26 50

CMO50 2022 #26-50: Tasman Page

  • Name Tasman Page
  • Title Marketing director
  • Company Employment Hero
  • Commenced role July 2020
  • Reporting Line Chief revenue officer
  • Member of the Executive Team No
  • Marketing Function 39 staff
  • Industry Sector Information technology
  • 2018 ranking 26-50
  • Related

    Brand Post

    It was a brave call to invest a huge amount of time and money into customer research so early on in Employment Hero’s business journey, says its marketing director, Tasman Page. But it’s proven the right one for the people management software provider.  

    “When I joined and we had smaller budgets, this was a big call as we needed to put every dollar possible into driving leads,” Page says. “This strategy really has paid dividends, as proven by the many millions of dollars’ worth of ARR we have driven from related content and media coverage.

    “Also, our solid understanding of the customer allows us to use customer-centred design principles to make better decisions across the business every day.”

    Over the past two years, Employment Hero has grown from startup to scaleup. This has seen the marketing function evolve from a small team using HubSpot, into a multi-disciplinary growth engine. For Page, one of the major contributors to growth has been his team’s ability to structure activity around a solid understanding of the customer.

    “We have done this through a combination of making data super accessible through a new tech stack including Marketo, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Bizible, Datorama and several other specialist tools, plus an in-house insights function that’s constantly speaking with our audience to deepen our understanding of not just consumer behaviour, but also motivations,” Page says.

    “Over this period, we developed a detailed customer journey map, which allows the team to make informed decisions when developing experiments and has been adopted by the wider business. This piece of work helps to remind us we work in human-to-human marketing, not business-to-business marketing.”

    Business smarts

    When setting up the marketing team in late 2020, Page hired and then worked with a new senior insights manager to rollout customer-centred design principles across the marketing team. Page is particularly proud of having now run studies, including focus groups, in-depth interview and surveys, with tens of thousands of decision makers in the SME space across Australia, the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand.

    The most fundamental and influential piece of research was the Buyer Journey Mapping study, which mapped out processes SMEs go through when selecting HR software. Completed in 2021, this project has helped generate data-driven customer personas now used across the business and given marketers the ability to influence all areas of the organisation to be more customer-centric.

    “It has helped us devise battlecards for certain industries and scenarios for the sales team to use,” Page explains. “It has improved our understanding of customers significantly for product development and customer service also. In addition to internal strategic initiatives, we have created whitepapers other useful customer-facing content off the back of this study.

    “We are now a key source of customer knowledge and insight and it gives us a seat at the table whenever new initiatives are being introduced.”

    Page’s team is now completing further journey maps including understanding how HR managers and payroll professionals spend their time at work. Again, he expects these studies to be adopted by the entire business.

    “Our insights program also allows us to produce newsworthy content useful for our audience. Our latest piece of research is the Employment Hero SME Index, which uses data from over 1.7 million employees to map out trends in Australian SME employment,” he adds. “This index drives media coverage, provides content for whitepapers and helps to drive strategic initiatives.”

    Threaded through this approach is Page’s belief marketers should use gut to develop ideas that can be turned into hypotheses.

    “The hypotheses you come up with should then be used to build experiments that rely on data to prove or disprove your gut,” he says. “You might use gut to come up with campaigns and decide what to put into market, but data is what will help you know which parts actually worked, and which didn’t. It will also let you do better next time round.

    “This isn’t me saying creative minds and new ways of communicating ideas aren’t important. They are imperative. It’s just they are wasted if the analytics aren’t in place.”

    And to solve the right problems for your customers and make decisions with your gut, you need to know them intimately. “This understanding could come from years of industry experience, but customers change and not everyone is a veteran,” Page says.

    “Data in the form of personas and journey maps can be a great way to help teams make better decisions on the fly using gut, fuelled by data.”

    Customer-led thinking

    Today, Employment Hero allocates 80 per cent of marketing resources towards providing value to customers, with the remaining 20 per cent focused on selling its services. The company boasts of 750,000 active users on the platform and is scaling capability with a major focus on education to aid adoption.

    “Leaders in small businesses have navigated some of the trickiest economic challenges of a generation over the past few years, so this focus of effort just felt like the right thing to do,” Page comments. “To create the most possible value for our audience, we first need to understand and articulate the challenges our audience is facing.

    “We now have extremely detailed personas, journey maps and run regular briefings with team members to ensure we have a detailed understanding of audiences. The qual and quant research we have run, combined with multi-touch attribution, has allowed our team of creators to develop solutions that solve the problems our audience cares about the most. We have developed hundreds of guides, reports, whitepapers, fact sheets, tools and events over this period, and we can attribute value to each piece.”

    Partner marketing has become a further string in the bow since Employment Hero acquired KeyPay in late 2021 and launched a partner channel. Page describes the acquisition and being able to unit marketing teams as a great career moment.

    “I have a huge amount of respect for the 40 amazing expert marketers we now have working in our organisation and the spectacular results they have been able to drive,” he says.

    KeyPay sells its products through white-label relationships with organisations such as Intuit, plus accountants and bookkeepers. In the new-look Employment Hero marketing structure, marketing managers are responsible for partnerships in each international market.

    “Each team has close relationships with sales, customer success, development teams and is involved in regular standups, slack groups and shared OKRs,” Page explains. “To collaborate in a remote-first way, we have embraced new tools and processes. We rely on Slack, Miro and Asana. If a team member is working remotely, the entire team uses the collaboration tool individually. This ensures we all contribute equally. And documentation has become important: We put more effort into getting it right than any other business I have witnessed.”

    Leadership impact

    Given Employment Hero is a remote-first business, it is critical to keep focus on celebration and recognition of outputs rather than inputs, or initiatives, Page continues.

    “The entire business has received training on first principles thinking to ensure OKRs are set for the metrics that matter and anything else is pushed aside,” he says. “We have also produced a formula to help us work out if an initiative will help us decide if an initiative will help us speed up our velocity towards our big goals, which we call V2B.

    “This systemised approach to increasing our V2B, combined with mentoring and personal development, has led to a team happiness score leading the entire Employment Hero business, measured regularly through the Employment Hero platform.”

    What’s more, creativity and innovation is flourishing within the team thanks to its ability to understand customers so well, Page says.

    Commercial acumen

    There’s no doubt Employment Hero has scaled massively over the past few years. This phenomenal growth saw the tech player become Australia’s eighth unicorn earlier this year, with a $1 billion+ valuation.

    “The vast majority of new customers have consistently been generated from the inbound marketing strategy Employment Hero has run over the past few years, with our insights program as the backbone,” Page says. “Outbound sales activity has been relatively limited across all markets, simply because our inbound strategy delivers such a large quantity of qualified, warm leads to the sales team.

    “Our 2021 brand tracker, surveying a representative sample of decision makers in Aussie SMEs, showed awareness among our audience doubled, while consideration tripled. Our strategy of helping our customers first, then introducing our services later has been extremely effective.”


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