The Revenue Engine

The Demand for Marketing Operations to Drive Revenue with Toby Murdock, CEO and Co-Founder at Highway Education

August 19, 2022

The Revenue Engine

Each week, Revenue Operations expert Rosalyn Santa Elena shines the spotlight on founders, CEOs, and Revenue Leaders from hyper-growth companies and dives deep into the strategies they implement to drive growth and share their learnings. Rosalyn brings you inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators and disruptors, as well as Revenue Leaders in sales, marketing, and operations.

The demand for marketing operations talent has exploded. But the supply of talent is scarce. What should organizations be doing to bridge the gap?

In this episode of The Revenue Engine Podcast, four-time CEO and founder Toby Murdock, shares what he’s doing to serve as a bridge between underemployed professionals and talent-seeking marketing employers. He also shares his inspirational advice for those looking to build - or accelerate - their career in digital marketing and in marketing operations.


Connect with Toby on LinkedIn, or at the Highway Education website.

Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.

The Revenue Engine is powered by Outreach.

The opinions expressed in this episode are the speaker's own and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Sales IQ or any sponsors.

Rosalyn Santa Elena
Host @ Revenue Engine Podcast + Founder & Chief Revenue Operations Officer @ The RevOps Collective.
Toby Murdock
Founder / CEO @ Highway Education

[00:00:00] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Welcome to the Revenue Engine podcast. I'm your host, Rosalyn Santa Elena, and I am thrilled to bring you the most inspirational stories from revenue generators, innovators, and disruptors, revenue leaders in sales, in marketing, and of course in operations. Together, we will unpack everything that optimizes and powers the revenue engine. Are you ready? Let's get to it.

As a four time CEO and founder with a diverse background in business development. Product marketing, product development, and so much more Toby knows more than a thing or two about starting building and scaling a successful business. Currently, Toby Murdoch is working on building highway education, a unique business that bridges underemployed, less experienced professionals with marketing employers, looking for talent.

And what makes this business even more special? There is a focus on improving opportunity and inclusion for individuals that are often underserved and underrepresented

[00:01:18] Sponsor: Today's podcast is sponsored by Outreach is the first and only engagement and intelligence platform built by revenue innovators, for revenue innovators. Outreach allows you to commit to an accurate sales forecast, replace manual processes with real-time guidance, and unlock actionable customer intelligence that guides you and your team to win more often. Traditional tools don't work in a hybrid sales world. Find out why Outreach is the right solution at

[00:01:56] Rosalyn Santa Elena: So please take a listen to this episode of the revenue engine podcast, where you'll hear inspirational for those looking to build or accelerate their career in digital marketing and in marketing operations. So excited to be here today with Toby Murdoch, the CEO and founder of highway education highway education serves as a bridge between underemployed young adult. And talent seeking marketing employers with a focus on improving opportunity and inclusion.

So welcome Toby. And thank you so much for joining me. I'm so excited to unpack your story and learn more about what you're building.

[00:02:38] Toby Murdock: Awesome. Well, I'm delighted to be here, Rosalyn, thank you so much for having me.

[00:02:42] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's great. So, well, let's talk. Let's talk a little bit about your career journey, right?

Your backstory leading to founding highway education. I mean, you've had such an incredible and broad background, right? As a founder, a CEO, I think it's like four times as a CEO. Yeah. With experience, you know, in business development, you've got product marketing background. You've got product development. I mean, So such a diverse background. So maybe, can you share more about your career journey and some of your experience prior to highway education?

[00:03:11] Toby Murdock: Sure. Well, since you mentioned diversity of experience, I will say I have sort of few businesses and. Originally, it was a flower import export business in Ecuador.

That was my first, but , that's pretty as, as far away from like tech as, as, as we can be most recently, I started a company called cap compost cap compost was a content marketing software platform for B2B marketing organizations. And it's very much in the Ella club, Marketo Salesforce, etcetera ecosystem.

