people you’re about to completely change their world and rock their world. And here’s how and here’s why you better have answers to their questions.

23:13: So going on that road show, as I said, I continued to update that deck, make sure it catered to each group of people, what was in it for them. But also here’s the why and here’s the how as I know it, I also you can’t do this by yourself when you’re implementing change. I found my ambassadors enthusiasts, evangelists, whatever you want to call them.

23:33: I found people that also got excited about this change that were coming the same people that are complaining to you about a change that needs to be made when you’re making that change, get them on board with you, get them to talk to their peers, get them to talk to their teams about whatever that change is to get them excited.

23:50: There’s no reason for you to do this by yourself.

23:52: You also may hear back from your ambassadors, whatever you’d like to call them different feedback from people that may be scared to tell you that feedback and spoiler alert, it could be good feedback. It could be a very valid reason why they don’t wanna do this. Why we shouldn’t do this. You need to not only come with, here’s why it’s a great idea you need to understand.

24:13: Oh, what could be a blocker for this? What could be an issue here and figure out how to mitigate that risk.

24:19: When I started all of this, I wanted to aim for just the right amount of disruption. I wanted people to reflect and say, ok, I feel the change, I have more time to do other things. It did take me a little bit of time to get it.

24:34: I was a little bit adverse to this change that was happening.

24:37: But this change has made my life as a marketer or whatever better and it has improved my time spent at work.

24:45: So I would be a little disappointed if people were like, oh yeah, we haven’t, we have, we’re using something different all the work and time that you’re putting into this. You want people to understand and it’s not oh gold star for you. It’s oh, this made a positive impact in my business life. So think about that when you’re implementing change again, going back to that fearless girl and the bull.

25:04: This is not easy. It wasn’t easy.

25:06: Everyone would do it effortlessly, but there are certain ways to help make it easier for you and your team as you implement changes.

25:14: Oh, sorry, not to throw you off- But I do have a question about this. If you go on your road show that momentum bringing people up to speed finding your ambassadors. Did you find very different reactions based on the level in the org? Like if you had more senior people versus people that are more front lines for different reasons.Those more senior in the org some were like, oh, we don’t have time for this. My team doesn’t have time for it. They were very protective of their team, which makes sense. So having to cater to them that actually this will save your team time. Your team can focus on this.

25:51: I do need dedication from your team for this, but also it will give you visibility as a leader where you’re not working in spreadsheets.

25:58: And then when I hear for more front line, like I don’t have time for this.

26:01: I don’t care about this training.

26:02: Here’s my version of the spreadsheet. Hey, actually, can I have a one on one with you or a mini to one? Hey, let’s have office hours. I’d love to chat and hear what you think this is gonna take you from in your day to day.

26:13: How think this is gonna impact the way that you’re working with your manager?

26:17: Actually, I can create a report and you know, thinking about this example, specifically, I can create a report for you in Uptempo. So when you have your one on one with your manager, you can just pull this up instead of spending an hour before working on a spreadsheet.

26:30: So again, going back to that, what’s in it for me? But yes, you’re spot on having to cater the message to different levels and different roles.

26:41: Mhm with implementation, I used the ripple effect approach. I don’t know if that’s an actual name, but that’s what I called it. I wanted to start small and grow large. I started top down. I started with the VPs of marketing and the senior leadership of finance. Hey, this is what I wanna do. Here’s why it will work for you. Here’s the things that I haven’t figured out yet and being transparent there.

27:03: I’m gonna reach out to your team next week, I’m gonna reach out to directors and then managers and then we’re gonna have individual contributors.

27:10: I didn’t want to, I notified the entire org in a team meeting about the changes that were happening. But once the changes were actually implemented, I started small, that way if something is wrong that you maybe haven’t thought about at all comes about or oh, people are having login issues, first impressions are important. If you want, if you’re trying out something and you’re worried it might fail or might not go smoothly. Don’t bring 500 people into the first meeting, start with 10, then move to 20 then move forward.

27:38: A lot of this is common sense. But when you’re being pushed by your leaders of your organization to make an impact, very fast, move forward, do this, I need it done. You still need to think logically about what will work and what will be most effective as you’re implementing change.

27:54: The optics are just as important because if you had brought all everyone in the organization in and they couldn’t log in, that’s a, it’s a bad first impression and they’re less likely to continue to use the tool or the process or whatever the change you’re implementing is I established a poor team.

