Lisa Campbell (Autodesk): Becoming The Best Marketer

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This is a podcast episode titled, Lisa Campbell (Autodesk): Becoming The Best Marketer. The summary for this episode is: <p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">Lisa Campbell is Autodesk’s CMO, so she knows that marketing is always evolving. Hear what it takes to reimagine a design company, the role cross-functional teams play in getting things done, and how she balances the difficult tradeoffs between current needs and future impacts when setting marketing strategy. </span></p><p><br></p>
Marketing at Autodesk
01:04 MIN
Lisa's career path
01:21 MIN
The role of marketing at a software company
01:04 MIN
Autodesk's transformation to a SaaS company
01:31 MIN
How marketing supports customers along the buying journey
00:49 MIN
Why Autodesk thinks about the future while developing current marketing strategies
01:23 MIN
How Autodesk changed its subscription model during COVID-19
02:37 MIN
Autodesk's go-to-market strategy
01:47 MIN
Lisa on Finding Balance
01:28 MIN
Running a successful board meeting
01:23 MIN
The Autodesk Foundation's purpose
00:47 MIN
How the manufacturing community can attract more women
01:58 MIN
The role of mentorship versus sponsorship
02:44 MIN
How to best help your team achieve their goals
01:40 MIN
Maintaining confidence and trying new things
02:53 MIN
Marketers must become more data savvy
03:04 MIN
Courageous women leading the way
00:44 MIN

Casey Renner: Welcome to the OV BUILD Podcast, Building to Boss. I'm Casey Renner, VP of executive networks here at OpenView. This month, we're releasing a special mini series with female leaders in the enterprise SaaS industry who know the path to leadership is challenging, but aren't willing to let that stop them from building something great. Today, we hear from Lisa Campbell, chief marketing officer at Autodesk, where she's led cross- functional teams for more than 15 years. Lisa also serves on the board of Dropbox. In today's episode, we unpack the role of marketing at a software company, how she approaches the idea of mentorship versus sponsorship, how to align your business objective with customer's values and your personal rallying cry. All of that and more in this episode of the Build mini series, Building to Boss. Let's dive in with Lisa Campbell. Lisa, thank you so much for joining on the OV BUILD Podcast, excited to chat with you about all things marketing and manufacturing, women in tech, and everything in between that. So we'd love to just hear... Obviously, we know who you are, chief marketing officer at Autodesk, but we'd love to just hear a little bit more about you as a marketer and the challenges that you solve at Autodesk, both as a company and then also in your role in your team as well.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. Casey, I think that's a really good question too, because different companies interpret and have the chief marketing officer do different things. So I think that's one of the exciting things about the role. But in a nutshell, I have marketing and I also have business strategy that cuts across all the industries that we serve at the company. And what's really great about the role is that it has broad responsibilities, all the way from strategy, through to execution. So when I think about the big pieces of the role as a marketer, we're responsible for, what's the company's brand and reputation and how do we build that out in the marketplace? Responsible for global demand generation and how do we build up robust pipeline so that all of our sellers are able to execute on that pipeline? We have things like marketing operations and technology. There's over 8, 000 applications out there for marketers today, so we have to figure out how to navigate all this new technology. We also have digital marketing, we do account- based marketing, we have industry marketing, retention marketing. It's just so broad and exciting because you get to interact with customers at all different stages of the life cycle.

Casey Renner: Yep. That makes sense. I feel like on the tech stack for marketing, I think we could do a whole nother podcast on that and everything that you've seen and you're doing.

Lisa Campbell: I mean, it's a whole specialized field. I literally have a whole team in my organization that specializes in marketing operations and technology.

Casey Renner: Yeah. It's wild. We'll interview them next time. Prior to Autodesk, what did your career look like, and how did that kind of lead you to where you are today in this hybrid role of strategy and marketing?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. I've really been fortunate in my career to have had great experiences where it really had two facets to it. One is, I was able to go very deep in specific marketing functions, and I've also managed other functions outside of marketing. And I think those experiences have actually helped me be a better and more effective marketer. So as an example, I've managed a business unit, I've run an inside sales team. When I was first joining the professional world, I managed IT development teams. I'm a computer science and mathematics undergrad. I also had experience branding companies, launching new offerings to market, building an e- commerce business globally around the world. And those were some of the things that I did outside of the marketing function. Now, with inside the marketing function, it was all the things you would expect. So the brand and reputation things fit in there, the global demand generation, PR, all of those different elements. So I think being able to go deep in specific marketing functions, as well as go broad outside of marketing and have experiences in these other areas really helped me be more effective because I got to see how the customer experience is, depending on what part of the company they're experiencing.

