Narrator: Welcome to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you’re going to put in your ears. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders to get their take on the current challenges of the market. But also have a little fun along the way. In this episode, Vincent and Ajay, talked to Heidi Cerenzia, vice president at Demand Generation at Wrike. She discusses how Demand Generation has evolved over the years, as well as the challenges of working from home or being an extrovert. She and Vincent also bond over Frutti di Mare. Ajay plans on doing some wine tasting. And Vincent reminds us that he’s an Italian in New York. Give it a listen.
Vincent: All right, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. This is the last episode of the year, of 2020 that we’re recording. You’re going to probably see this later because we have so many great episodes and content that we have been putting out. It’s because of you, the listeners and also our guests. It is so great to be here. I of course am Vincent Pietrafesa, the vice president of B2B products here at Stirista, and this is The Marketing Stir. First, Stirista, who are we? Identity marketing company, we have our own B2B data, our own B2C data. Companies utilize our data, marketing purposes, new customers, take in your data, if it’s fragmented, if your data is garbage, we will make it not garbage. How’s that? We also have our own DSP called AdStir, OTT, connected TV, ABM. We do it all. I’m just going to throw more acronyms at you. Most likely we do it. My email address is email@example.com. Happy to be here. Even happier than me… impossible, but he’s happy. Ladies and gentlemen, my co- host my commander- in- chief, ladies and gentlemen, the CEO and founder of Stirista, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What’s up Ajay?
Ajay Gupta: Vincent, what a year it’s been, we’re coming to an end here. But you know, what’s remarkable is, we’ve only had one guest that stood us up all year. And that was purely an accident. So, when we started doing it, I was expecting half the people not to show up. But that’s my biggest fear, is having an event and nobody shows up. But speaking of events, great job, my friend at hosting our own, that was an extraordinary performance.
Vincent: Oh, thank you for those listening. We did a summit. We did a summit this year, where we had past guests of our podcast, we had the CEO of Axiom, we had customers, we had employees. I told some jokes, in the beginning. We also had a stand-up comedian, and Jessica, our own Jared told some jokes as well. We had Mick Foley from the WWE. It was a great event. So yes, we did have people show up. It was a great event. It’s been a great end of the year. I’ve been excited. I’ve been excited holiday plans for you Ajay, let the people know.
Ajay Gupta: You know what? You talked about my Airbnb trip so much, I decided to stay at home crosstalk-
Ajay Gupta: …to talk about it on the podcast anymore.
Vincent: Well, you took enough, your stock prices that I’m sure in Airbnb have gone up. So, you’re good to go. You don’t need it anymore.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, now we’re going to stay back. I’ve been meaning to clean my garage for the last couple of years. I think I’ll get to that, go to Fredericksburg for some wine tasting. But yeah, still going to be near San Antonio. Keeping COVID safe.
Vincent: Nice. I am going to be in New York City here for Christmas Eve, which is really big for me as an Italian American, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, that’s a whole other podcast. Maybe this next guest she may know about that. But we’ll see. We’ll get to that in a moment, because she is Italian, like me. I believe the last name, right? We bonded over that already. I’m going to stick around there. We’re going to see my in laws Jeff and Diane in Pennsylvania. Oh, I’m I excited.
Ajay Gupta: Oh, you’re fortunate to have such great in laws.
Vincent: Oh, they are. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t annoy me sometimes, but it’s been great. Everything’s done the holiday cards. I want to give a quick shout out to a company if I will… an app. This is not a sponsor. We don’t have sponsors. But a great way to tell, look up contacts now these days, a lot of people either business contacts Ajay, or personal contacts in your phone to find their address, Contacts411. It’s an app. I was like, what’s the home address of this one person. I wanted to send something to, if you have them in your phone, they have to be a contact already. Contacts411, just wanted to give them a shout out. They haven’t been on the podcast. Maybe they will be? Who knows? But I want to give a shout out, credit where credit is due. Enough about that enough about me. Who cares about me? You hear me all year. I am very excited to have this next guest. We already bonded. We’re pals, ladies and gentlemen, I would love to welcome, to our final podcast of 2020 recording, ladies and gentlemen, the Vice President of Demand Generation at Wrike Heidi Cerenzia. What’s going on Heidi?