28:11: So going back to those ambassadors, those evangelists, whatever you like to call them, the people that got excited and had the skill set for what I needed.

28:18: I brought them in. Hey, let’s do this together.

28:21: You don’t have enough hours in the day to update everybody and to do all the things, no matter what change you’re implementing, no matter what process is in place and process that you’re trying to move. I also set up a communications infrastructure. We had a slack channel for people to ask questions. We set up a wiki with frequently asked questions. I went to individual teams meetings, we had office hours, we continued to communicate it and keep it top of mind.

28:50: We use Assana at HubSpot. So I had an open an Assana project of here’s what Chloe and the core team is doing every week.

28:56: Look at it or don’t, but here it is. Here’s the transparency, here’s what we’ve done. Here’s what we’re doing next week. Here’s our road map and that helps to ease people. They didn’t feel like it was a big secret. It didn’t have to be buttoned up at every, you know, every bit of the journey. Hey, here’s what I’m working on and I really broken into sections this week, next week, future roadmap questions that I still have and allowing people to come into that and allowing them to ask questions that maybe I didn’t think about again.

29:24: You’re still, I’m gonna be very clear. I had people that were, I don’t wanna do this.

29:29: OK.

29:29: Well, why don’t you want to do this? What is, what is the problem?

29:32: 9 times out of 10, it was more training that they needed or more understanding for me or a one on one to say, well, actually, or even compromising, there was one team that got to keep their precious spreadsheet for a month longer than the others because they had a big initiative going on.

29:56: What we were doing with Uptempo but also integrations.

30:04: We’ve gone and we can con continuously train and we continuously educate the team. We’re working on new processes, finance and accounting now that they’re in it.

30:14: Oh, we’d love to see this. Can it do that?

30:16: Yes, it can.

30:17: Let’s change our process and let’s communicate.Let’s train, let’s not overwhelm people again.

30:23: But when I first implemented the first year of Uptempo and moving into the next, I said, we’re gonna keep a few things manual for the core team, not for everyone, but for the core team, the five or of us can handle the manual. We get the long term vision.

30:37: But if we’re making it easier for those that are still getting used to it, it is worth that year or however long you decide of a little bit more manual maintenance.

30:46: Now, we’re moving into integrations. Now, we’re figuring out how many additional licenses we need or if we need to change the structure.

30:53: And that has been not only sanity for the marketing team, it’s insanity for me. For the core team.

31:01: I feel humbly that we executed quickly in our first year, we had the right amount of disruption, but we didn’t take on too much, too fast.

31:11: So when you’re thinking about change, think about reasonable, going back to what I was saying, it was unreasonable that it was taking me weeks to get back to my direct boss about something that was pretty simple and now I can get back to him in 10 minutes now, but it also needs to be reasonable based on the amount of other work that you have, the amount of other work that your team has.

31:33: The team has to be receptive.

31:35: Again, we’re going back to the people side of change when you think of change management. So I’m going to take a deep breath, probably a sip of water and let Jim ask me any other questions that he has?

31:49: Enjoy your sip of water while you’re ask, I know you’re gonna get to the next slide which is measuring.

31:53: But I am curious, did you have to quantify the pain? Like you talked about, we’re wasting time trying to go through 14 versions of spreadsheet trying to reconcile the budget and you know, get it in finance and marketing on the same page.

32:09: Did you have to go through an exercise to try and try and quantify how much wasted time there is?

32:15: I did, I did, I kept it very high level.

32:19: But for instance, I used me as an example. I this was when we were still kind of vetting and looking around, I need to give my manager an answer and he needed to give his manager an answer that should have that. Now, I had, I’ve been through the same thing again. It took me maybe two hours to do it more recently. It took me four weeks, nine spreadsheets and 20 meetings.

32:41: And I had that to be able to quantify and say that like that people feel that people understand that additionally, going to each leader and talking about how it affects each team.So I did, I made sure to have that data for my boss, for finance leadership for company leadership because you’re talking, when you’re implementing a process, you a lot of times have to bring in legal security.

33:00: Like people want to know and understand why, especially at a leadership level. So I was able to quantify and give tangible examples which helped with implementation.

33:09: That’s great, you know, good question.

33:15: So my last slide is how do you measure success

33:26: Customer satisfaction is a big metric to success.

