Revenue Rehab: It's like therapy, but for marketers
Nov. 16, 2022

Competitive Intel vs. Competitor Obsession: Striking the Right Balance

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Tiziana Barrow, Founder and CEO at Tilagia and Gerardo Dada, CMO at Catchpoint.  On the couch Brandi, Tiziana and Gerardo will tackle Competitive Intel vs. Competitor Obsession. Tiziana Barrow has...

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Tiziana Barrow, Founder and CEO at Tilagia and Gerardo Dada, CMO at Catchpoint.  On the couch Brandi, Tiziana and Gerardo will tackle Competitive Intel vs. Competitor Obsession.

Tiziana Barrow has spent the last 20+ years of her career in the B2B high tech Industry in key positions, including VP of Marketing, Principal Marketing Consultant, Director of Competitive & Market

Intelligence, and Analyst Relations.  Passionate about building strategies, innovative campaigns, and the teams that thrive to deliver, Tiziana is very much a change agent marketer who finds satisfaction in producing high quality results.  She has also been part of building and growing start-up companies, including Symantec, the industry’s most popular antivirus software provider and Eloqua—prior to the Oracle acquisition—a marketing automation platform.

Gerardo Dada has over 20 years of experience in technology marketing and has been at the center of the Web, Mobile, Social, and Cloud revolutions. He has held senior marketing and strategy positions at SolarWinds, Microsoft, Rackspace, DataCore, BazaarVoice, and Keeper Security. He writes on his blog

Together, in this week’s episode, Competitive Intel vs. Competitor Obsession Striking the Right Balance, Brandi, Tiziana and Gerardo explore the difference between competitive intel and competitor obsession, value versus reaction, how to use the intel when you have it and much more.

Bullet Points of Key Topics + Chapter Markers:

  • Topic #1 What Does Good Competitive Intel Look Like? [05:45] Tiziana stresses that it isn’t as much the data as how the data is interpreted that makes the difference. “It really matters how competitive and how dynamic the market is” adds Gerardo. Targeting the type of info and then analyzing it is where you will access more useful information.
  • Topic #2 How to Collect, Store and Disseminate Competitor Intel [9:53] Collect it all but figure out where it applies both guests agree. Gerardo uses the example of having a spoon is only useful if you’re eating soup – not pasta.
  • Topic #3 You’ve Got Intel, Now How Can Marketing Glean Insight? [18:04] It feeds the plan, explains Tiziana, “it's fundamental for the strategy to really kind of know how you are talking about the market”. Gerardo uses the detergent ‘war’ as an example; “you can do that in almost every market, just finding not only a different position, but a different way to make your value evident for customers in a way that is very experiential”.  Factors can create preference, and there are different factors that have different values.

So, What's the One Thing You Can Do Today?

Gerardo shares that understanding your customer is the highest priority; “make sure you know clearly who is your customer and what's important for them” he says.  “That's the foundation of strategy; not only of competitive, not only of marketing, but it's the foundation of strategy”

“Be curious,” says Tiziana.  When start to be curious about the pain points and their impact, you can start to really uncover what is at the source of that issue.  

Buzzword Banishment:

As a change agent marketer, Tiziana Buzzword to Banish is the expression ‘that’s just the way it is’
Gerardo’s is ‘kill shit’.  “Everybody is looking for that silver bullet” when it comes to competition he says.


Get in touch with Tiziana Barrow on:

Get in touch with Gerardo Dada on:

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[00:06] Intro: 

Welcome to Revenue Rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita, Brandi Starr.

[0:34] Brandi Starr:   

Hello, hello, hello and welcome to another episode of Revenue Rehab. I am your host Brandi Starr and we have another amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Tiziana Barrow and Gerardo Dada. Tiziana is the founder of Tilagia, a marketing consulting company focused on finding the shortest path to revenue. She has spent the last 20 plus years of her career in the b2b high tech industry in key positions; and her career has bridged the client and agency sides of the industry, helping to further the marketing goals of businesses ranging in size, from startups to Global Fortune 100. Passionate about building strategies, innovative campaigns, and the teams that thrive to deliver, she is very much a change agent marketer who finds satisfaction in producing high quality results. Gerardo has over 20 years of experience in technology, marketing, and has been at the center of the web, mobile, social and cloud revolutions. He has held senior marketing and strategy positions at SolarWinds, Microsoft, Rackspace, DataCore, BazaarVoice and Keeper Security. Today Gerardo is the CMO at Catchpoint and he writes on his blog, The Adaptive Marketer. Gerardo, Tiziana, welcome to Revenue Rehab, your session begins now.

