Daniel Bornstein (Genpact) - On and On and On
Ben: Welcome to the Marketing Stir Podcast, by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Ben, the associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges in the market, and we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Vincent an AJ chat with Daniel Bornstein, head of software and digital platforms. He talks about how technology stacks for sales and marketing crossover, and how personalized marketing with technology in a solid blend is affected for satisfied customers. Vincent gets a fresh haircut, and AJ feels like the world is finally normal. Give it a listen.
Vincent: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista's, The Marketing Stir. It is so good to be here. I'm happy. I got a fresh haircut, but I do every 10 days. You know that, the audience, it's a weird quirk of mine. Anyway. I'm so happy to be here. Who am I? If you don't know, maybe we have some new listeners, we're constantly growing. I thank you for spreading the word. I also thank you for coming up to me at conferences, now. Conferences are back. Thank you for the feedback. Thank you for telling me, whether I'm at lunch, or in line. Getting a drink, or I am at a booth walking around, that you really love the podcast. I appreciate that, so keep that up. We really do love that. Stirista, who are we? Let's take a pause for a station identification. Again, this is not a station, but we are a marketing technology company. We own our own business to business data, our own business to consumer data. We have technology that helps you access that data to get new customers. We own our own DSP called AdStir. We could push out media, OTT, connect to TV, display. Email me, Vincent @ stirista. com. That's it. That's all you hear about Stirista there, but thank you so much. I'm very confident that we could help. I just gave you my email address. The other thing I'm confident in, and I always say this, I will run through a wall for this gentleman, my CEO, my co- host ladies, gentlemen, Mr. AJ Gupta. What's up AJ?
AJ: Hey Vincent. I'm glad your walls are made out of glass.
Vincent: Glass. I'm running through, running through. Yeah. Yeah. It's not. Well... Hey, there's a lot of injury that could happen.
AJ: Yeah, yeah.
Vincent: It's movie glass. It's that glass that you run through, through the movies, but that's okay. Still, who's running through walls for you? I'm running through walls.
AJ: That's true. That's true. Fair enough.
Vincent: Good to see you. What's new with you? I haven't talked to you in about a week or so.
AJ: Yeah. I'm feeling better, getting back into the swing of things here and looking forward to having you in a week or two. I should have my New York City trip coming up next month as well.
Vincent: Look at this.
AJ: It's almost like a normal world we're living in.
Vincent: It is. It's coming back, right? I think people are... Well, now in New York City, I have short sleeves on where this is April. It's the best day of the year here in New York City. It's in the 80s, 80 degrees in April, which never happens. It's beautiful. People are out. It's going to be a great time. So yes, double dose you get of me AJ, double dose. I don't know if you're ready for it, but we're going to have some fun. I look forward to seeing the San Antonio crew headquarters, ladies and gentlemen. The other thing I'm happy about, a double dose of AJ, but the other thing is our next guest, ladies and gentlemen. We have a great show for you today. We're tackling verticals that we haven't necessarily talked about on the podcast company, unlike others that we've talked about on the podcast. This guest, I'm very happy to have him. Ladies and gentlemen, please a warm Marketing Stir welcome for the Vice President, Head of Growth, Technology Verticals at Genpact, Daniel Bornstein. What's going on Daniel?
Daniel: Hey, Vincent. Thank you, AJ. Thank you for having me on. I'm a voracious podcast listener. I've listened to some episodes of your podcast. I love the informality and the insights. I'm really excited. Thank you for the opportunity.
Vincent: Thank you, Daniel. We appreciate it. yes, not everyone listens to the podcast before they come on, but we do appreciate it. We put a lot of effort into it, a lot of effort to make it look effortlessly, I should say. But yeah, that's everyone else. No effort on my part, but it is so great to talk to you Daniel, to semi see you in person. I hope to meet you in person one day, but Daniel, let's get right into it. I love your title. It's a very unique title because you are tackling certain verticals. Can you talk to me a little bit about first, let's get it out there, who Genpact is, and talk to us a little bit about the verticals, your role within the organization. Love to hear all about that.