Heidi Cerenzia: Hello, Vincent. Thanks for having me.
Vincent: It’s so great to have you. And we bonded… so we actually had a conversation, this was via phone, where I was at a bar in 2020. I know. What do you do at a bar? You crazy guy. I was at a bar waiting for another podcast guest, from the podcast Kingpin Communications. And I was talking to Heidi face- to- face, via the phone Of course. And she was like, where are you? At a bar? You have music on. I love that music. It was like 90s music. It was like buzz like-
Heidi Cerenzia: Sublime or something.
Vincent: …sublime. The American Pie soundtrack was on. And Heidi and I were just like, rocking out while we’re having an awesome conversation. The first thing that stood out to me is the background of her awesome artwork, that she has in the background there, of her cool apartment. That was the one thing I eat; you’ll be able to see it if you’re watching us on YouTube. But Heidi, it’s so nice. We had a great conversation there. And I’m so glad you agreed to do the podcast.
Heidi Cerenzia: Thank you.
Vincent: Let’s get right into it right into it.
Heidi Cerenzia: But wait. Are we going to talk about Frutti di Mare? Because I have everything ready to make it.
Vincent: Yes. You know how I love Frutti di Mare. My wife did not… like I made that, Ajay was like what is happening right now? And also, are you in California?
Heidi Cerenzia: I am.
Vincent: There’s like also like a cioppino, which is-
Heidi Cerenzia: crosstalk that as well. Frutti di Mare, we do it all the way-
Vincent: Di Mare.
Heidi Cerenzia: … although actually, this the first holiday in my entire life. And I won’t share the number of years that I actually will not be with my family because of the exciting things going on in the world. So, I am actually cooking it for the first time by myself. And I’m going to Zoom in with my family and we’re going to eat together and make the best of it.
Vincent: That’s awesome. So, you did The Seven Fishes as well.
Heidi Cerenzia: I’m doing it-
Vincent: Italian, Ajay! I knew it. I said I knew there was something extra that I liked about this guest. So, the Italians, Ajay, we do The Feast of the Seven Fishes, right? So, I grew up I had like bacalhau, which is like salted cod fish. I still do that. We used to have like, eel I don’t do that anymore. I don’t even know how we got those eel. I’m like, what happened? But yeah, we do that. My wife and I are going to do it. We have two small children. And I can barely get them to eat a-
Heidi Cerenzia: A stick?
Vincent: …crosstalk fish meat, fish stick let alone bacalhau. But I’ll have to have the Gupsters over one day for Christmas Eve. Well crosstalk-
Heidi Cerenzia: It’s a great experience. For sure.
Vincent: It is, it’s great experience. So, I love that you’re doing that. Thank you again for joining us tell the good people listening to The Marketing Stir about Wrike.
Heidi Cerenzia: Absolutely. So, I’m going on just about my one-year market at Wrike. And I head up, Demand Generation, as Vincent mentioned, and Wrike is a collaborative work management tool. And so, if you think about the 10,000 spreadsheets or Google slot or Google sheets that you have, that you’re trying to coordinate projects, and if you need a mechanism in which you have workflows, you can assign tasks, Wrike, is that tool for you. And one of the things that I’ve really enjoyed about it, and being a marketer, I have… this is one of the first times in my career and I have a few years behind me here, that I’ve actually, I actively use my own product every single day. When I say actively… when I was in cybersecurity, it was… in the background, and I kind of didn’t know it was there, right? But with Wrike, it allows myself and my team to really collaborate, you can… cross functionally, so you can assign tasks to different groups, and what it allows you to do is it keeps you really on track, right? I like to state things kind of very practically, so collaborative work management. It’s literally that simple. So, I want to collaborate with my work, and I need to manage those projects. And so, Wrike is the mechanism which we can do that, and it’s really helped me, onboard a team, that I actually I haven’t met more than half of my team, because I’ve actually hired them during COVID. And so, it’s enabled us to… excuse me, to actually have projects and not feel this chaos, and like, which spreadsheet was that? And how do I do a Ctrl F, or a search to really identify how to keep myself, or my team on track. So, it’s, it’s actually it’s been a great company to be with, and a product that, again, I use on a daily basis.
