CMO Chats with Courtney Scales, Director of Marketing Operations & Campaigns of Reapit

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Courtney Scales

Global Director of Marketing Operations & Campaigns | Reapit

Courtney Scales, Global Director of Marketing Operations & Campaigns of Reapit, discusses the importance of understanding psychology in marketing, extensive customer research, and integrating various tools into a single platform.

To watch Courtney’s interview, you can subscribe to our CMO Chats interview series on YouTube. You can also listen to the interview on Spotify or pour yourself a cup of coffee and read the full interview below. Subscribe to the CMO Chats Newsletter on LinkedIn to keep up-to-date on our conversations with today’s marketing leaders.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • The importance of understanding psychology in marketing
  • Extensive customer research
  • Dealing with fragmented data sets and mapping customer journeys
  • Using data to create highly personalized experiences for consumers

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Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey and what sparked your interest in marketing?

That’s a good question. I started my journey a little bit differently. I suppose when I was starting out at university, I initially started with an arts degree studying history as well as political science, and then I moved over into business and kind of fell into marketing, to be honest. But once I was in, I was stuck, and I have loved it ever since. What I love most, I suppose, about marketing is that it’s really the business version of psychology in a sense. really getting to understand and really empathise with how people tick, and that’s a really fascinating part of the role, and just part of being a marketer is really probably a second piece, as well as looking at how marketing has changed. I’ve been in marketing for over a decade, and in that time, marketing has changed so much, particularly in the digital space. The industry just evolves fast, and it’s a great sort of industry to be in, particularly if you’re somebody who is a bit of a sponge and has a quest for learning.

I love it. Yes, soaking up all this information and being able to put it to use. I love how you explained that psychology also kind of relates to marketing in that sense. I couldn’t agree more. So, can you tell me more about your company? What do they do?

Reapit is a global technology software that essentially delivers an end-to-end solution for real estate agencies across multiple regions worldwide. What we aim to do is allow them to manage their entire agency within a single platform, which is the solution that we sell.

Amazing, and can you tell me, as the head of marketing in your company, what is your current main marketing focus?

At Reapit, we have gone through a series of acquisitions over the past few years as we are trying to grow the company and get to the end state of that end-to-end experience for our customers. As a part of that, my role in the global position is really focused on pulling all of our data and insights together, mapping out all of our customer journeys and processes, and standardising that so that we have a framework for growth and we can optimise the performance of our teams.

Speaking of a framework for growth, can you tell me about a particularly innovative or successful marketing campaign your team has recently executed?

Yes, absolutely. In January, we launched a new go-to-market for one of our products here in Australia. It took probably about a year’s worth of work amongst the marketing teams, finance, sales, and everybody else coming together to really basically redevelop the go-to-market offering for one of our SaaS solutions. We did a lot of research into our customer base to identify the determinants of value from our customers across the different attributes within our products, and then we moved them into a tiered-based model and built that out amongst our products. So we worked really closely with our product team on those customer journeys, bringing together all the different features and other products within our portfolio to bolster the product offering under a single solution, which was really exciting.

In terms of results from January, when we launched it in the first eight weeks, we had over 15% of our customer base activate the product of their own volition, which is really exciting, and we increased the average value of our products by around 15%. We also were able to achieve, I believe, a 3,000% return on marketing investment. And this is definitely not something that we did on our own. The product marketing team, who worked really closely with us, was fundamental in making sure this campaign and project were a success, and that really ties into some of the broader strategies that we’re sort of rolling out across the business to standardise all of our pricing frameworks and packaging across our SaaS solutions. So it makes it easier for customers to buy. They’re not trying to choose one product with a different pricing model and then another product with a different one and then getting confused on their bill. We wanted to make things simpler for our customers.

What would have been your biggest marketing challenge at the moment?

As I mentioned, as Reapit starts to bring different companies into our portfolio, everyone has different ways of doing things. There are fragmented data sets across exclusive customers. So, we have our customers who may have been using one of those products, and they’re also using one of the existing products in the portfolio. Trying to map and identify which customers are using what, as well as how they’re engaging across the different stages of the customer journey, has definitely been a challenge. We represent just over 60% of the market within the Australian region, as an example, so we have a really big customer footprint, and with that comes quite a lot of data. So it’s been a challenge, but a great opportunity to be able to try and make sense of all of the information and sort of touch on the point I made earlier around standardising that and creating yet omnichannel customer journeys that encourage people to be using more of our products while making sure they have a seamless experience throughout.