[2:05] Gerardo Dada:   

Thank you Brandi. Thanks for the opportunity.

[2:07] Brandi Starr:   

Yes, thank you guys for joining me. I'm really excited about our topic today but before we dive into that, I always like to break the ice with a woosah moment that I call buzzword. banishment. So Tiziana, I will start with you, what buzzword would you like to banish forever?

[2:29] Tiziana Barrow:   

I don't know that it's so much of bash word but it's definitely something, it's just the way it is. [Overlapping Voices 02:36] is like that it's always for me, something that triggers. 

[2:43] Brandi Starr:   

Yeah, because if you want to drive change the way it is, doesn't really matter, so we got to do something different. And Gerardo, what about you?

[2:55] Gerardo Dada:   

Well, I would normally take something like digital transformation, but I think that's kind of the uber buzzword of the decade. But in this case to be make it specific about competitive I will see a kill shit.

[3:05] Brandi Starr:   

Ah! Kill shit, I can't say that I've heard that one.

[3:12] Gerardo Dada:   

Everybody is looking for that silver bullet. That is going to make sure it basically kills a competition.

[3:19] Brandi Starr:   

Yes, yeah. And there is no magic bullet. We'd like to think that there is some magic pill or secret sauce that we can implement and do that's just going to make everything perfect. And that just doesn't exist. Well, now that we've gotten that off our chest, we can dive in to talk about competitive intelligence today. And this topic came up when I was chatting with some other CMOs, in that there is a difference between competitive intel and competitor obsession. And what some marketers are seeing is some of their C suite counterparts, especially CEOs, and in tech companies, founders, and even heads of sales and other departments seem to have this competitor obsession, where they are spending more time looking at what the competitors are doing and asking, why aren't we doing that? And so we want to help marketers to be able to speak to what's the right balance? How much should you be involved with competitive intel. And so I'm excited to talk to both of you. And as we go into the discussion, I believe in setting intentions. It gives us focus, it gives us purpose, and most importantly, it gives our audience and understanding of what they should expect from our discussion. So Gerardo, I'll start with you. What would you like the outcome of our conversation to be today?

[4:57] Gerardo Dada:  

I think the best outcome when you're talking about a competitive is customer value. Because if you're clear about your value to customers, then the competition becomes irrelevant, or at least it's positioned in a way that is not going to be your main focus. Your main focus should be your customers, not your competitors. How do you bring value to your customers? Not what you do in reaction to your competitors.

[5:18] Brandi Starr:   

Okay, value versus reaction. And what about you Tiziana?

[05:23] Tiziana Barrow:

Well, I hope that from this discussion, people are actually inspired to set up a competitive intelligence function, because it can really help the sales team and coach the sales team in actually getting to speak about the market and the landscape and the product in a very intelligence way.

[5:45] Brandi Starr:  

Awesome! And I'm going to ask you to dig into that a little bit more and tell me when it comes to competitive Intel, what does good look like?

[5:58] Tiziana Barrow:  

I've been doing competitive intelligence for about ten years and definitely, it's been a market that has evolved over the years. And it was just a matter of collecting information from market research companies or available information. Well, right now we have like an overflow, an overwhelm of information. And so be able to actually gather all of that and make sense of that is really what makes the difference. And then really be able to kind of extrapolate, and how their intelligence is really applied either by sales, by marketing, or by product, for lack of better terms. And so it really needs to span and feed the organization across the board; it's not them in silos. And especially like the sales theme, as an amazing amount of exposure to competitor information. So to be able to have that partnerships where they come back to you; I mean, I've found myself in situations where the sales team will come back to me, it's like our prospect is giving us the competitor slides, and they want to tell me how my product is different from. So all of a sudden find myself in partnership with the sales team.