Vincent: That’s awesome, Heidi. I think we’ve had maybe one or two other guests on with Demand Generation, I’m very familiar with it, because I’m in the B2B space, but-
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure.
Vincent: …walk me through your responsibilities there. As far as the vice president of Demand Generation for Wrike, what you’re doing? Kind of what your team is made up of some of? And some of the hiring that you’ve done?
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure. It’s interesting how demand generation has evolved. People call it growth, it’s kind of like soup du jour, right? Or let’s do… to your earlier point, let’s figure out another acronym. Right? So, Demand Generation holistically… I won’t necessarily talk about it holistically, I’ll talk about it more with in my current team. I mean, if I can categorize it we have integrated campaigns where we’re really, promoting a specific offer to generally our existing database. Where we really want to nurture them and educate them on who Wrike is, I have… which was supposed to be field marketing but as we all know… except for you in a bar, once in the last nine months, it’s now sponsored events, and virtual summits, which, I think the challenge that we first had was, I joined in February, and so did the woman who was running field marketing, and within a month, our entire structure changed, and our entire plans changed. And, we had a choice, right? We can really be strategic and make the best of it and do a bunch of quick testing, or we can kind of be disappointed that we can’t be in- person. So, we chose the former. I have sponsored events, and eventually field marketing. I also have ABM, which you also mentioned earlier, and we designate that out from the campaign team, because we work very much in alignment with sales on everything we do. But we really identify these enterprise organizations that really could use the benefit of Wrike and or if we have customers who already have Wrike in a particular department, we’ll go in there and ensure that we can socialize Wrike within other departments within these orgs. I also have customer marketing. So that team is really busy doing case studies, reviews, we do customer references, we also have our own user group that we put on, that we’re going to be spearheading going into 2021. And then I also have newly formed… oh, so excuse me, partner marketing, I don’t want to forget partners, which is really critical for us. And we have some big partners, which I’ll not name all of them, but and that that ecosystem is really important, because any of that third- party interaction validation as we’re going out into the market, I think is really critical from customers and partners. And then I also have marketing development representatives, or if you’re familiar with MDRs, or SDRs, fall into sales. So, we have SDRs that report into sales. And then we have MDRs on my team, it’s actually a new group within Wrike. And so, there are a number one responsibility is to qualify, the Demand Generation leads that my team is generating and scheduling meetings for sales, that’s their number one priority is to qualify them. So sorry, I know, that’s a lot. But that’s the makeup of my team. And I’ve actually just in the last two weeks, also adopted the international versions of a lot of what I just mentioned, but I don’t have to get that tactical, so but what we’ve seen really is that as the marketplace and as digital and as ABM and all these other channels are evolving, you can’t stay stagnant, right? You have to constantly test and that’s what my team, we do on a weekly, monthly basis.
Ajay Gupta: Demand Generation is hard, and I’ve tried it myself and successfully so kudos to you.
Heidi Cerenzia: Thank you, Ajay.
Ajay Gupta: crosstalk-
Heidi Cerenzia: I appreciate that.
Ajay Gupta: …job. How did you get into marketing in the first place?
Heidi Cerenzia: Oh, goodness. Well, there is a little gray here, but you can’t really see it on video. I have a lot of product. So, I actually started my career… I won’t reveal yours, but actually in publishing about the advertising side. And I just started having mentors, within my career and then had an opportunity to work for a company where I really started in the truly doing marketing. Back at that time, it was just… getting an email was when you’re like… Remember when The Circle was happening, you’re actually anticipating the email and excited that you’re getting it? That was how long ago this was. And so now, as I get more and more into the Demand Generation marketing side of things… I’m really sorry, I just want to go back to your question, so it was really kind of as my interest was really more around, engaging with, excuse me, customers, partners, sales, and what I learned, just not marketing, specifically, but Demand Generation or actually field marketing… I was in for several years as well, I actually enjoyed that interaction with sales. And I found that Demand Generation, field Marketing, those types of marketing were a way in which I could do that. And so, I’m very data- driven and very metrics- driven. And so being in this type of role really lends itself to that.
Ajay Gupta: I can say, we have had a couple of marketers on this podcast that did not like their sales counterparts so.
Heidi Cerenzia: I didn’t say I was like them, just to be clear. I do now. I really do now. I’m very grateful-
Ajay Gupta: They’ve grown on you.
