Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed John Wallace.
About the interviewee
John Wallace, DataSong CEO and Founder. John founded DataSong 11 years ago as a marketing analytics consultancy and has grown it to a team of 60.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
DataSong provides marketing effectiveness solutions to leading omni-channel retailers, including Williams-Sonoma and Neiman Marcus. Retailers use their comprehensive tools to measure, plan, and execute marketing more effectively, thereby growing revenue and improving marketing ROI. DataSong is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Seattle, Irvine, Hyderabad, and Singapore.
Tell us about why it is important for your firm to reach the C-level executives as potential clients.
Reaching C-Level execs is imperative in our business. We are a B2B marketing effectiveness vendor that sells primarily to CMOs at large retailers, including Williams-Sonoma and Neiman Marcus. To get in front of new prospects, we rely heavily on our reputation and network. We’ve found that the most influential introduction is through another C-level exec at a similar retailer since they share similar challenges and complexities.
Why are those below C-level not as effective to reach to promote your company?
Without the C-level buy-in and support, the resources required to complete a project (e.g. access to data, cutting through legal hurdles) and the organizational change management to affect change doesn’t happen.
What techniques have you deployed to reach those C-level executives?
We have ongoing, regular check-ins with our sponsors throughout our relationship and work hard to make sure we’re always providing value and a direct line of communication. At one major client, a new C-level executive was dissatisfied with a project. First impressions last, so I went to the client’s office, shook his hand, and introduced myself: “Hi, I’m John Wallace. I’m the guy you want to fire, but I think you need to hear us out.” That executive has since become one of DataSong’s biggest advocates, hired DataSong when he moved to another company, and referred several other large retail executives to DataSong.