During this 224th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Chandar Pattabhiram, the chief marketing officer at Coupa Software.


On the show today, we talk about the shift Pattabhiram is making in his marketing across strategy and programs. He defines “4 Ps” around positioning, posture, programs, and people. We dive into each of those components. We also talk about C-suite leadership and how CMOs should be thinking about the role.

Pattabhiram begins by introducing us to Coupa Software, which is a platform to manage business spend. We then talk about Pattabhiram’s approach to marketing in the current climate; he says, “if you can operate in that mix of thoughtfulness and hustle, then you can respond to these situations that are in front of us.” Then Pattabhiram shares his 4 Ps and talks about creating an advocacy flip, where they’re showcasing their customers’ resilience. He says, “You can only showcase your brand by showcasing your community.” Then we discuss how to be an effective C-suite leader. Pattabhiram tells us about Coupa’s inverted org chart and the importance of supporting employees. This discussion provides a new take on how CMOs can pivot thoughtfully in uncertain times.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Chandar’s path to becoming CMO at Coupa. 01:45
  • All about Coupa Software. 03:25
  • Chandar’s approach to adapting marketing in 2020. 05:35
  • Chandar’s thoughts on posture. 07:22
  • The people component of the 4 Ps. 09:36
  • The results of these big pivots so far. 11:46
  • How to be an effective C-suite leader. 13:02
  • Key CMO functions and core responsibilities. 17:05
  • Metrics CMOs should be focusing on. 19:01
  • Chandar shares a defining experience. 21:21
  • Chandar reflects on advice he would give to his younger self. 22:40
  • Chandar shares about an impactful purchase he made in the last 6-12 months. 24:02
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Chandar follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 26:38
  • Chandar’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 28:53

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Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.