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Why A Previous Customer Joined DoubleDutch as the CMO

I became a raving fan of DoubleDutch as a customer two years ago, when I was the CMO at Saba Software. At the Saba @Work User Conference in 2013, we decided to use DoubleDutch as an event mobile app to deliver an electronic program guide and a more engaging attendee experience. Since our annual user conference was the most important event and the biggest spend item in the marketing budget, I was intimately involved in the sales and implementation process. The company’s compelling sales pitch, intuitive product experience, and friendly customer success reps were impressive. But what really blew me away was how DoubleDutch transformed the experience and energy of our entire conference.

Our attendees were ecstatic about connecting with many people at once, having more visibility to the programs (official or unofficial), and sharing real-time feedback to everything that was happening at the event. And for the marketing team, the DoubleDutch app gave us unprecedented data, perspectives, and insight that we could use to measure and finetune our content and programs for future events.

Needlessly to say, when DoubleDutch contacted me for a CMO position this summer, I was intrigued. At the time, I was going through an extensive due diligence process that involved talking to 30+ companies in search of the perfect next opportunity. In my mind, “perfection” was determined by answering the following five questions:

  1. Is there a big Total Available Market (TAM) associated with the target market?

  2. Does the company have a proven record of execution?

  3. Can marketing play a pivotal role in expanding the company’s market potential and accelerating growth?

  4. Do I feel a deep intellectual and emotional connection with the target market and the solution?

  5. Does the company have a distinct culture that reflects my personal values?

In the end, DoubleDutch won my heart and mind hands down. Here’s why it stood out as the perfect opportunity for the next phase of my career:

  1. Enormous market opportunity. Event management software is estimated to have a $5 billion TAM and mobile offerings are expected to grow this market by >50% over the coming years. Globally, organizations spend ~$565 billion on events and meetings each year with approximately 5 million events held each year globally and 1.9 million in the U.S. alone. Yet despite the proliferation of digital marketing channels, the event market represents the single largest portion of B2B marketing spend. Currently, less than 2% of the events have adopted any mobile solutions and less than 0.5% have used native mobile event apps.

  1. Proven track record of execution. Lawrence Coburn, the CEO, has assembled a young and energetic group of folks with an amazing winning attitude. They’re led by a stellar executive team groomed by the best minds and brands in Silicon Valley - LinkedIn, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, Cisco and DemandForce. The company has had 10 quarters of consecutive, explosive growth in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) that’s fueled by both new customer acquisition and land-and-expand in the install base. The product is not only highly visionary, intuitive, addictive and viral, but it’s also secure and scalable for the large enterprise. Last but not least, DoubleDutch’s customer success model is best-in-class, scoring 1,100+ happy customers. On top of all that, DoubleDutch is guided by an extraordinary board consisting of Mithril Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Floodgate, Bullpen Capital, Index Ventures, and KKR.

  1. The pivotal role of marketing in expanding market potential and accelerating growth. One exciting aspect of working at DoubleDutch is the fact that the product  sells to my fellow CMOs and marketers, which means we have to be exceptional at marketing our products in order to earn the trust of our target buyers. Of all the marketing programs today, events represent the biggest spend and most significant opportunity for transformation - from largely physical to digital, social and mobile; from flying blind to making data-based decisions; and from activity-intense to performance-driven. DoubleDutch can own the conversation about the transformation that’s unfolding, and the Marketing team will be at the forefront of defining the market category and leading the dialogue. What can possibly be a more exhilarating charter for a CMO?

  1. My personal connection to the target market. Ever since I started doing enterprise software marketing, I’ve always had a secret love for events. Unlike digital channels that at times can feel cold, mechanical and impersonal, events are human, engaging and magical. It’s where connections are made, friendships are formed, and deals are struck. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than to help marketers around the globe reimagine the way they plan and execute events and transform them into the most effective demand gen programs. Event managers are often the unsung heroes of the marketing department despite their hectic schedules and heavy workload. It’s time that that we shine the limelight on them and help them prove the tremendous value they bring to business.

  1. It’s all about the culture. The most important criteria that I use to evaluate a company is whether it reflects my personal values. Life is short, and I’m not good at pretending to be someone else at work. Throughout the interview process, one thing that impressed me the most was the DoubleDutchers. I’ve never met a group of people who are as humble, scrappy, hungry, passionate and fearless. These values are demonstrated by everyone in the company - from the CEO to the executive team to the frontline SDRs, account executives and customer success managers.

Last week, I came on board just in time for the annual company offsite, where I met all 250+ DoubleDutchers. The fervor they shared about the company’s mission and the love they had for each other was palpable and deeply moving. I knew, at that moment, that I had found the right family with whom to spend my next few years.

DoubleDutchers, a heart-felt thank you for welcoming me to the team. I can’t wait to work with you all and help DoubleDutch push towards a new frontier and achieve the next level of extraordinariness!

And for those of you who want to be extraordinary and hop on the DoubleDutch bus, we’re always on the lookout for awesome talent. Give us a call!

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