Each marketer takes their own path to their chosen career, but there is one trait that all successful marketers share: Adaptability. Top marketers must constantly evolve and grow to meet new and unexpected challenges. Here, Richard Clements shares his journey to his current role as CMO at Novetta and the challenges he’s faced along the way.
Tell us a little about your professional background and your role at Novetta.
My professional background is divided by a significant event in my life – getting my MBA. Prior to that time I was focused on engineering – flight test and systems engineering – as a member of the US Air Force and a government contractor.
After I completed my MBA I made a conscious decision to switch my focus to software and marketing and have worked for a variety of enterprise software companies primarily in the capacity of product marketing.
At Novetta I focus on demand generation, awareness and thought leadership, field support and overall go-to-market strategy, so I draw heavily on my experience in all aspects of marketing.
How did you come to develop a focus on and expertise in “big data” solutions and technologies?
My focus on big data solutions and technologies was a result of a very natural progression throughout my career in software with an initial focus in enterprise application integration (EAI) to business-to-business (B2B) integration and on to master data management (MDM). At the core of all of these solution areas is data and leveraging data to solve business problems.
While at IBM I owned marketing for MDM, and big data and Hadoop emerged as all the rage. With my ability to communicate both about the technology, but more importantly, about the business value of the technology, I was asked to own marketing for big data at IBM. One of the major challenges executives at organizations face is everyone is talking about big data and Hadoop, but they get lost in the hype. I spend a great deal of time focusing on the business reasons and value companies can gain from Hadoop and leveraging Big Data.
Can you speak to the differences between executive marketing positions at global brands (i.e. IBM) as compared to a growth oriented company like Novetta?
Differences apply across every aspect of marketing in some respect, but the most acute difference for me at this stage in Novetta’s growth is generating awareness for Novetta. Much of my time is spent thinking about how to make potential buyers of our solutions aware of Novetta and help them understand our unique value proposition.
While we have worked for the government on some of the world’s largest data sets for customers who demand security and speed, our presence in the commercial markets is still emerging. Customers would buy solutions from IBM simply because they were IBM…I don’t have that luxury. It’s a wonderful challenge we face with very talented people and capable technology, but the reality is we must demonstrate what makes us unique every day.
What are some of the unique challenges Novetta faces as a company that sells to both business and government customers?
There are a couple of challenges we face. Novetta has deep roots supporting the US government’s national security mission with a heritage that includes more than 25 years of real-world success in big data. We have a history of providing mission-critical solutions to national security customers and the intelligence community in biometrics, digital forensics, discovery analytics, geospatial intelligence, social networks, etc.
However, because of the sensitive nature of our customer’s problems, it can be quite challenging to discuss those openly through public case studies. Consequently, as Novetta expands from government to commercial markets, taking advantage of our early success with those government customers can be difficult.
Could you share an overview of the Novetta Nexus program and the success metrics put in place for a content-centric marketing campaign?
Novetta Nexus is really where our technologists are able to share their expertise on different areas of advanced analytics – data analytics, cyber analytics, open source/media analytics and multi-int fusion analytics. The purpose of Novetta Nexus is to deepen our relationships with our prospects and customers by conveying the value of our multi-disciplinary expertise.
Novetta Nexus is also a great avenue for us to share the culture of Novetta with our Life at Novetta blog series. We fundamentally believe that one of our differentiators is our people as we have super smart technologies from a broad spectrum of disciplines. These technologists are solving some of the most difficult challenges that organizations face. In terms of success metrics, we use a hybrid of consumption, sharing, lead gen, and sales metrics to analyze overall content performance.