Meg Scales (Head of North America Field Marketing, CoachHub) - Personal, Applicable, Successful
Speaker 1: Welcome to the Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Vin, the Associate Producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market. And we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Vincent and AJ chat with Meg Scales, Head of North America Field Marketing at CoachHub. She talks about how utilizing AI and data can help match employees' professional industry leading coaches for growth and transformation. Ajay is swamped with kids' birthday parties and Vincent enjoyed VIP event. Give it a listen.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's The Marketing Stir. I am the newly tanned Vincent Pietrafesa. Did I go anywhere fun? I did not. We'll get to that in a moment. I just was walking around New York city and got this burn. You could probably see if you're viewing us on YouTube. We appreciate it. But you're most likely listening to us. That's the feedback we get. You enjoy listening to us while you're going to sleep. I'm kidding. No. It's when you're working and when you're doing things. No one says that about sleep. No way. You guys love us out there. Thank you for telling that to us via email and also in person now, when I see you at conferences. What a nice welcome. Thank you so much. For those of you who don't know me. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa, the Vice- President of B2B products and partnerships here at Stirista. One of your co- hosts. What do we do at Stirista? Let's just take 30 seconds to talk about Stirista, and then I won't talk about it the rest of the time. We are a marketing technology company. We own our own business to business data, business, to consumer data. We help companies utilize that data to get new customers. So, you want new customers? Sure. Some companies are like," You know, we're good." But most are in need of new customers. We have our own DSP also called Aster. We can send out OTT and display, connect to TV. Email me vincent @ stirista. com. Thank you so much for all those emails. I really do appreciate it. Another thing I appreciate so much and I got to see him. I got to hang with him for a monumental piece of his life. Ladies and gentlemen, he just went to his first baseball game, the New York Yankees. Not my favorite team, but we had a great time. Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's up, Ajay
Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. Great seeing you last week. Just seems like yesterday because it's been a busy weekend for me with a lot of kids' birthday parties, which seems to be occupying a large part of my calendar.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, exactly. Now with the kids and they have all these class members of kids. I haven't even been in the class. I'm like, oh they were taking this class virtually. I'm like, all right, I got to go to a birthday party now for this? What's happening? But it was a great week. We did a lot of things. People listening to this podcast, you probably heard us talking about it. Ajay was coming into town, New York city. He's in San Antonio. I am here in the Big Apple and we got together. So there was one of our teammates, Steve, who is new to the company and he got some tickets to the New York Yankees for the both of you to go. Then he had come down with COVID and in comes me, right? The relief pitcher. Hey, I'll go to a game even if it's the Yankees. This is Ajay's first game of baseball. We had a blast. It was a good time. Also then that Thursday, we had a small event. Stirista had an exclusive VIP event here in New York city. It was fun. We had some of our customers, some of our podcast guests, some prospects got together. What a nice intimate event. We plan on doing more of those, maybe one coming to San Francisco soon. That should be fun as well, but we got to get more of those. Some people are eager to come out. It's a good time, Ajay. What was your take from that week?
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, it's good. I mean, obviously we started off a little odd with one of our guys getting COVID, but I think you benefited from that little situation.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I had some fun.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, it was good to see people out and about. I think all things considered, we had a pretty good turnout for when cases are still rising back. I thought the whole week was great. It's good to actually see some of our clients that we've picked up over the pandemic. I know they were pretty excited to see us as well.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, exactly. It was nice to have when people have finally met us. Some were even our podcast guests that we've had on who happened to be in New York city like Carolina. She was like," It's so nice to finally meet you." And Christine, we got to meet her as well. I got to see her prior to that. It was a great turnout. People are already asking," When is Ajay coming back?" I'm like," Well, what do you mean? I'm here too. I live in York." But they're like," When is Ajay coming back?" But speaking of meeting in person and speaking of New York city, rumor has it that this next guest is going to be visiting New York city soon, and I hopefully will get to meet her in person. We've got a great one for you today, ladies and gentlemen. Because I also love we're tackling a field... Hah! A field. Pun intended. A field of marketing that we really haven't dove too much into. It's field of marketing, I gave it away with my own little pun there. But it's really excitingly. We have the Head of North America Field Marketing at CoachHub, Meg Scales, ladies and gentlemen. What's going on, Meg?
Meg Scales: Thank you for having me today. I appreciate it. Excited to be here.
Vincent Pietrafesa: It's great to have you. Rumor has it you're coming to New York city to visit.