[7:27] Brandi Starr:   

So what I'm hearing is the key or what good looks like here is one, there is a partnership between the different teams; that the information is not only being collected, but that you are able to glean meaningful insight from that. Gerardo anything you want to add there in terms of what you feel like good looks like?

[7:50] Gerardo Dada:   

First, I want to agree with Tiziana. Well, there's a danger of being obsessive about competitors, it can be also a rallying point, just psychologically about beating competitors, it's actually healthy to some extent. I think it really matters, how competitive and how dynamic the market is. Because if you're selling a product that is fairly stable over time, like I don't know, if your consumer products goods, you probably don't need to spend too much time on competitive analysis. You need to understand what the competitors doing, what are the general trajectory, how they're perceived by the market and that's it. In software or other alternatives, it becomes a discipline. So it's not only a thing you do, it becomes sometimes a team. And I think about it in three parts. One is how do you collect competitive information? And that needs to be not only about technology, but who are they hiring? Who are they partnering with? What are they positioning in the market? What kind of companies are they thinking about buying? What are they saying about us in the market? Then the second part is analyzing that. So what do we do about it? What of those things are actionable, and what things we just need to ignore as much as we don't want to want to be having always a response to them? And then the third action is how do you create content and enable the rest of the company? So whenever you see competitor x, here's how you respond. And whenever you're in a competitive situation, here are the minefields that you need to drop so that they protect you and they establish your value relative to the competition. When you drive very significant value to your customers, very differentiated value, the competition becomes irrelevant. My wife loves her iPhone, and we will go buy a phone and say, hey, what about this Sony? Like, no, no, I want my iPhone. What about this Samsung? And I can tell her anything about the camera or the cost or the app, it doesn't matter if she's already set and she wants an iPhone. So Apple has so much value in the mind of my wife, that the competition has become completely irrelevant, sometimes to the extent that they don't even matter. But that's obviously not the case for all of us, otherwise, business will be so much easier.

[9:53] Brandi Starr:  

I really like that; collect, analyze and enable and I think that's a good framework for me to dig in with you all more. So let's talk about that collection. Because if I think about early in my career, competitive intelligence was usually like a folder on a shared drive where we would archive like you said, if a prospect shared a competitor slide deck, or there'd be the downloaded product fact sheets, and all those sorts of things would get collected, and they'd get saved into one place, and that was our competitive Intel. And that was 20ish years ago. So fast forward, and I do know that there's lots of technology and different things. So give me some best practices, thinking about listeners who may not have a good process around collecting competitive intelligence data, where should they start? What should they be thinking about, of how to collect and store and disseminate that information? And I'll let either of you jump in

[11:05] Gerardo Dada:   

I'll let Tiziana start. I was the last one to comment.

[11:10] Tiziana Barrow:   

So, yes, absolutely correct. I mean, there is like tools at the moment that aggregate data for over 12 different platforms. So you can actually track a competitor's website. So any updates are actually being tracked, the social channel, the press and so forth. So you can really determine anything. Some of the popular are Kompyte, which actually got pulled out by SEMrush, and you've got Clue; those are the two that I'm really familiar with. But there is market category that is evolving around data aggregations of what's publicly available out there. And so those tools can feed directly into your Salesforce. So the sales team or the marketing team can actually have that kind of information being served up. There is still need to go through and really determine what that already means to us. It's like, okay, we see a partnership, but there is a partnership between competitor and company B, right. I always want to say meet your end user wherever they're at. If the platform of choice is Salesforce, I was going to say, just kind of have the information served up there. You can have internal folders and information, you've got different deliverables in terms of Apple cards, Product Comparison matrix, but they don't need to get all of that. The product team probably want to see the comparison matrix and so they'll probably access the folder. But different customers have got different needs, and so the repository is definitely distributed based on where the customer goes, the internal customers.

[13:21] Brandi Starr:

Okay. And Gerardo, I'd like you to expand on that. But for those that don't have CI technology in place, what are your thoughts around how they can collect and store this information?