And I did that sort of. Across the decade of the 2010s and learned a lot of things the hard way from that experience. But I was fortunate I guess two or three years ago now to sell that business to Upland software. And sort of when I was all done with with that and wondering what to do next.

So I was pondering, I'm like, Hmm, I've I've done a few software businesses, but then I. is the universe crying out for another sell for business? I'm not sure if it was, you know, like I didn't hear the universe crying for that. And so I decided to, to try to do something with a little bit more of like a human impact instead of a bits and bites impact and That's why I, I started Highway.

[00:04:23] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. Didn't know about the flowers, but that's really interesting too. I did talked to a guest earlier this week, who started by selling shoes.

[00:04:32] Toby Murdock: Yeah.

[00:04:33] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Shoes at at a department store. So we all get to start somewhere.

[00:04:37] Toby Murdock: At least they don't like wilt and die, the hard part about flowers when you're shipping them across hemisphere is they're extremely perishable. So that was challenging. But, it was a good experience. I loved living in Ecuador for whatever that's worth.

[00:04:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's awesome. That's awesome. So you know, a lot of times I speak to founders on this show and usually the company, you know, gets started as a result of trying to solve a problem. Or maybe there's some specific challenge, you know, was this the case?

With highway education, like, was there some kind of, you know, aha moment or some kind of situation that led you to start the business?

[00:05:13] Toby Murdock: Well, I sold my last company in 2019. And so, you know, there's always a lot going on in the news, but back then, you know, that was the summer, a lot of the BLM protests and the 2020 elections.

And there was evidently a lot of Tuml in our society. Just thinking about that, I was like, okay, how can I make some kind of impact on that front? And I think certainly underneath a lot of that frustration was people who, you know, aren't getting a shot into kind of the in terms of professional and financial opportunity that, that others are getting.

Right. And so I was thinking about that on one side and then my experience in the post working with a lot of MarTech and. Leaders, you know, they'd always be distressed about how hard it was to find talent and how there was such a talent shortage. And they couldn't find people with enough skills to, to fit an experience to fill these jobs.

And so. The juxtaposition of those two observations is what really drove it to me. You know, like why is it that we have one hand, you know you know, turbulence in our society, cuz people aren't are frustrated cuz they're not finding opportunity. And I, and, and assuming and believing that there's a lot of people with lots of potential that can do great things, but just can't find the opportunity on one side.

And then on the other that there's employers who are frustrated. Because they can't find, you know, the, the qualifications and talent that they want. And so something in our educational professional development system is missing. And so it's just. To me, that was just like a sitting duck of an opportunity to make impact is how can we satisfy the needs of both of those groups by, you know, acting as this bridge.

And so that was sort of my thinking behind starting highway.

[00:07:05] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Got it, got it. I love that. I love that. I think that that also kind of feeds into my next question just around the business model, right? I mean, you talked about helping, you know, helping provide education and training. For those who want to be in the marketing.

Yeah. You know, a marketing operation space and then obviously companies need help with identifying, hiring that talent. Yeah. So can you maybe talk a little bit more about kind of the business model, you know, how both companies, as well as individuals, how they benefit and sort of how you bridge that together?

[00:07:32] Toby Murdock: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I will talk to you about as best as I can. But it's, it's, it's a lot it's evolving and I'm learning as what happens at, you know, early stage endeavors. So. It's gonna be somewhat of a lengthy explanation. So originally my thought was to take the model of the bootcamp. That's been applied in the coding industry and apply it to marketing operations.

So with boot camps, you recruit people to a school it's a really intensive, but relatively short durations say around four month full time training program. And. Critically, you don't charge students anything up front. You make it all conditional that they only owe you tuition. If they get a job in our case, it's paying 55 grand or greater, and then they can pay you in, in kind of monthly payments they're after.

