MarTech Interview with Rachel Stam Trindade, Chief Marketing Officer at Extensiv

Get hands on the key strategies for marketing success in the supply chain industry.

Can you tell us about your journey and experience that led you to the role of CMO at Extensiv?
Throughout my career, I have always looked for a problem that needed to be solved, whether a new market to enter, a new process for the company, or a new skill that needed to be learned. As such, right out of school, I started in marketing with a wholesale distributor doing cooperative advertising functions and moved into product management for some prominent vendors like Hewlett-Packard. As we spun off a section of our business to be a 3PL and service those large companies, they needed someone who could build relationships and provide account support for the HPs and IBMs (who had previously been vendors), so I jumped in. I moved through account management, product management, built out our search engine optimization, PPC programs, and PR functions. At MGE UPS System (acquired by Schneider Electric), I led the launch of the first hydrogen fuel cell powered uninterruptible power supply into the market, which was tackling something that had never been done before. After that, I helped HireRight grow for 11 years, where I built out the product marketing, sales operations, sales engineering, and proposal functions and eventually took that experience to transition to leading the entire marketing team. Having sales ops experience and leading sales teams gives me a unique perspective on demand gen, revenue ops, and how to get Sales and Marketing working together better. Having supported two IPOs and 15+ different mergers and acquisitions, this broad experience in merging, growing, and scaling marketing organizations has led me to appreciate diverse perspectives.

As CMO at Extensiv, gone full circle from everything on the revenue-generating side of business and am able to leverage this experience to drive revenue growth.

With over 20 years of marketing leadership experience, what are the key insights or lessons you’ve learned that have shaped your approach as a marketing leader?
First, you need to tie marketing to revenue.

Second, experiment, experiment, experiment. The market changes so quickly that you need to stay relevant. Make sure you have a series of experiments (with well thought out hypotheses and measurements) to ensure you evolve with the market.

Third, don’t get distracted. One of the significant changes over the past couple of decades is the explosion of tools available to support marketing efforts, but I think the operative word there is support. Marketing has to be driving the bottom line. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get distracted by the latest tool and miss the forest for the trees.

What hasn’t changed is the need to be engaged and intentional with your team. Especially in an era of hybrid and remote workplaces, building a team dynamic to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction has never been more critical. Teams need to have a clear understanding of their role and marketing’s role within the larger organization. Teams with  a purpose have higher personal satisfaction, growth, and productivity rates.

How do you believe marketing strategies in the supply chain industry should adapt and respond to the ongoing massive digital transformation?
Marketers are already integrating vast amounts of data with machine learning or AI. That trend will accelerate. Still, data silos and a lack of overall organization-wide integration limit marketing’s potential. There are tremendous opportunities for boosting the bottom line through better integration of CRM, CX software, and marketing automation platforms. Automating those processes and centralizing data aligns marketing, sales, and operations, leading to better customer relationships by reducing blind spots.

Salesmark Global

With the increasing integration of AI in the supply chain industry, how do you foresee this technology impacting marketing efforts, and what adjustments might marketers need to make to leverage its potential effectively?
AI offers a way to capture and analyze data that reveals performance and success rates faster and more efficiently than ever. The most significant difference is that AI offers precision. Before marketers didn’t have access to the sheer volume of data that now exists, or if they had access to it, they didn’t have the kinds of tools that help them optimize that data. With ML and AI now, you can develop more relevant marketing messages and offer a highly personalized and unique CX across every customer touchpoint. To maximize that potential, marketers need to be sure they’re not just capturing data but putting processes in place to infuse operations with the right data.

As a business serving as a connection point for multiple types of businesses, what approaches do you use to effectively communicate your value proposition to such diverse audiences?

You need a well-developed, holistic approach that delineates value to discrete audiences. So, a lot of content. Modern marketers know that the buyers’ journey continues to shift away from companies communicating their value through traditional channels. Nearly 8 in 10 buyers want to do their research instead of engaging with a sales rep, and vendors have less control over the marketing process. That requires making content available that communicates:

    • Industry information and best practices
    • Data-driven reports
    • Informational videos
    • Tutorials and blogs
    • Relevant case studies
    • Online ROI calculators
    • A way to sign up for a free trial
    • Omnichannel support and resources that connect with customers in the channel they prefer

You must also have initiatives to address review sites, especially those soliciting verified user feedback. Buying audiences are more wary than ever of information, so ensuring authentic customer stories is critical.

What are the critical elements or strategies that brands must employ to demonstrate value to consumers and their supply chain partners?
Because we sit between brands and 3PLs, we need to demonstrate how we can be a kind of connective tissue that enables stronger network creation for our customers. For brands with multiple audiences, you have to adopt a multifaceted strategy. Transparency is at the core of this effort, involving clear communication about products and capabilities. Innovation is also essential; it’s about showing how you’re continually improving processes and supply chain efficiency and finding ways to help customers stay ahead in the market.

