Could you tell us about your journey into Marketing Technologies and how you started at Infoworks?
I was trained as Engineer years ago but was curious about how the product feature sets were defined so I moved into Product Management. I liked talking to customers and doing public speaking so I moved into Product Marketing and from there, things just evolved as I moved into more executive-level positions. I joined Infoworks 2 years ago when Buno Pati, who was then Executive Chairman and is now our CEO, recruited me to join this startup company that was revolutionizing the enterprise data operations and orchestration space for Data Analytics projects.
Projects that used to take months in order to gather, integrate and prepare data for use were now taking days and weeks due to the extraordinary level of automation delivered by the Infoworks products. It sounded amazing and the customers were all major Fortune 500 companies in full production. Great product, great team, great market. Those were the ingredients I was looking for, so I joined the company.
How much have benchmarks for Enterprise-scale Digital Transformation evolved in the last 5 years?
5 years ago, executives were talking about “Digital Transformation” but didn’t really know what it meant. Now they know that the foundation is having greater agility when it comes to the operations and orchestration of data processes in support of new business use cases. People used to think it was about managing bigger datasets.
In fact, it is all about having an idea for a new business use case or model, and then having the speed and agility to analyze the viability of that new model as quickly as possible. Volume of data is important, but it is more important to be able to add new analytics use cases quickly and then be able to support and manage hundreds or even thousands of those use cases as your business evolves.
Which Marketing and Sales technologies are you currently using at Infoworks?
We have classic Marketing and Sales Automation systems like most organizations with Salesforce and HubSpot. Some of the more innovative things we are doing include using technologies that help us understand what organizations are actually in-market to buy technologies like Infoworks, and also what organizations have already spent money on adjacent technologies at a sufficient level.
For example, we sell to companies that have made a significant investment in Cloud technologies like AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, but we only want to sell to organizations that are looking for Data Integration software and are spending more than $100K a month on one of the three big Cloud vendors. Having that information available to us through different tools helps us target our Marketing and Sales efforts more aggressively for those organizations that are ready to buy and have the right level of budget to work with us.
What specific skills and talent make a good Marketing team? As VP Marketing, how much do you contribute to Team building and Marketing Technology selection?
You need a team with a wide variety of skills. It used to be that B2B software Marketing was more about the creative side of things like coming up with a cute catch phrase or writing great copy. And that is still true, but now we have the ability to measure the effectiveness of some of that work and the effectiveness of which overall Marketing programs are the best source of leads. The result is that people who are analytical and can look objectively at which investments result in leads, opportunities and sales are in greater demand than ever before in Marketing departments.
How does a Data Operations and Orchestration company like Infoworks contribute to Digital Transformation, especially related to Sales and Marketing channels?
Enterprise Data Operations and Orchestration (EDO2) is the foundation for Digital Transformation. You have to have the ability to manage your data assets and respond to new requests for new analytics models quickly and Infoworks makes that possible. Infoworks provides software that automates development, operationalization and ongoing orchestration of data analytics workflows and hides the underlying complexity, so our customers don’t have to hire an army of data engineers. The result is that our customers are able to develop the analytics processes they need to support their Digital Transformation initiatives because they are able to complete the underlying data management aspect of those projects 10x faster.
What does your Ideal Customer Profile look like? Which geographies and titles are you currently targeting to meet your revenue goals?
We are currently focused on the North American marketplace and plan to expand into EMEA next year. Our target customers are over $1B in revenue and are all looking to make their use of data a competitive differentiator.
Could you tell us about your most productive customer-centric Digital Marketing campaign? How did you measure its success?
Our most successful campaigns from a cost per sales opportunity don’t come from Digital Marketing. The most cost-effective lead generation approach recently has cold calling into accounts. It was shocking to us when we realized this but that is why you measure these things.
But when you can target the right accounts that are ready to buy and have an appropriate budget, if you cold-call them with the right technique, they will actually take your call. Sometimes the old ways still work best.
In a vastly different and competitive AI and Big Data ecosystem, how do you keep yourself relevant to the industry?
We listen to our customers. They know what their needs are. They don’t necessarily know the technical solutions that are available to them or what is even technically possible, but they know what their issues are. They don’t care about technology per se, they care about solving business problems. We stay relevant by understanding how to apply technology that we know well, to the common problems our customers are articulating.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
You get them excited about the value it will deliver. No one cares about technology for the sake of technology. They want to know that it will make their lives easier or help their business make better decisions.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Delegation to people who are smarter or better at doing something than I am.
What are you currently reading?
Fiction: “Bridge of Sighs” by Richard Russo; Nonfiction: “The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography” by Simon Singh; The NY Times
I get recommendations from friends or my adult daughters for what to read next. I also listen to a lot of podcasts. My commute varies from 30 min-60 minutes, so if I know I will have a long commute, I will tee up a podcast to listen to while I am driving. I have found that if I start reading something and I don’t like it after reading about 1/4th of the book, I no longer power my way through it. Life is too short to read a book I don’t like.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I was in my mid-20s and I was in the San Francisco airport and stopped in at the bookstore where I picked up a book by the Dali Lama. I started skimming it and on one page it said that everyone wanted the same thing. Before I turned the page to find out what that thing was, I thought to myself, that is ridiculous, everyone can’t possibly want the same thing. Some people want wealth, some want kids, some want to be married, some want to be single, etc. Then I turned the page and he continued on to write that everyone wanted to be happy. The challenge is in figuring out what makes you happy. It is 30 years later and I am still thinking about what that means for me, the people who work for me and the people with whom I work. It reminds me that what motivates each of us isn’t necessarily the same thing.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I am good at taking complex concepts and presenting them in simple terms.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Todd! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Todd leads the Marketing team at Infoworks. He was most recently CMO of Waterline data and prior also held the position of Vice President and General Manager for Enterprise Data Integration at Informatica, the world’s number one independent provider of data integration software.
Before joining Informatica, Todd held leadership roles at Nlyte Software, Exeros, ScaleMP, America Online/Netscape and Hewlett-Packard. He has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.S.E.E. from Northwestern University. Todd enjoys hiking with his wife and road cycling. He is also an accomplished close-up magician.
Infoworks offers the most comprehensive and automated Enterprise Data Operations and Orchestration (EDO2) system. It is the only EDO2 system built to automate and accelerate deployment and orchestration of analytics projects at scale, in cloud, hybrid, multi-cloud, and premise-based environments.
Through deep automation and a code-free environment, Infoworks empowers organizations to rapidly consolidate and organize enterprise data, create analytics pipelines and deploy projects to production within days – dramatically increasing business agility and accelerating time-to-value. Infoworks counts some of the world’s largest financial, retail, technology, healthcare, oil & gas, and manufacturing companies as its customers.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Palo Alto, the company is funded by NEA, Nexus Venture Partners, Centerview Capital Technology, and Knoll Ventures
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.