Narine: Hello everyone. And welcome to this episode of cloud and clear I’m NA ring Gaussian CMO at so taking over today and welcoming our partner and customer [00:00:30] loo maps, please welcome Christopher McLaughlin CMO at loom maps. Hi Christopher. Thank you for joining us.
Chris: Hi, it’s a pleasure, Marie. Thanks for having me.
Narine: Of course, we’re super excited for this episode. We’ve been partners for a very long time Lu map since SA I believe since 2016, certainly focused around Google workspace and our collaborative efforts to bring additional services and products to our install base for Google [00:01:00] workspace and being able to really bring additional value, add to them. So tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey to loo maps and really how is loo map servicing your customers?
Chris: Okay. Lots of questions there. So we’ll, we’ll, we’ll kinda unpack that one. So first and foremost, as you said, I’m the chief marketing officer kind of a unique role here at loom maps. I actually am responsible for both marketing and kind of go to market and then also [00:01:30] product and product strategy. So I kinda look at it as the, the best job in the organization, cuz it really allows me to touch both sides, both how we build the product and also how we take it to market. So really enjoy what I do for loo maps in terms of coming here. This is actually my second kind of French growth phase company. I was previously at a company called NIO, which was a content management company [00:02:00] out of France, spent about four years there and we sold that organization in March of 2021. So I was looking for my next gig and Goldman Sachs was an investor at NIO and also an investor here at loo map.
Chris: So I had a nice introduction there and very quickly came on board. I made the mistake of not scheduling any time off in between the two jobs. So one day NIO next day, loo maps, but it’s worked out really well since then [00:02:30] in terms of the product and just what do we do and kind of what’s our value add. So first and foremost at loo maps, we kind of think about, and, and really believe that employees are your most important asset as an organization. And if we kind of look at, and I think thematically, we’ll talk a lot about this today, you know, kind of the new re boat and hybrid working environment, obviously it’s become much, much, much more difficult for organizations to engage, to enable and really empower [00:03:00] their employees. And so this is kind of really where loo maps comes in. If you think about Google workspace and how they enable kind of collaboration on documents and with different tools and real time collaboration, we really focus on providing what I would call a digital HQ, right?
Chris: One place where we really wanna bring all of our employees together. And we think about things like communications and how do we inform and inspire employees? We think about collaboration [00:03:30] and knowledge sharing, not just real time, but also how do we build communities, bring people together. We think about how we enable employees to do work in that environment and even really to find purpose, right, as we kinda look at the modern workplace and particularly the modern digital workplace, right? We want employees to engage not just around work and work activities, but to find a greater sense of purpose in their organization to find community. And particularly if they don’t have that in off this experience [00:04:00] anymore, to be able to develop that sense of community online. And then, you know, and maybe we’ll talk about trends down the, the road here, but the other thing we really are working with our customers on is, you know, how do we sustain innovation? How do we, you know, create serendipitous moments for employees that really kind of fuel that next big idea for the organization and really kind of begin to supplant that in office experience with an online digital experience. So I know that’s [00:04:30] a lot of words, but fundamentally we are an employee experience platform and really designed around giving employees that one place to come,
Narine: Thank you for that. That’s incredible and such a needed, you know, product, especially the past two years, given the pandemic and everyone pivoting quickly to a work from home environment. I, I know that we had to pivot very quickly and we already had the tools in place to do [00:05:00] it such as Google workspace, such as low maps. And so our transition was much easier and then we had to help our customers transition. So from a marketing perspective, we certainly pivoted to a service mode, if you will, serving not selling type of initiative and providing additional resources. Tell me a little bit about your strategy and, and what pivots you had to do to help your customers through the process.
Chris: [00:05:30] Yeah, it’s interesting. And it’s kinda, it probably two answers to that question. The first is kind of really specific and, and, and to the marketing itself, this organization that was founded back in 2015, built its first product on top of Google, right. And was actually a Google implementer before they became a product company. Right? So for a while in the marketplace, and I really believe this for growth stage organizations, [00:06:00] they have to kind of find a niche where they can really incubate grow quickly. And for loo maps, that was Google, right. They were the only solution that ran top on top of kind of Google cloud platform integrated with Google workspace. So they got the call every time Google had an opportu and their marketing was really event based. Right. They, they went to all the Google next shows. They went to like a hundred different events in the course of a year.
