In this episode, we're joined by Cate Lochead, CMO at JumpCloud, a full-stack cloud directory platform. Alongside Intricately CEO Michael Pollack and VP of Marketing Sarah E. Brown, Cate shares her team's approach to engaging cloud buyers and delivering value to them across their marketing lifecycle.
Cate was recently named one of Intricately's 75 Cloud Revenue Influencers to Follow in 2021 – check out the full list here!
Michael Pollack [00:00:09] Hello, everyone, and welcome to Selling in the Cloud, a podcast about the business, cloud sales and marketing brought to you by Intricately, the authoritative source of digital product adoption, usage, and spend data for cloud sales and marketing games. I'm Michael Pollack and I'm here with Sarah E. Brown. And we are your co-hosts.
Sarah E. Brown [00:00:39] Michael, welcome to the show.
Michael Pollack [00:00:41] Sarah, it's great to be here.
Sarah E. Brown [00:00:42] in this episode, we're speaking with Cate Lochead, CMO at JumpCloud, a full stack cloud directory platform. We're looking forward to diving into our approach to engaging cloud buyers and delivering value to them across their marketing lifecycle. Shall we dive in?
Michael Pollack [00:00:56] Absolutely. Cate, welcome to the show.
Cate Lochead [00:00:59] Thanks, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Sarah E. Brown [00:01:02] Can you give us a brief introduction and share a bit about who you are and a brief background for how you got to be where you are today at JumpCloud?
Cate Lochead [00:01:10] Sure! My life story in ten seconds or less. See what I can do here. So let's say I'm Cate Lochead, CMO of JumpCloud, and my background is all B2B tech. That's where I grew up, starting long ago in the 90s, working with early infrastructure companies, some pretty cool ones who I think are super interesting in that they helped define the landscape for how it is today. So companies like Inktomi, which was really a pioneer in search and caching and Exodus was one of the first real big cloud hosting vendors. So I've always been interested in how things work in tech, right. And kind of the back end, maybe less sexy parts of it. And that's kind of really where my career has been. As a marketer, I grew up on the communications side of the house. So really in PR and I did a brief sojourn into product management because I thought it was really important to understand how products get built to be able to successfully market them. But my heart has always been in marketing. So while product management was a bit of grad school at Oracle, I guess in grad school and great learning, I returned to marketing pretty soon after that.
Michael Pollack [00:02:21] For our audience, who I imagine is versed in today's technology, there's the business that JumpCloud is in, which is displacing a technology called Active Directory, which many of our listeners may know or may have no clue about. Can you give a little bit of context of what Active Directory is maybe why was so important once upon a time and why perhaps it's irrelevant or should go away today? I feel like that might be a helpful lesson for our listeners.
Cate Lochead [00:02:46] Yeah, you have to be careful saying think Active Directory should go away today on social platforms because the haters will come out of the woodwork. There are people who like right out of my cold, dead hands, but we don't know what we're talking about. So you think back to the 90s, really, the world was powered the tech world in your office primarily by Microsoft. And at that time, it was charged with when they have an employee who needs access to specific IT resources, how do they get them connected to that resource? How do they make sure that they're securely connected and that they have the right access? So if they're accessing bank files, they're sensitive data and they don't want everybody to have access to Active Directory. Microsoft was out in 1999 to really control what resources employees could access across the enterprise in a physical location. And it was brilliant in the 90s when the world all uses windows and everything in the office was Microsoft. Then people got in their cars and drove to work every day and came to a desk instead of that desk and did their work and then went home. That was perfect, right with the world. Didn't stay that way, as we all know, right? Everybody's favorite examples. There's mobile cloud that came and disrupted everything. And what happened was the kind of 15 year period from Active Directory first release and the introduction of Apple into the enterprise and people starting to use Mac machines, people starting to really think of like Salesforce as the first primary disruptor of a cloud to get access to it. He started to get challenged with how do I get these people access to these non Microsoft resources that may not be living on a server? In my environment, they're starting to think like, how do I get control over somebody who's using a MacBook? How do I make sure someone can access Salesforce, Workday, all of these different things that are no longer Microsoft? The world is no longer homogenous blob of all Microsoft resources. And what the world did was they active directory has whatever it is. Ninety nine percent market penetration. Right. So everybody has active it. So you need the directory to understand who all your users are. You use active rectory, but you need to get their connections there. You need to use OFDA right after securely connect with all of your cloud apps and you've got people using that rate you need. Gamp will give you device management for all of those backblocks. You need more security, get King right and you start to get this very Frankenstein landscape of your environment. And for EITE, who's trying to do something very simple, which is to say I need to give my equal access to resources, they now have to go to eight different. It's just to identify who you are and what level of access to. So while the rest of the world was busy, say, how do we extend active directory, right? We know every single company is going to have active recruiting place to we them for the directory, we'll send what they have in order to get people secure. Access to Microsoft Resources came along. Raj is our co-founder and CEO and said that's wrong. There's got to be a better way to do this. And really, Microsoft had the vision right back in 1999. They just a very Microsoft way forgot to account for the fact that the world changes. That's where I said what the world really needs is an open standards based cloud directory platform. So just being open, right. Takes into account you don't know what resources people are going to be using. We don't know how they're going to be connecting what they're going to be connecting to. And then let's follow the protocols that everybody's using and make it easier for me to have a single place to go to that can catalog all the users, all the resources and then securely connect and manage those connections.
