C-Level Execs Rolly Keenan and Mike Geller Both Learned From Mistakes

C-Level Execs Rolly Keenan and Mike Geller Both Learned From Mistakes

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My guests for Episode #102 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast are two C-level executives from Tegrita, a marketing technology, strategy, and consulting firm based in Toronto. They are Rolly Keenan (Chief Revenue Officer) and Mike Geller (President and Chief Technology Officer) and they're two of the three authors of the book CMO to CRO: The Revenue Takeover by the Next Generation Executive.

In today's episode, Rolly and Mike share their own separate “favorite mistake stories” from the consulting realm — related to Mike giving time away for free and how quitting a job helped Rolly be more authentic. We also chat about their book, their firm, “marketing automation,” and some mistakes that people make in that endeavor.

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Quotes

"As a consultant, again, it's my time. It's my ideas that drive my value. So I can't give that away for free because it ends up shooting me down."
"She got done with a presentation to me and she said, 'What do you think?' And I said, 'I quit'" It was a very strange feeling — I just knew the answer. I quit."


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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):
Episode 102, Rolly Keenan and Mike Geller. C-level executives at Tegrita, authors of the book “CMO to CRO: The Revenue Takeover By the Next Generation Executives.

Mike Geller (13s):
Yeah. There's there's purpose behind my decisions. And if things don't work out well, I, I learned from that and I move on

Mark Graban (24s):
I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes, because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at myfavoritemistakepodcast.com for show notes, links, and more go to markgraban.com/mistake102 we're joined today. We have two guests. They are both C-level executives at Tegrita, a marketing technology strategy and consulting firm based in Toronto.

Mark Graban (1m 8s):
And those two guests are Rolly Keenan. He's the chief revenue officer and Mike Geller, the chief technology officer, and together they are two of the three authors of a new book called CMO to CRO: The Revenue Takeover by the Next Generation Executive. So we'll have a chance to explore some of that after we hear their stories. And talk about that first. So Mike and Rolly, first off, thank you for being here as a guest on the show. How are you?

Mike Geller (1m 35s):
Pretty good. Thank you for having us. Great, thanks.

Mark Graban (1m 38s):
So we have the opportunity. We've, we've only done a few episodes where we have two guests in two stories. And my understanding is that they are separate stories, looking at the realm of a favorite mistake from our careers. So, Mike, I think you're going to go first and, and tell us what comes to mind for you. What's your favorite mistake?

Mike Geller (1m 60s):
My favorite mistake and I, I don't necessarily look at mistakes as, you know, specific things that I did or whatnot, because I'm usually, you know, there's, there's purpose behind my decisions and if things don't work out well, I learned from it and I move on. But one of the things that I do, rather that I've done and I don't do nearly as much as I used to is give away my time for free, which is sort of like an odd thing to do. But as a consultant and while yes, I'm CTO, I am also a consultant and consulting has always been a love of mine because I really get into the process.

Mike Geller (2m 47s):
I love working with a client. I love ideating. I love coming up with solutions and trying to identify problems and, you know, running for all of that. But the problem with is that if you get ahead of yourself and you don't actually apply value to your ideas your time, then it does not get received. Well, like there's no value associated to it because they didn't pay, you know, whatever amount for it. Like if you get something for free, you treated like it's something that's free. If you pay $10,000 for something, you know, you signed a lot more value to it.

Mike Geller (3m 32s):
And I, you know, I, again, I used to do this more so earlier on where I would get ahead of myself and I would try to have all the answers, not really worry about scope or budget as much. Whereas now I know that if, if I try to do something and what I think is valuable and nice, and the other person doesn't see as that, because they, we didn't have a conversation with them around why that's valuable. It can actually even backfire. So let alone not being sort of paid for your time, but also the, the work that you've done isn't even received well, because the value of it was not understood to begin with.

