People-First Marketing: Q&A with Rob Giglio, DocuSign Chief Marketing Officer
We sat down with Rob Giglio, chief marketing officer, to learn about what inspires him and how he orchestrates DocuSign’s marketing to be people-first and drive demand.
You started your career in sales but focused on finance for your MBA and then switched to marketing. How does one affect the other and make you a stronger executive today?
They are connected. What I liked about finance is that it’s the language of business. Thinking about financial reporting and financial analysis is the underpinning of business responsibility. Understanding the dynamics of how they work together, and the importance of external facing metrics, made me a better, smarter marketer. I am clear that marketing for marketing’s sake isn’t useful. Marketing is a part of a system to drive business success.
Your background includes consumer packaged goods, retail and software. Now you’re at DocuSign. What was it about DocuSign that attracted you to join the company?
I'm excited about a company that has such a strong product-to-market fit. We have a great product and the market opportunity is massive. We have this global upside opportunity and a product that is built for meeting the needs of customers. I was also attracted to the company culture, the leadership and the way this organization works together. Product-market fit was probably the thing that got me the most interested, but the thing that “re-recruits” me every week is the talented people that I work with and the culture we have.
You and your marketing team have been working on a new campaign, “As Real As It Gets.” How did this come about, and what does it mean for customers and users?
The idea for the campaign came directly from our customers. We asked them what they thought of DocuSign and some really interesting insights came out of that research. The most poignant points showed that our engagement is straightforward, customer experiences are streamlined and the solution is smart. Our customers told us about the transformation when an agreement becomes real -- buying a house, doing a deal, buying or selling a company, adopting a child -- when an agreement comes to life - ‘it gets real’. We thought it was an incredible opportunity to amplify stories and show real vignettes of where people, businesses and organizations found the moment that coming to agreement became real for them.
Why is trust so important to the Docusign brand?
Customers trust us with their most important agreements, so they need to trust that their data and privacy is secure. Trust is the foundation of everything we do at DocuSign, and it’s one of our three core values as a company. We operate in accordance with fundamental privacy principles that underlie global privacy regulations when it comes to an individual’s right to know what data is collected and how it is used. This transparency is key. We also maintain a Trust Center, where customers can always access all the latest details on security, compliance, legal, privacy and system performance information that they need to feel comfortable transacting business online.
How has DocuSign evolved its marketing strategy over the past 18 months to adapt to the changing business landscape?
People are overloaded so our message needs to be relevant and easy to understand. We are doubling down on clarifying how our product can solve the challenges customers are facing on both our social media channels and across search and online advertising.
We also created use cases across different industries and sectors that make it clear where DocuSign can streamline processes and make our customers’ jobs easier across the board. For example, if you’re an HR leader that now has to figure out how to track and manage vaccine status of your employees, we have a guide on how to tackle that. Alternatively, if you’re a winery and you now need people to sign a waiver before they come on-site, we have ideas and examples for how to achieve that as well.
You’ve been quoted as saying “The most worthy deed helps someone else succeed.” With that in mind, how has your leadership style evolved over time?
As I have matured, my leadership style has also matured. Early in my career I was largely about me and my pursuits, my goals, my aspirations, my projects. I developed a drive to deliver as a team for a greater good. I also now find what drives me is a desire to help others with their projects, careers and creating their own leadership paths. I'm excited to help, and I find it incredibly rewarding. It's what I like about my work -- seeing people find success and grow their careers. It’s most exciting when people get promoted and go to a new level. I find as much satisfaction in that as anything that I do.
When or where do you get your best ideas?
Anytime I'm in or around water is when I get ideas and do my best creative thinking. I love to swim, I do a lot of laps, and I like to surf. When you’re waiting for the next set of waves to come through, you get a lot of time to be with yourself to think.
What do you look for when recruiting talent to your marketing team?
Primarily three things: how you think, are you results-oriented and do you have leadership ability. I’m not looking for sheer IQ or education. I look for the usage of that IQ. I want people that have had life experiences, people who have seen challenges and who have persevered through those challenges and achieved something. People who are highly results-oriented deliver really strong output. Finally, leadership is about being smart enough to come up with a vision, skillful enough to execute that vision, and being a good communicator, motivator and cheerleader to enroll people in that vision to bring it to life.
Why should somebody come work on your team?
Because we're fun! If you are excited about our product and what we do for businesses, and you have a way to tell that story or create programs that communicate, then you're destined for DocuSign marketing. If you are creative, analytical and see marketing as art and science, you should be on our team. If you want to grow your career, join the DocuSign marketing team.
Besides work, what other endeavors do you find gratifying?
I love my work, being a husband and a father to my two sons. My oldest is a first year medical student, and my youngest is studying business so with him, we're moving our conversations from sports teams to what is business really all about. I like to stay active: I swim, surf, ride a bike, golf, ski and rock climb. I also love to read. I read an hour every day. It’s a great way to learn new things and see the world through a different lens -- plus it helps me unwind at the end of a day.
Interested in doing the work of your life at DocuSign? Check out our openings. We’d love to talk more.