Luanne Tierney is a marketing technology executive who has held senior marketing positions at Cisco, Juniper Networks and Proofpoint. Now, as CMO of Betterworks, she’s had to build her team remotely, re-strategize her department’s priorities during COVID-19 and navigate the rapidly changing landscape.

In this Catalyst interview, Luanne shares advice on building a cohesive team of marketers, tactics to strengthen relationships and communicate marketing’s impact throughout an organization, and the trends she thinks are here to stay, especially Business-to-Human marketing.  

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3 Key Points:

1. Hiring has changed forever (and that’s a good thing). Now that marketing teams are working remotely, leaders need to be more intentional with the interview process and the questions they ask to get to know prospective employees. The key, she says, is remembering the human behind the screen and focusing on their authentic work style to see if it aligns with the organization’s.

2. Strategies will continue to change in the short-term. The B2B world needed to make major shifts in the wake of COVID-19, so it makes sense companies shifted into a more agile mode. Marketing leaders should have a strong vision for their three-year vision and be open to updating strategies monthly as needed. All hands meetings and weekly check-ins are more important than ever to keep teams connected and aligned.

3. B2C and B2B are blending into something brand new. Tierney says B2H – Business to Human – transcends trends from the consumer side and the business side, and is grounded in authentic stories and people connecting on a human level. To make connections that last, organizations need to demonstrate empathy throughout the buyer’s journey.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

1:40 – What was it like starting a CMO role during COVID-19?

3:30 – What advice do you have for CMOs hiring remote teams?

6:16 – As a remote CMO, how did you quickly learn Betterworks go-to-market strategy?

11:30 – How has your approach to strategy changed with COVID-19?

14:00 – How can marketers better communicate what they’re doing?

19:30 – How does being a CMO change your view of what’s possible within an organization?

23:50 – How do you fill the gap left from in person events?

27:40 – What trends do you see ahead for 2021?

30:05 – How do you prioritize the right stories and operationalize them?

35:35 – How do you educate the C-suite on investing in a brand?

43:42 – Wrap-Up: Find Luanne on LinkedIn.

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Full Transcript

Andrea:

Hi, welcome to The Catalyst Podcast. I am your host for this episode, Andrea Lechner-Becker, CMO of LeadMD and I am joined today by Luanne, which I always butcher people’s last name, pronunciation. I figure instead of doing that thing, where you’re like, “Hey, how do you pronounce your name?” I’m just going to let you do it and give your whole spiel so that the audience knows who we’re talking to today. Give us your spiel.

Luanne Tierney:

Sounds good. Thanks, Andrea. I’m Luanne Tierney. That’s not that difficult to say. I’m the Chief Marketing Officer of Betterworks. We’re a strategy, execution, software company. We enable companies to manage their businesses better.

Andrea:

Easy enough. This whole podcast is called Catalyst. I like to just start by definitions, right? What is a catalyst to you?

Luanne Tierney:

A catalyst to me is all about change and the impetus for change. I know, I mean, we’re doing this right at the beginning of the year. You’re seeing all these people post on resolutions and what are they going to change? It’s about new intentions.

Andrea:

I love that. Speaking of new, you were hired as the CMO for Betterworks during COVID, which was new. Talk to me a little bit about that experience.

Luanne Tierney:

Well, that was an interesting experience. I did join in April, in the throes of the beginning of COVID. The only person I’ve ever met in person was the CEO, Doug Dennerline and everyone else I’ve met virtually. What was so interesting about the experiences, you had to build a relationship over Zoom, over video, the team embraced me really quickly. I noticed things that I thought were really cute was, “Okay, are you on a peloton? What are your interests?” They tried to get the personal aspect in fast so that you had common connections.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. When you talk about trust, did you have trust of… Did you come in with an incumbent team in marketing?

Luanne Tierney:

I did. I had a team, an incumbent team that they had to meet who their new boss and then I also brought in some new folks as well, who I had never met. These were people that had worked for me previously. I had to not only join Betterworks as a remote leader, but also hire people remotely that I had never met in person and had to interview them, onboard them, give them direction all via remote, not sitting across the table.

Andrea:

We like our tips and tricks here. What tips and tricks do you have for other marketing leaders doing that same thing? What did you learn?

