Refreshing a Brand and Person with NI's CMO Carla Pieyro Sublett
Do you. Start thinking about all the marketing. You should be doing to grow your business and just wonder. How am I gonNA, get the all this. Good News. You don't have to recruit employ and manage inexpensive team for less than the cost of one F.. T. You get an entire team of marketing specialists led by experience marketing director. Who meets with you each week to get work done? It's an outsource marketing department subscription from RSM. RSM is headquartered in Kansas, have the work ethic value, expertise and business model that just makes sense for you today. Visit Outsource Marketing Team Dot com slash today. Get up to five thousand dollars free marketing services when you subscribe, ask about their new outsource sales department to that's outsource marketing team dot com slash today. Check it out. For All of us. It's about predictive where the consumer is going and getting cap of. One of the things we want to do is create ads that don't suck. Then bracing chains creates great possibility. I'm at heart and this is marketing today. Today on the show of got Carla, Pineyro sublet. She's the CMO of Energi on the show today we talk a little bit about her background with started at Dell than became the CMO rack space head of their exit and the car current job now, but we also talk about a year that she took off a finding moon to and I apologize for mispronouncing. Mispronouncing during the recordings, but fascinating conversation about renewal, both within our own selves, and how to bring our work, selves our personal lives together, and how that's influenced her approach to marketing as well as her sales background as well in per making sure that we're providing Bali to customers at prospects I. Hope you enjoy this conversation with Carla in Gyro sublet. Carlo welcome to the show. Such I'm super happy to be here. Thanks for asking me I would love to start off by hearing about your year of finding Bhutto Bhutto. I can't even say grows like nuts. Yeah. Tell me about the and what sparked it because it sounds fantastic, well aside, midlife crisis, which I do think was was certainly part of it. I was at racks face, and we actually sold the company, which was the end in mind when I started there, and had my first successful exit was had just vested, so there were a few things that culminated end came together before I made the decision and I would say they're either going on so. So I've been at rack space for two years, and we had just sold the company and had my first exit, and really had opportunity to reflect on what I wanted next whether to stay on at rocks, face, or try something new or completely different in addition to that I was midway through my fellowship. A Henry Crown Fellowship with the Aspen Institute and that was really causing quite a bit of self reflection as well, but I think the last. Last and probably most important thing about Allen was that I was coming off two and a half years of the hardest time in my career, and I felt disconnected from the people and things that mattered most my life, including my children and my husband, and made a very conscious decision to take a full year off to really reconnect with them myself and really explore what was next, so we decided to abandoned by says we knew it and travel. Travel the world and reconnect with other cultures sounds amazing Ma'am I hope it was refreshing for you. Know you, you blog about it as well right. You created a a website for your your travels. Yes, so we kicked off a website called finding boon to and funny enough allen reason recreated. It is because we did it device free, and we wanted to have a mechanism by which to tell our friends and family that we are live in okay. So I did carry a notebook computer with me. And then the kids journaled. We all journaled on paper, and then whenever I would find Wi. Wifi spot, I would upload journals to the blog. And so it was really our way of telling everybody. We were fine, but had no idea that we were getting the readership that we did and that so many people would enjoy it to your point you. You came off one of one of the most exciting, probably stressful all packed in one exit in experience at space. How has held that year off and reconnection with family? How did that change you but time I had to figure out who? Who I was without work of work since I was thirteen years old, so in work was very much core to my identity. People would ask me how I was not answer depending on how the quarter was going so and not how personally doing I also found that I'd become extremely disconnected from my heart, and I was pretty much functioning for my brain gut, only and I I think the last part Allen is that I had really developed to you personas, a work persona, n., a home persona, and they were very different and more than anything else. Those two personas merged into who I actually am over the course of that year. I mean that is such. I've got chills actually as you. Because I think lots of people have experienced what you just described the splitting of yourself and kind of losing your own identity and your identity of work, and you are or can not to make too much of it at this current moment was so many people unemployed right now because of the pandemic I imagine there's a lot of people feeling lost to a large extent. Thank you for sharing. Thank you very welcome. Welcome appreciate it. We'll. Let's talk a little bit about your work. Life at feels very awkward transition, but let's talk about work life. We did RE connector I guess realized