Caroline Goles, CMO at the Pax8 Beyond 2024 Conference

Business Speak

Harry Brelsford and Caroline Goles discussed their plans for beyond 2024, focusing on growth strategies and marketplace expansion. Caroline highlighted the addition of 20 plus new vendors, expanded categories, and marketplace enhancements to help partners grow. Harry inquired about entering the crowded hardware distribution field, while Caroline emphasized Europe expansion and marketplace mode for 2024. Both stressed the importance of AI capabilities, lifecycle management, and connecting vendors with MSPs to grow their SMB footprint.


Listen to the podcast HERE


Harry Brelsford  00:02

Hey, still at PAX8 Beyond 2024 at the Gaylord in Denver, Colorado. Folks, you really need to take a fresh look at this next year. Really, really good show. And despite what a couple people said, I find the Denver Airport is a pretty easy airport to get to indeed. So well we spoke literally a year ago to the day. How, first of all, how long have you been in role? Were you the CMO? Last time we spoke,

Caroline Goles  00:32

I was Harry, and good day everyone. I've been a the CMO for about 18 months now.

Harry Brelsford  00:38

What’s going on this year and what's going on next year?

Caroline Goles  00:46

So we've been busily in between the Beyond events. I think we've we've added 20 plus new vendors into the marketplace, so with our vendor experience team making sure we've got the right solutions and services for our MSP partners. So that's a big deal. We've expanded our categories, and we've also just been heads down building out the marketplace. You know, you saw we made some promises last year, and we wanted to come back and say, promises delivered, and that's all about helping partners grow their business in the way that they want.

Harry Brelsford  01:16

Now, do you do hardware distribution like some of our friends at the traditional disti, are you in that line of work?

Caroline Goles  01:24

We are not in sort of the traditional kind of PC hardware business. We're focused squarely on software, services and solutions, and we hit productivity, security and operations, and we've expanded so we've got some of the adjacencies, but we have not yet invested in Yeah, well,

Harry Brelsford  01:40

there's a lot of people that already do that. Yes, you know, you'd be entering a crowded field. Anything else for 2024 before we get to 2025?

Caroline Goles  01:50

we are, well, first, we are expanding our beyond footprint. We're going to go to Europe, as you may know, Harold with her, with Harold, and we're going to be on Berlin. So we're really eager to get to the continent and talk to more of our EMEA partners. And really 2024, is marketplace mode for us. So we're really, you know, promises made, promises delivered. And we're really excited to unveil the marketplace tomorrow. Get partners in there, experiments, experimenting with it, and then giving us a feedback about what works, what doesn't, what do they want to see more of, which we want to see left less of. So that's, that's where we all are. Yeah,

Harry Brelsford  02:26

And then 2025 I think I heard something at the press briefing that planning is already starting.

Caroline Goles  02:32

Yes, indeed.

Harry Brelsford  02:34

Any, any visibility into that? What that might look like?

Caroline Goles  02:38

Well, I think we're just getting started on Marketplace, so we've got, I think, you know, three years worth of roadmap on new capabilities and features and functionality that MSPs have told us they're looking for from us. And so our ability, we're going to launch this thing, and we're going right back to the shop to continue it. So 2025, will be no different. You'll start to see more and more AI capabilities, modeling capabilities, I think, from marketing standpoint, we really want to lead into, how do we help not only build your business, but maintain those customer relationships, so lifecycle management and growth of your business. And then we're also going to start looking at some interesting things to do with our vendor partners, because they are, you know, we sit in a three sided marketplace, and as much as we are always first last and always with our MSPs, we've got some interesting capabilities of connecting our vendors more directly with with the MSPs, and making sure that they understand this amazing channel that is the MSP community, and how they can really grow their SMB footprint, get lower costs to serve. So we're going to work on expanding that marketplace footprint to make sure that we've got compelling value prop across all of our services.

Harry Brelsford  03:49

With the Marketplace presentation, it was impressive. Theat’s because I always felt marketing is marketing's analytics. After a certain you know, the five P's, you send out the postcards and all that, but it's analytics, so I'm assuming you or your staff,

Caroline Goles  04:08

Actually to follow up on your point, there's that great quote that's usually attributed to Peter Drucker, but it was actually Milan Kundera, that author, which says there's only two functions of a business, marketing and innovation. And I would argue, since marketing is innovation, there's only one.

Harry Brelsford  04:23

I appreciate your introduction for the Microsoft executive. The lady spoke about copilot, obviously that has the hot hand. Well, we see up on stage again during this visit.

Caroline Goles  04:36

I am not going to be up on stage. We've got some fantastic vendors, and then we'll have Libby McElhaney, my counterpart so she's our anchor tenant for tomorrow's event, but I'm running around helping. I you know, as the Martini team, we're standing behind a lot of the great content that you see across the event, and making sure that we're showing up in the way part MSPs need us, and there's beyond the main stage, there's just a cavalcade of. Have workshops, learning sessions. So we're, we're, we're in the back, back rooms and making sure everything works.

Well, we've got a lot of, like, hands on workshops. And I think, you know, Harry, you know, because you've been in this business for so long that, you know, we want to create the opportunity for engagement and community. And I think that's sometimes the best ROI that you get out of these is just talking to your peers, asking questions, learning from each other, building networks and sort of coming out in the world of cybersecurity and AI. And we're in this brave new world, the more you can talk to your peers and build those partnerships and networks, the more and more we'll be able to innovate together, and I think that's some of the greatest benefit that people get out of it. Certainly, we we aspire to deliver the best content, but we also want to create space for people to just talk to each other and also maybe have a little fun, because it's it's serious and MSPs trying to protect their customers every day, be a little time for some fun. So we're gonna do a little bit of that as well.

Harry Brelsford  05:59

Yep. Final question, I think, is the same question as last year, so did you? You're still commuting from the Seattle area?

Caroline Goles  06:05

I am spending a lot of good quality time in Denver, but, but my Kirkland's still myhome.

Harry Brelsford  06:10

Okay, well, thank you so much for your time.

Caroline Goles  06:13

Harry, it's always a pleasure. All right. Thank you. Bye.



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