Luanne Tierney:

I would say, first of all, get personal. Find out what their interests are because you are sitting in someone’s living room, family room, kitchen. You do get personal a lot faster, remote versus being more formal, being dressed up, you’d sit across the table in the past. I would ask, “What’s your life like? Asking them more personal questions upfront, and then going to the work, “How has COVID impacted you in your work style? What keeps you up at night, not only personally, but professionally? How can you think about new ways to engage customers remotely?” You had to change the conversation and make it about what’s happening today and how you would drive new behaviors in the new work world that we’re all living in.

Andrea:

Yeah. How do you… Do you have any tips for hiring during that process? How do you get a real feel for the things that would have typically been happening interpersonally, right? There’s always those tips and tricks like, I remember one interview tip was like to give someone a glass of water to see if they offer it to take it back to the kitchen or if they just leave it on the table, or like all of those kinds of things that might have been in your bag of tricks for the in-person interview? Did you replace them with something? Do you have any good ones for us?

Luanne Tierney:

I was just, well, how do you handle difficult situations? How do you think about new ideas during stressful times? Now that we’re living in, you’re always on whether it’s Slack and computers, how do you make time to think of new ideas? Asking different types of questions, you’re having to see how people will respond to that because people had to think about their work and how they would create new motions at work in a new setting, which is usually sitting in front of their computer versus across the table or at an event.

Andrea:

Yeah, and innovation is certainly a good characteristic to hire when you’re hiring marketers. Let me pivot for a second to trust within the C-suite. You come in in April, I assume Betterworks had some sort of strategy that was in-person sales-focused at some point. How do you get your hands around, not only being new to a company, but potentially a go-to market that is shifting rapidly as this new normal transpires? Talk to me a little bit about what that experience was like?

Luanne Tierney:

Okay, two things. Our CEO, Doug Dennerline and our Head of Sales, Shep Maher, one of the things that our platform does is it enables company people, leaders like Shep and Doug, to articulate their strategy, right? You didn’t have to wait for a meeting, a sales kickoff, or a company all hands, it was through our software platform. Through the Betterworks platform, you knew what the goals were and you also knew who was contributing to those goals.

Luanne Tierney:

It was a platform that enabled communication, collaboration right away. We were, I was lucky enough to go, “Oh, we’re eating our own dog food,” which I hate that expression but we really were like, “Oh, I could go into this tool that would let me see in the past.” Now, what’s the vision? What’s the strategy? Who are the different people in the organization? I didn’t have to wait for a kickoff meeting for that.

Andrea:

Yeah, that’s amazing. Did it immediately make sense to you where you slotted in or did that still take some time to get a feel for?

Luanne Tierney:

Well, you can’t accomplish anything without some conversation, right? You have a tool that articulates the vision and the strategy and the sales goals, but then you need to get on a Zoom call, get on a phone call, and have that conversation asking about why the vision, what’s behind it, and getting, building that relationship and hearing the nuances around those goals. I mean, it’s like anything, you need to have a two-way conversation and you need to make the time to do that.

Luanne Tierney:

I would say that was even more important. You couldn’t wait to go to an event and go, “Well, I’ll catch up with them over a cup of coffee or a drink.” You had to initiate those meetings and have those conversations pretty quickly so you can get the big picture.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. If you were to categorize kind of your first 90 days, did you intentionally have that first 30 I need to prioritize my relationships or did it kind of just happen organically?

Luanne Tierney:

Well, I’ve always had this strategy wherever I’ve joined at companies. One, it’s about listening and not feeling like I know everything but getting out there talking to… I’m a marketer that is, I view the sales team as my clients. I’m out there talking. I reach out to every salesperson. What are you hearing from your customers? What works? What doesn’t? What did you love that marketing did in the past? What would you like more of?

Luanne Tierney:

By the way, this Andrea, everyone has an opinion about marketing. I would just listen and take notes and ask questions and take notes. Then, at the end of those 30 days, I had kind of a good picture of what was going on and where did they need help? What do they want us to continue to amplify? What could we do differently?

Andrea:

Then, how do you prioritize from there?