Michael Pollack [00:06:44] So that's incredibly helpful. And maybe this analogy might have some resonance for our audience. So tell me if this is right, but would JumpCloud is to active directory is perhaps like what AWG is to the legacy IBM mainframe business or install servers in your office kind of thing. Is that a fair analogy to share?
Cate Lochead [00:07:04] Well, I've never thought of that analogy, but I'm gonna put you on our marketing team.
Michael Pollack [00:07:07] There you go. You can have it done because you can run with it. And the reason I think that analogy perhaps is helpful for our audience is the theme of the cloud is disruption. It's disruption to entrenched, almost monocultural type products that were built around an installed base in your example of Microsoft or perhaps IBM as another example of that. So I'm curious for JumpCloud today, when you think about engaging in this marketplace, I'd love to shift to how JumpCloud identifies or finds kind of its best prospects. Obviously, every business is dealing with some version of this problem of identity and security. Can you talk a little bit about how you guys focus those efforts, how you ensure you're talking to the right people or the right businesses? I guess I should say?
Cate Lochead [00:07:53] Yeah, you can always sniff out a bad business that we work for everybody. The infrastructure is going to be easy to have that saying. Right. It's a tool so everyone can use it and there's truth in that. But John Cloud is really focused on the small midsize enterprise. We start there, right? We look at I.T. teams that really are strapped for resources and try to make it easier for them to manage to ultimately get into a zero security model. Right. Which is what everybody's really out there now figuring out what is right for us. We kind of fall into two buckets of companies that we go after and how we profile. And so the first is anybody who's tougher. So companies just like us, just like probably most of the guests that you have on the show, right? Or Clark or Cloud native, everybody's looking at how do we do everything in a remote work setting with a cloud infrastructure in place. That's one that's probably our number one target. And we see some great customers there. The second is things like marketing, digital immigrants, everybody who's got active directory employees. And a lot of these people now are really feeling this pain in the SME, where maybe you're a professional services firm or a school university and you don't have the Kabbalist, that maybe some more competitive business environments have to migrate to the cloud. And along comes in and suddenly you have to figure out how do I manage all these people who are coming into the office anymore? And they're really finding cloud. And so. Our number one go to market is obviously research, and we have really robust paid and organic search program, which I can go into details on, but I don't want to stray too far from your original question of who is the best bet for. And that's really where we look to is that somebody who is just getting started and thinking like, how do I modernize my infrastructure and really make it possible for it to scale in a reasonable way and to let employees work with whatever tools they need to get the job done and not be constrained by infrastructure in my security posture.
Sarah E. Brown [00:10:04] What data do you look at to help you identify when those prospects are ready for JumpCloud? And is there data you don't have that you wish you had data?
Cate Lochead [00:10:16] Personal data is like that Goldilocks question, right? Too little is not enough to just kind of need to get it right, which is really the trick these days. So first, I'll do a shout out to the business intelligence team. First of all, company, when I joined 200 employees, we already had a data lake in place, an incredibly robust team who is able to solve any problem and answer any question that we have, which is pretty amazing. And I think having a platform sort of lends itself to having lots of data points available to you all the time. And we look at your question around prospect, right. Sort of two funnels almost. You have your traditional funnel of what does it look like from a graphic demographic data? All of that figure out, is this the right person for me to look at the typical information? By what size is this? Who is the why are these are right. People to score on that? Over on the product side, I think out is pretty advanced on using a pretty well methodology to really identify who the right buyer is for us to be targeting, and that's important. I think one thing we haven't talked about yet is that how does a product growth based company so we have a free offering that is completely on data. So if you have under 10 users, you have access to every single feature, every single function and the product. There's absolutely no gating or limitation in that free tier is unlimited. There's no time data on that at all. What that enables us to do is see then what steps are most commonly taken, that predicate somebody actually engaging with us and whether they're self-serving or engaging team. I think it's important for marketers today to be able to really maintain the notion of the old MTel along with the. I've heard of a lot of people talking about just people replace them as well. And I don't think it does. Right. I think in and particularly in PLG companies or open source companies where people have access to the product without having to have any financial commitment. You have buyers, particularly in a structure with technical buyers who really want to get hands on the product and they want to self serve. So we see these people kind of invisible like a ghost, people using their Gmail address or some kind of made up email that we can't figure out who they are. And all of a sudden, boom, they bounce up and they work at like five and the person company and they buy within a week. And the journey looks real weird, right? Because they might create a whole new or entity in our system where it looks like they just showed up. And then we have to do some research to see like actually they've been using the product for four months and that's one classifier. You have another classifier to think those digital immigrants who are saying, you know what, I'm not comfortable with all of this and I really need help. And those people need to be engaged with technical folks who help them understand how we integrate the systems in place, how they think of like a more flash forward landscape for their entire environment. And those folks will do more of a typical, like, B2B type fire journey where they're involved with sales for weeks, if not months, before they end up buying.
