Jan 12, 2024
28 min
Episode 55

TOP CMO: Bruno Trimouille, Litera - 'Breaking Boundaries'

Bruno Trimouille  00:00

the legal industry is typically not known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to technology adoption. And there's a lot of technology coming in right now as we speak. revolutionising the way legal firm needs to look at technology to transform the business. 


This is the podcast where we go around

Ben Kaplan  00:16

the globe, marketing leaders for the world's biggest brands, fastest growing companies and most disruptive startups, re ideas


packaged a certain way want to spread, they want to be told us someone else's simple, surprising and significant. Unlocking viral creativity is to make it rapidly scalable.

Ben Kaplan  00:35

This is TOP CMO with me, Ben Kaplan.


Today I'm speaking with Bruno Trimouille CMO of laterra, a software company that specializes in solutions for the legal industry. BRUNO has more than 25 years of experience in the software industry, first as a software engineer, and leader as a sales engineer, product marketing manager and director of marketing. Since then, he's held leadership roles at IBM, Ven, Davao, and tipico. So what criteria makes an industry primed for marketing transformation? And what marketing strategies can companies employ to stay adaptable and effective over time? Let's find out with Bruno Trimouille.

Ben Kaplan  01:16

Bruno, you described taking on the opportunity at laterra as one that you are relishing, because there were so many facets, so many levers that you had a chance to really overhaul improve, redefine reimagine refresh. So take us through your thinking and why is that a great opportunity? And what are the types of levers that you're trying to move now?

Bruno Trimouille  01:39

Thank you, Ben Stiller, really glad to be on your podcast. Thank you for the invite, looking forward to the discussion. So let's say I got maybe two answers for you, I got the why I was attracted to this opportunity. I've done a lot of different marketing leadership engagement across the b2b software market. But I've never been really focused on a single industry, like Lita is, again, the legal tech or legal industry at large. And so I was intrigued, I would say, by this opportunity to actually transform the industry. What you may not know is the legal industry is typically not known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to technology adoption. And there's a lot of technology in terms of cloud adoption, in terms of risk management that have already, you know, made strides and have proven track record in auto industry. And those technologies coming in right now, as we speak, and revolutionizing the way legal firm needs to look at technology to transform the business. And on top of that, as we all know, Gen AI is very transformative, but because it's content centric, it's extremely impactful and transforming for the legal industry. So waves of transformation. You know, new means of revolutionising the way lawyers work and the way business function behind the scenes support that and literally is very well position a company with 25 years of, you know, track record across the industry. And if you combine that with, you know, the connection I had with, with the leadership, and also the opportunity to really transform the marketing function, which I'm going to get into that made for a very interesting opportunity. Now on to the marketing transformation, I would say, first order of priority was really to look at the team, we had to restructure the team in terms of the skill set in terms of the geographical redistribution, so really architecting the team so far around four specific pillar, we just added a fifth one, and not long ago. The first pillars were, you know, Product Marketing. For us, it's very important, it has to do messaging positioning, we have more than 25 products that we actively market across six to seven different buying centers, buying personnel. So you can imagine, the product marketing job is very important, and we need to adapt, you know, playbooks, we need to really be in the driver's seat, actually for sales plays and some of the go to market motion. And I needed to have leadership and the skill set within the team to get that done. Second was the growth marketing, which is really for us, you know, the combination of demand generation but also some of the digital spend as well, which we combine under the same roof. Here, it was essentially an I can detail that doing two things, a shifting from tactics to campaigns, that's for the air cover, sort of engagement, one to many style engagement, and then starting to adopt ABM within our go to market. So specifically focusing on the one to one and then leading into the interstitial, which is the one to few in between. And then the last bit was to create a new cooperate marketing function from the ground up, which today includes focus content, focus on web focus on press relation is Some capabilities around creative and content. And last but not least, the social media style engagement. And that was creating this new function from the ground up starting it up with, you know, starting with a new leader, and then all the team behind the scene. Once I've done that, then I hired the fourth pillar, which was the marketing operations, we were lacking in not only the processes, but also the data and the insights and the big data, their persona would say, I really believe in grounding decisions and investment, based on data. So we had to stand that up. And fun fact, we just added a CSV reader, which is now marketing actually owns the pricing function. So pricing and packaging, obviously, we had inputs before, but now we actually own that function at this moment within the company.

