Robin Daniels is the Chief Marketing Officer at Matterport. He joined Matterport in early 2020 to lead worldwide marketing strategy at a time of rapid growth for the company. He drives all marketing and communications initiatives globally to bring Matterport’s vision to life across all channels and markets.
Robin has built his career at industry-defining tech companies across the US and Europe, and brings over 20 years of extensive business and marketing experience building brands of high-growth companies. Before joining Matterport, Daniels was CMO at WeWork. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Box, and worked with many start-ups as an advisor and mentor.
This episode features an interview with Robin Daniels, CMO of Matterport. Robin has built an impressive two-decade career at industry-defining tech companies across the US and Europe, previously serving as CMO of WeWork and in leadership positions at LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Box. He joined Matterport in early 2020 to lead worldwide marketing strategy at a time of rapid growth for the company. On this episode, Robin shares how his “go all in or don’t go at all” mindset helped lead Matterport to rocketship growth in 2020 and which strategies, channels, and tactics he’s doubling down on for 2021.
- When it comes to campaigns and launches, go all in or don’t go at all. Going halfway is a recipe for regret
- Nobody can tell the story of what’s possible with a product better than your customers. Invest in figuring out the right stories and promoting them across the right channels
- Remember that a marketing career is supposed to be fun! It’s not always going to be easy, but it should always be an adventure.
“I'm very much of the mindset that if you're going to do something, you go all in or you don't go at all. I'm not a big fan of half-a**ing campaigns or launches. I've done a few in my career, and I always regret it.”
“Customer stories is something I've been trying to invest in heavily…Nobody tells a story of what's possible with Matterport better than our customers. Investing in figuring out the right customer stories, promoting them across all our different channels, getting them into the press, getting them into media is really, really important for us, but it takes investment.”
“The website for us is so key, and we've put a lot of effort into it…To me, the website is where it all starts. This is the first impression that anybody's going to get. Especially with something like Matterport, the first thing you see has to be so appealing that you want to know more”
“One of my pieces of advice to people who want to come into a new role or want to be a CMO: Don’t reuse the old playbook. You’ve got to try new things…Experiment like crazy. It’s great if you have some learnings and some ideas of what you want to do. But if you have a playbook, honestly, it’s probably outdated already. Try new platforms, try new messaging. Test, measure, learn, improve, that’s the way forward.”
“I have an opportunity here to really change the storytelling game and the demand game, because we can show up in ways on these platforms–through our visual storytelling–that no other platform can. In other companies it’s always ‘imagine this.’ I don't have to imagine with Matterport, I just show. I always want to show the product.”
(2:41) Robin’s Path to 3D
- He spent the last 20 years in Silicon Valley working for tech companies, including Salesforce, Box and LinkedIn
- First job in demand gen was actually working in a movie theater, making sure that every theater was full to capacity. When people would show up and they couldn't get in to see the movie they wanted to see, he had to try to sell them on the movies that were still available
- Now Robin is CMO of Matterport, a 3D platform and camera company, known for virtual tours
(5:03) Matterport and the Magic of 3D
- Real estate is pretty much where Matterport started. Their data shows that houses are sold 30% faster at 10% higher costs if Matterport is used.
- They have now moved into facilities management, commercial real estate, retail, museums, pharmaceutical and education, among other industries
- Some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world that are working on some of these vaccines are using Matterport to be able to scale their manufacturing floors
- There are more than 4 billion buildings and more than 20 billion spaces in the world, and their goal is for all of them to have a 3d digital twin
- He loves Matterport’s mission because it gives everyone equal access, no matter who you are and where you are in the world, to any space.