13:34] Gerardo Dada:   

Well, I would say that you need to start with defining one person that needs to own the competitive information. One central person that collects that. In a software company it will typically be the leader of Product Marketing. In other organizations, it could be a product manager for a product line, for example. And so that person can organize it in multiple ways and collect all the information and determine what's useful and what is not useful. I would then encourage them to think not only about just collecting data, in general, but actually think about what is the right use case or customer profile for each product? Meaning, we would love to say like our product is the best. Yeah, but the best for what? And for who? It's like is a fork better than a spoon? Well, it depends. Are you going to eat soup or you're going to eat pasta? And so when you're thinking about competitive intelligence, also when you're talking to customers about it? If you say, look, our product is better because we have these features and the competition doesn't, that doesn't come across like very authentic or very credible. However, you say look, our product is better than Open Source for certain companies, because for if you're if your company has a ton of engineering resources and has a discipline of open source and has these characteristics, then yes, Open Source can be good for you. On the other hand, companies that want something out of the box and want to have support and want to have immediate integrations etc. they work better with a product. So then you're giving the customer a choice. Do you want X or Y? When I was at Rackspace, we would say like look, do you want support or do you want price? And I remember vividly a conversation with a customer said like wait, this other company gives me a better price. And I said, oh, sorry, if you're looking for price, just go look at this other company that is actually cheaper than us and cheaper than the company you're looking at. Have fun. Let me know if you want to talk to... And the customer said like no, no, wait. Price is not the most important for me. If you really want in that case, your website to be up and your things to be reliable, then you need to be talking to Rackspace, and you need to be willing to spend a little bit extra. So that's how you put the information in the context of who's the right customer, and what is the right use case. And that helps collect the information and put everything in that same context so it enriches that and reinforces and advances your competitive advantage.

[15:45] Brandi Starr:   

Yeah, and I really like that and it really hits on a point that I see as a consultant, I'm always helping clients make decisions, whether it's between technologies between vendors, helping to figure out the right way to go. And for one person, I always say this could be the exact right solution in this scenario, but the complete wrong solution and another; so I like your soup versus pasta example. And I really like that in using that as the context for collecting competitive intelligence. Because I do think about a lot of times is it is just like a head to head feature set, and it's like, well, oh, we don't have this thing. So we need to get that thing into the product roadmap, or we do this, so we should just below the market out. And one of the things that I think about is, Bayer is one of the best examples of how someone has pivoted. Bayer could not hold a candle to Tylenol as offering up pain relief. But then they found that for that small subset of customers who had heart conditions, they were actually better. And so they stopped trying to just compete with Tylenol on all of the standard things, and just started focusing on those people with heart conditions. And so I do think that that kind of thing is where you find that balance of where they did kind of go from that obsession of trying to chase the market leader, to I've got the right intelligence, I understand the use case. So I really liked that as the framework for how you're going to collect data is, collect it all, but figure out where it applies and not just have this repository of all the stuff.

[17:39] Gerardo Dada:   

And that's useful beyond just competitive intelligence, because if you have an aggressive sales team, they'll try to sell a fork to somebody who's trying to eat soup. And they'll claim success that they beat the spoon company, but that only results in pains for everybody, and the customer is going to be upset, you're going to get bad reviews, and then you're going to have to refund the money, etc. So it's better just say look, we're not the right company for you.

[18:04] Brandi Starr:   

Awesome. So let's shift a little bit in talking about analyzing, so being able to take action on the data. So we've got information, and I know Tiziana, you had hit on the importance of being able to glean insights from that information. And I want to narrow our discussion a little bit, because I know we talked about sales, marketing, products can all use this information differently. Because our audience is head of marketing, I would definitely like to focus in on when we've got good competitive intelligence collected, how can marketing best analyze and glean insight from that information for that function?

