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Interview with Wayne Caccamo, Chief Marketing Officer at FogLogic

Rhythm Singhal By Rhythm Singhal in Interviews-L on

Wayne is FogLogic’s chief marketing officer responsible for marketing strategic planning and delivery. FogLogic applies AI and machine learning to modernize and automate operations for SAP and other enterprise application environments. He brings to FogLogic both extensive large corporation and startup management and scaling experience. This includes senior marketing posts at HP and Oracle, and top marketing executive roles at several successful technology category pioneers that achieved successful exits (1 IPO; 3 acquisitions). Wayne holds an MBA from Yale and a BA in Economics from Tufts University.

Your Journey as a Marketing Professional

When I was in college, I worked as a part-time market researcher for a management consulting firm located in Cambridge, MA. My job was to conduct phone surveys and interviews with customers for tech clients. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this got me comfortable asking marketing questions, uncovering needs, and listening to pain points and challenges. This also prepared me well for my first full-time job as a market research analyst for a technology consulting company and for the rest of my career in tech marketing.

I leveraged business school and my MBA (Yale ’88) to transition to the client side and move to Silicon Valley to work for Hewlett Packard. Everything I learned at Yale about Marketing is obsolete now. So, for me, the biggest value of my MBA is that it gave me permission to ask questions. I found that my peers were often afraid to ask questions when they didn’t understand a business term or concept fearing that there is such a thing as a dumb question. Confident in my business education background, I asked a lot of questions if something wasn’t clear to me, figuring that if I didn’t understand something, maybe I wasn’t expected to. So, encourage your teams to ask questions because we like to pontificate, and they want to learn. And, ask them questions because their experience as digital natives, is worth more than your training on the “4 P’s of Marketing.”

I was with HP during its client-server golden era and learned a lot about how large enterprises do B2B marketing. My success there can be linked to the introduction and proliferation of, wait for it…. PowerPoint. It gave me a canvass to express and share my ideas in pictures which proved more powerful and persuasive than the legacy tools du jour. I started out as a product manager and eventually became responsible for strategic marketing programs – one of which focused on the Linux/Open Source movement. My exploits there were chronicled in a Wall Street Journal cover story.

I parlayed my “B-level” (open source/nerd) celeb status into a senior marketing position with my first start-up that achieved a billion-dollar market cap upon IPO. I have been a marketing Veep/CMO for early-stage startups ever since because there are few things in business more exciting and rewarding than helping to build and grow a business from the ground up.

What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?

As a start-up marketing executive, you are responsible for all channels: digital, social media, events, public and analyst relations, web/SEO, etc. The key is having the right mix and that starts with understanding your target personas, which each have their favorite on- and-offline watering holes where they go to learn, consume and exchange information.

The science of marketing has taken over the art, so you can’t be successful without mastering digital channels and the data they generate for decision-making purposes. You don’t have to conduct traditional market research and perfect your message before you launch. You can cost-effectively try myriad message combinations, fail fast on steroids, and the data about what’s working and what’s not working will drive you from there, in real time.

Having said all that, I thought email and physical event channels would be in a death spiral by now. But, it’s clear to me now that they will be an important part of your marketing mix for the foreseeable future, especially as a way to nurture leads. Media and analyst relations is very business-context sensitive and I have been in situations where success here is strategic and where the focus was more opportunistic.

For example, in tech Gartner can be a kingmaker, legitimize your market space, and bring order to the solution landscape with its research notes and dreaded “Magic Quadrant.” But, engaging too early may be more of an expensive distraction.

In terms of your direct web/SEO channel, I used to be obsessed with the minutia of keyword research, on-page optimizations, quality of backlinks, social signals, and technical considerations. But, unless you have a giant budget and I never do, you will drive yourself crazy trying to manage things at this level of granularity because it’s a moving target. If you just focus on creating great content and pay attention to simple user experience factors like the page and video load times, you can sleep easy at night.

What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?

Marketing automation (MA) and CRM integration is your software foundation. For MA, I have used Marketo, Pardot, and HubSpot (all integrated with Salesforce). Each can do the job. But, like any software, they have their strengths and weaknesses. So, do your homework to determine the best fit. ABM is emerging and promising because personalization technology is now making it possible to define and target markets of one. As a result, the concept of “market segments” may soon become obsolete. Demandbase is a leader in this space. There are a lot of tools and ways to make your website more interactive like SnapApp and Intercom and it’s critical that after you’ve done the hard work of attracting the eyeballs you find a way to engage them before they bounce.

Would you like to share a few words about any marketing software that you absolutely love and always recommend it to others?

There’s a lot of compelling research on the power of video. I think Vidyard has a very cool team and product and when you engage with them you will quickly see that they eat their own dog food and that’s very effective.

In the big picture, the landscape of relevant tools is evolving quickly because the digitization of marketing is causing marketers and tool vendors to rethink everything. As a result, your experience has diminishing value. You can’t rely on history and what worked in the past (i.e. best practices) to point the way forward. Rather you must think about “next practices”, which means getting good at experimenting, failing fast, and predicting what will work moving forward.

This brings me to my closing point if you want to stay relevant as a tech marketing professional, education is your best tool. This means staying current with the freshest ways to think about things like “how customers buy” and “how to draw the line between marketing and selling”. I’d like to give a final shout out to CEB, as an excellent source of modern marketing and sales insights.