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iTech Series Unplugged Interview with Amber Bogie, Director of GTM and Account-Based Innovation at GoTo

Saurabh Khadilkar

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iTech Series Unplugged Interview with Amber Bogie

Amber Bogie, Director of GTM & Account-Based Innovation at GoTo, shares her marketing journey, GTM expertise, and insights for fostering better collaboration within revenue teams.

Welcome, Amber! You’ve had a fascinating journey in marketing. Tell us how those experiences have shaped your perspective as a go-to-market (GTM) expert.

I attribute my perspective as a GTM expert to a trifecta if you will.

  • It all began with my ABM journey, a strategy that forces you to slow down and be strategic. It is a strategy that some call mini CMO makers. Why? Well, as ABMers, to be successful, we are forced to look outside the scope of marketing as a business. It goes far beyond the orchestration of sales. It goes into the broader understanding of what each function of the GTM team does to work together to be more effective, efficient, and of course result in revenue.
  • I was extremely fortunate to learn under Sangram Vajre during my time on the board at Peak Community. While he and Bryan Brown were writing their M.O.V.E book, I had the rare opportunity to participate in conversations with leaders across the GTM function. I had barely moved into a director role at this point, so this was a sponge period for me. I was able to see how ABM is deeply interconnected to GTM strategy and was motivated to leap into the GTM function using my skills acquired along the way.
  • I was able to move up fast at my last organization, Reachdesk. In a series of “I didn’t expect this to happen” and “this isn’t what I initially thought I was getting into”, I embraced every change at a fast-moving and growing series B startup. Similar to my GTM sponge time with GTM Partners, I followed the same intuition: this is a once-in-a-career opportunity, it may not be easy, but it will accelerate your seniority and experience faster than you can imagine. I was lucky enough to end up reporting directly to the CRO and Co-founder. Many marketers shudder at not working under a CMO, but this was a huge part of my growth and evolution into a GTM expert. Under Alex Olley (CRO & Co-founder of Reachdesk), I was pushed to become a stronger leader and a better partner to the GTM org. It was at Reachdesk that I fell in love with the positive change that can occur across a GTM function if you all actively work toward understanding each function, role, responsibilities, goals, and work together as one team.

As you can see my experiences are quite a culmination of many micro-moments over the years, blended with a spirit of perseverance. I like to say that I follow three guiding principles that have helped shaped me into the marketer, GTMer, and leader that I am today.

  • Data is King: follow it
  • Brand drives demand: brand matters
  • Be human first: or nothing else matters

Breaking down silos and fostering collaboration within revenue teams is a common challenge.  Based on your experience leading GTM teams, what strategies can facilitate a smooth transition toward a more collaborative approach?

Silos long exist due to older GTM strategies and behaviors (that are still very much in practice today). Some of these strategies are still marred with the attitude that all marketing does is waste money, makes things “pretty”, and deliver low-quality leads, all while “hitting” their targets, and leaving sales suffering. My time as an ABM strategist changed my perspective. My evolution to a GTM leader changed my perspective. All strategies can exist and be successful with the removal of silos and the existence of collaboration. It is the how that many struggle with.

I am firm in my belief that before a strategy and before a process is first and foremost the marketer’s acceptance and ownership of why marketing exists within a business. What do I mean here? Well, wherever I go, no matter the org, I hold the belief that my team exists to create pipelines and drive revenue for the business. We do so in part by existing to support the sales function. Period. It is one of the first things I share with my sales leaders upon arrival. “My team and strategy exist here to help your team be more successful and make more money”. I further clarify that it does not mean we are order takers or react at the whim of a sales request. It does mean however that my strategy and plans will be built out with their teams’ goals in mind. In addition to that, I clarify that not all our activities and campaigns will be directed to their team (and some might not make sense to them), but the bottom line is that they exist to hand off ready prospects to convert to customers. The strategies and the process will change as teams and trends evolve. The foundation of our collective success starts with knowing the why and being aligned on the what and the how.

Why: Marketing exists to create brand awareness, and drive demand creation, all for the single goal of generating pipeline and revenue through the sales function.

What: All things point to revenue. That should always be the focus.

How: Shared goals and targets.

“The foundation of our collective success starts with knowing the why and being aligned on the what and the how.”

Can you share a story about the most challenging marketing program you successfully launched?

Every single strategic implementation has been the most challenging. And they all have been the most successful. This is not me patting myself on the back. It’s simply a fact of career growth. For every role that I have taken, I have been hired on as an SME in my given area of expertise: all things ABM and GTM within the marketing function. What that means every time is the organization got to a point of: we can’t do this alone, we didn’t do this right, we need to do this better and more of it. Every single implementation has looked different and every single one I have done at different levels of seniority. I have a 3X’ed pipeline. I have generated 100M in a new pipeline in 6 months. I have implemented full funnel ABX. It’s a matter of perspective, and for me they all hold deep challenges and pride in their success.