Speaker 3: We’ve been working together.
Chris: Yeah, yeah, yeah, [00:06:30] exactly. So here comes March, 2020, and all of a sudden it’s like, oh my God, we gotta go digital. Right. And so that is to be honest, a journey and, and part of the reason I’m here with this organization that we are still on in terms of really figuring out we went from being a very good working with our partners event based marketing company. And now we are growing into being a digital company. Right. And that’s really more than just, you know, [00:07:00] how do we manage our online presence and everything else? I think the critical thing for this period of time particularly has been figure out where your customers are, right? They’re no longer in an office, right? They’re no longer reachable easily through outbound marketing activities or, or phoning activities and things like that. But where are they? They’re in different communities online, right?
Chris: They’re consuming information and knowledge through different portals [00:07:30] that are aligned to their industry vertical or aligned to their specific function in the organization. So we really had to shift to really having true kind of multichannel digital campaigns as an organization. But we also had to shift and kind of the second part of the answer was really to move away from a company who focused on kind of features and functions. And how do we add value to Google workspace, to a company who could really communicate with kind [00:08:00] of our ideal customer, right? So we spend a lot of time talking to HR. We spend a lot of time talking to communication professionals and that’s not just about, Hey, what is our product do? And why is this widget better than that widget? It’s really about how do we help them solve really, really big challenges. So if you think about today, right, there’s a lot of conversation around the great resignation or great reflection or in this environment.
Chris: And I’m sure you guys have seen this yourselves [00:08:30] super hard to attract high quality talent. So how do we make our organization more attractive? And a lot of that really comes down to culture in the organization. It comes down to how they can effectively adapt to this now remote and hybrid world. And oh, by the way, like obviously we originally had conversations with customers about how do I continue to operate in this environment? How do I begin to shift to digital? But now it’s look, we, [00:09:00] we expect that this is going to be the normal way that we operate with our employees moving forward. So we need to shift that focus from continuity to productivity and perhaps even to transformation and innovate as an organization. So it’s kind of this maturity journey that we’re taking our customers on and really helping them through that entire process.
Narine: Yeah. I mean, and even in this shift back to a hybrid work environment, [00:09:30] as companies are looking to go back to the office, you know, there is a lot of, you know, flexibility, right? Because we no longer forcing people to be at their desks all the time in the office. So the productivity has to be ongoing and it’s also flexibility in the hours, right. We know people have digital fatigue. So from a marketing side, you know, how do we cater to that digital fatigue and provide the flexibility as a company [00:10:00] to empower employees to work, you know, as they need to when they need to, but still be pro productive at all times. Right. And so having a, a, a community based component to connect people, you know, in this remote environment is still critical to the culture, but so are the tools right? And being able to provide those tools to them, to, to be productive. And I think loo maps does [00:10:30] really an amazing job at that. And I know we use it internally, as I mentioned for content sharing and operation. And it’s just so integrated into everything we have in Google workspace. So tell me a little bit about why Google, how did that start,
Chris: You know, kind of foundationally, like I said, we were an implementer. We actually went out, we were working with a company called Violia in France and built this first generation of the loo maps [00:11:00] platform for them on top of Google cloud platform integrated with at the time G-Suite. And so like foundationally, we are Google and began our, our journey with Google. But as you kinda look now, right, and we have choices, and obviously a lot of our customers also use tools like Microsoft 365 and run on Azure and things of that nature, what we find about Google one, they are a fantastic go to market partner, and they’ve been really, [00:11:30] really supportive of us throughout the years in terms of really strong engagement at a sales level, really going the extra mile to help us from a market presence, awareness and visibility standpoint. So we really enjoy working with them as a partner.
Chris: We really have great access both in Europe and the us to their sales team. And then we also really value what they bring from a technology standpoint. So, great example [00:12:00] for us is we just signed a, a, a new deal with them around their Looker product. And what we’re looking to do is one kind of strengthen our analytic capabilities in the platform. And they had a tool for that two. We ultimately wanna be able to extend that Looker platform to our customers and give them the ability, not only to consume dashboards and reports that we’ve built ourselves for them, but also to actually take control of their own environment, be able to create their [00:12:30] own reports, their own dashboards and tailor them to their needs. So over the years, we’ve just found that Google continues to be a great partner for us. And so we continue to be very invested in them.
