How long at Red Hat?
I joined Red Hat in December of 2011. Before that I was the Senior Marketing Manager for Phonebooth, part of Bandwidth.com.
Career accomplishment you’re most proud of:
I’ve been fortunate enough to bring several successful products to market, but the launch of Phonebooth has been the biggest yet. We had a variant of our product that was due to release and we needed to make a major splash at SXSW with tons of competition. Our plan and execution allowed us to attract over 10,000 SMBs to our product in less than four months. It was named the third best launch at SXSW behind Twitter and Foursquare.
Decision I wish I could do over:
I wish I would have been more involved in marketing from an early age. In college, I focused on getting my work done, doing some web design to pay the bills and graduating as soon as possible. If I went back to do it again, I would have offered to work for free at several targeted companies to broaden my experience and network as quickly as possible. My advice to young marketers is to put yourself out there before you have more financial burdens. If you’re fortunate enough to not have to work a full-time job, use your free time to sharpen your skills and make yourself more marketable.
Size of team:
Currently, our marketing team consists of 4 folks (soon to be 6) within the Cloud Business Unit at Red Hat.
Launching a new cloud product.
What is a typical day like for you?
Several conference calls and meetings, time spent on creating and improving content, working with vendors and partners to push things forward, planning and scheduling, and any other general fire fighting.
How do you measure success:
Share of voice is a big thing we’re focusing on as we’re in a market niche with a lot of noise. We want people to know who we are and what sets our solutions apart. Additionally, we’re focused on bringing in new business (as everyone should be). Personally, I measure my success as never being comfortable. Red Hat is a fast moving and collaborative culture,and it really helps facilitate personal growth and development. There are opportunities to make an impact and stretch yourself past your comfort zone to do great things. I believe that is really important. If you aren’t challenged in your work, you aren’t growing or further developing your skills.
One thing you’d like to do better:
Focus. It’s easy to get sucked in by emails, calls or other diversions when it isn’t always the most important thing to focus on. I continue to work at getting better at saying no and spending time where it adds the most value.
Business professional you’d most like to have lunch with:
Mark Cuban. He’s worked really hard to get to where he is without ever losing himself. I’m also thoroughly impressed by his ability to make quick and precise decisions. Shark Tank is a popular show in our home and Mark Cuban always seems to be the first to put his finger on the pulse of the issue or driver of any potential investment decision. Having that laser-like focus is really fun to see. I’m also a huge basketball fan, so that would be cool to chat about too.
Emerging trend you are most interested in:
Marketing measurement. There are some things as marketers that we know we must do. Some that we have to do. Others that we file in an experimental category. But, it is extremely important to know how to frame any decision or what you’re working on to show success. This isn’t always dollars, as it could be a decision that simply improves company perception (which could drive more leads and more dollars). It is alarming that many marketers aren’t able to take a project, campaign or initiative and structure it in a way to report on its success after a given period of time. I wouldn’t say it is an emerging trend, but one that it really important for any marketer. Great marketing will only get you so far if you can’t present what you’re doing to a C-level executive.
That many marketers can’t measure their success, and that many view social media as a new thing on its own island. Social media is a set of tools that allows marketers to do the things they’ve always done in new places – communicate. It is much easier to do this, but it isn’t new at all. It also fits into larger business and marketing objectives. We have to get away from the silo approach and figure out how everything fits together to make our businesses better.
If I weren’t a marketer, I would be…
An entrepreneur / work at home dad. Having an 8 month old has given me lots of perspective about what is important, and I’d love to spend even more time at home. I’m really passionate about bringing new ideas and products to market and would probably try to do more of that if I wasn’t a professional marketer. I was very close to being both an architect or a teacher at different points in time, but everything led me back to marketing. It’s in my DNA I guess. I ran a Nintendo game rental business when I was 5 years old and even came up with special bundled deals to rent more games… I guess I ended up in the right field.