Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Shaf thank you for jumping on with us to do a no-bullshit demo of Welcome. I’m really excited to take a look at your product today and go through our 10 questions and try to help our MO Pros get a quick and clear look at what it is that you guys do over at Welcome. And I’m really excited to see how you and your team actually use your software day in and day out. Looking forward to it, man.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Thank you, thank you for having me. When I heard the concept of a no-bullshit demo, I was very intrigued. And I will promise to stick to the vision that you’ve laid out by only showing you the product and not spending any time or much time at all in any slide where so I need to show you more.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Cool. Thanks, man.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: So…

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Yeah, go ahead.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, and just one thing just wanted to call out when I do show you the product. Everything you see is real. It’s not like a demo instance. And I’m going to show you kind of how our marketing team uses our products. So it’s real data, real campaign for your workflows, everything is real and not canned for just wanting to

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Oh, that’s awesome. I’m really excited about that. So real day in the life of using Welcome software. So with that, like what is Welcome, what does it do? And why do you guys exist?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yep, awesome. a good place to start. So, Welcome is a marketing software that’s really designed and built for the ways that like marketing orders work. And some people would call it marketing collaboration or marketing, project management software, or marketing productivity software, we’re less concerned about like, what the title of the category is. But really, what we want to do is just transform, like how marketing teams work, historically, and some of you may know, Welcome as this news spread, we rebranded like six months ago, we’ve been known as a CMP, content marketing platform, we’re also in the MRM wave. So it’s kind of the intersection of a number of categories. But really helping marketers work better together, coordinate their marketing campaigns and content, get more visibility, manage resources, etc. And I’m going to show you how we do it, obviously, as we progress.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Oh, that’s awesome. So when you say marketing software and teams, who which marketers, in particular, are using your software on a daily basis?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, and I’ll start answering your questions using our product now. So what you’re looking at, I’m just going to click into this work view where you can literally see everything that our marketing team is doing. And you’ll see these are all the different campaigns that we work on. Just an example. There are content creation and SEO-related campaigns run by Francis Francesco. We call him Sesco. He’s kind of the head of SEO and content, we have Lisa, who’s managing events in our product. Anthony, who has a lot of these campaigns, and Catalina they’re product marketers. So, Michelle is a dimension, lead. So we have pretty much all parts of our marketing organization that use our software. And most of our customers use this across a number of different teams, but I’d say kind of common personas or content marketing, Creative Services, Product Marketing, and certainly demand Gen or integrated planners who are kind of coordinating all of the marketing activities. And what you’re looking at here is just a way for anyone at our company, just to see what are all the campaigns that we’re working on at any given time? And I’ll show you a few other visualizations of this in a second.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: That’s really cool. I see, it’s a pretty powerful-looking spreadsheet, technology. Are there other integrations that this data like flows into? So a marketing ops persona is interested in triggering campaigns and sending things off to different places? How does that typically work?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, great question. So you’re right, this view does look like a spreadsheet. And once I answer this question, I’ll show you a few of the other visualizations. But one thing to note is underlying what looks like a spreadsheet is real, what we would call objects, right? Like a campaign object, or actual content asset, or a task where you actually collaborate. So, take an example such as like, website, launch this campaign that way have like where it says, website pages that we’re building, like, you can actually, or when you see case studies, or when you see like social posts for web content, there are actual assets behind this, their actual campaigns behind it. So you can actually do the work. It’s not just a spreadsheet, it’s planning and execution, given that its execution, depending on the type of work that you’re doing, or the content you’re creating, or the object that you’re dealing with. Like if it’s a campaign, we do send a lot of these assets down to downstream marketing systems, we send work to other work management systems. And we have a whole series of integrations. In fact, I have this here, this actually only website watching, but you can kind of just see some of the types of integrations we have. But more importantly, you can see the different categories. So integrations a collaboration suite with like Viva or JIRA, imagine if your product or software team works in JIRA, or your compliance team works in Viva, we can send directly from within our workflow in our system, a task and create a task in vivo, get the approval done, send the content, get the approval back get the kind of marked-up content back from the systems, we have integrations with DAM. CMS is very common, we integrate with like Marketo Eloqua, Salesforce for ROI analytics. So a lot of integrations.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Hmm, that’s awesome. You said, there are some other visualizations of the way that this data is represented in the tool. Do you want to jump into some of that now?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, so let’s show you. So here I just showed you like, looks like more like a spreadsheet view of all of the work that’s happening. So we have campaigns and then underlying any given campaign, you’ll see there are tasks, right, like, create a piece of content or, make a presentation, get a deck done case studies. Another visualization we use a lot is the calendar. So this is more like a 30-day planning calendar, you have all the different filters of your taxonomy. I’ve actually created some saved views. This is the content calendar, you can have just your campaign calendar, you can have social media calendar, this is content. And so here I can see at a glance, everything that people are working on this month, so I don’t need to keep pinging my marketing team like, hey, when is that post about? When is that Vivo one-pager going to be done? I know that it’s going to be done on April 23. Or I know, like, “Hey, we wrote a page about like marketing intake forms, which is like, we wrote a blog post about it, and why now yesterday, I have all of this visibility.” So that’s one more. We have timeline views, Gantt views, we have Kanban views. So kind of the visualization layer is probably one of our biggest differentiators versus some of the other MRM or work management tools.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: The calendars. Awesome. We’re struggling at MO Pros to manage all of the volunteers right now and calendaring systems. I’m looking at that with eyes wide. How can I leverage this?