Five Minutes With: Carl Tsukahara, CMO of Birst

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges for the next 12-24 months?

Ensuring that we continue to optimize our marketing and lead-development functions for scale.  As a growing company, it’s important to define the right level of processes (not too much or too little) that will allow us to be increasingly more effective and efficient over time.  All of this is to enable us to do a better job reaching and serving our clients.

What keeps your clients up at night?

It’s clear that we are squarely in the “era of data,” where long-term competitiveness and frankly, business survival, depends on the ability of organizations to leverage and apply data for both internal process improvement, as well as streamline their interaction with customers.   What this involves for many of our clients is a need to transition to a new form of enterprise business intelligence and analytical platform, and while the benefits can be enormous, the “how to get their organization from here to there” can be challenging for some who have used older, legacy platforms.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

For IT, it’s how much value new technology approaches can drive for their business, both in improving the speed and the economics of their IT and business operations.  For marketers, ensuring that they know how much better marketing can be perceived and be operationally sound by really having a more exact, data-driven understanding of which marketing campaigns and activities are improving the “point of revenue.”

What are some unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

A better understanding of the need for a holistic data and analysis platform.  This may seem self-serving, but I’ve always believed that the best marketers truly understand the entire customer life-cycle from initial touch to revenue conversion.  If a marketing analyst or executive acquires a number of piecemeal solutions or silos, that can create further fragmentation of knowledge across the marketing operation, as well as between marketing and other functions such as sales/channels or finance.

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

We’re a B2B company, so LinkedIn is always important for us in so many ways.

–Carl Tsukhara is CMO of Birst

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