that we overlapped slightly at Dell although I was very short in my internship there, but you were there for fifteen years, and then joined wreck space. So, what do you feel like along? Your journey? Prepared you to be a CMO. First of all I'm grateful to my time at. Dell grew up there. And I literally have family I've got children from Dell. So that experience really formed me both as a person in as a professional what I got from Dell and my time, there was a massive education and I was fortunate enough that Del really encouraged Brett for people to try on different hats, different functions different geographies different. And my time there I had the great fortune getting to work in almost every major geography across the entire sales organization, every vertical I grip predominantly in sales ten years of my fifteen years, Adele were and sales, and then I moved over to marketing, and I will say I carry so much that experience with me today. Learn so much while I was there. Yeah, you were there at a very formative time I, believe just from the folks. I know that we're. They're very exciting. You through the to the early ninety, ninety nine to two thousand plus range of just I can. Can only imagine like rocket ship growth, and most the people that I've talked to or stay in touch with. They describe it exactly like like you. Did you feel like there was anything about the culture in particular that stood out to you like why there was so much of this like familial feel to environment in the relationships curious well I, think for starters. We were all growing up together. You can't spend fifteen years of your with a group of people and not shepherd each other through some pretty significant milestones, but I mean people are getting married divorced having children, but. But the other part of that was we are also over a course of fifteen years. We saw times of great success and we saw crisis. There were two significant recessions during that period and in crisis. There's bonding and I think the other thing is that it really taught us to problem solve. You couldn't be successful at Dell unless you are a massive problem solver and I. think that's something that I really took away from it as well. That's great, so went from Dell a believed to rex base. helped rack space exit. It sounds like and then took the year. Year off or your plus a little bit off, and now you are CMO at national instruments or I I believe as we talk about this in a few minutes, but I believe I've got this right. You're the first chief marketing officer at national instruments, or is that right? That's true. That's true, and interestingly enough on. That's pattern for me. Almost every job I've had in my career with the exception of a couple have never existed before, so yeah, it's true I'm the first official chief marketing officer deny. What was the company looking to do or create this rule to achieve? We're I was recruited to the company. The task at hand was that they really wanted to refresh and modernize the brand, and they wanted to ignite growth, however when I arrived I realized, there was a much larger opportunity before us and I realize that well in order to modernize this brand. We actually have to modernize the company. Otherwise we won't be able to deliver on the brand promise. There are a lot of things that the company was doing that were pretty dated in approach everything to how we issued people's first paychecks on paper to how we delivered software our customers, but as we went through the brand work in the research. What were? Tests, which probably the largest opportunity of all was. Our category was long-due modernization, and that was probably the most exciting piece of the work. Suits talk a little bit about the relaunch and the rebrand. And tell me about that, and then we'll go into like the other changes. You don't Mind Dad, of course. So, what do you want to know about the relaunched and rebranded? It looks like you're going from on the surface national instruments to deny year modernizing the look and feel assuming we'll get to in a minute relates to the organization structure as well. What is your primary objective? If you will like, is it to refresh your cells in the customers is is. Is it also to refresh yourself in your own is yeah. That's interesting. It's a little bit of both what I will say on first, and foremost is coming to one other things that struck me was how cool work of our customers is and the impact that they're making in the way that we live in work and that we really have very little appreciation in our society for the impact of the engineer, so I was watching Chefs Table One night and I love. Love Chefs Table, and even not a very good cook for meeting. What's so amazing about? It is the story and what some of these chefs have overcome to realize their dreams, and it becomes less about the food, even though the food is spectacular and more about the story, and it really got me thinking that there is nothing like fat for engineers, and they're solving some of the biggest problems that we face on the planet, so we are really setting out to elevate. Elevate the role of Engineering Society and tell their stories so that people really understand the impact that they're making in their lives, and the goal is to really inspire our customers to engineer ambitiously inspire them to continue to do great work, and then also to inspire employees to work hard on their behalf, because of what they're enabling touch, you Gotcha, and maybe it would be helpful because I realize we didn't. I didn't ask this question. It