Q&A with Jeanne Hopkins, CMO at Lola.com
Jeanne Hopkins, CMO at Lola.com has profound expertise in data-driven, high-velocity customer acquisition and marketing organizations and inbound-based lead gen programs to support global demand for high-growth SaaS companies.
Jeanne is also the co-author of "Go Mobile", the #1 best-selling mobile marketing book. She has been named to Sales Lead Management Association "Top 50" 3 years in a row and "20 Women to Watch" in 2015/14/13 & 2011.
MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
JEANNE HOPKINS: After graduation, I took my first job in the accounting department at Baystate Medical Center. At my annual review, I was told that I was too “noisy” for an accounting department. I went on to work at Milton Bradley Company’s in-house advertising agency, MB Communications, as editor of their in-house newspaper, and later recruited to LEGO Systems to do marketing programs. I found myself at a self-funded start-up tech company in 2000, where I was running an inside sales team and building digital properties to generate leads. I moved into software, digital marketing, and lead generation at companies like MarketingSherpa, then HubSpot, SmartBear, Ipswitch (now Progress Software) – it’s all been a fantastic journey.
M7: How is agile technology transforming corporate travel around the globe?
JH: Small and mid-sized businesses have to be fast and efficient amidst growth, and booking, re-booking, and managing business travel can seriously impede efficiency and productivity. Finance teams are trying to manage, control, and get visibility into expenditures. Travelers are trying to do their jobs and don’t have time for expense reports. And travel arrangers (executive assistants and office admins) have plenty on their plates. Finally, there are tools that are addressing these direct needs at small and mid-sized businesses. Consumers have had the ease of booking travel through sites like Kayak and big businesses can afford the services and fees associated with high-end travel agencies. But the middle segment has been left out. Now, agile tools like Lola.com are making it really easy for corporate travelers to book, re-book, and take the task of expense reports off the table. And finance teams are able to set up travel policies in minutes, and easily manage, control, and get visibility into expenditures. The corporate travel market is huge, and agile technology is making it much easier for travelers and companies all-around.
"The corporate travel market is huge, and agile technology is making it much easier for travelers and companies all-around."
M7: How does Lola.com ensure a hassle-free modern business travel experience with transparent spending for its customers / business travelers?
JH: It’s a simple super app to use. For travelers, it has a large inventory of flights and hotels that allows users to avoid having to go between tabs or other sites to compare fares, and it saves preferences, loyalty programs, and payment options in the same place. Traveler profiles are automatically stored so users can book with one click, and the 24/7 support team ensures easy booking and re-booking due to delays and cancellations. Seriously, when someone is in the air, missing their connection due to a delay, many times, Lola.com support has them re-booked on another flight before they land.
For finance personnel, a corporate travel policy can be set up in five minutes for more control over spending, and employees automatically know what they are allowed to book. Takes the guesswork out of the booking process. All data resides in one place so there is complete visibility into travel spend. And we integrate with other tools like Expensify – receipts are automatically sent to Expensify for easy expense tracking and reporting. No messing with receipts (or missing receipts either).
"For finance personnel, a corporate travel policy can be set up in five minutes for more control over spending, and employees automatically know what they are allowed to book."
M7: What trends do you foresee in the ‘Travel & Expense Software Market’ in future?
JH: Certainly, we are seeing “Bleisure” travel on the rise – those looking to combine business travel with leisure time. Busy people who travel with their jobs want to get the most out a business trip, and many times, even look to extend a business trip last minute to enjoy the area or do something in particular. So companies are looking for faster, agile tools that can respond to quick changes in plans. Companies are also focusing more on keeping their travelers happy and productive on the road, and don’t want them to get caught up in the red tape of corporate travel. So, the trend is simple, faster, more agile tools to make arranging and managing travel a great experience for all.
M7: As the co-author of ‘Go Mobile’, what tactics do you believe modern marketers must focus for successful mobile media marketing campaigns?
JH: That book was launched in 2012 and was probably ahead of its time. While at HubSpot seven years ago, I saw the growing influence of mobile search on our blog and website and wanted to make sure we recognized its impact. Today, marketers know that Google prioritizes mobile search and it is imperative to truly understand the need for content that can be delivered in a mobile setting. The ability to auto-fill a form is critical now. The ability to read your email and respond is imperative now. The ability to print from your phone is important - whether an eBook, a recipe or instructions. Your mobile device is your computer now. It wasn’t perceived as that urgent a requirement until 18-24 months ago.
"Companies are focusing more on keeping their travelers happy and productive on the road, and don’t want them to get caught up in the red tape of corporate travel. So, the trend is simple, faster, more agile tools to make arranging and managing travel a great experience for all."
M7: What is your favorite part of working at Lola.com?
JH: The people. Transparently, everyone really values working alongside each other – all smart, motivated, driven, fun teammates who want to make Lola.com the best workplace ever. I take a quote from Netflix on how I feel, “Loosely coupled yet tightly aligned.”
M7: What is your superpower or spirit animal?
JH: GSD. I just like to get stuff done. I use lists, reminders, notes, etc. to try and stay on top of all that needs to be done. More than anything, I want my team and the company to be successful. I enjoy working, and I enjoy success and - most of all - I enjoy making mistakes and sharing what I did so that others realize that you won’t die from a typo. It’s all fun and I enjoy laughing most of all (remember, I am a loud individual).
Lola.com makes Agile Travel Management real by providing a super simple way to manage, book and report on business travel, saving employers and travelers time and money. Happy employee travel experiences within a policy can be set up in five minutes. Lola.com uses machine learning and 24/7 support to help travelers easily book trips, while empowering managers to create policies, view budgets and expenditures, and monitor their globetrotting team efficiently. Based in Boston, the company was founded in 2015 by Paul English, co-founder of the travel booking site KAYAK, and is led by CEO Mike Volpe, previously CMO at HubSpot. For more information, connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.