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153: Bill Macaitis on scaling brands like Slack, Zendesk, & Salesforce

Bill Macaitis - Advisor, Former CMO Slack, Zendesk, Salesforce

This week on Marketing Today, Alan speaks with Bill Macaitis, a man that needs no introduction. He has been involved in 5 highly successful tech industry exists with companies such as IGN,, Zendesk, and Slack. He now enjoys teaching tech founders how to grow and scale their business via sophisticated MarTech stacks and a customer-centric approach to marketing. Macaitis’ mindset is that B2B marketers should be innovating the go-to-market strategy on the marketing side as much as they do on the product side.

Macaitis recognizes that many B2B companies feel the need to play it safe and take a very bland approach to branding, and this a great opportunity for those willing to take risks to stand out. He tells stories of how his teams at Zendesk and Slack disrupted conventional customer branding opportunities by making simple things such as logos, loading messages and release notes fun and whimsical.

According to Macaitis, “Your brand is the sum of all the little experiences that someone has with your company. Optimizing around each of these experiences, coming up with the right metric, and pivoting” are what leads to a successful recommendation of your product/service.

Highlights from this Marketing Today conversation include:

  • Macaitis’ first startup experience in the B2C space was a great lesson in bootstrapping (1:40)
  • Macaitis brought a Consumer DNA to (3:20)
  • Macaitis’ team disrupted the basic pricing and packaging model at Slack (5:40)
  • Macaitis encourages B2B companies to take risks to develop an emotional connection with their users (9:30)
  • “Everyone does the basics…I like going a few steps further:” Macaitis on using more sophisticated marketing tech stacks (predictive lead scoring, multi-touch attribution, multivariate testing, net promoter score (NPS), etc.) (11:56)
  • Macaitis discusses tips for improving multi-touch attribution models (15:15)
  • It’s a really fun debate: Macatais on brand marketing vs performance marketing (17:42)
  • Macaitis on how the B2B space needs more Customer Centricity (22:34)
  • Macatis tells us what he loves about helping companies grow (25:15)
  • Macaitis discusses qualities he looks for in a Founder (26:35)
  • “Be opportunistic:” Macaitis gives sound advice from his career (29:39)
  • Macaitis says the focus should be on lifetime revenue and customer centricity ([34:30])

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