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, I mean, it’s a visibility thing to your point, like everyone in our company now knows who’s working on what’s going on. But then, there is execution, as well. So, once they see, I’m just going to go back to this work view, right? Let’s just see everything that we’re working on. If someone sees something interesting here, they could literally just click in and get all the details. So, just to make it super meta, let’s look at this MO Pros. No bullshit demo, we actually have a campaign and a number of tasks around this demo itself. So if someone wants to know like, hey, are we doing that demo? When is it they can just click in here, and they’ll get like the campaign brief the details, like the owner, and Lisa, she helped coordinate this? And then within the campaign itself, you can see all the tasks that are related to this. In this case, it’s a pretty simple, 20-minute informal conversation. There’s some prep work that we did. And then there is a deck in case you want to pull it up we have it. But I’ll just click into one of these so you can see the prep work. This used to require meetings, stand-ups, phone calls, the way we prep for this demo, me, Elisa, and Anthony from product marketing the three people you notice here in the workflow, we were able to do all this coordination online without ever having to do a meeting. We have some demo flows that we went back and forth. Here you can see like the continent collaboration, we chatted back and forth. We even said, should we do a deck or not? Oh, by the way, here’s the brief. But when we were deciding, should we put a deck together or not? We said, “You know what, let’s just have a deck just in case if there is anything to show”, I don’t have to email or slack Anthony be like, “Hey, can you send me this deck, he just created a task in here, uploaded the asset.” So you can see here, there are like a PowerPoint and a PDF, we can prove it, we can annotate a collaborator on the content as well. So there are just like, all the work about work that we used to do. You’ve just replaced it all with this system, and it just makes life so much easier and better for us.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: That’s actually really cool. Do you use a proofing software integration? Or is it something you guys have built?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, so we built most of the proofing and authoring. So the authoring environment is 100%, homegrown, which I’ll show you in one second. So authoring being if you want to create, let’s say, Product Marketing, or a blog post, or an article, all of that, that’s in house. In terms of proofing, I think it’s a combination to cut depending on the asset type, where if it’s like video annotation, and video proofing, we do work with, like, we’ve OEM some technology and like a plugin. A lot of this is our own native technology, as well, all the collaboration and commenting his native version is native. So that is a very large PDF file that I’m trying to load. But you can do things like a leaving in like, comment, remove this. annotate, highlight, draw square circles, do whatever you want, all of this stuff is built in-house, because it’s, we have to natively integrate, even if it’s OEM tech, into our product. So it’s a seamless experience, like this. Communication that’s happening on the right-hand side is the same everywhere in our product. So we want to make it seamless.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: That’s awesome. Love it.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: I’ll show you, by the way, you asked about author and proofing. Here’s another example. This is a different task in a different campaign. This is kind of a case study that we’re working on. Again, you can see there is a ton of back and forth on the right. But you can see the journey. Initially, it started as just like some notes right on here on the left-hand side for the content, it then got turned into a Word doc with a little bit more kind of formatting, some sense of like, hey, what is it going to actually start looking like, and then eventually, it turns into this, like, beautiful PDF. And so like the entire lifecycle of the content can be managed, in the product itself. And when I talked about authoring tools, I’ll just show you what that looks like, quickly. So before it becomes a PDF, you know, we have like a full-fledged content editor here. So this is just like being able to type into WordPress or something like that.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Looks great gets you out of a Google Doc to upload to edit, then send to the designer seems like it’s been kind of one space.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Exactly. All of that happens in one place. And for people who do want to use, Google Docs, or whatever they can. And they want to use Microsoft Word they can but we’re seeing more and more people do the authoring and editing in here.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Interesting, does that tend to be a bit of a hurdle? Like what’s the tipping point for someone or an organization? Probably not someone but an organization to decide that they need a tool like Welcome? Is it like, typically a team size thing? or? Yeah, I guess what is the size of your typical customer? And who are you usually trying to sell to?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, so we used to be very enterprise-focused before we were working with a very large team, so marketing teams of 100 people or more. We, over the last year to kind of come down in terms of size. So now we have a lot of customers that are in the 20 marketers and above range. I think that’s where we start becoming very valuable. Because you can see, in this case, for this case study as an example, there is a seven-step workflow, Anthony, Joe, Melissa, like three different people are coordinating on it. Anytime you have any coordination across team members, and visibility across team members, where it’s more than a handful of people, we become quite valuable. And so the I would say 20 is probably the sweet spot of where It really becomes the ROI becomes very apparent just because you’ve cut down on so much of the coordination costs, you can become more efficient with how you expend your time. There are things like, we have resource management, we’re kind of going to go into it, but like being able to allocate work to different people, plant capacity, those things, if you’re just a team of three people, probably not as valuable. But when you’re 510 20, people become very valuable. With that said, we do have a free version now for teams of up to five, so they can get started on a lot of this stuff. But, they don’t have to pay until they’re over five people.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: That’s really cool. So you talked a little bit about ROI, what would you say? How would MO pro or a marketing team in general measure ROI on this? Is it really just time saved?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, so there are efficiency, analytics, for sure. So just like time saved, efficiency, etc, in other big things we have is in those workflows? So let me actually, so I’m in a different campaign. Now, I’m just giving you a flavor of the different types of campaigns that we do. So this is an example of, by the way, when Gartner had their Magic Quadrant from for CMPS, these are like the 20 different things we had to do around that campaign, right. So, we manage that entire set of activities through our product. And we can turn these into playbooks, by the way, so if it’s a webinar, right, that has 10 steps, invite, landing page, slide deck recordings, zoom stuff, like, you can create playbooks for all of it. So you can like rinse and repeat. So this is, that’s an example of like, saving time being more efficient, etc. We also a lot of our marketers get campaigns and content out the door faster. So, coordinating a large campaign like this would have just taken us forever. Before, I know, we can just move way, way faster. So just like accelerating the amount of content or campaigns that can get out the door. Other people measure, like their ability to measure impacts that we have very strong content analytics, or our website analytics, that’s more content-centric. And we also have ROI analytics, which I think a lot of more pros would be interested in. So being able to attribute the impact of content on leads generated opportunities, or even revenue from your CRM. So I can quickly show you that if that might be interesting.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Yeah, I think that’s really cool. Take a look at it reminds me a bit of how I come from a HubSpot background. So HubSpot tries to do a little bit of this too, with their attribution and stuff.