MarTech Interview with Tom Martin, Chief Revenue Officer of Conductor

MarTech Interview

This interview with Tom Martin, CRO of Conductor, decodes the mystery behind developing winning sales strategies. So, don’t miss out, and check it out today!

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, it’s more challenging than ever for companies to stand out and attract new customers. Many businesses struggle to reach their target audience and convert leads into sales. However, there is a solution to this problem. Conductor, a leading digital marketing platform, provides businesses with the tools and services they need to optimize their online presence and drive revenue growth.

In this interview, we’ll be interacting with Tom Martin, Chief Revenue Officer of Conductor, to learn more about the company and its services. With his extensive experience in sales and marketing, Tom is uniquely qualified to discuss the benefits of using Conductor’s platform to improve your online visibility and attract more customers.
So let’s take a deep dive into this interview!

Tom, can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to join Conductor?
As the Chief Revenue Officer at Conductor, I lead our Revenue organization and collaborate closely with our executive team to drive and deliver revenue results for the company. Throughout my 30-year career, I have had experience driving revenue growth and go-to-market strategies as an executive at Hewlett-Packard, Symantec, Rackspace, Nuance Communications, and ICIMS.
When I joined Conductor in March 2021, three primary elements drew me to the role:

1) There was (and still is) incredible opportunity in the market—the organic marketing space is truly unique and has amazing potential to transform the MarTech industry;

2) Seth Besmertnik, our CEO, has proven to be one of the most authentic and people-first leaders I have ever seen and I continue to learn from him;

3) The people and culture of Conductor are unparalleled—I’ve worked at multiple companies in various industries and there is no other company like Conductor.

Not only is Conductor the world’s leading organic marketing technology company, offering a comprehensive platform to assist enterprises in their SEO and content practices, but we have some of the most passionate, dedicated teammates in the industry. Fueled by the commitment and enthusiasm of our talented people, we are the largest and fastest-growing provider of SEO technology, powering many of the largest companies in the world.

What is Conductor’s mission and how does it differentiate itself from other marketing technology companies?
Conductor’s mission is to empower brands to transform their wisdom into marketing that helps people. We are 100% built for enterprise organic marketing teams. Other tools are designed for agencies or small and medium-sized businesses, but Conductor is laser-focused on the needs of enterprise marketers, content, SEO, and web teams as they work to improve their organization’s visibility.

Beyond our platform having functionality for all experience levels—from novices to experts—we also:

  • Have the largest global keyword index available, with 20B+ keywords.
  • Have the only 24/7 website monitoring and alerting tool, ContentKing, which works faster than crawlers and search engines.
  • Uniquely deliver actionable, AI-powered recommendations to create and optimize high-ranking content—and implement changes in one click.
  • Are the only platform that ties SEO to ROI by automatically aggregating search data, activity tracking, and analytics to show how changes impact a site’s performance.
  • Have the most user-friendly workflows with comprehensive integrations with tools teams are already using—including Jira, Trello, Asana, and Chrome—to ensure changes and new content can be implemented quickly.

How has Conductor evolved since its inception and what plans does it have for the future?
Since our founding in 2006, Conductor has had steady, long-term growth and continued innovation in the organic marketing technology industry. In March 2018, we were acquired by WeWork and after 20 months, bought ourselves back to form an independent, employee-owned company. Two years later, in November 2021, we raised $150 million in funding from growth equity firm Bregal Sagemount, bringing our current valuation to over $500 million. Last year, we acquired ContentKing, the real-time SEO auditing and monitoring technology company, as our first major post-funding acquisition, and we recently acquired our European-based competitor, Searchmetrics.

Over the last 5 years, Conductor has grown tremendously; we have welcomed enterprise customers like Microsoft, Whole Foods, and AT&T; and we’ve invested in growing our talent and leadership team with individuals experienced in scaling high-growth SaaS companies. Our team has been honored to be recognized with many awards and accolades for both our product and workplace culture.

Going forward, our plan is to deliver even more value to our customers than they are receiving today. With our recent acquisition of Searchmetrics, we can significantly accelerate our growth in Europe and the realization of our vision. Leveraging Searchmetrics’ current features, we will not only be able to offer multi-lingual support to our customers in the future, but we are also exploring Searchmetrics data capabilities to strengthen Conductor’s platform. Exciting things ahead!

Tell us about the recent acquisition of Searchmetrics by Conductor. How will this partnership accelerate the growth of Conductor?
Conductor is indisputably the SEO space market leader, committed to innovation and building a product that puts the success of its customers first. Through our acquisition of Searchmetrics, we have been able to cement our global leadership position during continued consolidation in the SEO space.

By welcoming Searchmetrics customers into Conductor, we have the opportunity to help even more enterprise companies reach their customers through organic marketing. One of the most exciting things is that we are welcoming many talented Searchmetricians into Conductor to help boost our product, engineering, and customer success functions.

Can you discuss the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in today’s digital landscape, and how Conductor helps its clients to improve their SEO strategies?
In today’s digital landscape, SEO and organic marketing are growing fast. More than ever, attention is harder and harder to grab. Customers are getting savvier and are getting tired and wary of ads. They’re looking for genuinely helpful content from trusted sources. And who can provide that? Brands. By developing trust with your customers and positioning yourself as a source of value, customers will continue to engage with your brand and be more likely to consider you for future business.

And we’re here to help these brands. Within the SEO space, we have seen continually increased activity over the years. Conductor helps enterprise companies bring qualified leads to their websites using a number of tools, including audience insights, competitor activity analysis, keyword tracking reports, and more. Through Conductor’s platform, customers can learn about different trends and content topics that will be more likely to generate clicks on search engine results pages (SERPs) to drive revenue; they can monitor competitor activity, showing what the competition is doing to attract business; they can access reports that track keywords by market share, regions, devices, and more. Beyond our platform, we also offer guidance and support through our Customer Success team as well.