Mike Geller (4m 12s):
So, you know, articulating value, getting buy in on that before starting work is so critical. And it's something that I keep reminding myself every day, because as a consultant, again, it's my time. It's my ideas that drives my value. So I can't give that away for free because it ends up shooting the idea down and shoots me down to

Mark Graban (4m 34s):
Now, what were the circumstances? Are you, in some cases, giving work away for free as sort of a foot in the door to then earn paid work? Are you doing pro bono work? What, what, what were, can you give an example of one of those circumstances?

Mike Geller (4m 50s):
Yeah. And so it's not so much as that, you know, I'm doing work for free. I could have a contract already to do work, but let's say that contract is four X, but I also see an opportunity to fix Y and I want to fix why, because I want to help my client plan it out. And if I fix X, but I also fix why, because I got ahead of myself, then it ends up backfiring. So now the correct thing to do is, okay, I fixed the X and now client. I also noticed Y what are your thoughts on Y and do you see the problem with Y let me show you a problem that I see with Y and let's work through it together as sort of a next project.

Mark Graban (5m 38s):
And do, do you find yourself sometimes forgetting that lesson or being tempted to go back into doing work for free? Do you, do you ask Rolly to call you on it or,

Mike Geller (5m 51s):
Oh, well, yeah, absolutely. And I mean, again, it doesn't really happen very often anymore just because as you get older, you learn to control yourself. But when, when it gets really interesting, it's very easy to get carried away.

Mark Graban (6m 7s):
All right. Well, thank you for sharing that. And yeah, I think there, there are different categories of that working for free trap. I mean, I've, I've been involved a couple of times where I was doing some pro bono work for an organization. And I mean, I think they, they cared, but I think I see your point that their, their commitment level to it, wasn't quite the same as, as somebody that was a paid client. So I think it's the risk that comes with a, you're trying to help someone. You might help them a little bit, even if it doesn't help as much as, as, as it could have. So,

Mike Geller (6m 45s):
No, that's a great example. You know, we did some similar work for a non profit again, pro bono, and it was really difficult to have them engage with us in a timely way, because again, they didn't have any skin in the game, right. Like if, if they're not having to pay for a time, then we're not a priority. And yeah, it ends up being a frustration that times on both sides. So again, the value associated with consulting, if it's three, then there's no value that unfortunately,

Mark Graban (7m 27s):
Well, and I guess final thought I'll add is there's risk of that. Even as an internal employee, I can think of times when I was working as an engineer, you know, I'm being paid by some central department and then I'm on loan to a certain business unit. I'm not on the business units, payroll. And, you know, I of only jokingly said like the only two possible ROIs, there were zero or infinity since they weren't paying for the time. And you're trying to get people's attention and trying to help that's, that's a battle I'd rather not have to fight anymore. All right. So, so Rolly, in, in your role, I don't know if your story relates to what you do as chief revenue officer or something in your past work experience.

Mark Graban (8m 11s):
What would you say is your favorite mistake?

Rolly Kennan (8m 14s):
Well, so I think the what's was most interesting about this assignment. You'll get connected to you mark, to find my favorite mistake. And my first thought was I could pick a lot of mistakes that are all extremely funny to hear about. And so I tried to think of one that was, I guess, more important or, you know, ground shaking for me. So, but I have to say, I have a lot of mistakes in my life that you choose from. And I would say, you know, it came down to a moment, probably I think it was seven years ago and I've had revenue, responsible revenue, client facing, you know, high pressure roles since 1998.

Rolly Kennan (9m 12s):
And that's been, you know, a series of different kinds of, of roles from, you know, that involved being an individual contributor and managing things. And about seven years ago, I was kind of in, you know, one of my last kind of hybrid roles where I had a lot of management responsibilities, but also a lot of individual contributing responsibilities. And I had just finished a year and I'd been working remote. So I've been working remote for so long now that when the pandemic hit, I didn't know what all the fuss was about. I've been doing forever, but I, you know, I've been working remote and had done a year.