Heidi Cerenzia: No, I do know, but I think that’s just like anything, right? It’s not even just about sales and marketing, but it’s just about humans, right?
Ajay Gupta: Right, right. And Heidi, how do you kind of deal with the pandemic? Obviously, the events were gone, but where have you found success? especially having been new at the company, when the whole thing went down?
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure. So, as I mentioned earlier, I was five weeks in and they said, Oh, oh. Not only was I just getting to know, my co- workers, because I was for a hot second. But then I also, had a team that I was building and inheriting, and it was, I was brand new, and it was just like, okay, you’re going to take what you would normally do. And it’s definitely not a one- size- fits- all. I’ll talk about… excuse me, the business part of it, and I’ll talk about the human part of it, which, I know that they’re one and the same in a lot of regard. But if I look at just from business, what do we need to accomplish? At the end of the day, it’s about pipeline and revenue, right? In Demand Gen? And how do we get there with a completely changed plan that we had going into the quarter, right? Or into the first half of the year. So, what we did was, as I mentioned earlier, we just started doing a bunch of testing. And we weren’t very tentative about it, we said, let’s just go all in, and not break the bank, obviously, but let’s go all in and not knowing… in March and April, right? We didn’t know that we would all still be home today in December, right?
Ajay Gupta: Sure.
Heidi Cerenzia: And so, I really did my best effort to one, get to know my… I would have to remote team members regardless, just to be clear, but myself being remote, a hundred percent of time, because I’ve always managed people remotely, but myself being a hundred percent remote was also like, Okay, this is not something that I’m used to, as you could probably see I’m an extreme extrovert, and I love that interaction, and I love the in- person. But I also recognize that there are people on my team, who are also extroverts. So now it gets into that human component, Ajay, which is that, I recognize that at the end of the day, we all have responsibilities and accountability within our particular jobs, right? I have team members who I manage directly, or I have someone who manages them, and they are a teacher, a mom, a spouse, et cetera, et cetera. And now you’re competing with bandwidth. And so, you have to just take pause and say, yes, at the end of the day, we have responsibilities to the business, at the end of the day, that’s why we’re all here. And we actually did a leadership training last week, and there’s a woman that said human first market or second. And it really resonated with me because there’s a certain level of empathy and understanding in which you have to have right now… I mean, you should have anyway, right? At the end of the day, we should have that anyway. Hopefully the pandemic is teaching us that, and reinforcing that and enforcing that. But at the end of the day, we should be that way anyway. So it is that level of empathy. And that level of understanding when a team member said, ” Heidi, sorry, I had to miss a meeting because I was a second grade teacher for that 30 minutes, and I didn’t have a chance,” or my daughter was taking her final on Zoom and all those scenarios, which I’m sure anyone listening, or even anyone… Vince and Ajay, I’m sure that you’ve experienced the same, right? So, and then I think the other side of it is just trying to make some things a little bit more fun. So, every Friday, I have a coffee talk with a team, it’s 30 minutes, people have their kids, their dogs, people take walks. And it’s just say, hey, hope you guys had a great week. I know, we can’t do a lot of things right now. But hope you have a great weekend. And the one rule is we can’t talk about work. And I think that’s important, because we need that level of what we would normally take a walk and go for coffee, or but we can’t do that right now. So, I think that looking at it, not losing sight of the business and our responsibilities, and not forgetting that we are humans with feelings. And we need to ensure that we’re really aware of both of those things.
Vincent: I like that idea of kind of keeping it to non- work related, and just kind of having a conversation because… as you can probably tell I’m very much an extrovert as well, we have a lot in common. We’re Italian. We’re extroverts. I too have a lot of product in my hair, Heidi. So, have a lot in common there but I would love to know, is the headquarters in California there as well? Would you normally be around some of your teammates that you recently hired? And I have-
Heidi Cerenzia: I will.
Vincent: ..another question to that.
Heidi Cerenzia: Excuse me. Sorry. Yes, I would. So, my office in downtown San Jose, which is our U. S. headquarters. I’m only 20 minutes from there. So, I would normally be in the office every day.
Vincent: And then this is a part of that question that I have another one but so, was it always the plan when you joined back in February to build out a team? Or is that also a result of more companies or more people consuming your product and having to grow?