Ben Kaplan  05:50

What are things, if I'm reading between the lines, I mean, this is an established company, it's in the legal industry, which tends to be an in person kind of industry, in terms of marketing through events, lawyers like to meet face to face. So is a lot of these other elements, having more of a analytics, a digital marketing structure, more kind of marketing, a digital marketing platform, where those maybe not as developed as much, because in this industry, if you kind of like had a presence at events and sold through events, you could do fine. But there's a lot of room for low hanging fruits using technology and innovation in the marketing function, that you can really expand the business but it hadn't necessarily had to be developed because of the dynamics of the industry. Yes,

Bruno Trimouille  06:36

so absolutely. That's absolutely one reason. I mean, it's again, an industry that likes to meet face to face. And even as we all creating or FY 24 plan. Events still have a big lion's share of the marketing spend. But we realize a couple of things. First, as you said, you know, everyone is kind of more technology aware, especially with Jenny and I, even now lawyers and a lot of different people in the legal firm, you know, are doing research and are poking around and seeing, you know, what's next, what's the capabilities. So that's one, two, I would say the business of law is changing. I mean, even from a literal standpoint, 25 years ago, we had one person out, he was the lawyers, and we really crafted a suite of tools and capability to help them in their craft in their work day to day. But two years ago, we started a string of acquisition more than 12 to kind of build a capability around what we call the business of raw. So think about it as all the supporting business function, from business development, finance to HR, to the CIO office to kind of support the lawyers, you know, in there and they ever because at the end, yes, they are the stall. But as we know, all star need a supporting cast. And that's that's what's happening. So we have this new buying center popping up, she was suddenly a new persona, some of them may be really tech savvy. And as we know, a lot of the buying journey starts you know, online, start in a South based manner. Yes, the conference are great conduits and a great hub to learn. But more of that is being infused in the in the legal tech space, because again, all the supporting function, do not have software and need for software and software style capabilities to support their business.

Ben Kaplan  08:21

One interesting impact of gentlemen of AI, and specifically chat GPT has been its effect on industries that are not typically on the cutting edge of technology. Now that many in those industries can see what is the potential of technology to automate things that we thought were only the purview of manual human thinking. Many more people in those industries are increasingly willing to explore other technology based solutions to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, to now is a great time to potentially get your most technology resistance stakeholders on a new track. I know one of the tenants that you've subscribed to has been getting away from tactics and turning them more into campaigns. What does that mean? And is there a practical example of what is it to have a set of tactics and to I don't know, bundle them up in some way? And why is a campaign more effective and more desired in the marketing goals you're trying to achieve? Very good