Rolly Kennan (9m 59s):
And we, we had been, I'd been kind of brought on board by an executive because of my experience in predictive analytics. And, you know, here we were coming to, to this meeting in January and I'd been on for a little more than a year. And it was, I had spent a year getting no support, no help, no connection to the broader business. And it was a very big company. And so predictive analytics, as much as we had made small roads here and there, it was pretty clear that the business was abandoning even from the beginning, the whole reason that they had hired me.

Rolly Kennan (10m 39s):
And so come January, you know, I didn't know what to expect cause we were going to do, I was sitting down with the senior VP for our area and just wanting to know what are we doing for the business? You know, what should the plan be for the year? And I just remember, you know, putting on my suit and, you know, cause that was still a thing back then for me, for me anyway, and got in my car and was headed over there. And I just remember thinking that I really didn't know what to expect or what I was going to say. You know, it was a very, open-ended kind of feeling and, and I, you know, rarely was I in an office at all anyway.

Rolly Kennan (11m 27s):
And so this was, you know, these were one of the few moments I was in front of anyone internally, especially and sat down, you know, we went through kind of the year and it was, and they sort of laid out, like, I'd say the summary of that was, I know we hired you for one thing, but we want you to do something completely different. And she got done with kind of like a presentation to me and she said, what do you think? And I said, I quit and he didn't even pause near about it. It was just, I quit.

Rolly Kennan (12m 8s):
I, yeah, it was a very strange feeling. I just knew the answer. I guess the one of the few times in my life where I'm like, I know the answer I quit, I didn't have another job. I didn't have a plan. I just, and, and it was like this mixture of like, I did the right thing, but way you're not supposed to do that. She was really put, put off like on her heels. Like she didn't know what to say and I just kind of explained it to her and she gave me a hug I left, but you know, she, she just didn't really know how to, how to take that.

Rolly Kennan (13m 1s):
I, you know, I'm sure no one had probably ever done that my guess, but I just told her, I'm like, I could pretend like I'm going to do what you said and then look for a job and sort of, you know, only partially do my job for the next three months while I landed another one. But I said, I don't really want to do that. And, and I, I say, it's my favorite mistake, because that was January in February. I landed two sort of consulting clients right away enough to kind of, you know, get me, get me by now that I didn't have a real job.

Rolly Kennan (13m 41s):
And you know, some doing some marketing consulting and, you know, I very quickly realized, you know, I've got kids and I need health insurance. And so really quickly I ended up calling a friend of mine and saying, Hey, can you give me a job? Because I was, so it was just like, that was a mistake. That was a mistake. And you know, it took a while, but you know, within about a year, I kind of look back on that and, you know, and in light of the, what we're looking for here, it was my favorite mistake because that, that went down and I was really, I think, more, more of myself in that moment in that meeting.

Rolly Kennan (14m 28s):
And I think it's the self that, you know, and I'll just go on a limb here and say, it's, it's the self that, you know, Mike hired, you know, Mike hired me, you know, like just a raw, I'm going to tell you what I think I'm not going to be rude about it. Mike has a certain phrase for how I do that. But like what, you know,

Mark Graban (14m 52s):
You gotta tell us what that

Rolly Kennan (14m 53s):
Is. I think it kind of freed me up.

Mark Graban (14m 56s):
You gotta tell us what that phrase is. You can't leave us hanging

Mike Geller (14m 60s):
On the spot.

Mark Graban (15m 2s):
It seems like Rolly does that,

Mike Geller (15m 5s):
You know? Yeah, yeah, no, he, he does it's I don't necessarily know what to have a phrase for it. It may be a CV. I come to the same conclusion every single time unknowingly, which happens a lot for me. But yeah, no, LA Rolly is a good at nurturing me to say, you know, I have this idea you're going to absolutely hate it. And then he says this idea and I'm like, no, I love it. But it's very common because you know, we're all, it's not going to hold anything back. He's like, I think we should do this. Like we've never done this before. Yes. But I think this nonetheless and the conversation will go either.

