Interview with Michele Pilgrim, VP, Integrated Marketing, Delphix

Michele Pilgrim
Michele Pilgrim, VP, Integrated Marketing at Delphix

“There is a huge amount of convergence between sales, marketing and advertising with how buyers engage with a brand.”

Tell us a little bit about your role at Delphix?

As Vice President of Integrated Marketing at Delphix, my focus is revenue-based marketing, which encompasses demand generation, integrated marketing and sales in a way that is interlocked with all other aspects of the Delphix business. Ultimately, it’s my goal to build a brand that customers want to interact with and to make those engagements feel seamless.

Delphix has built a different kind of data platform to provide self-service data to accelerate workflows for developers and analysts. Delphix enables data to flow freely, securely, and at a lower cost, so enterprises can better leverage it as a strategic asset.

Previously, I worked at several companies in similar roles, including time at SuccessFactors (SAP) developing cloud alliance relationships and VMware expanding the Alliance/Channel business through global programs and technology demand platforms. And most recently, I spent time at Alteryx, an end-to-end analytics platform company and during this time, I saw firsthand the rapid growth Delphix was having in the red-hot data industry and knew I had to join.

What are the core tenets of Delphix’s Dynamic Data Platform?

The amount of data being moved around within the enterprise continues to accelerate rapidly and be leveraged by multiple teams for multiple applications. Data is the new oil, the fuel for innovation. But a tension currently exists between the desire to rapidly access it, and the need to provide privacy and security. Delphix enables enterprises to unleash data for innovation, despite this tension. Our unique Dynamic Data Platform virtualizes, secures and manages data in on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments to deliver self-service access to data consumers.

How does Delphix enable its users to comply with GDPR?

Today, every business is a data business. Delphix makes it simple for data controllers to identify sensitive information, provide the right governance for distribution and secure the data via masking—all while retaining its value for development and testing. As a marketer, if you can’t use data in the right way then it has very limited value. This is the case for many businesses dealing with data that is locked away, and GDPR threatens to continue that path and make innovation difficult unless you have the right tools to securely manage, control and distribute data while also navigating privacy regulations.

What is ‘data privacy by design’? How does Delphix deliver this?

Currently, there is this push-pull dynamic for companies between the need to work faster and innovate, but also to protect sensitive personal data as well. The Delphix Dynamic Data Platform designs data masking into automated data delivery, which means developers, testers, analysts and administrators can order-up a self-service Data Pod containing their own complete copy of masked data. For users, that’s eliminating so much of the pain around data, all the way from visibility and control for privacy to deploying rapid test environments needed for innovation to reducing the costs associated with additional infrastructure and manual intervention. That’s what “data privacy by design” means to Delphix, security and compliance without compromise.

How do you see the B2B marketing landscape evolving, in the years to come?

The future of B2B marketing is more of a closed ecosystem supported by one continuum. There is a huge amount of convergence between sales, marketing and advertising with how buyers engage with a brand. With this comes new challenges, including the growing need to understand an exploding number of new technologies, and how they come together in the field to provide a consistent experience for the buyer. Successful marketers also know how to set up analytics to provide insights and actionable data, so that the goal is to provide teams with a simple set of data to accelerate decision-making.

How do you foresee the future of Managed Data Services?

Data pipeline from multiple sources will continue to increase and access complexity will compound. While cloud adoption for a portion of these services provides enablement, analytics as a service, data pipeline as service, and other higher order services layered on top of the fundamentals will grow.

What startups are you watching/keen on right now?

I’m interested in startups that are leveraging data to solve unique marketing challenges that are cropping up. That includes startups utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to automate what were formerly lengthy, complex processes in order to help marketers move faster or more strategically. Some companies I’ve had my eye on lately are people.ai, an AI platform for data driven sales and marketing, and Drift, an AI-powered chatbot that empowers business implementing a conversational marketing platform for B2B purposes.

What is the one piece of advice, you have for B2B marketers in 2018?

It’s the same piece of advice I have for all companies right now: understand your data. Many enterprises are getting better at actually acquiring the data they want, but they’re not doing a good job of interpreting it. More than just running a report, you need to understand the data behind it that led to the findings. Otherwise, you’re left with results without context, which makes it difficult to figure out what is driving success or how you need to adjust your approach.