Meg Scales: I'm coming to New York city. Yes, I am. I'm so excited for that. I don't have baseball connection for you, but we should get to definitely get together.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, absolutely. Well, if you do come to New York, I'm sure you... Have you been in New York city before?
Meg Scales: Yes. CoachHub actually has its headquarters out in New York city. I get to come out and visit the office and see the crew. So yes, it's becoming my second home.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome. It's great. Especially when you'll be coming in to visit, it's right in time. The Tony awards will all be out and done. Around that time, all the new shows, people will be interested in going to see. New York city in the summer is fantastic. The only time better in New York city in the summer is the holidays. I recommend for people. That's the other time to come in during the December holidays, the tree, all of that hoopla. But Megan, it is so great to have you on here. Did you like my little pun that I said there about the field?
Meg Scales: That was good. That was real good. I got one for you. This is going to be a home run.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I love it. I love it. It's going to be a home run. Speaking of home run, we got to see a lot of home runs that day, Ajay. We got up to go get a drink, and this was a Tuesday, the foul ball, this guy was like," Where'd you guys go? The foul ball fell in your seat. It fell in your seat.
Meg Scales: Oh.
Ajay Gupta: And what's funny is Vincent had been warning me all evening that one of these balls is going to hit me.
Vincent Pietrafesa: We were in an area and I was like," Ajay, just be careful, man, because this is a high traffic right on the first baseline." He was like," What are you talking about?" Sure enough. That is awesome. I love it. What a pun- filled episode. We're going to have some fun today, Meg. We're going to have some fun.
Meg Scales: Packs of puns.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I knew it when we first talked to you. But Meg tell us about, I'd love to get right into it here. I'm interested in your specific path there at CoachHub. Let's get it out there. Talk to me about CoachHub. Talk to me about what you do there as well.
Meg Scales: CoachHub, we're a leading global talent development company and we enable behavior change through world class coaching combined with our transformational digital platform. Our main mission, our goal, is to democratize coaching for large organizations across the world. We use AI, we use big data to really match employees with our coaches. We have a pool of over 3, 500 professional industry leading coaches, really granting employees access for personal growth and organizational transformation.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I love that. I love the... say it again, the democratization.
Meg Scales: Democratizing coaching. Typically when people would think of coaching, say 10, 12 years ago, it's leadership programs. Your brain goes right to that. Or it's only high potential employees that get access to this type of program and talent development. Our mission is truly to democratize that throughout the organization. Every single person in your organization should have access to coaching. Think of it more as like a," Hey, here's your vision? Here's your dental and here's your personal growth platform."
Vincent Pietrafesa: I love it. I love that. I know we're going to get more and dive deeper into that, but a question that we love to ask and it's a very popular question here because there's so many people just starting out in marketing, also some students listening across the globe as we found out, how'd you get started in marketing?
Meg Scales: Getting started in marketing. Well, you had asked me, what's my role in marketing and I am the Head of North America Field Marketing. I have had quite the career in marketing, but I didn't start in marketing. I started in sales. I feel like as I've listened to your podcast and listened to some of the marketing leaders, you guys have hosted on here, many of us have different journeys. I heard one that was a former dentist. Her degree was in dentistry, and now she's a Head of Marketing. For me, my start out of college, I had a major in communications, a minor in leadership. I love people. I love talking to people. And so, that was an easy sign up for me. I quickly shifted into a sales role, in technology, and I sat in a sales role for about almost half a decade. I absolutely love and highly recommend that foundation for inaudible It really gave me a different type of lens. I look at all programs, all campaigns through the lens of, will this drive revenue? Does this add value to my sales team? If not, I'm probably not going to do it.
Ajay Gupta: Meg, tell us a little bit about what marketing channels and strategies that you're using and what's working for you.
Meg Scales: As the head of field marketing here, it's a bit different. In traditional larger organizations, I come from Workday and General Electric, field tends to get put into this box. For us here at CoachHub, field marketing is all of the above: webinars, events, trade shows, conferences, ABM, email nurturing, and we work directly with our digital counterpart. The only piece that's really pulled out of the traditional marketing stack under our role and responsibility under field is that digital piece. So as far as channels that we're using, we've got them all we're we're. I always imagine it's like a light switch in a room being turned on and I am flipping on everything we possibly can. We have a fantastic PR strategy to help people recognize CoachHub. We've been wildly successful. CoachHub has been wildly successful overseas, and it is our journey and mission to bring it here to everybody. So, turning on as many channels as possible, Ajay.