Mike Geller (15m 49s):
Okay, let's explore that. Or let's not. And let's move on.

Mark Graban (15m 55s):
W w what was the phrase that you had in mind that you thought Mike would say,

Rolly Kennan (16m 2s):
Well, I was trying to remember it, and maybe it was Brandy or other, you know, a member of the executive team, a management team that said it, but it's like something of a, you know, rub your back while I give you bad news, you know, pat you on the back, it was a patent. I don't know. It was like a, to a rhyming word. Maybe it was Brandy

Mike Geller (16m 29s):
Patty on the back. Cause I kick you off a cliff. Yeah. Something

Rolly Kennan (16m 32s):
Like that.

Mark Graban (16m 33s):
That's, that's a good, that's a good expression,

Rolly Kennan (16m 39s):
But it's, you know, I think like it's, it's, it was a ground shaking kind of mistake for me, because I think a lot of people can relate if they've had sales jobs or revenue, responsible jobs that you get into a rhythm of like what the people hiring you really want. And so you get really good at here's how I do a presentation. Here's how I overcome objectives. Here's how they're going to want to see me, you know, approach an account, you know, anything you might do in an interview or just things you do while managing your career. And all of those things are completely unnatural for me.

Rolly Kennan (17m 20s):
And, and, you know, from what I, from my seat, a total waste of time. And so I made a habit just like anyone of, I know what to say and do. And in that moment I just gave it all up. I gave it all up and just jumped out the window. And what it did was it kind of reset me in like, well, I just want to be free like this all the time. And so it started a bit of a habit with me of, I'm just gonna make sure I tell people like what I really think, because I think it's more valuable than the things that I'm in the habit of doing, because I know people are, will accept them.

Rolly Kennan (18m 3s):
So that was, you know, I'd always had elements of it. I think if you talk to people in my, from my career all the way back to, you know, coming out of college, I do think people would say, oh yeah, Rolly does that. Riley does that. He's raw with his input and all that. But, but I knew I wasn't doing it a hundred percent of the time. And so I think that mistake was just a lightning bolt for me of like, no, you can rely on your actual self. So not just yourself of what you can pretend to be, or play the part of, but you can truly rely on yourself for the weird person that you are and how you see things from a really different perspective.

Mark Graban (18m 51s):
Yeah. And you know, it's funny, it just said playing a part. Cause I had just jotted down. What I hear you describing Rolly was the difference between playing the role of what the salesperson is supposed to do and what they're supposed to say versus being authentic or as you put it, you know, being free just to say what's on your mind. I mean, it sounds like what, I mean, do you think, is that something you had struggled with? I mean, like, I'm just trying to figure out, like, was this some grand epiphany or is this been, was that something you were thinking of? Like, I should just say what's on my mind. Like, were you coaching yourself up or did that just happen?

Rolly Kennan (19m 29s):
Yeah, I think it was coaching myself up to I'd found my moments. You know, I find people that will accept me and those are the people I was open and completely straight with. And then, you know, a lot of other people, I was more, a lot more careful with. So it w it was, it was this movement toward, no, I think I can do this pretty much all the time. And you know, I, I, it's not as if, you know, I'm not like, and I can't remember the guy's name. I'm not like the chef on TV who yells at everybody.

Rolly Kennan (20m 10s):
I'm not like rah. Yeah. But I Gordon Ramsey. Yeah. I'm not raw and hurtful. And I'm sure some of that's pure entertainment, but, you know, I've met people in my career, colleagues, clients, you know, et cetera, that, that, you know, their raw self is actually kind of hurtful damaging. I'm not that, but I do, I do have a lot of, you know, I'd say off-putting thinking and, you know, just as a like real simple example, I was on a call yesterday with, you know, a guy who's a sales rep and you know, his, we're talking about a client that we share.

