Chris Carolan

My First 90 Days as Marketing Director

Hi, my name is Chr.......

Last week I started my dream job as Marketing Director for Rigaku Americas Holding (RAH), a division of Rigaku.

A high technology equipment manufacturer that is looking to get serious about making a true Digital Transformation in all areas of the business. Rigaku Corporation is based in Japan. RAH acts as a counterpart that manages 5 divisions in North America.

- Rigaku Americas Corporation (RAC) - The Woodlands, TX (Home base for me)
- Applied Rigaku Technologies (ART) - Austin, TX
- Rigaku Analytical Devices (RAD) - Wilmington, MA
- Rigaku Innovative Technologies (RIT) - Auburn Hills, MI
- Newton Scientific Inc (NIT) - Charlestown, MA

I want to share my journey via this thread to utilize this community as the sounding board I will surely need and hope to learn from but also as a way to educate others who may find themselves in similar situations now or in the future.

I started on Sept 1 with the goal of posting here everyday but have kept putting it off as I mentally stuff more and more into this intro post. No More!

This is me committing to this goal before it gets away from me. I will share as much as I can moving forward but needed to get this thing started.

I am grateful to have a community like this to be able to execute this audacious goal of openly sharing my dream job journey.

Things I hope to share this week:

- My first week at Rigaku
- Why Rigaku brought me in
- The interesting structure of the organization
- Unraveling the bad habits of Trade Show based marketing

Talk to you soon.
3 1 4

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Connor DeLaney
When you first shared this idea with me  Chris Carolan  I was so excited to see what you came up with. Documenting this journey is going to be an eye-opening experience for so many. Let's get things started! 
Marc Amigone
Wow - that gif is really making me feel like I'm a terrible person...

But seriously, Chris Carolan , I'm sorry for jerking you around so much. We've gone through a long and thorough exercise to reform our customer experience and its had some wide-ranging ripple effects, one being we changed the packages we offer and how much they cost.

We're extremely excited about our new packages. We feel like they've improved on what we were doing before and are designed to either set people up for success in working with us and help them drive amazing results, and for companies who don't think they can make one of those packages work, we simply say we're not a good fit.

We're just about to update our website with all of this new info, but because we generate so much blog content, it's a big job to go back and historically optimize everything when we make changes like this.

Not making excuses - at the end of the day, we have to take ownership of setting expectations appropriately for our clients and prospects. As always, Chris, your feedback is hugely valuable. We really appreciate you keeping us honest.
Chris Carolan
Lol. Not my intent at all. If anything, I have been the one jerking Impact around as I have tried for 3 years, now with my 3rd company, to get buy-in to use your services.

I have enjoyed getting to join from the sidelines and learn while watching you grow as an org. It's definitely a big job to optimize the amount of content that you guys put out but obviously most of us feel that is a necessary consequence of providing value to the community.

The finished PDF looks really good. After the initial eyebrow raise at the number of pages, I was able to move through it very quickly to easily understand what was going on, what was being offered, and the possible costs.

Being an Impact fanboy, I was able to scan easier than your average prospect I am sure but I give it a 10!
Chris Carolan
Feedback for Impact. A lesson in setting expectations for all of us.

Yay! DSM coaching....Awwwww :(

As an avid Impact fan looking for any chance to give Impact more money for all the value they have provided me, I was excited by the Digital Sales and Marketing Coaching vision and offerings that they have pivoted to since Covid hit. I think it is definitely the right way to go as soooooo many companies are struggling with this transformation right now.

Rigaku was one of them and that is why I was brought into the organization. Doubly exciting as I thought it would be fairly easy to sell this larger company that is very hungry for change (on the surface) on the $2500 per month coaching plan that had been promoted throughout the summer by Impact. I even thought I would be able to push for the additional content coaching to bring it up to $4000 per month.

Even this wonderful article by Chris Marr suggests "comprehensive IMPACT coaching and training starts at $5,000 per month."

I was going to share this article with my boss at some point when making the case for a continuous coaching relationship with Impact. I'm glad I waited.