Ajay Gupta: Then, what do you love most about working in field marketing?
Meg Scales: Oh gosh, my sales team. Hands down, my sales team. Best ideas come out of my sales team. Best ideas come out of those sales pipeline opportunities. Absolutely love my sales team. I was formerly the CMO at a tech company out here in Nashville where I'm currently based and I missed the alignment with my team. And so, I love my sales team. That's my absolute favorite part about field marketing is that alignment. Man, I'm excited to see them in person at events again. That's a refresher for sure.
Vincent Pietrafesa: You hear that Ajay? The best ideas come from people. I'm part of the sales team. Hear that?
Ajay Gupta: But you know what? I don't know if sales people have the best handshake.
Vincent Pietrafesa: crosstalk
Meg Scales: That can be taught.
Vincent Pietrafesa: You could teach that. You can't teach those amazing ideas that come out of the sales team. That's it. Meg, we're going to have a follow up episode when we meet about my handshake. Or I'll report back. We'll have an email and I'll read a statement over. Well, unless if it's a good statement. If it's not a good statement, I won't share it. I'll say I never met with Meg.
Meg Scales: I don't know who that woman is.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That came by in New York city. But Meg, I loved the fact that you were in sales before and then marketing. Because you don't hear as much these days about it. But of course, the narrative, sales and marketing, pumping heads, boom, boom. But tell me how that, you talked about it a little bit, but let's expand on that for those people who want to bridge that gap. What benefits did you have or do you have now that, because you were in sales and the marketing side, how does that really help your job right now?
Meg Scales: Once you've sat in that seat and you've received campaigns or you've received tactics or asks from your marketing team and some of those you kind of look at and go," What? That doesn't directly bring me value right now. That's not going to put food on my table for my kids if I go and pursue that event or that direct mailer." However, if as a marketer you can have that lens and then you can help map those tactics to the ultimate outcome that affects the sales team, it helps mend that bridge that you're talking between sales and marketing. Communication is massively important in this. I connect with my sales leaders probably more than I connect with my husband. Just kidding. He'll listen to this podcasts. He'll laugh at that. But in all seriousness, we spend hours and hours and hours together trying to figure out how to navigate our upcoming challenges and navigate our current campaigns, how to make sure that we're outperforming. Constant communication. I couldn't do this without my sales team and I truly mean that.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome to hear and I'm glad because a lot of people always are asking us about," Hey, let's talk about the sales and marketing piece. How could people bring that together?" I love hearing that. Meg, you had mentioned before, you and I were talking about it, that you're in Nashville now, but you grew up in that Silicon Valley, the tech field there. Talk to us about what it was like growing with companies out there, some of the organizations you've been with. What were some trends that you saw that, wow, this is going to be, this is great. I'm glad I was part of it. What are some trends that fizzled out in your experience there?
Meg Scales: I've had some great opportunities in my career to work for some of the best of the best and some of the largest organizations out there. As you can imagine, a lot comes with that around processes and procedures that have really been thoroughly tested and vetted. I've also had the opportunity to work with some true tech startups where I was the one turning on the lights and turning off the alarm in the morning and coming in at 4: 30 in the morning to pick up the phone and start selling into my East Coast territory. Having seen it all... there's this author that I'm enjoying reading his book, it's called Atomic Habits, James clear, one of his quotes just brings true in my heart and it came to mind when you asked me this question. He says, "You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems." I truly have seen that within tech companies throughout my career. You can have the best goals, the best aspirations, but if you do not have the systems in place to support those goals, it can really be a challenge. I'm lucky to have experienced both and appreciative of those experiences.
Ajay Gupta: What's the coaching culture at CoachHub? What kind of coaching classes do you get to take as an employee?
Meg Scales: Ah, I love that question. Every single employee here at CoachHub, and we're pushing close to a thousand soon, we all have our own coach. I think a lot of times there's some nuances that come with coaching. What is this? What is coaching? How do we understand what this truly is? Is this counseling? Is this mentoring? No, it's a totally different experience. Every single person within CoachHub does have their coach. I personally have gone through about two months of sessions with my coach. I can tell you, I am a different person than who I was two months ago. Absolutely. In the way that I lead my team, in the way that I think through my strategies for my team, for our go to market strategy. My coach is a gentleman. He has had a massive impact on my personal life as well as my business.
Ajay Gupta: How do you think in general effective coaching programs contribute to a company's growth?