Rolly Kennan (20m 54s):
And he said, well, you know, all these things about the client, you know, those are all important. And, but anyway, you know, well, I sure all sure. Let's talk, let's talk, let's talk about them. Let's meet about them because that's my job. And I'm like, that's not your job. Your job is to sell stuff. Like, so if you don't want to talk to them because you think it won't become a sale, don't like that no, your job is not to play the part. And so I do have, I do have kind of like a, I read a line once I think describes me that, you know, is what I'm saying. I could finally kind of live with almost a hundred percent of the time, which is I hear all the things that you hear and everyone hears.

Rolly Kennan (21m 43s):
But the things that I think and say based on that are things you've never heard before. And, and that's a weird thing about me and it's, and it can really make people feel uncomfortable or that I'm not being professional, but it's just truly like who I am. And, and, you know, I was definitely holding it back a lot of the time up until that point.

Mark Graban (22m 10s):
And, and like you said, you've, you've made that a new habit. So like, Mike has the habit now of not giving away his time for free, your new habit is being free, telling him what it is.

Rolly Kennan (22m 24s):
And, and Mike has made a habit of accepting my RA, my RA thinking and, you know, taking it for what it is. And, you know, like he said, either embracing it or saying, okay, that's interesting, but not really aren't relevant here. Yeah.

Mike Geller (22m 43s):
Well, and

Mark Graban (22m 46s):
Yeah. D D does. I mean, does, how does it make you nervous, Mike, when you guys are interacting with others of like, oh gosh, what's he going to say? Or how's it going to be received or is he, he's pretty good at managing that?

Mike Geller (23m 4s):
No, no. As, and I'm not worried about it that hasn't even actually crossed my mind because the way that I see it is that if the conversation doesn't go well, it means that it wouldn't have gone anywhere anyways. And we just saved a few months. Hmm.

Mark Graban (23m 23s):
Okay. Better to find out. It's not like

Rolly Kennan (23m 26s):
This understanding of me is very, yeah. I was going to say, Mike's understanding of what I'm doing. Mike's understanding of what I'm doing is actually very, very accurate, which is, you know, smoking people out early. So if, if I pick up on something, I will start to dig on it. And even though, you know, it could kill the conversation Mike's point is exactly right. Like I'm trying to avoid drawing something out. That's not going anywhere. Yeah.

Mark Graban (24m 4s):
So, well, thank you both for your stories and some of your reflections on that. Why don't we sort of, we've got some time, I want to talk a little bit about the book and again, the title is CMO to CRO the revenue takeover by the next generation executive. And I want to talk a little bit about the company, but, but tell, tell me about the title. I mean, is this, is, is it implying that the job title of chief marketing officers should change and become chief revenue officer? Or what, what does that title saying?

Rolly Kennan (24m 39s):
So the world we're talking about is the, the, I guess the modern situation where we found ourselves in revenue generation revenue, growth revenue, as you know, a part of the business and how, you know, the CMO is a, well, you know, a long-standing executive role that handles one aspect of revenue. And there's been a bit of a, you know, new title of CRO. It's not that new, but you know, a chief revenue officer that gets put and structured in businesses in really different ways, a lot of them are math mathematical role.

Rolly Kennan (25m 31s):
So how to understand pricing and, and just very specific things. But we see it as, as a new role that encompasses anything revenue generating, which is marketing, but it's also sales, it's support, it's customer success, just anything that's kind of facing the client. And, and so that CMO to CRO title is all about us saying, you know, in terms of, you know, statistically betting on a role, we think the CMO role is probably the best one to transition to a CRO CRO. And we talk about how you might actually pull that off based on all of our individual work.

Rolly Kennan (26m 17s):
So brandies, you know, jumping in to shortcut this, even though it's not totally comprehensive, but Brandy's kind of the marketing person, I'm the sales person, Mike's technology. And with all of our experiences with clients, we have a good idea of what clients could do to move from a very isolated, siloed, you know, multifunction revenue functions in a, to a single umbrella of revenue. Cause we've seen it in part we've seen certain clients do certain parts well, but no one doing all of it. And so we put our heads together and said, well, if you were going to transition and change from how you are now to this sort of one revenue team, how would you do it?

