Amanda Dyson (E2open) - Among Diversity and Inclusion
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Vincent Pietrafesa: Welcome to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Vin, the producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market. And, we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Amanda Dyson, the global head of demand generation and ABM at E2open chats with us about how diversity across all audiences and geographies is vital for a company brand. Give it a listen. Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another episode of The Marketing Stir. I, of course, am your host Vincent Pietrafesa, the Vice President of B2B products and partnerships here at Stirista. And you might notice my voice is back. The last episode, I did not sound great. I sound like I smoked for 39 years, but I did not. I've actually never, ever smoked a cigarette. That is a fact about me. So, my voice is back, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you missed it. Probably not. You don't care. You are here for Ajay anyway and the guests. You don't care about me. Anyway, it's great to be back. Ladies and gentlemen, let's talk Stirista just for 15 seconds. Not even an elevator pitch, but we just talk about Stirista. We don't have any other advertisers on our site. We do that for you. Ladies and gentlemen, Stirista, we are a marketing technology company. We own our own business to business data, our own business consumer data, we help companies access that data through our technology, our email platform, our DSP, which is display, focuses on ABM. It also has connected TV, OTT. Email me vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am. I just gave you my email address. And boy, as I always say, do you use it? Not always for the purpose that I wanted, but at least you're listening, and you email me. Half the time you sell me your services. Sure, that's okay. But, marketing works apparently, because I'm telling you my email address and you use it. Anyway, the other thing I'm confident in, and I will see this gentlemen a few times coming up. I will see him when this episode comes out. Maybe we do an episode on how much fun we had when we saw each other. We usually do. I couldn't think of a time, Ajay, when we did not have fun, and also get some great work done. But, I'm, of course, referring to my CEO, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's going on, Ajay?
Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. Some people do care about you. Maybe not the Germans. But, I'll swear your popularity is still there.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Now, what Ajay is referring to is not Germany, the country, that doesn't like me. One day... And you've heard me tell this story just so our guest knows what we're referring to, because she's probably going to be like, " Wait, what? A whole country doesn't like you, Vincent?" No, that would be absurd. But, one day, these group of people from Germany, they actually said that Ajay was funnier than me. And boy, from those of you who know what I do at night here in New York City, boy did that hurt, but you know who it didn't hurt? Ajay. He's loved telling people that for four years. And another four, he will.
Ajay Gupta: No, no. I think this is the last time I'll bring it up. So, I think you're in the clear.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I don't believe you, our producers listening, do not believe you. Our listeners who are listening, don't believe you.
Ajay Gupta: Hey, since the last podcast we recorded, I got on this cleaning kick. So, my office here for the first time looks almost spotless. I have a few other things to clear out, but I was pretty proud of myself.
Vincent Pietrafesa: You want to know what's so strange? Strangely odd about that is I too... Look, I have my Lysol wipes. I don't know if the camera can see them. I was doing the same thing. I was cleaning.
Ajay Gupta: Well, I got my Clorox wipe. See.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Look at this. Who says we don't take advertising? I'm kidding. Neither of them are sponsors or giving us any money for this podcast.
Ajay Gupta: It looks like it.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I know. Lysol and Clorox. And I was like, " Yeah, we wouldn't be that smart, because we put two competitive companies in the same podcast. It's not great." It's like, " This is sponsored by Coke and Pepsi." It's like, that would never exist. But, yeah, I was cleaning, just to make sure... Because also, Stirista is growing and I think there's going to be some people coming in and out of my office from here and there, some of our new teammates. So maybe that's why. Maybe that's the same reason you did, or you just went on a kick of cleaning. I don't know.
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, no. I think, other people would come in and try to organize the papers while they were sitting in my office. So I thought it was time that I did it myself.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. Well, good. Good. We're proud of you. We're proud of you. And like we said, we're going to see you. And you're going to hear a lot of episodes probably titled the Summer of Gupta, because he'll be here in New York City for a couple weeks maybe. So, we'll have a lot of things to talk about. But Ajay, let's get to our amazing guest. Again, the real reason why people listen to the podcast, our guest. We have a great guest today. This is a guest where this is how badly we wanted her on the program. We first started talking to her when she was at another company, doing great things there. And then, she's moved on. She's rocking and rolling at another company. We said, " Oh, no, no, no. It wasn't about the company, Amanda. It was about you. We want you on the podcast." It always starts that way. Ladies and gentlemen, we wanted her no matter where she was going. So we're very happy to have her on. And I love what she's doing. Take a look. Listen to this title. She is the Global Head of Demand generation and ABM at E2open, Amanda Dyson. What's going on, Amanda?
