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Brendan Reid

Eric Goodwin

Brendan Reid

Entrepreneur, Marketing

Brendan is part of the new breed of leaders and entrepreneurs who breaks through challenging problems to find innovative solutions. Having held a variety of developmental and leadership roles in various companies, he has established himself as a high caliber product manager, product marketer and sales leader.

InsideSpin asked Brendan to respond to the following questions:

What traits do you most value in a business leader? Do you think these traits can be developed or do most successful business leaders have these traits naturally in their DNA?

The most valuable trait in a business leader in my opinion is the ability to make strategic decisions based on imperfect or incomplete information and then align and drive a team to execute with enthusiasm. I think this is a natural ability in leaders that is difficult to develop through experience or education.

Who have been some of the mentors in your career that helped define your traits of excellence?

My father has been a great mentor to me and specifically has taught me the value of integrity and social responsibility in business.

What's the biggest reason why startup technology companies fail to achieve their goals?

Startup technology companies fail primarily because they focus too much on developing product and technology and not enough on establishing a solid position in the mind of the market based on a fundamental differentiator. Adjacent to that would be yielding to the temptation of doing too much or being everything to everyone vs. establishing ownership and differentiation in one area and exploiting that advantage to market leadership.

If you could change the marketing behavior of a large technology company, which company would it be and why?

I would like to see all technology companies market and message with greater precision vs. the status quo which is typically watered down, generic or category level marketing. When I worked at PlateSpin we did a good job of focusing our marketing on catalyst events that were top of mind for our customers e.g. server consolidation, disaster recovery, hardware refresh - this type of pragmatic event or priority driven marketing approach is very powerful for technology companies.

You've had a chance to visit many cities in different countries with the various roles you have had. If you had to choose one area to market into, which one would it be and why?

I spent several years of my career building a business in Korea and got to understand the customer, corporate and social environment very well. I would enjoy applying my knowledge of the region to technology marketing. I would also enjoy several "business" trips to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia ...

Your current business focuses on helping companies develop effective go-to-market campaigns for new initiatives, why is it that these companies can’t do these things well themselves?

First and foremost, marketing organizations tend to be activity centric, which is to say they measure their performance on the execution of isolated marketing activities. We all see this in boardroom meetings where we narrowly define the success and failure of marketing by how many leads they generate, how many campaigns the execute - the missing links being, "how many leads, to reach what segment, in which market, through what route, to achieve what goal etc". Good marketing organizations align corporate objectives, marketing goals, programmatic objectives and campaign metrics so they can draw a straight line from the performance of a single campaign to the strategic goals of the business. As it pertains specifically to customer acquisition, marketing organizations tend to narrowly focus on the connection phase of the purchase cycle which can generate a lot of leads but ultimately result in lethargic or unacceptable conversion. Good marketing organizations align message, media, offer, etc against each stage of the purchase cycle from connection to consideration, to evaluation, close and advocacy which if executed effectively can accelerate the acquisition of new customers and improve the performance of marketing investments.

If you had to make one recommendation to someone starting their own business, what would it be?

When in doubt, just do something. The temptation is always to defer until you have more information or things are more clear or you're better prepared. This is almost always a mistake -- one that I continue to make over and over to this day ... the most successful entrepreneurs I know just dive in head first, make a million mistakes and trust that their decision making skills and strategic intuition are strong enough to navigate to success.