33:30: And in my role, my customers are the marketing team, unsolicited, testimonials.

“Oh my gosh, you’ve just saved me a week of work.” “Oh, I was able to accomplish this faster.”

33:41: A leader needing a report at the last minute of their over underspend for the previous month.

33:47: Oh, you don’t need to create a slide deck for that. Oh, you don’t need to export to a spreadsheet. Here, here’s a screenshot. Those were the things that I was able to manage success now.

33:55: Yes, we had numbers in this and our percentage of over and underspin changed and all of that. But a lot of the success in this instance was the people’s success, the marketing team success, the visibility of finance into what marketing is doing.

34:10: The additional trust that happened between teams, those were the measures of success.

34:15: So when you’re implementing change, it doesn’t, yes, return on investment is very important and you might need those numbers.

34:20: But think about how it’s impacting your team for the positive too. I think that that is such a good view of success just on that quote.

34:31: That’s great.

34:32: Would you say because your client are clearly stakeholders, right? But they own the financial reporting for the company, right?

34:40: So yeah, I could see how they’d say that.

34:43: Oh yeah, this makes sense.

34:44: Marketing should definitely do that, but eventually it becomes more than just marketing, do something, right?

34:49: Like there is a role in this.

34:51: Do they have some type of measure of success on their side?

34:55: Customer satisfaction or just productivity or better relationship, etc that you’ve asked about.

35:01: So I would say if I can speak for them, I would say productivity for sure having visibility to understand.

35:08: Hey, is the marketing forecast done? I don’t have to send 20 slacks three email reminders.Hey, I get to log and look in one place and see what’s been done.Accounting, being able to do reconciliations, working with finance when you’re talking about.

35:22: Now this we implemented UpTemo on the marketing team.

35:25: But finance and accounting has access obviously to it and we all work through this tool but more time for them to do other things as much as I would love to think that they think about marketing and what we’re doing all day long.

35:37: They have other things that they need to do as well.

35:40: So I think it not only made it easier for them, the individual contributors on those teams to get what they need and to understand and have that visibility into marketing, but also being able to report back to their leaders more quickly has been instrumental.

35:57: Good, very good.

36:01: All right. So there’s more comments, I think we can switch over to Q and A. That’s the most comprehensive overview and you and I have had many conversations about your experience at HubSpot, just super comprehensive on all aspects of implementing something like that. So thank you, Chloe.

36:22: Thank you for having me.

36:23: You got it.

36:24: So again, if you have questions like I did when I interrupted Chloe several times, please go ahead and put them into the, the Q and A feature in the zoom interface and I’ll just go through them as they come in.

36:40: There’s one in here now which is pretty interesting because we hear this a lot.

36:46: So a lot of people are in this case, person is interested in implementing this kind of change but does not think they have the right set up or process yet to be able to implement it, right? So no data warehouse scattered processes miss a lot of strategy.

37:00: What are the fundamentals that you have to have in good order before you even start building a business case for this kind of change?

37:06: Absolutely.

37:07: I think that you need buy and you need a sponsor, especially if there are other processes and people changes you need to make before you’re implementing something.

37:15: I think you need a strong sponsor to help you navigate the changes.

37:20: I think you could go ahead and set up, maybe not call it a core working team but maybe a a core, you name it.

37:27: I’m sure you can think of something alliterative for the team, core collaborators.

37:31: So you mentioned that there was no data warehouse.

37:34: However, you’re processing your data, someone is holding the data now.

37:37: So can that person be a part of your implementation?

37:41: And not, you don’t have to go right to an implementation.

37:43: You can spend time on internal discovery before you even reach out to a vendor before you decide that this is something that’s right for you.

38:14: So I think focusing on a road map of OK, we’re gonna work on getting these things that we need.

38:19: But also, hey, can we baby step? Can we start.

38:21: When is the right time for us to start with up tempo while we’re doing these other things, there’s never going to be the right time.

38:29: So you may as well start now and figure out where you can go and what’s right for your organization.

38:35: Good. That’s good. Good answer.

38:37: Yeah, I would, I would have the same thing.

38:38: Like for example, you say, oh, there’s a lack of process.

38:42: That’s what we find in almost every organization, especially on this.

38:46: In many cases, we find that there’s not even standard language or nomenclature or taxonomies, like, you know, one team in, in one region is calling something a campaign and it’s called a program in a different region.