Daniel: Yeah, absolutely. So Genpact is a publicly traded multinational consulting and professional services firm. We, as you may imagine, we're all business to business, and we help mostly the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies in a variety of areas. We actually, believe or not, have 100, 000 employees across 30 + countries. Essentially, we have a consulting arm, which I can get into a little bit later, and our professional service arm that runs operations and processes across a multitude of areas for the Fortune 500, as I mentioned. Those could be areas like finance and accounting, trust and safety, customer experience, sales and commercial, financial crimes and risk management. We really, really do a lot in my verticals. I'm the Head of Growth, as you mentioned, for our technology verticals. So, so what does that mean? Like most companies, if you think about Google or Facebook, they tend to be verticalized, and those verticals are essentially where their clients are. In an ideal world, you have people that have domain expertise within the client's area of expertise, and then, of course you have the products themselves. Our products are essentially the service lines and domain areas where we're ranked number one, number two in the world, whatever the case may be. Going back to my verticals, we have within my team, social media, software as a service, E- Commerce, on demand marketplaces, gaming, big tech. Those are our cohorts. Those are our clients. From my perspective, my main goal, it's really a combination of sales and marketing. It's that nexus of how do you acquire that next big customer door portfolio? Once they're acquired, how do you grow them? That sort of thing.
Vincent: Daniel, we'd love to ask because there's a lot of people listening who are looking to get into various fields. They're maybe just starting out, but how'd you get started in marketing?
Daniel: Yeah. So for me, I was very much interested in consumer internet. My professional experience, I would say was bifurcated with, let's say undergrad and grad school. In undergrad, I was really interested in political science, business, economics. While I was in undergrad, I started working for what we would call today, Web 1. 0 companies, startups. I found that to be super, super fascinating. Then when I went to graduate school, I went to a school... It's in the UK. It's called London School of Economics. Essentially, it's a factory for people that want to be investment bankers or management consultants. I already had the foresight of knowing I wanted to continue to work in tech, let's call it. Then from there, I've always looked at sales and marketing, having a symbiotic relationship. Ironically, my first job out of grad school is working at Google, which I was there for five years. Google is sort of the ultimate definitional company of digital marketing, marketing tech. That's where my fascination with marketing started, specifically around the technology side and on the automation side. Obviously, you own a DSP, so I'm sure that rings true to you. I think what's more interesting now is this notion of personalization versus automation, and data and its role, and where are we going to. But ultimately, that's been my interest. Since Google, I've worked at a public company as well, but also a bunch of high growth startups, whereas you know, in the startup world, the nexus between sales and marketing, there isn't as much of a, let's say, wall. So, have done a variety of things, corp dev, bus dev, marketing, sales. It's really that nexus between sales and marketing, where I think I have a specialty.
AJ: I know you've had some great experiences working at a number of companies, as you mentioned, but coming back to Genpact, what are you doing in terms of marketing, and what is it that's working for you guys?
Daniel: We do a lot, right? As I mentioned, we're a 100, 000 person company. As you may imagine, we're using all of the avenues and channels that a company of our size would use, right? So it's everything from AdWords, to display, to brand advertising, to sponsorship. I think I would answer that question in a really specific way as it pertains to our group within the technology verticals, which is how do you acquire a customer? Again, going back to this nexus of sales versus marketing. Today, sales has become so technocratic that essentially, if you're going to do sales in a modern tech company, you need to have a sales tech stack, which is really a marketing tech stack. There's this sort of gray area. Does the CRO own marketing for sales? Does the CMO own marketing for sales, or what is that collaboration? I think what we do, specifically in marketing to new customers, which is a little bit different, is how we approach our ICP. If you're familiar, I'm sure you are, but if your listeners are familiar with this acronym, ideal customer profile, ICP? Who are your customers? Who are your target customers, and how do you speak to them? That's sort of the building block. Again, if we go back to this notion of personalization versus automation, there's a tool, maybe you know it, that's licensed by Oracle. It's called DataFox. They were an Oracle acquisition. It's basically an ICP modeling software. It is very, very good. But the question is, what are the inputs you're putting in? My experience is that when most companies market to their ICP, it is inside out versus outside in. That's an expression I love because if you're thinking about what you want versus thinking about what your customer wants, there's an asymmetry from the word, go. If we take that notion of how do you build an ICP? I think what we do, which is very different, our growth and intelligence team, they take a look at all of the available ICP universal clients, and instead of saying something like," Well, we want to work with customers that have X revenue, Y head count, and that are in such and such field." Of course, we look at those things, but we have a much more granular approach where we use data, and we also use our own subjectivity. We look at customers, or potential customers, and we say," Well, are there actual areas where we can help them?" If there aren't, we're not going to call on them. If there are, we're going to call on them, and we're going to have a very sincere message. It's that we don't sell commoditized solutions. Imagine a SaaS company... It's not a knock on SaaS, by any means, but SaaS companies, by definition, they've got a solution for a certain TAM and it's got certain confines. Maybe there are certain pricing. When you're helping companies, either by running your operations or providing consulting, every single thing you do by definition is bespoke. Anytime that you try and market to that company, you really can't say," Hey, we're Genpact. We're really big. We do consulting and services. We work with a Fortune 500." That's great, but what is it about their business where you actually think you can help? I think that's a differentiator for us.
