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John Kreisa – Director, Product Marketing, Mark Logic

15 December 2008 2 Comments

Mr. Kreisa has been working in high tech for over 17 years and is now leading product marketing at Mark Logic. He is responsible for all aspects of product marketing for MarkLogic Server. Prior to Mark Logic he spent more than 6 years with Business Objects. There he led the corporate demo team and had product marketing responsibilities for several products including Web Intelligence, and the performance management products. Mr. Kreisa holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas.


Coffee With John Kreisa – Director, Mark Logic

Me: Hi Mr Kreisa, Welcome to Coffee With Sundar Interview!! What is your typical day of work as a Director of product marketing of Mark Logic? What are your roles and responsibilities? How does it fit into the larger scheme of things for Mark Logic?

John Kreisa: Thank you for having me, I’m very glad to talk with you. I really enjoy the role of product marketing at an enterprise software company like Mark Logic because you get to touch some many different areas. In a typical day, I might talk to engineering about an upcoming release, sales engineers about competitive positioning of our product, account managers regarding the benefits, or customers and prospects about how they can achieve their business goals using our software. For me, these very diverse interactions are what make product marketing a really exciting job.

Me: What are the unique challenges associated with marketing in IT domain?

John Kreisa: There is a bevy of companies that focus on the IT market.  Consequently, prospects hear from a lot of different vendors though various marketing channels. One of our big challenges is making sure our message gets heard and that people understand how we can help them through strong messaging and concise differentiation.

Me: What do you consider to be the most important skills necessary for this position?

John Kreisa: For a product marketer, one of the core skills is certainly the ability to create a clear consistent message. You have to understand what your product does, who it is built for, and what it can do for them. However, tying functionality to the business benefits is just the start because product marketing also needs to have the ability to effectively communicate that message to the field and to the often noisy market. Another important skill is the acumen to differentiate your offering from other competitive offerings. By helping organizations understand the difference between your solution and someone else’s can ultimately help them make the right selection.

Me: What value does an MBA add (or does it add any value) to upper management leadership positions such as director, ceo etc?

John Kreisa: I think there are multiple benefits to getting an MBA.  For starters, it can give an executive a business perspective on running their own business. It is always important for them to remember that they are running a business and there are certain fundamental principles that make one successful.  It also helps those in sales, marketing, and engineering understand the business dynamics of the organizations we are trying to help with our solution.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that earning an MBA isn’t a sole guarantee of professional success.

Me: Can you talk about some turning points of your life which helped u reach the current position?

John Kreisa: I started my career writing software at a small software firm in Virginia. Early on I realized that I really liked talking to customers about the technology as much as I liked writing it.  I then had the opportunity to move from engineering to product management and subsequently on to product marketing, but always relied on that technical foundation to help explain the benefits of the different products I worked on. I also realized I had an ability to help organizations understand how software can help them achieve their business goals.

Me: How do you deal with areas where you are not as strong?

John Kreisa: At Mark Logic, we have an extremely collaborative environment, so if there is an area where I am not as strong I reach out to the organization for assistance. We have so many smart people here that I always receive the help I need.

Me: How do you keep abreast with some of the recent happenings in the market/industry amidst your busy schedule?

John Kreisa: With the explosion of Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis, there is a ton of information readily available. It is a challenge to stay on top of everything for sure, but I try to read blog postings from industry leaders, key newsletters, and the latest analyst research. I also routinely talk to the technology luminaries at Mark Logic to see what they are hearing from the market about certain trends.

Me: What do you think about this: Are leaders born or leaders made? Can you share some of your experiences?

John Kreisa: I think a little of both. As a parent, I often liken this to the nurture vs. nature debate.  Diverse experiences certainly nurture a person and help them have a more balanced view on life in general. That said, I think there is a personal disposition that comes from nature.  For example, how does a person react to stressful situations, do they fundamentally trust people, etc.  I was told a maxim early on which I believe to be true to this day – ‘aptitude and attitude equals altitude.’  I have lived by this credo my whole life

Me: Thank you very John Kreisa! Glad to have you on CWS!




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