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Building a Data (Science) Driven Marketing Team

Marketers like to claim that we’re data driven, but are we… really? Sure, we track our lead conversion funnel from acquisition through conversion to paid customers. We use campaign attribution to figure out where to invest our budget to generate the highest return. We personalize our emails, A|B test websites and landing pages, and create […]

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An Ode to Sonos

I’ve been using Sonos since 2005, when I wanted to add whole-house audio to a new home I had just purchased. At the time, multi room audio was a complicated mess — full of legacy companies requiring extensive wiring and proprietary controls I didn’t have. Sonos was exactly what I needed, so I took the plunge. Here’s […]

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When Sales and Marketing Best Practices Become Average Practices

No one got fired for buying IBM? In the 80s, IBM dominated tech from the desktop to the datacenter. Buyers often picked IBM because they were safe choice, not the right choice. It didn’t matter. Buying IBM became the accepted best practice for CIOs. It was an emotional decision, not a rational one. People generally don’t […]

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How I Got Past the Awkwardness of Self Promotion Without Becoming a Kardashian

Every time I come across one of those “top marketer” lists on Twitter or LinkedIn, a nervous anticipation builds as I quickly scan for my name. Sometimes I’m on them, most of the time I’m not. They are marketers we watch speak at tech conferences, follow on Twitter, subscribe to on Medium, and read about […]

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Why I’m Killing the Marketing Qualified Lead

Five years ago, I was sitting at my desk working on a PowerPoint pitch for an upcoming customer visit. My boss stopped by and asked me a question that would change my life. Hey Tom, can you run marketing? Prior to that moment, I had spent my entire career in technical sales with a few […]

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Before you agree to widening the top of your lead funnel…

Few things cause CMOs to panic more than hearing the dreaded phrase “we need to widen the lead funnel” from the head of sales. Or the CEO. Or maybe even the board. What they all really want is more qualified opportunities and ultimately more ARR. Maybe that means widening the funnel. Maybe not. But the […]

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Is Specialization Bad for Startup Marketing?

We’re starting to run a Scrumban process in RapidMiner marketing. Scrumban is a great way accelerate output by creating more transparency around priorities in the hectic world of startup marketing. We’ve got our Scrumban board, with all colorful kanbans beautifully laid out into various columns. RapidMiner’s Scrumban board, blurred As we get into Scrumban, we often […]

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You’ve been asked to cut your marketing budget. Now what?

Unicorpses. Layoffs. Bursting bubbles. Winter is coming. Every day there’s a new story on the 2016 techpocalypse. Having lived through the 2000 dot com crash, this is nothing like it. But something has changed, so let’s start with a quick recap of how we got here. Starting in late 2012, tech companies began to raise […]

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Some Practical Advice for Aspiring Tech CMOs

In no particular order, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned running marketing at three tech companies. Your most important job is to recruit and retain exceptional people Never forget that people are your most important asset. As a CMO, you’ll be in endless meetings: the weekly leadership meeting, the executive offsite, QBRs, territory […]