Episode 267: Waking Up Marketplaces with Joan Silver from Sixgill

Episode Summary

During this episode of Tech Qualified, Tristan Pelligrino and Justin Brown chat with Joan Silver, the VP of Marketing at Sixgill. Joan talks about her experience in digital marketing – which began with an internet pioneer, Mapquest. Joan talks about the addiction of going along for the ride in a venture like Mapquest and how some of what she learned applies today. With experiences of more than a decade in B2B marketing, Joan brings a lot to the table with her role at Sixgill.

Episode Highlights

  • Joan starts the conversation by providing some insight into her past working experience in digital marketing.
  • She started her career with Mapquest which offered free maps and driving directions to anyone who had internet access.
  • She worked with Mapquest for over a decade and learned about B2B marketing as the company transitioned from B2C to more enterprise customers. 
  • At Mapquest, she worked with brands like Walmart who used their services for transportation, logistics, and supply chain applications.
  • She explained how Mapquest launched her career in the combination of B2B, B2C branding.
  • The goal of  MapQuest was to make maps ubiquitous, to make online digital mapping ubiquitous and accessible to everyone.
  • Joan discusses the exciting challenges with Sixgill and how the company helps others manage the data associated with the internet of things.
  • Sixgill also helps companies in solving the accurate and continuous collection of data, through maintaining its integrity with a blockchain solution for data security. In this way, Sixgill makes sure that data does not tamper.
  • For the most part, Sixgill is a B2B tech company, but there are some applications applicable in a B2C context.
  • Joan mentioned that a journey from MapQuest to Sixgill has been remarkably successful and a great learning opportunity.
  • Joan discusses the types of customers the company targets and how it’s more of a horizontal market versus a select group of industry verticals.
  • Sixgill has worked successfully within the construction space and healthcare, by helping companies eliminate the manual process of data automation.
  • Sixgill is associated with quite a few cutting edge technologies and video AI is a very interesting use case for customers across several industries.
  • The organization emphasizes on customer needs and how they respond and adjust throughout their journey.
  • Joan mentions the types of personas they’re working with – mostly focused on individuals leading innovation within companies.
  • Sixgill targets a particular group of people who might be involved in data collection and grappling with people, places, things, and context challenges that they’re solving.

Key Points

  • Joan highlighted the importance of communication in a startup (especially with marketing and other teams), “…it is a continual process of digital communication where we’re always checking in. We do have the weekly calls …they are super important. And they are important to have with our product and engineering teams. I often sit in and at least listen to some of the technical challenges that are in play and how they’re resolving them.”
  • Joan mentioned… “waking up a market is a very interesting and challenging thing to tackle.”



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