My Experience Interviewing at Salesforce

Recruiting should not be a meat market...

Hiring good people is more than just selecting a cut of meat…

 

I just got asked by email to fill out a “confidential” survey about my experience interviewing with Salesforce.com.

Typically feedback from these kinds of survey tends to get aggregated and the pointed feedback gets lost when its compiled by third parties.

Instead, I thought I would put it out there publicly. Perhaps my feedback will help Salesforce make their interview experience better for candidates, and will help future candidates know what to expect until then.

For a cloud company that  is also closely allied with the world premier HR SaaS provider, Workday, Salesforce’s recruiting practices, in a word, suck.

[Read more…]

Why I Joined Pivotal Software

Cross-posted from my first blog published on LinkedIn

On brand with Pivotal Software...

Not only did I recently join Pivotal Software, I found my way into the swag closet…

I’m proud to announce that I have joined the marketing team at Pivotal Software.

There’s a special kind of excitement in helping build a business that you know can change the world. I’m excited to have a chance to work with the many talented people here at Pivotal, and be part of an amazing company and culture dedicated to helping customers create new innovations in big data.

[Read more…]

Fun Analogies and Metaphors at Work

terrible_analogies

[SOURCE: (c) Byron Villegas, used according to Creative Commons License]

Marketers are very fond of analogies and metaphors, maybe overly fond. A good metaphor helps convey the emotion of a thought. A good analogy can help explain a complex idea.

Much to the amusement and sometimes annoyance of my coworkers, I’m always trying to think in terms of metaphors and analogies.

For you word geeks, you might enjoy this quick post about the differences between an analogy, a simile, and a metaphor: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~ailed/125/resources/metaphors_similies_analogies.pdf

My coworkers suggested that I start keeping a log of my metaphors and analogies I use in my projects. Maybe I should figure out a voting system for readers to help express which ones are spot on and which ones turn out to be really bad.

[Read more…]

Little Companies Should Worry About Early Customers Before Big Company Partnerships

Here’s a common dream for many small company executives:

“If I can just convince Big Company to resell my product or service, their customers will love my product and I will make tons of money…”

Then you meet the representative at Big Company responsible for partner relationships and with a huge smile she assures you that everything you ever wanted and more will come true.

20140421-083240.jpg
Source: used according to Creative Commons License

What I’m going to say in this blog should be obvious to anyone who has been around the block in the business world. Somehow, it seems that many small company executives forget when the reseller fantasy takes hold in their brains that Big Company’s partner representative is not your friend. At the very least, your company is nothing to them. At worst, they may see your company as their way to make their revenue quota for the next quarter.

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Crowd Funding – Good for Consumer Startups! Maybe Not for B2B?

There can be no doubt that crowd funding is a great opportunity for consumer-oriented startup companies, no matter whether they plan to stay small and local businesses or become overnight growth successes.  Kickstarter allows your company to launch inexpensively and prove demand for your product by taking preorders that generate cash. Not only does this bring funding with no cost to you in ownership, but it gives you additional leverage for when you might talk to traditional startup investors.

kickstarter

[SOURCE: Used according to Fair Use Doctrine]
The Pebble smart watch was just one of many super successful consumer product launches that generated significant pre-orders and fame.

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Saying Goodbye After Eight Amazing Years at SAP

Finish-Start
[SOURCE: Andrew Hurley © 2011, used according to Creative Commons License]
“It feels right. But it’s emotional. Saying goodbye to anything you’ve done that long is hard.” –Angela Ruggiero

 


There is no better music for a reminiscent mood to than RUSH “Time Stand Still”

With a mix of sadness and excitement, I say goodbye to my colleagues at SAP this week after more than eight amazing years. Its no easy task to write a succinct goodbye blog with so much to reflect upon. So I will just focus on saying thanks to the incredible teams, customers, and partners I’ve had the honor to work with. While I name many people in this blog, there’s no way I can name everyone that deserves a thank you. So please contact me later and I’m more than happy to reminisce with you and thank you privately.

SAP is a company like no other. Between the amazing breadth of applications and technologies it’s developed and acquired over the years and the close strategic relationships it’s fostered with many of the world’s most successful brands, SAP well deserves the success it’s earned.

My time at SAP coincides with its transformation from traditional ERP vendor into a cloud services company. During that time I had a chance to hone my marketing skills by working with the world class marketing teams under CMOs Marty Homlish and Jonathan Becher.

I think of my time at SAP in four distinct epochs:

1. Helping SAP get saas-y by bringing SAP Business ByDesign to market
2. Guerrilla marketing for SAP Business Process Management
3. Going back to the cloud
4. Being assimilated by SAP HANA

Helping SAP Get SaaS-y with SAP Business ByDesign

 

badge
[SOURCE: © 2014 Greg Chase]
I still have my original photo badge from when I first joined SAP eight years ago.