Casey Renner: Yep. Got it. That makes sense. It's a great career too that you've had. At Autodesk, certainly, it's a very large, well- known company, but more of a on the design side, but what is the role of marketing at a company like Autodesk, or even at a software company in general?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. Like I was mentioning earlier, marketing continues to evolve at a rapid pace. So I would tell anybody who's either in marketing or considering a career in marketing that it's a fun and exciting field to get into, and that they should absolutely want to go do that because it's constantly changing, and there's this great continuum from strategy to execution. In fact, there's an article I just read briefly, I think it's called The Deloitte Perspective where they talked about the five roles of a CMO, which I think translate really well into a role of marketing at a software company. The five roles are, being a customer champion, being a capability builder, being an innovation catalyst, being a storyteller, and also being a growth driver. Because those are all the different things that marketing does at a software company. We are externally focused on customers, how do we story- tell? How do we create personalized engagements and experiences to solve the problems in a differentiated way? So it's just so multifaceted.

Casey Renner: Yep. This is kind of off track, but Autodesk has certainly been around for quite some time. And what is it almost? Will it be 30, or?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah, we're over 30. We're headed in the direction of 40 years.

Casey Renner: Yeah. You continue to stay relevant, and since you joined, in just Autodesk in general, because I feel like it's really been in the past few years that you see Autodesk everywhere and certainly an evolution of the times, but have continued to stay relevant in the 40 years, close to 40 years that you've been in existence. What's your take on that?

Lisa Campbell: Well, I think Autodesk has been very successful and re- imagining itself. We're constantly evolving and figuring out how to expand. So our brand, we started off as a design company, now we are a design and make company. What that means is that we're in the construction space as well as the manufacturing space. So we really get to evolve and transform ourselves. Over the last five to seven years, we did three major transformations at Autodesk. One of those transformations was really our whole business model. We went from perpetual, now we are a 100% a subscription company. We transformed our technology platform where we went from being desktop only to desktop and cloud, so a SaaS company. And we expanded from design only to design and make. And it's through transformations like that that we continue to stay resilient, we stay relevant, and we stay important to our customers.

Casey Renner: Okay. Yeah. That makes sense. Because manufacturing certainly was more of a traditional. We've had this conversation work with traditional industries. So the fact that you've been able to maintain that and evolve in that capacity is really impressive. How do you help your customers along the buying journey? Or how can you, I should say.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. And by the way, the other thing that I will say is that manufacturing construction are being completely disrupted. People still have this old definition of what those fields are and they don't realize how cool it is now. It's all about robotics and machine learning and automation. It's really an exciting field, completely different from what it used.

Casey Renner: Yes, I know.

Lisa Campbell: So I think, by the way, that's important and we might want to talk about that further because we do want more women in manufacturing and in construction.

Casey Renner: Oh yeah. And I have a section about that at the end too. My dad grew up in manufacturing and my brother is in manufacturing, and just the difference in conversations between the two of them of 30 years ago to the thing that my brother is working on now and how this technology is changing the way that they're making their parts for the jet engines where my brother works. Yeah, it's cool now.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah, it is. And that's exactly right. It's a whole different perception. But to your question about how do we help customers along the buying journey? The big thing is, is you have to identify, what's the customer life cycle for your company? There should be one uber customer life cycle for your customers. And then customers have different experiences within that life cycle or journeys. And every customer has their own specific needs. So for us, we really think it's important to really understand our customers, then you help them along the journey. So like the personas, if you will, would be, we identify who are the personas, where are they in their journey? And then we develop content that is very specific to who's the persona and where are they in their journey. So for instance, a persona could, I don't know, a mechanical engineer, as an example, and they could be in the awareness stage of their journey. And then we would develop content specifically for that persona, and what stage of the journey that they're on.

Casey Renner: Got it. How are you delivering, and you just talked about it a little bit, but these digital and, hopefully someday again, physical experience that lead to an emotive reaction to Autodesk?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. So you're developing all of that, but if you want to get an emotive reaction, you really have to align with customers. I think of it as aligning with purpose. So people want to know that your purpose is aligned, that your values are aligned, and they want you to talk about the things that are important to them. So if you can develop personalized engagements and experiences along that journey where you're really speaking to, what's keeping them up at night, what is keeping them worried? What are they worried about with respect to their customers? Then you get this emotive reaction where they really feel like you are a partner, you really understand my business challenges, and you're here to help me. And that's how you can differentiate yourself. So you really need to bring that knowledge, that personalization and that authenticity.

