Facebook Live: How to Speak Your CFO’s Language w/ Maria Pergolino

Maria Pergolino is talented at just about everything B2B marketing. We were able to catch up with Maria on Facebook Live talking all about how to speak your CFO’s language, how she is able to be innovative at events, and her craziest direct mail stories.

You can also see Maria in real life on stage at the 2018 #FlipMyFunnel conference. Check out the transcript from her interview below to gain her marketing wisdom.


Nikki Nixon:                           All right so we are live with Maria. Maria, what’s up? How are you?

Maria Pergolino:                   Good, hey, this is Maria Pergolino, CMO at Anaplan. Nice to meet everybody.

Nikki Nixon:                           Yeah, so we’re excited to have Maria. She’s no stranger to the #FlipMyFunnel community. She’s a funnel flipping veteran so we’re excited to have her today on Facebook live and she’ll be joining us on the keynote stage in August at our #FlipMyFunnel 2018 conference. So we’re really excited about that as well. We’ll kick things off and dive right in.

Speaking your CFO’s Language

Nikki Nixon:                           So, Maria, what most people know about you is marketing and when I was looking at your background I was actually really surprised to see that you had a background in finance as well. I thought that was really interesting and what I was curious about with that is how has that helped your approach as a marketing executive, particularly selling your plans to your CFO and getting budget approval and things like that and actually being able to speak their language?

Maria Pergolino:                 Yeah I think, so definitely for those that don’t know me, I am a passionate marketer. I did my grad and undergrad degree in marketing. I have been a part of really amazing marketing organizations. Currently at Anaplan, previously with Apttus & Marketo, and prior to that in Enterprise Organizations. But I did take, some time after I finished my MBA and worked as a financial analyst as well as have continued to invest.

Maria Pergolino:                 I know that you and I had talked about a course that I had done at Stanford.

Maria Pergolino:                 But it was a class around finance for the non-financial executive. I think that we talk so much about sales and marketing alignment, but we talk so infrequently about marketing and finance alignment. Right?

Maria Pergolino:                 It is critical that an organization sees marketing for what it truly is – an investment.

Maria Pergolino:                 When we’re talking about #FlipMyFunnel, we’re often speaking to B2B organizations. But unique to B2B organizations, and a lot of B2C organizations, there’s not a direct sales force. It is the marketing team and they’re running eCommerce or retail promotions. That is that seller for the organization.

Maria Pergolino:                 Where there are direct sales organizations, there is that last person in the funnel. That is the person closing the deal, but essentially the reason you have marketing with that direct sales force is that it would be inefficient. It would be too costly to do everything through direct sales. Marketing creates a great efficiency, awareness in the front of the funnel and then does that pass.

Maria Pergolino:                 So, really having the organization, including finance, understand that efficiency that marketing creates. Understanding that there’s sometimes when it’s better than dollar in sales because we need more of a direct sales forces, but other times where it creates a great value for the organization to put that dollar into marketing is really important. Being able to articulate that is critical in an organization.

Nikki Nixon:                           Yeah. What are some of the challenges you’ve had with getting buy-in from your CFO? Have you overcome those in the past, in terms of selling marketing programs to them?

Maria Pergolino:                 Yeah I think really understanding. I think all marketers need to think beyond marketing and really have a great business acumen. Understanding what’s driving the business, what the organization needs to do, and be able to quantify that impact for marketing. Right?

Maria Pergolino:                 So it’s really interesting. Let’s say your organization has to create whatever it is, a hundred million dollars, a billion dollars, whatever it is in pipeline. To go in and say, ‘Hey I have the program that’s going to get us two-million dollars of pipeline.’ Two-million dollars seems like a lot, but in that total, may be very small. So when you don’t come in with context, it’s often very hard to get an impact. So really understanding the top-line numbers of a business.

Maria Pergolino:                 Let’s say you’re with a startup and that’s hard for you to do, because maybe the company doesn’t disclose things.

