3 Questions for Rebecca Kalogeris of Pragmatic Marketing

At Venture Café, we love bringing fresh new perspectives to our weekly gathering. On August 27th, we are fortunate to have smarties from Pragmatic Marketing joining us. The nice people behind St. Louis Makes introduced us to the Pragmatic team and we’ve invited them to join our fun and share some wisdom.

St. Louis fosters a lot of solid innovation discussions, and I thought it would be great to ask Rebecca Kalogeris, vice president of sales and marketing, from Pragmatic Marketing my three favorite getting-to-know-you questions. Teaser: NKOTB is a throwback boy-band still fighting for relevance, but NIHITO is an acronym that is timeless.

1. In what ways does innovation drive your company forward?

Rebecca: Ninety-five percent of new products fail, according to research firm AcuPoll, many of which could be defined as “innovative.” Building innovative products because we can is a risk, building them because we should is where the magic lies.

At Pragmatic Marketing, our entire focus is on helping businesses build and market innovative products that people actually buy. Since 1993 we have provided companies around the world with a proven framework for building products that resonate with customers because they solve real problems in the market.

Our training helps companies like Fiserv, Elsevier, Infusionsoft and McKesson discover the power of being market-driven, delve successfully into the minds of their buyers, and clarify roles and responsibilities.

For us, it’s less about how innovation drives our company forward and more about how Pragmatic Marketing can drive innovation forward in today’s leading organizations.

2. What does your company find most appealing about being part of St. Louis’ growing innovation community?

Rebecca: There is such rapid growth and enthusiastic professional involvement in the St. Louis innovation community, and we’re excited to be the new kid on the block. We see a lot of opportunity for collaboration, particularly since St. Louis is the 17th fastest growing technology city in the United States and the 7th least expensive large city in which to do business.

Although we’re new to St. Louis, we have more than two decades of experience providing practical tools, tips and training to product management and marketing professionals. And we’re already working with area companies like Sage Labs, Monsanto, Emerson Electric, Sigma-Aldrich Company LLC, The TriZetto Group and Wolters Kluwer. We look forward to supporting even more St. Louis companies in their quest to become market-driven.

3.What is the perfect blueprint for innovation?

Rebecca: The Pragmatic Marketing Framework provides companies with a market-driven model for managing and marketing tech products. It also provides a common language for the entire product team and a blueprint of key activities needed to bring profitable, problem-oriented products to market.

But being a market-driven organization requires more than simply training product management and marketing professionals. It also requires changing the company focus.

We have a saying at Pragmatic Marketing: Nothing Important Happens in the Office (NIHITO). We tell clients to get out of the office and in front of customers and prospects.

Don’t just ask customers what they want; discover what problems they have. When you listen to the market, you’ll provide products that solve market problems, resonate with customers and fly off the shelf—and that’s where true innovation lies.

We’re really excited to welcome Pragmatic to STL. Do them a solid and and connect via social media. You can find them on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.