Narine: Well, not only, you know, a partner from the product perspective, but you are also a customer, right. A customer of Google. And so, and so we’ve been partners for a very long time. And then we, you know, of course became [00:13:00] even closer through the SAS Alliance program. So tell me a little bit more about, you know, what attracted you to, to the program with so
Chris: Perfect, perfect question from the standpoint that obviously we worked very closely with you guys and, and, and kinda as a customer really earlier this year, had the opportunity to go in and kinda renew our Google commitment, Google cloud commitment. And at that point in time, we had the opportunity to really start talking to you about this auto Alliance program. [00:13:30] And we just think this is such a fantastic value add for us as both a Google partner and AADA partner and a Google customer and AADA customer. And so we really kind of see three key things that we love about the program. First, it’s just the ability to extend our market reach, right? We love your brand. We love your footprint in the marketplace, and also the investment from you team in terms of co-marketing events, other things that we can do together, [00:14:00] you know, as, as a kind of born French company, that’s really working to establish itself in the us marketplace, having those relationships.
Chris: And those partnerships is so critical to our growth and, and success. So thank you for that. This second thing is we really see this opportunity with you guys to kind of accelerate our overall sales motion, right? Have a fantastic customer base that we’re really excited about working with you on, we have a dedicated internal champion that [00:14:30] is helping us to position loo maps inside your organization. That’s such a great value add for us. And really Laurie asked me to make sure I said, thank you to Lydia for all of her great work and support that we got.
Narine: She’s great. That’s awesome.
Chris: And then the, the last piece is just on top of everything else. You guys bring great technology expertise and support. So as we’re looking to do things around Looker or migrating from app engine to compute engine, right, [00:15:00] you guys have been really instrumental in kind of helping us understand the different technologies, incorporate those into our platform. So that’s been another great benefit a program. And then the fact that SA has a bench of trained professionals who know our product and can implement our product. I think that’s, that’s a fantastic value add as well, too.
Narine: Yes, definitely. The, the Alliance program has really provided SaaS companies, such as yourself, an opportunity [00:15:30] to you tap into some of our co-sell and co-marketing initiatives. And then of course our customer base to be able to continue to bring value to our customers, you know, with additional services and products. So we’re super excited to have you in, in the program. And I’m thrilled to hear that the team is, is being an advocate for you all internally and with our customers. So thank you for, for being a valuable partner of ours. [00:16:00] So as we look into 2022 and, and beyond, and, you know, there may still be some unknowns in, in the global environment, what are the, the trends that you’re, you’re seeing for loo maps and, and for Google things that, you know, you feel like from a, from a customer experience or from an employee experience, you know, that are gonna be critical to your strategy. Moving forward,
Chris: We’ve kind of entered this period where [00:16:30] employee experience, you know, and I was just having conversation with my team the other day, where they said, Hey, and when I first joined, right, there was a lot of conversation about what’s the category. How do we refer to ourselves? Are we a modern intranet? Are we a digital workplace? Are we an employee experience platform? And I think the term employee experience and employee experience platform form is now really resonating with customers. And I think what we are really seeing in the market with you guys with [00:17:00] Google and just across the board is organizations have really kinda renewed their focus on their employees. And yeah, the pandemic was certainly a positive factor, but we’ve also seen just an number of different trends in the workplace in terms of how workers want to engage with their organization, what they want from a cultural standpoint, and also just, you know, how they want to perform work and, and how we can help [00:17:30] declutter the desktop, make it easier for them to do things make, can, excuse me, more productive in their environments.
Chris: All of that has, has really kind of created this revolution and revisiting around how do we better enable our employees? And I kind of talked earlier about that shift from, you know, that initial continuity piece and, oh my God, my employees don’t even have laptops and now they have to work from home. What do I do to, Hey, how do I [00:18:00] better support my employees, right? How do I make that digital environment? And that work from home and what we see a lot, there is just like ton of context switching, right? I got 22 different apps that I interface with on a daily basis. You know, I need to go from here to here, to here to get a certain task done. And I think there are a lot of ways that we can help streamline that. And then the last piece, right, and, and here is where, you know, when we think about transformation for an organization, and we also think about [00:18:30] organizations that are really differentiating themselves through culture, right.