[Read more…]

Tactics for Getting More Positive Reviews From Customers

Readership on social review sites is growing at staggering rates. And, fortunately for you, now you can use this fact to improve interactions with customers so they’ll give you positive feedback on social media.

In 2012, the review site  Yelp garnered more than 78 million page views compared to 41 million views in 2010. Recent research shows that 81 percent of travelers find user reviews important(some people visit up to 11 review sites before booking hotel rooms), and 49 percent of travelers won’t even book a property that doesn’t have online reviews.

In fact, the average online review is read by anywhere from 150 to 25,000 people – and –  with the surge of smartphone usage, people of all ages and social economic persuasions are using the information out there to decide about their next purchase.

Even if you weren’t aware of the stats, you know that positive online reviews are critical for attracting new customers. Of course, realizing it is the easy part – now you need to know how you can get your customers to post more  reviews on social media and review sites and draw prospective guests in the door.

Here are four easy ways you can build a deeper connection with your online customer network through positive social engagement.

Tip #1: Give them something to talk about

People are already inclined to share outstanding experiences with their friends, especially when it comes to social media. So your number one job as a business owner is to ensure your customers actually have a great experience – because being the best is always buzz-worthy. And when you can, ensure they have an extra-ordinary experience by doing something they remember.

doubletree cookie care

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Forget Products! Marketing Should Deliver Benefits Directly to Customers Instead!

My April Fools startup idea…

One of the growing trends coming out of the Silicon Valley start up frenzy is the concept of “Growth Hacking” where developers can “disrupt” the need to have a marketing department by essentially baking in awareness and demand generation as features of a product.

Add in elegant work from your product designers, and you essentially have no need for a marketing department at all since the products will position and message themselves, as well as create and follow up on leads simply through their use.

At first, marketers such as  myself were shocked – you mean companies will no longer need power point, logo design, or spam emails because the products can essentially market themselves??? Then we understood the actual reality: “Wow, developers are finally becoming aware of the market and their users!” At last, we can have the data we need about our customers and prospects usage of a product to do an effective job in the marketing department!

Then some enterprising marketers got together and thought, “Hmmm, how can we reduce expenses in R&D, speed up product cycles, and maybe turn marketing into a direct profit-center?”  Their solution: “Market2Benefit” the new “direct benefit to customer platform.”

Now companies no longer need a pesky unreliable product development process in order to deliver benefits to their customers. Market2Benefit is a multi-channel benefit application technology that allows end-customers to experience the benefits of using a product without having to actually use a product. The OEM simply decides what kinds of benefits they want their customer to enjoy, brands the experience accordingly, and deploys it to their customers.

By directly delivering benefits to customers, marketing departments can avoid the need of complicated product development and increase potential revenue.
[SOURCE: used according to creative commons license]

“Our goal is to help our customers get closer to their customers,” said Greg Chase, President of Market2Benefit. “Hopefully directly into the pleasure centers of their customers’ brains.”

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Six Enterprise IT Buzzword Predictions for 2014

bee
What new buzzwords will enterprise software marketers be adopting in 2014 to pollinate awareness and help our companies make honey?
[PHOTO SOURCE]  Used according to Creative Commons License.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share some predictions on the 2014 fate of popular 2013 buzzwords. [Read more…]

What Can Companies Expect from Crowd Funding and Crowd Sourcing?

Jubilee_crowd
[SOURCE] Crowds gathered in a Mall in UK.

Originally posted at SAPHANA.com.

Whenever new Internet-based business models are invented, some quickly create new kinds of companies – like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter.  Others mature more slowly such as in the case of crowd funding and crowd sourcing. Crowd funding is finding funding for projects, products and companies from strangers on the Internet with companies such as Kickstarter, IndieGogo, and AngelList helping crowd funding mature. Crowd sourcing is sourcing work or creative ideas from strangers on the Internet with companies such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and 99 Designs successfully showing different models of crowd sourcing.  These concepts have been around since the beginning of Web 2.0, but enterprises are still trying to understand how these might fit into their existing businesses.

Having been involved with SAP’s first crowd sourcing programs, the SAP HANA Idea Incubator, and the SAP Idea Place, I’ve run firsthand into the many different expectations that people have about these concepts. Most understand some of the benefits they might receive, but not the corresponding duties they have to making their project a success. Similarly, I think involving a crowd has some far reaching benefits that only some have set up their campaigns to fully realize.

  [Read more…]