- If you're poor and you want to go see a site that you've never been able to go to, you can go experience that through the magic of Matterport
(9:53) What Robin’s Demand Gen Strategy Looks Like
- Robin’s strategy has 3 parts, and the first going after enterprise, meaning large companies that want to have a digital twin of their physical spaces so they can optimize them, typically to become more efficient or safe
- Retail has become huge during covid, with big brands all putting their stores online
- You can walk through the store and actually buy the products
- Robin’s team has leaned heavily into ABM this year, to make sure they hit the right people with the right message at the right time, working closely with sales
- The second part of his strategy focuses on SMB
- The third is Matterport’s newest segment, which is the prosumer, such as people who want to do house rentals, or sell their home.
- Releasing Matterport for iPhone earlier in 2020 completely changed the trajectory of the company
- Robin was even able to create virtual escape room using Matterport for his son’s birthday this summer, an example of the endless use cases for the product that inspire the business cases
(14:20) Matterport’s Target Audience Segmentation
- Every building has six or seven distinct parts of their lifecycle, so though Matterport has a very broad target market, they can segment our audience that way
- In 2021 they will focus on segmenting by verticals, with more specifics on industry use cases
- Commercial real estate is big, as well as residential real estate
- Residential real estate usage of Matterport had to grow swiftly during covid, even for the less tech savvy realtors
- Robin was introduced to Matterport while he was at WeWork and looking for a way to make giving tours less time consuming.
- They sell to prosumers by getting them to try the product, getting them to scan a space, and that is usually a really sticky experience And so we are trying to get people into the app as quickly as we can and get them to scan a space.
(22:38) Robin Goes All In: Matterport’s Big 2020
- Robin joined Matterport at the end of March during the pandemic.
- They decided to accelerate their planned iPhone launch to give their target audience more tools to use during the pandemic
- He was doing this while still new to his team, everyone was in complete lockdown, and they lacked some players in product marketing etc.
- They planned a major campaign that was completely different than anything they’d done before
- The team made an Apple-style commercial to showcase the product, using a smartphone
- The communication strategy was critical, and the focus was that they’d “revolutionized and democratized 3d for everyone”
- In the first week of launching Matterport for iPhone, they had more account signups than they did in the first eight years of being in business.
- Robin says they hit all the right KPIs because they went big
- His mindset is that if you're going to do something, you go all in or you don't do it all.
- Since then, they’ve seen their subscriber growth go through the roof.
- A lot of enterprises came to us because of their way of seeding the market with a product that everybody can use.
(34:15) Robin’s Uncuttable Budget Items
- Number one is Matterport’s digital channels, their paid campaigns for LinkedIn, Facebook and Google
- The majority of their business comes from there, but is shifting over time as they focus more on the enterprise
- Number two is actually boosting organic social media, both their own and those of their users
- That user storytelling on social has been super successful at giving a sense of what's possible with a Matterport
- Third: Robin invests a lot in customer storytelling - nobody tells a better story of what's possible with Matterport and their customers
- They promote those across all different channels and gett them into the press, and it takes time but it’s worth it
- Matterport is also experimenting a lot with influencers for example. They recently had a TikTok influencer to do a Matterport video
- That TikTok video has about 65,000 views and just from that alone, they’ve have had more MQLs than from any other campaign
(42:42) Robin’s Take on the Matterport Website
- When he joined, he tried to shift what they talk about on the website from being inside out, about the technology to what's possible instead, featuring customers
- They focus on having a powerful film at the top of the page that makes it clear what this site is about, which has led to a very low bounce rate
- One of the things he plans to lean into in 2021 is optimizing the ecommerce flow
(48:00) Quick Hits: Getting to Know Robin
- New Years Resolution #1: get better at Catan so he can beat his teenage son
- New Years Resolution #2: run 2 marathons this year to make up for his goal of running one per year, as he didn’t get to do one in 2020
- Who he’d choose to join him on the next podcast? Steven Spielberg
- Hobby he picked up during 2020: playing Catan and doing more reading. Fiction is what he reads to escape and get inspired
(51:05) Advice to a New CMO
- Don’t reuse the old playbook, you gotta experiment and try new things
- Movies offer plenty of storytelling inspiration
- A marketing career is supposed to be fun, so lean into it. It’s not always going to be easy, but it should always be an adventure
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