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Case Study

Tenable Creating Scale for Sustainable Growth

Point of Contact: Matt Mullin, Senior Director - Growth Marketing, Operations and Technology

Industry: Computer Software

Employees: 1,000 - 5,000

Platforms Used:

Why Nomad

Tenable was a public company without the marketing operations infrastructure to continue scaling in a sustainable way. The company’s marketing operations team was understaffed to support the marketing team on both day to day execution and process creation. In Nomad, they found a team who could provide marketing operations staff augmentation and implement best practices, as well as provide strategic consulting on all things sales & marketing technology.

Project Highlights

01

Created scale and standardization across the marketing department

02

Implemented a Center of Excellence to streamline events process

03

Enabled in-house marketing operations team to up-level

04

Provided guidance on overall technology strategy

05

Grew with the company from 65 to 100+ marketers

Tenable Creating Scale for Sustainable Growth

Tenable is a provider of cybersecurity products to help customers understand and reduce cyber risk. The company’s platforms allow customers to see and secure any digital asset on any computing platform. Tenable was founded in 2002, and went public in July 2018 (NASDAQ: TENB). Matt Mullin, then Director of Marketing Technology, started at Tenable about 10 months prior to the company going public. Matt was brought in by a former CMO to work with the marketing team to standardize processes, enhance reporting and shore up marketing operations to prepare the marketing team for a future public offering. 

Matt has an extensive background in marketing operations and technology, and clearly understood the benefits of using technology to power traditional demand generation tasks. When he joined Tenable in late 2017, the company had a marketing team of 65 people and a robust sales & marketing tech stack (Marketo, Salesforce, PathFactory), yet only two people on the marketing operations team and without structure and processes in place. The operations department was overwhelmed by the amount of requests from various marketing departments, and Matt realized that the team was in dire need of standardization and process if the company was going to grow into its public company expectations. He knew he needed a solution quickly and decided to explore the agency route vs. hiring in-house. His VP of Demand Generation had worked with Nomad in several previous positions and made the first intro. 

"Nomad’s support has had a multiplier effect on Tenable’s ability to process program information"

Matt Mullin
Senior Director - Growth Marketing, Operations and Technology, Tenable

Creating Processes to Enable Growth

Nomad’s first priority was to step in and tackle the volume of requests from marketing, starting with basic list uploads. The team proved to be quick studies, executing on these tasks in a timely manner and with minimal errors. Nomad started to take on more and more work from Tenable’s in-house marketing operations team, including campaign execution, oversight of operational programs, and marketing lifecycle optimization.

Through the team’s absorption of Tenable’s day to day marketing ops responsibilities and tasks, Nomad was able to create lasting effects. Firstly, Nomad developed a request process that enforced SLAs, leading to standardization and efficiency across the team. In terms of pure capacity, Matt says that “Nomad’s support has had a multiplier effect on Tenable’s ability to process program information”. Nomad’s support also allowed the marketing operations team to focus on higher-level strategic and professional development initiatives. Lastly, Nomad helped reduce Matt’s team’s workload, reducing burnout and enabling retention. Now, not only was Tenable’s marketing engine running a lot more efficiently, but its marketing operations team was able to finally give their attention to long awaited strategic projects.

Establishing a Center of Excellence

Creating a Center of Excellence at Tenable in 2020 further showcases Nomad’s ability to establish processes that enable scalability. Although Nomad created processes around many of the key marketing programs, the events process had room for improvement. The field marketing team had chosen a new event platform to use, but the Nomad team quickly realized it didn’t have the desired functionality that the company required, and the in-house marketing operations team was again overwhelmed by event-related requests. 

Nomad got to work creating a process to streamline events and reduce the burden on the team. Rather than try to use the chosen platform in a clunky way, Nomad decided to start from scratch and use the company’s existing tools to develop a Center of Excellence. Nomad’s CoE templatized the events process, enabling field marketers to create their own Marketo programs for their events by only having to update key token values. The CoE greatly sped up the events process, improved the execution of such events, and freed up everyone’s time. The CoE project at Tenable is just one example of how Nomad creates bespoke solutions to help clients fit their business needs.

Nomad has moved from being tactical day to day help and into a strategic advisor and guiding light when I need it, in addition to continuing to provide day to day support for the team

Matt Mullin
Senior Director - Growth Marketing, Operations and Technology, Tenable

From List Uploads to a Strategic Partner

Since the CoE project, Nomad’s relationship with Tenable overall, as well as with Matt, has only strengthened. Matt frequently brainstorms with members of the Nomad team on overall technology and process strategy, and trusts their judgment when providing recommendations to his senior leadership team. He says that “Nomad has moved from being tactical day to day help and into a strategic advisor and guiding light when I need it, in addition to continuing to provide day to day support for the team”. Matt not only views Nomad as supplementary execution of day to day help, but as a true advisor on all things marketing technology and an extension of his team. 

Tenable is a dynamic company, and Nomad has been present and helped enable key strategic changes in the marketing org, such as a shift from traditional lead / demand generation to a more account-based approach. In Nomad, Matt not only gets seamless day to day execution and campaign ops, but a true “friend and advisor” off of whom to bounce ideas and brainstorm growth strategies.

“When it comes to marketing operations, you will never create enough scale internally. There will always be time-sensitive requests and volume spikes where you won’t have the capacity and will need someone to help out”

Matt Mullin
Senior Director - Growth Marketing, Operations and Technology, Tenable

Always a Need for Nomad

Though Tenable has grown from 65 to 100+ marketers and from two to 15+ marketing operations professionals since Nomad’s relationship started with the company, Matt maintains that there is and will always be a need for Nomad. He says that “when it comes to marketing operations, you will never create enough scale internally. There will always be time-sensitive requests and volume spikes where you won’t have the capacity and will need someone to help out”. In addition, there are always higher-level strategic projects, whether concerning new platforms or methodologies, where the unique viewpoint of an agency is beneficial in conjunction with in-house experts.

Finally, and perhaps more importantly, having Nomad on retainer elevates his entire team. Matt says “having an agency on retainer, even if it’s just to allow your internal team to up-level and focus on new projects while not getting burnt out from the day to day volume is invaluable”. While Nomad takes care of the day to day execution and administration and hops in on strategic projects as necessary, his team can further their development, learning about new platforms and furthering skills such as leadership and management, thereby improving retention and general happiness. 

Nomad loves filling many roles for Tenable: outsourced execution and administration, ad hoc strategic projects, and thought partner and sounding board. The relationship has evolved over the years, but what hasn’t changed is Nomad’s willingness to jump in to help on anything sales & marketing technology related. With Nomad, Tenable has strengthened its operations function, thereby enabling scale and efficiency and preparing it for further growth.

Having an agency on retainer, even if it’s just to allow your internal team to up-level and focus on new projects while not getting burnt out from the day to day volume is invaluable

Matt Mullin
Senior Director - Growth Marketing, Operations and Technology, Tenable
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