Maria Pergolino:                 Look at a couple of your public competitors. Read their public financial statements. Really get a sense of how the company looks at it’s investments, what’s important, what’s not important and then be able to think about how that applies to your organization. Think about what percentage of the dollars that you sell, how much of revenue comes back into marketing, and then what you actually get for that. Right?

Maria Pergolino:                 Does it sound like a good deal? One of the top metrics is I like to look at is how many dollars the pipeline has created for every dollar that you put into marketing. Right?

Nikki Nixon:                           Right.

Maria Pergolino:                 And that’s great, if it’s one dollar pipeline for every dollar you put into marketing, that’s not a good investment. Right? You wouldn’t pay a dollar to get a dollar.

Maria Pergolino:                 But if you’re paying a dollar to get thirty-five dollars, or sixty dollars, or a hundred dollars that could be very, very impactful for an organization.

Maria Pergolino:                 So, really have a sense of those metrics. I think just understanding marketing metrics in general. Right? There are activity metrics that give us a sense of what’s happening in the organization. For the number of people that we have, do we have the right volume of things going on?

Maria Pergolino:                 Then there are revenue metrics. Those revenue metrics are those ones tied to pipeline. It’s tied to the overall results of marketing. Making sure we don’t confuse those different metrics, I think are important.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think, to be very honest, I still have work to do. I think I have a true understanding of the business and the numbers. I think I can always improve how I present those and the story that I tell with those.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think being more concise is something that I’m working on doing. So, everything is, even if you do some of it well, we can always do it better. I think something that I, myself, think about and try to work on as well.

Nikki Nixon:                           Awesome. So for a marketer that might be listening, and maybe they’re a junior level marketer. So one of the things we’ve seen particularly in the space that we operate in is that there are a lot of junior level marketers that are trying to sell initiatives like ABM to their C-level executives. Maybe they don’t quite have the business acumen that is needed to effectively communicate that. So, what advice would you have for that person who is in that space and maybe really wants to level up on that? Do they need to go take additional courses? Are there resources that you would recommend?

Maria Pergolino:                 First, I think any time you can get in the room, get in the room. Right? When things are being talked about that you want to learn about, just being able to sit there and hear has great impact. And every day, I was very fortunate early in my career, I worked directly for the group president of a three-hundred-million-dollar business.

Nikki Nixon:                           Oh, wow.

Maria Pergolino:                 And because I was his direct report, I was able to sit in on a lot of things that I didn’t really appreciate at the time, but I still reference today. So a lot of the things that we do have long-tail benefits that we don’t realize.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think one thing that really impressed me, there was a marketer that I enjoyed working with so much. Her name’s Jessica Day. I worked with her at Apttus.

Maria Pergolino:                 She, one day we were having a meeting and she showed up at the meeting and I was like, ‘Oh. I didn’t know you were invited to this meeting.’ She goes, ‘I wasn’t. I’m joining because I want to learn about this.’ I really, from that point, tried to champion her success. It had a great impact on me because she was really willing to invest in and learn. Obviously, you can’t do that all the time.

Maria Pergolino:                 We heard a great example at the Marketo Summit in the Fearless 50 Panel, where somebody gave a similar example. Where they got in the room. Any time you could hear why and how people are making decisions I think can really, really help.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think also, then, especially for those that are maybe in classes that would tie to diversity, not saying like, ‘Hey. I am…’ That’s the conversation for the guys in the room or for this type of group. All of us are equal.

Maria Pergolino:                 In making sure that that doesn’t just mean that other people have to treat us equal, but that we treat ourselves equal. So there’s nothing that anybody in this, my marketing department, your marketing department, that somebody can’t do. We can all learn everything. There’s not a number too big for us to understand or a concept too hard.

Maria Pergolino:                 So not counting yourself out is really, really important in creating great diversity. Really realizing that we can all do. There’s no magic in getting, knowing how to do math, or how to really understand how a business is running. I often watch people count themselves out and so I would really encourage everybody not to do that.

