The Latest from the ABM Experts
April 25, 2017
#WomenInMartech Game Changers: How Katie Bullard Embodies 3 Values to Empower Her Team
Written by Kaitlin Lutz
#FlipMyFunnel is extremely excited to engage with our vast #WomenInMarTech community! One of the ways we’ve chosen to facilitate this is through monthly blog posts featuring women from our incredible community. For April, we will be highlighting the phenomenal Katie Bullard, Chief Growth Officer of DiscoverOrg.
During Katie Bullard’s interview, we discuss how to grow in clarity with your organization, transformations to come in the martech industry, the impact of ABM, advice for other women in our Women in MarTech community, and more. Check out our interview with Katie below!
Katie is responsible for leading the global marketing, product management, and partnership functions at DiscoverOrg. She brings 15 years of marketing, product, and strategy experience in global, high-growth technology businesses to her role. Katie has also served in executive leadership roles at Mitratech, Accruent, and Hoover’s.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I don’t know that there’s ever a typical day! However, what I’m doing on a regular basis is really working with my team to understand what our priorities are for the day and the week as well as checking in on our metrics from the day and the week before. Because we work at such a fast pace, we need to check in and make sure our priorities are clear constantly. Seeing how we’re doing from a pipeline generation perspective, how we’re doing with our conversion rates, and how we’re doing on lead generation is incredibly important. Our goal is always to make sure that we’re going to hit our revenue number for the month, the quarter, and the year. I never want to be surprised if any metric looks awry. I always want to make sure I stay on top of those key metrics and priorities.
Also, I’m always making sure that we are aligned with our colleagues in the sales and customer success side around any joint program or campaign. If I think about what my ultimate job is as a leader in a marketing organization, it is providing clarity to my team. It is knowing what the priorities and goals are as an organization both on a marketing team level and company level. Also, that we all understand how everyday what we’re doing aligns back to those goals and we can adjust very quickly if we need to. We’re in an organization and company where things change very very fast.
What was your experience like growing up? Were you interested in technology as a kid?
Not really! I actually got both of my degrees, undergrad, and graduate, in urban planning and design from a school of architecture. I spent the first five years or so of my career in real estate development, measuring the impact of various developments and communities. I was first interested in technology because I then went to a real estate development software firm. To some extent, I had never really done marketing before. However, I was asked to take on a marketing role because I really understood the user of this software since I was a user myself. That perspective gave me a really solid foundation in marketing even though I couldn’t tell you anything about SEO or SEM or anything like that when I first started. What I did understand is how to connect to the buyer and shape the customer experience because I could fit in their shoes.
“What I did understand is how to connect to the buyer and shape the customer experience because I could fit in their shoes”
That lesson has always been really important to me. From that point, I entered the technology and marketing world.
What made you want to pursue the career in marketing and technology vs. sticking with the career in real estate?
I think what I really loved about the tech space was the pace at which it moved. I tend to be a very high energy person, and I easily fed off the energy of the very fast growing tech company I was in. Also, my view of what marketers did before coming into a marketing role was very skewed. I thought it was simply sending out emails, building websites, and planning events. That is certainly a piece of what we do, but at the end of the day my job was and is to drive growth for the organization. When I look back at my career before entering a marketing role, I see that growth is what I was doing in every role. Figuring out what our growth opportunities were as an organization and where we needed to focus. Being able to do that deliberately in a marketing role was very liberating for me.
What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the martech industry?
I think there are a couple of things we’re already starting to see happen. There’s a lot of alignment between the sales space and martech space. Here at DiscoverOrg we actually sell to sales and marketing reps about equally. We see that there’s a lot of silos and points of failure in sales and marketing technology. For example, the marketing team could be using one database and the sales team another database. Things aren’t integrated across the board. I think as sales and marketing become aligned, especially as ABM becomes such an important initiative in organizations, you’re going to see the technologies become more integrated and aligned. I also think you’re going see the predictive AI space evolve to a place that is more transparent and straightforward for marketers to utilize in their usual prospecting workflow. I think what marketers want is really practical predictive intelligence that just helps them get smarter at prospecting and understanding why they’re prioritizing certain accounts over others.
How do you think ABM fits into the space?
I think ABM is critical to sales and marketing alignment. I think we all realize that quality over quantity is going to win every single day.
“I think ABM is critical to sales and marketing alignment. I think we all realize that quality over quantity is going to win every single day.”
I think people got fat and happy driving a bunch of inbound leads to the sales team, but sales team kept getting frustrated. Some of the leads were good, but you had to sift through a bunch of junk to get the good stuff. With ABM, knowing what your ideal customer profile is, finding prospects that look like your best customer, and then coming together as sales, marketing, and even customer success teams to say discuss how everyone engages with the account is vital. Whether that’s ad targeting like Terminus, email campaign, call campaign, direct mail, or coordinating around events. What ABM does is it brings sales, marketing, and customer success together to acknowledge the piece that each one plays in ultimately landing and or expanding the account. We see a ton of success in it. Although, I think every successful hybrid organization is going to have a nice balance between an account-based strategy while still driving inbound leads.
Can you tell us about your leadership style and philosophy as a leader in your organization?
I always go back to a set of core values that as a leader I must embody by example. However, I also want my team to embody these values, and by embodying them, we’re ultimately going to get the results we want as an organization.
The first core value is clarity. As a leader, my ultimate job is to make it very clear to my team why what they’re doing matters, why it’s important, and how they can get even better at that. My team should always understand how what they’re doing fits into the bigger picture.
The second core value is a constant focus on continuous improvement through progress, not perfection. If we’re not trying to do something incrementally better each time we do it, we’re going to fall behind. So I push myself and my team to find ways to get incrementally better every day, even in the smallest things.
The third core value is ownership. We all have to take ownership for the ultimate outcome of what we’re working on, not just the activity that we’re required to do.
“We all have to take ownership for the ultimate outcome of what we’re working on, not just the activity that we’re required to do.”
An example is if I have someone on my team who is in charge of the webinar program, they ultimately own the revenue from the program. They don’t just own planning the logistics to get those up and executed. I think when we all think that way, we all understand how we have to work together. Not just as a marketing team but a company as a whole.
What advice would you give to our #WomenInMartech community?
Always wear your enterprise hat. We have to view the priorities of our organizations through the lenses of our CEO and not just through the lens of a functional marketing leader. I think when you can wear the enterprise hat and not just the functional marketing hat, you start to become a more effective marketing leader. You can be more objective about what’s important, what’s working, what’s not not working, and where you should dial up or down resources. I come to work every day thinking to myself, if I was running this business, how would I look at what’s working and not working in marketing?
“I come to work every day thinking to myself, if I was running this business, how would I look at what’s working and not working in marketing?”
How would I value the impact that marketing has on the organization? When I do that, it makes me think about things differently. My biggest advice: always put on that enterprise hat.
Thanks for tuning in for our first #WomenInMarTech post. We can’t wait to come together again to educate one another, learn from each other, and celebrate every one of our marketing ladies!
We believe this list has a world of potential and we want you, the community, to help us grow it. Click here to submit a woman in marketing who should be listed.