Amanda Dyson: Hey. Hey, Vincent. Hey, Ajay. Thanks you guys for having me on. Yeah, it's been a long time. Been chatting for quite a while. And, I'm super excited to finally be here with you guys today. So thanks for having me on. I don't have any disinfectant wipes on me, but I did too clean my office for this.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Nice, nice. Well, if you did use a disinfectant wipe, would you use Lysol or Clorox? The world wants to know. No, I'm kidding. They don't want to know that, but I want to know. I'm curious.
Amanda Dyson: No, I probably would use neither one. Maybe find something sustainable, biodegradable.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Against the grain. I love it, Ajay. She's like, " Oh, I don't dig into those corporations."
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, you probably regret asking the question now, Vincent.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I sure do. I sure do. She's like, " You mean the stuff that's made out of... I would use just water."
Amanda Dyson: Yeah, just water and leaves.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Just leaves from outside and clean my tiny home, right?
Amanda Dyson: Yeah.
Vincent Pietrafesa: My tiny sustainable home that's powered by solar.
Amanda Dyson: Correct.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome. No, Amanda. Yeah, we have been talking for a while. We wanted to have you on. You were doing some great work in your old company, Blue Yonder there, but now you're at E2open. Let's talk about... First of all, we'll get to E2open. This title, I love it. I love the titles now where they're like, " Oh, this is what you're amazing at. And we're just going to put it in your title. And you're going to have a focus." Because a lot of companies are getting razor focused in their marketing.
Amanda Dyson: Mm- hmm.
Vincent Pietrafesa: So tell us about your title. Tell us about E2open. I'd love to learn more.
Amanda Dyson: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So I mean, I think you're absolutely right about the title, right? So, it's meant to be very specific. There's no more, just, " You're a vice president of marketing." Well, what exactly does that mean? There's so many different areas of marketing, but I've really specialized in demand generation over the years. I've done a couple of other things with our partner community. ABM is just now such a critical component of demand generation that I said, " Let's put that directly in the title." Right? " Let's make sure that our marketing managers that are running account- based marketing campaigns are called account- based marketers." Really inaudible account based marketing means a lot of different things to different people as well. So it was really important just to get that out there in terms of what that actually means and what that actually looks like. And it's global in nature, to your point. E2open is a large global organization. So, I've got people all over the world, which is really, customers all over the world. So, yeah, that's the gist of the title.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Love it. And then, E2open. Tell us about what you're doing there. What's the organization? Who are they helping?
Amanda Dyson: Yep. So, E2open is the largest connected supply chain company. So we've got customers all across logistics and manufacturing, types of accounts, food and beverage, consumer goods, anything that is the movement and the flow of goods, and supply chain, and manufacturing. Our tagline is moving as one, which I just like for so many reasons. I think, supply chain became this really hot topic coming out of COVID, right? When suddenly there were all of these shortages and people really started to understand what it takes to get things from point A to point B and costs of goods rising and having visibility into your supply chain to be able to forecast and respond to big changes happening in the world. So, I've spent majority of my career in supply chain. The prior company you mentioned Blue Yonder that I worked for is a large supply chain company too. So, this opportunity came my way. It felt very natural and exciting and it felt like home, right? It's a different organization, but there's a lot of similar people that I work with. A lot of friends I have from other supply chain companies work at E2open as well, just enjoying the culture, and the leadership, and the opportunity that we have every day to make a difference.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, I'm sure they're excited as well. Amanda, talk to us about how you got into marketing. How'd you get started in marketing, it is one of our staple questions.
Amanda Dyson: Yeah.
Vincent Pietrafesa: We have a few of those. And, it's never the same answer. So we'd love to hear your story.
