For the past twenty-two years, the MassTLC Leadership Awards have celebrated the best and the brightest of the Massachusetts technology ecosystem. The sixteen award categories, including a newly added category for the Massachusetts Growth Company of the Year, highlight the vitality, innovation and importance of the region’s internationally respected technology industry. In addition, for the first time, MassTLC will honor the visionary organizations that are pioneering digital transformations to innovate and re-imagine the future of the Commonwealth’s leading industries in the form of the newly created Digital Transformation awards category.
Winners will be announced at the All Stars of Tech Winners’ Celebration on November 6 at Fenway Park.
In the meantime, let us introduce you to the finalists and the incredible work that they are doing here in Massachusetts – and how they are changing the world.
In the words of their nominators, meet the 2019 “Chief Marketing Officer of the Year” finalists.
Alison Durant, LogMeIn
With more than 25 years of experience leading marketing teams in the tech industry at both small and large organizations, Alison is leading the next stage of growth at one of the world’s Top 10 Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies.
Under Alison’s leadership, the team executed a comprehensive brand analysis, ensuring the final recommendation to her colleagues on the executive leadership team was informed by data at all levels. This analysis informed alignment behind GoTo as the unified portfolio brand. With the unveiling of GoTo in Q1 2019, Alison broke down barriers among departments in pursuit of a holistic, experiential branding approach – the largest launch in LogMeIn’s history.
Thanks to Alison,, all marketing efforts at LogMeIn are uniting in a cohesive creative platform that is flexible across products and target audiences, while aligning all communication touchpoints throughout the customer journey. Her passion for cross-functional alignment extends to measurement, as she encourages team collaboration on a tracking framework covering all aspects of the business from brand-building metrics to site traffic, bookings to customer retention.
From fostering an energetic atmosphere, to providing professionally challenging opportunities, Alison is passionate about creating a culture that ensures employees have a work-life balance. Alison leads by example by being supportive of people’s lives progressing and creating flexibility in working arrangements, allowing people to have time for whatever is important to them outside of work. She has created reduced roles for employees who were contemplating leaving because of childcare needs or were moving away for family reasons. Alison knows first-hand what it’s like to balance a career and a family, so she makes it a point to do whatever she can to help the employee do both.
Alison is a champion and participant in LogMeIn’s CSR program, Mission Possible. She is particularly passionate about promoting women in tech, supporting LogMeIn’s employee resource group, LogHerIn and participating in several leadership panels to mentor young women.
Tom Erskine, One Door
Tom Erskine has been instrumental in growing One Door’s business and brand awareness through a strategic approach to marketing. In his unique dual role as CMO and SVP of product, he oversees both the product and marketing teams at One Door, which allows him to foster better collaboration between the two teams. By working closely with his teams, Erskine has led the company’s shift from a telecom customer focus to targeting larger retail organizations. Tom recognized the steps needed in order to secure sophisticated retailers as customers and helped to formalize the product release, better unifying the product management, sales and marketing teams. With a holistic marketing approach in place, the teams released two new products that significantly improved Merchandising Cloud, the company’s application.
Tom oversees the execution of valuable educational resources, such as forward-looking product webinars, to better educate employees and customers alike on the targeted, scalable solutions One Door can provide for each of its targeted buyer personas. He has worked closely with customers to facilitate several product releases to better serve One Door’s targeted audiences and customers, as well as, with the sales and business development teams to shift to an account-based marketing (ABM) approach as part of the new, holistic marketing program, resulting in over 65% engagement penetration into One Door’s target list of customers
In his role at One Door, Tom is constantly on the lookout for ways to elevate the company brand. In the last year, One Door has partnered strategically with other technology vendors, including Oracle and MTI, to announce mutually beneficial technology integrations. As a result of his efforts, One Door earned a place in Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for Advanced Retail Space Management Application.
Tom is a supportive leader within One Door, encouraging his team to take time off to participate in philanthropic and fundraising events. He is part of a band popular on the North Shore, which recently played at a Pan Mass Challenge fundraiser, helping to generate a total of $30,000 for a team of riders in one weeknight. Tom’s teams have an 80% participation rate in philanthropic events both within and outside of the company.
Jeanne Hopkins, Lola.com
Jeanne Hopkins leads the marketing organization at Lola.com, building a metrics-based powerhouse to fuel demand and ensure a great Lola customer experience. Jeanne joined Lola.com in October 2018, and in just a couple months, built a full marketing team of eight, including content, ops, paid, events, email, social media, and channel. Her team has lowered cost per lead (CPL) from thousands of dollars to under $100 and kicked off lead nurturing with a five-touch campaign.