[18:53] Tiziana Barrow:

So I think there's a couple of things that I like to highlight. So in my case, I established actually the competitive functions within the marketing department. And if you're trying to establish a category, or if you're playing in an overly populated or competitive scenarios, competitive intelligence is really key. And it's not key necessarily for feature function comparison, but it's really, especially for the marketing department, their go-to-market strategies, how are they going from A to B. What industry and they're going after? What personas are they targeting? Are we invited at the table in the discussions and if not, is it because we are approaching the wrong personas, is it because we're not using the right media outlets? Is it because we're not regulations associations, so it kind of really helps you to look at how the market is approaching the problem. And especially when there is a new market, and there is a bunch of startups coming together, and they're all coming out of different angles to it, it's fundamental for the strategy to really kind of know how you are talking about the market. So it kind of goes all the way at the CEO level, at the head of marketing level to be able to define the market and how you're going to go to market. So it really feeds the plan and it is a full time job.

[20:54] Brandi Starr:   

Okay, and Gerardo what about you? How do you feel like marketing can best be analyzed and glean insights from the competitive intelligence information.

[21:05] Gerardo Dada:   

I'll give you another analogy. You're a shark, and then you have other sharks next to your competitors. Every move they make could be getting closer to where you're fishing, or getting away from all your fish, and just going straight. So every time you get new pieces of information, you can decide to ignore it, if they're going in a different direction, that's actually a good thing, you don't need to do anything about it. You can watch it; if it's looks like, it's something that is going to happen, it's going to be an indication of a future move, then you need to keep an eye on that. And maybe even do more research about it in some cases. You can be defensive about, well, maybe they're saying this about us. So if you hear that in the market, how do we equip our sellers and our how do we have messages in the market that defend us against these claims, and educate a customer about our point of view. And then the fourth is like acting. Acting could be we need to develop a feature, we need to change our prices, or sometimes even exiting a market. And that acting is can be not only in a defensive way, but how do we do something that's better than them. A good story that I love is detergents. You want to have the cleanest detergent. So many decades ago, companies were fighting to be the cleanest. And then one marketer said okay, we're going to say we're the whitest, because the color was a kind of a way that people experience cleanness. So the whiter your clothes are, the cleaner they look. So they started on that game on the who is the whitest. And then another company said we're going to beat them, and we're going to say our clothes smell the best. So if you think about it, Tide or Downy commercials, they take the clothes and they smell them, and you can almost smell them yourself in front of the TV, and they smell clean. So they basically are trying to do the same thing, demonstrate who cleans the most, but now they're using different ways of explaining or communicating that customer. They went from just clean to color to smell. And you can do that in almost every market, just finding not only a different position, but a different way to make your value evident for customers in a way that is very experiential.

[23:12] Brandi Starr:   

That is a good point. Because there are certain things that I mean, detergent is a great example because there's only so clean you can get. And so to a certain degree, it's like competing on clean, at a certain point, it's like this is fine enough, it's clean. But when you start competing on smell, that is something where people have a real preference. I have a strong preference for Gain. And I can't stand when clothes are washed in Tide. I don't like the Tide smell. So it's kind of like your wife and the iPhone. During the pandemic when everything was out, it was like, uuhh, I can buy anything but Tide. I don't want to get too deep into my laundry preferences but it is a great example of how you can start to set yourself apart because in that case, there are detergents that cater to people who want no smell. So those become things where you start to kind of split the market in a way that you can win. So I like the thought, and ignore being one of the options because I think that's sometimes something we don't think about and I think that's how we lean into obsession, into the obsession territory is not recognizing that sometimes you should just ignore it. That's great for them, it doesn't have anything to do with me.

[24:45] Gerardo Dada:

If I can add something else to your comment about the hygiene. It gives us full circle to the use cases and the customers because it's critical as a marketer, you understand what are the buying factors for each one of your customers, and what are the attributes of your product on those sorts of competition. And when you look at that there's a categorization. There are factors that are hygienic factors. And it's like the hygiene in a hotel. You go to hotel and how was your stay? Nobody says like it was super clean. Once you reach a certain level, that need is satisfied and going beyond that is not going to move the needle. There are other factors that create preference. And there are other factors that have different values in different markets. Like if you're talking about car prices, and for some markets, have some buyers care about price. And that might be the most important factor for some, it's a relevance. For some is just a secondary factor. Sorry Tiziana, I'll let you. 