Meg Scales: I think traditional talent development and learning and development has only gone so far. We either have a great speaker come in or you're doing some video tutorials or you're doing some online surveys and trying to feel how your employees are ranking your organization or their employee experience. Coaching takes it to a whole another level. Things around diversity, inclusion, it's one thing to watch a video about how important it is. It's one thing to read a report. It's one thing to have a company mission statement or a culture that values, that supports that. There's another thing to have a very personalized individual confidential conversation with somebody and saying," How do I do this? The playbook says ABC, but I don't quite understand how to put this into play." To feel safe in a safe spot to do that. That's really how I've seen coaching take these large, very important, absolutely critical organizational challenges, and really make it personal, make it applicable, and make it successful.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Megan, I'd love to get your take on the great resignation. We've been hearing that term a lot. I'd love to get your take on that because I would imagine that CoachHub has either programs around it or just some advice around it.
Meg Scales: The great resignation, my goodness, what a phenomenon and a tumultuous time. We saw, we are continuing to see record numbers of people leaving their jobs after this COVID- 19 pandemic. Recent studies show that the resignation rates are the highest among mid- career employees, as well as the highest in technology and healthcare industries. Companies are navigating things that they've never had to navigate before. This ripple effect of the pandemic in so many different ways, and having to reevaluate how to retain their talent in these ripples. Coming out of the global pandemic, as you can imagine, yes, it was absolutely something where CoachHub realized we can have a massive impact on. Employees have felt incredibly disconnected between what they were looking for from their manager, from their role within an organization, and what their employer thought their team wanted, which was absolutely an opportunity for us from an HR perspective. What I love about coaching is that it can enable employees to further enhance their power skills, leadership and development, conflict management. All those while also developing their emotional intelligence and resilience in these hard, hard, challenging times. Coaching allows us to make for better, more empathetic teammates, an empathetic, welcoming culture, a happier and more productive team overall. And we've seen customer after customer achieve this, something that I'm really proud of the team and proud of our solution.
Vincent Pietrafesa: We touched upon it a little bit, but I wanted to get your take on your mission statement. I'd love to understand CoachHub. The mission statement, has that changed over the last few years? If it hasn't changed, talk to me about some programs that you've been putting out there to accentuate that mission statement.
Meg Scales: Around democratizing coaching, one thing that's really been consistent for CoachHub is the mission. This started with two founders who experienced coaching themself and realized," Wow, what would an organization look like if they offered this to everyone? What would we see? What are the results that we would see out of this?" And so, that mission has not changed from day one. It's one that they're standing behind, one that they're proud of, and one they could personally attest to. We all stand behind that as well. As far as the programs that we make this mission resonate with, it's a challenge as a marketer. Typically you're asked," Hey, what's your ICP?" Right? Well, if you're in one of my former companies, it was industrial manufacturing and I had a very small pool of people that I could target. Here, it's everyone. So it makes a challenge as a marketer. Massive. First off, we've got everybody that could benefit from this, but it also makes it really, really fun. As far as programs that we're pushing out there, like I used earlier, this light switch mentality of we've got to reach everyone with this message so that they know how we can help transform their teams. So we are turning on every campaign and tactic possible to do so. Because I would find a sales team in this different location that I would find my HR team or my learning and development team, et cetera.
Ajay Gupta: Meg, this is a question we ask all of our guests and it has to do with LinkedIn and unsolicited emails in general. Tell us what's one that gets a response from you and what's something that really annoys you.
Meg Scales: The CEO of LinkedIn, I had the privilege of meeting with him about 10 years ago. He had said to me," Hey, keep your LinkedIn clean. Keep it clean. Don't add just anybody. And that allows you to have personal connections that you can help connect people to when you get reached out to, and also just really tightens up your business circle." I've really stuck through to that true advice throughout my career. I can't stand it when I get that message on LinkedIn," Hey, I'm expanding my network and I'd love to connect with you, Meg." Why? Why? Do I know you? Do you have something that can help benefit my team or my business or my go to market strategy? And it better be personal. Right? I think that every single person I have asked a similar question to, it's about being personal. Make it apply to me, make it apply to my relationship, and trust and opportunities will follow.
Ajay Gupta: The follow up on making it personal, tell us a little bit more about you on the personal side. What are some of your hobbies? What do you like to do outside of work?
Meg Scales: I'm a mother of three. For those of you who are on YouTube and can see the screen, I've got three beautiful babies in a picture above my left shoulder here. Free time, Ajay? What's free time with three kids, huh? I don't know. I don't know what that looks like.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Birthday parties. Children's birthday parties, right?