To avoid any possible sticker shock, I wanted to chat with Marc Amigone first so I could update him on the new gig and discuss what the next steps look like. I know I could sell a Virtual Selling Workshop pretty quickly as that is an understood need and there is a very professional, experienced sales team who will benefit from it. I wanted to work with Marc on where to start. (Mind you, I have no official budget to work with until the next budget cycle in February but I have already started making room and we all know that budget needed for sales support always finds a way.)

While I was trying to avoid giving my boss sticker shock, Marc hits with me some shock and awe of his own when sharing the new coaching packages:

Real talk. I understand the value and would still sign up for this in a second before spending any other marketing budget if it was 100% my call. But my expectation was starting at a minimum of $2500 per month so I was a bit surprised when Marc shared a cost of 3 times that.

It was like getting pumped for the next installment of Final Fantasy to drop next month or year only for Square to announce a 1 year delay.

I'm sure Marc could see my sad deflation on the spot. Again, I understand the value and even the reason why they are making this change but...
Come on Marc. Take it easy!

I still hope to enlist Impact as a partner soon. It just may be a little more work on my end (and theirs.)

Ultimately, it takes time with new offerings to iron out all of the kinks and find the sweet spot of value and cost. Looking at other pricing around the market for engagements like this from vendors I trust, I am not surprised. 

Just be prepared to break some hearts in the process of promoting hard while finding that sweet spot.
Connor DeLaney
Thanks for all your feedback here Chris Carolan . I'm glad you could chat with Marc and have that initial discussion, even if it wasn't all that you expected. Your transparency here makes it clear we have some updates to make on our end. (Also, doesn't Marc Amigone  have a nasty right hook?) Let's make sure we keep having these conversations so we get it right and get your team the training and expertise they need. 
Chris Carolan
The transparency dilemma. A slippery slope or flawed perception?

I have already started sending people to the course

as a way to get SMEs started down the path of They Ask You Answer. One of them has jumped right in and already has a list of 70 questions! I'm loving the passion at this place.

Through this activity, I realized that coming to the courses in Impact+ would expose colleagues to this thread if they started looking around...which I kinda hope they would do anyway.

A fear started creeping in that I wouldn't be able to document the journey as openly as I would like to. I guess that is the risk vs. reward of sharing in online communities.

I actually chose to start this thread because I was not comfortable sharing on LinkedIn where I would be openly showing my network the journey. Much of my network is competition and I'd rather not smarten them up this early in the game. Is that a fair assessment? We are not a market leader and I feel like in spaces where the market leader has 70% market share and a robust marketing and sales operation, they could quickly pivot if I show them the way.

Either way, I realized after chatting with Connor DeLaney that I probably shouldn't be sharing anything I wouldn't want my colleagues to see anyway. I want this to be a growth experience for all involved so I hope to find that happy balance without avoiding a vulnerable level of transparency. Maybe I don't want to scare my colleagues away by showing this level of transparency right away?

Again, if my goals are to inspire myself to record and review the journey as well as create a level of open accountability, I must continue.

What am I missing here? What fears have you had to break through when it came to online (or community) vulnerability?
Chazz Hirschfeld
Hi Chris - this is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for sharing! I love the video and those responses are amazing. You're a great role model for us all. I'm looking forward to the next episode.

This is a great example of "Show it, don't just say it!" :)

Morgan - I like your communication tips, too!
Thanks again, Chris! And thanks, IMPACT+
Chris Carolan
Thanks @Chazz Hirschfeld. (Note for Impact: In trying to tag Chazz nothing would happen after I clicked on her name).

I feel like the first version of this comment asked about putting this in the Content Managers area. I chose this thread as I will likely get into details that cover every peer group community in Impact+. The more the merrier!

I have received 14 video replies to this point. I suppose 10% adoption is nothing to sneeze at for a first pass with zero training. (Yet another takeaway I will be sharing. New tools require Training! Training! Training!)

