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Marketing IS in the Middle: Mukund Mohan

With a technologist, operations expert, a development leader and an MBA out of the way in the series, the next participant is Mukund Mohan.  Mukund is the CEO of BuzzGain proves and continues to look for the next big thing as an entrepreneur.  Many thanks to him for participating and providing his take on why marketing is in the middle.

What marketing roles have you had and in what markets?

A bunch – Product Management, Product Marketing, VP Marketing and CMO.  Mostly in software (high technology) and now I’m working on my own thing, which is marketing+other stuff+fun+a bunch of work.

When you look at your career in marketing, what discipline/component have you found most interesting/challenging?

Actually interesting and challenging both require an answer: Most interesting: Market research and competitive analysis Most challenging: Lead generation and sales enablement for a large sales force

What do you feel the most important component of a successful marketing gig?  (Product, Brand, Positioning)

Great products make marketing easier than trying to market a so-so product.  Good products create loyal users and positive word of move.  If you have great positioning then a great product irresistible.

Since you selected Product, how have you see that contributed to revenue?

Great products appeal to the customer in a uniquely satisfying way, making marketing’s job to only create awareness.  Satisfied customer’s allow for faster product adoption and provides quicker time to revenue.

What experiences brought you to this conclusion?

At Mercury (HP) we had a product called Application Discovery and Mapping, which solved a very unique problem in automatically discovering components of your IT infrastructure in a quick, simple way, eliminating tedious manual processes.  Typically this was the writing and drawing maps of your infrastructure over and over again – not fun.

This was a breakthrough product in several ways – it appealed to the IT infrastructure owner because it worked, was quick and also solved a big pain point.  Marketing it was simply a matter of identifying the key infrastructure head and showing them a demo.  Real problems and real products mean easy marketing.

If you could design the perfect corporate environment for a marketer to be successful what would that be?
The right organization.  An engineering team that’s willing and happy to listen to customers and make rapid changes to product to facilitate adoption.  Sales team that’s providing custom pitches to prospects instead of cookie cutter product demonstrations. Marketing teams that are more agile and nimble to adopt new means of lead generation.

How far is this from reality?

Not very far for certain types of teams, but for the traditional corporations, this is more of a dream than a reality.