[25:39] Tiziana Barrow:  

No, that's okay. What I wanted to add is I think when there is [inaudible 25:46] sessions, I used to call them Chicken Little calls, the sky is falling, the sky is falling. And really actually, what I have found in my experience is that oftentimes salespeople don't have the confidence that we have that view of the market landscape. And so, as marketer, I feel that we have a responsibility to convey that. And I give you the example of the GPS. So the GPS really gives us that intelligence of how to get from point A to point B, in the most efficient way. I mean, you can go side street, you can go highways, there are toll roads, and so forth. Actually really it just kind of gives you an overall, so I don't always want to discount them, because probably if they are seeing, and your sales force or your CRM should really be, are you consistently losing against this competitor? What are the factors that you are losing over time? And so I hear you that that is this customer obsession, but I also invite as we continue to partner marketing and sales, as two functions that in the past have really not collaborated very easily, that there is an understanding of what the obsession is about, and if it's a valid obsession.

[27:24] Brandi Starr:   

And then the last sort of the point three that you had given Gerard was around content enablement as your third step. Talk a little bit about what you mean by that.

[27:37] Gerardo Dada:

I think the Tiziana hit the nail on the head that you want people to be informed and confident. So the salespeople, field facing or customer facing teams need to have enough information, depending on how competitive the market is and how often they compete or lose against competitors. So they have all the information they need to be effective. And the key is that they need to have all the information but not necessarily more, because sometimes competitive intelligence, I've seen it where it's just a dump. Like, hey, here's like 50 documents of our competitors, nobody in sales has time to do that. The information needs to be succinct and crisp and something they can understand and communicate clearly, ideally put in context of the overall value proposition. So how you do that enablement and how you give people that confidence is critical, but it also means that it needs to be a priority for sales. Sales needs to establish that priority. And especially with sales, it needs to be very clear what is what is important, what is a must do and what is just information that is optional. So the team needs to become disciplined about consuming and being trained at competitive information that needs to be part of the sales enablement training all the time and also that any certification or testing or whatever, you have to make sure that your sales is equipped to be ready to face customers.

[28:54] Brandi Starr:   

Awesome. And so my last question I want to have both of you answer because it is something that has come up multiple times and I'll start with you to Tiziana is when you are dealing with a CEO or a founder who is a bit competitor obsessed, as the head of marketing, what advice do you have for them in being able to address that and keep them focused where their attention should be?

[29:26] Tiziana Barrow:  

In order to influence anyone you need to be able to hear them out. So you know being able to have them really uncover because oftentimes it's not direct but if they're saying to how come we're constantly losing against company A, so really uncover strategically what is the CEO's frustration or pain point and then really kind of address them. So making them feel heard, making sure that you are addressing them and telling them how you're addressing them in your go to market and what you're going to change, if any at all. If you're going to be doing testing a to b. So it's just giving them the confidence that you've heard them, and that you're going to be addressing them in some way, shape or form, I think is going to enable you to strengthen that relationship, because in those situations where the individual is not going to feel hurt, or is not going to feel that you don't address what they're bringing to the table, it just kind of actually hurts the relationship over time.

[30:51] Brandi Starr:   

So hear them out is your advice, seek to understand them. What about you, Gerardo?

[30:57] Gerardo Dada:   

Yeah, I think Tiziana is right, that listening and make sure they feel listened to is very important. That's something every man needs to learn. The longer you've been married, the more you learn that skill. And what I mean is that you don't always need to ask, sometimes they're just venting, about hey, our competitor is doing this and you acknowledge that and recognize it. But when they're saying what are we going to do about it, then there's a couple of things you can do. One is you can put it in context of other priorities. Okay, we can do this, but that means we're going to need to drop B or C, are you okay with that? And then the CEO normal says like no, you're right, we should continue doing what we're doing. Second option is like, okay, we can try to copy them but are we going to be better or are we going to be looking bad as a bad follower? And that's most often the result of sometimes when you're trying to copy your competitors. And the third option, which is sometimes the most effective, is to think, okay, they're doing this to achieve x. Here's something we can do offering an alternative, here's something we can do, that's actually better, better for our customer targets, better for our strategy for our resources, that will achieve the same or sometimes something better, just in a different approach. Because if the goal is to achieve something, not just to copy or competitors, but to get to that fish before that other sharks get to them.

