As the Vice President of Marketing for Simply Measured, Michael Walton confesses to being a proud data geek.
While leading his company’s marketing efforts, Walton has helped Simply Measured double its revenue and increase its number of customers fivefold over the last year.
A leading social media analytics and measurement solution, Simply Measured currently supports more than a third of Interbrand’s top 100 brands and over 100,000 users.
Before joining Simply Measured, Walton was a two-time startup founder. He served as director of product marketing for Nuance Communications, and led the development and launch of Amazon.com’s digital video service.
Michael is an MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and received his BS in Computer Science from North Carolina State University (Go Pack!).
VP of Marketing @ Simply Measured
- Age: 36
- HQ: Seattle, WA
- Apple or Android Apple
- First Job: Dishwasher
- Hobby: Golf
- First Car: 1979 Mercury Zephyr
What mobile device can you not live without?
My iPhone 5S.
Can we take a peek at your iPhone’s home screen?
Which apps do you use most often for work?
Evernote’s Penultimate – I’m a big note taker, make a ton of lists, and love sketching out my thoughts. The cross-device syncing (iPhone, iPad, laptop) saves a ton of time – and trees.
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
I can’t get enough of Twitter – keeping up to date on news and sports, engaging in conversations, stalking influencers. Instagram is a close second.
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
In order, Instagram, Twitter, personal email, work email.
Take me through your typical workday.
By 7:00 a.m. I’m at the local coffee shop to get in my first (and second) coffee while prepping for the day – checking email, planning, putting out fires.
I’m in the office by 9:00 a.m. where I block off my mornings to do deep dives with the different functional marketing teams (a different team each day). Afternoons are usually a mixed bag of one-on-one meetings, interviews, and various other meetings.
I’m home by 7:00 p.m. to have dinner and quality time with my wife, followed by a few more hours of work before heading to bed around midnight.
What has been the most exciting work development during the past year?
Closing our most recent round of funding. It validates our vision and lets us continue to push the industry forward with our unique approach to social media measurement.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
Growing and scaling Simply Measured’s marketing team, while continuing to keep our hiring bar very high.
Tell me about the people who have been most influential in your career.
It sounds cliche, but my mother has always been a big influence. She raised five kids as a single mother – her work ethic and dedication were big motivators for my own career.
What traits does a person need to succeed in your position?
Passion, intellectual curiosity, bias for action, customer empathy, ruthless prioritization, and an ability to attract and retain the best talent.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
I’m a closet Katy Perry fan.
Why did you go into marketing?
By accident. The cofounder of my first startup and I were both software engineers. After we built our product, one of us needed to get customers and grow the business. I jumped in head first and have been hooked ever since.
What other career would you like to try and why?
Data scientist – I love math and data!
What does your desk look like?
I moved to a standing desk three years ago due to a bad back, but it has the additional benefit of giving me a place to hide my mess – including my prized company ping ping trophy.
What is the last business book you read?
The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers, I’ve been a big fan of Ben Horowitz’s blog and his new book didn’t disappoint.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what campaign caught your eye recently?
Arby’s clever GRAMMYs tweet to Pharrell (and his hat).
Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs
— Arby’s (@Arbys) January 27, 2014
[Simply Measured published a case study covering engagement rates for Arby's Tweet to Pharrel.]