So you're trying to make it affordable on that side. And so you bring them in, you train them and then you reach out to employers and, and recruit them and do a whole set of matchmaking to make all that work. So. We've succeed in that, but I felt like there's limits to that as well, because I found that when you're reaching out to like an aspiring young professional or middle aged professional, whatever it is, even though we don't church switch up front, they need to quit their job, work with us full time, figure out how they're gonna support themselves in trust that everything's gonna work out well for them in, in the end.

and that's a big ask. I I've found, and it really limits the number of people who you're able to bring in. And as I try to grow what we're doing, it didn't seem sustainable. So we've changed the model. And I told you this was gonna be a long answer, unfortunately, but we've changed the model to where we hire them from the beginning.

So now we recruit we hire them right from the get go. What? And so the first few months when we're training them, we're paying them. And so we are now much more committed financially to everything we have to put out, or, yeah, we gotta put out a lot more money up front. And and then similarly we bring in employers because these.

You know, marketing up specialists as they become, or on our payroll already, we can sort of make it easy for our employers and say, Hey, you don't have to go all the way in and hire this person. You can just pay highway and hire them as a contractor which is an easy way to start. And then we have opportunities or the option for employers to flip that contractor into a full-time employee at a later date, or right at the beginning, if they choose.

So that's our new model. Just, this is the where right now in the first cohort of the new model it's really been interesting just to be very candid, you know, to make the whole thing work, you know, we're a B Corp, so we're somewhere between a business and a charity, you know? So we're, we're the nice thing I like about B corpse is you.

Charities reply nonprofits rely on donations. We rely on the business working and I like making businesses work. So it's much my preferable preferred thing. So we have a legal commitment toward our social mission, but we have to make the business work. And part of making the business work is satisfying our clients, right?

Like satisfying employers. They need to have job ready. People who perform really, really well. And even though we do a lot in the months where we do the training folks, a huge factor is. What's their capability. What's their life experience. What's their potential before they've come to see us. And the cool thing I've seen Rosalyn is as we've evolved this offering, it's much more compelling to the talent side.

And so we're able to significantly increase the quality of the talent that we're able to bring in the program. And I'm excited to see how that impacts the employers side. I think they'll be quite delighted. So. Long answer to your question about our evolving business model, but that that's where we are today.

Having evolved from a boot. To this model where sort of like a staffing agency with a training program on the front end of it. It's also a model that I stole from the software industry. It's called higher trained, deploy. I is the approach and that's what we're doing that.

[00:11:52] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Awesome. That's awesome. I just imagine kind of that on being able to earn while you're learning and have a, you know, potential of, you know, converting it into a longer term career at a company, whether it's with highway or with a, you know, with another firm, but it's, that's actually a really great model.

I so very interested in continue to watch how that yeah. How that progresses me too, for sure. Yeah, definitely. And I mean, there's definitely that shortage right? In talent in operations. Yeah. I mean, there's a shortage. In all areas of revenue, operations, right. From an experience and then expertise perspective.

But, you know, I guess specifically from a marketing ops perspective, like what are you seeing in the market right today in terms of that talent shortage? Yeah. Are you seeing the same?

[00:12:36] Toby Murdock: Yeah. We just put out a report with our friends at Demand Base. So we did a survey of about 800 people in the mobs industry. So we got tons and tons of data and it was quite revealing. So the report talked about how supply, oh, sorry. So demand for marketing operations. Talent is through the roof. We had the six, like growth and number of companies. You know, utilizing the MOS function has been, has been 228% over the last five or six years. So

[00:13:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: wow

[00:13:10] Toby Murdock: Huge, huge growth in the number of companies and significant growth in the number of people on average in each one of these companies. So, so many more people needed in this function. So demand yeah. Through the. but then we asked. Okay. And how, how did most of you get into marketing operations? Were you formally trained on it or did you just kinda fall into it?

So 93% that they fell into it. Yeah, which is neat for all these pioneers people like yourself and others who sort of got the industry growing and going, but it's no way to sustain the talent needs of the industry for its next stage of growth. Like, like, so we have in our country, we got like mechanical engineering as a professional field and there's dozens of institutions who trained people in mechanical engineering and they pumped that out.

