The CMO Files: Rich Campagna, Bitglass, Inc.

Get inside the minds of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job... and what keeps them awake at night.

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Rich Campagna

Organisation: Bitglass, Inc.

Job title: SVP of Products and Marketing

Location: Campbell, CA


  1. Where were you born and raised?
    I was born and raised on the East Coast of the US – Maryland and Pennsylvania.       
  2. What was your first job?  
    I got a job at McDonald's the day I turned 16. This was great exposure to marketing – you really have no idea how many people will buy dozens of $0.29 hamburgers at once or come in specifically for a "shamrock shake" (which at the time was nothing more than a green colored vanilla milkshake). Don't even get me started on the "Monopoly" promotions... 
    My first "career" job was as a Solutions Engineer. As an electrical engineering major, I really enjoyed technology but had difficulty with the reality of the day-to-day for many development roles. Taking a job as an SE was a great way to stay close to tech, but also to interact as part of a sales team with a wide range of people and companies.
  3. What was the first product you got really excited about?  
    Personally, the Super Tecmo Bowl video game on NES. Pick Christian Okoye and the Kansas City Chiefs or Bo Jackson and the Oakland Raiders and you're unstoppable.
    Professionally, the Neoteris (then Netscreen, then Juniper) SSL VPN. A high quality, versatile product with an amazingly devoted enterprise customer base. 
  4. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
    I owe thanks to my parents for getting the synapses firing in both hemispheres. My dad's influence made me analytical and quantitative. My mom's influence made me creative and empathetic.
  5. What has been your greatest achievement?
    Figuring out how to have a successful career without sacrificing time spent with my wife and kids and for my personal pursuits. Career growth comes at the expense of family and self far too often. 
  6. What has been your biggest mistake?
    Not going to a startup sooner! I've spent the majority of my career in large companies, and only the last four years at a startup. I think I've learned an order of magnitude more in the last four years than I did in any four years at large companies. 
  7. What is your greatest strength?
    Deliberate learning, every single day. Most people start to get comfortable when they feel like they've mastered something. For me, it's the exact opposite – I am most comfortable when I'm on a steep learning curve, and as soon as that curve starts to flatten, I find myself uncomfortable, seeking out the next bigger challenge to take on and learn. This type of growth mindset can drive unbelievable career growth and acceleration.
  8. What is your biggest weakness?
    I get lost in my thoughts and tune people out way too often...
  9. What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?   
    Understanding that spending more money on marketing is an admission that we haven't done enough to generate sufficient new business opportunities organically (through customer advocacy, brand recognition, AR and PR, etc.). All too often, a large budget becomes a badge of honor when, in fact, shrinking your own budget is the best outcome for a marketer.
  10. Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
    "Ship it!" I love executing and getting things done. The challenge is doing that and keeping quality up. 
    Anything related to losing, second place, etc. makes me squirm. I hate losing anything.
  11. What makes you stressed?
    When I’m going to be late.
  12. What do you do to relax?
    The three W's - working out, woodworking and wine. And yes, I realise that's a very strange list.
  13. What is your favourite song?
    Lose Yourself by Eminem. There's no better morning anthem to get you fired up for the day. 
  14. Which book taught you most?
    My ninth-grade Algebra 2 textbook! That course was the first time where I really struggled to grasp a topic, built the early foundation for the way that I tackle learning new topics now, internalised the hard work to successful outcome connection, and got inspired to get good at math, which ultimately put me on the path to a career in technology. 
  15. Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
    I prefer "doing" to "following" – Mountain biking, snowboarding, or anything with clean air, amazing views and an adrenaline rush.
  16. Which country would you like to work in?
    In which countries are Americans still welcome these days?  
  17. Which company do you think has the best marketing?
    Costco! They don't do any advertising, relying on word-of-mouth and content marketing to their members (through email and Costco Connection magazine), and their private-label brand, Kirkland Signature, has a bigger fan base than Taylor Swift. Plus, their value proposition is so strong that people actually pay money for the privilege of shopping there. But if I’m honest, my wife does say I have a Costco problem!
  18. What do you love most about your job?
    Seeing people on my team grow into bigger roles and pulling off supernatural feats of marketing.
  19. What is your favourite book?
    All of them! I read whenever I can and no subject, fiction or nonfiction is off limits (except trashy romance novels – never tried reading one of those).
  20. What keeps you awake at night?
    I'm an early riser, so not much keeps me up at night. Perhaps I'm missing some things I should be worried about?