Dave Wreski and Betty Friedel have a big responsibility. They oversee all marketing for Guardian Digital, a leading email security company. The catch? Neither Dave nor Betty are marketers by trade, or by title. In fact, Dave is the CEO and Betty is the Sr. Manager of Customer Development; suffice to say that marketing is only one of the many priorities competing for their attention. Yet despite this, they both agree that their marketing needs to be done well, and done right.
What Mautic is doing for marketing automation, Guardian Digital is doing for email security. Similar to how Mautic was born, Guardian Digital employs open source development. Open development is something Dave is passionate about because it’s based upon the principles of accessibility and transparency – where code is freely available for review and use. This approach fosters participation and rapid innovation, and this was the main reason Dave chose Mautic. His creation – the EnGarde Email Security Gateway – uses a unique open source security solution which enables it to rapidly learn over time as it constantly updates itself to protect business email accounts from the most sophisticated threats such as phishing and malware. Along with this next-generation solution come ambitious plans for this year and the future, which is why we were thrilled when Guardian made the decision to trust their marketing automation to Mautic.
Mautic was built for companies like this. Particularly in rapidly growing spaces like digital security (and marketing technology, too, for that matter), companies trend toward building lean, more agile marketing teams. Mautic enables lean (see: small) marketing teams to operate with the speed and sophistication of a bigger enterprise.
As part of Dave and Betty’s onboarding process with Mautic, we spoke with them to learn more about their goals for the business and why they believe Mautic is the technology that can help propel them to the next level of success.
Why were Mautic’s open source roots so important to you?
Dave Wreski, CEO: Like Mautic, Guardian Digital also has a passion for open source. We embrace open source’s exchange of information, technology, and collaborative development. It’s the basis for our success as a pioneer in email security. The more we got to know Mautic – the team and the technology – we could see that our businesses were kindred spirits in a sense. I feel strongly that when technology is born from collaboration, it is more thoughtful and complete. To me, Mautic’s advantage is two-fold: it was developed by the strongest developer community from around the world, plus it has the added benefit of obvious and deep marketing knowledge and expertise.
To be clear, Guardian Digital purchased Mautic Cloud over the freely available but unsupported DIY open source version. We did this for a number of important reasons. The two most important were A) our desire to have a platform that would be stable and scalable so that we didn’t have to worry about those things and could focus on marketing, and B) the expert onboarding and support that Mautic includes as standard with all their contracts. These are the things that will help us move further faster.
The last thing I would say is that Mautic refers to themselves as the Open Marketing Cloud, and we absolutely see that openness being influenced by their open source origins. Guardian has known for 20 years that open source is where the innovation in technology is happening. Our solutions are more effective and more flexible as a result of open source. Mautic demonstrates their innovation through flexibility. We see this first in Mautic’s ability to integrate with all different platforms and business systems, not just the chosen “approved” ones in a marketplace. And secondly, there’s a level of transparency we have with Mautic that we haven’t seen with other commercial marketing technologies. For instance, if Mautic ever stops being the right solution for us, we own our customer data and can take it with us. A lot of folks may be surprised to learn that that’s not normal in many industries. Many solution providers use data as a tactic to lock customers in and make them fear change. This is not Mautic’s approach, and we have a lot of respect for that.
What has marketing historically looked like for Guardian Digital?
Dave: Of course almost all companies rely on email to conduct business, but the email security space is actually pretty niche. Because of that, we’ve had consistent success with referrals and word of mouth. Even so, it has still been important for us to drive brand awareness and recognition, so we’ve used print advertising to help us accomplish those goals. These relatively basic tactics have been a winning formula for us for a while.
What changed for you to prompt a search for new technology?
Dave: Quite simply, marketing has evolved. And we know we have to evolve to keep pace- or better yet, get ahead. We’ve known for a while that we needed to complement our traditional brand awareness efforts with a modern marketing strategy. With technology now available like Mautic, we finally feel like true demand generation is accessible for a team and model like ours.
What would you like others to know about your search for a marketing automation solution?
Betty Friedel, Sr. Manager of Customer Development: Like Dave said, we recognize how expectations around the customer experience have changed, and we’ve wanted to be proactive about making those changes for Guardian Digital and our customers. Guardian has a deep commitment to personalized customer service. But the existing tools out there haven’t made it easy – so many of them just aren’t built to accommodate a team like ours, whether that’s because of cost, ease-of-use, or promised capabilities and benefits.
The ease-of-use was particularly important, as we needed to know our next solution would have a realistic learning curve so we could start executing fast. And, nothing against salespeople – Tim at Mautic was terrific – but it can be very difficult in this day and age to trust that new technology will actually be as easy as advertised. With Mautic, we were able to build that trust. We had access to a free Sandbox account to try out core features for ourselves before committing to a contract. We loved that experience as it gave us the confidence to know what we were really buying.
How is Mautic going to help?
Betty: We’re excited for Mautic to help in several ways. First, we’re going to make our email marketing better and smarter. Segmentation is such a big piece of this. As a consumer myself, I don’t like when I get generic emails from companies that I follow. It’s actually a huge turn-off. So I don’t want to be treating our customers and prospects like that, either. Guardian’s devotion to our customers is the foundation of everything we do. With Mautic, we’ll be able to create target lists so we can send more personal messages – we know that will help us build more meaningful relationships with our contacts.
Additionally, we’re excited for what we like to call “next-gen” PR – we’re going to be producing more thought-leadership content and having more speaking engagements. Mautic is going to help us learn exactly what kinds of content our customers are interested in. That data is incredibly valuable as it will help inform our future content and messaging direction, and it will also help us personalize our follow-up to each lead.
And I don’t want to forget about the importance of website tracking. Google analytics is great for us to see overall website traffic numbers, and which pages are getting the most hits. But Mautic will add an even deeper layer of knowledge, helping us capture exactly which pages and content our leads are visiting and engaging with. Mautic will marry this data up with what we’re seeing from emails, and then every interaction will bring us another step closer to our leads to know them better and be able to give them what they want. That’s pretty awesome.
What kinds of goals are you setting for your marketing now?
Dave: We’re aiming to double our sales year over year. That’s going to mean driving more leads and improving engagement with those leads. It also means we’re going to need to act with greater urgency – learning and reacting in real time – and having context regarding our relationship with each contact in order to deliver the right communications, content, and offers. We feel like we’ve got the technology now to set an ambitious goal like this and go out and achieve it.
Betty: More tactically, I can’t wait to start building landing pages to support specific content and campaigns. Companies who seem to be doing this well do a combination of making some content available to everyone – like in a blog or evergreen pages – but then using forms to gate more valuable content like research reports or case studies. We’re going to do the same thing and we expect to drive higher quality lead conversion which will let us spend our time focusing on the right leads.
Would you recommend Mautic to a colleague or peer?
Dave: Yes. I know other executives and business leaders share the same concerns and apprehensions as we did about bringing in new marketing technology. But it’s been easy for Betty and I to see how Mautic will help us generate results. Put simply, Mautic provides a better and easier way to communicate. It’s not a complicated platform – and we learned that firsthand thanks to the free Sandbox account. I feel confident in Mautic’s ability to help us keep pace with other leaders in our industry, and that’s exactly what I’m sharing with friends in my network who are facing similar challenges.
Betty: Same here. I know that wherever we are going to be “hearing” from our customers, we’ll be able to capture, share, access, and take action on that information. It’s important that people feel like they’re being paid attention to and that they are understood. We’re certain that Mautic will be an asset to Guardian’s ongoing commitment to seamless, personalized customer support. We believe Mautic is going to bring us much closer to our audience, and that’s incredibly powerful.