And same thing in architecture or same thing in dentistry or whatever. Right. There's nothing equivalent in digital marketing in general, or specifically in marketing operations. So while, you know, demand is through the roof, no new supply is being generated. and so that is placing massive strain on the system.

And so our report gets into more details about burnout, about turnover, about people who are senior and senior goals feeling dissatisfied because they can't delegate anything. Cuz there's a lack of junior people in the industry about spiraling and outta control. Wages and whatnot. So there's all sorts of problems that are besetting the industry as a result of this, you know, imbalance between runaway demand and no new supply being generated.

[00:14:49] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yep. Definitely. See. And I'm seeing, I'm seeing that quite a bit everywhere. There's sort of a gap in, you know, experience and expertise. It's not fast enough, right. We can't. People trained up fast enough and it takes time. Yeah. Right. It takes time to really learn the business and really understand all of the different facets because operations is just so broad.

[00:15:07] Toby Murdock: It takes time. And when you're an employer, how are you gonna do that? Are you to train one person at a time? Right. And then be it great risk that you're to hire that person on a low wage and then their value is gonna go up for the training and then are they gonna leave and jump somewhere else? And your whole investment?

In training and you're not really set up as a training organization. Your whole investment in that training gets squandered, like talk to tons of people who've been burned in that way. So the incentives really aren't there for. Individual employers to invest in this training. So what they do instead is they go and poach another, you know, six, six years experience, senior manager, who's making 200 K and they offer her, you know, 250 K and, you know, they just get that person an overburden, that person, not just with senior work, but also with the mundane tasks that are part of the job and the cycle continues.

And it it's just getting worse and worse in the industry. But never fear highways here. So we're, we're, we're here to solve that.

[00:16:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. You, I guess you touched on this a little bit too, but I mean like, what are you seeing? You know, when we talk about organizations, right? What are, what do you think they're doing right?

When it comes to sourcing and retaining mobs talent, you touched a little bit on kind what they're doing wrong, but are there other things that you think they're doing right? And maybe other things that they're doing.

[00:16:28] Toby Murdock: Well, I think that one of the important things that they're doing right is paying more.

Right? I mean, and so, you know, the they're responding to the market and MOS people's compensation generally is at a, a good rate of increase, which is great for MOS professionals. And it's the smart thing to do, you know, when any, it's sort of like housing in the us, which we won't spend a lot of time on, but.

Markets, you know, supply is artificially constrained. You have to respond by you know, increasing pricing. So that's been a logical and, and, and well warranted response to, to doing what they're doing. Let's see, trying to automate more and more is obviously a smart response to that situation that they're doing well, but, but still something has to change. We're we're, we're at a kind of unsustainable trajectory. Yeah.

[00:17:18] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. 100%. You know, maybe on the flip side of that, when you, you know, for any individuals who, you know, they see this demand, they see this opportunity for growth, and then, then they say, Hey, I wanna start a career.

Right. I wanna start a career in marketing ops. Like what advice do you have for them? Yeah. Like how do they know. If marketing ops is even the right career path for them, like what questions should they be asking themselves?

[00:17:40] Toby Murdock: Yeah. It's interesting. I would say a few things. One when you, you know, I'll talk about what, what capabilities, what do you need to like to do?

Yeah. And then I'll talk about what you couldn't do if you wanna. Head down this pathway. Perfect. So I've spent a ton of time talking to marketing operations leaders about what attributes they're looking for, where I'm not talking about like specific experiences and skills, but much more generalized kind of capabilities over and over again.

I'd be curious your reaction to this Muslim, but Over and over them, they say curiosity, they say curiosity, they want curious, critical thinkers. They want people who wonder about how things work and are willing to take something apart and figure it out and build it up again, you know, because they want people who can be.

Kind of self-directed in jumping into the jungle of, of a MarTech stack and figuring it all out and being able to fix and manage and maintain and monitor it all, you know, independently, obviously it's part of the team, but you know, not handheld through the process. So they want people who apply the scientific method and, you know, we will.

