Lessons From Our CMO

DSCN2044A year ago, Integrate received a gift that would forever change the face and heart of our company. We were blessed with the addition one of the most passionate martech leaders in modern marketing. Today, we’d like to take a moment’s break from the tech talk to pay tribute to our fearless CMO, Scott Vaughan and acknowledge the many lessons he’s imparted upon us over the last 365 days.

Here’s a short list of our biggest takeaways.

Words Matter ~Justin Eisner, Marketing Strategist

Words matter, a lot. Whether it’s choosing the appropriate term to describe our product or feature, always speaking the language of our customer, or maybe the occasional word we shouldn’t print in our blog Scott has taught me to be very attentive to semantics.  I am grateful to call Scott my boss, mentor and friend. All three of those words were carefully chosen. Keep steering the ship Captain; we are all on board!

Eat Your Own Dog Food ~David Tomizuka, CFO

 I've learned a ton from working alongside Scott.  Perhaps the most important is that within the context of our strategy, remaining laser focused on the message and ensuring its consistency is just as important internally as it is externally.  We can tell our customers and prospects all day about what we do, but if we don't live, eat and breathe it internally our chances for success are slim, particularly in the tech world where there is such tremendous noise.

Communication – More Than Just Words ~ Kyle Gale, VP of Sales & Marketing Ops

Over the past year I have come to learn many things from our new CMO. None more important than the power of communication, which seems rather generic till you dissect it. It bleeds into how your customers view your company and product, and how your department, direct reports and peers view you.  In business, communication is talked about a lot; but it’s more than just the words—it’s the strategy that matters most. Scott has done a masterful job of not only showing integrate how to communicate effectively to our customers but internally to our team members. Over the past year, we’ve learned to share the right words at the right time with the right people, all for the grand purpose of generating results.

Own Your S&!@ ~David Walsh, GM of Media Services

Recently in the midst of a long call with Scott to address one of the business units we are growing, I candidly said to him that we were going to need help on this project because I had neither the skill set nor the time to do it well.  An admission I could tell he was appreciative of, not as appreciative though as he was amused when I confessed “I’ve lasted this long by telling people I’m going to do a bad job before I actually do said bad job.”  We had a decent laugh and set about troubleshooting the issue at hand. That exchange sticks with me; in a year of working together, the biggest thing I’ve learned from Scott is how important it is to build and foster an environment of trust and honesty where employees can be frank with their senior counter parts.  Day-in and day-out as we work to build a faster, more dynamic and more cohesive company, Scott has fostered a culture where we can admit our own faults, pass on ill-fitting projects, and play to our strengths—a paradigm shift which allows us to continue to innovate and succeed.

Faster Isn’t Always Better ~Tom Click, VP of Sales

Scott has taught me to slow down even at times when I want to go fast. In sales, it’s all about the deal, the week, the month, the quarter. Scott’s view on the bigger picture has allowed me to sleep at night when things aren’t perfect, and slam down on the gas when we get momentum in a specific area. He’s taught me how to shift from a tactical to a strategic thought process in an instant—something I was never able to grasp until I met him. I know it is a unanimous feeling to say that Integrate is in a better place because of Scott’s accomplishments this past year. I’d take that a step farther and boldly say that this entire marketing technology landscape is in a better place because of accomplishments. I’d run through a wall for Scott.

Crawl, Walk, Run ~Chelsie Anderson, Media Partner Manager

So, it’s been 365 days full of lessons since we hired a kick a$$ CMO. What sticks out in my mind the most is our “Crawl, Walk, Run” mantra. While at heart, this is a strategy we apply to our customers and clients to help them be successful,  I found that this practice now drives me for the less uninviting events in my personal life, such as waking up early on the weekends, starting a new workout regimen, dating and more. Thank you Scott for an amazing 365 days and creating phrases and processes that often haunt me after a long week day. I can certainly say I’ve learned a thing or 100 from you!

Don’t Lose The Forest For The Trees ~David Crane, Marketing Tech Strategist

There will always be times where you could’ve done more research, revised content to be a little more concise, or better articulated a solution to a prospect, but slowing down operations to ensure every task is perfected often undermines the bigger objective. A good marketer continues the march toward that bigger goal, not the individual task.

Synergy – The Power Of We ~Triniti Burton, Marketing Director

Through working with Scott, I have discovered that the power of collaboration is one of the keys to unlocking our greatest potential. Nothing can replace the synergy that exists between people. My first project under Scott’s leadership was to revamp the messaging on our homepage (which we’ve done three times since—gotta love the ever-changing world of marketing!). Up until then, it was customary when I submitted work for approval to receive feedback along the lines of “It’s a 7. Let’s get it to a 9.” So when Scott took the time to dissect each word with me and analyze why one was the perfect fit and another might be just a little stronger replaced by something else, I knew my working world was forever changed. The connection we have during our working sessions and the ability to move a project in real-time from concept to clarity astounds me. And while the introvert in me still thrives on working alone, I know that my results are so much better with the contributions of my teammates.

Scott, your passion is a guiding light and inspiration for all of us. It is an ideal we hold high. And wherever our journeys take us in the years that lie ahead, you have certainly made a mark on everyone that makes us better professionals, and dare I say, better people. From the bottom of our hearts—thank you.

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