Sarah E. Brown [00:13:41] I'm curious how you align with your sales team to help sales understand these revenue paths. What work are you doing to tell that story with data?
Cate Lochead [00:13:50] You know, I love that question. I think the best thing about all the data that's available to marketing now is it really does help eliminate the older arguments between sales and marketing, because you have all the information available. Right. And if you're giving that to sales in a beneficial way, it's actually data that strengthens your partnership there. And, you know, like I am a huge believer in sort of my story around Samah before I call Sam a sales and marketing alignment, making sure that sales really understands, hey, here's what's working for us. Right. And the people that we're bringing in. And likewise, sales guys, a lot of the times don't get into the data, right, because they don't have to kind of look at it in full aggregate. So you can get with them and say, like, hey, let's look at all your close ones and look at the trends that we're seeing, what worked, what didn't work. That's really helpful, valuable information for them. And so I think that sharing of information is the core of a functional relationship between sales and marketing. Right. There should never be a big reveal or an aha moment. Well, look what I found out today, ideally in front of the CEO and the board, it's kind of having that shared journey is one and then just really having agreement on the data sets that everybody's looking at. Right. We all have seen discrepancies between people's conclusions when looking at various sales force reports and filters are so important there. So I think making sure that you have alignment with your ops teams on what are the reports everybody's looking at and between the CRM, CMO, this is the single source of truth and really making sure that the teams are working on that so you don't have someone presenting their own board. Right. Here's what I found when I looked at the data, because data can be manipulated pretty easily. Right.
Michael Pollack [00:15:44] I want to go back to two things you said previously. I think the first is your comment about data and the Goldilocks challenge, which I think is the most apt characterization I've heard of. The challenge of dealing with data right. To whatever amount it is is not the right amount kind of thing. And so it makes it incredibly hard. But I would love to sidebar that conversation. Maybe we'll get to that later. But the bigger point that I would dove into here is your comment about product line growth versus marketing led growth. And I think inherently that is the most interesting challenge that I think is happening across marketing today. And particularly to your comment about open source or what's called like almost like, I don't know, drive by technologies where you can kind of like test drive them for a long time. Right. If you look at modern infrastructure tools like HWC and Digital Ocean, you can literally turn them on. And to your point, with a ghost email with a throwaway email address, and you could be trialing that on behalf of a fortune. One hundred company and the vendor has no clue. And so I think that problem, that challenge is an incredibly unique one. And I'm just curious for your perspective on how you as a marketer think about that or balance that or really make that work for you. And I hear you saying, hey, we lead with products. We have lots of data coming in about that. But does it force you to rethink generally how you approach things? Is. About getting more data or trying to be thoughtful, spreading kind of the marketing resources across more product support to build more product marketing muscle. How do you think about the how do you approach that?
Cate Lochead [00:17:09] The first thing is the line. What are the sets of data? So we figured out what are the final stages of cloud that we think are most indicative and predictive. And actually, interestingly, as a growth stage start up, you kind of see different conversion rates at different steps in the funnel, bouncing around a lot month to month. And then last year with covid through everything into it. And you're trying to correlate what's kind of mega market trend versus what am I actually doing right here? And for us, I think one of the things that we do a little bit differently is in the peak hours. So the product, if I define that earlier, for people who haven't thought of that before, and that's behaviors that people are taking in the product that we think are ridiculous. Right. So the same thing of all the same attention put around finding what is my well and really getting that dialed in. Right. And to refine the ongoing measurement. Is this predictive? Right. We check in every month on how predictive is our score? Is it actually still predictive? Is it declining? Do we feel like this is still the right thing to measure? We do that same thing on the outside. So our data analytics team, they are the owners of the people definition. And we really started with like a couple of steps in the product today that we think are indicative. And on the marketing side, we think, OK, any time somebody gets our product, how do I drive them back into the product and focus on these areas? Because these areas are my 30 seconds to wow my unit, to wow moment. And I need to make sure that my user really understands that. So we look at that across all of our marketing channels. YouTube, we're getting video set up that way. How we get started to really dial that in having emails that are triggered off of this person sort of come to this part of the product and then disappear. Right. Getting those triggers integrated with Salesforce and then with our information system, we are not. How do we figure those out based on what people are actually doing in the product and try to get them back to where they were or back on track? And if we think that's something that we can do through content and step by step guides, we like to lay that out. We think, hey, this is actually an area, let's say a conditional access policies. Right. That requires a lot of real strong tech black men. Maybe it's not time for us to be sending them like a step by step how to. But it's really time to try to trigger that sales involvement. And that question at PLG companies is like a sacred cow, right? Like the product sells itself. You should not be trying to get involved with Sale and all the iconic failed companies like Atlassian, right. And it's about how do you make your selling motion, not about selling and getting people through the contract, but really helping people understand the product and see the value of what it can provide in their environment.