Maria Pergolino:                 We get so caught up in, ‘This is. Oh, everybody knows this. I can’t ask about this. I don’t want to look dumb,’ and I watch people make some really bad decisions about that. In negotiating job offers, in helping out their team members.

Maria Pergolino:                 So just saying, ‘Can you explain to me how we come to this decision. I want to support it and to support it I need to understand more.’ Or when you’re talking about stock, ‘Can you explain this to me a little bit more?’ Or, ‘Hey. I don’t understand this. Can you help me with the value?’

Maria Pergolino:                 Bringing this back to your question on ABM, I’d really love ABM Initiatives to sell almost any other initiative because this idea that, I think, demand-based versus coin that’s zero waste, maybe it wasn’t them I just remember seeing it from them, but I’ve really held onto it.

Maria Pergolino:                 Essentially, if I go to my organization and say, ‘Hey, I want to spend,’ whatever it is, whether it be ten-thousand dollars or a million dollars, ‘on display advertising.’ And they are going to say, ‘Well, how do you know it’s going to be worth anything?’ I’ll just say, ‘Well, I think it’s going to help the brand.’

Maria Pergolino:                 If I can instead say, ‘Hey, I’m going to spend that,’ ten-thousand or a million or whatever those dollars are, ‘I’m going to spend it in account-based display.’ Where now I know the accounts we want to sell to are going to see it. It’s zero waste. It’s only going to the people we know that we care about.

Maria Pergolino:                 It’s much, much easier to sell into the organization. So account-based marketing has been my way to sell in those initiatives that I want to do in a broader sense later, to prove them out in a more direct sense. So you can really use account-based marketing to help do that.

Maria Pergolino:                 When I am, I watch the sales team light up when a marketer comes in and says, ‘Hey, we did this,’ let’s say a field event or a direct mail or display event, ‘We got X-number of leads and X-number of MQLs and it turned into this much revenue.’ Every sales leader, it just glosses over.

Maria Pergolino:                 When somebody walks in and says, ‘Hey. We had, of the hundred people there, thirty of them were from our named accounts. It included brands like this, like this, like this.’ And the leadership knows those accounts.

Maria Pergolino:                 It makes really big impact. So, really understanding not just the top-line metrics. Not being scared to just look. Go into the system. Export the list of who was at the event or participated in the campaign and learn the brands. Know who is important to the sales team. It’s like if I go to Asia and try to speak French. People here are like, “What is she doing?” But if I go and try to speak the local language, people will understand. We have to always speak that relevant language. And for the sales team, it’s often those specific accounts, and so the final piece of that is just, when you’re doing an ABM, when you’re trying to pitch it, don’t pitch the total, pitch the individual accounts. People will understand that. Speak that common language.

Nikki Nixon:                           Yeah, that’s a great point. We’re definitely going hard on that right now internally. We have our target account list, we’re drinking our own Kool-Aid and using our own product to put display ads in front of those target accounts to get them to the conference. So yeah, I totally get where you’re going with that. That’s something that we’re definitely looking hard at. In terms of a success metric, we have this list of accounts. What percentage of them are we actually getting in the room? So yeah, I think that’s an awesome point.

An Innovative Approach to Events

Nikki Nixon:                          And that’s a good segue to my next questions. You are pretty well-known for your innovated approaches to events. I know I personally have been in awe of watching some of the stuff that you’ve done in the past. I’m curious, where do you get your inspiration to do new and different things? I know we were talking a little bit about that before we went on the air, or just not doing the same old, boring, stale stuff that everybody else is doing.

Maria Pergolino:                 My theme for this year is all about outcomes. How do we drive to the outcome that we’re looking for? And so when you can say, “Hey, at this event we want to drive, let’s say, attendance.” Let’s say the event’s set but we don’t have the attendance we need. Really breaking that off and saying, “What are the ways that we can encourage people to be here?” And I’m a really big fan of a book by Cialdini called Influence. It’s looking at what are the different ways that we can influence people to want to take the actions that we want them to take?

