Q&A with Katie Bullard, CMO for SIIA Model of Excellence DiscoverOrg

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For 13 years, the Models of Excellence (MOE) program has answered one question: Who is resetting the standards for data excellence? One of the four companies chosen for 2016, DiscoverOrg is a leading global sales and marketing intelligence tool used by over 2,000 companies to accelerate growth. DiscoverOrg’s solutions provide a constant stream of accurate and actionable company, contact, and buying intelligence that can be used to find, connect with, and sell to target buyers more effectively.

Leaders from all four of the 2016 Models of Excellence will speak in the Data track at the Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS), Nov. 14-16 in Fort Lauderdale. Katie Bullard is the chief marketing officer for DiscoverOrg, responsible for leading the global marketing and growth functions. She brings 15 years of marketing, product and strategy experience in global, high-growth technology businesses to her role at DiscoverOrg. Previously, she served in executive leadership roles at Mitratech, Accruent, and Hoover’s.

Connection spoke with Bullard earlier this month. 

SIIA: How long have you been with DiscoverOrg?
Bullard: I’ve been with the company since June. 

Can you give us a brief description of the company?
We believe accurate data is the foundation to faster revenue growth. You can’t make good decisions without it. How are you going to grow if you don’t have accurate data to build your sales and marketing strategy on? DiscoverOrg offers the most accurate, actionable, and integrated sales and marketing intelligence—covering contact, company, org charts, buying triggers, and predictive purchase data—that allows our customers to generate more leads, set more meetings, and close more deals.  One of the reasons that the data is so accurate is that we have a team of 150 in-house researchers that verifies every single piece of data in our platform. 

What type of clients do you have?
We work mostly with technology, staffing, marketing, and consulting firms. Our clients run the gamut from the biggest brands and companies down to startups, and about 80% fall into technology (including hardware, software, information security, etc…), 10% in staffing, and 10% in the other industries. 

With silos breaking down these days, which departments do you work mostly with?
That’s a good question. When DiscoverOrg first started, we sold mostly into sales departments. We have seen as our own product has grown and as companies have evolved, the first point of contact is almost equally sales and marketing. We also sell to executives at smaller companies, and we are just now seeing the emergence of the recruiting department as a buyer as recruiters begin to operate more like sales and marketing teams. Companies are competing for the best talent; places need help finding and recruiting the top people and building a recruiting funnel. 

Do you have a content division?
We don’t have a full-blown marketing content team, but we have great research and marketing teams. We can work together to leverage the power of our own data to create content. For instance, we just conducted a study on gender diversity in management that Fortune just used—as well as Glamour and Huffington Post. We blog about twice a week with some of our findings and create ebooks. 

Do you hire people with research experience?
It’s a combination. We found that our strong internal training program can get brand-new researchers up to speed quickly. So we’ll get people who don’t have market research experience but have high aptitude, are very analytical, good with numbers, and great on the phone…and we give them the opportunity to grow and develop. The great thing about DiscoverOrg is that because we’re growing so fast, we constantly have opportunities for advancement. In one year, we have doubled the size of our team. We’ve been named a six-time Inc. 5000 company, and are the 12th fastest growing company out of the select group of companies that have ever been on the list six times. 

Where is the headquarters? Do many employees work remotely?
Most of the employees, including all of those researchers, are in the Vancouver, Wash., office. There are smaller offices in Philadelphia and Maryland. Of course, you can do a lot virtually these days, but there’s still something to be said for everyone working together in the same office—the ability to play off of each other.

Thank you. See you in Fort Lauderdale!

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…