There are some great CMOs out there. From time to time in this blog, I will interview a CMO and bring you their thoughts on important topics.
Today, I am with Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, VP Marketing at Webtrends, the highly successful web analytics company. Jascha runs all of Webtrends marketing – branding, demand generation, advertising, public relations and web site operations. Jascha is a recovering strategic marketing consultant (Alvarez & Marsal) and has worked at Microsoft and Yahoo! in senior marketing and business development roles. Jascha is a sharp dresser (duh!) with a real passion for technology. And he’s a terrific marketer.
Brian: Jascha, what are your biggest marketing challenges at Webtrends?
Jascha: As a technology company in the marketing services space our biggest challenge is to both be effective marketers and bellwether examples of how to use our technologies (and our partners’). It’s both a challenge and an opportunity of course.
Brian: Give me an example of that.
Jascha: For example, the marketing department developed the alpha version of Webtrends Facebook Analytics and whenever, as a marketing department, you develop marketing solutions that both effectively add to the bottom line and push forward your technology platforms it’s a win.
Brian: What are a few lessons you learned from your marketing in 2009 that you are applying in 2010?
Jascha: For us, 2010 is more about “operationalization” than it is anything else. We’ve modified our budgeting and prioritization schedules to allow for our team to operate within an iterative marketing model. The notion of failing fast and not failing the same way twice is something the team fully understands now. It’s starting to pay significant dividends across all our programs.
Brian: I love that – not falling the same way twice! Jascha, are you more of a left-brainer (analytics) or right-brainer (creative, intuitive)?
Jascha: I’ve always prided myself on being an “analytical creative.”
Jascha: Fundamentally, to be successful in marketing, we must be able to be creative and nimble but do so in an environment that affords us the ability to measure our successes and failures. Left brain/right brain is more about finding a balance than digging your heels. It’s the yin and yang of the modern marketer.
Brian: Why did you get into marketing?
Jascha: I’ve grown my career as a generalist across multiple disciplines – business management, creative, analytics, merchandising, business development, advertising and sales. For me, personally, marketing combines the best attributes of each. The modern marketer fundamentally understands how a business works and how they can contribute and grow it. There is nothing more exciting to me than that.
Brian: What do you do for fun … apart from marketing?
Jascha: I have an amazing family and my partner, Rebecca, has recently started a children’s clothing line. In supporting her business I get to flex my skills as her head of IT. Tinkering with technology is a passion of mine. Outside that I’ve been known to spend a good deal of time catching up on celebrity gossip.