This episode of Marketing Trends features an interview with Thomas Butta. Tom is the CMO of SignalFx and has a long career in Tech Marketing. After a number of years working for advertising agencies, Tom went to work for Red Hat, and has been in the technology world ever since.
On this episode, Tom discusses challenger brands, how to cut through noise, and how to make your brand an industry thought leader.
Tom Butta Background and Start in Technology - (01:30) - In some ways, Tom was born into marketing: His father was an animator, his mother was a copywriter.
- After starting out working for advertising agencies for a number of years, Tom left to become the CMO of Red Hat.
- He was a true believer in open source software, and though Red Hat could change the world.
- The company was less about turning a profit than it was about advocating for the idea of open source.
Tom’s Career in Technology Marketing - (18:10) -At SignalFx, Tom is still working with people who he first met at Red Hat.
- One of the reasons for going to SignalFX is that he values the chance to work with people who he knows.
- He also saw that there was a massive opportunity.
- “There’s a fine line between listening correctly and the consultative approach and the best sales reps are going to be able to blend both of those two things.” - Tom Butta
- “If marketing is making it easier to buy, you’re winning.” - Tom Butta
- Tom was one of the pioneers of the customer journey model.
- One tool that a really good marketer has, especially in the consumer world of marketing, is the ability to relate to the end user, and put everything into human terms and tap into human emotion.
- With Parametric Technology Corporation, Tom had to help create the category of product development software.
- As a category leader and creator, he had to promote the idea that product matters, with slogans such as “No kid wakes up on Christmas morning and hopes to open up a CRM system.”
- There are a few really big companies that have realized that you can pretty much create the technology that they have in an afternoon, at this point. And so they are 100% focused on customer experience.” - Ian Faison
- “You should market to what people are looking for today, but also if you want to be seen as a leader, you need to get ahead of that.” - Tom Butta
Overcoming Noise - (46:30) - “It’s easy to over rotate toward something that seems to be working. You have to be able to know there’s a purpose for everything you’re doing, and the value they will contribute isn’t necessarily in terms of total number of downloads.” - Tom Butta
- Noise is a very real problem. Standing out is a problem that everyone has.
- “Ask yourself ‘Am I contributing to the noise? Or am I able to rise above it and help people make sense of things such that they actually want to hear what I have to say?’”
- Anytime there’s anything new, it will create noise. The hallmark of a successful challenger brand is that you are willing to say something completely different.
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