Women in Enterprise: Amy Holtzman at Splash
This series features profiles of some of the top women leaders within our enterprise technology community here in NYC. We hope by highlighting the terrific work, stories, and career trajectories of these women at top venture-backed startups and operating roles will continue to encourage more women to consider careers in enterprise software.
As a follow up to our sold-out Navigate 2018: Women in Enterprise Tech Summit here at Work-Bench with Salesforce Ventures, we are continuing to recognize and amplify these impressive women in NYC enterprise tech.
Amy Holtzman is the VP of Marketing at Splash.
What were you doing before this current role in enterprise tech, and how did you get to your current role?
For more than 10 years, I have been a B2B marketer exclusively focused on marketing marketing products and services to marketers. I realized my passion for B2B marketing early in my career as the marketing and events director for NYC-based BtoB magazine (a Crain publication that has since folded into Ad Age). Following BtoB, I spent three years in San Francisco where I first worked as a Senior Product Marketer at CBS Interactive and then, after tiring of having limited control over running other companies’ marketing campaigns in the media world, I joined B2B targeting and personalization platform, Demandbase. There I honed my skills as a true demand generation marketer before returning to NYC to open Demandbase’s first NYC office. After Demandbase, I spent three years at SEO and content marketing platform, Conductor (recently acquired by WeWork), where I formed the company’s first demand generation strategy and team, eventually being promoted to VP of Demand Generation.
Splash was on my radar for a couple of years before I started talking to them about leading their marketing team. I was first introduced to Splash through this really creative event the CEO, Ben Hindman, hosted during an Advertising Week called Barks & Baristas. The event was filled with adoptable shelter dogs, Instagram celebrity pups, premium coffee vendors from across all the boroughs, and they gave out these cute little chalkboard coffee mugs that doubled as your name tag. I kept that mug on my desk at Conductor for a good year and a half before Splash eventually began to recruit me for their VP of marketing role. When they reached out, I knew exactly who they were and agreed to a conversation.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be the VP of Marketing at Splash since April 2017. When I started, there was no formal marketing function. Now, we have a very functional team of eight full-time marketers responsible for demand generation, marketing operations, content marketing, brand marketing, PR, customer marketing, and product marketing.
What pain point is your company solving?
Splash is an end-to-end event marketing technology that makes it incredibly easy for brands to design, measure, and scale their events programs.
Typically, we see enterprise companies investing 30% or more of their marketing budget on events, yet they are often stuck with antiquated processes and technology that don’t allow them to capture the full value events should bring to their business. When event technology hit the market about 20 years ago, it was revolutionary. Companies saved time and money by moving from collecting event registration by phone and mail to capturing it online. Then, innovation stopped. Legacy event tech didn’t keep pace with what event planners and marketers desire today, which is a completely branded event experience from very first email communication, to online registration, to on-site at the event, and eventually post-event follow-up — all delivered consistent to a brand’s image and with deep data seamlessly captured and shared in real-time with other systems of record. That’s Splash’s unique advantage. We believe you shouldn’t have to compromise brand, experience, or data because of technology or resource limitations. It’s our mission to make events the most unforgettable, effective, and measurable marketing channel for every business.
What gets you excited to go to work every day?
My own experience as an enterprise marketer for more than a decade drives my passion and excitement for what we’re creating everyday. I’ve always felt strongly about the value of events, typically investing anywhere from 30–50% of my budget in events like roadshows, annual conferences, trade show sponsorships, and intimate VIP gatherings. What I didn’t realize before joining Splash was how many marketers today still feel stuck with terrible tech that doesn’t allow them to properly promote and build excitement for the imaginative in-person experiences they’re creating everyday.
I’m also incredibly passionate about educating event planners and marketers on how to prove and improve the ROI of their events programs. There’s nothing like showing a marketer for the first time how much revenue they’ve generated or influenced for their company through their events program. That’s powerful and I’m fortunate to have very regular opportunities to do it.
What do you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Professional happiness and passion only come from working for a company, product, and leadership team you believe in. I’ve been fortunate to find that a few times in my career, but I’ve also done a few stints with companies, products, and/or leaders that left a lot to be desired. I wish I learned earlier how to suss out the truly great from the average in the hiring process.
Give us one piece of tactical advice (small or large), as a page from your enterprise tech playbook — that you would give to another woman considering a career in enterprise tech?
Remember that interviews are just as much about you feeling good about them as they are about them feeling good about you. Don’t be afraid to ask to meet more team members, dig into performance, or ask to speak to a customer (or board member if you’re going for a senior-level role). And, most importantly, always ask for a demo of the product. It’s where you’re able to uncover if what they have is real or vaporware.
What do you love about enterprise tech?
You have the ability to work on some of the biggest challenges in all of business today. If done right, you can positively affect the bottomline of hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of companies.
What do you wish would change?
I wish more enterprise tech companies would be conscious of the environment they create for women. Often, even the best-intentioned companies create an environment that’s difficult for women to excel in or feel good about because of inflexible work schedules, brushing off off-color comments as jokes, not properly recognizing their achievements (or worse, allowing others to take credit for them), a few bad apples that don’t appreciate a diverse perspective, or a host of other challenges that are usually the result of unconscious biases. Whatever the challenge or reason, I think it’s important that feedback is taken seriously — no matter how small it seems. We don’t create inclusive environments until we acknowledge the issues at hand.
How do you give back?
I spend a good amount of my time coaching and mentoring women in tech. I’m also working on new project, which is launching next month, called Women in Revenue Marketing. I’m launching this alongside a few women I greatly admire to bring together other amazing women either in, or aspiring to, senior-level marketing roles that have a passion for aligning marketing to revenue.
Our inspiration for this series comes from Digital Currency Group’s terrific profiles of Women in Blockchain — thank you!
Know a woman leader in enterprise technology whose story we should feature?We’d love to hear from you.