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: So yeah, and I think, again, this is to be totally direct and transparent. I have to switch instances because our ROI analytics isn’t the old news. Great instance. So but to be totally transparent, we’re not trying to be an attribution company or marketing attribution, I think, there, that’s a very tough problem to solve. There’s a lot of people doing that. What we want to do is content attribution, specifically, right. So let’s say, let’s do last year. So here, what you can see is, we’ve tied all of our content that we create, which is here on the left-hand side. And I’m going to sort by revenue influence. And what it does is it tells me for every piece of content, what is the revenue influence? How many leads Am I generating? How many leads have I reached? Is it creating ops? Is it influencing ops? I can click into one and actually see the specific opportunities for my CRM that’s being influenced the revenue amount, or I can take the other approach, I can go back, I can go to like close one deal from my CRM, and then say, okay, for this cortiva deal, or GE Healthcare deal, like, who from this account has read the content? What was the impact? What is the content journey? So I can really start tying back all the content or assets that I’m creating here and assign some sort of dollar value, or at least a directional dollar value of influence to that.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Yeah, that’s, that’s fantastic. We do a lot of that manually on our team.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: In fact, what we used to do is manually what we do is we would export the activity history from Marchetta. And then look at the activity figure out which ones content see did we create the content Trying, like do it all, like once a quarter manually. And we just, we essentially just took that manual process and automated it.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Yeah, that’s the best way to build the product, build it for yourself first.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: 100%. And so that’s the ROI piece of like, also kind of why a lot of marketers really like the product is it’s not just efficiency, but it helps them measure impact.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So Alright, just moving through some of these other questions, then. How long does it take to typically to complete implementation and Volcom?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: So it really depends on organization size, we’ve tried to be super agile, we have a free version now. So like, literally, you can go online, right now sign up, and get started within five minutes. If you’re a large organization and let’s say, you need to train, hundreds of marketers, or we need to do a big migration. Remember migration, we also have a dam here. So I’m actually showing you the dam, and a full-fledged library. And so sometimes, like the asset migration might take a little bit of time. And training might take some time, usually, it’s the customer that’s potentially holding things back just on schedule. But I’d say five minutes just to get up and running, probably a month to serve to get in the flow and using the product and to see the benefits of the visibility, the calendar, the workflows. And then for integrations, if it’s complex, and there are it involved, and there are downstream system, you need to connect to your web CMS, we need to connect to you, maybe you have an existing dam or connect with Viva if you’re in healthcare, or JIRA, if you’re in a product that may take three months, so like, five minutes to get started, within one month, you should be just humming in terms of the work management side of things. And then within three months, the interoperability vision comes to life.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Very good. And what is your pricing model? So you’ve got a free plan? And then is it monthly thereafter? Are they annual contracts and per user per month?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: We typically do annual contracts or pricing, we actually have a pricing page now, you know, we’re trying to be more and more transparent. Like the largest enterprises pass hungry 100k, plus, some, some very large customers pay hundreds of 1000s of dollars a year, you can get started anywhere from zero for less than five users, small teams 10 to 20k a year. So it’s not like crazy expensive, then it does scale up, if you have hundreds of marketers, it’s seat-based pricing.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Okay, seat-based pricing. Got it. And would you say that you need any type of external agency or consultants or anybody on your side of the house that Welcome to help you get started? In order to have success with the tool? Do you need to pay for professional services or partners of any kind?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, so if you’re like on our enterprise plan, then you get a CSM, it’s just part of working with as a customer success manager. And if you’re on, I would say, if you’re in the smaller side, like you’re a team of 20 marketers or less, you should be able to get started all on your own with our assistance, there is a little bit of PS, like professional service that we can offer, for example, help you migrate your dam assets, or we didn’t really talk about request management, but like, if you have a lot of intake forms that exist, and you want us to create your intake form. So an intake form is, like, here’s just an example we have eight different types of intake are 10 different types of intake. And, maybe these intake forms have some rules or automation, associated with the if you need us to, like, help you set those up. Maybe there is a small PS lift. But I would say most of our customers do it either themselves, they’ll have a product owner administrator, plus a little bit of PSL on our side, just during the onboarding phase, and that’s about it, are very, very large customers, you know, if they’re going through, like marketing, transformation, and change, there are tons of change management, or they’re moving from like, work front, and they’ve used that for five years, and they’re going to move over to our software, you know, then we may get like the partner involved, there are some awesome ones leap point is a really good partner of ours to help with some of that change management architecting that migration, and just like kind of doing a little bit of the hand holding that change.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Okay, yeah, that makes sense. And then I think the last question I have for you is just around support options. Do you have paid support? Or is it just a kind of self-service? How does that work for Welcome?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: If so, again, different tiers, we pride ourselves on the support. And like our support SLA, I don’t even know what it is. But I do know a human response to every email within like, a few minutes. So we’re way better than any of our SLAs is. And, for us, hopefully, you’re not having to reach out to support that often. But we have 24, seven real-time support by humans. And pretty much everyone across all tiers gets that support. During onboarding, you’re more likely working with our PS or CS person to get up and running. So at that point, you don’t need support, but it’s usually after that, that you would take on support. Cool.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Well, Shaf this has been great to take a look at Welcome. I for one might have to go tinker with it now, for MO pro specifically. And then if there is anything else that you feel is tremendously important to show off, you could do that. Otherwise, I would say that this has been a successful no-bullshit demo.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Yeah, no, I just wanted to share, I mean, probably the things that I didn’t show you that if someone is interested, we’d be more than happy is like resource management when I’m going to get into it. But like, being able to manage capacity, workload time tracking, like, we have a lot of capabilities around that, I need to show you some of the SEO stuff that we have. So, if you want to do SEO research, we have an integration with…