Meg Scales: Children's birthday parties. Yes, exactly. That's what my weekend consisted of too, actually. In my free time, I love spending time with my family. I absolutely adore my children. I love seeing them exceed in life. We are the sports family. We are the fun party family getting togethers with all the kids. I really enjoy that. I also really enjoy being active. I think it's incredibly important to our mental health, especially during this time. We mentioned the great resignation. Really just what brings us joy and cleanse us in our free time, that's my family and that's being active for me.
Ajay Gupta: Two kids is a handful so I can only imagine what three is like.
Meg Scales: You go from a one to one defense zone.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Zone defense, right? I haven't taken Ajay to a football game yet. He's not going to know what that is. You've go to basketball games, so you know that. He's been in San Antonio's first game. I know. It's funny, I have two kids and I have two boys. It's weird how random people come up to you where it's like," Oh, you should have a girl." I'm like," First of all, ma'am, I don't even know who you are right now. Why are you coming up to me in the supermarket? I'm trying to pick out an avocado." It's just random how people are just like, if you had three kids or two kids or one, it's like... yeah, I don't know. That was a tangent. I was like, you know what, this happened to me this weekend and I didn't appreciate this lady coming up to me. But Meg, let's get back into because I wanted to stay on the coaching front here because I wanted to talk to you about how you feel. Companies attitudes are going to be changing. I know now a lot of companies, diversity, inclusion, that people are really digging into that, which I think is amazing. Do you feel that coaching is going to be one of those topics that come up a lot," Hey, we need to not only coach our employees, keep our employees here at all levels." How do you think companies attitudes are going to be changing towards that?
Meg Scales: Oh, yeah. I think companies are hungry for the next thing to offer their employees for differentiation, for hiring reasons, for retention reasons. Coaching is really one of those that we're seeing some of the largest companies in the world turn to. And realize, wow, we can actually achieve great organization transformation and our employees are happier because of this. So yeah, we're definitely seeing it. I'm appreciative of it. I've experienced it personally.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I going to be happy when I don't have to ask this question anymore about the pandemic. But it's still, hopefully tail end, but how do you feel that coaching was affected during the pandemic?
Meg Scales: It definitely helped us. Coaching was welcome. We were all sitting virtually in our homes Zoomed out, but there's something about true people connection even if it is over a platform where there's honest conversations. You can get Zoomed out, meeting to meeting, to meeting, to meeting, talking about," Oh, what's your agenda? What's this? What's this? What's this? What's the status of this? What's the update of this?" Oh, take a deep breath from that. Clicking into your coaching and just having somebody genuinely check in with how you're doing, genuinely checking in on the initiatives that you both have agreed upon, and talking you through that, I could tell you, I've had a session where I cried. I actually teared up and cried. Coaching is so needed right now. We need to talk and we need to talk honestly about challenges, and like I mentioned earlier, in a very safe place.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I love hearing that because a lot of times the coaching or training is more done at maybe certain teams, certain levels, a sales team, a sales training, let's train these C- level execs. It's so good to see that it's being implemented at every level. It's great seeing the work that CoachHub is doing. That's what makes CoachHub unique. We haven't had a guest on like CoachHub or guests like yourself and so involved and passionate. Your passion shines through and we appreciate that so much, Meg. Before we part, just a closing thought. Anything you want to part us with here and our amazing listeners listening to this podcast?
Meg Scales: Also over my left shoulder, I've got a little book here, a little sign. It says," It always seems impossible until it's done." I think right now in a time period where we're coming out, of things that we've never experienced as human beings before, as marketers we're being asked to go to market in ways we've never really had to do before. It seems impossible until it's done. Keep your head up. Speak out to your leadership. Talk, open communication lines, you will get through it. It will get done. Anything as possible.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I love that. Thank you so much, Meg. This has been an absolute pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, the Head of North America Field Marketing at CoachHub, Meg Scales. This has been amazing. That's Meg. I'm Vincent. That's Ajay. Thank you so much for listening to the Marketing Stir. We will talk soon. Thank you.
Speaker 1: Thanks for listening to the Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please Like, rate, and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at themarketingstir@ stirista. com. Thanks for listening.
Vincent and Ajay chat with Meg Scales, Head of North America Field Marketing at CoachHub. She talks about how utilizing AI and data can help match employees with professional industry leading coaches for growth and transformation. Ajay is swamped with kids' birthday parties, and Vincent enjoyed the VIP event.