Where did you start with demand gen?
It was really looking at the components to an effective demand engine, and one of them was investing in inside sales, or brand development representatives. It wasn't just bringing in a new CMO and investing dollars in the programs. We hired nearly 40 people into that function.
We also built a predictive funnel forecast model, taking all the activities that we've done historically, looking at their performance top to bottom, and then building, "If I were to pick from that menu list and put them into the upcoming quarters and the timing and the velocity, when can I see the return?"
Building a funnel forecast model allowed us to start operating more like sales. The more that you can operate like sales, the easier it is for your executive and your board to understand the value that you bring. That was a foundational piece to us being able to manage that growth throughout the year.
What was the vision and how are you articulating it?
A lot of our customers are traditional IT professionals who also are going through—and their companies are going through—cloud transformation. A big part of our vision was giving them the comfort that we have the journey mapped out for them and that we could take them to the cloud in an easier, less risky and very cost-effective way.
Gigamon is a known entity in the networking space but not in cloud. Part of what we needed to do as part of our brand and strategy was to wake people up, if you will, to a new Gigamon. We created Hawk by Gigamon, and Hawk is our cloud visibility offering. It's not just the product, but it really is the face of the company as we move into the cloud.
Why did you decide to keep the “Gigamon” in Hawk by Gigamon?
We’ve been creating and delivering and selling to 700 cloud customers for a few years, but there wasn't that market recognition. We knew we needed to do something to shift, but we didn't want to lose the core strengths and the attributes that Gigamon represents. Hawk by Gigamon is where we ended up and it’s a continuing journey because we expect to continue to evolve as a company. We partner with a lot of third-party applications, we have thousands of ecosystem partners who plug into the fabric, but we're also developing our own and delivering our own.
How did the Hawk launch go?
We launched Hawk in March of this year and the reception thus far has been very positive both internally and externally. We know that from some of the metrics that we track around website visits or downloads. We had good support from [those in] the ecosystem who were eager to participate.
Customers, the market at large, and employees so far seem to be very enthusiastic. Getting every one of those employees to be ambassadors for Hawk was a big part of our investment because that's a lot more powerful than just the marketing department. That's a big part of the brand transformation.
How did you go about making this real for employees?
Some of it's your standard fare: executive updates, an overview at our company kickoff, some product demonstrations. We launched a competition for them on social media to get them involved. Someone wanted to get a cameo from Tony Hawk the skateboarder. We did that, and in fact, Tony Hawk became our spokesperson for our first-ever user conference, the cloud visibility conference, Visualyze, that happened in May.
Over the period of the pandemic, we sent out full Hawk-branded care packages that were really for the family. People would be taking the picnic basket in different places; it was a great way to share the enthusiasm not only for Hawk. People recognized that the company has done a tremendous job in taking care of its employees throughout the pandemic, so there was enthusiasm for that as well.
What else did you do to support this launch?
We started a cross-functional team, Team Hawk, that represented different employees from different parts of the organization. That team gathers regularly to understand the roadblocks and the opportunities that they see from their perspective and their function. We felt that it was a good way for us to engage employees and see things that we wouldn't necessarily see in marketing or at corporate.
We launched an open invitation on Slack to whoever wanted to and got oversubscribed. We wanted to keep it not too big, but sizable enough to reference different functions, so we had about 12 or 15 that we ended up with. It's run on a monthly basis, there's an agenda in terms of different parts of the business that we want to review.
Did you manage to 6x pipeline?
We did. In fact, we won the SiriusDecisions Award for that year for the transformation of the demand engine. We got the investment, that's obviously a prerequisite, but it was building the machine. One of them was building a high propensity target model, which we built in-house. They are off-the-shelf, but we felt for our needs, and we had the expertise to build that model that allowed us to really focus our investments.
We needed to make sure every dollar we spent, every penny we spent, was spent wisely. Marketing, like any other function, does not exist in a silo. To be successful, we have to operate as a go-to-market franchise down to the regional or sub-regional level. It's not just a corporate thing. We provide a core set of metrics that allow regional reps to make decisions at the local level with corporate support to optimize and continue to optimize the output.
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