Casey Renner: Yeah. I love that you guys are so customer focused. You've mentioned customer now 100 times, and it's working for you folks too, but it's nice to hear how customer driven you are, because at OpenView, certainly with our whole product- led growth and build for the customer, you guys were doing it before we were talking about it. I was like, " The fight of synergies" How at Autodesk, how important is it to think about the future when you're determining your current market strategies? I mean, to your point of how much you have evolved over the years and then things like the pandemic coming into play and looking five years out, how are you thinking about that? I'm presuming you are, but how does that look like?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. And again, what I would say is, it's extremely important. Because there's a couple of things that we're looking out into the future. Number one, we're a software technology company, so it's our responsibility to look out into the future and say, " How is tech evolving. And how could that technology impact our customers and help our customers?" The other important thing that we look at out in the future is, what are the trends that are impacting our customers and their industries? So we have to look and say, " What are the secular trends that are impacting our customers in architecture, engineering, construction, in manufacturing, in film and games?" And understand what's happening there. And then based on those disruptions, things that we think are going to happen with technology and automation and things that we think are going to disrupt them, we really try to help them with their digital transformation. So that future is really important because then we know how we can help guide them and how we can be a partner so we understand how to develop those personalized experiences. We know what information is going to be important for them, we know how to help them navigate and become resilient. I can tell you, there's many times that I've sat in front of customers and said, " Look, we understand that your industry is currently being disrupted. So you have a choice, either be disrupted or be a disruptor. You have to fall into one of those two categories." And everybody wants to be the disruptor, they want to be resilient, they don't want to get disrupted. And it's our job to be their partner, to help them navigate that. And typically, it requires digital transformation.

Casey Renner: Yes. I really feel like that was everyone's favorite term a couple of years ago, and good thing they did it because here we are.

Lisa Campbell: We just had a big customer leadership forum with our customer conference, and I had breakout sessions with customers in EMEA and APAC and in North America. And it was one common theme across all, was that they said, " Digital literacy has just been expedited." They said, " Things that we expected to take three to five years, we are now condensing into six to nine months."

Casey Renner: Yeah. Oh yeah. It's crazy. There was like, you either were going to sink or swim with everything that was going on. There's actually two questions I have that spun off of that. You just mentioned film. Is that an industry that you... What industries are you serving? I actually didn't realize film was one of them.

Lisa Campbell: Yes. So there's one industry that's called AEC, which stands for architecture, engineering and construction. So these are the firms that do design or design build and operate of vertical infrastructure, which is buildings, or horizontal infrastructure, roads, highways, bridges, things like that. Then we serve design and manufacturing, think of industrial machinery, consumer products, cars, auto, things like that. And the other industry is really what we call media and entertainment, which includes film and games. So we actually have award- winning virtual software that helps with animation and that helps with visualization. And that's how we're playing in media entertainment space. People use our visualization software and our animation software.

Casey Renner: Okay. Very cool. A majority of those industries you just mentioned, certainly, the pandemic would have been most effected. How did that for you, your team and obviously Autodesk as a whole to pivot your strategies, especially on the construction side of the house in manufacturing, we just saw some industries come to a halt on that front.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. When it was first hitting, things just almost came to a standstill because what was the first thing on everybody's mind was just health and safety, right? Everybody was first concerned about, my family, my friends, my coworkers, the local community. But what we found over time was that we all had to figure out how to operate in what I would call this future of work scenario. Some of what we're going through now is absolutely going to carry over into whatever the next normal is. I don't think it's going to go back to just the way it was. I think we've definitely evolved and now have skills in the future of work. And what we found was, our construction and manufacturing customers, the people who can't just work from home, you actually have to be on location or in a facility, started to ask us, how could we help them design and layout a more safe environment. How could a construction site be safer? How could a manufacturing facility be safer? And they were able to work with our software, work with us to help with that. By the way, we also had to pivot our go to market motions. It was no more about subscribe now, and really doing aggressive marketing, you really had to be empathetic, you could not be tone deaf. And we completely changed our approach and started to say, " What can we do to help our customers and their customers?" And we immediately put up a COVID- 19 resource site for customers. We immediately started to tell them, " Here's how you can get access to free trial software." And we even allowed them to use our trial software for commercial choose for about 90 days, which nobody ever really does. So we were really trying to figure out, how do we help them?

