Prediction Series 2019: Interview with Melodye Mueller, VP Marketing and Strategic Alliances, CloudHealth Technologies
Tell us about your role at CloudHealth and how you got here. What inspired you to join the company?
I lead Marketing for CloudHealth Technologies. I started in April 2013, joining the founding team as they Secured series A funding. Our CEO at the time had pulled together an executive leadership team and two senior engineers to build a cloud management business that leveraged the emerging public cloud market.
Why did I join? It was the people. After speaking with the CEO and Co-Founder, I got excited about the opportunity to create and build an enterprise company from the ground up, with a core group of people experienced in the space, who had prior success bringing companies to market (and IPOing), and who were passionate about their work. Once I met the investors and the rest of the team, I was sold.
I left a great job, with a team of terrific people, a well-funded program, and all the resources I needed to join a 5-person startup — CloudHealth Technologies. My role changed overnight and became content creation for an emerging market, adjusting to an agile approach to product releases, cold calling prospects to test out messaging… it was really about writing a marketing playbook from scratch.
Now we are 300+ employees and my focus is on managing growth and enabling a team of superstar marketers: How do we scale effectively? How do we leverage data to provide insights and identify trends that improve growth? How do we maintain consistency and alignment across the company when positioning ourselves? How can we attract and keep the best talent?
What’s the most fascinating aspect of leading a tech-based marketing team?
No two days are alike. Not only is that the most fascinating aspect, it’s also a challenging one. In our space, the market is moving and shifting at breakneck-speed. If you are not continuously evolving your messaging and stories, you can become irrelevant quickly.
Additionally, the marketing technology stack is dramatically changing — things are very different from the days of waterfall marketing campaigns. We run an agile shop, which means we are launching campaigns, enhancing the website and delivering customer enhancement updates in real-time.
I like to say that as a result of my career experience I’ve learned to embraces the “uns” — the uncertain, the unknown, and the undefined.
How can marketing serve as the “focus group” for cloud?
Marketing organizations have been leading the charge in leveraging cloud services. It has dramatically changed our strategies and how marketing works – for the better.
Here are 5 reasons why I believe marketing is the ideal focus group for cloud computing:
- We are massive consumers of SaaS services offered in the MarTech stack.
- We are constantly testing and leveraging new marketing distribution channels that have opened up from cloud computing. These provide us with new methods to engage our target audience in even more personalized ways.
- We have taken social media to new heights and found unique ways to target consumers, both individually and by groups.
- Our information has grown exponentially because of the massive amount of data we now access. Databases have grown from MB and GB to Terabytes of storage due to the analysis and reporting we run in real time.
- We are also pushing the envelope with our data and looking for ways to leverage machine learning and AI to provide us with even better insights and the ability to predict what our target audience wants.
What does your ‘Ideal Customer’ profile look like? Which new geographies are you currently targeting?
The ideal CloudHealth customer is leveraging one or more public cloud environments at scale. They use multiple services and view the cloud as a strategic enterprise-wide initiative that will enable them to transform their business and significantly increase the bottom-line. In short, they have a really complex environment.
In the past 12 months, we have both broadened and deepened our global strategy. We’re seeing huge growth in EMEA and APAC, where cloud adoption has skyrocketed in recent years. Many European and Asian countries are leveraging the cloud to fuel innovation and growth, so we have made significant investments in those regions and seen both our customer and partner base grow substantially. Our latest initiative is in South America.
What are your predictions on the most influential disruptions in B2B Content and Sales Enablement industry?
- AR/VR content will continue to gain traction, enabling us to engage audiences as active participants.
- User-generated content will rival branded content as peer reviews and unbiased information take precedence.
- We will see the rise of personalized marketing, in which consumers are offered information and content that is data-driven, relevant to their interests and built on relationships.
What are your thoughts on the future of ‘AR/VR/Video’ cloud marketing in 2018-2022?