Jeanne has long been a proponent of making high quality educational content available in order to be a supportive, thought-leading vendor, ultimately generating high quality leads for sales, and as a result, she has launched three podcast series at Lola.com. Driven by Jeanne, Lola.com also announced its company’s first Agile Operations Summit on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 in Boston.
In addition, Jeanne is a huge proponent of press releases, media alerts, and blogs; in 2019, Lola.com has posted nearly 60 announcements, touting company and personal awards, speaking engagements, funding, and more. Based on HubSpot and Google Analytics, prior to Jeanne’s arrival, Lola.com saw 2,000 aggregate, unique blog visits and 1,600 aggregate, unique leads. With Jeanne, the company realized 20,000 aggregate, unique blog visits from October 2018 to April 2019 and nearly 13,000 aggregate, unique leads.
Jeanne is an accomplished writer, advisor and speaker. She co-authored “Go Mobile,” a top-selling mobile marketing book on Amazon.com. Jeanne serves on the Advisory Boards of Coffee Cup Collective and Sales Lead Management Association.
Laura Taylor, WordStream
After eight years at WordStream, Laura remains as passionate and intently committed to the company’s success as the day she walked into the organization. The role she plays in catalyzing that success spans an extraordinary number of specialities; on a day-to-day basis, Laura oversees everything from paid lead acquisition to thought leadership content to automated email marketing.
Laura and her team have had an incredibly impressive last 12 months of driving even greater awareness and positive reputation in the market. Her powerful combination of analytical mindset combined with creative idea generation have led to both high profile and high impact results.
Laura and her team created a new approach to nurture marketing in the proprietary database of over 1M qualified leads. WordStream’s freemium model is based upon tools that provide high value to customers to understand and improve their advertising accounts. Using those insights, the team developed 100% personalized email campaigns that reminded prospects of their unique growth opportunities by specifying exactly how much ad spend they were wasting in their accounts. As a result of this campaign, WordStream was able to drive increased customer growth from this pool of qualified prospects.
In addition, Laura led an in-depth analysis of lead types and lead conversions that highlighted where the sales organization was converting prospects to customers at a high rate, and which lead types and sales teams were converting at a below-average pace. Based upon this information the team reorganized lead flow and assignments and has seen a significant increase in conversion rate among these lead types.
What sets Laura apart as a team-builder and leader is her ability to cultivate a consistent brand voice across all these marketing channels. As CMO, Laura ensures everyone across the marketing organization is on the same page in terms of what to communicate and how.
Laura is committed to positive recognition as a source of inspiration. Each biweekly marketing team meetings – led by Laura -begins with a several-minute period during which members of the team are encouraged to recognize one another for their efforts.
Sarah Welch, CarGurus
In the past twelve months, Sarah’s excellent performance was recognized with her promotion from SVP of Consumer Marketing to CarGurus’ Chief Marketing Officer. In her new role she has continued to grow the consumer marketing team footprint, overseeing all facets of marketing including performance marketing, brand, social media, public relations, creative and editorial content. Beyond scaling her own team, Sarah has increasingly focused on creating value through cross-functional wins beyond the boundaries of marketing. Sarah introduced a consumer insights function to both the consumer marketing team and company as a whole, which has demonstrated tremendous value in the site experience and new product roadmap as well as in better representing the unique value of CarGurus’ audience to primary business partners. Sarah has led her team to a myriad of successes over the past year, most notably including a major site redesign that required heavy partnership with product, engineering and UX. She unleashed her team’s skills to support the company’s aggressive hiring goals and led rolling out CarGurus inaugural television campaign in the U.K., as well as other successful television campaigns in the U.S. and Canada.
In the past year, CarGurus has extended its position as the #1 most visited auto shopping site in the country. As CMO, Sarah’s primary responsibility is growing consumer audience and engagement, which is the backbone of that leading position and primary CarGurus’ revenue opportunity. CarGurus’ second largest revenue stream, ad sales, is directly dependent on the scale and engagement of the company’s audience. A number of major global auto manufacturing companies rely on CarGurus’ strong, engaged audience for reaching consumers on the brand level through programmatic, targeted advertising.
Sarah is a founding member and executive sponsor of Women @ CarGurus, a group organized by female leadership to create a vehicle for professional development for women at CarGurus. The group works to drive achievements in terms of benefits and programs to improve the experience of CarGurus’ female employees. As a result of Women @ CarGurus’ efforts, CarGurus has now increased primary caregiver leave to 16 weeks with 15 gradual return-to-work days and expanded secondary parent leave from 2 weeks to 8 weeks.