Luanne Tierney:

Well, it goes back to the Betterworks platform and the strategy. I mean, this is where leaders stand out, when you have a clear vision, then you know what to prioritize versus if you’re trying to guess, “Oh, I wonder what my boss wants,” or “I wonder what the head of sales wants?” You know pretty clearly what they need and then your experience package is up, “Hey, I’ve done this in the past and I’ve done this. I can build a connected marketing sales and marketing engine to accelerate growth.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. I mean, I didn’t know this was going to tie so wonderfully to your product, but I’m very happy that it is.

Luanne Tierney:

It’s my first time ever working with a product like that. My background was not in this space at all. I have a long CMO tenure. I’ve been in the cybersecurity and networking software as a service, but never in this product before. It’s been eye opening for me because I’ve learned, wow, this really does keep everyone connected. Now, more than ever, that’s what we need.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. We’re talking a lot about catalyst moments. I think COVID has presented, obviously, so many challenges, but also a lot of opportunities. From your perspective, being a CMO, what’s your take on that, right? How do you kind of look at all of the options and opportunities for growth and different paths that this pandemic has created for the market as a whole and how to prioritize?

Andrea:

Is that now a conversation where your CEO and your sales leadership and whoever else is kind of getting together and you know, it’s a New Year? Are you guys all planning for that in the same way that you did annually in other previous places or have you seen that kind of shift to a quarterly plan or just kind of like, we’re going to try a bunch of things and see what works and do more of that? What’s your strategy there?

Luanne Tierney:

Our strategy hasn’t changed. When you have a clear vision, it’s not like you start the new year and go, “Oh, we’re switching to this.” The good thing about strong leaders is they have a vision and it’s not a six-month vision, it’s not a one-month vision, it’s a three-year vision. We’re working towards that constantly and updating it versus going, “Oh, here’s our vision this month and next month, our strategy is this.” One, having a clear, I would say long term vision, and then updating it with the strategies and then continuing to message around that to the company. We have a company check in on a monthly basis. We have an all hands on a monthly basis. Then, we have weekly check-ins. The people are constantly being communicated to and with.

Luanne Tierney:

I see this whole pandemic has really forced communications at the highest level. In the past, you waited for a big meeting. Now, it’s like you need to be in the flow of work constantly communicating and not waiting for an event to understand what the strategy is. It’s constant communication. I don’t know. Did that answer your question, because I would say, we’re not coming up with a new strategy this year. We’re staying on track with our previous strategy and continuing to make sure we align and execute against that.

Andrea:

I loved what you said there about the internal communication and how important it is. I see a lot of marketing leaders actually kind of skirt that a little bit. They’re doing all of this great work out in the marketplace. They see themselves as brand ambassadors, but then the internal communication of that can sometimes get lost. Can you tell me a little bit about your just approach to that or how you think about your internal communication of like, what is marketing doing?

Luanne Tierney:

Within the first week or second week on the job, I sent out an email to the entire company, and I call it, News You Can Use. What’s top of mind? What was I working on? What did I learn? Here were all the activities that we planned to do because what I’ve learned as a marketer, not only do you execute, but you need to tell the team over and over what you’re doing.

Luanne Tierney:

Every Sunday night, I send an email called, News You Could Use marketing and the date. When they wake up, in their inbox, they know what marketing is working on. As the email has continued to grow, I’ll highlight, “Oh, we’re in the press,” or “Here’s something that we’re fixing.” The team has really appreciated the transparency, not just over Zoom but written transparency. I’m really honest in those messages about what’s working? What’s not? What are we fixing? What are our goals? How are we hustling to help the company grow?

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. Let’s talk tactically. What is working this year do you see in marketing?

Luanne Tierney:

Authentic content for sure, our blogs, our PR approach, our perspectives, helping our employees write their blog. A lot of our sales team and our customer success team has had great situations that they want to talk about working with customers, lessons learned. We’ve helped them kind of put that on paper or on email, and then write it up and put it in a blog so that you get a sense of the Betterworks employees.

Luanne Tierney:

Our customer SAT scores are through the roof. Our customers every day are saying how much they appreciate them because we handhold them through the process once they buy our solution. We don’t just say, “See you.” We help them. We train the employees. We do a lot for them. It’s super rewarding to hear from them but also kind of write down why that worked and what they learned from that.

Luanne Tierney:

We have a big diversity and inclusion effort at Betterworks and having people write their stories and their challenges around that has been and we posted those out on LinkedIn and out in our blog and stuff and you get a real sense of Betterworks as a result of that because, typically, people buy from people and when you feel like you know that company and feel connected to their authentic stories, you are more excited about or you feel more trusting of that company, right?

