Kaiser Mulla-Feroze Joins Totango As Chief Marketing Officer
Kaiser Mulla-Feroze joins Totango after 12 years in executive positions at Salesforce.com across products, marketing, and business development. Most recently he was GM of the Remedyforce business at Salesforce.com, a partnership with BMC Software. In his early days at the company, Mulla-Feroze was instrumental in establishing Salesforce.com’s product leadership position as the head of product management and product marketing. Previously in his career, Mulla-Feroze also served as a consultant at Accenture and the Corporate Executive Board. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
We reached out to Kaiser via email to better understand his plans and thoughts on the space.
Q: In 12 words or less, summarize your 12 years @ Salesforce.
A: An incredible ride and learning experience, going from underdog to industry leader!
Q: Why Totango?
A: Totango is solving a massive problem that all SaaS and cloud software companies are grappling with. They are sitting on a goldmine – tons of rich product usage data – but they don’t know how to tap into this asset to maximize customer value and, ultimately, revenue.
Totango helps SaaS companies extract actionable insight from this data, so they can (1) engage more effectively with customers and (2) impact the metrics that they care about – such as trial conversion, product adoption, and renewals. Over the last year, Totango has seen tremendous uptake as we’ve made a real difference in the operations of many SaaS companies.
Q: Why now?
A: I personally think that this is a tremendous opportunity, which will only keep growing. We’re still in the very early days and I wanted to get in on this on the ground floor. The cloud software market is exploding. Not only has it disrupted the enterprise software market, but we’re seeing practically every industry getting transformed by cloud software – whether it is healthcare or financial services or logistics or education. Totango is on the cutting-edge, just as salesforce was in transforming the enterprise software industry when I joined in 2001.
Q: At 300% growth in last 6 months, you are joining a rocketship. What role does the CMO play for a company in hyper growth mode?
A: Marketing as a discipline has dramatically changed over the last few years. I think CMOs needs to be able to play a much broader and a much more strategic role to be really effective.
As the lines have blurred between products and marketing and sales, the CMO now touches so many different parts of the company that, in a way, it’s really being a thought partner to the CEO. This is something I’ve noticed VCs nowadays also paying more attention to as they look for CMOs for their portfolio companies.
Q: What are the top 3 things a CMO should be focused on?
A: I think for a startup, this really depends on a number of factors including the stage the company is at in its go-to-market evolution, the skillsets of the founders and other executives, and how broad/narrow the target market is. But if I had to generalize, I’d say:
- Messaging and positioning: This is critical and probably just as important as getting the product right – crystallizing and articulating the company’s message/vision and making sure all communications are on-point.
- Thought-leadership and raising the company’s public profile: I say this broadly, more as an objective that needs to be achieved through a wide swath of marketing activities including AR, PR, events, social media, website, content, customer advocacy, etc, etc.
- Partnering with sales: This includes not only working with sales to build pipeline and arming sales with the right tools for success, but also defining and fine-tuning the go-to-market strategy – as the line between sales and marketing has blurred, there needs to be a true partnership here.
We're excited to watch where the Totango rocketship goes and know that the addition of a talent like Kaiser Mulla-Feroze is another exciting milestone for this company. You can follow Kaiser Mulla-Feroze on Twitter at @KaiserMF.