Heidi Cerenzia: So, I’m gonna answer that two ways. The first is, the expectation was that I would… I had a few open headcounts that I would be filling those, but just by nature of how the Wrike has been going over the last several months, and going into 2021. I had significantly more adds to my team than I had expected, which is actually, as you probably I think alluded to, as a very positive thing.
Vincent: And I have a question, because you had a lot of roles involving Demand Generation.
Heidi Cerenzia: Yes.
Vincent: What was it like being at Demand Generation before was kind of cool, I would love to know that. Demand Generation is one of those big data, ABM, but you’ve been doing it for the past two or three roles, I’d love to understand about that.
Heidi Cerenzia: I’m definitely not a trendsetter. So, let’s start there. I think that if you think about marketing holistically, before Demand Gen was really taken seriously, I think we could say, I think that what people recognize, and I certainly have high regard for my marketing counterparts in corporate marketing, product marketing, and as a marketer, myself, demand Gen is also reliant on those other functions, right, from content to digital, etc. And so, what, what I experienced was, most of the marketers were really focused on like, brand and messaging and, how do we, what do we call ourselves and that sort of thing, right. And it really wasn’t until there was an awareness that, a lot of the activities in which, we mark was… not known that to be demand Gen yet. We’re like going to events, right, and how can we get people interested in our solution. And what I discovered at that time was, it was a great entry point into the conversations, but we need to be much more laser targeted, and I’ve had this analogy recently, which is Demand Gen to me is, very much like a flight pattern or flight path, which is… if you get on an outbound plane, if you think about outbound Demand generation, you choose your destination, where do we want to go? And I’m going there for a reason, and why am I going to that thing? Why am I going to that destination? Is because I want to reach someone there. And so, it’s actually been fun to be a part of Demand Gen… Vince, and I want to go back to your original question. It’s been fun, because, I’ve seen so much change, and I’ve seen it evolve beyond what I certainly expected it to. And now I can look back to see… and it’s so interesting, because I think it’s like a lot of things in life. Things are coming full circle, right? Because if you think about direct mail, it was the thing call it 10 years ago, or maybe even longer. And people were like, okay, that’s creepy, you’re just sending something to someone and expecting them to do something. I’m like, Well, sometimes you don’t expect them to do something when you send them something. But one of the things that we’ve adopted… Ajay, this is actually I think some of you asked a few minutes ago, we’ve actually adopted some like charitable donations and some other things like that for our prospects or customers, because either they can’t accept gifts, or they just want to be charitable. So, it’s nice to give them options. But it’s been fun. It’s been really fun. I’ve enjoyed the change. And it’s interesting to now, there is so much to keep up with. And we’re going to keep going back to the acronyms, right? There’s so many acronyms that get thrown in there, and it’s like the latest and greatest, and now we have to do this thing but… I’m sorry, I’m hoping I’m not getting too long- winded here. I just definitely… The other thing I think is really critical and I alluded to this earlier, data and metrics are critical. I can speak for myself and my team, right? I can’t speak for others. That that is a number one priority for us. Because at the end of the day, if you can’t measure back what you’re doing… I have the philosophy, if I can’t track it, I’m not doing it because, one, you need to see results. And two, you need to justify the spend, where they’re like, this didn’t result in anything, so let’s not do that, again.
Ajay Gupta: Heidi being data guys here, at Stirista, we’d love to dig a little bit deeper on that, what are some of the metrics that you’re monitoring on a day- to- day or month- to- month basis? And what’s some of the technology that you’re using to store and sort of process that data?