Casey Renner: Yep. It goes back to you guys being customer first. And that was one of the questions I was going to ask is, did you have to change your subscription models based on COVID? And then also, how did those perform? And seemingly well.

Lisa Campbell: I will say, look, all software companies are subscription, or any new company is on a subscription model. And here's what I will say. That business model actually was very timely and great for our customers because it gives our customers maximum flexibility. So with subscription, you can decide, " I want to use software," and you can subscribe for a month, you can subscribe from several months, you can subscribe for a year. And it also gives our customers the ability to get better access to whatever they want for the duration that they want, it gives them better controls in their company to say, " Who's using what? What are they using it on for? How long are they using it?" And because it's cloud software or because we're collecting data on usage that they allow us to collect, we can start giving them these fantastic insights about how much value in return they were getting from the use of the software.

Casey Renner: Yeah. Oh, yeah. And it's funny, actually, when I was doing my Autodesk research, how you folks are... Forbes was saying that you were one of the stocks to buy this week, particularly. So you guys must be working because Forbes-

Lisa Campbell: It's great to hear and to have people so positive about the company, how the company is run, how we operate, and more important, how we help our customers change the world around us.

Casey Renner: Yeah. Very much so. And probably shifted a little bit and you just alluded to it, but on the go- to market front, what do you own and your team own as part of the company's go- to market strategy? And then who do you partner with to deliver that strategy?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. I always think of go- to market at a very high level. I would say that the whole C suite has to participate in some way, shape or form. But typically, most of the responsibility falls on either if you have a head of sales or some companies have a chief revenue officer, or they have a CMO, sometimes you have a chief digital officer or chief data officer. And I would say, I collaborate the most with our CRO, our chief digital officer on our go- to market motions, because we have go- to market motions that go up and down the stack. We have e- commerce where we transact directly with our customers online. We have a very robust and fantastic business that's done by our value- added resellers. And then we have our own direct sellers that deal with their own accounts directly in our business. And so we have go- to market motions up and down that stack. So we worked super closely, probably the most closely with our CRO. He and I work super well together. And then of course, with our chief digital officer, because without data, without great data and without great systems, we really can't do much.

Casey Renner: Yes. Yeah, I feel like data is key. And especially within the past year as well, data was King and now it's even more so.

Lisa Campbell: It is. And with machine learning and artificial intel, data is so important, whatever data you're using, making sure it's good data, quality data. And more and more, marketing is going in that direction where a critical skill of the future is you have to be data savvy, you have to be able to get insights from data.

Casey Renner: Yeah. Well, it's funny you say that, I was just talking to the CMO of a retail company yesterday and she was saying in the past year or two, she got a data org actually now falls to the data team under her because it became increasingly important just having the data of how their customers were buying and who was buying. And it helped them get through this pandemic because they had all the data in place ahead of time. And my other question for you is a less on the Autodesk before we get into the manufacturing piece of things. So you work at a public company, you're also on a public company board of Dropbox. How do you balance both all of those as an executive at a company, which is a full- time job in itself and also on the board.

Lisa Campbell: First of all, I love all the experiences. I'm a full- time operator at Autodesk, I'm also the chairman of the board of the Autodesk Foundation, which is super fulfilling and really rewarding. And then I am an independent director on Dropbox's. Here's what I would say. One, it's a fantastic opportunity because I can take a lot of what I've learned as an operator, and I can leverage those experiences to provide help to other companies and executive teams that are in different places in their growth and life cycle. And the other thing that's interesting is as an operator and a public company, I present to our board, I interact with our board a lot, and then I get to sit on the other side of the Dropbox where I am on the board. And it really helps me understand and appreciate the role of a board member versus an operator. You just don't get involved in operations when you're on a board, it's much more about governance, it's much more about advising and helping the leadership team, where as an operator, as you know, you're accountable, you're responsible and you deliver the strategies and the execution. That's how you're held accountable. So for me, it's a fantastic experience that really helps to round it out and also helps me take experiences that I have and help other companies.

Casey Renner: Yeah. What have you seen being on both sides, the operator and then in the boardroom make for a successful board, but also just a successful board meeting? I feel like that, especially the companies we talked to it's like, how do we have a successful board meeting? What should that look like? And it's certainly different at your scale, but what have you seen given your experience?