We'll tinker with stuff and figure out how it works. So that's, I would say one, are you innately curious? Are you a problem solver? Are you a critical thinker? Right? That's that's attribute number one that I've heard from MOS leaders beyond that it's this hybrid role, right? You have to have enough, you, you don't need to be a coder, but you need to have an affinity for tech.

You need to understand a lot of tech concepts. QA or what a database is and how fields are related and, and whatnot. So you have to have an affinity and kind of an ability around. But also you have to be a business thinker, right? You have to enjoy business problems. You need to, you know, think about customer journeys and strategies and being accountable for performance and metrics and whatnot.

So in addition to this curiosity, it's this blend or this hybrid nature across the kind of business tech spectrum that I think is the, the other thing you should be assessing for yourself. Then it gets really hard in terms of how do you actually get to do it? You know, I'm also spent a lot of time looking over job postings and maps.

I've been spending a lot of time doing that. And even at the most entry level, the most entry level, it says two years experience required. Three years. Experience required. People don't, as we were saying, they don't want people who aren't job ready. They want people with existing experience, but it's this classic chicken and the egg phenomena of you know, if you, you gotta get your first job to get the experience, to get the job, which is unfold, right.

This is the dynamic, which is kind of putting such strain on the industry. So what would I do? It's hard. You can't like grab your own Marketo instance and start playing with it because that's right. A Marketo, it's not like other software tools like Google analytics, like anyone can grab a free instance and start playing with it and do whatever.

Even Salesforce as a CRM, as you know, as a rev op person, you could do a free instance, but the major enterprise systems, Oracle. Oracle qua that is Marketo Parda you can't even do it unless you're throwing down thousands of dollars. So it's really hard to get your hands into these things. Closest thing you could do if you're, you know, junior and trying to get into this is something like HubSpot, but it's freer in expensive instances are kind of limited in, in what they can do, but that would be a place to start and.

I don't know, then you need to get experience doing live stuff with live data, because even if you're playing with like an empty instance, that's not gonna get you that far. So it's, it's hard to break into. You could get, you know, really courageous on Upwork and build your way in, in to, to getting some experience that way through taking on projects.

But you can see all the barriers and hurdles there are to getting started in. Sector, which is why, you know, the only way people in was like, well, I was an SDR and I happened to sit next to the mops person and I was looking over their shoulder at Marketo and they were struggling. So I did some stuff and that's how I started.

Like, this is what we're down to in the industry for generating new supply. And this is why the, you know, Th things are so strange.

[00:22:03] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. 100%. And none of us like want sit there and say, oh, we wanna go into, you know, marketing ops or we wanna be a rev ops, professional. We've kind of land in it. Right.

Yeah. But, but to your point, we have those traits kind of those soft skills, that natural curiosity, the ability to kind of think process wise, be able to take something very high level, you know, high level. Thought and be able to kind of break that into digestible pieces that you can actually go execute upon, right? Yeah. It's kind of an operational mindset more so than anything else.

[00:22:31] Toby Murdock: Yeah. Or even engineering kind of thinking exactly that if you're not necessarily an engineer.

[00:22:36] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Exactly. I love that. You know, having been in right. A lot of different operational leadership roles, kind of a cross go to market. Asked quite a bit, you know, from individuals, like how do we move right from that tactical administrative person to being that thought leader, right.

That true business partner. And so I spend a lot of time kind of sharing advice, you know, tips, things that people can do even to just move the needle slightly. Right. One super simple example. I always tell people it's like, look, when someone asks you to run a. It's like, instead of just writing the report, figure out what are they trying to solve?

Right. What answers are they trying to what answer are they trying to get to? What questions are they trying to answer? And then think about what's the best way to present that and not just send a report, right. Instead, take the time to analyze the. The information, glean the insights, provide a story, you know, share an opinion, you know, some of those kind of little steps that people can do to just start to add more value and become, understand the business better.

