decryption of a profession in full evolution

Great passion for marketing with ” Dream big as I believe, Tifenn Dano Kwan moved to the United States, where she was able to work for large tech groups in Silicon Valley. Today you have chosen to use your American experience to support European technology companies. In this interview, she shares her experience as a CMO with us and provides best practices for marketing to better support fast growing companies.

You are CMO in Collibra. What is the job of the CMO, and more specifically in an overgrowing startup environment? Can you tell us more about your role and your missions?

I joined Collibra as CMO in March 2021. My mission is clear, especially in this growth movement: to make marketing a development lever for Collibra. Go beyond the “support function” to be a strategic growth engine. But also to align human resources with the technical skills to drive integrated data-driven strategies, offering customers unprecedented experiences and growth.

In concrete terms, this translates into actions carried out on a daily basis around the development of tubing review of commercial storytelling, based on solutions and values, global transformation through the creation of integrated web and digital experiences and automation of workflows Lead to revenue (L2R). It’s also important to refocus on customer value and defend their interests – improving customer lifecycle value and cost of acquisition, essential to any successful marketing strategy.

How has the CMO profession changed in recent years? What new missions have you seen appearing during your professional career?

The watchword that characterizes the transformation of our business is undeniably digitalization. Although it started several years ago, the health crisis has significantly accelerated it.

Our daily life has been completely upset: it is no longer a matter of a change of mission, but of the appearance of a new way of working.

Clearly, every technology company, and by extension every company, seeks to solve the challenges facing their customers. But today the stakes and the challenges are no longer the same. It therefore becomes imperative to reach out to potential customers and customers where they are, regardless of the channel, and support them in this ever-changing environment.
Our role as a marketer is to lead this change and stay on track on growth prospects despite changes within our ecosystems.

You were a CMO on Dropbox during the pandemic. What impact has the Covid-19 crisis had on your business? What have been the biggest upheavals for the marketing industry? How did you experience it?

The health crisis has had a noticeable impact on the nature of our business: it should be noted that Dropbox was initially intended for a B2C market, but due to the teleworking imposed by the pandemic, we have seen our target expand to reach a B2B market. We may have been luckier, this development has given us more insight into how marketing can support business growth.

For a marketer, this experience can only be transformative and exciting.

There was no real pivot on the nature of our profession, but rather an acceleration of discussions about the future of work that Dropbox had already started. Because even before the Covid-19 crisis, the company was already data-driven, had a digital approach and thought about reinventing the way people worked. Of course, we had to adapt quickly and reconsider our priorities. We had to be flexible and agile, respond to customer demand in real time. We had to make sure our customers were well supported: forget all the roadmaps and strategic planning that were no longer relevant, to focus on the real needs of the customers at the time. It was fascinating to watch and experience this adaptation!

In terms of international experience, you have worked for several American companies: SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, Dropbox… What have you learned from this experience? Do their marketing approach and vision differ greatly from those of European companies?

I have obviously learned a lot from these experiences, which have been beneficial both personally and professionally. I grew up with these companies, I learned everything from them. Early in my career, these companies enabled me to realize my personal aspirations to live and work in San Francisco, where we are in the midst of marketing trends and transformational changes. These experiences have also forged my spirit of evolution, which over the years has encouraged me to diversify and simply see other environments.

It is not so much the approach that is different, but there is a particular dynamic in American companies that you cannot find elsewhere. It is a real forge and stimulus for people involved in technology and marketing.

What are the “best marketing practices” to better support fast growing companies like Collibra?

It is important, and even more so in fast growing companies like Collibra, to have an audit approach to measure the performance of marketing units. In general, you need to think about the following 6 axes:

  1. the Total addressable market (TAM) or the total market available: to better understand the market in which we operate and learn about the opportunities it offers.
  2. The marketing budget: verify that the budget is well calibrated and associated with the company’s ambitions.
  3. Product offers: to analyze the offers we have, to see if they are innovative and differentiating from the competition, but also to measure the internal operating systems that allow effective launches of new products on the market.
  4. Storytelling: deliver strong messages that stand out from the competition, clearly explain offers and attract partners, customers and talent.
  5. The digital infrastructure: to improve business growth and development, with the aim of facilitating automation, data access and maximizing the customer experience.
  6. The human: to surround yourself with the best profiles and put the right people in the right positions.

It is also essential to rise from one’s role as a pure marketer to become a real ” business partner“, Which uses marketing as a channel to intensify value and support growth.

If we look at the marketing trends, which channels or levers are emerging? Which can offer good prospects in terms of performance?

In my opinion, two main levers are emerging to support marketing performance:

  1. First of all: having a good product manager – especially in tech companies – capable of assimilating market strategies, creating and conveying messages and contents that feed all growth channels.
  2. And then: move on from one Account Based Marketing (ABM) to a Account-based experience (ABX), so that the whole company is interested in the market. It will be necessary to segment all the activities to address the accounts and purchasing groups on the market in a very precise and personalized way.

In your opinion, what are the key points for success as a CMO in 2022? What advice would you give to future CMOs?

It is important to establish “BHAG” (Big bold hairy goals): to have, in short, strategic ambitions to be articulated over several years, and in agreement with the financial team. Don’t hesitate to plan long-term goals as you study trends because they can change quickly.

Next, invest in the digital performance infrastructure. The key to growth lies in the ability to produce on a large scale at the best cost. Digital performance tools are essential and require an integrated strategy, particularly between the sales, marketing and IT teams. In short, the sooner you start, the sooner you win competitively.

Personalization, experimentation and localization are also essential to better target customer demand.

It is also necessary to hire the “best”, offering advantages to attract and retain the best profiles on the market. Finally, it’s also about prioritizing meetings with clients and partners, and dedicating a large part of your agenda to these external meetings.

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