Experiential marketing is really taking center stage. There is so much information being thrust at consumers that they’ve become unresponsive to many communication channels. As marketers we need to find more innovative ways to engage target audiences and break through the noise.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies offer enormous potential and give the ability to engage audience as “active participants.” The main drawback for VR/AR today is the technology requirements — expensive, clunky headgear. Once we solve for that there’s a whole new world out there. I think marketing in 2022 will look vastly different.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
There are too many interesting startups to keep up. Anything in AI or Machine Learning catches my attention. DataRobot — they are solving the challenge of rapid predictive analytics and modeling via automated Machine Learning.
What Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
Our marketing program, in addition to being agile, is very data-driven. Our technology solutions all help us craft a well thought out strategy that pulls from actual data and user behavior to focus the team’s efforts for maximum impact.
Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign/customer success story at CloudHealth?
Hard to pick just one, but I’ll tell you about a recent favorite. Earlier this year, an analyst report came out which positioned CloudHealth Technologies as a leader in our space. The content was relevant to multiple audiences, both internal (sales, product) and external (customers, prospects, etc). Since it was timely we had to act fast. As it turned out, CloudHealth Technologies was the first vendor to come out with the story. Here’s how:
The marketing team pulled together a beautifully executed, full-blown integrated campaign in just two weeks, which speaks of how well everyone knew their roles and had a firm grasp of ownership and process. We truly were up and running right away: paid social was in action, demand generation was firing on all cylinders, the web and digital teams were executing on their piece, the sales team was fully trained, and the content was being leveraged across channels (PR, email, blog, etc). As a final step, we packaged everything up for global consumption and got it into the hands of the regional marketers so they could leverage it in their territories.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
AI presents some really exciting opportunities in the field of marketing. At the same time, there are some frightening consequences. The number one concern that comes to mind is the rate of change in technologies, data and consumer engagement. AI will enable things to happen much faster, leaving us with little time to react unless we embrace automation. In addition, new technologies will impact how consumers interact and consume information. We as marketers have to be fundamentally prepared to leverage new technology and build teams with new expertise.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
Look for ways to innovate that improve results. Ask, how can we automate processes, correlate data and identify trends? Improving the technology stack can free up people to be more strategic and innovative.
One word that best describes how you work.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Two productivity hacks have been hugely helpful as we grow:
- Stand-up meetings. These daily huddles are opportunities for everyone on the team to provide a quick status update.
- Asana. Keeping different cross-functional teams aligned means you need a way to organize, track, and manage all your deadlines, project owners, and key deliverables.
What are you currently reading?
Currently, I’m reading Blue Mind, by Wallace J. Nichols. In general, I read anything and everything, but how I consume it varies.
For work, I scan information and decide quickly if it is actionable for me or should be delegated. The goal is to touch it once, decide and move on. For pleasure, I enjoy a leisurely read – newspaper or book (old school, I know) — early in the morning with a cup of coffee.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Hire and surround yourself with A+ players.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Build strong, diverse teams.
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
As VP of Marketing and Strategic Alliances, Melodye oversees global marketing and communications functions for the company, while supporting the success of its customers and partners. With more than 20+ years of experience leading marketing organizations in the cloud computing, managed services and telecommunications industries, Melodye is known for developing strong customer-centric programs, building teams and establishing market strategies that result in profitable growth. Prior to CloudHealth Technologies, she was Vice President of Marketing at NaviSite – a Time Warner Cable Company – and Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Whaleback Systems. She has also held senior sales and marketing leadership positions at Lucent/AT&T and Agfa. Viewed as a mentor by those who work with her, Melodye is passionate about helping young employees develop new skills that build their career.
CloudHealth Technologies provides the world’s most trusted software platform for accelerating business transformation in the cloud. More than 3,500 organizations globally rely on CloudHealth to manage over $5B in combined cloud spend, based on the platform’s ability to easily manage cost, ensure security compliance, improve governance and automate actions across multi-cloud environments.