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that and what’s not working?

Luanne Tierney:

What’s not… What is not working? Hmm. Well, you guys, I have to do a shout out to LeadMD. We switched from Pardot to Marketo and man was that tough. Thank you to the LeadMD folks because you came in, we didn’t have these huge resources that many marketing teams have in their organization, making sure, because it’s so technical whether you’ve got codes and HTML codes and a lot of data behind everything, everything is connected.

Luanne Tierney:

We had some challenges with that transition. The LeadMD team came in and acted and rolled up their sleeves and helped us with the process. Huge shout out. I know you weren’t looking for that but I want to just say thank you.

Andrea:

Wow, I will never turn it down. We love helping. You have a consulting business, don’t you?

Luanne Tierney:

No.

Andrea:

Not anymore? But I saw it on LinkedIn?

Luanne Tierney:

I was previously a consultant. I had taken years off and was a consultant, a marketing advisor. Then, I joined Betterworks. You can’t have both. That’d be-

Andrea:

No.

Luanne Tierney:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andrea:

I hear you. Well, my question around it is, I had this really interesting experience because I was a consultant at LeadMD for seven years and I ran the consultants and I was used to saying, “Why don’t you do this to my clients? Why aren’t you doing this?” You need to do this thing. Then, I became CMO and I was like, “Oh, that’s why they don’t do it.” I guess, like, time and money and priorities, right? Did you have a similar experience coming into being a CMO at Betterworks from telling everybody what they should be doing or not so much?

Luanne Tierney:

Once you get inside a company, you then understand. It’s so easy from the outside to go, “Oh, you should do that.” Then, when you get in and you go, “Oh, this is why, right? This is why you can implement that,” but one thing I would say, Andrea, like your background as being a consultant, it’s good to think outside in, because sometimes when you get into the business, you’re in the business and what consultants often do is have you think about the business versus just execution. You want to keep that mindset of if I didn’t know everything that was going on inside, what would I do differently?

Luanne Tierney:

I ask myself that. What is the big ideas, what could we be doing differently and trying not to make it personal like a critique on myself but how could I be a better CMO? What could I be doing differently? Those are questions you should be asking yourself and not taking it personally.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that advice a lot because I agree, right? When you’re not all bogged down by the reasons not to do something, it’s sort of easy to imagine but hard to pull yourself out to the forest level when you’re in the trees, as the analogy goes. All right, so then, let’s get back into a little bit about hiring a team. You came in, how big was the team that you came into?

Luanne Tierney:

Six people, small. We had all the virtual events, comms, operations, website design. A small modern marketing team is a product marketing, having all the disciplines but the one person owned that entire discipline.

Andrea:

Yeah. How did you kind of assess where you needed to fill gaps and whether those team members were living up to expectations, if you had to change job descriptions? Where do you even get started with a job like that?

Luanne Tierney:

You go back to anything you need to meet with your team members and you need to ask questions. What are you doing? How do you like what you are doing? Are you aware of some of the trends in the industry? How are you adopting those trends? Do you feel empowered to apply those trends into your business?

Luanne Tierney:

For example, a community manager, one of the hottest trends right now is virtual communities, Slack communities. Can you build that? Do you know how to do that? Asking those questions, do you need a mentor? Then, you get a sense by meeting with them what their willingness is to take on new challenges and I think attitude is everything when you’re hiring or coming into a role just making sure you get a sense of who they are and what they like doing, and that they’re in a role that they can play to their strengths.

Andrea:

I love that. Sort of related, headcount as part of budget, you come in to a budget, first of all, did it go up, down or stay the same when COVID happened?

Luanne Tierney:

I think we shifted money. We shifted money around some foundational, analytical-type things to making sure we were doing the right things. Then, we also shifted money to going, should we be spending money on this? This is not the best use of our funds. COVID forced us to tighten our belt and look at where to spend our money and we’re not to.

Andrea:

If there’s a disagreement, and this doesn’t necessarily have to be about Betterworks because we don’t want to put you on the spot, the specific CEO, but obviously, you have a long history as a professional marketer. If you really believe in something, you want to spend 100,000, a million dollars on something and you just can’t or there’s a disagreement, let’s say you can’t convince them, not necessarily but…

Luanne Tierney:

Well, no.