But I mean, I think, you know, given your exposure to so many different organizations, you know, obviously you've talked to many professionals in this space. Do you have any tips or yeah. Maybe tricks that you would offer.

[00:23:44] Toby Murdock: And I learned this the hard way through starting businesses that had a whole, lots of struggles and challenges along the way. Uh, So it, particularly at the post, you know, you're trying, you run a startup and you're trying to figure out how to succeed and you're having a lot of issues. And I had one board member who always at hand hammer at me about the value, value proposition that he used to simplify down.

Just do a few questions, like who is your customer? What's your problem? How do you solve. And how do you, how is that solution better than anyone else? And mm-hmm and then you could do a fifth on, like, how do you measure, you know, the value you're generating, but you could even just stick with those four and anyone, and any part of any business is involved in that value proposition.

And I think always thinking and considering what that value proposition is and having hypotheses writing it down, collecting it data in terms. Your, your hypotheses and refining it, even if you're in a big company where you really can't change the value proposition, but you just understand it better, right?

You under you understand better who you're ized, you understand better what their problem is. You understand better how you're solving it and how to communicate that. And, and because to the extent that you have all of those elements of a value proposition, well aligned in business, then. Execution is easy.

Cause the wind is like blowing into your sail so strongly that, you know, it's like, well, to extend the metaphor, it's like executing. Like it doesn't matter how well we steer the rudder or pull on the sheets, you know, in the boat. It, and so, but to the extent though, those aren't well aligned You, there's not a lot of wind and you gotta like get out the oars and start paddling and stuff too, which is a lot harder.

So I, I think, especially if you said you wanna kind of migrate from the tactical to the strategic, like how can you think at that strategic level and always think about that value proposition, cuz to me. That's the essence of a business. And so to, to, you know, put on that hat and be considering those questions on a regular basis, I think helps elevate you to that more strategic level.

[00:26:04] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. Thank you. Thank you. That's super helpful. Sure. So let's shift gears a little bit to opportunity and inclusion. Yeah. I know highway education was set up as this public benefit yeah. Corporation. Right. You have a commitment to improving opportunity and inclusion, so maybe can you help us understand, you know, what does that mean?

[00:26:21] Toby Murdock: Yeah.

[00:26:21] Rosalyn Santa Elena: From a corporate perspective, as well as from a maybe mission or charter perspective.

[00:26:25] Toby Murdock: Yeah. So from opportunity's sake, we just wanna provide a pathway. From where people are today into the prosperity of the digital economy. And so every time we do that, by providing a pathway that doesn't exist to get people in there, we feel that we're serving our our opportunity mission.

Then inclusion is just, we particularly wanna focus on people from more disadvantaged backgrounds, whether that's a function of race or gender or being a veteran or. You know, college history or family college history or, or, or factors like that. And the cool thing I've seen Rosalyn, so is again doing this, we have a mission, but we're not a charity, right?

Like, so we, we have a mission and we have to report on it, you know, to the state where we're, where we're registered, but. We're not a charity. Like we have to, we have to deliver for our customer's business value, but I I've started to see more and more how actually those are working synergistically as opposed to being like two separate things that we work on.

And, and it's this way. So, you know, a lot of. we're also looking for, and our people is drive right commitment to, to dedication, to making things happen. And and especially you can get, and we gen we we've had people in the fifties in their fifties go through our program. So we look at all age range, but generally we're more at the younger end of folks.

And sometimes, you know, when you're dealing with younger folks, and this is just a truth, like they don't have a ton of experience. They haven't necessarily developed that, you know, that adulthood level maturity and, and commitment, and they're just. Kind of where they need to be to, to execute and perform as a professional mm-hmm

But we're finding that as we serve our inclusion mission, we're also finding that drive criteria and capability. We have just one part about it. We we've had almost half the people through our program have been either immigrants or children of, I. For example, but when we're evaluating, assessing not just from a social mission basis, but from a business criteria business, we mark that as a positive, because even if they're young, there's a lot they've had to overcome and, and they've already exercised significantly that maturity, that drive muscle, that commitment muscle through their existing life experiences, you know, , you know, put another way, you know, as they became an adolescent and maybe a college student, not, although not everyone got to our college students, they weren't just to be, frankly, they weren't necessarily like partying and then having a lot of fun.