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure. So, how much time do we have? That’s a loaded question, I will try to be as abbreviated as possible. So, if I just think about a reverse funnel, Ajay, it’s really about what are our goals from a revenue standpoint? And how many opportunities do we need to generate to get there? What’s the average sales cycle and deal size? For us, we have different groups within sales, so you’re going after different enterprises versus mid- market, et cetera. So, but ultimately, if I look at it, kind of from the reverse funnel, that’s really how we build our plans. But I do look at, measurements around… and it actually depends on the channel too, right? So, if you have digital… if we’re doing LinkedIn paid posts, as an example, versus an email campaign that has a direct mail component, and it has ads associated with it, then you’re looking at kind of this true integrated campaign, then a webinar component. So, the reason I’m sharing that the measurement for different channels, we actually look at differently, right? So, you do obviously want to look at responses, and at the end of the day, it’s about conversions, and then meetings for sales. I mean, that is the ultimate measurement. But as we all know, right? That there’s a lot in between that. And then as far as the stack, we have, Marketo Salesforce and Tableau are the main we have our actually our homegrown system that has been used for our inbound model, which has been phenomenal. And so, when I joined a little bit less than a year ago, we created this Demand Gen outbound model to ensure that we’re properly tracking So, but I think, Ajay, if I could just kind of consolidate it, it would have to be around conversions of course. And conversion meaning someone who’s just more than a hand raiser, so we’re, obviously doing lead scoring and some of the practical things that you would do. And we take that seriously, right? Because and we have to trust that data because that really drives our plans. We need to dial up and down to determine what’s really working, and where we’re seeing the fastest conversions the fastest, into the sales stages. And so, we look at that end- to- end as Demand Gen, right? We’re not just at the top of the funnel, fluffy, like localized leads are generated, it’s really like, where they come from what they do, excuse me, what was a conversion? And then look at velocity, right? How long did it actually take from an MQL to a sales stage? And then, ultimately, revenue, so I’m looking at that end- to- end.
Ajay Gupta: Thanks, that was a great abbreviated answer. What’s been kind of… personally for you a shining moment in the last year or two?
Heidi Cerenzia: Wow. The one thing that just first popped into my head when you ask that Ajay is… so just to give you some context, as I mentioned, so I have upwards of 20 people on my team, and half of which I haven’t met in person, and I’ve hired post March. And without sounding overly cheesy here… but I’m going to give you my honest answer, there’s two really specific things that popped into my head. The first is that my team actually… we really care about one another, we care about each other’s well- being, we care about each other’s success. And as a leader, I believe it’s my responsibility to exude that. It all comes from the top, and I’m not saying I’m on the top, I’m just saying it kind of figuratively, and I think that as a leader, or as leaders, it’s our responsibility to set the tone and set the stage for how we want our teams to behave, and how we want our teams to produce. So, I’m just getting some very positive feedback from my team members, around their enjoyment and excitement about being holistically on this team, has been very rewarding. And then the second piece of that is, it’s seeing progress… so I have a philosophy of everyone wants to jump to celebrate success, which I think is critical, right? We have to celebrate success, because otherwise, why are we here? I think you have to take pause and go one ahead of that and celebrate progress too. Because again, it’s an evolution, and in order to have success, you have to have progress first. And so, I think we kind of lose sight of that. So, it’s not like a premature celebration of success. It’s more around, wow, look at the strides that we’ve taken, look at the tests that we’ve done as a team looking at the… again, fortunately, with our product, look at the collaboration we’ve been able to do with Wrike, to enable us to actually have that cohesiveness. And so, it’s been really an awesome, awesome year. And I know not many people have said that, probably, but it has been an awesome year, just from professionally and personally, in my interactions with my team, it’s been very rewarding.
Vincent: Heidi, what I love about you is I’m hearing your philosophies, right? There’s different philosophies that you have on different aspects of work, I’d love to learn more about some of the philosophies that kind of guide you as a marketer?
Heidi Cerenzia: I hope this is going to answer your question, if I’m going to doubt down a path, just please-
Vincent: I could get in too philosophical, don’t worry. Keep going.
