Originally Posted: https://fixel.ai/blog/interview-with-anand-thaker/
As a founder, you will be faced with a thousand decisions and tasks. The best armor to think with clarity and last through the lull between the exciting start and success is ensuring you remain healthy and happy.
– Anand Thaker
To paraphrase an old classic, the best way to look further is to stand on the shoulders of giants. We at Fixel were fortunate to have learned and worked opposite industry and thought leaders, with this series, we aim to showcase and share some of their experience and insight with fellow entrepreneurs and our blog readers.
This week we meet up with Anand Thaker (LinkedIn / Twitter), a leader in marketing technology and growth strategy. His 15-years of experience includes marketing, sales, CX, data, analytics, and intelligent systems. He founded IntelliPhi to advance human & digital go-to-market decisions for growth leaders in a diverse, dynamic, interconnected marketplace. He is also the co-collaborator of one of the most known MarTech industry research landscape in the industry.
After a short round of hello’s and a brief introduction to the concept of this interview series, we dove right into some questions that we’ve been itching to ask.
What is the one most valuable growth hacking tip you would give a startup to boost their sales cycle?
Nail down your pitch and offer in conversation. As a salesperson at an early stage startup, you’re not only developing a pipeline but validating the product or the positioning. Start short and sweet and let the conversation navigate into details.
How does a small startup, trying to sell a product, attract the attention of Fortune 500 companies?
Relationships. You’ll need to balance feeding yourself and funding excursions to a Fortune 500 size company. So unless you have an enterprise product as an MVP (hint 99% of you probably don’t) then consider small wins mid-size and smaller-enterprise companies. The most significant success comes through developing relationships early and start with conversations. Also, Fortune 500 companies are looking for Fortune 500 solutions and mindset. If your solution provides too small of an impact, it may not be worth it for them or for you… Those sales cycles can be challenging.
What be your one word of advice to young entrepreneurs starting out in the startup ecosystem?
Well-being. You, your team, customers and partners. As a founder, you will be faced with a thousand decisions and tasks. The best armor to think with clarity and last through the lull between the exciting start and success is ensuring you remain healthy and happy.
What are the key challenges marketers face when trying to incorporate an ad-tech solution in their digital marketing strategy?
Trust and transparency. No one operates in the ad-tech space alone and there are lots of questions on ROI and transference of data as fraud and customer privacy are playing greater roles. For ad-tech players who want to enter the space today, your goal will be to empower the marketer with the budget. Give them more visibility, more concrete metrics on returns or smarter efficiency in hitting their target markets.
Of the many campaigns you’ve led, which was the most memorable and most enlightening?
In a previous company, a consultancy, we were looking to break 1MM and expand to 3MM in next 18 months. An opportunity arose where some competitors relationships with one vendor went south. We were always agnostic and sent a personalized card to the all of the relevant prospects. Our message was simple. We don’t earn referral fees from competing vendors. The ‘campaign’ along with some additional work, drove not only several 6-figure deals, but two 7 figure deals which we attributed over the course of the two years. We also extended our contracts at a premium with some of our existing clients. While a relatively small campaign, it was one that I enjoyed because our approach won over mere tactics.
Where do you see the market in 2020? Will Facebook and Google continue to dominate? Will we see new players in the field?
Amazon. I like companies that diversify and vertically integrate.
Enjoyed the conversation Team Fixel… Best wishes on your success!