Like they, they were, you know, holding a bunch of jobs while they were doing it, getting through all that. And, but see, this is a positive for, in terms of their prepared. To perform well, you know, with, with our employer clients. So it's been. We didn't really know how all this was gonna go. Yeah. But it's been neat to discover that as we've moved further and further in, into both, you know, satisfying our, our business objectives and our mission objectives,

[00:29:48] Rosalyn Santa Elena: I love that. I love that. Yeah. There's a, there's a lot to be said from just life experience, right? Yeah. In terms of shaping their personality and sort of that, that grit that everyone talks about. Yeah. That, that, that commitment. So I love that. You know, as I think about the revenue engine, right. I think about this podcast, I always hope.

Others will be able to learn how to accelerate revenue growth, right. And really power that revenue engine you know, as a serial CEO and founder, right? From your perspective, like what are the top couple of things, maybe two or three things that, you know, you think other CEOs or founders should really be thinking about today, right.

To establish that right framework for growing their business.

[00:30:26] Toby Murdock: Hmm. I mean, Gosh, hopefully this hasn't been an answer to this question already on your podcast, but, but I, I, I, I think, you know, it's been called a lot of like product led growth. You know, you don't have to be a PLA led growth company, but just, you have to realize more and more and more.

It keeps continuing, you know, I remember when eloquent came out. 2010. It was the beginning. Like the big thing was like, oh, I mean, we remember all these phrases, like two thirds of the customer journey happens before they even talk to sales and stuff like that. But it's gone further than that. Obviously further than blog posts of white papers.

And you have to give your customer customers. they don't, they, they wanna make up most of their mind before they talk to you. And it's not, again, the blog posts and the eBooks anymore. It's they wanna test and experience your offering, you know, whatever that is, you know, easy to do, obviously if you're a software company, but harder to do if you're a non-software company, but you gotta do it anyhow.

Right. You gotta figure out a way to do it. Like I, I'm just thinking of myself my own. Business, you know, we, I used to, when I would reach out to employers, I'm like, Hey, let's schedule a call with me. And now I'm what I'm doing is I make claims and you know, my messaging that I'm putting out and outbound and inbound, you know, channels.

And then, then the, the next step or the CTA is to go prove my claims go. Look over a roster of all my candidates, go inspect their portfolios, go see the projects they've done. Go listen to their videos, explaining why they did this instead of that in Marketo. Go. So it's just like, you know, go have an experience.

So I make, you know, you make, you, you have a value proposition, you have messaging where you're expressing that value to a customer. They wanna go from. From consideration of that message to evaluation of that message as quickly as possible. And, and so how, how, even if you're not a software company and can't do the whole product led growth model, how can you provide experiences that allow them to evaluate your claims as quickly as possible and with as little friction as possible?

I think that's the more and more, obviously the more and more that you have that kind. Customer journey the better and better your, your revenue engine's going to operate.

[00:33:02] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Yeah, that's perfect. I love that. That really resonates with me. Especially being on kind of on both sides, right. Being a buyer, obviously I'm constantly looking to buy tech and buy things from folks.

Although I'm not buying anything right now. So nobody needs to outbound to me, no outbound reach, but always interested in kind of figuring out what's out there. But then on the flip side, you know, my role has always been enabling our sales team and our marketing team, right. To go out and prospect yeah.

As well and getting them the right tools. But yeah, the simpler, you can make that buyer. You know, journey and just the ability to quickly assess if that's, if your solution is right for me, that's then by that's the time by the time they reach out, they've already made a decision and it's probably to come down to just a couple of things, maybe the relationship, that conversation that they have with you, the interaction, right?

