Profectus Group hires CMO to build marketing function from scratch

Charissa Lee, Chief Marketing Officer at Profectus Group

Profectus Group, a tech-driven services provider of compliance and recovery solutions, has hired Charissa Lee as Chief Marketing Officer to build a marketing engine for the firm for the first time. Lee joins from Rimini Street where she was the APAC Director of Field Marketing.

Lee was the first Marketing hire where she grew the function and established the region’s marketing strategy including brand management, communications demand generation, and drove pipeline conversion. At Rimini Street, she led the way in establishing client advocacy programs and was awarded Rimini Street’s global 2020 Marketing Award for Innovation.

Lee has also previously worked in high-level marketing roles at Forrester, Saba Software, Intergraph, and as a business communications adviser at National Australia Bank. The firm has also appointed Megan Thorley to work alongside Lee as Profectus’ marketing manager.

Thorley also worked at Rimini Street, and A2K Technologies in a demand generation capacity. Prior to Rimini Street, Thorley was a market research analyst with Ipsos and TNS.

What are the challenges awaiting the appointees?

Profectus is a provider of compliance and recovery services and a player in trade promotion management solutions. Its pay-per-claim audit model guarantees ROI for clients, and its Rebate Deal Management systems help prevent financial erosion at the source.

“We’ve been around for two decades and have never had a marketing function. We needed people with the calibre of Charissa and Megan to show us what we were missing – they’re charged with building this all from scratch,” said Chris Hutchins, CEO, Profectus Group.

The establishment of a marketing function is part of a vision being implemented by Hutchins over the next five years, a key pillar is positioning Profectus Group as a marketing-led firm.

“To date we’ve been sales-led, with many of our clients coming aboard through word of mouth or referrals. We wanted to change it up and we believe taking a proactive approach to enabling awareness of our offering will benefit the business greatly,” said Hutchins.

“We want to be known as a marketing-led, tech-driven firm. With Charissa and lead-gen guru Megan aboard and steering the ship, we’re confident in our ability to exceed that goal.”

But the company has a lot of work ahead of it to establish a marketing function, according to Lee. “When I joined it was clear they had no marketing structures in place,” said Lee.

“We needed to put in structure, processes and metrics, including a marketing platform for CRM, lead and pipeline management. We had to define what is considered a lead, how to score a lead and route it properly so as to garner all the right touchpoints to deliver the highest conversion rate. There was also no lead nurture program at all,” Lee further said.

What is the industry expertise of the appointees?

Thorley said they’ll effectively start everything from scratch. “We have to come up with our own content, everything from blogs to marketing collateral. Every campaign needs content and we’re having to do this from scratch – which is exciting for a marketer as we get to get our hands dirty and add our own personality and flair to it,” Thorley further commented.

Even sales outreach was too Profectus-centric, said Lee. “We tend to speak too much about ourselves, and not about our client. We have to build the bare bones of a marketing dialogue; basics, such as establishing that it’s not about us, our products, our brand… it’s about the client, their challenges and what’s going to make them successful,” Lee went further.

“With all that said, they managed to still get major customers aboard through word of mouth and referrals, even cold calling. It’s a testament to their service and what they deliver. But can you imagine what we can do with a proper marketing program?”

Lee said the opportunity to build a greenfield marketing function was too good an opportunity to pass up. “It’s everything, from branding to managing pipeline, simplifying messaging and setting up a customer program so as to maximise customer lifetime value,” she said.

“There’s a wealth of data and expertise in this company, but you’d never know it and they’ve never understood how to best articulate it to a broad audience. Their solutions are so complex that simplifying it is already a challenge, as is trying to make compliance ‘sexy’.”

“But it’s like moulding something from fresh clay, the process in establishing a marketing function, a renewed go-to-market message for a 20-plus year-old firm has been rewarding.”