In my current role, I am 90 days in and so success today will look different than success in 6 months, so for the sake of highlighting a single program I will say that my last role is my current prized experience. This is purely because I took the role of owning both DG/Inbound and ABM/Outbound. Generally, each function is led by two different leaders or one leader with a deep lack of balance due to people and budget constraints. I took on the challenges of marrying the two strategies because, in all my years of seeing what wasn’t working, I deeply believed there could be a better way. This did not happen without challenges, frustrations, roadblocks, time, and an incredible team. This experience showed me that one of the most challenging aspects of Marketing: running inbound and outbound marketing without siloed teams and segmented strategies, people, spend, you name it, can exist and not just work in harmony but truly become the Demand flywheel.

With the abundance of metrics and dashboards, how can GTM leaders ensure synchronized reporting across all revenue teams?

One dashboard to rule them all. Yes, we all need our own dashboards for different views and data snapshots but there are two things to support the synchronization:

  • A single GTM dashboard is inclusive of all sources. Marketing sees sales. Sales see marketing. We all see revenue. All BU-specific reports are pulled from the shared data set of the GTM dashboard. For example, not all C/W % sources will be listed on the GTM dash. But the Marketing C/W % will pull from the same report only having the filter change.
  • Lastly, a revenue ops team is the ingredient to make this all possible. Ultimately the data integrity can exist because of an ops team that is there to ensure that it does. This doesn’t mean we can’t run our own reports, but they should all be sourced from ops-approved data sets.

When faced with numerous GTM and campaign ideas, how do you help prioritize the ones your team should focus on?

This can be challenging for marketers, I like to think that because we are creative and are driven to seek success in all things we do, we have a hard time saying no. But I have become a strong believer in tying all efforts to: OKRs and revenue. If it is not an OKR or goal that was predetermined, and aligned to business objectives, and if it does not drive a significant impact on revenue, the answer is no. Just no. This is not to stifle our creativity but to protect it and our ability to drive success. Every 6 months determine your plans for the next 6. Align those goals with the company goals. Create the key results, stretch targets, and the how, and that is your plan.

Pipeline and revenue are your north star; they have to be. Efficiency matters and so how you achieve these goals should be through high-performing campaigns and channels. Your ROI and CPO should be determining factors for every dollar spent (even brand ROI & CPO can be determined through an ABM-influenced model). When you set this in place you can stay focused on the plans and the goals at hand, and you then can take opportunities to test, try, or even do “that crazy thing” that sales has been asking for. But only once your house is in order.

What key considerations should revenue leaders take into account when selecting the right technology stack? 

What is my strategy? What is my budget? What is my capacity? How does this tool fit into the next 12 months of those? We are marketers, so sellers are going to sell, marketers are going to market. We can’t buy all the bells and whistles. We need to be selective in how this tool fits in with our plans, how this impacts budget (what will this tool yield?) and what is the actual likelihood of implementation and full utilization in the next 3 – 6 – 12 months. Gone are the days of having it all. Here are the days of what do we need and how do we maximize it.

What advice would you give aspiring GTM leaders on navigating setbacks in their careers?

This is a tough one. One thing that many leaders have dealt with during the last few years is rampant layoffs. I will share what a mentor of mine recently told me on the topic. This is not a setback. This is a significant part of your career journey. What you are doing now is building your future. It is giving you a different perspective, a strengthened skill set, an opportunity to stop, breathe, and look around, and even a newfound passion can be found during this “said” setback. There are silver linings everywhere, look for them. And that worry in the back of your mind about what others may think? Leave it. No one is actually judging you. They are thinking the same thing about themselves, at every level of the game. More often than not, what feels like a setback is actually just the action before the acceleration. The super cheesy but oh-so-perfect analogy is the arrow. The arrow must be pulled back to move forward.

GoTo

GoTo is a leading provider of flexible work solutions, offering SaaS and cloud-based remote work tools for collaboration and IT management. Dedicated to simplifying IT, GoTo’s portfolio includes GoTo Resolve, Rescue, and GoTo Connect, helping businesses securely support and connect their teams and customers. As a trusted partner for companies of all sizes, GoTo facilitates flexible work policies, provides seamless support, and delivers powerful collaboration tools, ensuring work gets done simply and securely, anywhere.

Amber is a seasoned marketing leader. Passionate about GTM, ABM, and growth marketing, she thrives on continuous learning and innovation. Amber has driven substantial growth and revenue through innovative methodologies and cross-functional collaboration. With strategic planning skills, she collaborates with executives to drive revenue growth, enhance customer acquisition, and increase market share, embodying her belief in data, brand importance, and human-first principles.

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