AJ: Yeah. That's a very good description of SaaS versus kind of the base book solutions. We struggle with the same thing here is because... I mean, some of our solutions are SaaS like, but at the end of the day, every marketing department we work with is so different that it's hard to have a cookie cutter approach. Kind of drawing it out to general trends that you're seeing, technology is obviously ever changing, and more than ever with sort of the things that have happened, like Zoom has become a household name now during the pandemic, but what are some of the changes and trends you're seeing in the air technology space?
Daniel: That's a great question, AJ. I think you're touching on something, which is really interesting. We're huge fans of Zoom at Genpact. We're customers of Zoom. We're enterprise customers at Zoom. What I like about Zoom and video conferencing in general, is that they've seamlessly democratized business meetings. The solutions are incredibly elegant for a company our size, but they're also affordable, and elegant, and efficient for companies of three, to four, to five people. I think it's pretty rare, and yes, this is a plug for Zoom, but I think it's pretty rare to fit an SMB and enterprise need, just as well, because a lot of companies, SaaS companies, as you know, they may struggle with SMB, whereby they may be very efficient with enterprise and vice versa. I think we can all agree that business travel is not going to be quite as profound as it was before. I mean, you mentioned that you're starting to travel again, but I could see a world where internal travel is restricted. External travel is promoted. Zoom fits that gap, so really bullish on that. Then one other thing, which again, bringing it back to this notion of sales versus marketing, and a sales tech stack versus a marketing tech stack, and where that crossover is. I think there's a really interesting debate over the last, call it five, six, seven years, about personalization versus automation. For example, if we think about technologies like Outreach and SalesLoft, which I'm pretty confident that you're familiar with and probably a lot of your listeners are familiar with. Well, if you think about what a technology like that does, it's actually kind of more of a marketing technology than a sales technology. I call them sales ESPs. So if you think about an email service provider, like a CheetahMail, or one of these types of companies, really, this is what it is for sales. What's interesting about it is SaaS companies started to embrace it. Now a lot of other companies have started to embrace as well, but the end customer, it's all about how you use it, right? The marketing tool might be great, but what is that implementation usage of that marketing tool? If you start doing templatized cadences of 12, 15 emails steep, people can tell. Yes, you can do some personalization there, but people can tell that it's also semi- personalized. I would argue that it's a turnoff. Maybe there's a lot of use cases for BDRs. There's use cases for sales directors and so forth as well, but it's how do companies use that? Because if I'm being marketed to, I want it to be personal. So, what is that right mix of using the technology, but making it feel personal. Do you say I'm not going to use any technology, and it's only going to be personalized messages and sincere messages, or am I going to use the mix of the two? It's probably the latter. I don't think that anybody's figured that out quite yet.
Vincent: Daniel, I loved what you were saying there because one, the promoting of sales and marketing working together, I love hearing that. Our listeners love hearing that because you've always heard it being separated and at odds. I also love that... I'm on the B2B side. You talking about making that type of marketing more personalized, which I feel like on the consumer side, that's a little easier, right?" Hey, there's you looked at this shirt. What about this, Vincent?" But on the B2B side, I think it's very important, so I love that you were talking about that. Switching gears a little bit. I want to get your input on... You've been doing marketing. What has been in your approach that you feel set you apart? Any tips out there that's kind of been a game changer for you?
Daniel: Yeah. You know, I think going back to what I said, if it didn't fully come through, I tend to be more on the personalization side. Working in technology, there's a world for that. But I think what works for us, first of all, referrals work really well for us because we tend to be really good operators. When we're engaged with a client, oftentimes, people move around, they go to different companies, they'll go to a new company, there'll be a need, they'll know us, so we get invited to, let's call them RFP processes. We've got a partner ally. Referrals is a big way, word of mouth, that we've been able to build our business. I think that's been a really important marketing lever. Then I think the other marketing levers that have been really effective has been the sincerity of outreach, for example, from people on my team. I think what's really also quite important is this notion of credentialization. Our team is a little bit different because for example, I don't come from consulting professional services. I come from the industry. A lot of the folks on my team come from the industry, so it's a little bit easier for us to have conversations with marketplaces, or advertising platforms, or E- commerce companies, because we're kind of in that ecosystem. I think that's probably... I don't know if I'd say it's a game changer, but I think that's something that helps. The other thing which is pretty obvious is do your research. Make sure, as I was saying going back earlier, it's really, what is your ICP? Where can you add value to clients? For example, we don't go after thousands of clients. I've been in companies where the ICP is 3000 customers. For us, it's a much smaller number of potential customers because we really take our time, research the customer, see if there's any kind of problem statement or area they need help with, and we frame everything, frankly, as a discovery call. Let's get on a call. We'd love to learn a little bit more about your business. We can tell you some of the things that we do. We do a lot of things. You may not be aware of them. If we think there's a way that we can help you, we'd love to progress the conversation. If there isn't, then that's fine, too. I think that's really our differentiators inaudible.