Mark Graban (27m 7s):
Well, I'm sorry, I'm curious a little bit about the executive team at your company. Integrito cause you know, looking at the website here, I see Brandy's listed as a chief operating officer, Mike, your, your, your bio that I was sent sells you short, it lists you as a chief technology officer here on the website. I see it sneaks in, it says chief technology, officer comma, president, it's funny, most people would lead with the president part of that, but I guess your, your love must be at the technology.

Mike Geller (27m 39s):
I do love it technology and yeah, cause I, I co founded the company when it started in the role that I, their calling was CTO. And I mean, I love, I love technology. I really do. I understand technology. I feel like technology understands me, but you know, my sort of perspective in terms of going back to the book is the way that technology is used and how it's currently isolated works against revenue and not for revenue. And we get into that in the book to reorganize that like the technology and the people, you know, to modernize organizational structure and bring the customer forward and therefore bringing revenue forward holistically.

Mark Graban (28m 37s):
So is there a parallel between how you're operating as a team and what you recommend with your clients? Cause I I'm, I'm guessing Mike can tell me if I'm wrong. I mean, as president you're, you're overseeing responsibility for the company and for profit, for sales and for profitability, you know, as, as, as Rolly pointed out, you know, you, you, you hired him to come in to, to that role. Are, are you working together internally and with your clients to make sure, for example, it's not just technology for technology sake, the technology needs to be facilitating sales and profitability.

Mike Geller (29m 19s):
There's a bunch of questions in there. Let me try to,

Mark Graban (29m 22s):
And I make the mistake of asking. I often make the mistake of asking a question that's two or three questions blurred together. So do your best to unpack that. I apologize.

Mike Geller (29m 34s):
No, I'll get so for me, so I, I focus, you know, on the, so aside from technology, you know, focusing on finance and like legal, like logistical things around keeping your organizations running, but when it comes to growth, that is Rolly's thing and everything that goes under that. And you know, I don't interfere in that. That's not, you know, like to Rolly's point Rolly's here because of his experience and his perspective on how to bring about growth and that's not my experience and perspective.

Mike Geller (30m 16s):
So it doesn't make sense for me to get involved there, but going back to trying to think, oh, I lost one of your other questions

Mark Graban (30m 29s):
I was just thinking about, let's see,

Rolly Kennan (30m 33s):
Help us out. Or I was going to say, I can tackle. Yeah, I can tackle some of it because one of your questions was around, you know, do we structure ourselves in the way we tell our clients to, and we do the anything that's, you know, in terms of how we communicate with clients and prospects and you know, what you would consider revenue generating communication and strategy. I kind of sit on top of that. We have a brand and Brandy who's a COO. She makes certain that the way we operate as a business, you know, how process gets handled, how decisions are made in terms of what co what consultant takes, what work, why, how they get paid, why they, how they would get promoted, you know, all these operational pieces.

Rolly Kennan (31m 28s):
She completely owns that. And because she's a very experienced marketer, as she uses with some of our clients, you know, her strategy, advice, and guidance for our biggest clients, you know, she also runs our marketing. Now at the same time, you know, she's talking with me in the background to say, here's what we came up operationally for marketing the, does that fit kind of what you're doing for growth. So it's still kind of rolls up to me in terms of, you know, we've had a few conversations where she said, how about this? And I'm like, no, never don't ever do that. Please, please cancel that entire thing.

Rolly Kennan (32m 11s):
And so every now and then, you know, we'll have that kind of thing, but generally speaking, it's more tweaking where she'll say here's the overall plan. And because she knows marketing better than anyone in detail, and I'm not even doing that justice, how much she understands about the a hundred under pendings of every little thing I don't get into the weeds. I just, I just touched base with her and I'm involved so that the overall kind of growth strategy and where we're headed and the messaging to, you know, sort of stays sort of aligned with what I'm trying to accomplish for the business.