How do you see trends like micro warehousing and 4PLs influencing the supply chain industry, and how can marketers capitalize on these changes to create marketing opportunities and overcome challenges?
Consumers want their ecommerce fast and free, which means getting the point of distribution as close to the consumer as possible can be the difference between a great consumer experience or a terrible one. This need has driven a fundamental shift in how brands are looking for fulfillment partnerships and has fueled microwarehousing and the 4PL business model.

Marketers can highlight the benefits of micro warehousing, emphasizing how it leads to faster and more reliable product delivery, especially for e-commerce businesses. They can also showcase how 4PLs can reduce shipping costs, improve sustainability efforts, and enhance overall service quality. For 3PLs, joining 4PL networks offers an opportunity to expand their reach and attract more clients. Where Extensiv has leveraged this message is that we are uniquely positioned to support brands and 3PLs in their effort to create geographically dispersed fulfillment networks. Leveraging the flexibility and geographic reach that 4PL partnerships provide makes it easier to manage seasonal inventory fluctuations and exceed service level agreements.

In the face of constant technological advancements, which specific technologies and tools do you find most effective for marketers to optimize their marketing efforts and stay ahead in the industry?
Our recent research found that businesses see technology adoption as essential for driving profit and growth, and it’s no different for marketing teams. The old standards of Salesforce and Hubspot continue to innovate and offer critical capabilities. We’ve spent a lot of time understanding what AI tools can help support our efforts, whether your typical ChatGPT or leveraging more targeted content tools like, Clearscope, or Jasper. We’re also evaluating and testing where we can leverage data integrations that include some level of intent data to help inform our programs, whether Gartner intent data, ZoomInfo, Apollo, or one of the many other tools out there.

Despite the ever-changing landscape, what foundational principles of marketing do you believe will continue to be crucial for success in the supply chain industry?
Know your customer. If you don’t understand your ideal customer profile, how they think, how they behave, and what matters most to them, you can’t demonstrate value quickly. There are so many external variables that businesses in the supply chain can’t control, which puts even greater pressure on those they can. Communicating ROI and offering ongoing visibility and monitoring into key metrics of success customers need remains a pretty standard and practical marketing foundation.

As the CMO, how do you foster a culture of creativity, innovation, and collaboration within the marketing team at Extensiv?
I’m lucky as I get to be a disruptor and innovator in a traditional industry. My charge is to help reimagine products and company positioning in the face of substantial external changes and uncertain market conditions. I think that just by the industry’s dynamic nature – one highly sensitive to external shifts – we have to approach each day with an attitude of innovation and agility. Seeking out new voices, soliciting different opinions, and—-this is key—nurturing and supporting those new ideas and voices helps to keep teams from getting too stagnant.

We focus on experimentation. We develop processes for implementing and measuring new initiatives because, too often, some great ideas surface in meetings and then die on the vine without anyone managing them. Many great-sounding ideas turn out not to be so great, but without having a process to try them out, you just don’t know.

I’m also lucky because Extensiv’s overall culture has a core value of change, which supports reinvention and reimagining. We made a number of strategic acquisitions to develop a platform that can genuinely connect brands and 3PLs to create next-gen fulfillment networks. We offer biannual scholarships to undergrad and grad students who introduce innovative and disruptive approaches to the supply chain. That culture – one that doesn’t just welcome but seeks out new and innovative ways of thinking – is interwoven throughout the company.

What are your long-term goals for Extensiv’s marketing department, and how do you envision the company’s marketing strategy evolving in the next few years?
The supply chain industry has gone through a massive evolution since COVID and will continue to change. My goal is that we lead the change in the market by releasing new and innovative products and leveraging data to educate and inform the industry and our customers. We plan to develop new tools building on and similar to our Extensiv Market Insights that can help organizations benchmark themselves against their peers in the market. By being that knowledgeable partner and resource for the industry, we will drive our customers’ and the industry’s growth.

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Rachel Stam Trindade, Chief Marketing Officer at Extensiv

Rachel Trindade is the CMO of Extensiv. With more than 20 years across Marketing, Product Management, Customer Success, and Field Operations, Rachel’s extensive go-to-market and marketing management experience has driven dynamic growth for multiple organizations. Having supported two IPOs and integrated numerous companies through mergers and acquisitions, Rachel leads high-growth organizations to even greater revenue growth. Most recently, Rachel served as the Global VP of Marketing at Teletrac Navman, part of Fortive (NYSE: FTV), where she led the global marketing organization across four continents for demand generation, brand, and product marketing programs. Prior to that she served as Vice President of Marketing at HireRight. LinkedIn.
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