38:58: So it’s just, there’s always that lack of process for sure.

39:03: And even when you implement a new process, even if you did have nomenclature, you might change it, you might find a better way of doing things.

39:09: Yep.

39:11: There’s another question just here about what is the best way to approach leadership to suggest starting to make this kind of change.

39:18: And I am interested in that, like how, how early on in your process did you maybe talk to Kip and say, hey, I’m thinking about this.

39:26: Yeah.

39:27: Well, it was part of, you know, when he hired me, part of it was to fix the marketing operating model, figure out technology, you know, I’ve had deep experience on implementing technology to help fix things and to make things more seamless, create visibility.

39:41: But that Roadshow Deck that I talked about, the very first version of that was slides for kit. I took the emotion out of it. I didn’t say I’m stressed out. I can’t figure anything out. I’m looking at 30 spreadsheets.

39:53: It’s, hey, I’ve noticed that there’s a recurring pattern within the marketing organization myself included.

40:00: And here’s the amount of time it’s taking people to do things.

40:03: When shouldn’t we enable marketers to market again?

40:06: The what’s in it for me?

40:07: So when you’re speaking to your leaders or if you have a skip level, you can bring obviously your own leader and you don’t want to go around your manager.

40:14: But if you have the opportunity and a cadence, maybe you have a meeting with your manager and your manager’s boss, but make sure that you have a few slides together and take the emotion out of it, come with facts in your initial conversation and that will help you move forward.

40:32: Very good.

40:33: I am taking special note of the language used to notice.

40:38: Wouldn’t Yeah, that’s good.

40:42: Question here.

40:43: How do you coordinate your efforts with your team in strategy and ops?

40:49: How do your project program managers support your efforts beyond yourself?

40:53: Talk a bit about your team structure, facilitation, growth within HubSpot and marketing.

40:58: Absolutely.

40:59: So as I mentioned, the strategic planning team, the soap team, I have two direct reports. And then there are several people that I dotted line work with. So within my own organization, I have someone that is a senior program manager that helps with planning, facilitating that transparency understanding. Oh, here’s the HubSpot strategy that ties to the flywheel that ties to marketing, as I mentioned earlier in this conversation.

41:25: And then I have another financial manager that not only understands our budget and everything that’s going on with that. And our strategy understands our budget and understands our strategy.

41:35: So she partners with specifically leaders, probably director and VP level to manage the tactical, the over and the under spending.

41:42: Oh, you have a deadline.

41:44: Oh, do we need to reallocate funds while my program manager is looking at up tempo and looking at our other processes and strategy of huh this leader is asking for this report a lot.

41:55: I don’t think that we have that report. Let me update this. Hey, this conversation, this question is happening a lot. Maybe we need an integration. Maybe I need to go talk to the other ops team about whether it be Uptempo or something else.

42:07: So we work, we continue to update each other and we divide and conquer.

42:12: So we each have peers throughout the organization.

42:15: So for instance, my financial know it all. She knows all the things. She has a financial background.

42:21: She’s not only, not only am I talking to finance and accounting, she is on the day to day too and understanding what’s going on.

42:27: And then my program manager is talking to other strategy teams within the organization to understand what they’re doing, comparing notes, keeping them updated.

42:36: So I don’t have a large our operations.

42:39: Each team kind of has ops and then we have a central ops team in our organization.

42:44: So it’s a lot of back and forth and conversation and transparency.

42:48: And that’s how I feel when I first started.

42:50: I didn’t have a team and I felt like communication was kind of lacking.

42:53: You can’t be at all places at once.

42:55: So to be able to bring those people on to then be a sounding board us for each other and to talk to make sure everyone within an organization knows what we’re doing and that we know what they’re doing in order to be effective or again.

43:10: Excellent answer. I got one more. I know we’re almost done here.

43:14: But I’m just really curious, you’re kind of moving in, you just call us moving into phase two, the integration phase.

43:21: Can you talk a little bit more about what’s involved in that phase and do the stakeholders change and do the objections?

43:29: Do you anticipate the objections changing?

43:31: What happens when you go to actually integrate this with financial systems?

43:34: Yes.