Bruno Trimouille  09:21

question. So I've seen sort of two ways to approach it right? There are some companies where you come in and you adopt a, you know, series decision of foresters that framework and you go by persona, and you go at a top down, and it can work, you know, we kind of started to build awareness with the team through that lens. It's like, let's make sure that when we look at document messaging, content positioning, we all know who we are selling to. So who is this persona you're going after? How do we you know, open the door with this person and generate interest now that we got the interest, how do we progress them so we did a bit of that education with it. Even adoption of some of the content, messaging and positioning framework to kind of build up the awareness. But I will say the aha moment for us was also doing it part time app. So what did we do, again, events critical part of a marketing mix. So we decided to start with the event and how then the playbook around the back. And the playbook on the event was at the beginning, okay, let's make sure the event is really looked at really tight production. And in the production, you have the pre production, you have the during the event, and you have the post production. So we made the event, really a key rallying factor, not just for marketing meeting for marketing and sales to meet, look at, you know, the people we wanted to invite, look at the demo we wanted to talk about. So it was really a vector of collaboration around that really hardening the playbook on it. And and we improved it, you know, quantum leaps. And we've seen, you know, the influence that has on the pipeline, for some events, you multiply the pipeline by 1.5, and two, with just the same presence, sometimes even a presence reduction, or though I shouldn't, I shouldn't say that out loud. And then starting from that, we really infuse both in marketing and sales, the idea that, okay, let's look at the event follow up first, even for that, frankly, it was a little bit as as others because it's like, hey, we know everyone, the account executive who were at the event. One thing I miss MSA is we injected two key KPI into the event, there was the pipeline, you know, influence there was the pipeline source, that's table stakes. But a key metric of success for us is also the number of meeting one to one meeting, we had either pre scheduled or during the event. And that's a shared goal that we drive with, with the salespeople. And so from all those meetings, and all the engagement we have with hot leads, we also hide them a little bit out of standard of qualification that event. Now we need to look at the event follow up and the event follow up is not just you know, as for marketing, saying, hey, sales, you got you know, 25 leads, thank you follow up all it's not just sales, you know, thinking, hey, marketing, I'm sure you're gonna send some follow up emails to them, you we scrapped that it's reaching out to doing it as a follow up campaign who does what BDR swim lane account executive swim lane Customer Success swim lane, which we added, which was new marketing, swim lane, and really creating a plan that everyone knew about. And everyone is executing is not just marketing, sending follow up email and all that kind of thing. And then the next phase was looking at the upstream side of the events. For some events, we didn't have, for instance, a landing page, or, you know, some of the material on the landing page that we were demonstrating and showing at the event. So really heightening the production of the event and the packaging, but also all the drives to, you know, we started to have stream to build awareness that, hey, we are very well positioned for human resources or for finance team in the world of the legal tech industry. And we had an open string to kind of bring up the level of awareness and then we position the event as hey, if you happen to go to that event, which frankly for legal likenesses, I don't worry, we will be then we can continue the discussion. So really stacking up on the left side, you know, upstream of the event, some door opener, and awareness and sort of top of the funnel style engagement with digital and email to open the door and build up around that. And from that, then we really embrace the notion of campaign like any other company would do. But for us, he was essentially rallying around the event because that was a key anchor point, if that makes sense. Two

Ben Kaplan  13:43

things that are interesting, I think, one for event marketing, you know, we're at top, we're a global marketing agency, we do a we do a lot of of that marketing for our clients, I think one of the things that people sometimes forget, is that sometimes the benefit of the event was actually all of the marketing that goes into it, even for people who never attend, or people who attend but did so in a limited way maybe didn't engage with your business or your company. But it's all of that around that. And for a lot of our clients, some of the biggest deals, sales, drivers of value revenue is actually around all of the collateral activity around the event that even our target that was the conversion that we did didn't actually go so not kind of having a fully built build out, you know, in your words campaign rather than tactics, pre event and post that with multiple swim lanes is a real loss of some of the value because otherwise, the event is usually limited in time, right? Just a few days. You try to maximize it but you can use it to drive for an entire quarter an entire year. If you view the event not as a singular moment in time.

Bruno Trimouille  14:53

Absolutely. We actually played an interesting I would say trick on one of our last biggest event which is called yield dot com stands for is that conference, it is an industry trade association in the word of legal. And that conference at that time in Florida in the summer was, you know, is the rallying cry for a lot of legal companies. And what we did there is, you know, chances are a lot of for a target company, you're gonna send at least a couple of people, I think the statistics is anywhere between three to five people. But what happened with that is because this event was a launch vector for us for Gemini offering, the landing page of the event became a way for people attending the event, and also those not attending for event to participate in the launch. So we had teaser videos, we had teaser content, or CEO stood on stage and delivered a presentation, we flew a video crew team to actually capture that presentation, slide set in different parts post the first part, you know, hours after the presentation, and then the next part weeks after. So we created a little bit of a digital hub for those people who were the event maybe miss part of our action, because we had demo booths, and we posted the demo videos over there. We had a demo theater with 20 minute session, well guess what we posted, you know those videos over there as well in a staggered manner. So that event landing page, because it was kind of really tightly correlated with the launch, became the conduit to actually reached, you know, a lot of those people who could not make it, all those people who could make it but maybe miss the power of the action, wanting to share some of the content and a presentation that a colleague, you know, from that company had missed. So I think we played it pretty well. And the pipeline has been really, really high from that specific event.

