Meet Bob Tate: Chief Client Officer, Convio alum and Spirit Stallion

I am thrilled to announce the newest addition to our team, Chief Client Officer Bob Tate. Bob will continue to ensure our strong client relationships, guiding them through the most effective ways to merge social with marketing. Recently we were able to sit down with Bob to hear more about his new position and his plans for the future of Mass Relevance.

Q1: What excites you about joining Mass Relevance as Chief Client Officer?

A: Two things excite me about joining Mass Relevance. First, the people. Mass Relevance employs the best and the brightest in Austin, and I am humbled to join the team. Our Client Services team in particular shines bright in the SaaS world - they live our core value of #awesomeness. This team is passionate about providing exceptional service to clients, and ensuring they see value from our technology. As a new employee, that is inspiring for me to witness.

Second, I’m excited about the stage of the company. Mass Relevance is transitioning from creating a market, to leading a market. The company has already demonstrated that it has the best social experience platform in the industry, built upon unparalleled access to real-time content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other major social network in the world. Now Mass Relevance is experiencing a rapid growth stage, which means it needs to scale its processes in order to grow. That’s a challenge I’m excited to take on.


Q2: What was the key to the consistent increase in client retention at Convio (now Blackbaud) that was achieved under your leadership?

A: There were three key things that lead to a consistent increase in client retention:


Value Delivery: First was recognizing that because someone is subscribing - or in effect “renting” the product - you have to consistently deliver value. If they weren’t satisfied with it, they could effectively “return” it. To retain their business, you have to prove your value daily to the client.

At Convio, we tapped into the creativity of our customers and the industry expertise of our internal teams to deliver value to subscribers. For instance, subscribers receive ongoing strategic counsel on new and innovative ways to use the product to deliver results.


Responsiveness: We strived to not only respond quickly to clients, but also to truly listen to them when they reached out to us. The client services team took their responsibility to resolve issues in a timely manner seriously, and as a result, our clients viewed us as an extension of their own team.


Cross-functional alignment on goals: When you have different teams at an organization engaging with the client, it’s important that they have the same goals. At the end of the day, we’re all here to serve our clients. If we don’t have the same criteria for success, we won’t be able to put the client first.


Q3:  What do you hope to accomplish at Mass Relevance?

A: My top objective in this new role is to set every client up for success with Mass Relevance. As we’ve seen more clients convert from campaign-based projects to annual subscriptions on our platform, we’ve learned they want additional training and best practice guides for our solutions. As the leader in our industry, we have a unique perspective on the most effective ways to infuse social with marketing. Now we need to make it easier for clients to gain access to that knowledge on-demand, empowering them to do more with our platform.

Additionally, with the launch of our new open platform, we’ve made it easier for clients to build custom solutions on top of our technology. We’re giving them the freedom to dream big, but also want to provide the strategic guidance necessary for success. Our client services team will stretch to new levels this year, pushed by our clients. I’m excited to see what we accomplish together.


Q4: What are the 5 most important things for a client services team to focus on in today's ever-changing tech world?

A: Be available: There are few things more maddening than being unable to get in touch with someone you need. Being a responsive client services team is a demonstration of courtesy, and shows that you value the client relationship.

Be attune: Clients are so creative, we can learn from them. Staying open minded and listening carefully to their feedback can help uncover new product ideas, in addition to better serving the client’s needs.

Be flexible: We need to evolve as our clients evolve, our market evolves, and our product evolves. Don’t let “no” be your first answer. Take time to understand the situation and think creatively about a solution that benefits all parties.

Be your word: Consistency is key for building trust in any relationship. Show the client they can count on you to be responsible, open-minded and flexible, and they will consider you an extension of their team.

Be excellent: Exceed the client’s expectations. Plain and simple.


Q5:  Last but certainly not least, what is your spirit animal?

A: A horse, absolutely! They are fast, powerful and one of the most versatile animals on the planet.  This one animal can do so much, from pulling a cart, to winning a race, to jumping hurdles... they have many skills. I have a diverse background, am versatile and I’m sometimes guilty of horsing around a bit so that would have to be mine.

Sam Decker's picture

Sam Decker

Sam Decker is a current member of the Spredfast board. Sam most recently served as the CEO and co-founder of Mass Relevance (now Spredfast). Prior to Mass Relevance, Sam was founding Chief Marketing Officer at Bazaarvoice, a provider of SaaS social commerce technologies serving over 1,000 brands, where he was responsible for building the company’s brand, products and platform.