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The Marketing Behind Cloud Banking Solutions with Jonathan Rowe, CMO, nCino

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A good customer experience requires more than just making the sale. It’s taking a look and analyzing every little detail that pushes them further and further down the funnel… If you design it the right way, the customer experience should be serving the customer first while giving you the conversions you desire. As an experienced marketer Jonathan Rowe, the CMO of nCino, a cloud banking solutions company, has welcomed the challenge of working in a highly regulated industry, servicing big banks.

“From a customer perspective, make sure that they’re getting the most value from what they purchased from your product. That’s being proactive and giving them that information. It’s making sure you can add. We work with our institutions. I’ve had marketing conversations with CMOs of banks, just because they want to learn some of our best practices. [Think] how can your organization go above and beyond. And then help infuse your brand with your customers; make them help sell your product.”

On this episode of Marketing Trends, Jonathan looks back at the exponential growth that he experienced at nCino. He looks back at his academic roots that he says laid the foundation for him that helped spur that growth. But behind the numbers and metrics, what separates nCino and its marketing department from its competitors is its company culture, and Jonathan and I dive into how he’s built a culture, what pillars he leans on and how he thinks about hiring and recruiting talent. Learn more about the way he approaches team building, thought leadership, and good communication up next on Marketing Trends.

Main Takeaways

  • Transitioning from Academia to Marketing: The skills that it takes to be a great academician are more transferable to a career in marketing than you might first think. When you look at marketing as ‘education’ things begin to fall into place. Even if you’re not in academics, looking at the craft of marketing from a slightly different perspective, instead of just focusing on converting customers, maybe a focus on educating them will actually drive more conversions.
  • Looking Like a Billion-Dollar Brand: Even if you’re at the very beginning of your business journey as a start-up, fake it till you make it! Presenting your brand like a top-dollar player from day one sets a tone of excellence for your team, your business, and your customers. Everything you do, every piece of communication, marketing materials, conversations, and attitude all should reflect the top-dollar attitude you want at your company.
  • Use the Channels and Communication Styles your Customers Prefer: Maybe long emails don’t perform well anymore by marketing industry standards, but maybe your customers, in your niche market, still like to receive and read longer messages in their inbox. Adapting your marketing channels and even messaging for your audience shows them that you’re listening and will only enrich your interactions with them.

Key Quotes

“’I never expected an academic background to transfer to a startup and now high growth company. But marketing is really about educating, right? You’re educating a lot of stakeholders, whether it’s partners, whether it’s potential clients, whether it’s customers, whether it’s investors, whether it’s your employees. And so that to me was a very early realization that really it’s about education.”

“First and foremost, who are you selling to? Make sure you understand your target market. It sounds so simple, but when you understand who you’re selling to, you can then ask yourself the next two or three questions, which is, ‘Where do those people go? What do they look at? What are their interests?’ And that’s even before you get to, ‘What is your message?’”

“‘Everything we do represents a billion-dollar brand.’ I literally put that on the wall because I think this is true of anybody, even if you’re a small business. What do you aspire to be? How do you want your employees thinking about every day when they walk in or take a phone call or make a product or do a service delivery, how do you want them thinking about your business? One of the things you realize in marketing is you don’t own the brand.  You’re a steward of the brand. You may help set direction for the brand, but your employees own the brand, your customers own the brand. All your partners are invited like all these different people. In those early years, I wanted us to look and feel like a billion-dollar company.” 

“[Go] back to understanding your audience, what channels do they engage with? In a lot of industries, you may say, ‘I’m not going to write a document that’s longer than two pages because nobody’s going to read it.’ That’s true universally, but I think in banking, folks are still reading a good deal of information. They also like research; so for us, from a customer perspective [how can we] be a thought leader. It’s really understanding our ability to not go to a bank and say, Hey, we know how to do things better than you, because obviously you never want to do that. But to go in, challenge and share research and share data, because now it’s your point. Now that we’ve built up 1100 customers, we’re learning a lot about the industry. And how do we share that back to the point about what we talked about with Salesforce, kind of creating these, this community of raving and nCino fans, where again, we entered an industry where a lot of the banks are competitors and they used to never talk to each other. And here we are, you know, almost 10 years later.” 

“From a customer perspective, one, make sure that they’re getting the most value from what they purchased from your product. That’s being proactive and giving them that information. It’s making sure you can add. We actually work with our institutions. I’ve had marketing conversations with CMOs of banks, just because they want to learn some of our best practices. [Think] how can your organization go above and beyond. And then help infuse your brand with your customers; make them help sell your product.”

Bio

Jonathan Rowe serves as nCino’s Chief Marketing Officer, helping fuel growth for the worldwide leader in cloud banking. Jonathan and the Marketing Team are responsible for the Company’s global branding, public relations, conferences, creative design, digital, and product marketing functions. Jonathan also oversees nCino’s Recruiting Team and all employer and culture branding initiatives. A year-one nCino employee, Jonathan has been instrumental in establishing the nCino brand and leading the Company’s marketing functions globally.

Prior to joining nCino, Jonathan was a professor in the Cameron School of Business and Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He holds a Bachelor of Science in International Marketing from UNC Wilmington, a Master of Business Administration from Babson College and a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Management from the University of Auckland.

Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world’s number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at salesforce.com/marketing.

Episode 272