A year after raising its $25 million Series C round and six year old business intelligence (BI) startup GoodData has finally made its most important hire, according to founder and CEO Roman Stanek. Today, the company announced the appointment of its first CMO, naming enterprise marketing veteran Maureen Kelly to the role.
Prior to GoodData, Kelly was heading her own marketing and sales consulting firm, 2 Be Bold, which counted Yammer, MobileIron, Greenplum, SugarCRM, Smartling, and even GoodData among its approximately two dozen Silicon Valley clients – it was GoodData investor Marc Andreessen* who first connected Kelly with Stanek. Previously she held executive marketing positions at Vontu (acquired by Symantec), OuterBay (acquired by HP), Amplitude (acquired by CriticalPath), and PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle). In other words, this isn’t Kelly’s first rodeo.
The executive addition comes at a time when GoodData is looking to tighten the alignment of its brand narrative and its product roadmap. As a result, Kelly will oversee both the company’s marketing and product management divisions. Combined the two departments include approximately 35 employees, ten of which are located in Prague, with the balance in San Francisco. Kelly brought several past team members with her when joining the company and will look to continue hiring in these departments over the coming months.
“Our focus is on being a next-gen analytics company, not selling same old stuff,” Stanek says. “Our goal is help our clients achieve the very best business outcomes that can be achieved with data. To be effective, I knew we needed someone capable of speaking to both the IT and business audience. The CMO is a new role for us, but is a critical one.”
Kelly joined GoodData approximately six weeks ago, as the company was closing its most successful quarter ever. In Q1, GoodData tripled its revenue on a year-over-year basis and added Comcast, Universal McCann, and Lenovo, among others to its roster of 20,000 active clients. The company has used partnerships with Zendesk, Netsuite, and Box to add leverage to its customer acquisition efforts.
Despite this success, Kelly sees plenty of room to improve GoodData.
“We need to continue putting customer in the center of everything we do,” the new CMO says. “There’s a trends in cloud computing, where buyers are 70 percent of the way through the product evaluation cycle before they ever talk to the company. We have to evolve and become more self service along the lines of AWS [Amazon Web Services] or Twilio. We will come out with gen-1 of this vision in Q3.”
The business intelligence and big data analytics markets are highly fragmented and competitive with notable challengers including Tableau, Clout9, Google’s Dremel, Domo, and EdgeSpring, among dozens of others. For Kelly, the key to winning in this environment is to build appropriate segmentation and educate each company on how they can personally be successful with GoodData.
“I think about big data tools like I do knives in the kitchen,” Kelly says. “One knife is for chopping vegetables and another is for slicing sushi.” The key, apparently, is making sure the universe of potential clients knows which knives are available and when to grab each.
The way Kelly measures success is not through growth in top line sales. Rather, the new CMO plans to focus on user adoption as her leading KPI. User adoption measures the number of a client’s knowledge workers who have access to its BI tools and that continue to engage with the software. Much like ecommerce marketers focus on their net promoter score (NPS) and allow happy customers to sell their brands for them, in software, high adoption rates predict happy customers. At an average rate of 84 percent adoption, GoodData is currently three times the BI industry average.
Kelly is hardly joining a company in disarray, and yet there is still an opportunity to improve this already successful organization. Startups are known for moving quickly, and yet even at approximately 200 employees, evolving into a more self-service and customer-centric enterprise, and doing so without jeopardizing what’s currently working, is no easy task. Kelly’s background would suggest that she’s more than up to the task.
[ *GoodData is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, whose partners Marc Andreessen, Jeff Jordan, and Chris Dixon are individual investors in PandoDaily.]
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GoodData provides operational dashboards, advanced reporting and data warehousing at a fraction of the cost and complexity of other approaches. Trusted by scores of companies across diverse industries and embedded into offerings from cloud innovators—including Zendesk, Get Satisfaction and Pardot—GoodData is the future of BI. You can find us in San Francisco; in Prague and Brno, Czech Republic; and in the cloud.