43:35: So this will be more the stakeholders will change. The core team will turn into the stakeholders. They’re the ones that are doing some of the backend manual processes that we can then automate and integrate with systems. So we’ll have to get the security team involved. Again, the legal team involved. Obviously, we’re a publicly traded company. We have to make sure that, you know, we check all of the boxes. the team that uses UpTempo to manage their budget, they’ll have no idea. Well, we’ll tell them but it won’t affect their day to day because for instance, if we’re matching vendors and we’re doing it manually and updating things on the back end for them, they don’t know if it was a system that did that if it was SFTP if it was an integration, they just know the data that they need is there.

44:18: So now it’s, it’s time to say thank you to the core team and the people that have really been working behind the scenes, they are now the people that I’m interviewing and asking and figuring out a road map, figuring out my budget for that they can get back, you know, I’m enabling marketers to market, but I wanna enable the core team to do the other parts of their job more effectively and allow them to still use the new tool, the new process to do their jobs more effectively, but to focus on other things very good.

44:48: And just, it’s a reminder that the primary use case on integration is for marketers to automate the po to actual, they can see at any given time exactly what they have in their budget.

44:59: That’s right, exactly.

45:02: And new vendor set up maybe that takes a day or two because we’re doing that manually having that as soon as a vendor is set up. You can see it and you can reflect it in the tool immediately.

45:12: Amazing.

45:13: All right, Chloe, that was fantastic.

45:17: It was more than we could ask for, to be honest with you, very comprehensive.

45:27: What we’re gonna do now is move on to what we call the backstage pass if you will. And this is just getting a little deeper into what is the tool itself like what, what is this tool that that Chloe has referred to?

There’s a ton of talk about change management and implementation, bringing along stakeholders and uses everything else at the end of the day. Sometimes people are like, OK, well, what is this software? So in order to do that, this is about a 10 to 15 minute overview of the software platform, the Uptempo software platform and Owen my friend and colleague is gonna take over and walk us through that.

46:06: Let me just bring up my screen here.

46:07: Thank you very much for having me. Chloe, that was amazing. It was amazing to get that, that level of insight into your current process at HubSpot. And it’s a typical use case when it comes to the kind of customers that we bring on. And it’s great to hear your, your opinions and your, your views. So let’s do a quick overview of the solution and we’re going to pay particular attention to the planning phases with within the solution.

46:33: I’m going to refer very quickly to the left hand menu here with all the different modules. And this refers to, you know, the implementation of, you know, a modular based solution when you’re ready to bring on different modules, like, you know, budgets, activities, investments or insights, they’re all available for. Now. We’re going to start here with the insights and this is an example of the kind of valuable insights our customers are getting from the solution.

46:57: No two says look the same. Each organization has unique KPIS goals, plannings and, and OKRS. But they can all be visualized here within our embedded BI tool for our fictitious company here.

47:12: Here are some of the dashboards that we’ve created for them. They needed to see what was their investment target. What was the budget that was allocated to their, to their team? How are they currently sitting in, in terms of their plans. Where do they need to make adjustments? How far are they, in terms of completion of these plans, we can break it down by the different teams, the different investment book and this is where we can start to break it down by the different attributes as well that are important for their, their organization in terms of our planning.

47:42: How much are we lean in terms of reputation objectives and maybe in terms of sales enablement, this creates a dynamic and collaborative environment when it comes to building out those plans.

47:51: Now we have a live view to where we’re directing our plans and where we need to redirect them as, as Chloe alluded to planning can be a continuous process. They don’t just get locked down at the start of the year when we have a live view and a live outlook at everything. We can start to build out the plans and start to re restructure them. These are all great insights, but we need to figure out how we’re going to build that out and we are going to take a look at a few key pieces starting firstly with our budget. This is where we are going to replicate how your organization thinks about the distribution of your budgets for our fictitious company.

48:30: Here, we have their folders broken out in terms of their core marketing functions, their regional teams and then all the way down to their sub regional teams which receive their budgets and build out their plans. This is configurable to how you guys think about it. And there’s a couple of key main value adds for our individual contributors. And this is probably one of the most important pieces.

48:53: No more spreadsheets, no more Google Sheets, no more powerpoints, no more emails for approvals. All their dedicated plans live nested within the standardized and centralized hierarchy for operational leaders. This is where we can start to manage all the different things we do as, as operational leaders, things like managing custom settings and master settings, currencies, managing users, what parts of the platform needs to be edited in terms of our market marketing leaders.

49:21: This is where we can start to distribute our budgets down throughout the teams for our American regions and then all the way down to our investment plans.