Lisa Campbell: I'll tell you the top three things that you look for, is number one, you want your board members to be very excited and engaged about what your business is. So you need to be excited and energized about the business of the company. Number two, you really want to be able to have a great relationship with the CEO, and you want to be on a board or a company where the CEO really values their board members and leverages their strengths. And then third, you want to have a great dynamic between your board members. You really want to have a good style fit, you want the board members to work really well together. And that I think lays the foundation for a fantastic board meetings, and the way I have seen really great board meetings is when you figure out what altitude you need to fly at, depending on where the company is and their growth cycle. Where are they? Are they really early stage? Are they later stage? Are they a public company and trying to grow? Because your needs are different and the altitude that you need your board to fly at are different depending on that. And I think once you agree on, this is the altitude and these are the big rocks that can be most helpful to company besides all the things that boards are just responsible for. There's great governance and things that you're just responsible for, that really helps for rich dialogue and exciting board meetings, board meetings that you look forward to.

Casey Renner: And I would be remiss if I didn't ask about the Autodesk Foundation, but you said you're chair of the board of that. What is that?

Lisa Campbell: Our Autodesk Foundation we're very much committed to working with companies that are trying to make an impact in the world when it comes to environmental or social, things like that, so health and safety, future of work and workforce. So what we're able to do is talk to all of these different companies, whether they're non- profit, or for- profit, understand what they're trying to do, and then determine how can we provide grants or other kinds of assistance to them to help them make a difference in the world. Like for instance, if we're working with somebody who's trying to figure out, how can you harness solar power for underprivileged children who don't have electricity in their homes so that they can actually do homework at night in the dark, place that they can get light. It's simple things like that can make a huge difference on the quality of life. Yeah.

Casey Renner: Yes. Wow. That's fantastic work. I'll have to have everyone go check that out and the work you're doing there. And then the next set of questions pivots more around you, less specific to Autodesk, but we talked about this earlier, but how can the manufacturing community, but also construction and other industries that maybe are a more traditional attract more women into the field?

Lisa Campbell: I think awareness is key because right now, we have outdated views of what manufacturing is and what construction is. We need to educate people on what it looks like today. And I will tell you, we have to start at a very young age. Research will tell you that if you're starting to talk to young women in middle school or high school, it's too late. We do appeal to young girls, we're starting like a kindergarten and we need to get them excited about, and I think you have to pull them into STEM, so science, engineering, and mathematics. Make sure that they know they can be successful, they can do it. I would also say, parents, and teachers, and industry, have a huge role to play in making sure that you get educated on what this is, what the opportunities are, and why you should encourage your children, and especially young girls to say, " I can do this. I want to go do this." So that awareness and change of perception is really, really critical. The other thing that I would say, and I think of it as this three- legged stool, you have to have educational institutions, industry, and government working together in concert to make a difference, because you have to have the awareness, but then you have to make the education accessible and you have to make it affordable. I always call it the three A's. So awareness, accessibility, and affordability, because if I am aware, " Oh my gosh, look at this, I could get into robotics, I could start programming a robot," as an example, or a robot that actually functions on a construction site. I need to be aware of it, but then I need to be able to get access to that curriculum and that education, those classes, certifications, whatever the trainings are. And it has to be affordable, it has to be within reach. And I think that government, industry and education working together can solve that.

Casey Renner: Yeah. How has mentorship shaped your career? And how do you think about mentorship versus sponsorship?

Lisa Campbell: I'm glad that you asked that question. I get this question a lot whenever I'm doing like speaking sessions for people who are early career. And I always think of it as mentorship versus advocacy. And I think that people need to have mentors and they need to have advocates, and they're completely different. So a mentor is somebody that you go and find that, first of all, you highly trust, you highly respect, and they are somebody that is going to be able to really give you open, honest and direct feedback and advice. And a lot of times they're going to have to tell you something that maybe you don't want to hear, but you need to hear. And so that's a really trusted relationship where they really want what's best for you, and they're going to give you mentorship and coaching and help you maybe up- skill, re- skill, or become more self- aware, whereas an advocate, you also need advocates. And an advocate is somebody that's out saying, " Hey, they're advocating for Casey. You should consider Casey for this position, I think Casey would do a great job at this." Or, " I absolutely support Casey being promoted." Things like that, where they're advocating for you, which is completely different. And I think people need to focus on developing mentors and advocates for a successful career.

