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Jon Miller

Venture Advisor

Marketing master, serial entrepreneur…and physicist? It’s an unlikely trio of titles, but Jon Miller holds them all. Before founding and leading cutting-edge marketing companies—including three successful exits—Jon graduated from Harvard with a physics degree.

“Physics trained me to think in a rigorous, quantitative way,” says Jon. “People think of marketing as an ‘arts and crafts’ function that comes up with jingles, throws parties, and prints brochures.”

“I believe that with the right level of rigor and quantitative measurement, we can elevate marketing to a science.”

After Harvard, Jon turned down a slot in MIT’s physics PhD program for a job with a management consulting firm. He found the business world suited him so well that he went on to get an MBA from Stanford, graduating at the peak of the first dot-com boom. Epiphany, then a nascent marketing software company, quickly hired him as a product manager, introducing him to the world of marketing tech. Epiphany was acquired by SSA Global and Jon went on to co-found Marketo, which over the next decade grew into a leading marketing automation platform. It went public in 2013 and was later acquired by Adobe for $4.75 billion. 

“We had the right timing, strong product, and great go-to-market execution with Marketo,” says Jon. “You need all three to make a success like Marketo.”

After the experience of building Marketo and pioneering the B2B marketing playbook for the industry, “I realized I had the entrepreneurial bug,” he says. He went on to found and head Engagio, which merged with Demandbase in 2020 to create a world-leading Account Based Marketing (ABM) platform.

“I’ve seen a lot more success from disrupting existing categories than in creating new categories,” says Jon. “What I’ve tried to do is find an existing market that had a player that was flawed in some way, and disrupt that market with a more dominant design”—much like how the iPhone disrupted the mobile phone market.

When he’s not at work, Jon tries to keep fit—he took up yoga during the pandemic—collects wine, and spends time with his high-school-aged kids. But his marketing chops are in demand even at home: Jon also helps his wife with her own start-up, an Italian shoe business called Bells & Becks.

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