When Lauren Flaherty reflects on the changes that have taken place in the software industry since she came on board as CMO of CA Technologies in August 2013, she recognizes that today everyone operates on a sped-up clock. Gone are the days of months-long product development cycles. Technology has enhanced – and disrupted – every single industry, and Flaherty’s was not exempt.
In 2014, when she launched CA’s “Business Rewritten by Software” campaign, companies were beginning to understand the importance of reinventing their business models using software, but the technology was still left in the capable hands of the I.T. department. Today, I.T. is no longer separated from the business, but instead uniquely intertwined with its mission. Flaherty recognized that shift, which structured her team’s latest campaign: “Modern Software Factory.”
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During her four years at CA Technologies, Flaherty also learned invaluable lessons on transforming your brand, believing what you preach, and making the product experience real and tangible for customers.
Flaherty explains that every brand transformation has to start from the inside, and that it needs to permeate throughout the entire company. For example, employees should be receiving company-related news from the company, not external sources. When CA underwent its own transformation, Flaherty’s team implemented the changes six months prior to going public with them. She found it important to consult with her sales leads and get their unique perspective about the pain points their customers were experiencing. That helped her evaluate whether the transformation they were implementing was on point and would be well received.
Because CA’s products promised agility, Flaherty found it important to hold the company to the same standards. Rather than operating under drawn-out production cycles, she made sure her team worked in mini-sprints that built on the customer feedback they were receiving. This helped them get the product out to market faster in a way that was always relevant to the customers. During the process, Flaherty found that there was no longer a separation between tech and business – the two were entirely intertwined. The language and medium her department used to talk about their products needed to address both C-suite executives and I.T. teams.
The latest campaign, “Modern Software Factory,” built on the patterns Flaherty’s team observed throughout the last three years. This campaign worked to help people visualize abstract software concepts. They used television (an excellent medium for storytelling) to address the C-suite executives and partnered with CNN during the 2016 presidential election in what Flaherty describes as a “co-creation.” While it appeared to be a media buy, what her team actually did was create a seamless experience between two mediums; CA recognized that people would be consuming election coverage through various types of media, and by creating an app experience for CNN, CA was able to show – not tell – what they could do for brands. And in case you were wondering, the engagement and reach CNN experienced during that period would have taken years to develop without the help of the app!
Meet the Guest
Lauren is executive vice president and chief marketing officer at CA Technologies, a market leader in enterprise software. She joined CA in August 2013, after two consecutive CMO roles with Juniper Networks and Nortel Networks, and a 25-year marketing career at IBM where she held executive roles for over a decade. In addition to her role at CA, Lauren serves on the Board of Directors for Xactly Corporation, a market leader in SaaS-based tools for enterprise sales performance management and effectiveness.
The scope of her expertise and experience covers a broad spectrum: corporate brand management, product marketing and portfolio management, and digitally driven customer engagement, experience and demand creation. Lauren is an experienced leader who has served a diverse profile of companies, from globally recognized technology leaders to high-growth, Silicon Valley innovators.
At CA, Lauren is responsible for all facets of marketing. Since joining she has led a global initiative to recast the company’s reputation and positioning in the market via portfolio rationalization, brand marketing, strategic media and sports sponsorships. She’s also led the development of CA’s first integrated operating model for demand and opportunity management across sales and marketing. This work enables CA to measure market demand on a global basis, use analytics to gain insight on customer buying patterns, assess program ROI and sales conversion.
Lauren has been recognized multiple times by BtoB Magazine as one of the World’s Top Marketers and was profiled in Secrets of the Marketing Masters, 2009. In 2010, she was named one of The Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley by the San Jose Business Journal, and in 2015 she was recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the 50 Most Powerful Woman in Technology.
Lauren holds a BA from Syracuse University. She is married, has two children and lives in New York City.
What You'll Learn
- Why brand transformation needs to start internally.
- The difference between being the sage and being the hero in your brand story.
- Why using “traditional” media to market a hi tech brand is still useful.
- The importance of creating a tangible experience for your customers.
Quotes from Lauren Flaherty
- From the CEO on down to every employee, in every region around the globe, we hit them with what the message was going to be, what our goals were, how it was going to roll out, and we did that for six months with enablement and the works, so that when it showed up they were good to go.
- [The brand transformation] has to resonate with the folks that are out there selling on behalf of the company, connecting with the customer.
- What we wanted to understand was for CA to have a legitimate role in enabling customers to compete in that digital economy. We like the term ‘digital economy,’ but we loved the term ‘app economy,’ so that became the framework that we used.
- You’ve got to do it every way; you've got to have social switched on. Your web presence has to be strong, and it's got to be a great experience.