Casey Renner: How would you recommend doing that? So we'll just use me as an example, but if I said, " Okay you know what, I think that I need an advocate." Maybe I have a mentor, but I need an advocate, how do you recommend people go about finding those people in their lives?

Lisa Campbell: Usually with mentorship, I tell people, if you work in a company, I sometimes say, look around in your company at leaders that you admire and respect and approach them to say, " Would you be willing to be a mentor?" Because it takes a lot of time commitment for the mentee and the mentor. And if you don't have the option to look within a company, I always say, look within your network. Talk to your friends, or look within your professional network and see, can I find a mentor? And have it be someone again that you respect, you admire, because you need to be able to listen to them and get the benefits. I think with an advocate, that's something where I think typically you need to look within your professional network, especially within your company. I had to do that where you find somebody and you say, " I would really like it if you could support me for this. Is there anything I need to demonstrate? Anything that I need to show you that would make you more willing to advocate for me and/ or sponsor me and support me in what I'm trying to go do?" And so I think those are two different discussions, but those are the networks I would start with first. And I know it's hard by the way, it's very hard to approach people. So I think sometimes working with your friends, getting recommendations, getting referrals might lessen the stress of it.

Casey Renner: Yeah. Well, hopefully, there'll be a few good takeaways from this, but if people are listening to it, maybe that can be step one is just starting to talk to people if that's something that they are looking to do within this year, is go talk to somebody and just start asking as a leader, how do you help your team achieve their goals or act as a mentor to your team?

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. And I'll say that I've also noticed the need for leadership has gotten even more honed during COVID because we're all remote. And one of the things that I have found... And so one of the things that I would say, helping your team to achieve their goals, the first thing that you have to do in my opinion, is you have to define and focus on what are the top priorities for your business. And you can't have a list of 10, I'm a fan of the rule of three. So you have your three top things and you make sure that your team understands, not just what they are, but why. I think people always forget to appeal to the why, but you have to focus on why are these the three most important things? The second thing which I have found to be even more important during this whole COVID crisis is communication. At this point, I don't think it's possible to over- communicate, and I think a good leader needs to communicate, communicate, communicate, make sure people understand what are we doing? Why are we doing it? Why is it important? They need to know also how they're doing. I have found more and more people because they're working from home, they feel, you don't see me, you don't see what I'm doing, and they need to know that they're doing a good job. They need to get that reinforcement that you think they're doing good work, and that you see what they're doing. And then the third thing I think a leader needs to do and I do, is I try to help my team identify obstacles and remove obstacles. Sometimes obstacles are unnecessary. For instance, it could be an outdated policy, or it could be an obstacle where you don't know who the decision maker is, or it could be an obstacle where you don't know who the stakeholders are, or who do I collaborate with. So it's identify and help them remove these obstacles so that people can move forward and achieve their objectives.

Casey Renner: And as a leader, Howard, well, just also as a woman with a career, how do you maintain confidence in yourself and the ability to try new things? I don't know at Autodesk how many women there are on the executive team, but certainly, I feel like the closer you get to the top, sometimes the less women you see across the board.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. I think in technology overall, that's a sad truth that I hope that we continue to work on, it's something that continues to need visibility. One of the things that I will say is great about Autodesk is from a board perspective, we're doing great with gender diversity and other diversity elements as well. So that's really good because much of the research will tell you that is when you have a diverse board, you will have better business results. And as an executive team, our CEO is very committed to gender diversity and he's working on getting more women on our executive staff. At this point in time, we do need more, but it's good to know that he has that level of commitment. And I do think that how do you have a confidence in yourself? One of the things that I think has followed me through my career is you have to be open- minded about learning. So I will tell you, I'm a very curious person and I love to read, I'm an avid reader, and I love to learn new things. So if you can be very open and say, " I'm must be a lifelong learner, I have to be continuously learning." And be humble with the fact that you can learn from anybody and be open to the fact that you can learn new things and from anybody. The other thing that I think is hard is you have to keep a positive attitude about change, and change is very hard. When we talk about from- to, when you're in that from situation, it's all about loss. You feel like I'm losing something. And then you do go into a transition stage before you get to the end state, and in transition is where people are worried and they're anxious. When you get to the Tuesday, that's where there's hopefulness and excitement. So I think that that's another thing to try to get that mindset of positive attitude about change, and that will really, really help you. And I will tell you, because of being open- minded about learning and also reaching out to people who I knew were experts, I have many times in my career taken on something new that I had not done before, and I was able to do them one, through really good hiring. I learned early in my career that great leaders do great hiring, your people are everything. And I would go get a network of experts that would help me whether it was informal network or a formal network.