Ben Kaplan  16:46

in industries where face to face contact is part of the culture, physical events can become the heartbeat of marketing. If you are doing events the right way, they will infuse energy into a business and set the pace for many other parts of your marketing playbook. You'll build around your event calendar to maintain visibility, stay top of mind and build momentum. The key is that you can't become overly reliant on events. They aren't as scalable as other channels. So think of events as opportunities for relationship building, and content creation that can fuel many other parts of your marketing plan. And then I think the other insight listening to you that matches sometimes how we think about things at work, especially for transformation is in particularly when you want to transform a lot of things at once. You know, you want to do your ambitious Bruto, you want to get results and change quickly. But starting from a place of strength makes a lot of sense. And in this case, it sounds like it's event marketing, right? Because a lot of business goes through there. And when you're moving a lot of levers to also do it in an area that is because so much stuff is new, you're just looking like what can I ladder to? That's the same that we know well that we know how to do to give us a really strong base. And I think sometimes on big transformations, CMOs come in to a particular opportunity or particular role. They want to change a lot. And it's all like, Okay, where are all the holes we can plug or things we should have? And that's of course important. And maybe that's why you were hired, but to actually do an assessment of what are the strikes? What do we do really well? What are even the things that we can do, even if we can get more out of it the way we can do in our sleep, we can do these things. And building some of that change on that foundation that already exists can be really, really important in avoiding biting off more than you can chew.

Bruno Trimouille  18:35

Absolutely. There was so many, you know, different areas and levers, as you said, and this is why for instance, we office playbook was as I said, literally about hardening the event. And then once all that, you know thing was done then we looked at the webinars because we have again products that are very unlike I would say some other company I work for which sells more widget and things that need to be contextualized. Here we sell software that you install, and you run it, it delivers the capabilities out of the box. So as you can imagine, webinars play a really big role, at least in the either on the left side of the funnel to kind of build up awareness or in the progression after we met the first time at the event and they kind of get the concept we really need to educate them on the heart of you know how and why we are different. So webinar, you know was was another spot, but I'm gonna say right now the kind of breakthrough for us is really on the digital side. On the digital side, I would say not only getting our acts together in terms of having the right dashboard to analyze the span, the cost per click and things like that. But also the most recent breakthrough we found these video ads just works like amazingly Yeah, we just tried a few at the tail end of the conference. And the increase of conversion and engagement is just Saba guesting, so I don't know if it's just big As video ads are enticing as a whole across the industry, or the legal industry is not using them that much. But I can tell you we are getting crazy number and reach with those video ads that we're going to triple down in FY 24.


What is your advice for thinking about all of the types of marketing channels, platforms, tactics that you can experiment with? And how much you should experiment when doing a transformation? And how much you should kind of go with what's tried and true. And where this really comes into kind of definition is on this notion of how you do budgeting, because budgeting becomes, in some ways, a statement of your values, right? What do we value based on where we choose to invest money? So how do you think about experimenting versus your core foundation? And how is that reflected in the budget? So we

Bruno Trimouille  20:52

we had a big shift in, in the budget as I came in, I would say and the major shift was essentially that the budget was very slanted to using agencies, I mean, not that I don't like agency, but to me, building at least a core team without going overboard in terms of the number of staff at least having one person with that specific skill set was very key and fundamental. So I guess even upstream to your question, I'm gonna say, having the right team leaders, and really looking at the skill set, not so much, you know, who do you report to, but kind of, hey, do we have somebody who understands for instant digital marketing? Do we have somebody that understands web marketing, so thinking about this as functional coverage was really, really key. And I would triple down on that, again, and again. And again, I did it because I knew it had helped me in the previous experience. But it didn't sell having the right leaders and the right coverage helped us a ton. Now, when we looked at it, as I said, So events were a big, a big thing. But at the same time, we knew we had to modernize our tech stack. So here we knew we had to divest from certain technologies, we had to rationalize certain technologies. And we had to maybe adopt certain new technology, especially as we were scaling up or wanting to scale up ADM, so we started to invest there. And then towards the second half of the year, I joined us around you know, at the end of January, so towards the second half as we were getting our house in order. In a lot of those, I would say event whether face to face or digital, we started to hire and staff and really play with the digital marketing aspect of the budget. Today event is my number one marketing sourcing contribution. Web. And digital is kind of catching up to it. But it's TR so web is now number two, which is great. But it's still half of the contribution that the events bring, in my opinion, it needs to be not just the same, but maybe even 2x, the size of digital, because again, if a company sends five people, they are largely for their stays behind the scene that should engage with us, digitally. So we played a lot, especially in those past four to five months, with the digital aspect. First trying to instrument what we're doing. And then trying to spend in a smarter way I have an advantage is we have a well defined target set of 800 accounts, that's really the top pool we're going after we have a very long term that we also need to carry to. But here it's a little bit of a different selling motion, it's more low touch. So in my high touch setting motion, I have a pool of 800 account. And there's a lot of different interesting thing you can do if you engage digitally, but at the same time spend it off effort in segmenting and targeting, if that makes sense. Finally,


