MarTech Interview with Christina Richards, CMO at Virtana

Christina Richards, CMO at Virtana caught up with MarTech Series to share a few top of mind CMO best practices and what it takes for marketers of today to drive business goals:


Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Christina!

Tell us more about your role as CMO at Virtana, it’s been a few months since you’ve started at Virtana, how has it been so far?

I can’t believe it’s already been six months – my experience thus far has been an exciting whirlwind, as I’m sure most execs experience after joining a growing tech company! I continue to be impressed by our technology and the leadership behind it, which is what keeps me engaged and eager to get back into work each day.

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Tell us a little bit about your marketing structure at Virtana and more about your martech that drives your initiatives?

Our marketing team has grown these past few months right along with our company. The team is made up of four component groups – first the Product Marketing team, that focuses on how to best deliver value and pain-point focused messaging to the customer, starting at the top of the funnel all the way through to engagement inside the product. Then there is the Branding and Awareness team who manages our public-facing persona through PRs, media engagements, website, social, and analysts. Next is our Channel & Sales Enablement team, who ensure our Sales reps and Channel partners always have what they need to have the right conversation, with the right person, at  the right time. And finally the Demand Generation team, that builds and maintains a constant demand pipeline to drive revenue growth. Our Martech stack has components in all these groups – including enablement portals like Seismic and Channel mechanics, marketing automation, intent-based tools, as well as product experience tools like Pendo. 

As a marketing leader and with your marketing learnings over the years, what are some of the top best practices you’d share for CMOs of today?

Get to know your product inside and out. Understand, as best you can, the technology that powers it, the IP that drives its differentiation, and the value that the product delivers to the customer.  From the demand generation side of the house, I always recommend a marketing point of view that is very heavily revenue-focused. Long gone are the days when it was enough just to deliver warm leads – tracking value all the way through the marketing funnel is critical not only to confirming marketing value, but also in knowing what programs are really moving the needle for your business. 

Virtana recently conducted a survey to assess challenges with cloud costs within companies, can you talk about the key takeaways that marketers/operations heads should be more aware of from this?

There were a few pretty surprising takeaways from the survey, aside from the headline that a shocking 82% of companies are experiencing unnecessary cloud costs. An interesting finding was that respondents stated pure confidence in their existing tools and capabilities for a whole host of activities necessary to manage cloud performance and spend … and yet they also stated they don’t have many of the tools that are actually needed to perform those tasks. So the disconnect there is pretty interesting and something we investigated heavily in our report.

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What in your view can help businesses/industries derive better cloud management and cost management capabilities?

The cloud is complex, and only becoming more so as more workloads are migrated and more cloud-based tools become available. The main advice we give our customers is to not rush. Before making a move to the cloud, take the time to understand your workloads and applications, where they would perform best, what the business goals are for each — and make a plan so you ‘know before you go’. It sounds like a marketing slogan, but it’s actually a catchy reminder that our customers find themselves repeating in order to stay on track and avoid unnecessary headaches. 

Some last thoughts and marketing / martech takeaways before we wrap up?

A company’s martech stack is only as good as the team that uses it, and I’m proud to say we’re building a team that can utilize the tools in our toolbox to their full potential, while finding creative ways to communicate with our customers and prospects how Virtana’s solutions can solve their daily challenges in IT optimization.

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Virtana provides AI-powered precision observability software solutions to simplify hybrid cloud complexity

As the Chief Marketing Officer for Virtana, Christina Richards brings 25 years of marketing, engineering, and revenue-acceleration experience to help fuel the company’s next phase of growth. Christina owns the overall marketing strategy for Virtana including corporate marketing, brand strategy, product marketing, and demand generation.

Prior to joining Virtana, she served in Marketing and Business Development leadership roles at Silicon Valley startups like Aeris and AOptix, as well as large global firm Nortel Networks. Christina earned her B.S. Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, and her MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

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