Q. Lauren, tell us a little bit about your role at Thunder.
I am so excited to be leading the Marketing Cloud practice and AI go-to-market strategy. Thunder has been working with Marketing Cloud since its inception and I am thrilled to help grow and expand the practice. Earlier this year, we launched our AI practice – which was something only the large partners had at that time, so it really showed that Thunder was serious about being seen as an innovative, fearless partner. I’m excited to help expand our AI offerings and take them to market. In addition, I’ve worked with the Data Cloud product for quite awhile now – four name changes ago to be exact – and it’s a product that Thunder is very well poised to rapidly expand into. Data Cloud is built on Salesforce core and given our strong history with core platform, coupled with our AI practice and strong data expertise, expanding into Data Cloud feels like such a natural fit. Data and data strategy are such core foundational pillars to any Salesforce program, but even more important in the marketing space. I’m really looking forward to leveraging my marketing and data science background to propel our practice forward.
Q. What made you want to come roll with Thunder?
For me it’s quite simple – trust, culture and people – it was so important to me to find a company built on trust and that is trusted in the Salesforce ecosystem. I wanted to find a home where I loved the culture and trusted I’d be working with humble, intelligent and inspiring colleagues who truly care about one another and about building an incredible company. Your people are your biggest asset in this ecosystem. A practice is never built on the back of just one person, it takes a village to grow. Thunder has such a strong brand in the Salesforce ecosystem, an incredibly focused sales team and such a force of a delivery team – all vital components to build a successful practice. Thunder has had early wins with Marketing Cloud Personalization and Intelligence, two platforms that very few partners of our size have successful experience with. The current Marketing Cloud experience is such a strong foundation to build upon. But most importantly, I was blown away by everyone I met and the extremely welcoming culture that Thunder has cultivated. I walked away from my interviews genuinely excited to be part of such a team.
Q. You’ve been running various practices in the Salesforce ecosystem for a while now, can you tell us about your experience prior to joining Thunder?
I just love the Salesforce ecosystem. I’ve held tech-agnostic roles in the past where I’ve worked with all the large marketing automation technologies and the energy of the Salesforce ecosystem is truly unmatched. I was very lucky to start the Salesforce Marketing Cloud practice in my last role and we experienced such astounding growth over the four years I was at the helm. It is a wild experience to grow a practice from the literal ground up and it’s incredibly rewarding that we made it into the top 10 Marketing Cloud partner space in such a short period of time. We were never afraid of tackling a new Marketing Cloud technology – we got to be early partners for Marketing Cloud Personalization, Loyalty Management and Data Cloud which opened the doors to work with so many wonderful and iconic brands on some very interesting transformation programs.
Q. So, not to brag, but you’ve led projects for some major retail brands. Without naming names, can you share some quick success highlights?
Oh gosh, I’m not even sure how I can choose! As a New Englander, there is an iconic outdoor retail and boot company based in northern New England (anyone figure it out yet?) that has been such a part of the fabric of my childhood so winning their Marketing Cloud business and leading that program was something I’ll always cherish. When we got our golden retriever Jackson, we got him a tote bag with his name on it and we used to carry him on the train in Boston in it. You best believe a photo of him in the tote was part of our pitch deck! Beyond that, a few other highlights were with a leading sunglass company on a Marketing Cloud, Loyalty Management and Data Cloud engagement, a luxury furniture & home company with a pretty iconic couch on their Marketing Cloud program and a footwear company on their Loyalty Management implementation.
Q. Outside of being a Salesforce superwoman, you’re also a wife and mother (both human and fur baby). Any other impressive hobbies we should know about?
I am a voracious reader and I can speed read at an embarrassingly fast pace. I’ve yet to figure out how to monetize this skill but I love losing myself in a good story. As marketers, we are innately drawn to the art of storytelling and finding an amazing book can be exhilarating – you travel to places you’ve never been and find yourself cheering on these characters. In my career, I find myself cheering on these brands that have trusted me and my teams to help them and I love seeing the stories end with compelling outcomes.
Q. Last one! As a leader at Thunder, what are you most excited about in the near future for the rapidly growing company?
I am just so excited to grow this practice and learn from some amazing people along the way. In my career, the most rewarding moments have been seeing the hard work pay off at each growth milestone – whether that is exceeding a bookings target, breaking into a new industry, seeing the pipeline flow in from a new Salesforce relationship, adding new talent to our team or seeing a client truly happy with their outcome. I love the melding of the mind’s feeling when you’re working with colleagues to solve a challenge or identify a new competitive offering and you can just feel that you’re onto something awesome. It’s been such an amazing feeling to experience so many of those moments in my first few weeks at Thunder. There is no shortage of celebratory moments in a hyper-growth environment and I’m so grateful to get to be part of this journey with Thunder.