It was not long after Chris Greiner became CFO of IBM’s fast-growing Analytics Division that the gravitational pull that IBM had maintained on Greiner’s finance career-building began to give way.
While his new divisional CFO title more than validated his 7-year career investment with the company, Greiner—like many divisional finance chiefs—discovered the next rung of the company’s finance career ladder becoming increasingly obscured from view.Read More
Meanwhile, his divisional CFO role afforded him a wider view into IBM’s business development as he sat across the table from owners and c-suite leaders of middle-market companies.
“What I saw was companies that were 200 to 400 employees in size, with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, that were being successful at disrupting markets, and I knew then that I wanted to be on the other side of the table one day,” recalls Greiner, who notes that the experience of dealing with business leaders intent on disrupting the market led him to his revise his career-building agenda.
Says Greiner: “I knew that for me to get the experiences I wanted to get, I needed to take a leap.”
One of those experiences, Greiner reports, had to do with talent development in midsize firms versus that at large enterprise companies like IBM.
“At IBM, you can’t empty the tank when it comes to talent because there is always another person looking to step in to fill a role when someone leaves,” observes Greiner, who points out that talent development in midsize companies is not always as robust.
“That muscle for developing talent within an organization needs to be worked on,” comments Greiner, who found that his menu of responsibilities inside midsize firms also became more fluid.
Adds Greiner: “Another eye-opener for me—post-IBM —was how I needed to invest a disproportionate amount of time on the organization itself.” –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Zeta Global … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Greiner: This is a super cool company in the early stages of its public life. In fact, we just announced our fourth straight quarter of beating and raising. We went public in June of last year, but the company’s been around for a while—12-plus years in building up to this point. At Zeta, we help marketers. If you think of yourself as a marketer and put yourself in his or her shoes every single day, what you’re thinking about is how you’re going to reach your customers: “What is the best way to reach them, and when I do, what do I need to put in front of them to get them to engage?”Read More
For a marketer today, this is really complex. It’s dozens and dozens of different point solutions: “How do I build the right audience? Once I’ve created these audiences, how do I find the right place to put my product in front of who I want to reach? Is it through social? Through email? Through connected TV?”
As a marketer, I’m doing this while thinking about three different use cases: “How do I acquire new customers? How do I grow my existing customers? How do I just keep them?” At Zeta, we’ve been able to disrupt this buying journey because we have a platform that’s able to do all of this in one instance. Not only does it significantly lower the total cost of ownership for a marketer, but also—and I think more importantly—it drives a much higher ROI and simplifies complex marketing. What’s unique about Zeta is our proprietary data set, one of the largest in the world, which is paired with the fact that our sophisticated AI can build deterministic audiences. I’m no longer living in this probabilistic realm of, “I think I’m going to reach these people—I’ll reach some, if not most.” We can help brands to deterministically reach an individual.
Once we do build this audience that has a very high probability of success and attributable ROI on that marketing spend, we then—in that same platform—help them to “activate” the customer, which is the term the industry uses for determining via what channel or where it is that the end consumer is spending their time digitally. Are they spending their time in front of TV shows and therefore in a connected TV world, as may be the case today because more and more of us are doing more streaming than anything else? We put the right ad placements in front of them about what they want and what they have an interest in, what they have an intent toward. How do we serve up the right display and site optimization for them on their online browsing time? How do we put out the right emails that are going to get them to engage? Our platform does all of this. It’s really complex marketing, simplified.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Forrester released their Wave, where they do, I think, phenomenal work. It’s really interesting because they speak directly with customers. For the second straight Wave, which now spans about 36 months, Zeta’s platform—little old Zeta—compared to who else we compete with—like Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, their marketing clouds—was rated number one as the marketing automation suite. The product is resonating. It’s really differentiated in that it has this combination of data, AI, and activation on all on a single platform. This is what we do, and we do it better and better every single day.
“Diversify yourself in every way possible—ranging from who you seek as mentors and the experiences that you accumulate to the ideas that inform your perspectives and leadership style over time. Diversity breeds evolution.” –Chris Greiner, CFO, Zeta Global
Zeta Global | www.zetaglobal.com | New York, NY