Close-Up with Matt Benati, VP-global marketing, Attunity

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Attunity provides data integration software that enables sharing and distribution of data across platforms, organizations and the cloud. Matt Benati, Attunity's VP-global marketing, joined the company Nov. 14, after serving as senior director-product marketing and analytics at IBM Corp. Among the challenges he's set for himself are blending in the products and branding of RepliWeb Inc., acquired in September, extending Attunity's social outreach and further automating its sales and marketing functions.

CMO Close-Up: You've said you want to simplify the Attunity message. In what way?
Matt Benati: IT often gets a bum rap. It's just inundated with complexity. At Attunity, our mission is quite simple: to take all disparate systems where data movement is critical and make it as easy to do as possible. We want to extract all that complexity away, and just talk about the movement of data from A to B. That's also part of my marketing opportunity.

CMO Close-Up: Tell us about the RepliWeb acquisition and how it fits into the Attunity lineup.
Benati: What Attunity does for structured data, RepliWeb does for files and unstructured information, which provides us with a tremendous play in the cloud. In my first couple of months here, I have to figure out how to bring the brands, products and assets like websites together without turning off RepliWeb customers. Today, data is structured, semi-structured or unstructured, such as the content on social media sites and call centers. But business people don't care about that. They just need access to information. Attunity and RepliWeb are very synergistic and can handle all these nuances, and we want to consolidate our messages around this.

CMO Close-Up: How has Attunity marketed itself to date, and what might you change?
Benati: We do a variety of things, like banners and paid search, and we do a ton of webinars. And we have a very strong LinkedIn outreach with our Attunity Community for current customers and prospects, which has about 1,270 members. For the future, I'd really like to leverage SEO more; I expect that to come up dramatically in the next few months. We hope to launch two blogs, one for people with a technical bent and another along business lines. And I don't think we do enough with Twitter, which is appropriate for pushing out messages and thought leadership.

I'll be kicking off discussions, along with our marketing communications manager, Melissa Kolodziej, with animation studios about short videos. As I mentioned, I'm trying to project a simple value proposition to our market, which today is a little cumbersome. I want to simplify that so people get it immediately, and videos are a tremendous way to do that. We're looking at short videos from a branding perspective, as well as on our key products.

CMO Close-Up: Where is marketing automation on your to-do list?
Benati: First, I should say we have a strong marketing team and the amount of work they've been able to do with manual processes has been tremendous. But we can't do multi-touch campaigns manually. I'm very focused on that funnel, finding out where the leaks are and developing the right automated processes so we can scale.

Today, the natural course of things is for sales to overrun marketing. Critically, we need to make sure the handoff between marketing-qualified leads and sales-accepted leads is seamless.

We don't want a bottleneck there. I need to pick the marketing automation solution that allows us to get up and running quickly. I can't afford downtime. I've worked with HubSpot in the past. There's zero time spent on implementation, it doesn't take down anything else during the process, and it will give us insight into social analytics, which we really need.

CMO Close-Up: What new Attunity campaigns might we see in the future?
Benati: One area that we haven't highlighted before is Attunity's support for legacy systems. We handle systems that in many cases are very old, sometimes being held together by one person in a company with bubblegum and shoelaces. We want to reach out to these people. It's rare that a middleware solution can be strategic, but we see an opportunity here.

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