During our journey of creating HireCMO, I've had the privilege to meet several CMOs creating some of our time's most creative products. One of these CMOs was Guillaume. During our conversation, I genuinely felt that Guillaume really cares about his role, not just as a "marketer", but also as a builder who has helped create something that truly makes customers' lives easier.
I truly hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did.
Guillaume, it’s honestly such a delight interviewing you on here. Tell the audience a little about yourself and what makes your journey as a CMO unique compared to others :)
Thank you for having me, it’s a pleasure to be on HireCMO and I always love to support others. What you’re doing is awesome!
Of course, I was born in France and moved to Miami in 2008. From the age of 13, I’ve been building different businesses. I first worked in the music industry by organizing events in Miami with artists like Avicii and Steve Duda, or pressing limited vinyls for Gramatik. Throughout that time, I was helping thousands of musicians grow their audience on Soundcloud and Spotify specifically.
As you can imagine, I started to pile up bookmarks so I decided to build (and recently sold) Qlearly, a bookmark manager for chrome. This same software was listed on AppSumo and I eventually started working with them when they were looking to expand their marketplace. I helped them contact, and onboard hundreds of partners and even bulk imported thousands of products. Funny thing is, I was around for the entire cycle. We then took down thousands of products, I spend days manually filtering through the marketplace and removing any low quality product.
This is to say, that I have seen and worked with many people and companies with their marketing. I then started working part-time with Damon around October 2022 and since January 2023, I have been full time as the CMO at Testimonial.to!
What a story. I grew up listening to Avicci. Levels is my favourite song! But without getting distracted (haha) let's dive right in!
Q1 - One thing I respect a lot about you is your track record of being a founder. What made you want to become a marketing leader after founding 3 startups in the past?
Most of the things I’ve done in the past, have been related to marketing in some way. When I built Qlearly, I was working with a developer (which is still helping them today!) and I was doing everything else. Pretty much the same applies to everything else I have been involved in.
It’s been my core passion for a while, I wanted the opportunity to focus ‘all’ my time on marketing for Testimonial. There’s this magic that happens when you combine a quality product with a strong marketing effect, I know testimonial.to can go very far with the right marketing. We’re just getting started!
Q2 - Ah yes, the classic "we're just getting started!" quote. So, switching gears up a bit - outside of building and growing products, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time to wind down from the fast marketing world?
Haha, well I am just writing this at 12am as I come back from a strangely enough Wednesday concert by one of my favorite musicians named, FKJ. I would recommend anyone reading this to listen to this set on YouTube!
Aside from that, I am looking at my Husky that’d prefer to go back on a walk right now 😜 I recently relocated to San Francisco, so I’ve been enjoying taking him to different places. One of my favourite find has been Sea Cliff.
Q3 - That's pretty diverse! Also, I'm more of a cat person aha. So, you’re currently a CMO at Testimonial, which is a prominent indie startup. What’s it like being part of a lean startup team compared to other CMOs who may be leading a company of 50+ people?
That’s a good question, as I haven’t had experience with the latter I have no idea how it compares and something to keep in mind might be the volume, etc. But overall, It’s been really great to get to join Damon full time as the first hire.
Even though we’re only three full time (we just hired Rachel to help with customer support), there’s quite more going on behind the curtain. One thing I can say is I am grateful for the experience of having worked at a company like AppSumo where I got a chance to be more familiar the structure and how a company with 100+ employees work.
If you have the opportunity to work at a startup with many employees, before joining a smaller one, you might want to do that as it will give you some advantage.
Q4 - That makes sense. Since we're on the top of big teams. I'd love to pick your brain on the big picture of marketing. With so many different artificial intelligence developments happening recently, how do you envision it impacting the marketing industry? Are there any examples you can share of how chief marketing officers can use AI to their advantage?
Woah, am I too many beers in to get into AI right now? I just might be, (refer to the third question lol) but even though I love AI I feel like its a long way from being able to answer the questions as authentically as I just did for example but let’s see;
When it comes to impact, I think it will mainly help everyone be more efficient and productive which is a great thing. Let’s just take copywriting as an example since its involved in many tasks, with AI you’ll pretty much never be stuck at finding a few ways to say something even if you edit the result it gives.
So I really see it a tool that will help every team member save x amount of time each week, which all compounds overtime.
When it comes to how CMO’s can use AI, the list is very long. You can use Taplio and all their AI tools to help you be more active on LinkedIn or TweetHunter/Typefully for Twitter. You can also use certain tools to help you generate ad copy ideas or scoring the titles for your blog posts.
Q5 - Fascinating.. taking the spotlight back on you and your role today, could you describe what Testimonial does? It seems like you guys have been shipping a lot in the last 4-6 months — how would you describe how the product has improved during the course of this time?
We help brands capture and display testimonials on their website. From text to video testimonials, all the way to social media shoutouts, and UGC.
Over the past few months we’ve been working and shipping a ton! As someone said on Twitter, Damon is a machine! We’re shipping the most requested features, adding integrations and improving the pages pages on our website. I would say our founder was mainly focused on Twitter and the Indie Makers niche for some time, but with all the improvements we are shipping it is helping us move up the market. We still have a lot to announce as well! 🙌
Q6 - That's pretty cool. I think Testimonial is one of those products where you don't realize how important it is for your businesses' growth until you see what the product can do! I'm so very impressed, Guillaume.
As we wrap up, tell me this - what’re 3 top tips you’d give companies for (a) picking their best user testimonials and (b) finding ways to show it off their prospects?
Good question! I would recommend the following:
And finally, I would make sure the request is sent at the right time. This will help receive more accurate and detailed testimonials. There are a few ways you can automate the process and even give incentives, you can learn more about that here.
What I truly adored about Guillaume's responses is that he's incredibly down to earth. He's a builder at heart, and leverages his marketing chops today to help Damon get his product in the hands of customers who absolutely adore what they're building.
After having interviewed and spoken with 100+ founders and marketers as part of building HireCMO, I’ve realized that the most competent individuals are those who have a bias towards action! And I sincerely think Guillaume's desire to ship product fast, learn from his customers and continuously keep improving their brand/marketing strategy will make his team an unstoppable product in their niche.
And btw, if you would like to work with talented CMOs like Guillaume as your senior marketing leader, feel free to have a chat with me and I’ll personally take care of you. You can always use the search function on our site if you're looking for something specific! Until next time.