Casey Renner: Got it. Well, and to your point about you saying, trying new things and taking on roles, I feel like you hear a lot of times from folks who are in similar roles and recommendations is just put your hand up, if they need a volunteer to do something at your company, if there's maybe a project that doesn't have an owner and you have the capacity, just take it on, even if you don't know it 100%, but you will learn new things while you're doing it and it will help you in your career.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. And you stand out. You stand out in a crowd, like people will say, " Look, this is a person who volunteers for things, who's willing to try new things and is courageous." Because to me, that is courageous.

Casey Renner: Yep. Now, what keeps you excited about your industry? I mean, software, I suppose, but either even if you look across the industries that you serve, what keeps you excited and coming to work every day?

Lisa Campbell: I think the thing that's most exciting to me about the industries we serve is the, and by the way, it's true for software technology as well. It's constantly changing, it is never boring. We're in constant change, constant disruption, we're solving important problems. Within our industries, we're helping our customers, so we're a partner in helping them solve things that impact the environment, social equality, makes the world a better place. That is very, very motivating and exciting because you can directly link what you're doing every day in the office to something that's helping to just make a positive change out there. I remember attending a workshop years ago where the consultant said everybody should have their own personal rally cry. And this probably was like 20 years ago, and they said, try to make it a short and pithy phrase. And my personal rally cry was make a difference. And knowing that has always been something that has motivated me, because I always think about whatever role I'm in, whatever work I'm doing, am I making a difference in the world? Am I making a difference for the people who work for me? Am I making a difference in our business, Am I making a difference for our customers? And I think it's really good to have that personal rally cry.

Casey Renner: Yeah, very much. I'm like, " Oh gosh, I don't even think I have one." So this will be my motivation to do that. And then last" serious" question, what do you predict for five years from now, kind of marketing, Autodesk, etc, are there specific trends? And then, what do you think marketing and Autodesk will be focused on if we were to have this conversation in 2026?

Lisa Campbell: Well, I'll tell you, I think more and more automations and technology are going to continue to disrupt marketing as a function. I think marketers are going to have to become more and more data savvy, we're going to have to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence. Quite frankly, I think computers will be another marketer in the room. We're going to be able to use technology to help us make decisions, or quite frankly, it can help us with decisions. For instance, what campaigns or what content is resonating the most? How to personalize or what would be the next best action? Things like that I think we're going to get more and more automated and more and more sophisticated. I think that we're going to get better at prediction, I think we're going to get better at personalization, but I think one of the things that I think is going to get stronger over time is I truly believe that trusts will make or break a brand in the future. And I think that marketers, and not just marketers, but marketers in particular, are going to need to focus on alignment of purpose, alignment of values, and building trust with customers. Because if you want customers to give you their data, to allow you to look at what they're doing, their behaviors online, so that you could do a better job of personalizing and engaging, they have to trust you. What data are you collecting? Did I give you permission for that? How are you using it? And more important, what value do I as the customer get for allowing you to do that? And I think that that is going to become more and more important in the future.

Casey Renner: Yep. That makes sense. All right. Final five questions. Who is your female role model and why?

Lisa Campbell: I wish I had just one-

Casey Renner: Or you can make a couple.

Lisa Campbell: I am motivated by people in general, but if you wanted to focus on women who are courageous, and a lot of women who are courageous, you could say are the women who were first to do something. So I think one time you and I were talking and I said there's this woman, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, who was the first female doctor and in Britain, Condoleezza Rice, first African- American woman, Secretary of State. You can just go through the list of people who were first and what that takes is, courage, it takes determination, it takes confidence. There's a whole set of behaviors that I think are very motivating to me that I look at that and I say, that is motivating to me and inspirational.

Casey Renner: What's one app you couldn't live without on your cell phone?

Lisa Campbell: My sense of direction is really, really bad, so if I didn't have Waze or some mapping app, forget it, I'd be driving around in circles.

Casey Renner: I think Waze is far superior to Google Maps. I'm a Waze user myself.

Lisa Campbell: I know, exactly.

Casey Renner: I met the founder of Waze one time and he went through why he was presenting. I didn't meet him personally. And he presented on how they developed Waze and why it was developed, and how they use all of the data from their users. And I was like, "Well, this is great. I am a big fan that you couldn't get to the airport in Israel, and here we are using your technology every day."