49:30: However, also for our marketing leaders, because we’ve standardized and centralized this now we can get roll ups to all our plans. Now we can get a very high level look at our field marketing team here for an example, our regional teams then all the way down to the surreal teams.

49:45: And now we have that quick insight into our plans.

49:50: Budgets have been allocated and now we can get ready to start planning and we’re going to shift over here to one of our workspaces and we are going to take a deeper dive into our North American team. Here, we have access to all the different plans that we have access to using our manage user section, different views and the ability to group and to filter by different scenarios and forecasts which we will get to.I want to pay special attention here to all the different events and A B MS and enabling programs.

50:20: These are the activities that that the organization here is starting to run. Marketing leaders have the ability to design their own categories and subcategories.This has to be individual for each department as a field, marketing organization neatly have to break down your folders and your sub folders. In a way that makes sense for field marketing, digital teams need to be able to do that for their ways as well.

50:43: Here we are within our events and we have our green energy awareness and we have our summer fest and our solace conferences that we’re running.

50:51: This is where we can start to plan all the way down to the line a level or we could start to add the addition of placeholders as well. They’ve been buckets to spend throughout the year.

51:03: The marketers will also have insights to where they stand in terms of their current budget. Any budgets then allocated has now become a clear final year investment target.

And now we have a clear counter as to how much we have left to spend, gain that visibility for the marketing organization. So now we can start to plan more effectively.

51:25: What’s of utmost importance is the detailed panel here on the right hand side.And this is where we start to capture key attributes that we showcased in the inside. Again, this is individual for customers.This is where we want our customers that we work with to start thinking about the things that they want to capture, start thinking about the things that they want to visualize here.

51:46: We have an investment breakdown where it starts to feed into the different call centers and different GL codes. We can have information icons, guard rails, dependencies.

51:56: What we want to do is we want one place to plan a system of record for our markets. No more, double clicks, no more duplicate of efforts. Everything that lives here can be fed off into different systems and can all be captured and visualized within the solution.

52:16: So we have our investment plans made, all our attributes are all captured. Maybe you want to send them off for a plan approval. This can happen here as well. But what also we might need to start thinking about as an organization is planning our actual activities or our go to market view of all the campaigns, all the programs, all the activities, all the activations that we’re doing. And this is where we can do that here in the activity section for our fictitious company. These are the four marking plans that they’re running all broken down in this interactive calendar. So we can drag and drop all the different activities.

52:54: And again, we can start to capture key meta data here in this pop-up panel, unique metadata capturing at unique stages of the hierarchy. So our plan level a campaign level, we’re capturing key attributes, a program level and all the way down to the actual tactics that we’re running. Not only that now, we can start aligning budgets to any activities that we’re running.

53:19: Any campaigns, we can get them aligned to the budgets that that we have allocated, we can start to measure the impact as well. What is the projected outcome for all the activities that we’re doing? These are all these graphs are all going to be are going to be spread out in terms of the the funnel assumptions that you guys have and we will build them out for each department and each organization. And this is where we can start to kick off work flows as well, creating projects, creating campaigns into other systems again.

53:49: No more, double clicks, any approval process, anything that needs to happen here, this is in the system, we can get it kicked off from there, we can align it to our strategies and think of this as your one pager, all the marketing strategies that you as an organization are doing now, all the investments, all the activities that were captured and all can be linked to the key actions that us as a marketing organization outlined the key priorities or the key.

54:18: OKRs and all the way through to the business objectives, using these customizable scorecards. Now, for our product launch campaigns are interacting with our expanded customer base in North America all the way through to our increased annual revenue to 10%.You know, creating that story around marketing. What is the impact that we’re having here as an organization and how efficient we can be in terms of our, our, our agility in the market and the ability to make changes from the strategies to the activities to the investments all the way through the insights.

54:50: That is the fastest 10 minute overview of, of the solution. I’ll hand it back to you and thank you very much for having me.

55:04: It’s pretty impressive 10 minute whirlwind tour of the platform. Thank you, Owen.

I appreciate it.

55:09: I liked how we started focusing almost immediately on the budgets because it kind of that was the initial use case that Chloe spoke about is the problem with spreadsheets and budgets, but then work back from there to investment plans and then to actual marketing plans, you know what we get paid to do marketing.

55:53: Enjoy the rest of your day and your week. We hope to hear from you again soon. Thank you and goodbye.

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