[32:14] Brandi Starr:  

Awesome! Well, talking about our challenges is just the first step and nothing changes, if nothing changes. So in traditional therapy, the therapist will give the client some homework, but here at Revenue Rehab, we like to flip that on its head and ask you to give us some homework. So I always like to walk away with an action item. So I'd like for each of you to give us that one thing, something that our listeners can do relatively easily to help move in the right direction of striking a balance between customer intelligence and customer obsession. So Gerardo, we'll start with you this time.

[32:53] Gerardo Dada:

I don't know if it’s easy but it sounds simple. It's make sure you know clearly who is your customer and what's important for them. That's the foundation of strategy; not only of competitive, not only of marketing, but it's the foundation of strategy. Be super clear about who's your customer, and therefore who's not. And what's important for them. And what's not.

[33:17] Brandi Starr:

Awesome. Tiziana?

[33:18] Tiziana Barrow:

For me, it really comes down to one word, and that is be curious. When you're curious about what's the pain point, and how are you feeling the pain and what's the impact, once you're able to really uncover what it's at the source and like, what Gerardo was saying, evaluate all of your options in order to kind of make up for that pain point or address that pain point. So be curious and ask lots of questions and have fun.

[33:56] Brandi Starr:   

Awesome, and for those listening, I know I talked in Episode 19 with Cristina, about voice of customer as one way to really understand your customers. So after you finish this episode, scroll back a few and go to Episode 19. Well, I have so enjoyed our discussion for today, but that's our time. And before we go, tell our audience how they can connect with you. So Gerardo, tell us about your blog.

[34:26] Gerardo Dada:

Yeah, it's I haven't written in a bit but you should expect more articles to come out. I'm also somewhat active on Twitter as well. 

[34:38] Brandi Starr:

Perfect. So we will put those links in the show notes and Tiziana, what about you?

[34:44] Tiziana Barrow: 

Yes, I actually am a live on LinkedIn pretty much. It's very easy to get me on Messenger here and in our own LinkedIn and on my website, 

[34:57] Brandi Starr:

Awesome. So we will make sure to put those links in the show notes as well. Thank you both so much for joining me today. I hope that everyone has enjoyed my conversation with Gerardo and Tiziana. I can't believe that we're already at the end. See you next time. Thank you.

[35:14] Tiziana Barrow:

Thank you. 

[35:15] Gerardo Dada:

Thank you Brandi.

[35:16] Outro: 

You've been listening to Revenue rehab with your host Brandi Starr. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. Join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at We're also on Twitter and Instagram at Revenue Rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.

Gerardo DadaProfile Photo

Gerardo Dada


Gerardo has over 20 years of experience in technology marketing and has been at the center of the Web, Mobile, Social, and Cloud revolutions. He has held senior marketing and strategy positions at SolarWinds, Microsoft, Rackspace, DataCore, BazaarVoice, and Keeper Security. Today Gerardo is the CMO of Catchpoint. He writes on his blog

Tiziana BarrowProfile Photo

Tiziana Barrow

Founder and CEO

Tiziana Barrow has spent the last 20+ years of her career in the B2B high tech Industry in key positions, including VP of Marketing, Principal Marketing Consultant, Director of Competitive & Market
Intelligence, and Analyst Relations.

Her career has bridged the client and agency sides of the industry, helping to further the marketing goals of businesses ranging in size from startup to global Fortune 100. Passionate about building
strategies, innovative campaigns, and the teams that thrive to deliver, she is very much a change agent marketer who finds satisfaction in producing high quality results.
Her experiences in technology and entrepreneurship and a variety of use cases gives her insight to develop strategies to drive client growth. She has been part of building and growing startup companies, including Symantec, the industry’s most popular antivirus software provider; Eloqua—prior to the Oracle acquisition—a marketing automation platform; RiskLens, a cyber risk qualification and management software provider and most recently Interos a supply chain risk management AI company.

She is the founder of Tilagia, a marketing consulting company focused on finding the shortest path to revenue.