Mark Graban (32m 52s):
Well, thank you for making the best of my like, attempt that a question. There's something I'm going to work on there. So I stopped beating myself up for the mistake, but I, I was going to ask you, when you, when you talk about marketing technology or people use the phrase marketing automation, how would you describe that elevator speech wise to a listener who really doesn't know what that is?

Mike Geller (33m 19s):
Sure. I'll I'll pack all that one. So I would say marketing automation is a type of marketing technology and marketing technology would be anything that marketing would use to help them engage with their customers, prospects, everyone in between. So the automation of marketing and that's where marketing automation technologies come into play, and examples would be HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo, you know, and so marketing automation would be used to help automate tasks that marketers used to do manually.

Mike Geller (34m 2s):
So I'll give an example of a task that used to be manual, let's say 10 years ago. And for some people, unfortunately still today, but you had an event. If anybody remembers what an event is, it's where people person in a large group,

Mark Graban (34m 17s):
We're going to get back

Mike Geller (34m 18s):
And people stopped by a booth and they give you your car soon. Hopefully let's say people give you a card or whatever, or, you know, nowadays you have a scan gun, but back in, you know, 10 years ago, that that wasn't really the case. So people would give business cards. And so then you have to put together this Excel list and then you have to manually go and then send people a followup note. So that, that would take days to do you have to just a lot of work. So from an automation standpoint, you can now have your scanning gun connected directly into a marketing automation platform that will result in that person receiving a thank you email with a whole bunch of links to related content within minutes.

Mike Geller (35m 6s):
So scan sent email and that, again, that's a choice. It could be minutes, it could be hours. It could be days because you don't necessarily want to follow up with someone immediately just because you can't, that gets a little creepy at times. And people aren't necessarily focused on looking at their emails while they're out, out in the bed. And another example of that should be maybe a little bit more relatable is for those who have contact forms on websites, which I would hope is the followup from that form. And then even in my own experience, I fill out forms and it goes into a black hole.

Mike Geller (35m 46s):
And I'm like, especially me with the technology that I work with. It's extremely frustrating. So when people have some sort of tool in place to capture that form, send an auto responder, follow up a couple of days later with me on other information on the, on the website, relate that to the product that I'm interested in. That that keeps me engaged while you're trying to figure out who is going to get in touch with which sales rep is going to be. So that's again, automation and I'm just being super basic. It can be very, very, very, very sophisticated because let's say you have sophisticated products or you have like a free trial and you want to educate people on it.

Mike Geller (36m 33s):
So again, marketing automation technology allows you to take data from your, let's say, free trial system to pull into usage data into a, into a table. And then based on what features have been used with features have not been used, send follow up emails, educating people on the features that they're using, the features that are not using so that they can increase adoption and hopefully increase conversion.

Mark Graban (37m 0s):
Well, thank you for the explanation. And I mean, when I think of automation, even not meaning like software website, email automation, but thinking of like back in my career roots in manufacturing, we think about automation. You know, there's always that warning about, you know, don't, don't try automating a bad process. Don't automate the waste, you know, improve the process first before trying to automate it. Is, is there any parallel to that when it comes to marketing technology or marketing automation, we have to make sure we're not

Mike Geller (37m 36s):
Yeah. A hundred percent, right? Yeah. A hundred percent. And it's really, I would even say bigger technology in general, you know, automation just makes faints faster, which means if you have a stupid process, it's going to be about as much as dumber. If you have garbage data is going to be that much more, you know, garbagey, if you have, you know, bad processes there, they're just going to break. They're just going to snap. Like if somebody wasn't, let's say if you had a, a person in the middle of a process and you automate that process, now that person's overloaded and the process breaks entirely.

