Q&A with Collette Johnson, Product Marketing Specialist at Redgate Software

Media 7 | January 12, 2021

Collette Johnson, Product Marketing Specialist at Redgate Software, serves as the key player in the marketing success of the organization. She is known for always delivering the highest standards of work for the benefit of the businesses she works for.

MEDIA 7: Congratulations on being listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Product Marketing Influencers 2020’! What inspired you to get into marketing?
COLLETTE JOHNSON:
For me, it was all about the customer. Very early on in my career, I realized that enabling organizations to embrace new technology to drive their successes excited me, and this is what inspired me towards a career in marketing. I’m really passionate about understanding how to engage people, learning what messaging and narratives help them in making decisions, and how to enable sales to succeed through the materials we produce. I thoroughly enjoy the learning that you get in marketing and how everything you do is different as you are testing and iterating for the best outcome for customers.

Commitments are the key to helping people embrace careers in product marketing and to understand what the job entails.


M7: What are the factors that drew you to joining Redgate Software? Please take us through your journey.
CJ:
The biggest factor for me joining Redgate software was the value that they put on marketing and how instrumental it is in the success of the organization. I joined the organization at an exciting phase of growth, which in product marketing brings lots of exciting challenges in terms of strategic vision, messaging realignment, understanding the importance of new personas and the complex interactions between key stakeholders, and understanding the changing needs of our customers.

So far, I’ve worked on our data protection and privacy offerings and feel the impact we have made to our clients with re-positioning has been transformational to individuals in their roles and the wider organization. This year, I will be working with our monitoring team and that brings a whole new challenge with it which I’m really looking forward to embracing. The key thing about Redgate is every day is different and we are talking to our customers daily which is extremely empowering in marketing and I believe makes for outstanding and powerful product marketing.

M7: What is your approach towards market research, both customer and competitor focused?
CJ:
Great market research is the key and something I believe is what makes excellent marketers. For me in both customer and competitor, it’s ensuring a mix of formal and informal insights from across the market may that be customers, key opinion leaders, analysts. It’s also ensuring you are keeping engaged on these areas frequently – every week I put aside an afternoon to update on competitor research (I also have active searches set up for when competitors are mentioned in PR etc. to ensure I have the minutest intelligence for when I might need to react to strengthen our offerings).

Additionally, to this, I speak with our customers every week to ensure that we have continuous up-to-date insights. Recently, I have implemented a Digital Mural for sales, marketing and product to input insights as they are gaining, which we review weekly and decide which warrant further investigation - it’s a superb tool for subtle changes in the market or for seeing patterns so that we can act quickly for benefits to the business.


Never give up. Marketing is a very competitive space and can be hard to break into. Get yourself a mentor to help you explore the different areas of marketing and support you in gaining experience.

M7: What marketing strategies are you looking forward to implement in 2021 and why?
CJ:
The one I am most looking forward to is looking at the complex decision-making processes in enterprise and understanding how to bring success to these organizations. I enjoy understanding what organizations need but ensuring that key stakeholders' voices are heard and reflected in the marketing I produce to ensure as much success as is possible is achieved with the portfolio of products that I work on. This, then needs to be translated across the organization to ensure understanding and so that we can ensure success with these groups and this is something I really enjoy and the initial feedback on these insights is key to ensure long term strategic success.

M7: You also have several commitments such as mentoring, educating in the business sector and partaking in podcasts such as Product Marketing Life. How do you maintain a balance between work and other such commitments?
CJ:
For me, those commitments are the key to helping people embrace careers in product marketing and to understand what the job entails and I feel is essential as an influencer in this space to not only educate people moving into this space but also to share insights with organizations to drive growth and awareness of the importance of product marketing.

Outside my commitments around education and awareness, I enjoy taking time away from the screen – I think that’s important to ensure balance and that you don’t burn out. I have set a switch off on my devices so I can’t access them after a certain time at night, so they don’t alert me and pull me back into a workspace in my head. If it is an emergency people know how to get hold of me away from emails and slack etc.

I like to do creative activities that ensure a digital break – it’s also where I get my best ideas and thoughts. You’ll mostly find me in my sewing room dressmaking covered in pins, outside with nature for a run to escape, or in the kitchen relaxing creating something very tasty (mostly with lots of cheese).


Outside my commitments around education and awareness, I enjoy taking time away from the screen – I think that’s important to ensure balance and that you don’t burn out.

M7: What is the marketing mantra that you swear by?
CJ:
Why does the customer care? It's extremely important to me – everything I do in my role is to enable the customer, so that every day I look at the work I do and ask myself how it helped them, why would they care about the work I’m doing, how will they benefit. It’s so easy in the middle of project work to forget why you are doing it and that you are the voice of the customer and to remember that I believe elevates the standard and outcome of the work you produce.

M7: Your advice for young women considering a career in marketing?
CJ:
Never give up. Marketing is a very competitive space and can be hard to break into. The first thing I’d advise is to get yourself a mentor to help you explore the different areas of marketing and support you in gaining experience and understanding – organizations such as the Product Marketing Alliance have a mentor program which I take part in and is a great step into helping kick start your career.

The other piece of advice is to do your research- look into the different roles and types of organizations and understand what excites you – I really enjoy the strategy and positioning align with very technical problems and therefore B2B tech was a good fit for me, so understanding the different flavors of roles, customers and market segments is really important.

ABOUT REDGATE SOFTWARE

Redgate makes ingeniously simple software used by over 800,000 IT professionals around the world and is the leading Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor. Redgate’s philosophy is to design highly usable, reliable tools which elegantly solve the problems developers and DBAs face every day and help them to adopt compliant database DevOps. As well as streamlining database development and preventing the database being a bottleneck, this helps organizations introduce data protection by design and by default. As a result, more than 100,000 companies use Redgate tools, including 91% of those in the Fortune 100.

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Redgate Software was founded in 1999 and, in the 20 years since then, has grown from offering a handful of tools to providing a full suite of database development solutions which enable businesses to include the database in DevOps. Many solutions like SQL Compare and SQL Prompt are regarded as th...

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