Andrea:

… what’s your approach to this very typical issue that a lot of people ran into in COVID where they, I know a lot of CMOs that very, very dearly believed that moving their in-person spend for events to digital was the right move and they got their budget either cut in half or removed entirely from that line item. What do you do in situations like that?

Luanne Tierney:

A great thing is, when I joined, I noticed we did not have an AI chatbot. We deployed Drift but I made sure, I did the research around the tools, what companies were doing. When I went to my CFO and my CEO and the head of sales, because you need to get all of them to support the marketing decisions, I said to them, “I think we need to deploy this service and here’s why,” and gave them the argument and the company, they made the decision to invest in that.

Luanne Tierney:

It was the right thing because I had the data behind it and I’ve done a nice job and not me, but the team has done a nice job of proving the ROI of that tool. You can’t just prove an ROI overnight but making sure I message constantly, thank you for the investment and here’s what the return has been. We’re consistently seeing the return.

Andrea:

Do you have any horror stories, maybe they’re not even yours, but from clients previously about the bad expectation setting?

Luanne Tierney:

Nowadays, you can’t BS things unless you have… You need data. You just need data. You need to say, “We’re doing this and here’s why,” and then we’re going to evaluate over time. Because we’re living in such a data-driven world, you found out pretty fast if it’s not working and you need to go, “Okay, hey, have we given it enough time? Should our messaging be different?” There might be some other reasons why something you invested in didn’t pan out.

Andrea:

And, oh.

Luanne Tierney:

We switched, likle many CMOs, we went from in-person events to virtual events. In December, we had a goal summit that had an incredible turnout. We on-boarded a new virtual platform that the company had never used before and we’re tracking the results of that and it’s been incredibly successful.

Luanne Tierney:

One thing is everyone said, “No, you would not have a good turnout for an event in early December,” and we blew the doors off of it. You just have to sometimes go with gut intuition and sometimes data and the other part is good messaging, always.

Andrea:

I love that. You kind of mentioned the importance of keeping your thumb on the pulse of trends, right? You expect that from your team and hold yourself to the same sort of standard. Let’s talk a little bit about what trends you see, what you saw in 2020, or what you think is going to be really big for you and your team or the market in general in 2021?

Luanne Tierney:

I would say there’s… I’ve been looking at about eight trends. The first one is better stories means better campaigns. People are looking at authentic stories, bar none. That’s what you connect with. The trend last year and the year before was influencer marketing where I see things going from B to C to B2B is here to stay. Influencer marketing, using influencers to tell the story of your brand will stay.

Luanne Tierney:

One thing that I think is going to be quite challenging is the inside sales role is going to become more challenging for inside sales teams, because now everyone’s living their life digitally connected. Your LinkedIn is just, I don’t know about yours, but mine is just blowing up every day, so how do they break through to get an opportunity is going to be tougher.

Luanne Tierney:

Another one is around, everyone’s been saying B2C and B2B are blending. I call it business to human that is here to stay. People are… This goes back to stories, authentic campaigns, people are connecting with people on a human level and the techniques that somebody might have been running on the consumer side now applies to the business side.

Luanne Tierney:

Another trend I see that we saw last year, but now it’s going to accelerate, is brands demonstrating empathy throughout the journey. No longer is it like, “Hey, I hope everyone is safe,” and kind of that, yeah, healthy, happy, but really, really connecting, telling stories that show empathy throughout a buyer’s journey. I think that’s going to, you’ll see that really take off in 2021. Then-

Andrea:

I have a question around that, actually tied to the whole storytelling concept, right? How do you find and prioritize the right stories? You were kind of mentioning earlier that you have sellers and customer success folks that have really great stories, how do you kind of like get them out and operationalize them to some degree?

Luanne Tierney:

How do you get those stories out is you communicate to your team how important… You’re looking for stories and stories could be written. They could be in video. We’re seeing a huge increase in video stories because we interview our customers over a Zoom and then record it. Then, kind of edit it down just like what you’re doing now.