tell us a little bit what? Does as well to put it in context. Yes, so we are in a category called test and measurement, and most people don't realize, but just about anything with mechanical outcome. The car you drive airplanes we used to fly on the phone. You use has to be tested and measured before it's in production, and before it's out in the world, and our software and hardware enables that. I mean thousands of different tests to you imagine so it's it's a very complicated. Area you're trying to tell the stories of the engineer around to so absolutely it sounds like you know like you said before modernizing not only the brand, but the organization curious kind of changes. You're making to the marketing organization as well as maybe more broadly. How you're thinking about running business that said maybe I'll think about how we're thinking about running it because that informs what we're doing organizationally in terms of what we're trying to achieve, so I have had a somewhat midterm to long term held belief that feed be business business tech marketing is dead and that it's extremely. Extremely noisy and everybody's running the same plays, and since the advent of more tech, we've basically just peppered an abused. Our insights peppered. Our customers abused our insights, and I feel like at our core. We forgotten what our job is. Marketers, which is to add value to the customer into create a relationship with the customer and I also felt for a long time that there shouldn't be business to business or B. TO B. Marketing and consumer marketing, because we're all people in the end, so one of the things that we're setting out to disrupt BB marketing in the tech space. Space and to take a more consumer like approach in our marketing and really think about our customers, not justice test engineers, not just as decision makers, but as people and really meet them where they are able sense that makes perfect sense and I don't know it sounds like I've talked to a few other CMO's as well the started backgrounds in sales and this notion of delivering customer value actually is not something that's come up and I'm curious if you feel like you're sales, routes helps to keep you grounded if you will to the to the value that you're creating. Creating the customers, or if you think about that at all, my Gosh, absolutely and I always joke that a sales GM and marketers clothing, because at the end of the day I am trying to make an impact on the business moving the market in service of growth, and I'm always thinking about. How can we make this real? How can make this real for our sellers? How can we make it real for the customer? How can we make sure that we're not just doing activity for activity? Sake, but we're actually contributing value, not just to our customers, but to the business. It's refreshing to hear you say that because it's I think as marketers in a count myself in this crowd to we can get caught up in the stack. The tech stacks that we build the click streams if you will of of nurturing our customers or or berating them with emails, whichever way you look at it, so it's it's. It's good to get it back to human connection if you will exactly which was. was informed by mayor off away. Yeah, yeah, no, exactly exactly exactly I wonder. Do you think without that year off? You've approached it this way, or is this something that you've you've been doing even before before the time off the reconnect maybe I was starting to move in this direction, Allen. If I'm being really honest, but I will say definitely turned it up on steroids and its influence, all aspects of how I. I work. You mentioned organizational changes so in terms of how I build my team, and how we we elevate people within the organization and higher from the outside I have this new lens which is I want everybody that's in leadership, or in a certain position to be a gift to the organization and every decision that we make around people. I want people to benefit from it not just professionally, but personally so i. I think my year off made me a more heart, lead leader, and that has definitely influenced my approach the above the mean you're driving a ton of change, not just externally in the market, but it sounds like internally inside the organization as well. That's never easy. Tell me a little bit more about how you're approaching getting the humans if you will inside the building on our board with all this change that's going. Well, I've always been a big instigator of change a big change leader. I have not always been great at it. I move at a very fast pace, and probably my largest opportunity is making sure that I'm bringing everybody along with me, but I will say for the folks that an I been blown away at how quickly pivoted and I think that the most important thing to consider is having clarity of vision and really helping people understand. We're headed what it looks like on the other side, what the benefits of that are and I gotta give it to my team at an I, and in even outside of the marketing organization I feel like other functions are rooting for us, and that this has become not just a marketing effort, but this has become an. An NIH effort and that has been super inspiring to me. That's awesome anything else. You WanNA share about the rebrand the relaunch. If you will or the stories that you are about to put into market, anything else you ensure. Yes, so I will say one of the things I'm super excited about is like I mentioned before where the role of engineer in society, we also have a very strong point of view that our industry needs more