Tom Butta
Marketing Strategies That Led to a Billion Dollar Acquisition
Tom shares strategies that led to a $1B acquisition of SignalFX by Splunk. He shares tactics at the heart of these large deals—like putting top priority on the customer experience.
SignalFx is a SaaS-based monitoring and analytics platform based in San Mateo, California that allows customers to analyze, visualize, automate, and alert on metrics data from infrastructure, applications, microservices, containers, and functions. At the core of the platform is a streaming architecture that splits metric data points into two streams, one for human readable metadata and the other for time-series values. The platform is able to process millions of data points per second at 1-second resolution with less than 2 seconds of latency, from ingestion to alert.
Computer Software

Tom Butta has helped some of the world’s most successful enterprise SaaS companies in rapidly-changing categories achieve the coveted positions of thought leader and trusted guide to the Fortune 2000. Prior to joining SignalFx, Butta was Chief Marketing Officer at Sprinklr, where he was responsible for positioning Sprinklr as a vital partner to large enterprises needing to digitally transform around the connected customer. As consultant-in-residence for the market development team at Andreessen Horowitz, Butta helped define and package the venture capital firm’s points of view about emerging technologies to position itself as the place for executives to learn about the future of technology. Butta has also served as CMO of AppNexus, NICE Systems, PTC, and Red Hat, for which he helped take the company public, expand globally, and establish open source as a viable software platform for modern enterprises.

Episode Summary

Tom Butta, former CMO of SignalFx (acquired by Spunk for $1.05B), talks to Ian Faison about the demand-gen mindset that leads to high-dollar acquisitions. On this episode of Demand Gen Visionaries, Tom explains the importance of focusing on marketing fundamentals to see big results, how putting your customers above all will lead to retention and more pipeline, and keeping a company-wide eye to make sure your demand gen leads to more sales.

Key Takeaways

  • There are three essential elements of demand gen: pipeline creation, revenue metrics, and, often overlooked, customer retention.
  • Customers should be treated as family. They should never find out about a big announcement when the rest of the world does. They should be notified about it before. 
  • The most fundamental requirement of demand gen is perspective. Know where marketing is having an impact and make sure customers can find your website.
  • When you spend money on marketing tactics, you need to make sure you’re seeing a return on your investment.
  • Own your content creation. You need to have content that the company can stand behind without question. Quality always starts from within and it needs to be amplified. 
  • It’s important to have data to back up your actions. Let your metrics guide your company's strategy. Not emotion.


  • “Demand gen is a function within a function. It's part of a team, but it does not live on its own. It’s reliant upon really good content. It's reliant upon the ability to act appropriately and quickly on opportunities that it creates.”
  • “The validation that you get from customers is just... it's just immeasurable.”
  • “Understand that your home is the place that most people will go to and you need that to be your website. You need to be able to ensure that when they get there, they have the best possible experience, but you also need to be sure that they actually can find you.”
  • “You go after the new logos exclusively, and you forget that you can actually have great influence over, building relationships with your existing customers. Those customers are our franchise. They give reason for us to exist.”
  • “My belief (for content) is, it always has to start from within. In terms of turning something over, we did a couple of case studies with external consultants and writers, but for the most part we wrote everything ourselves.”

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Episode Transcript