Maria Pergolino:                 So taking some of those and saying, “Okay, let’s say we’re gonna do a limited time offer. Do they really care if the early bird is limited time? What could we make a limited time?” Let’s say you have a speaker. Let’s say you’ve hired some sports personality to come. Say, “For a limited time, the next 20 people that register, they get to go to the meet and greet.” You’re driving to that limited offer. But something that people may care about more than an early bird.

Maria Pergolino:                 I really get a lot of inspiration when I walk around and I see consumer advertising, when I walk through a museum and see the way they display things, when I walk through the food store and look at their end caps … Saturday I had just gotten back from a long flight, and I took a little walk and there was a billboard that I thought had some nice dimensionality to it, and I took a screenshot because I’m like, “I could put that in a booth.” When I go to the movies and I see all the big cutouts that people are taking photos with, I’m like, “How do I get that type of excitement around my event?”

Maria Pergolino:                 And so I look at those things and I think how does that, then, apply to B2B. The other things is working in a couple of those ideas so that when you talk about failing and failing fast, I think we confuse that. We ideally don’t wanna fail at anything, we want to come up with ideas. We wanna fail in places that are low-risk. So if I say, “Hey, I’m gonna put up some cool elements around events,” I’m gonna have to spend on that so that it’s minimal, so that it really can’t fail. At worst, it was just something decorative and helped towards brand, and we would’ve spent those dollars anyway. So even if I don’t get that viral buzz that I was hoping for, I didn’t actually fail, it was contained. It was smart. It worked as a branding element. But then, if it is something that ends up exciting, then you get the win from it. It’s a win anyway, but it could be a big win.

Nikki Nixon:                           How do you go about getting the team on board? You’ve got this idea and you’ve got this team, and I know from talking with you previously, you manage a lot of large teams, and some of them are distributed. Talk to me about that. You’ve got this idea and you know it’s gonna be impactful. How do you go and then sell it to your team and get them excited about it?

Maria Pergolino:                 One, I did a call today like this. I do this all the time where I’m saying, “You don’t have to do it my way, but can you listen to my idea?” The same way that they have to pitch me ideas, I think it’s my responsibility to pitch it to them. If I ultimately can’t get a team member on board, having them execute something that they’re not excited about probably is not going to be that impactful for the organization. Even if it could be a good idea, it’s not the idea to do now. So not getting stuck on things that way.

Maria Pergolino:                 There are some times where I really will push things. We just looked at an event … and I just thought this was so amazing … we looked at an event where I really started to push making sure in our organization that we have good meetings set up prior to going to an event, which is something we didn’t do a lot here. And we looked at the results, and it was really interesting. For this particular event, we had, compared to last year, the same number of scans. We had the same number of MQLs. Almost everything was similar, with the exception that we had set up, I think, five times more meetings prior to the event.

Maria Pergolino:                 We are just past that event, and we are seeing more than double the pipeline coming from that. So I will be able to go back to the team and say, “Hey, thank you for trying with this with me in this little way. Look at how impactful it was. How do we apply this further?” At that point, I’m celebrating them. I’m showing them their business impact. There’s no marker that wants to do something in a silo. Everybody wants to make a difference in the organization.

Maria Pergolino:               “Okay, well you bought into this. How do we take this to the next level?” So I do think it is also iterating with the team, trying to get them to see the top-line vision, and not worrying about every detail. Everything does not need to be my way. It’s taken me some time to learn that, and it’s been a good lesson for me to learn.

Nikki Nixon:                           Cool. I’m curious, out of all the ideas that you’ve come up with, have you ever had one that you just thought was absolutely amazing, it was surefire, and then you went into execution and it just didn’t quite work out the way you had planned?

