Good marketing, to Amanda Bohne, is based on having a clear understanding of your customers, products, and how your products can solve customers’ problems.
“If you don’t have that clear, then what are you doing?” said Bohne, who’s currently the Vice President of Marketing at AppNeta. “That link connects everything that you do as a marketer.”
Bohne has woven her way between product marketing and general marketing throughout her career, which began at Care.com. Though she had no initial intention of pursuing a career specifically in technology, the opportunity to work with technology-focused teams to solve meaningful problems hooked her almost instantly. She was responsible for marketing and account management for the company’s Workplace Solutions unit, a B2B division of the company.
After nearly two years at Care.com, Bohne searched for another tech company to continue immersing herself in the industry. She found it in Carbonite, where she held various product marketing roles, including Director of Product Marketing. There, she was responsible for all pricing, packaging, positioning, and competitive & marketing intelligence functions, and built a team that would reshape the company’s go-to-market strategy.
Her career then took her to Databox, where she was able to shape the strategic direction of the company’s customer acquisition and product positioning, and to iboss, where she began as the VP of Product Marketing and then transitioned to oversee all of marketing. Bohne is now at AppNeta where she is responsible for all things marketing-related, including demand generation, product marketing, content marketing, and public relations.
“Our customers are very large enterprises, so it can be a lengthy process to acquire new customers and onboard them,” Bohne said. “We give them lots of TLC along the way, working in close partnership with the sales and customer success teams, to make sure potential customers feel confident that AppNeta can help make them successful.”
Bohne also likes to think of her role as “Chief Cheerleader” for AppNeta, and always seeks opportunities to be actively involved in creating a positive company culture not just for her own team, but for all of AppNeta’s employees.
The desire to make an impact is what brought Bohne to startups, where the speed of operation tends to lend itself well to creating meaningful change.
“The foosball tables and snacks and amenities so many startups provide are nice, but it’s not enough to keep you going,” she said. “At a fast-paced, growing company, it’s really all about the opportunity you have to make an impact.”
Quick Q and A
What do you like to do in your free time?
My guilty pleasure is watching The Bachelor, and my not so guilty pleasure is Zumba. I used to teach Zumba classes, but now I get to just zone out and have fun as a participant. It’s such a good stress reliever.
How do you handle stress?
I think it’s important to step back and get perspective. I had a mentor who used to say, “No one’s dying on our table.” At a startup, everyone is super motivated and passionate, which is great, but you sometimes have to remember that this isn’t life or death.
How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?
I don’t drink coffee -- I guess I just have natural pep!
What’s one of your favorite places in Boston?
I take the Red Line to work, and you actually get the most beautiful view of the skyline as you’re approaching the MGH stop from Cambridge. It can be really peaceful at the right moment, and it’s a great reminder of how lucky we are to work in this city. My other favorite place is the Common -- there’s nothing like it on a spring day.
What’s one of your proudest accomplishments?
I’m proud of the teams I’ve built because those teams can do more than any one person could on their own. Seeing the growth of my team members over the years has been so fulfilling and gratifying. It’s bigger than any one project -- these relationships go beyond that.
How does where you are now compare to where you saw yourself 10 years ago?
I didn’t anticipate how much I would love tech. I got into it by luck, and I can’t imagine being any other sort of marketer right now.
What’s your advice for recent college graduates?
Don’t feel like you need to know exactly what you want to do right now or that there’s only one path. In school, you go to sixth grade and seventh grade and so on, but in life, that’s not the case. You can go from engineering to marketing to customer success, and the most versatile people are often the ones who are able to take on that zigzag path. To recent grads, that can be scary because it’s not what they’re used to. But if you embrace that freedom, you can see some new paths. It’s liberating.