Tell us about your current role and journey to Technology. What inspired you to establish Satisfi Labs?
I am the co-founder and CEO at Satisfi Labs. I got my start at Bloomberg and loved working there and was able to hold leadership positions in Operations, Product Development and Sales. I then joined a start-up called Datahug to see if I could replicate my career at a new venture, coming from a company as great as Bloomberg. That led me to meet my partners at another startup, and after working together for about a year we decided to start Satisfi Labs.
The major idea came from simply looking at a menu at a baseball game and seeing that ‘bacon on a stick’ was available at Citi Field. However, it was unclear how or where online fans could ask ‘wherein the stadium can I get bacon on a stick’? We set out to make conversational search possible anywhere and found the only path was to attack the data side first. Unless brands have answers like this indexed, the experience that we wanted to achieve would not be possible.
What role does Satisfi Labs play in the Knowledge Management Process for brands? Can you provide an example?
Given our deep backgrounds in data, we saw an opportunity to prepare information for the coming Voice Assistant movement. Much of the information that brands make available to consumers has to be searched for through various channels and locations. In the Voice world, consumers can expect exact answers to their specific questions. If you go to a baseball game and are in line to enter, it would be great to know exactly where you can buy your favorite beverage. If you’re going to a music festival, you want to know when your favorite artist is hitting the main stage. If you’re on an e-commerce site, you want real-time answers about product availability, along with info on when the next sale is coming.
How do you choose, promote and sustain your markets for Business Development?
We have an intense focus on our customers and have a ‘no customer left behind’ policy. It means that we welcome new relationships, and work hard to ensure that they remain customers for many years to come. We started in Sports and Entertainment, then expanded to Tourism. And now we are growing into the Enterprise market as customers are seeing our work at the events they attend in their cities every week.
Tell us about your go-to strategies to support growth, lessons learned since co-founding Satisfi Labs in 2016?
One business strategy involves hyper-growth with an acceptable amount of churn, while another strategy sees slower growth but views any churn as unacceptable. We have adopted the latter. Every customer is the foundation of our company, so our growth comes from ‘same-store sales’ as we expand our current customer commitments with new products and services. We didn’t try to grow too fast, which made us a stronger company. I think sometimes the expectations for growth can lead to making bad decisions and rushing important processes, like ensuring you hire the right people, which will only cause a decline.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Advertising, Marketing and Sales Technology for 2019-2020?
AI is the path to change the customer journey as buyers and sellers. How we are introduced to new products, how we find the products we want and how we purchase them will all be very different in the next two years. My kids expect to see a picture on Instagram that is catered to their likes, click on it with their current size and color preference preloaded and shipped to our house the next day. They expect more.
What startups in the industry are you watching/keen on right now?
Glide – I love when companies build products that make total sense. The ability to go from a Google sheet to an app is very useful for how we manage data and communicate it.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
It’s all about the vision and how far it can go. The unique experiences that we want to bring consumers require constant innovation. Some of our ideas aren’t possible yet but we can see the technology path that makes them possible. I think the inspiration to work with technology comes from seeing how it will change behavior for everyone.
One word that best describes how you work?
What are you currently reading?
‘Start With Why’ – Simon Sinek
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
A true leader is a servant. Serve your investors, serve your customers and serve your employees.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Sara Rodell – Founder & CEO of Loop & Tie.
Thank you, Don! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
As CEO and Co-Founder of Satisfi Labs, an AI-powered Knowledge Management Platform for conversational search and commerce, Don White uses an energetic and strategic approach to spearhead client development and new revenue initiatives across different industries. Before leading the team at Satisfi Labs, Don was Head of Sales at Datahug, and also held several leadership positions at Bloomberg Tradebook, most recently as Head of Sales for the Americas.
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.