Maria Pergolino:                 I’m just thinking about trade shows. And there are lots of them, right? We did a really amazing trade show booth that was interactive, but we didn’t spend a lot of time training the team on how to get people excited about it and how to get them engaged with it. So visually it was stimulating, but people are a little scared to approach it. I think almost every one of my ideas that have failed because I either did not get buy-in across the team ahead of time, or I didn’t communicate with the team on how to leverage that.

Maria Pergolino:                 And that’s not always with my team. That’s often cross-functionally. Often, what’s going to make an event successful … I always there’s three parts of an event: The before, the during, and the after, and all are equally important. If you don’t spend that time in the before … And that’s not just logistics, that’s getting everybody up to speed, understanding what the message is going to be, getting people excited about it. Do you commit, if I can get you five meetings, that you will consider this event a success? Something like that is often where if I don’t do that because we are rushing, whether myself or the team, we will lack success.

Nikki Nixon:                           Awesome. That’s a great point. There’s just so much communication involved with it. It’s not just the actual execution, it’s … And also explaining the value of it, particularly cross-functionally and other teams that may have other priorities as well, and they’re trying to initiate your idea alongside everything else that they may have on their other plate. That’s really good advice. Looking back at your career, what do you know now that you wish you would have known then?

I Wish I Could Have Known…

Maria Pergolino:                 I got to my career accident. I knew I wanted to be in marketing, but I didn’t know the different types of marketing, the difference between B2B and B2C … I wish I would have taken some time to really learn across everything, and then not thought so much about next step, but thought bigger. Instead of thinking, hey, I wanna be a marketing manager now, or I wanna be a director, thinking, how do I get to be CEO? And really challenging myself with a bigger path, and really starting to develop the skills that I would need to get there. I think I could have not even done it quicker, but been more satisfied as I went through.

Maria Pergolino:                 I’ve had too many hard days where I’ve been frustrated because people didn’t see my vision. Marketing is a really hard discipline because everybody has ideas about it. Somebody rarely goes to the Engineering team and say, “You know how you should build this,” but they often come to Marketing and say, “Hey, you know what you should do in Marketing.” And that creates a lot of frustration sometimes for marketing. The other thing is, we always talk about change and all of us think that we’re really great at change, but the reality is all of us need help with change. So I wish I had built more skills in those soft skills in sooner, because I think I would have personally felt more satisfied through the company and any of the companies I’ve been with or the growth that I was having.

Maria Pergolino:                 Every day we have great little wins, but we get sidetracked by somebody asking for something that is totally reasonable that they ask for, but it’s not in our plans, so we panic. We can let all of that go and really just … If we take a step back and really understand what people are asking for and why they’re asking for it, being okay not doing marketing one way, really thinking about ourselves as marketers who are trying to represent a whole organization and if with our way it’s not the best marketing, there’s a lot in the emotional intelligence that we can learn to be great marketers.

Nikki Nixon:                           Yeah. That sounds like you learned a bit of that through experience and trial and error as you were coming up through your career.

Maria Pergolino:                 And working with other great marketers, some great coaches … Every day I’ll be in a meeting, and I’ll be so frustrated about something. And you just think, why are they asking? How can I help what they’re trying to do, and is it okay if we do it in a way different than my way? And all of that really helps. We talk here at [Anaplan 00:23:13] about how to say “yes, and”. What really happens if we say “yes” to every request? Obviously not, “Yes, let me drop everything and do this now,” but you saying “yes” … Somebody coming and saying, “Can you do this?” “Yes, let’s talk about what you’re asking for,” and finding a way to get them their success, even if that means there are some tweaks to what the original request was. I think that can be very powerful.