Luanne Tierney:

People are wanting to tell authentic stories. They don’t have to be in a video studio in the past, a TV studio. You’re seeing people are comfortable telling this story from their house or from a work environment that they’re comfortable with. I remind my sales team every week, part of my News You Can Use, “Hey, guys, I’m looking for more stories,” will help you. A lot of them are afraid of how much effort it’ll take. I’m like, “Just give me a tidbit and I’ll write it out. We’ll meet with the customer. We’ll write up the questions. We’ll do the heavy lifting. Just send me the nugget of the story.”

Andrea:

I love that tip a lot because that’s the same thing that I find is that people seem, like they kind of want to tell the story but they don’t really want to do all the work around it. Then, a lot of times even I find that people don’t want to ask the customer themselves. They kind of put a blocker up before even getting that far. I love that type of dress. Tell me a little bit and I will go do the heavy lifting for you because I think it’s a big blocker.

Luanne Tierney:

Well, what we’re seeing from our customers is when we get them on video is we say, “We’ll do all that,” like you said, all the heavy lifting. Here are the questions, but it’s totally an informal interview so that you don’t have to prepare.

Luanne Tierney:

Then they’re saying, “Oh, okay, this is not going to be ours on my schedule.” It’s a 20-minute interview and we prep them in advance. The more you can do the heavy lifting for the sales, the customer, the engineer, the easier it is to pull those stories out.

Andrea:

I like that visual, pull.

Luanne Tierney:

There’s, I would say, one, two, three, four more trends. One, fostering the human connection through systems. Because we’re spending so much time on our computers, we’ve got to figure out ways to have human connection. Zoom has done a great job. The Betterworks platform is doing some of those things as well, giving people nudges for their works or high fiving virtually.

Luanne Tierney:

Betterworks has a whole recognition platform, solution in their platform that allows that and we did a really fun campaign during Thanksgiving about thanks, giving shout outs and recognition through the system. People felt so good when they left for the Thanksgiving holiday because you’d had at least three to five recognitions from your colleagues in the company. We noticed that quite a bit.

Luanne Tierney:

There’s three more, so distracted and disconnected customers will require more attention. People have a lot more pressure. They’re having situations in their home life. They’re having to helping their kids with homework. You have elder parents. It’s going to… I see a big effort from companies that are going to have to come up with clever ways to give customers the attention that they need.

Luanne Tierney:

Then, the last two that I have is virtual communities will continue to grow. We’ve chatted briefly about Slack but I think people are looking for ways to stay connected. I belong to a marketing community on Slack and I love it. I get ideas. I reach out to my community for best practices and I can see that will continue to grow and you trust that community.

Luanne Tierney:

Then, the last one is the whole privacy laws for B2B are getting stricter. You’re going to see more and more what was happening in the B2C world. You’ll see that growing on the B2B world and will be impacted by that with some of the new cookies, laws, things like that. We’re going to have to get a little more clever and people are going to have to connect with us in an authentic… They’re going to connect with companies that they trust.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. We talked a little bit about a lot about trust, a lot about metrics, improving the spend based on metrics, so my question for you is, how do you measure brands or how do you educate other C-level executives about the importance of investing in brand because a lot of these tactics that you’re talking about, I hundred percent agree, right? Stories are important, creating trust in the marketplace is important, hard to prove through our metrics. What are you doing there or how do you facilitate those conversations?

Luanne Tierney:

One is how I measure brands is through share of what… You could run a Share of Voice report, how you’re being talked about in the news, with your blogs, your social reach, that’s one way. Then, the other is sales, of course. Sales, sales, sales, I mean, marketers are here to grow the business. We always look at it in terms of sales. Then, also what our customer satisfaction scores are. How we’re helping. It’s kind of trifold, it’s Share of Voice, it’s sales, and then what your customers are saying about you.

Andrea:

Yeah, I love that. We’re going to switch gears a little bit here as we’re coming to a close. Talk to me about catalysts throughout your career. When you think of big catalysts, who are they? What did they do?

Luanne Tierney:

Catalyst?

Andrea:

They impact you.

Luanne Tierney:

Catalyst throughout my career… One of my first, I would say, probably one of my bosses, Chuck Robbins, who’s now the CEO of Cisco, he was a huge supporter of mine, and I always would come to him with ideas. I knew he was open to those ideas. He wanted true, honest, honesty from me, and he loved that I would come to him and say, “Hey, I have an idea. Hear me out,” and he would be like, “Okay,” and also the other thing he did that I’ve learned in my career was I never penalized people for making mistakes because you want… Marketing, there’s that element of risk taking and if you’re not taking some risks and trying new marketing techniques or programs, you’re going to fail.

