Erin Hintz, CMO of Barracuda, on Confidence and Connections
In order to make a mark in the world of business, you might assume one needs to be an aggressive extrovert. But that does not describe Erin Hintz. Highlights of this self-avowed introvert’s career include driving 30% year-over-year growth at Urban Airship, growing Symantec’s Norton business from $350 million to $2 billion, and doubling Citrix SaaS revenue in three-and-a-half years.
Before holding CMO positions at Urban Airship and now Barracuda, Erin Hintz led worldwide marketing for Symantec and Citrix. So it might surprise you to learn that she was a painfully shy, introverted child. She found her way by mastering public speaking while still in elementary school. “After winning competitions, I gained confidence and was able to give impromptu speeches.”
It helped that public speaking tapped into Erin’s aspiring nature. “I know a lot of introverts who are very competitive and I certainly have a reputation for that. People want me on their team.”
It’s really important for marketing to speak in the language and about the metrics that sales understands.
Erin has funneled that competitive spirit into successfully growing large and small businesses, and unlocking the key to success when selling to both B2B and consumer audiences. “You always need to make the customer the hero. But you engage these two audiences differently. With consumers, marketing needs to reach millions in a scalable way. With B2B, marketing needs to effectively team with and support sales.”
Along those lines, Erin is a firm believer in aligning with the sales team where it matters most. “It’s really important for marketing to speak in the language and about the metrics that sales understands.”
This tenet underpins Erin’s ethos around the importance of relationships in business. When establishing a new marketing team, Erin digs into how the team is connected throughout the organization. “I focus on making sure we have the right people and how marketing works with both the sales and product teams.”
With that in mind, Erin does all she can to solicit everyone’s contributions – even those who may be too shy to speak up. “Whenever I’m leading a group, I try to make sure everyone has a voice. Sometimes that’s uncomfortable for introverts because you have to call them out and ask them what they’re thinking or what their ideas are. But they always have an answer.”
Some of Erin’s other keys to success:
- Ensuring connections across teams. Erin believes in making connection points throughout the organization and driving collaboration across teams to avoid getting isolated and trapped in her own ideas.
- Building credibility with sales. Erin makes it a priority to track the metrics that matter to sales and trace opportunities and closed deals back to the lead source.
- Providing a view into marketing. In the name of transparency, Erin shows how marketing dollars are spent, how the marketing team spends its time, and what the team delivers for the business.