How does your company stay ahead of its competitors in terms of marketing?

The data piece is definitely one piece of the puzzle. It’s one piece. It’s not the whole picture, but one thing that we try really hard at and work towards is ensuring that we have constant customer feedback loops and insights. So whether that is through our beta testing, whether that’s through surveys that we’re running, or whether that’s through retros based on the opportunities or deals that we’re winning and where we’re losing and understanding what’s working and what’s not, that’s a really key way that we are able to ensure that we’re constantly, I suppose, on the pulse of what our customers are thinking more broadly than that. I think if you just take it up another layer, what we do as well is look at more broadly what the market is talking about and keep a close eye on the competition. How are they marketing? What has been successful across the different stages of the marketing and sales funnel? We really try to collate all those insights together so that we have a clear picture of what’s going on in the marketplace so that we can ensure that we’re being proactive rather than reactive to any changes that may come about.

The next piece really has to do with people. We have a really wonderful team of marketers; it’s not just marketing who’s in the company, obviously, but specific to the marketing department. We have a wonderful team of exceptionally talented people within the organisation, and the majority of them are full-stack marketers. So they have quite a breadth of experience across the full customer journey, which means it’s really helpful when we’re going through ideation sessions or feedback on work. It’s really great to sort of have those feedback loops, and when you’re talking to a team member, they kind of know what you’re talking about, but within that, they all have their areas of specialty and what they focus on. But really, having foundational knowledge of the full marketing journey and everything that sits within that and how they contribute to that gives them context and helps empower them to be great at their job. We would be nothing without the team that we have. A shout-out to the team.

That’s really nice. What a great team! That really sounds like something that a lot of people aspire to have, and what you said about feedback and being able to adapt it is really integral for these companies that want to grow in that sense. So with that, I want your opinion on what the future of marketing looks like.

 I’ve been on a bit of a theme around data, so I’m going to keep to that theme. Getting that 360-degree view of a customer and using those insights in your marketing for hyper-personalisation. We were in the era of automation, and now I think we’re truly starting to enter the era of personalisation, but not just segment-based personalisation. Spotify, for example, every year you get your Spotify wrapped. That kind of personal-level experience that you can give to a consumer is really where I think a lot of brands and companies are trying to aspire to be and move towards.

What is the role of the Head of Marketing, and why?

My one word for the role of head of marketing is Windex. For those who don’t know, Windex is a window cleaner. And the reason why I say that funny analogy is because many businesses have really foggy customer experiences, siloed teams, and unfocused messaging. The role of a marketing leader is to help create a crystal clear vision and direction that helps the company see all of those things clearly, what the future looks like, and then how to get there. Yeah, just create a crystal-clear vision for the future of the company.

What career advice would you like to share with other marketing leaders?

One thing that’s been really fundamental in my career and has been essential in retaining and acquiring great marketers within my team is number one: empathy, making sure that you are an empathetic leader. As a marketer, I initially mentioned it’s all about psychology. It’s not just about being empathetic to a consumer; it’s about being empathetic to your teams as well. Marketing is probably the one department where all eyes are on you, and if there’s a mistake, everybody sees it, and there’s an immense amount of pressure on marketers to be constantly performing, doing better, and improving on their results time and time again.

The best thing that you can do as a leader is to really be empathetic to your teams and give them a space where they feel safe to have fun and challenge each other to learn from each other. Don’t be afraid to create an environment where you can break stuff. You don’t learn from things unless you try something new, and if you break something, you need to learn from it, but giving them that space to be able to play and experiment really comes down to being empathetic. Personally, I think marketers themselves need to have empathy for themselves as well. I think a lot of us are inherent people-pleasers, or we want to say yes to things, but you need to make sure that you have a safe space for yourself so that you don’t burn yourself out.

“The best thing that you can do as a leader is to really be empathetic to your teams and give them a space where they feel safe to have fun and challenge each other to learn from each other.”

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