Amanda Dyson: Oh, sure. Yeah, I'm sure it's never the same. So, I didn't know I wanted to be in marketing. Little kids want to be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a teacher. I don't know that they're ever like, " I'm going to be a marketer." For me, it came about in college. I had a number of retail jobs, and knew that upon graduation, that certainly wasn't where I wanted to be. So, I took a chance with a ERP company in Santa Barbara, California where I went to college. I had a professional writing minor. And, I took an internship in their technical writing department, which was not for me at the end of the day. But I did find there were a lot of things that I liked. I liked the software company. I liked the business idea and the value that they had, the proposition they had for their customers. So I just started searching around and thinking, " What might I like to do in this company if I don't like the department that I'm in?" And I actually created a role for myself within their marketing team. I spoke with a lot of people on the team, let them know what I was interested in. And that turned into a full- time job. Started as a copywriter, worked my way up through the communications division, moved to Arizona in 2007. And, went back to school to get my MBA. Was shortly thereafter recruited by then JDA, which is what we know now as Blue Yonder. So, I spent most of my career doing demand generation at Blue Yonder. Fell in love with marketing, the data side of marketing, but also the creative side of marketing. Just getting to do really cool things for our customers. Honestly, I feel like marketing, we're the fun department in a lot of organizations, right? So, we get to have a lot of fun, work really hard. And yeah, that's how I got my start. I'll always be thankful for that technical writing department.
Ajay Gupta: Awesome. Every story is unique, so that's great to hear. Amanda, since this is a marketing focused podcast, we like to get a little bit more details, so what are some of the strategies and channels that you're using for demand generation?
Amanda Dyson: Yeah. So, I'm glad you asked. I think, getting back to the title and the structure of the team, we have a demand generation arm. We run a lot of email marketing events. We have content syndication programs where you're just trying to get your brand and your advertising out there. We actually have a really strong brand department and a beautiful brand, the company underwent a brand relaunch last year and it's just a very streamlined, approachable look and feel that the team takes very good care of. So, they're running those types of campaigns into the industries that I mentioned before for some of our biggest solutions across global trade inaudible. And then, the ABM arm is something that the company has been running for some time, but a big initiative and why I was brought on to run the team is to infuse really that ABM mentality and strategy across the organization. So, with the ABM team, we're running more account specific and marketing universe of one, where you're running a campaign to one account, or maybe it's a small batch of accounts. Working really closely with sales, which is another part of marketing that I love and I think is vital, is having a strong connection and alignment with your sales teams. So that's something that we're undergoing now. We just are kicking it off and early on. But, it'd be exciting to come back to this podcast in a year and talk about the amazing results that we are achieving with ABM, because I believe really firmly in the strategy.
Ajay Gupta: Awesome. And then, I know you're fairly new at your role, but what are some of the challenges that you have identified in your role and how do you overcome them?
Amanda Dyson: So, while the role is new, the challenges are not. I think that, budget and resources is always a challenge in marketing and especially in this B2B world that I've grown up in. There's never enough money, there's never enough people and headcount, and so you're constantly having to prioritize and really look at trade- offs of doing or not doing a particular campaign, or funding a particular channel, or whatever the case may be. I think that, any sales, any product marketer, anybody that owns a specific P& L, their priorities are already priority number one. So, all of those demands are consistently coming to the marketing team, and it's up to us to be really smart about how we strategically then go to market. So, that's something I believe in. Everybody is in sales. I think, no matter your role in an organization, at the end of the day you have to be selling your product. So, we always like to say everybody is in sales. But, with that, trying to be very marketing led. And by that I mean, using our marketing tech stack to be really smart and savvy about where we are placing those dollars. I believe really firmly and having a strong marketing tech. And it's a criteria I look at when looking at new careers and new companies, being able to give those insights to sales. They're all very busy. They all have a very important job. So how can we not just enable their campaigns and deliver pretty pictures and fun events, but really use data to help drive their account planning, and their decision making, and where we're going to market together with our sales teams.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Amanda, I want to also talk about a few things. You're part of some great organizations. My wife is also a member of this organization, CHIEF. So, I'd like to bring that up, because I think there's been some other members of CHIEF that have been on the podcast, but we really didn't talk about it. I wanted to talk about CHIEF, that organization. And, if you could tell people a little bit about it, and what it means to you, and how it set sets itself apart from other organizations.