Heidi Cerenzia: …I don’t call it interrupt, I call it interlude. So, feel free to interlude along the way. So as a marketer, again, I take very seriously the results that we actually need to generate, and the demand, right? But philosophically, how do we do that? It’s understanding when to say, no, it’s understanding when to say, well, we tested it, but it didn’t work. Well, how long… do we have proper follow up? Do we actually give it enough time to test because after two weeks, and you claim defeat, that may not be the best duration. I surround myself with people who I, mentors, people who I very much respect, and I educate myself on latest and greatest. I actually think also, if I think about just my team, it’s always about the Why? Like why are we even doing this? And I think that people feel more empowered when they actually understand the outcome you’re trying to achieve. And again, not to be cliche, but if there are two paths, right? Because I would go down path A, but my team member goes down path B, that doesn’t mean that one is right, and one is wrong. There’s two different paths and if one of them didn’t work, let’s try the other one. But you have to empower and enable your team to be successful. And what I mean by that is, you can have success and failure as well, meaning you could try something if it didn’t work, let’s take a risk if the… but let’s also say, here’s the time in which we’re going to do this, if it didn’t work, because this is what we expected to get out of it. What was the expected outcome, if we didn’t get that, let’s shift gears and do something different. It’s very important to me that I do collaborate with my team, I do collaborate with other teams, not just my own. And so, I think that ensuring that, I’m going down a path of positivity, a path of encouragement. I don’t expect my team to be perfect, therefore, otherwise, I’d have to be perfect and I can’t live up to that, right? So, it’s really a matter of ensuring that, I’m educating myself, I’m over communicating. I have two fundamental philosophies on my team, if I could just narrow it all down. I won’t swear, but I will allude to it. The first is no surprises. Meaning, if we’re going to be behind on… if we’re delayed on a project, or if you think we’re going to be going over budget, just communicate before it happens, so we’re not scrambling after, right? And the second thing is, don’t be a jerk. Let’s respect one another, right? I literally have a no jerk policy. So, if you want drama, you’re on the wrong team. And I just don’t have any patience for that, no one deserves that treatment, and I won’t put up with it.
Vincent: I liked that. I liked those philosophies there. And Heidi, I was actually drilling down some of your past positions there. Again, we talked about Demand Generation, but what drew you to just B2B? It seems like most of the roles there B2B?
Heidi Cerenzia: Yeah.
Vincent: As well, you’ve been in technology.
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure.
Vincent: Leadership roles and technology B2B, talk to me about kind of what drew you to technology and B2B.
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure. Well, I think living in the Bay Area. I mean, I actually went to the same high school that Steve Jobs went to. He was quite a bit older, but and back and that… it wasn’t a thing like it is now, right? And so, I live a mile from Google and, two miles from… I can name all the companies, right? So, I think just being immersed in it is just and being, literally a stone’s throw away… Sorry, hard for me to say that, I think just by nature of that, I just kind of fell into it, candidly. And that’s what’s predominant here in the area. From a B2B perspective though, as I was experiencing success in particular areas, I wanted to also make sure that I’m… as my career is evolving, and as my knowledge is evolving, that, I’m evolving with it. And so, as you mentioned, I came pretty predominant from cybersecurity and had a passion for that, but when this opportunity with Wrike came up, it was just, it felt like just the perfect fit for me. I’ve just not experienced a whole lot of B2B… excuse me, B2C, and so I think… I mean, part of it early on, maybe it was just a comfort zone to be candid, because it was what I knew. And then, as I learn more about it, as the tech stack became more and more predominant, with ABM, we’ve just adopted Sendoso. And so, it allows me to take the knowledge that I’ve had… Now here’s the one thing I would say When someone has a strong marketer, you can market B2B, B2C, B2D, that’s business to dev but he’s in the background. And so, in all seriousness, I think that it’s definitely a different way of marketing, and one in which I just haven’t really adopted candidly. I would be open to it but, I feel like I wanted to also stay where I knew I had a good knowledge base and where I was strong/
Ajay Gupta: And Heidi, one of our staple questions that we ask every guest. So, I’m sure with your title, you attract a lot of messages on LinkedIn, mostly unsolicited. So, what are some messages that gets you to respond? And what are some that really drives you crazy?
Heidi Cerenzia: So first of all… well, I don’t want to start with a negative. So, what gets me to respond is when someone recognizes something specific, or communicate something specific about me and my role in my company. So, there’s nothing worse than something that’s so obviously cut and pasted. And they just find and replace with Heidi, right? I think that when a message is sent around business value, how your… fill in the blank, your company, your solution could benefit, my role, or my team in Demand Generation, that to me, is what’s really impactful. Stats are important. So, I’m going to couple this with your second part of your question, which is, when people make assumptions, it’s really off- putting, right? So, meaning it or they do comparisons of companies where they say, well, we market or we’ve helped companies like X, Y, and Z, very similar to Wrike. And my response is, none of those companies are anything like Wrike. And I’ve gotten something recently, more than once, where they would say hey, Heidi, being the VP of Demand Gen, at company, that’s not Wrike, it’s my former company. Come on, do some research before, because it’s just so obvious that they’re… look, I manage an MDR team. So, I have a certain level of empathy for thee, so I think my patience, even when I get calls, I try to be a little bit more understanding, because I know the grind of that team goes through and they’re busting their tails. Right? But I do respond. I think Vince and that’s how we met, perhaps I think was a LinkedIn message. And because it was something that I found interesting, and so the other thing is, what I actually do not accept LinkedIn… it’s not a friend request, an actual request, that’s Facebook, if I don’t know you. And I actually ignore them. I’ll read a message an in- mail, But I won’t accept a request.