what is the buy in to all of this from the rest of the company? And how do you manage that when certainly your new people have done things a certain way? It sounds like it hasn't been a digital marketing focused company, which we've talked about is related to its industry that it plays in. But how do you think about the political side of bringing everyone along making sure that everyone all the key stakeholders are on board before you drive many changes, which sometimes those who are impatient and ambitious sometimes run into in organizations that have been around for more than just a few years?

Bruno Trimouille  24:21

Great question. So first off, if you rewind to like the context of literature, so I was hired to do a marketing transformation, but a lot of the ELT is new, and was hired maybe a little bit before me some right after me to do the same thing. So it's a company that overall is transforming under the leadership of our CEO, which is, you know, very great and very transformation centric transformation is just happening everywhere. So I had a little bit of that advantage. Then as I told you, Ben, I think having the right leaders really made a difference. If we are honest with ourselves, marketing was not very visible before for all kinds of different reason. So I had to have leaders that can not only, you know, carry their weight into what they're doing, again, Product Marketing, etc. But for me, marketing is a team sport. And we need to build connection with sales, we need to be connection with product, customer success, even with HR, even we finance. So this is something that was table stakes for me in hiring and positioning those new leaders. And then number three, you know, each area has its own way. And again, product marketing was really a little bit behind the scene, putting them in front of the scene, and working on deliverables with the product team, working on the response with the customer success, and logging and advertising internal your successes, doing the same, again, with the event event was not just yes, there's some marketing people and they will make sure that we have a booth and the right people we created this playbook with was not just about marketing, but bringing in sales and customer success. And the feedback I had is like, Oh, my goodness, so marketing, there's some energy, there is some presents that we've never seen. And that presents was very collaborative, by design, right. And so people started to appreciate that. And I would say in second half, we started to have a little bit of the reverse problem is now that people know there is a marketing function. And I've tasted and seen, now you know, that we giving them this, they want the whole the whole thing. And sometimes we have capacity issue. One easy example is for instance, on the creative side, now we do have a creative team. But it's a team of you know, four or five people. And in for a company our size, you know, we may need more, we need more and people were seeing the beautiful graphics or conference and wanted it for this and that and disorder things. So now we have to kind of channel and add a bit more processes, you know, to engaging with us, but we really turned the corner. I think from a yeah, there must be a marketing somewhere to oh boy, there's marketing, they have energy, they're getting things done. And by the way, I need a piece of that action too.

Ben Kaplan  26:59

According to Bruno Trimouille, transforming your marketing department and team doesn't have to be overwhelming. Focus on assembling the right leaders, those with the necessary skill sets that align with your marketing goals. Identify and leverage existing strengths within the company and build upon them as a solid foundation for transformation. incorporate new technologies to improve your efficiency and effectiveness and continuously refine your existing approach. Remember, success is contagious. Small Victories lead to bigger ones, and maybe more requests from other leaders in your company to for TOP CMO. I'm Ben Kaplan.


This was brought to you by TOP Thought Leader. Find out more at topthoughtleader.com

New episodes will always updated regularly

Waste of resources our competitors are jumping the shark.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.