Vincent: No, no. I like hearing that. Speaking of research, we've done a little bit of research here. I want to talk about Genpact's origin story. I think it's a very unique story, back in 1997. Talk to us about that. I don't want to give it away, but I love the story. I would love to hear it from your mouth.
Daniel: Thank you, Vincent, for the question. I do think that Genpact's origin story is really interesting. If you're familiar with Lean Six Sigma, which is a business discipline, it started in the'80s, and it started in manufacturing as a way to improve efficiency and increased defects. It boasted a 99. 7% accuracy, in terms of eliminating defects. Then it transitioned to eliminating waste in businesses, improving business efficiency, and essentially, if you think about Xix Sigma, it can be applied not just to manufacturing, where it started with companies like Toyota, Motorola, GE, et cetera, but it applies to everything that we do today as Genpact. It can apply to customer service. It can apply to sales. It can apply to financial crimes. It can apply to supply chain management. These are areas that we focus in on. We became an incubated business within GE. Anybody that's been to business school, you probably studied GE as an iconic us company and to Jack Welch, and GE really took Six Sigma as a religion. Genpact was essentially the Lean Six Sigma arm of GE. Then in 1997... We started within GE in 2005. We spun out in 2007. We went public. Today, as I mentioned, we're 100,000 people across 30 countries. We do that work across these service lines that I referenced, supply chain management, finance and accounting, content moderation, trust and safety, sales and commercial, financial crimes, risk management, et cetera. We do it on behalf of the Fortune 500, coming from our Six Sigma lineage of efficiency, eliminating waste, and improvements and process improvements for companies at scale. What's interesting is in the last number of years, we've actually transformed into a consulting company where we focus a lot on digital transformation because other consulting companies potentially we're always consulting companies, but we have such a lineage in actually doing the work and being excellent operators, so we take that operations experience and we're able to help companies solve problems. For example, how do I build a global sales team? How do I transform my financial operations framework? How do I, as a E- commerce company export to new markets most efficiently? The list goes on, and on, and on.
AJ: Daniel, That's a great origin story for the company. Kind of following up on that and looking forward, what are some of the things that are coming up that you're excited about with the company?
Daniel: In terms of what we're announcing and what I'm excited about, there's a lot. We do have a partnership with Envision Racing. That's a race team which is involved in the formula E, so it's the all electric formula one with a single racer street racing. We help that team with race to climate change, as well as providing digital and analytics capabilities to improve race efficiency, helping build audience. We're going to have an event there, or there is a Grand Prix in New York on the 16th and 17th of July. We are going to have some thought leadership around that event, which will announce soon, so to stay tuned for that. Another thing that I'm excited about personally is companies like Genpact, we work with third parties, and we're ranked in certain areas. There's a lot of rankings that we're really proud of. For example, being a leader in finance and accounting, being a leader in sales and commercial, being a leader in trust and safety. In our set of verticals, we like to say that we help brands grow, and we protect our brands. That's a way to say what we do, kind of in layperson's terms. But one of the things that really struck me when I joined is I was emailed... I was on copy from an email by our COO, and he had in his signature, Ethisphere. What is Ethisphere? We were recently ranked again as one of the world's most ethical companies. For me, that's important. We're a company that is very, very transparent in the way that we operate internally and externally, and having that validation of being an ethical company is something that I'm personally excited about, as well as being a leader with Everest groups, peak matrix for trust and safety, which speaks to our verticals. We have a really interesting SMB sales academy that we've developed with some of our larger clients, which helps some of our large advertising and SMB clients within SaaS, scale their businesses because we have this academy that brings virtuous loops of feedback and analytics, and we can help train and improve processes on that front. So, those are a few of the very many things that we've announced that I personally like and resonate with me.
AJ: Yeah. One of our staple questions here, and I know you know this since you've heard our podcast before is around kind of the unsolicited messages that we all get on LinkedIn. What's a message that gets your attention, and what's a message that really annoys you?