Yeah. If do they trust you? And then price a lot of times or timing

[00:33:52] Toby Murdock: To be companies that yeah. Price of course too, you know, B2B companies that evaluation used to. Well, what, what kind of relationship can I make with the brand? I'm, you know, reading their blog and, and so I'm developing an affinity of trust with them, but I think now again, you see in the PLG stuff, like how it's gotta get next steps.

And I think the challenge and for software companies, that's pretty easily achievable for non-software companies. I think that's where the challenge is. And how can you be a, how can you creatively provide them? To still immediately assess the validity of your, of your messaging's claims.

[00:34:32] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Yeah. Is there anything that you wish you knew earlier, or maybe you might do differently if you could, you know, could hit that reset button

[00:34:40] Toby Murdock: Oh God, I would, well, I mean on like entrepreneurial stuff?

[00:34:45] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Anything, anything life stuff. I mean,

[00:34:48] Toby Murdock: Life stuff, you know, well, gosh, I mean, Huh? Well, you know, I thought entrepreneurship was like romantic and siting and challenging and I found it just devastatingly difficult parti particularly psychologically on a personal basis. I wish I was more aware and prepared for that.

[00:35:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Mm-hmm

[00:35:10] Toby Murdock: Going into that.

So that would be one big one. I also learned a ton about leadership and, you know, I sort of grew up in more of an old school. You know, top down kind of approach and applied that as I became into more and more leader leadership roles and learned quite quickly how ineffective that is and had to learn a lot about that.

And, and, and try to evolve and, and grow myself in terms of what I did. So that would be a big one. And then I think of business, I'd go back to that value proposition stuff. You know, when you start in the journey of entrepreneurship, it's generally gonna, unless, you know, you're really fortunate, gonna be a decade long journey.

So you really wanna really wanna. get an idea as much as you can, before you go deep in is like, is this, you know, what are the odds of the, the success? And I think lots and lots of investigation around that value value proposition early on for an entrepreneur is big. There's a book called the mom test.

That's about that process that I've wish I had known about in 2010. But, you know, just learning ways that you. Ask questions and gather data to evaluate value propositions, you know, before you're halfway through a, a decade long commitment and you're like, oh, this might not actually work after all, that's a tough time to, to, to come to that realization.

[00:36:49] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Got it. That's a great, that was a great tips. Great, great advice. Thank you. Cool. So, well, thank you so much for joining me. But as we wrap up and before I let you go, I always ask. One, what is the one thing about Toby that others would be surprised to learn?

And two, what is the one thing that you really want everyone to know about you?

[00:37:10] Toby Murdock: Oh, man, I don't think I read this far down on the pre question, so now we're gonna figure this out. Were you surprised to learn about me? I mean, I don't think your listeners have one. I Iotta who I am. So I don't know to be surprised by me. People who know me professionally have generally been pretty intense, you know, I'm a dad of three daughters and and you know, and incredibly wonderful wife.

So I'm pretty soft on the home front, I guess would be the surprise. What is that what you want everyone to know about me? I mean, what I'd want all the listeners to know about me is that I'm the CEO of a program that can provide them the. job ready, affordable, and diverse talent. They're looking forward to staff their, their marketing operations function.

[00:38:08] Rosalyn Santa Elena: That's awesome.

[00:38:08] Toby Murdock: Sorry if that's too much of a plug, but that's my,

[00:38:10] Rosalyn Santa Elena: No, that's perfect. I love that. I love that. And I mean, I just love what you're building and like it, like we were talking kind of before we started recording. I mean, I just really interesting what you're doing. I think it's amazing. And just super happy to be able to share your story and just really grateful for your time. So thank you so much for joining me, Toby. Thank you so much.

[00:38:29] Toby Murdock: It was a pleasure to, to be on here today. So thanks so much for having me.

[00:38:32] Rosalyn Santa Elena: Thank you.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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