Lisa Campbell: Yeah, exactly.

Casey Renner: All right. Adjective someone on your team would use to describe you.

Lisa Campbell: Oh, let's see. I don't know, two words popped into my head, determined and courageous.

Casey Renner: Okay, perfect. We'd surveyed them separately, so we'll see if they want a crosstalk.

Lisa Campbell: They might not want to know what I already do.

Casey Renner: No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I imagine, they would say that, I imagine you are a fabulous leader to work for. Favorite city?

Lisa Campbell: Oh yeah. That one's easy for me. I love Florence, Italy.

Casey Renner: Okay. First off, post- pandemic international.

Lisa Campbell: I know, I'm already counting the days when I can get on an airplane again, really.

Casey Renner: I know, I know. And favorite newsletter that you've subscribed to. This is not a trick question, it does not need to be the open newsletter.

Lisa Campbell: I'm going to say that I've subscribed to a number of things, but I think some of the ones that maybe I tend to lean into a little bit more are the CMO ones. So I know there's one, The Wall Street Journal puts out like CMO Today. Those can be very helpful for me because it gives me the quick sound bites of the latest and greatest things that CMOs probably want to know about. And so that one I find to be very helpful.

Casey Renner: Yeah. That makes total sense given you're a CMO. All right. Well, Lisa, thank you so much for joining us on the OpenView Build Podcast. I know I certainly I'm taking this and have a few things to go find my rallying cry, be the disruptor, don't get disrupted. So thank you so much for sharing your insights, and we'll talk to you soon.

Lisa Campbell: Yeah. Thank you, Casey. I really enjoyed the discussion.

Casey Renner: Thanks for listening to this episode of the OV Build Podcast, Building to Boss. We hope you learned as much as we did. We'd love to hear what you think about the show. Please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and subscribe to stay up to date with all the new episodes. If you're looking for more OpenView content, follow me, Casey Renner on LinkedIn. See you next time here on OV Build.


Lisa Campbell is Autodesk’s CMO, so she knows that marketing is always evolving. Hear what it takes to reimagine a design company, the role cross-functional teams play in getting things done, and how she balances the difficult tradeoffs between current needs and future impacts when setting marketing strategy.

Key Takeaways:

[1:23] Lisa talks about herself as a marketer and the challenges she solved at Autodesk.

[2:53] How did Lisa’s career look prior to Autodesk?

[4:29] What is the role of marketing in a software company?

[6:03] Lisa shares how Autodesk stays relevant after over 30 years.

[7:14] The world of manufacturing has shifted for the better.

[8:18] Lisa talks about how she supports customers along the buying journey.

[9:20] How does Autodesk deliver their digital experience for an emotive reaction?

[10:30] How is it important at Autodesk to think about the future when there is a determination around the current market strategies?

[12:33] Digital literacy has just been expedited.

[12:50] Which industries is Lisa serving?

[13:50] How the pandemic forced Autodesk to pivot its strategies especially in the manufacturing aspect.

[15:44] How Autodesk changed its subscription model based on COVID-19.

[17:14] On a market front, what does Autodesk own as part of the go-to-market strategy, and who does Autodesk partner with to deliver that strategy?

[18:35] Make sure you are using quality data.

[19:38] How does Lisa balance her role at Autodesk and Dropbox at the same time?

[21:14] How can you have a successful board meeting?

[23:56] How can the manufacturing community attract more women into the field?

[25:18] Lisa talks about the three A’s: Awareness, Accessibility, and Affordability.

[25:49] Lisa shares how mentorship impacted her career and explains the difference between mentorship and advocacy.

[28:52] As a leader, how does Lisa help her team achieve their goals?

[30:42] How does Lisa maintain confidence in herself and in her ability to try new things?

[33:53] What keeps Lisa excited about the industry that she serves?

[35:24] Lisa shares her predictions for marketing Autodesk for five years from now.

[37:12] Lisa talks about her female role model.

[38:10] What is the app that Lisa could not live without?

[38:51] Which words would someone from Lisa’s team use to describe her?

[39:13] Lisa shares her favorite city.

[39:26] Lisa’s favorite newsletter.

Today's Host

Guest Thumbnail

Blake Bartlett

|Partner at OpenView

Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Lisa Campbell

|Chief Marketing Officer at Autodesk