Michael Pollack [00:20:06] That how that absolutely helps. And I guess I'm curious to ask you, as somebody who has kind of a classical marketing background, as you transition to a company that's more of a product led growth company with that challenging for you to make that transition around, like, oh, wow, we typically always done it. This way of going this way obviously makes a lot of sense. If the product itself let's do that, like, that's genius. But for you and for many marketers who I feel like are experiencing a similar thing at a modern digital native tech company, what advice would you have for them about that or how is that experience for you?
Cate Lochead [00:20:38] So for me, it's a little different. The better part of the decade I spent in open source technologies. And it's a very similar notion, right? It was one of the things that excited me most about John Cloud is when I look at the overall landscape for our user base, the admin, there's not a lot of opportunity for them to have a community. But like I'm used to selling to developers, open source developers, and they've got tons of places that they can go to have a community and a lot of vendor support around almost a nominal job with Theravance and really helping enable developers beyond. Just like here's how you write it. Here's how you could be better at your job and better career. And when you look at the admiral, Jam is the only company that's really looked at taking that on and they're only focused on Apple admin. So it's a pretty select group of the population. So what excited me about jump out is taking some of those open source concepts, which are very similar to PLG. Right. Get people hands on, get them experience, understanding the technology, really playing with it in a free, non-committal way, and then help them be successful with it and have that translate into the right buyers buying product. So for me, what excited me about that was using a lot of those opensource fundamentals and applying them to appeal to type company. So that's why I might be a little different there, I think for a lot of people who are struggling with like PLG is like the new Holy Grail, right? I can say you're like that's like the cool kids now, like workplace. That's like this new full acronym. But you have to come back to basics, right? The product should wow people. One hundred percent. But people are still not psychic. Right. And marketing is needed to introduce people to the product and get them excited about, wow, why do this? And any company that doesn't have global brand recognition, your marketing team is still fighting to help you be heard and be seen and be found. And I think regardless of if it's a company or classic old school company, marketing challenge is still the thing. Right. How do I make this one something that people can find and make our value proposition really clear? And to if you're trying to, like, jump out, you're building a generational company? I believe. I think that will be around. It will be something that our kids will be using. And so for that, we develop a brand that is really true to this company as it goes through the rapid growth rate and everything changes. So much of the product is still very much evolving and adding functionality, but create that brand that really is true to who the company is and to the promise of what the product can deliver.
Sarah E. Brown [00:23:23] Appreciate your emphasis on customer education, investing in your community along those lines. What's something you wish your prospects knew about you? That maybe if they're listening right now, you'd like to tell them?
Cate Lochead [00:23:34] Yeah, I think Jump-Off is so exciting because it really is a better way. And if I'm talking to our prospects and really talk about you have this old old way of active directory and now you have the old way of active directory jam octa in all of these things that you have to match together and there's a better, easier way and jump out. Is that so? Check out how your life can be better with a directory platform
Sarah E. Brown [00:24:03] And for people who are listening who'd like to learn more about you and your work, where should we direct them to?
Cate Lochead [00:24:08] Oh, definitely jump cloud dot com. And if you didn't hear, I mentioned we have a three tier that gets some free access to the whole product for 10 users and unlimited amount of time.
Sarah E. Brown [00:24:20] Cate, thank you so much. Pleasure having you with us on the show.
Michael Pollack [00:24:23] Awesome. Thanks, Cate.
Cate Lochead [00:24:24] Thanks. Thanks, Michael. It was fun.
Sarah E. Brown [00:24:26] That's it for us. This episode may be over, but we can continue the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SellingInTheCloud. On Twitter, I'm @SEBMarketing.
Michael Pollack [00:24:35] And I'm @MRPollack.
Sarah E. Brown [00:24:37] Thank you to everyone for joining us for this episode of Selling in the Cloud, brought to you by Intricately, the authoritative source of digital product adoption, usage, and spend data for cloud sales and marketing teams. If you like the show, head on over to iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and please give us a review. We appreciate it. Until next time!