Meet our Marketer of the Quarter

An interview with Gary Damiano, Vice President of Field Marketing, Composite Software

A 30 year veteran of the software industry, Gary has held senior marketing, product management and development positions at industry leaders like Oracle, Siebel Systems, Thomson Routers/Computer Language Research, Host Analytics & Workstream. Currently VP of Field Marketing for Composite Software, he is responsible for the leComposite Softwareadership and growth of the global lead generation and qualification engine for this rapidly growing provider of data virtualization software technology. His career includes senior management positions in Oracle’s Direct Marketing Division, Siebel’s CRM onDemand Software as a Service and as VP of Marketing for Oracle’s OnDemand product line.

Gary started his career in software technology after receiving his MBA in Finance from Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business in New York.

What are you working on right now?

I have an interest and initiative into the gamification of lead nurturing. The idea is to use game theory, behavioral rewards and stimulus to accelerate movement through the lead nurturing process and on to sales engagement. I believe that this is a lead development process that really has applicability in the B2B world especially with IT professionals. It’s exciting because it’s really unexplored territory for B2B marketing.

What do you think the biggest pain points are in your space and how is your company conquering those challenges?

It’s a challenge to really understand and evaluate how all prospect touches to marketing programs, offers, web site content and social media interactions impact the marketing to sales pipeline and deliver measurable ROI.  It has to be a priority to find cost effective and scalable methodologies for answering marketing performance management questions like “what is the true source of a sales opportunity”, “How do you weight all the prospect touches in terms of impact” and “how do you dynamically determine the optimal mix of increasingly diverse awareness building, direct marketing, event marketing, social marketing and digital marketing programs and investments that can positively impact the sales process and revenue”. We see a slew of startups and developing companies that are showing real promise in marketing automation, data capture and analytics to help us make some real progress in this area in 2012.

What do you think your sales’ team’s biggest challenges are around lead management and lead delivery? What do they want to see the most of?

Well there’s the age old challenge presented by sales to marketing … don’t give us leads, give us high quality sales opportunities … in higher volumes … ASAP. A marketing team that truly partners with sales understands this and focuses to deliver a quantity and quality of sales opportunities that can effectively feed a successful sales team. In our space, license enterprise middleware software which is characterized by big ticket sales with long sales cycles, paying attention to the distribution of sales opportunities across sales regions and vertical markets is key.  You can’t grow a family of eagles successfully by feeding only seven birds in a nest of 12. Also, eagles need to know how to feed themselves when necessary. In our world, everyone cold calls and prospects.

How does Marketing play a role in helping solve those concerns of Sales?

Marketing plays a key role as a partner to sales. We use the linkage of a highly skilled lead qualification team to ensure that the leads generated by marketing programs are prosecuted quickly and effectively to ensure that “no sales opportunity is left behind.” We team our lead qualifiers with specific members of the sales team and pay close attention to their performance metrics across activities and deliverables. There is also a constant flow of feedback using sales and marketing automation and regularly scheduled conversations between sales, our lead qualification and demand generation teams. The result of all this interaction and measurement is a strong focus on what sales needs to be successful and how marketing programs need to be adjusted to meet those needs.

Where do you see the future of lead generation, lead management, lead nurturing and activity monitoring?

There’s a coming convergence of these processes that will be enabled through marketing automation, performance management and analytics technology. Continuous improvements to the technology, technique and science of B2B marketing is accelerating our ability to connect the dots between these processes and deliver comprehensive real-time information to our lead qualification teams enabling them improve their yield of great sales opportunities. Activity monitoring in particular is becoming increasingly important to providing marketing and sales with a more holistic view of the prospect and sales opportunity.

What excites you in the brand and social space?

Sentiment analysis is an exciting technique that will help us understand what all the activity in our social marketing programs is trying to tell us. Also, the same way websites have are transitioning from awareness, messaging and information platforms to lead generation engines, it’s time to move social media programs and sites in the same direction. Digital and social media marketing is exploding so it’s a really great time for marketing professionals to get their demand generation, data, metrics and analytics mojo going.

Gary Damiano