Daniel: LinkedIn is such an interesting conversation. I think not enough credit is given to LinkedIn for the way that they've completely transformed the way that we do business. From getting jobs, to getting insights, to getting intelligence, to reaching out to people, it's literally one of my favorite platforms in the world, but how you use it, it's a democratic platform, so there's a lot of messages that you get that are totally irrelevant. I think the ones that bother me the most is when people have not done their research. Maybe they're trying to sell you something that you sell, right? That doesn't make sense. They don't understand what you do. They don't understand the company. Those are the messages that bother me. The messages that I like, it's kind of what I was going back to earlier. People who have done their research and understand some initiatives you're working on, and the ones that I will respond to, are people that I view as peers in my industry, where we have people in common, where they want to have a conversation which isn't relegated to, "I want to sell you product X," but more so of a conversation. We try and do that. When we reach out and use LinkedIn as a conduit, we try and say like, "We've got some insights in supply chain. We've got some insights in sales and commercial. We've got some insights interest in safety. Can we talk to you about some of the work we do and the things that we see in the market? Can we talk to you about our SMB sales academy?" Not everybody's going to be receptive to that message, but at least it's a sincere message where hopefully they're going to learn something. If somebody can reach out to me and I can learn something that's relevant to my business, I'll respond.
Vincent: That makes sense. That's the question I get asked all the time now at these conferences where people are like," I love the LinkedIn question." There's sales professionals who come up to us and say," Wow, that's helped me. I've given that information to my SDRs on how to reach out to people." So, I guess a good thing and a bad, but that's awesome. Thank you, Daniel. Now, let's get to know you a little bit more on a personal level, but also work wise too. What have you been most proud of thus far in your career, shining moment, highlight something like that, if you can share with us?
Daniel: Yeah. From a career highlight perspective, there's been some things that have been really interesting. Been in the startup world for a while, prior to coming back to the big company world so there's been things like getting acquired by another company, or that critical fundraise, or in one case, re- listing on the New York stock exchange under a new ticker symbol, which ushered in kind of a new legacy or era for that company, or taking a company public. Those have been experiences that I've had, which have been very resident. I think for me though, the thing that I've enjoyed most in my career has been being a people manager. It just happens to be the path that I've always been on. I introspect a lot on how I can be a better manager, and how I can be somebody that adds value and helps people succeed versus a bureaucrat, or somebody that's very good at managing up. For me, my highlight has been, and I don't necessarily think that I've cracked the code, has been how can I help people grow in their careers? How can I build a network? When people talk about me, I don't really care if they say I'm smart, or if they say I'm amazing at my job. I want people to say this is a trustworthy, honest, credible person. That legacy is important to me. To the extent that's been the case, that would be something that would be the most resonant thing for me.
Vincent: I love that. I love hearing that. Finally, Daniel, we love to get to know you on a personal level. What do you like doing? What are some of your hobbies? I know travel. I saw so many other countries that you travel to, but talk to us.
Daniel: On my free time, most of the stuff I do today is family oriented stuff. Prior to planting roots in Southern California, I had a really rich life experience. I lived in five countries, three continents, 10 cities, went to two international schools, worked at multinational companies, traveled a lot for work, visited over 30 countries. Personally, now my life is a little bit more rooted, and that stability actually, sincerely is something that I enjoy. It's kind of the stuff that maybe isn't as exciting for certain people, but is rewarding for me. Got my Portuguese Water Dog named Dahlia, who I take for long walks on UCLA campus, where I listen to podcasts, meet inaudible for hours. I have a bike that has two bike seats. I take my six and four year old daughters biking on the beach, doing those types of family activities. That's really kind of how life is today, but yeah, that's what I'm kind of up to, personally.
Vincent: I love it. It sounds like my life without the tandem bike, but I five and two year old. My five year old just turned... He just turned five, April 11. Yeah, it's a new form of life, but it's amazing. This has been great. We really appreciate your time, Daniel. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, that's Daniel Bornstein, the VP, Head of Growth, Technology Verticals at Genpact. Checkout Genpact. com. Daniel, this has been amazing. That's Daniel Bernstein. I'm Vincent Pietrafesa. That's AJ Gupta. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening, and we'll talk soon.
Ben: 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 themarketingstir @ stirista. com. Thanks for listening.
Ajay and Vincent chat with Daniel Bornstein, VP, head of software and digital platforms, Genpact. He talks about how technology stacks for sales and marketing cross over, and how personalized marketing with technology in a solid blend is effective for satisfied customers. Vincent gets a fresh haircut, and Ajay feels like the world is finally normal again.