55: India Waters: The path to promotions is raising your hand

What’s up folks, today on the show we are joined by India Waters

  • Based in Atlanta Georgia, she’s a community management expert with a deep appreciation for startups. 
  • She got her start running community at Memoir, a NY-based startup that built a photo sharing app. 
  • The startup eventually pivoted to focus on photo sharing for the wedding industry and was later acquired by The Knot – one of the biggest wedding brands. 
  • India currently leads growth and technology partnerships at MessageGears, a customer marketing platform for enterprise customers. 
  • India thanks for taking some time to chat with us today!

Early startup days

Walk us through some of the early days at Memoir, I read that you got 2 rounds of funding which included prominent investors. 

You spent 4.5 years there and I’m sure things changed quickly and often.

The importance of trying new things

Before landing at Memoir – You graduated from UGA in the middle of a recession with not very many jobs available. Walk us through some of the earliest jobs you did and what advice you’d have for folks in similar positions today.

Constantly changing strategies in startups

So that eventually brought to startup land – Phil and I are no strangers to working for startups and needing to consider pivots and changing strategies. What lessons do you have when it comes to adapting to frequent strategy changes?

Target customers

You first started working at Memoir which was an app for consumers and was probably hard to segment as it could be used by anyone. Then the company (Veri) refocused to pivot the app for the wedding industry which led to the acquisition. Now you’re at a tech company selling marketing software to marketers. Talk about how different it is to sell a product with product market fit or a more focused target customer?

Community-led growth

Some of your earliest focus areas were community growth. What did community-led growth look like 10 years ago vs today?

Working up to different roles at a bigger company

You’ve been at MessageGears now for a little over 4 years and you’ve held 4 different roles there. Starting with Market research analyst and biz dev to Growth manager, to senior growth manager and now Associate Director of Tech partnerships. Oftentimes folks will leave a company to get a promotion but your the perfect example of working up at the same company. Talk us through some of the ways you were able to get promoted and yeah walk us through that journey a bit.

MessageGears – on premise vs SaaS

Let’s talk about the product for a bit. You’re one of the 300+ names that show up on G2’s grid of marketing automation software but you describe yourselves differently. 

‘the first and only customer marketing platform that connects directly to our customer’s enterprise data warehouse.’

Talk us through that, the first and only platform that connects directly to your DW

On premise software vs SaaS and cloud based tools

Connecting and using DW data vs (API) operating on a copy of your data

MessageGears vs Pardot and Marketo

I noticed in one of your job openings that MessageGears actually uses Pardot to send marketing campaign emails?

  • Work with Demand Generation team to execute lead generation, nurture and conversion programs in Pardot.
  • What’s the difference between Mg and Pardot and why doesn’t MG use MG?

Baby podcast

You started a baby podcast with a colleague from MessageGears, tell us more about that!

Time management /staying happy

One question we ask all our guests is how do you remain happy and successful in your career? How do you find balance between all the things you’re working on while staying happy?

India’s twitter: https://twitter.com/indialandwaters 
India’s LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/india-waters/
MessageGals: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/messagegals-highlighting-women-in-technology-and/id1597973795?uo=4


Intro music by Wowa via Unminus
Cover art created by SLB

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