Ajay Gupta: It’s become a real problem. I think I have about 300 unaccepted things, but… and I’m sure some of them are legit. But-
Heidi Cerenzia: Sure.
Ajay Gupta: …it’s just so hard to go through and figure out which ones are real.
Heidi Cerenzia: That’s right. But I think there’s also a responsibility just professionally, to be professional and be respectful. Right? So, I try to say, hey, sounds interesting, or I’m not interested. And then I explain why. Because but when I have hundreds, it’s very difficult to do that. But I definitely… but again, capture the audience, tell me one thing in one or two bullets or in your entry or your intro, that is going to capture my attention. Because we’re competing with so many other companies, or you’re competing with other companies that you just lose… people just start ignoring, and you have to have something as more impactful.
Vincent: No, I agree. And I like that. And I’m the same way Heidi, where if someone… I’ll get back to them and say, ” No, I’m not interested. And then let’s leave it there.” Well, what do you mean, but, come on, Dave. Come on, man. You don’t know me like that Dave.
Heidi Cerenzia: That’s why-
Heidi Cerenzia: You haven’t built that… we don’t have a relationship. I’m not your friend. Don’t call me, well, hey, man, or hey, dude, or… I’m not a surfer? Well, I tried, but I’m not very good. When you try to be too friendly… I know. It sounds strange but now you’re just trying too hard. And I think you need to be genuine actually. That is the bottom line is you have to be genuine.
Vincent: No, I agree. I know. That’s why I always tell people like what you see with me is what you get that is, I’m like this 24 hours a day. And if you don’t like it, well, it’s fine. There’s other people who like me. But don’t say hey, hey… Ajay’s laughing. It’s like you know me for 10 years. Is this me all the time. Ajay?
Ajay Gupta: That is actually true. That is-
Ajay Gupta: …crosstalk.
Heidi Cerenzia: I believe that.
Vincent: It is 100%. It is like no, that’s fake. No, it’s 100% real. It’s me my whole life. As we’re wrapping up here, Heidi. What do you do for fun? You said you tried surfing? You’ve got the dog there. Walk me through. What do you like to do for fun? What you like binge watching stuff?
Heidi Cerenzia: I love to cook. And I cooked dinner. I mean, I’m home all day, every day, I think like most people right now, but I still cook dinner almost every single night. I actually, I’m a pescatarian. So, I’ve learned new, different… Frutti di Mare is perfect, right?
Vincent: It’s good.
Heidi Cerenzia: So, I really love to travel and look forward to being able to do that again one day. And I have to say my newest obsession is peloton. Well, I’ve always been active and not being able to go to the gym… at least in California a lot of things were closed and then open. Unfortunately, being in California, we can be outside and hike pretty much year- round, right? So, I’m very fortunate with that. But there is something to be said about being able to wake up at 6:00 to 6: 30 and do a rollout and just jump on the bike. And so, it’s actually been really good for me it really enables me to kind of ground myself and I think it’s, I know you said for fun, and I enjoy it. I think it’s actually fun and it’s just a good relief, stress relief. So, cooking hanging out with a dog. In light of everything going on, I definitely feel incredibly fortunate for what I do have.
Vincent: That’s amazing. Heidi, thank you so much for sharing your time with us, sharing your role and the capabilities of Wrike, ladies and gentlemen, that is Heidi Cerenzia. Check out Wrike.com, W- R- I- K- E that is Heidi, the VP of Demand Generation at Wrike. I am Vincent Pietrafesa. That is Ajay Gupta. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir, the final recorded episode of 2020. We appreciate you listening. Happy Holidays everyone. Thank you so much. Have a great day.
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