How does Conductor approach innovation and stay ahead of the competition in the rapidly changing marketing technology industry?
Our approach to innovation is centered around our customer-first strategy. In a rapidly evolving landscape, it’s more important than ever to invest in our platform and continuous innovation. Every dollar we earn, we put back into the business to make our platform better for Conductor’s customers.

Beyond our persistent asking ourselves “How can we do this better / faster?,” we consistently take in customer feedback to make Conductor more accessible, more intuitive, and more valuable, as we know Conductor’s insights fuel decisions for the world’s top brands.

Can you share any successful case studies or examples of how Conductor has helped a client improve their marketing strategy and achieve their business goals?
We have some great customer stories about Conductor’s real-world impact on our website.

How does Conductor ensure data privacy and security for their clients, especially in light of increasing concerns around data privacy and security?
Conductor takes the privacy and security of our customers very seriously. We incorporate security at every stage of our development lifecycle, securing coding best practices and code analysis, to ensure what customers use is secure and trustworthy. From how we handle their contact information to how we handle product data, we only store what is needed for customers to get an incredible user experience and support them in their product journey and goals. We use security best practices to ensure customer data and privacy is safe, encrypted, and never exposed or shared. Any identifiable information (IP, email, etc.) is treated with the highest sensitivity and security protocols.

We take both an external and internal approach to ensure the entry points to our products are secure, in addition to our people following privacy and security best practices. We ensure security is a priority and part of our everyday culture through consistent internal education, compliance certification, and GDPR mandate policies. And we don’t want customers to just take our word for it: Not only are we ISO27001 certified, but we validate our best practices and this high level of security and privacy through both internal and external independent third-party audits. As the world changes, we continue to invest in our security to address any new risks in cybersecurity and to ensure Conductor is always leading the pack.

How does Conductor foster a company culture that promotes diversity, inclusivity, and equity?
Conductor is a global company, with employees throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Asia. Because of our international presence, we are deeply committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture at Conductor. We know that the only way Conductor will truly succeed is if we have a diverse set of people from different backgrounds and experiences to bring fresh and unique perspectives.

Not only do we have an Ethics Committee and multiple Conductor Resource Groups that help us move the needle for initiatives focused on the inclusion, awareness, and advancement of sustainability, LGBTQ+ people, AAPI people, women, and people of color, but we have committed to holding ourselves accountable through our yearly DE&I report, which lays out our demographics, recruiting efforts, and progress against our DE&I initiatives.

In the last year, we adopted an annual pay equity analysis to address any gaps; we improved our candidate lead generation and enhanced our interview process; and we trained our leaders on unconscious bias. We’re proud to say that our efforts have made an impact: One of our goals was around female representation and we saw an increase across all roles globally to 39% (up 2 points). Given the availability of women in the markets in which we operate, we have room to improve here, and it will continue to be an area of focus for us. However, across management roles in the organization, female representation in leadership has held steady at 32%.

A clear example of how Conductor operates to ensure all Conductor voices are heard was when we initially explored what our Customer Policy would be. We invited all Conductors to join the discussion through small group talks led by a facilitator to maximize the chances for people to truly express their thoughts, and to ensure that no one voice dominated the conversation. When we broke out into smaller discussions, we didn’t want echo chambers. We balanced each group with a mix of people with diverse viewpoints to foster healthy and effective dialogue.

Building a strong ethical and diverse culture is a continuous and evolving process. My advice for any companies looking to boost their diversity: Give employees an anonymous feedback channel to determine the issues concerning them most—and start there. These problems don’t change overnight, so it’s important to be transparent with your team and let them see the company’s efforts to improve diversity, inclusivity, and equity—and your openness to having these conversations.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders in the marketing technology industry?
There is always an opportunity within a challenge. It could be the chance to help a customer solve a new problem or the possibility to invest in a part of your business you haven’t been able to address in the past. Identify the opportunity and pursue it. Never give up on yourself, your people, your company, or what you believe in.
Looking ahead, what are your predictions for the marketing technology industry and how will it shape the way businesses approach marketing and customer engagement?

The pandemic greatly sped up the importance of organic search growth. And, with paid search becoming more expensive, we’ll start to see more investment in organic as a more cost-effective channel for businesses. Website development has become such a strong digital asset for brands. Companies have realized that, by investing in their website and creating authentic content that drives genuine value for their customers, they can build trust and loyalty amongst their audience and convert more results.

Moreover, we’ll likely continue to see a rise in visual search, in response to the evolving search behaviors of younger generations due to the growth of search in closed environments like Instagram and TikTok, and AI will also become more prevalent with tools like ChatGPT.

Industry-wise, we will also see search evolve through consolidation in the market. The SEO industry has reached a point of maturity and customers are looking for a one-stop, holistic solution where they want to pay one price, work with one vendor, and manage one platform, rather than navigate a bunch of smaller tools. Because of this, we’ll start to see smaller companies being bought by larger SEO players.

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Tom Martin, Chief Revenue Officer of Conductor

Tom Martin is the Chief Revenue Officer at Conductor, collaborating with the executive team to drive and deliver revenue results for the company. Prior to Conductor, Tom held several go-to-market executive positions at Hewlett-Packard, Symantec, Rackspace, Nuance Communications, and iCIMS. He has over 30 years of experience driving revenue growth and go-to-market strategy in businesses large and small. Tom has an MBA from the University of Oregon and he served in the United States Navy. LinkedIn.
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