Nikki Nixon:                           Yeah. I think what you’re talking about as well … because you’ve worked at a lot of high-growth organizations, and obviously we’re kind of in the thick of that right now. I mean, change is inevitable. Particularly, the faster you’re growing, the faster change comes, it what it seems like. I could definitely relate to a lot of the things that you’re talking about, just from a change management perspective. But also with staying flexible too, because one thing that we have seen is even just as the market is evolving, you may have a plan one week and then it’s like, “Oh, shoot. This competitor is doing this thing, and now we have to shuffle our plan around because now they’ve kind of thrown us this curve ball that we weren’t exactly expecting.” And that happens in a fast growth industry as well, not just a fast growth company.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think sometimes with that too, when we see success around our organization, or even if we’re in a moderate growth type organization, we’re always thinking about ourselves, like, “Look, I’ve done this. Why is the organization not doing for me?” I think if we can think more about how to create success, and then leverage points within that, right? How do you make it that what you’re doing is so valuable to your company or your boss, that success will come.

Maria Pergolino:                 One thing that I do struggle with and happy to take any tips for, is marketing … what’s awesome about it is it’s a team sport, it’s something we do as a team and we do together, but sometimes I watch where we’ll promote one person and then the whole rest of the team is saying like, “Well, wait. What about me?” And it’s like, “No, no, no. Let’s celebrate that one success, and when one person is promoted, it means that then there can be another person who’s the next one to be promoted.”

Maria Pergolino:                 But we focus a lot on that short-term and a lot on that immediate … you know, “How do I get the next thing?” But we often short that long-term success, right?

Nikki Nixon:                           Yup.

Maria Pergolino:                 And you know, we see all the time where people get stuck in, they go to a company, they get a promotion, but then that doesn’t work out at that company and now they go and maybe they had to take a step down at the next one, and it’s just not a clear upward trajectory, which is what obviously … well, maybe not obviously, but many of us want. And so trying to think a little bit more about the long game and building those skills that really allow for leverage in the organization, I think is something that we don’t think about enough. And if anybody has tips for how to make those successes the things that you can celebrate individual success while still bringing the team along, that’s something I’d love tips on too.

Nikki Nixon:                           Well, we will definitely put that out there for sure, and see what the community has to offer for that. So we’re almost out of time, I had one more question. This went by so fast. So I have one more question, and really just Maria, you’re a funnel-flipping veteran, and I’m so excited that you’re coming to Boston. You’ve been to several of our conferences now. So what are you most excited about this year with FlipMyFunnel and coming back to Boston, and the event as a whole, and that sort of thing?

Maria Pergolino:                 I am really, really fortunate that my network is made up of some of the most thought leading and progressive marketers in the world. I have been fortunate, I worked for a brand that marketed to marketers, so I got to meet amazing marketers as I was doing that, and then I was able to then expand my network at events like this. I think that being able to reach out to some of those thought leaders when I have a tough time, or even a tough day, has been really impactful. And so I would encourage people to continue in developing themselves, and so an event like this are great ways to do that. When I go in, I go into an event with a plan.

Maria Pergolino:                 And so, for those that are joining, who do you want to meet, what are you going to talk to them about, what are the goals that you’re trying to accomplish? It one, helps you get buy-in from the organizations who attend, but then when you’re there it allows you to have a good focus. A lot of the time, my learning at a conference does not come from what’s happening in the session, but the conversation I have on the side. But you have to prepare for that, and you have to know the questions you’re going to ask. So please come to this event and join me. There’s going to be some amazing thought leaders. And then really be thoughtful about how you’re going to leverage this into your next step.

Nikki Nixon:                           Cool. Well, I think you’re going to get lots of emails from the community. Everybody’s going to want to meet you.

Maria Pergolino:                 Excellent. I appreciate that. No pitching. I don’t love all the emails that are, “Can we have 15 minutes of your time to talk about our groundbreaking and leading solution.” I want to hear like, “This is my big challenge, and this is how we’re thinking about solving it. Help me.” You know, that’s what this community’s about.

Insane Direct Mail

Nikki Nixon:                           I do have a bonus question for you.