Luanne Tierney:

Some things don’t work but you’ve got to create this risk-taking mindset. He always said, “I’ll back you. If you make a mistake once, I totally support that. You make it twice, then we’ll have to have a little talk.” He’s like, “I want that risk taker.” I knew that was super important. I’ve always tried to create it from for my team.

Luanne Tierney:

One thing I do with my team is we would openly talk about our mistakes. “Hey, what did you try and what didn’t work and what did you learn from it?” That kind of creates a very open culture and an open mindset of learning, failing kind of quickly, and then getting back on your feet and going, “Okay, what I learned from that or what would I do differently from that and that really does start from the top, that open mindset about risk taking, and learning from each other and not feeling penalized for trying something.

Andrea:

I totally agree. Nobody knows what’s going to work in marketing.

Luanne Tierney:

Yes.

Andrea:

Every great idea I’ve ever had, has been less successful than the one that I was like, “I don’t know, let’s try this thing,” and people love it. I’m like.

Luanne Tierney:

Right. You have to try. You have to try new things and not everything is going to be successful.

Andrea:

Yeah, 100%. All right. Well, now it’s time for the grab bag questions. Are you ready? Totally unrelated to well, kind of unrelated anyways. Where do you go for news and information?

Luanne Tierney:

Right now? I’ve been going to, well, two ways, LinkedIn for kind of business; podcasts. I love podcasts and I’ve got a whole list of them. I also like this new publication I’m reading it’s called 1440, which is unbiased news. That’s a great… Those are my three sources.

Andrea:

I love that, very succinct. What is your guilty pleasure?

Luanne Tierney:

Oh, my guilty pleasure. I do like wine. I’m on a wine board. I love good wine. That’s all I can tell you. After a great workout, a nice glass of wine with a wonderful dinner that I don’t cook, is a great guilty pleasure.

Andrea:

What kind of wine?

Luanne Tierney:

Red, red wine.

Andrea:

All right. Any varietals specifically that you’re into lately?

Luanne Tierney:

I really like the Pine Ridge wines.

Andrea:

Okay. All right, good. I’m a Zinfandel person myself, if anybody who’s… I like to give people something very specific to go by me. If they’re going to bribe me for a meeting, I like to just be really specific. I’m a Zinfandel person.

Luanne Tierney:

You love Zinfandel.

Andrea:

Yeah. All right. Then, what would you change about yourself if you could?

Luanne Tierney:

What would I change about myself if I could? I wish I could have a photographic memory.

Andrea:

That would be amazing.

Luanne Tierney:

It would be so helpful.

Andrea:

Yeah, ditto. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

Luanne Tierney:

Oh, the worst job I ever had. All my jobs have been pretty interesting. I don’t know. We’ll have to skip that one. I don’t know if it’s that exciting.

Andrea:

You’ve had great jobs?

Luanne Tierney:

I’m trying to think of years ago. I’ll tell you one of my most interesting jobs was I was on a yacht. Now, that was fun but I didn’t like the grocery aspect of it all, planning for all these meals.

Andrea:

Oh, my gosh! You must be a wonderful chef then?

Luanne Tierney:

No.

Andrea:

Not.

Luanne Tierney:

I’m a cookbook… My daughter is a great baker but I would say, no.

Andrea:

No. All right. Well, fair enough.

Luanne Tierney:

I have high standards.

Andrea:

Luanne, thank you so much. I appreciate you joining us for our Catalyst podcast. Viewers, listeners, if you’d like to connect with Luanne and learn more about Betterworks, you can find her on LinkedIn. She mentioned she was there. Don’t spam her, please, or on Twitter @ldtierney, which is T-I-E-R-N-E-Y or you can go to betterworks.com and you’ll probably see her picture there as part of this team.

Andrea:

For all of those listening, don’t forget to subscribe. You can see the video today on LeadMD.com/bestpractices or on our YouTube channel. It would be impossible for you not to find it. If you’re looking for it, Google it. Until next time, never miss an opportunity to be inspired. Thanks for joining us.

Luanne Tierney:

Thank you.

 

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