Mike Geller (38m 23s):
So automation will quickly identify the things that were broken, but you didn't know it was broken because it wasn't broken badly enough. But generally speaking garbage, garbage out automation is not a magical mythical, a creature that makes things all better. It enables you to execute, execute your business processes faster. So those are good processes. Great. If they're bad processes, well, you're going to have to redo those.

Mark Graban (38m 57s):
I just want to share one quick story here. I think she would, would get, I mean, I think she would laugh about it if she was here. So I don't mean to talk behind the back of a former, a previous guest, but I just tell it to me. This was funny. So my guest in episode 71 was April Davis. She is the founder and CEO of a company called Luma. They're, they're a luxury matchmakers. So it's Luma search, Luma, luxury matchmaking. And we connected on LinkedIn as I do with many of my guests, because we had done the episode and, you know, it's just, I don't know, you would link to her profile.

Mark Graban (39m 40s):
And so I clicked connect. She's a good person. We'll keep in touch. About a day later, I got a LinkedIn direct message from her that was clearly, you know, kind of just automated of like, okay, if I get a new contact, then send a message. Like she sent a message pitching me for matchmaking services, even though she knew from our conversations that I've been married almost 20 years and I'm looking to remain married and I do not need the services of a matchmaker. So I'm like, oh, whoops. You know, but that automation, like it didn't cost her any time or money probably to send that message. But I imagine in the line of work, she's in, she's got to be careful that she's not sending that pitch to someone who's not open to it.

Mike Geller (40m 26s):
Yeah. And, and you know that like audience segmentation is one of those critical things that requires a lot of data and a lot of thought because having in order to be able to say that, okay, mark, you are happily married and you want to stay that way. There has to be some sort of data point indicating that. And if it's an unknown, then there should probably be a question asking if you're in, you know, if you're interested. Yeah. But that, that sort of process is, is complex and simple automation usually don't have that available.

Mike Geller (41m 10s):
So there'll be like new contact do this. And it's a very, if this, then that with no in between with no logic in between, but when you have sophisticated systems, like a marketing automation system, you could build in all of this logic and that doesn't have to be a map. It could be a chat bot. It could be anything else that, that logic for stuff where, especially when it comes to interaction with, with people at the end of it. But you know, there, there are, there are things that you can do to create multiple workflows and allow for multiple data inputs to have, you know, a hundred different variations and as just, you know, simple, exponential, right?

Mike Geller (41m 56s):
So if you have three branches will free decisions. Each you're going to get to like 27 different outcomes and that's already very personal.

Mark Graban (42m 5s):
So maybe there's some opportunity for anybody who's doing marketing and contact through LinkedIn. Be careful with the simple approach and look for something a little more sophisticated. So, well thank you for, for, for sharing your thoughts on that. I apologize. April fry. I had given her some feedback privately. So my mistakes, I guess all our mistakes are fodder for discussion here, but I want to thank our two guests today. They're both again, they're executives with a company called Rolly cannon, the chief revenue officer, Mike Galler, the chief technology officer and president.

Mark Graban (42m 48s):
I'm going to get you on the, the ending here with both titles. And again, they are two of the three authors with their colleague, Brandy star, the book available now : C M O to C R O the revenue takeover by the next generation executive. So the website for the company is tegritaa.com. There'll be in the show notes. I know you've got information about the book right there on the front page is that that's the best place for people to go

Mike Geller (43m 16s):
That, and they can also go to revenuetakeover.com to read more about the book.

Mark Graban (43m 23s):
Oh, great. I hope people will check that out. So again, Rolly, Mike, thank you. Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you for

Mike Geller (43m 29s):
Having us. Thanks

Mark Graban (43m 30s):
For having us to learn more about Mike and Rolly and their book and their company. And more, you can go to markgraban.com/mistake102 as always. I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me that they started being more open and honest about mistakes in their work. And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me my favorite mistake podcast@gmail.com. And again, our website is myfavoritemistakepodcast.com.


Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.