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Emrush?

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: Emrush exactly.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: I saw the logo flash on the screen.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: There you go at the bottom for that. And, there are other things that we probably didn’t get to, because there are a lot, but I would encourage all your readers, you watchers, viewers, community members, we’re trying to build a new flavor of enterprise company where it’s like super transparent, transparent pricing, get started on your own, try the product before signing a big contract. So like, go to our website and sign up and give us feedback. I think that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to do these no-bullshit demos, not to like sell a bunch of software, but to get feedback from your community. So that’s probably the last thing I would say.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: We’re very good. I know our MO Pros are not shy about feedback and technology and the use cases. So I’m sure those that come and check it out. We’ll definitely be happy to provide the feedback. And maybe we can get you guys to throw in a special offer on our partner’s page.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: For sure. I mean, I’ll just make it up right now. Like we’ll be more than happy to extend discounts and stuff to the MO pro community. Maybe use your product for free for longer or get larger teams on it for free. I’m more than happy to brainstorm all sorts of things.

Mike Rizzo, Founder MO Pros: Awesome. Really excited about it, shop. Thank you very much for the time today.

Shafqat Islam, CEO Welcome: All right. Awesome. Thank you.


We spoke with the CEO of Welcome and got a no BS look at exactly how their team uses Welcome to manage marketing campaigns, tasks, and their team from start to finish.

  • Company

  • Recorded Date

    April 2021
  • Length

    28 min


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