Nikki Nixon:                           I just thought of it when you were talking. Don’t worry, it’s not scary. There’s like this thing going on online right now that I’m sure you’ve seen, where everyone’s like, it’s like the direct mail saga of who gets the most interesting direct mail, so I’m curious, do you have one of those stories? Has somebody sent you something like crazy through direct mail?

Maria Pergolino:                 Oh my god, I got the weirdest. I can’t remember what … it may have even been prior to FlipMyFunnel. It actually, I think may have been … I’ll never forget it. I can’t remember the brand though, which isn’t good. It was in a Priority Mail envelope, you know, one of the … I guess they’re a little bit bigger than 8-1/2 by 11 that you rip open, you know, it has the tab to rip open. And all that’s in it is a little plastic something and a letter. I first pull out the letter, and then pull out the something, and it is a plastic ear.

Nikki Nixon:                           Oh no.

Maria Pergolino:                 And I’m like, “This is strange.” And so it gets stranger, though. You read the letter and it was like, “Hey, I’m so excited to hear you speak at this event.” But then they said, “I’m hoping to meet you.” But then at the end it said, “And could you please bring me my ear back? I’m sad without it.” Or something like that.

Maria Pergolino:                 I was like, that was a little creepy. So that one was a little bit strange. I remembered it. And I did not bring the ear with me, but had they come up … what’s interesting is they didn’t come up and talk to me, but had they, I would have been like … they would have got a few minutes of my time for sure.

Nikki Nixon:                           That’s pretty clever. We get a lot of stuff doing events and things like that, people send you random stuff. So I had a venue, I won’t tell you which one it is, but I had a venue, they were opening up a brand new [inaudible 00:30:28] space, and they sent me a jar of dirt from a construction site, and they were like, “This is the dirt that your event could be built upon,” or something like that. It was just totally random, and I think they sent me some seeds to like grow a flower in this dirt or something like that. I don’t know, it definitely stood out for me and I remember which venue it is, but I won’t put them on display.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think one thing that I really love when we do receive stuff in the mail, you have to remember that often I’m not doing the evaluation, or I’m not on the calls for whatever product, or event venue, whatever it is that’s reaching out. I’m normally passing it to somebody from my team. I just came back from Europe and when I came back, there’s a stack of boxes and mail. And I go through that, and what I’ll typically do is take, you know, whatever, if it’s a book or something like that, I’ll put that in a pile and maybe get to that.

Maria Pergolino:                 But if it’s like … let’s say it’s chocolates or whatever it is, I’ll normally either, if it’s for myself, I’ll at that moment eat it, but more likely I’ll hand it to my admin and it’ll be something that I give to her, or whoever’s close by. What is often more effective is if I get something that I can then give out to the team. So I really love when it’s something like … there was a rep at Marketo that always loved things of popcorn, but you know, if it’s a thing of chocolates or candies or something that you can put out for the team, it’s often a good way for me to say like, “Hey team, here’s something that we can put out for everyone. It’s from this vendor.” And then I’ll say, “Hey, XYZ, can you also talk to them and say thank you?” And even then if I’m not following up, it allows me to have somebody else on the team follow up.

Maria Pergolino:                 I think trying to make it something shareable, something … I just cannot believe. And sometimes I’ll see the marketing team that I’m a part of doing it, and so we just have to remember is, think about where you brand. Do not just brand on the … like I’ll watch or we will, so there will be a cardboard sleeve around something, you rip it off and then something will sit out for the team. Let’s say somebody sent pens and notebooks or something. That box of things will sit out for the team for weeks. If there’s no logo showing that could have been a good branding opportunity for that brand.

Maria Pergolino:                 The flip side is I’m actually looking out from my office, and a company had sent us like a Jenga set, and their logo is on every one of the pieces, we haven’t trashed the Jenga set, it’s sitting there and I can see it up on a shelf, right? So we’re seeing that brand every day. So whether it’s a crazy item like dirt or a something totally practical like a candy bar, just make sure your branding is present, not just at the time of delivery but through the life of the item.