What does your martech stack currently consist of?

I love this question! Our newest additions are Alooma, Acquia Lift, Drift (in process),and Hushly, and we have the following Hotjar, Drupal 8, Snowflake, Tableau, Leandata as well. SalesforceMarketo, and Google Analytics make-up the foundation of our marketing platform.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

While AI seems poised to touch so many aspects of marketing, the risk so many practitioners face when it comes to this new technology is misunderstanding how (and where) it will be incorporated into marketing workflows. Marketers need to define the process that will lend itself naturally to AI, as well as those that still require a human touch. They also need to understand the potential pitfalls tied to the tasks they’re attempting to automate.

Think about AI as a forensic approach, part of it is science and analytics, but there is still a deeply personal, artistic side to marketing. Teams can’t just process everything through AI tools while most marketing operations are still focused on compiling a digital stack that works well together.

Overall, the role of AI in marketing is still in the early days. So, from a practical standpoint, teams should be focused on building a platform that addresses the current needs, before moving onto new technologies.

One word that best describes how you work.

A handful of people have described me as “a builder.” That’s as good a word as any for what I think we do at Delphix and marketing more broadly. We’re working collaboratively to show leadership, partner with sales, product and customer teams and build cohesion across the entire brand. When we lead by example to build relationships across teams, we’re able to unify our vision into a singular, powerful message for the company that resonates with our current and potential customers.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Like most people, I can’t live without my phone. Everything is connected to it. I can pretty much operate almost entirely from my mobile if needed. In addition to that, I think a data visualization layer is so key to the projects I’m working on today. If you don’t have one, you’ll never know how you lived without one once you get it!

What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

How to deploy investment across marketing technology and people to get results is key. It’s an analytical model, so the ability to utilize an interactive marketing budget that allows teams to plan dynamically can be an immense time saver. Our team orchestrates program and budget planning collectively.  Items populate automatically and are tied to business outcomes, which ultimately shifts the time spent scouring over data at the end of the month from hours to minutes.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

Aside from staying up-to-date on the latest industry news through publications like McKinsey&Company Insights, CIO Journal – WSJ, and The Economist.  I’m also a huge bookworm. Right now, I’m scratching that itch with Artemis by Anthony Weir, which is a follow-up to the more well-known novel called the Martian—as well as the third book in the Kingsbridge Series: A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. Both are fantastic so far!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Be true to yourself.” In order to thrive at whatever you’re doing, you need to know what your own value proposition is and always strive to follow your interests. The best way to be great at your work is to find enjoyment in the things you’re accomplishing on a day-to-day basis.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

One thing I’m always pushing my teams to understand is where all the business variables intersect, and how they work together to drive the growth of the company. For example, that means understanding the corporate priorities, the sales structure, customer success, product and how those teams work and what success looks like for them. From there, we can determine how those goals align with our marketing objectives to promote cohesion across the brand and pave a clear path forward to drive growth.

Tag the one person, from the martech sector, whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Hari Abhyankar  He has an amazing level of understanding the interdependence of technology, people operations and processes and how to structure to drive business outcomes.

Thank you, Michele! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Michele thrives at driving business growth by accelerating direct and partner– influenced revenue through creation of a digital marketing strategy centered around a technology platforms. Skilled at digital demand generation, marketing and performance analytics, Ms. Pilgrim creates an actionable user experience to help drive platform marketing efforts and accelerate ROI on marketing investment.

Delphix
Delphix connects data to people and accelerates innovation With an unfathomable growth in data comes an unquenchable thirst to use that data for business advantage. Delphix’s mission is to connect people with the data they need to accelerate that innovation. The Delphix Dynamic Data Platform allows data to be securely delivered to every stakeholder, across on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments at the speed and scale required to enable rapid development and delivery of applications and solutions. The platform provides the industry’s most comprehensive dataops solution, enabling companies to easily deliver and secure data, wherever it exists. It reduces data friction by providing a collaborative platform for data operators (such as DBAs, InfoSec & IT Operations teams) and data consumers (such as developers, QA, Analysts and data scientists), ensuring that sensitive data is secured and that the right data is made available to the right people, when and where they need it.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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