Chris: And through how they treat their employees and engage with their employees. And we start talking about things like voice of the employee, there’s this really cool term out there called psychological capital, right? Which means a you’re very well unable to perform your work, but B you’re also in that right mind space where you are gonna continue to learn, you’re gonna continue to grow as an employee. [00:19:00] And so what we see is kind of organizations that are, that are to the far side of the curve here, and really have matured from an employee experience standpoint, right? They’re more innovative, they’re more adaptive to change. And, and to your point, right, we don’t know what’s gonna come back, but we do know that organizations who have strong cultures who have strong employee experiences are gonna respond better to that they’re gonna outperform their competitors. And they’re much more likely, and we have this great force or TEI study [00:19:30] to, to achieve their business objectives, to overachieve their, their operational targets and
Narine: Service the customer. Right. Yeah. Customer better happy employees make for happy customers. I mean, that’s the bottom line.
Chris: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like, and by the way, it’s like two and a half times. So it’s significantly different impact from customer perspective. So we see all this, this interest and growth and investment [00:20:00] from an employee standpoint. And so I’m gonna build on what you just said, which is just as we look out what we are really seeing. And when we kind of talk about the product, what we’re vision wise, where we’re really going is okay, we do all these things for our customer and you’ll appreciate this, right. I have a customer data platform and I segment my customers and I have a, a understanding of their needs and where they are on a particular journey. And then I think really hard about what information I give [00:20:30] to them at that point, how I communi with them at that point. And I try to treat each individual customer as an individual and as a unique person. Well, why don’t we do the same thing for employees, right. And really start thinking right about how we understand the employee, how we can orchestrate different journeys for the employee and ultimately how we can help them to achieve different business outcomes that are aligned with the organizational goals. [00:21:00] So I think it’s time that we start thinking differently about the employee experience. I think there’s a ton interest there. And I think together with you guys and Google, it’s just tremendous time and opportunity around the whole space.
Narine: I love that. And I love the, the building blocks that you’ve identified around engagement, enablement and empowerment, right? Like you hire the right people, but then you have to be able to engage them, enable them with the right set of [00:21:30] training and then empower them. And I think so many companies missed the empowerment section, right? Well, that is so critical to a happy employee and then providing the career path for them to be able to grow and contribute more by to the business and back to the customer success. So I love what you guys are doing there.
Chris: Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. We’re excited about it. You’d be surprised how many people are still stuck on the engagement side of the equation and really just getting [00:22:00] right. Their workforce pointed in the same direction, getting them aligned with the corporate vision, corporate goals and objectives, or who are still just working on tooling. Right. How do I get people to be able to do their jobs from home? So there is, there’s just tremendous opportunity to help customers, but I agree with you, the empowered organization, where we really have individuals who are empowered to take initiative is ultimately where our customers wanna be and where we wanna help get that.
Narine: Well, I, [00:22:30] I love that sat and loo maps are so aligned culturally in what we’re trying to build and putting our people first mentality. So I think we’re, we have a great synergy from a partner perspective and also how we go to market together to help serve our customers better. So I’m looking forward to our customer success stories coming to life in the near future, and certainly engaging more through our marketing efforts [00:23:00] together. Any parting words,
Chris: Only that there’s one other thing. And I just wanted to put a plug in for you guys. I am super excited about this power initiative that you have, that we’re gonna be rolling out in March. So we were thinking about 2022. It’s one more thing I, I just wanted to touch on, which was, I love the concept of working together and having these super fast implementations for customers. I think that is such a great way for us to get started together with different customers. [00:23:30] So another thing that I just wanted to say, thank you for you guys, putting together, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results from
Narine: We’re so very excited to launch that in March, the sort of power products are just a great packaged offering. So we’re, we’re thrilled to partner with you on that next launch. Look out for more information for that. And I just wanna close out and say, thank you very much, Chris, looking forward to growing our partnership and welcome you [00:24:00] back again to cloud and clear in the near future. Thank you everyone. Thank you for joining.
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