Amanda Dyson: So I'd love to talk about CHIEF. So I'm really glad that you brought it up. And if you've had any business leader women, and I know you have on the show, because I've seen some of the podcasts, highly likely that they were probably engaged in CHIEF in some way. So, CHIEF's a private membership. And, it's really geared towards women leaders across business sectors. They are founded out of New York, but it's a global organization at this point. They have some flagship offices. But, we actually have a local cohort here in Charlotte. We have our Charlotte CHIEFs and we try to get together, at least, virtually if not virtually, and in- person once a month. And that's just become such a very cool and strong network frankly. Especially when I was in transition. Inaudible thing about me joining CHIEF, I made a strategic decision for myself in December of last year that this year I wanted to do more to invest in me. I'd been in my current company, not necessarily current role, but company for almost 15 years and just wanted to do something more. And so, I made the decision to join CHIEF. And, was then let go from my company. They went through a massive reorganization and my position along with the position of numerous others in my department were affected. And, when I look back, I think at all of these doors that had been opened for me, partially by joining CHIEF, that leaving that company gave me the opportunity to walk through. And, that's just been so exciting. So I think, the bottom line about CHIEF, the women and the brain power in that organization is tremendous. And just making that investment in yourself. I think I advocate for anybody listening to this that's contemplating, it doesn't have to be CHIEF, but continuous learning, and just ways to be bettering yourself I think is huge. Not just for your career type of professional growth, but personal growth.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, my wife really enjoys going... We are here in New York City. So, that flagship New York City office is amazing from what she tells me. She's already just been to events there, and panels, and really enjoys it, and has met some amazing women who are doing great things. So, I'm glad we're talking about it as well. Let's get back to marketing, Amanda, because we want to talk specifically because of your skillset. How do you approach creating brand identity and building brand awareness? Because it's so important for companies, because there's companies out there that tend to have the market share and that people know and are almost household names, but talk to us about your approach to it.
Amanda Dyson: Yeah. I think that your brand is so, so important. And like I mentioned, the relogs that our company went through last year. Specific to E2open, they've grown through a number of acquisitions, right? So, they are brand our umbrella that may be familiar frankly to people. And companies may be running E2open and not even really know it, and may refer to it as an old product or company name. So, I think having consistency in voice, consistency in overall look and feel. I mentioned our brand team, but just being an advocate for the brand, getting your entire organization... They're your soldiers, they're your brand ambassadors, and having a strong brand toolkit to give people assets and tools so they don't stray from the brand. Your employees just now being in such a digital world, there's such a big piece of putting out the brand story, and the brand voice, and everything you can create on social, and all the chatter, and all of that you can create. Our channels are not what they once were, you don't have to run these large website banner ads on third- party publications. Or, you can be putting out your own digital media and knowing your audience too is the other piece. So really, again, keeping all things budget and resources in mind, you have to be smart about where you're placing those digital advertisements and what action and activity you're trying to encourage with those. Is it engagement? Is it lead generation? It's very hard at that level. But, I think those are really important things about the brand. And frankly, once you have that household name, you have to keep your promises to your customers, because then it's a lot of responsibility as well. Right? Now, people know you now you can't hide. So, it's really important that you're keeping your word to your customers and it really comes full circle.
Ajay Gupta: Amanda, what are your thoughts on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the field of marketing, and how do you ensure that your marketing efforts are inclusive when it comes to your brand and outward marketing?
Amanda Dyson: Yeah, thanks Ajay. I love that question. So, I think if I approach it from the outward brand, first of all, it's mission- critical that your brand and your storytelling is inclusive of all audiences, all geographies, different types of people, different ways of working, ways of living. I think all of that is vitally important. And it would be a big miss for any brand of our size to not be inclusive in that way. I think that, from an internal perspective, oftentimes inclusion, diversity is focused on having more women empowerment, or a seat at the table, or opportunities presented to them. But, marketing tends to be pretty female heavy. And so, we're often saying, " How do we make this more attractive for more males to want to join this or that team or take part in these marketing initiatives and recruit in that way?" So, I'm often looking at diversity also just in ideas in our values, and things that are important to us, and things that bring us joy, and success and feelings of pride in our work. I think that there's a lot of differences in what's important to all of us now. Being in virtual teams, I think, can make that even bigger. You don't necessarily get to be in- person with people, and learning about their families, and understanding what's important to them, because we're all behind computer screens. So, I try to ask those questions, ascertain that for my teams because I think that that is just as important to make sure you're aware of.