Like any good salesman trying to hit an end of month goal, I have received permission to "sweeten the deal". Today, I will be sharing an update and announcing a goal of 50% participation that I believe we can hit with 9 days to go. If the team hits 70 responses, Rigaku will buy lunch for the whole division.

I am also going to put bullet points underneath the video for those that don't want to click to make sure they understand the incentive. Good idea?

Any other ideas for inspiring more video responses?
Connor DeLaney
While I would agree that having bullet points underneath is valuable, I think Myriah Anderson would argue that it's repeated value since it's the same message. Perhaps something like "Check out this video to see how you can earn free lunch for the whole division!" While it's not perfectly worded, the idea is to incentivize them to go watch the video rather than highlighting what the video is saying or asking of them! Lindsey Schmidt any additional insight on how Chris could get his team to click open his videos more consistently? 
Lindsey Schmidt
Connor DeLaney (I can't tag Chris?), I agree with your points here! I would also encourage anytime a conversation is had regarding the topic of the video, Chris, you can directly ask your teammates if they had watched. If they haven't ask them to watch because you can have a more productive and specific discussion if they have already watched and covered the basics. It's the same way you can start holding customers accountable when you're using assignment selling. 
Chris Carolan
Thanks Connor DeLaney .
Intro to Rigaku
Check out this video:

I wanted to share this early victory as I often create these "grand" plans in my head only to put it off long enough for them to disappear. I am happy with the early results and feedback.

I sent this video to the team yesterday in response to the president introducing me to the company last week.

I really wanted to share my thoughts and vision for leading the digital transformation with the whole group while I had the platform to do so. I also wanted to challenge everyone to start transforming ASAP.

I did this by leaving a challenge at the end of the video for each one of the 140 people on the other end to send me a 1-to-1 video just like the one that I sent. Build that video culture right now!

After 1 day, 66 people have watched the video, and 6 have sent me video responses. I'll take it! ( I am pretty sure that most of the recipients had never seen a video via email like this before.)

Of those responses, 3 have used GoVideo and the others have been ICloud download, Vimeo, and SharePoint. I am interested and will be reporting on the diversity of the tools used to meet this early challenge.

I hope that it can serve as a good example of how internal standardization and adoption of intentional tools can lead to better user experiences. Downloading a file is not optimal.

Lastly, it is providing a different platform for each team member to be heard. I have announced my will to help and empower and they are voicing their pain points and goals with me. Showing me exactly where I need to start while also building the case that leadership will need to continuously support and buy into.

So I guess this is how we innovate and transform internally. Proud of myself for getting it done and setting the foundation for bigger and better things. It's paying dividends already and will be key in getting everyone on the same page sooner rather than later.

How else have you innovated internally to build healthy communication and build good habits for a digital culture?
Morgan VanDerLeest
I love everything about this. Congratulations on the new role, and what a phenomenal getting started action!

In addition to video, I'm a big fan of long-form writing (and giving it a proper home). Not via a chat tool, and not via email. Those are both difficult to manage deep thoughts and conversations. But taking the time to write things out is good for the writer, as they're thinking through and revising before sending (and then they can include a video overview for the full package!). Also good for all kinds of people, as processors and quick responders get put on the same playing field (vs having to respond quickly in chat/email to avoid being lost).

We've also found this can sometimes replace meetings, leaving meeting time for important discussions. And it's also useful as a meeting recap, with both a video and the text summary version. Again, helpful to have a proper digital home for these so you can link to them and allow discussions, etc.

Basecamp has a great communication summary, but you can use whatever tool works best for you and your team.

Thank you for sharing, looking forward to your future updates 👍🏻
Chris Carolan
Thanks for the kind words Morgan. I think I might try to build out OneNote for this purpose as IT completes the migration to M365.

There are a couple of different Basecamp instances inside of the company. One is used by the group that handles equipment installation. The other is used by the corporate marketing department to document recorded meetings and staff interviews.

Sometimes I will build out a long email in OneNote first just in case and it would be nice to have people just see it there.

I think the toughest thing will be learning what tools to use when for most effectiveness and adoption.

Thanks for the guidance and joining me on the journey.

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