diversity, and in order to stop solve some of the world's greatest problems. You need people from different backgrounds that have different perspectives to solve them always joke that the mammogram must have been invented by man. With different perspectives, so we have a very strong point of view that the profile face of engineer needs to evolve to be more inclusive of people from different backgrounds and with everything that's happening in our world right now and the amount of racial injustice in the African American community. We also strongly believe that this is one way to begin to solve for social inequity. That's fantastic. Yeah, it's definitely front and center now for sure it's always been an issue and it sounds like you have A. A lot of passionate about diversity, but also socioeconomic disparity or gaps at will. Where does that passion come from well a couple of things? I am an immigrant I'm the daughter of immigrants so I feel like I. Want a lottery ticket being in this country and I feel like a one a lottery ticket to be CMO Vinai and being able to do the work I do every day with the people that I work with every day and Allen always felt that that comes with A. A big responsibility to pay it forward, and then I also had the really good fortunate, growing up in a very diverse neighborhood, and going to a very diverse high school, and that really influenced my worldview, and over time through my nonprofit work and working the community I've realized all of the stem challenges. That are driving these social equities, and as I get older, it becomes less about just my professional work and more about what impact we can make in the world, and in fact, one of. Of, the reasons I came to an is I saw an opportunity I saw platform for doing good. That was one of my requirements that I came up with during my year off, so it's just something that's very important to me. It's value of mine and I feel super lucky to have an is a platform to do good. It's awesome and one of the things I was reading about you. Guys is some recent impact investing that the company is doing in your local community to. Afford housing so putting your resources your capital to actually help others love if you could tell me more about that, too. Listeners about impact, investing is not something that we've covered a lot on the show, but I think people especially with what's going on in the world right now. It would be great here from from you guys what you're doing. Yeah, so speaking of modernizing company philanthropy as we know, it is being. Being modernized and and through my work with our local community foundation we sauce an up some opportunities to join efforts with them and do some social impact investing as you mentioned, we just did a five hundred thousand dollar social impact investment so a low cost loan for habitat for humanity for affordable housing here Austin. We've also put aside seven million dollars to do a mixture of social impact investing in grants and. and. Then we take one percent of our profits locally to invest in the communities in which we we operate, so this is something that's very important to us and one of those pillars of social inequity. We're also very passionate as I mentioned before seeing more diversity in engineering in the stem fields, so that is that is a pillar as well and then we'll also be taking on the environment as another one of. Of our pillars, yeah, I, mean most people don't don't realize that you talk about the five hundred thousand dollars in the local with the habitat for humanity than the seven million overall, but the the fact that impact investing that money gets to be recycled, and over and over. It's not just once done which I love. Sorry I didn't do a very good job of explaining that, but you're exactly right. That's the. The beauty of it. It's not a one time grant, so that money comes back and then you. Do you do it again and you do it again, so you get significant scale out of it. No, it's awesome. Is that something that you touched on the Henry? Crown Fellowship with the Aspen Institute is something you came across their or curious. If there's a dovetail here that I didn't I didn't pick up. Up on before they're in detail for all the social impact investing really details into my work with our local community foundation, the CEO, the Austin Community Foundation Might Nilis's just a real innovator in I've learned a ton getting to work with him but aspen what my Henry Crown. Fellowship has really taught me. Is that really work in the work that we do is one of our greatest platforms to do good and. And it's really inspired me to make sure that I'm leaving the world a better place, and that I really think about the impact that our work has on world. A switch gears a little bit. If you're okay with this, I feel like I've already gotten to know you, but I do like to get to know people even more I on the other side of the microphone and really at like asking this. This question and I realize you may have already hit on the answer, but maybe not. We'll see so if it's a repeat. That's fine, but the question I love to ask. Is there been inexperience of your pass that defines in makes up who you are today. Paris so many bet I would say I i. Put myself through architecture, school, running restaurants and bars, so I was learning design thinking in problem solving. Learning cash flow and people management, so those two things really informed who I am in my work, and then I think semel tenuously putting yourself their school. It's not easy, and I think that really formed my work ethic and