Ajay Gupta: Amanda, we have a staple question we like to ask all of our guests and it has to do with LinkedIn. So I'm sure with your title and experience, you get a lot of unsolicited messages on LinkedIn. So would love to know what's one that gets you to respond. And, more importantly, what's one that you really dislike?
Amanda Dyson: Oh, that's a good question. If I'm being honest, I respond to quite a few LinkedIn messages. I don't know why. I can be I somewhat quick and to the point. But, I do reply. I think that the ones that I like most, anything local. Again, just because maybe we're all so virtual, if a group reaches out to me... I'm supposed to go to a networking lunch on Friday actually for a group of SAAS professionals in the area. And, they reached out, and they can't necessarily progress my career or anything like that. But, I thought making that in real life and personal connection is something that I value. I will always respond if someone reaches out to me that perhaps has worked with me in a past life and is now asking for advice. I take that as a huge compliment. And I will help them get help with their resume, or make a connection, or whatever they need. The worst reach out unsolicited on LinkedIn would honestly probably just be the ones that clearly don't know. They don't know your industry. They're referencing old or bad data. Those ones I probably wouldn't reply, because they just have built a little database and they're just mass sending things out. And, it's not personalized. So those ones I might not reply to.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I was going to say, you are our first guest, Amanda, to say, " I normally respond to all of them." I knew you were unique and I knew you were really nice, but yeah, that's a first. So, we appreciate that. This is where we get to know you personally. Tell us about yourself. You mentioned a few times that you lived in different areas, now you're in the Charlotte area as you mentioned, your local division, Charlotte CHIEFs as you said. What brought you there? What do you like to do for fun? What does your typical weekend look like?
Amanda Dyson: Oh, I love that question. Because that's the fun stuff, right? That's the meaningful stuff. So, in a one- minute synopsis, I met my husband in Arizona in 2008. We lived there about eight years, but he is from this area. So, 2015 we decided to make the move here. And frankly, just love it. I lived in California my whole life, moved to Arizona. It was the best thing I ever did. I met my husband. So I said, " Why not? Let's give it a shot and let's try to move again." I've worked remote pretty much my entire career, way pre- COVID. So, it was an easy thing to do. Fast- forward 2018, I had my daughter who will be five this year, very excited about her fifth birthday princess tea party that we'll be having.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yep.
Amanda Dyson: And my son just turned two. So, what do I do on the weekends? That probably answered that question.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yep.
Amanda Dyson: But what do I do for fun? I'm really big into health, and wellness, and wellbeing, and I don't just mean working out. I love to run. But, I'm also big into reading, and stress management, and eating well, and sleeping as much as I possibly can. So those are things that I love to talk about and I love to share. There is an organization called Thrive, Arianna Huffington, you guys might be familiar.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah.
Amanda Dyson: They're very active on LinkedIn. But they're always posting these five tips to whatever, de- stress on a Friday, or something like that. Stress in the workplace is so prevalent and it's so easy to get bogged down and overworked, and Americans in general are overworked. And, we can take a step back, we can breathe, exhale, know that the work will be there. If you get up and take a walk around the block, I guarantee your work will still be there when you get back and you might have a clearer head to tackle it. So, those are things that I'm pretty into.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That's awesome. Yeah, I have a six and three year old, so I know exactly what you're doing on the weekends. And you're doing what I'm doing, and you're running around and you're going crazy. And, those are great things to do. And now, the answer's why, you're in Charlotte. Charlotte's great. It's a great area. My wife's grandmother lived there for many years. And you got there in 2015, which is ahead of all these New Yorkers and these North Easterners moving down there, and driving those crazy prices up. So, that's awesome. And that's also a great closing thought that you mentioned, that stress and stress relief. It is tough in general for people to do that, but you add on kids and you add on all pandemic and work, it's very much needed. I try to de- stress as much as I can. That's amazing, Amanda. We appreciate your time with us. I'm so happy we got to reconnect and talk. That's Amanda Dyson, ladies and gentlemen, the global head of demand generation and ABM at E2open. Check her out. Reach out to her on LinkedIn. She might accept your request, or at least get back to you. But don't hassle her please. She's awesome. That's Amanda. I'm Vincent. That's Ajay. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk soon. Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like rate and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, please email us at the marketingstir @ stirista. com. And thanks for listening.
Amanda Dyson, the Global Head of Demand Generation and ABM at E2open, chats with us about how diversity across all audiences and geographies is vital for a company brand.