Layla Revis, Vice President, Marketing - Brand Experience, Pure Storage

Layla Revis is a seasoned marketing leader with over 20 years of experience creating innovative brand and demand marketing programs for B2C and B2B companies. As Vice President, Marketing at Pure Storage, she leads a team of talented marketers who deliver omni-channel campaigns, content, and event experiences for customers and prospects. She is also a strategic advisor to SaaS startups such as Sendoso and Goldcast, helping them grow their brand presence and generate leads.

Recently, in an exclusive interview with Digital First Magazine, Layla shared her professional trajectory, her favorite part about working as Vice President, Marketing – Brand Experience at Pure Storage, personal role models, the key to driving a successful marketing campaign, future plans, pearls of wisdom, and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.

 Hi Layla. What inspired you to pursue a career in marketing? How did you get your start in this industry?

When I was in college, I interned at an advertising agency and loved exchanging creative ideas, planning shoots, and working on set. After college, I started my career in entertainment at Creative Artists Agency working for a literary agency drafting script notes and working at film studios in production. Not long after, I moved into advertising because it was called the “Creative” department and, since I was always told I was creative, I felt like that was where I belonged. Ten years later, social media platforms began to gain popularity, so I decided to go back to school to get my Masters in media studying emerging media and its impact globally. That eventually brought me to Ogilvy in New York where I led a digital strategy team on their largest account, The Government of Mexico, and LG Electronics and Appliances. I learned a great deal about social media strategy, working with influencers, and developing digital applications. I was soon recruited to Leo Burnett to do the same for Samsung and, eventually, I was recruited to Oracle where I led their social media marketing efforts. That was the beginning of my journey as a marketer in enterprise technology. From there, I have expanded my knowledge and skillset to manage brand strategy, creative departments, digital demand generation, and integrated marketing functions.

What is your favorite part about working as Vice President, Marketing – Brand Experience at Pure Storage?

I thrive on creating compelling campaigns and building out teams and functions. While here, I created the first enterprise level event team and brand marketing team. Scaling teams, developing high performing campaigns, and implementing seamless processes is my sweet spot.

How do you approach the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing and emerging technologies such as AI?

I’m constantly reading and learning. One of the best ways to learn about AI and to stay ahead of the trends is to just start using it. ChatGPT, Copilot,, Dall-E, and Midjourney. It’s important to use the tools being discussed. I also follow LinkedIn influencers like Allie Miller and subscribe to newsletters from Superhuman.

What metrics do you measure to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing investments?

It depends upon the nature of the campaign, but generally, for brand, I look at leading and lagging indicators that speak to lift in awareness or consideration pre and post campaign through brand tracking surveys and I’ve also started to play around with multi-regression analysis which uses several explanatory variables to predict the outcome of a response variable. For demand generation, we’ll look at pipeline generated as a result of multi-touch attribution activities (downloads, attendance at a webinar, etc.) created in a quarter and then predict – with ML models – what that pipeline will look like a few quarters out. There are, of course, other metrics around unique website visits, CTRs, engagement, video views, and impressions, but that typically just tells us if the campaign is doing well in relation to other benchmarks we’ve set.

What are your thoughts on gender equality and inclusion? Do you think there is a gender bias in your industry?

Marketing departments in technology typically have a higher number of female executives, so that’s one place where you have more gender diversity, but that doesn’t mean it’s always at the very top. When you look at the C-suite, you’ll often find that most roles occupied by women are HR, Legal, and Marketing. It’s rarer to see a female CEO, CFO, CIO, CPO, or CRO. With more inclusion, whether that’s women, people of color, or LGBTQIA+, we can build more vibrant workplaces and richer, more innovative ideas. We need to bring the focus back to the employee and the customer. Richard Branson once famously said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” I’ve found this to be true in every healthy workplace I’ve worked. Inclusion can bring about fresh ideas, new ways of communicating, bolder ways of doing things, and less “sea of same.” I always ask people to look around their table at the faces they see sitting next to them. Do you have one dominant gender or just one or two dominant ethnicities? If so, you’re probably looking at a table full of ideas that isn’t nearly as innovative as it could be, but don’t take my word for it. Look at the data. According to Forbes, companies with above-average diversity produce 45% of their revenue from innovation, compared to 26% from companies with below-average diversity. According to TeamStage, diverse teams outperform individual decision-making by up to 87%.

Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are?

I’m grateful for several previous managers who trusted me, built me up, treated me with respect, supported my ideas, and gave me a seat at the table: Huw Gildon, Jason Rose, David Burk, Patty Nagle, Judy Sim, and Mike Moeller… I thank you!

What does the term “authentic leadership” mean to you?

Authentic leadership means being transparent, curious, knowing what you want, and having the confidence to be able to let yourself have fun. As a leader, it’s also imperative that you have an idea of what you want and, if you don’t, that you have a high enough EQ to say that you don’t know and get feedback from others to help define direction. I think most people in today’s corporate world are too afraid to admit they might not know something and too afraid to be themselves. Ultimately, hidden agendas make people uncomfortable, and, in turn, they make everyone around them uncomfortable too. Being authentic means being vulnerable and that’s not an easy thing to be in today’s world. It takes a certain level of fearlessness.

What is the key to a successful marketing campaign?

The key to a successful marketing campaign is two-fold. Begin with the research. What does the prospect want? What do they think about our space? Why do they go with a competitor? What does our current customer want? Why does our current customer like us? What do our employees think? What does sales hear from the customers and prospects? From there, you can build a campaign strategy that addresses the needs that are known and the needs that are not yet known.

What are some of your passions outside of work? What do you like to do in your time off?

A recent study found that it takes about two hours a week near water to improve our well-being. So, I try to spend my weekends near the waterfront. I also love experiential events. I just went to an Edgar Allen Poe Speakeasy this weekend and it was rejuvenating to be among creativity and art in action. It’s also how I glean inspiration for events that I may design in the future.

What is your biggest goal? Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Two of my long-term goals include starting my own business and teaching. So perhaps, in 5 years, you’ll see me doing one or both!

What tips do you have for start-up marketing enthusiasts?

I would say: focus on the foundations of your marketing practice. Your brand framework (mission, vision, values, differentiators), as well as critical, easy-to-use tools that will work for your business now and 5 years from now like Zeta or HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, 6Sense, Adobe Experience Manager, Ahrefs (SEO), SEMRush, Descript, Notion, and Sprout Social.

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