affected who I am as a person in the fact that I don't take anything for granted, and also the fact that I'm somewhat fearless. My work because I always figure even if I get fired I can always make a good drink in ten bar. That's awesome. I have a similar similar trade. I used to clean pools. To make money and I can always pick up a net and Skim Bulls again. You can always fall back on that solid work exactly exactly. Will I have to ask because you're in the bar and restaurant industry? What's your to drink so right now? I'm a big fan of the ranch water, which is a very complex at all, but I do love to Kiel out. Out Took Pacheco, fresh lime and set. Nobody's have not had that before a month. Bake Bake one of those will. What advice would you give your younger self if you're starting all over again to not worry and not be afraid that even during the toughest times that everything's GonNa work out, and that will far exceed Cedar your wildest dreams so not to be afraid. To similar to drink question I added this question recently to everyone that comes on the show, and it seems little silly on the surface, but I'm fascinated every time, but answers curious if there's been impactful purchase of one hundred dollars or less in the last six or twelve months. Besides upgrading bandwidth on my wife. I. Would say a pair of running shoes I'm really into fitness, and really into wellness and I do believe that it's important to take care of your mind, body and soul now more than ever before so yeah pair running shoes have been my savior right now. It, will you? Most marketers tend to be kind of students of what's going on around them and a curious. If there's brands or companies or causes that you following, you think other people should be taking notice of. Brought I definitely think what's happening in this country right now. In terms of the racial inequity in the racism against the black community, it's time for us to all stand up and advocates for the black community takes period. It's urgent and that's something that I feel very very strongly about and then I think the other thing that I. I would watch closely is what's happening in our world. Everything is being turned upside down right now, and you're starting to realize what people are made of what. What companies brands are made of and I think the leaders of tomorrow will emerge in the coming months in year and so I. Think it's it's something to to really pay attention to I do see the feature with quite a bit of optimism Alan, because I'm understood natural optimists so i. think all the things that haven't been working for us as a society globally or are breaking, so with that comes the opportunity to to reinvent and rethink that things that have not been serving us. No I think you're absolutely right. I mean many of the deeper thinkers or academic said I've had on the on the show or even follow in my in my outside life, this notion of where we are right now with many elements of society. Frankly breaking down radio's top about it, you know one of the largest hedge fund people in the world, but the income inequality is one of the biggest things we've gotta fight, and it could end very badly, or there's this opportunity for us to do something about it and as marketers you know we live. Live in die by that whether you're on the consumer side or on the business side people being able to afford and continue to put money in cash flow back into the economy's the help us all grow and get better and make more money. It's all interconnected so I wholeheartedly agree with you I'm excited what you've talked about today. In is doing to help both highlight diverse engineers and their stories, and also the impact investing that you're doing both at the local level as well as beyond that so I thank you for your efforts. I appreciate it well. You know I the company in our board and our our CEO they've been very bold. For sure will last question for you. What do you feel like is either the largest. Or biggest threat for marketers. Okay so I'M GONNA. Go back to what I was saying earlier, so everybody's going digital. Everybody's going digital right now. It's getting super noisy and it will continue to be so I think we need to rethink how we reach our customers in a way. That's meaningful to the. Contributes value to them so I think when everybody makes the same shift, it presents an opportunity disaster and go in a different direction in order to break through A. Very Astute Yes and I think there's a lot of not to pylon, but I will for just a second, but I. think There's a lot in the ethos of what's going on around. How digital's being used as well to track individuals that you don't want to be on the wrong side of that right? You WanNa to make sure that you are to your point earlier. Providing real value in how you're, you're talking in reaching and communicating with your customers and prospects, so that's a great one I appreciate it. We'll thank you so much for coming on the show. I really enjoyed the conversation. This is Super Fun for me. Thank you so much for the time in for inviting me. I-IT's again. Marketing today was created and produced by me. If you're new to marketing today, please feel free to write us a review on Itunes or your favorite listening platform. Don't forget to subscribe. Tell your friends and colleagues about the show I love to hear from listeners, and you can contact me at marketing today PODCASTS DOT com. They're also find complete. Show notes links to anything. We talk about on any episode. You can also search our archives. Alan Heart than this is marketing.