Rise Of A Marketing Technologist In McKesson


Rohit Prabhakar is an innovator in every sense of the word. His background in software engineering and technical project management helped shape his his future to become Head of Digital Marketing Strategy & Marketing Technologies for McKesson. Rohit thrives at the intersection of marketing and technology.

At this year’s #MarTech conference, I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Rohit for the first time.  I was honored to have him join me on a Google Hangout to share how he’s using his technology background to lead a marketing transformation at McKesson. He offered his perspective on the evolution of marketing technology, and the importance of prioritization, especially when it comes to building and scaling products for the marketplace.

Before we talk more about the evolution of marketing technology, let’s get to know Rohit a bit better.

Favorite Marketing Heroes?

  • Scott Brinker He is like the godfather of modern technology. I owe him big time because he’s made life so easy. I have his infographic hanging at my house and there is another copy that is in my office.
  • David Raab is an inspiration and has so much knowledge of demand generation systems.
  • John Maxwell because I love to read all his books about leadership
  • Zig Ziglar and all of his advice on the power of mentorship.
  • Rand Fishkin – it’s always good to know what he’s thinking and Tweeting.
  • Jeremiah Owyang from a totally different category, he’s talking about the next big breakthrough, crowdsourcing and things like those.

You can follow Rohit (@rohitprabhakar) on Twitter here.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?
My life is all about leadership. I am a big student of leadership. If I was not doing this, I would definitely in a leadership position somewhere.

Favorite Business Books?
Obviously I really love to read leadership books, because eventually, it’s all about leadership, whether you’re in sales, technology or marketing. Leadership means you don’t just do it – you think about it, you put a strategy and then you make it happen. I would say The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz is one of the key books that I love to read again and again, also “Leading Change” by John Kotter.

Check out the full interview here: 

Let’s learn more about Rohit’s career path:

Over the past decade, Rohit has seen the evolution of B2B marketing and especially its impact on the West Coast. In addition to his role as Chief Marketing Technologist at McKesson, he’s also a product manager for his company.

How he ended up being on the marketing team is a pretty awesome story. During college, he majored in biology but he never pursued a career in medical science. Instead, he opted for a different field of study. 

“One of my cousins, who was the biggest influence during that time of my life, was always talking about Java. As soon I got in the technology field, I knew this was the only place I should be, because I was naturally good at it.”

As Rohit’s career in technology started taking off, he quickly learned there was more to software than just being a coder. “Suddenly, there was a huge opportunity on the sales side, and my company moved me from technology to sales overnight. I started working in sales targeting Fortune 500 companies the Bay area. That’s how I ended up in sales.”

[Tweet “#B2B #Sales people have diverse backgrounds with a common drive to succeed — @rohitprabhakar“]

Making the Transition from Building Technology to Selling It

It was during Rohit’s time at Copart when he was serving as a software engineering manager and with the product management team that he got his first taste of sales. “My main client was, of course, the clients of Copart but also internal marketing. While I was in those meetings regularly every week, every day, I used to see that stress between IT and technology and marketing.”

It was during these meetings where Rohit discovered the power to change the thought process on his teams. He explains how he approached his manager and the CTO about how he could make an impact on the marketing team.

“I have always loved the business side more than technology, because I always feel the need is on the business side. Technology provides that need. Making the switch was not easy, but it was not as tough as I thought it would be.”

Soon after, Rohit learned of an opening at McKesson and officially made the switch to their marketing team.

“It has been a beautiful journey at McKesson. I have loved everything, especially being such a big company. Even though it is a big company, the people there embrace change.”

[Tweet “When you see stress between #marketing and #technology, how do you impact change? — @rohitprabhakar“]

Rohit’s Mission at McKesson

Rohit is on a mission to help McKesson continue to driving innovation while creating the least amount of friction.

Rohit is an amazing leader with a ton of experience and knows his stuff. What else would you like to know about him or McKesson? Tell us in the comments.

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