Our bi-coastal new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Andrew Savitz has a passion for surfing and an insatiable appetite for Yelp. He can’t wait to put his plans into motion and share BetterCloud’s story with the world. Andy has extensive experience scaling enterprise SaaS companies, which makes him the perfect addition to BetterCloud.
Andy has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science and an MBA from UCLA.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Boston; I moved to California when I was 12. My wife, who I’ve known since we were kids, is also from Boston, so we spend a lot of time on both coasts. I love being out on the West Coast, and San Francisco is very much a sister city to Boston so it’s a terrific connection for our family.
Tell us about your role as CMO; what will you be responsible for?
Brand, awareness, positioning, and demand generation are the core disciplines of this role. But in the end what I do is help our customers understand what we do, how that relates to their business, and partner with them so that they can get the most out of their SaaS environments. If we do that right, our company will continue to be a success, and the world will understand the critical nature of SaaS Operations Management/SaaSOps and this category we’ve helped define, shape, and build. What could be more fun than that!
Why a startup and why BetterCloud?
I’ve been at companies of all sizes. I’m a geek at heart. I’ve studied math and computer science, I’ve worked with customers in their deployment of enterprise software throughout the whole first part of my career, and I’ve spent the last ten years leading marketing teams.
I’m passionate about what I do. I love building. I love disrupting. I love the velocity of today’s business and how, as marketers, we can engage customers to do discovery on their terms—no matter what channel and pace.
Startups are hard work, but they’re also the most fun: the teamwork, the camaraderie, the sense of building something great and purposeful. That’s exactly what I’ve experienced in my first month of BetterCloud—so I’m jazzed!
What are you most excited about in your new role?
What makes me excited about BetterCloud is that we have this incredible opportunity to disrupt. I’ve been in enterprise software for my entire career and SaaS since my days at Salesforce.com when software in the cloud pretty much got off the ground. Never before have I seen a category so ridiculously relevant to the challenges modern enterprises are facing today.
On top of that, I’ve felt such a connection to the culture and the people in and out of BetterCloud. I’ve joined a team of colleagues that share the same passions, interests, and enthusiasm; I’ve already had the chance to visit onsite with some of our amazing customers like Lime, Slack, and Splunk and they’re equally as awesome and inspiring!
From a marketing perspective, what are the biggest challenges ahead of you, and what’s the biggest opportunity?
We’ve got a lot to do—we have to roll up our sleeves to get it done. We’re building a brand new category, and we have an opportunity to disrupt a world of companies of all sizes that are making huge investments in SaaS applications. We’re growing fast, but you can never take this for granted. Our customers deserve a partner that’s going to constantly innovate and put their success first.
From an opportunity perspective, we have a lot of wind at our back. Major analysts like Gartner, IDC, and 451 Research have recognized what we do and are honing in on a category they’re labeling as SaaS Operations Management (or SaaSOps) and SaaS Management Platforms. More and more we’re finding companies already understand what we do when we walk in the door. They want to hear how we, as the first vendor in the category, are investing and where we see the future, and that’s a huge opportunity.
What does good marketing look, sound, or feel like to you? What about bad marketing?
Good marketing is the ability to engage your customers and tell a story that they understand, that they can consume, that they feel emotional about so they can begin to share the same enthusiasm that you do.
Bad marketing is not connecting with your customers. It’s talking about your solutions and your products, but not addressing why they need a solution, why they need it now, and why you’re a good fit to help solve those opportunities.
I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that we understand our customers’ challenges and demonstrate that we can be a partner on their SaaS journey.
Can you share your leadership philosophy with us?
The most important thing for me from a leadership perspective is a purpose-driven culture. I’m certain that BetterClouders all believe we’re making a huge impact helping our customers get the most out of their SaaS investments and protecting the sensitive data they’ve entrusted to the cloud. Getting behind that and building the camaraderie, the energy, and the excitement across the company is important as a leader. Without that belief, how can we be aligned? Honestly, I know I wouldn’t want to do something without that level of conviction and excitement.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice at the start of your career, what would you tell yourself?
I think the most important thing, and I think that I’ve done this throughout my career, is to follow my passions. Life’s too short to do things that aren’t interesting. You need to have fun when you’re inside and outside of work.
The other piece of advice I have is to be fearless and follow your instincts. I think that as you build experience in your career, you should trust yourself as you go execute new ideas and challenge what you think is possible. It’s when I know I’ve done my best. We’re all growing, but that doesn’t mean we’re not building a huge foundation of experience along the way to lean on!
What accomplishment in your career are you most proud of so far?
I’ve had such nice milestones in my career. I’ve been in SaaS marketing for the last 10 years of my career working for companies of different sizes. In that time, I’ve helped build the largest product line at Salesforce.com. As the head of marketing, I’ve been able to help re-launch a startup that we successfully sold to SAP. I’ve been part of an IPO and the eventual sale of that solution to Oracle. I’ve managed really large teams, most recently as CMO of AppDynamics, a $4B acquisition by Cisco! These are exciting professional accomplishments in my marketing career that I’m proud of.
Along this journey, I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing teams and cultures and that’s really what drives me more than anything, more than any individual milestone.
What do you do in your free time?
I am married with two little girls. Most of the time we’re on some sort of adventure together with our puppy (our two little kittens watch the house and keep things safe). I would say for spiritual peace, I will take any opportunity to get into the ocean to go surfing, or take a run with our dog, or just get outside to get some exercise.
I can’t get enough international travel. I’ve taken every advantage to do that throughout my life and would love to continue to do that with my family. I love experiencing new cultures, tasting new foods, meeting new people—some of my favorites include surfing through Indonesia, El Salvador, and Costa Rica; traveling through the Middle East; spending time with business colleagues throughout Asia including Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau, Japan, and South Korea; and three months studying and experiencing South and East Africa (less getting malaria which I don’t recommend)!
I’m a pretty passionate Yelper, so you might see one of my reviews out there. I’d say I made my name in the Bay Area doing reviews on Mexican taquerias. I’m a foodie, and I love to share my experiences.
If you weren’t a marketer, what do you think you would be?
I studied math when I was in college so I’d probably be a math teacher, or I’d be a stay-at-home dad. And if those two things didn’t work out, maybe a professional dog walker.