Interview with CMO of FocusVision – Dawn Colossi

Interview with CMO of FocusVision – Dawn Colossi

Interview with CMO of FocusVision – Dawn Colossi

 

“Digital transformation is forcing the enterprise to transform into a digital-first, rapidly evolving data-driven business.”

 

1. Tell us about your role at FocusVision and how you got here?
My career to date has comprised over 20 years’ experience across media, public relations and marketing. But working in technology was entirely serendipitous… during my first break as an editorial assistant with McCall’s Magazine, a colleague of mine interviewed at Ziff Davis, the biggest technology publisher of the day. She knew nothing about computers and was wary of it being a ‘start-up’ so she passed up the opportunity. I thought a start-up sounded like exactly the kind of place that I could learn a lot and make an impression – within two days I had embarked on a career in tech!

In my current role as CMO at FocusVision, I have been tasked with leading the company through our transformation to a digital-first strategy. In order to do this I need to understand not just our own challenges and opportunities but those of our customers too. The consumer mindset is evolving so quickly that our customers need to be in near constant communication with their audiences to understand what attracts them and what fosters long-lasting relationships. We need to demonstrate our appreciation that every challenge faced by brands today is different and will require its own engagement model comprising data both big and small to succeed. And then, we need to be able to build those models. It’s a constant challenge but an incredibly rewarding one.

2. What is it that you found lacking in the marketing technology environment?
We could all benefit from a more measured approach to data. Marketing technology has sprinted to embrace big data – headlines are dominated by it and it has been received by the industry as the panacea for brands trying to better understand their audiences. The challenge is that audiences are made up of so much more than data points. To truly understand customers, including their emotional responses and the motivations (even subconscious ones) we need to be able to look at the small data too. A really holistic understanding of consumers has to bring together both the big data, macro trends and the bite-sized (but near-constant) pieces of information about changing expectations that small data can deliver.

3. How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
Not too long ago, MarTech was basically non-existent. Most marketing departments had a website, an email tool and were buying media from online publications. The past five years have seen a marketing revolution caused by the explosion in MarTech. Now building a marketing technology stack is essential to enable the real-time personalized experience we’ve all gotten used to and expect from every vendor we buy from. From big picture analytics down to data collected on an individual, the MarTech stack can make or break the customer experience.

The next big wave, obviously, is AI and machine learning but we are in the very early stages where most is linked to a specific item that needs to be solved. But if the past five years are any indication, AI and machine learning will continue to mature quickly and become a driving force in the MarTech stack.

4. Where do you see FocusVision fitting in the marketing analytics and AI solution ecosystem?
FocusVision brings human data back into the equation. Digital transformation is forcing the enterprise to transform into a digital-first, rapidly evolving data-driven business. This is based on big data. But customer loyalty is increasingly difficult to maintain. That’s where small data comes in. Small data is the human insights necessary to understand what your customer thinks and feels. FocusVision solutions help marketers understand the sentiment behind the words and numbers. FocusVision is the first and only company to offer a full-spectrum, scalable, flexible and comprehensive research solution to capture meaningful insights that lead to human-driven decisions and power persuasive marketing strategies.

Over the past few years, the MarTech landscape has exploded with new solutions enabling another way to track customer interactions. Yet marketers still struggle to be seen as a driver of the business. Combining big data from the marketing stack with personalized small data enabled by advanced surveys, video interviews, online focus groups and video diaries, marketing leaders can influence decision making by bringing to life people-driven insights that truly transform and scale their businesses. FocusVision provides marketers this missing piece from their marketing stack and personalization efforts.

5. How do you differentiate FocusVision from the competition?
There are a lot of companies that just do surveys or just do video interviews etc. FocusVision is the only company to offer a full spectrum of software solutions from professional-grade surveys to video interviews, to real-time video diaries and online focus groups, that capture real-time human insights and analytics, keeping the data safe and compliant with privacy laws. That last piece is really a key differentiator. New laws like GDPR and the pending California data privacy regulations make it difficult for enterprises to do the proper research and be able to use that data. FocusVision allows compliance both on the research and the way that data is stored and used.

6. How does FocusVision enhance a brand’s customer interaction and communication model?
FocusVision is focused on helping our customers understand their audience’s pain points. By doing this, they can build a digital engagement model which will help them better understand their customer and find the right solution. We do this by offering a truly holistic, digital engagement approach that comprises data both big and small. This might require a survey to understand a customer’s experience or market trends, or a more in-depth video interview or online focus groups. Our focus is to ask and learn from their customers to find insights that will inform business growth.

7. What tools would you recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
Using intent data. There’s so much talk about ABM these days. And in the traditional sense, ABM means you market to a target group of accounts defined by the executive or sales team. But a lot of times, those accounts are chosen based on what the company wants to do — e.g. sell to big logos — and not what’s happening within an account. Working with an intent data provider, you can start to understand which accounts are looking to buy so you can narrow down the list to your ideal customer profile and then target those accounts with your marketing dollars. It’s much easier to convince an account that’s already looking to solve a pain point to buy from you than to convince someone they have a pain. Currently, I’m working with The Big Willow.

8. What do you think are the new standards of tech integrations? How do you manage the data complexities that come along with tech integrations?
All marketing departments now need technical people and data scientists to be able to build an effective MarTech stack. No one vendor has a plug and play solution and no one vendor has a complete solution. A lot claim they do, but in my experience you end up having to settle for the least common denominator.

9. Which startups in the martech and adtech industries are you keenly following?
It’s a few years old now but Integrate is a company I continue to watch and admire. Full disclosure, I was an early adopter of Integrate and as such, developed a strong relationship with them. But that is not why I continue to be impressed by them. Integrate took a pain point that most B-to-B marketers were experiencing — importing “leads” from media partners into Salesforce — and created a simple solution: a platform that connects the media vendor to Salesforce. The platform normalizes the data and spits back any incomplete records or those that don’t meet the user defined specifications. It’s so simple, but saves a lot of manual labor and wasted ad dollars. They’re also, almost maniacally, focused on understanding their customer, their customer’s pain points, as well as the role of marketing as a whole so their content is valuable. It’s easy to understand why they continue to see exponential growth.

10. Elaborate on your best digital marketing campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
My team built an always-on data-driven digital campaign that was built to engage buyers and customers when they were in the market looking for a solution that my company could solve — not a point in time campaign that ran off of my antiquated campaign calendar (traditional marketers are holding on tight to their campaign calendars, but I believe we should leave them back in 2010 where they belong). The reality is that business buyers buy according to their budget cycle, so our campaign was designed to be ready to engage them when they were prepared. The only way to accomplish this is with an always-on model based on a MarTech stack that is integrated and set up to respond automatically.

When we measured how digital engagement was affecting our pipeline (we hired SiriusDecisions to analyze this), we found out it was bringing in more pipeline than anything else we were doing as a company (shocking considering we know all buying starts digitally — I’m being ironic here). And when we looked at how digital engagement was affecting revenue, we saw that digitally engaged accounts closed 16% more of the time than non-digitally engaged accounts and at a 44% higher Average Selling Price (ASP).

11. What book are you currently reading?
A few actually. From a business perspective, I just re-read Play Bigger by Al Ramadan, Dave Petersen, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney. I love this book. I had my whole team read it and then bought a copy for my CEO.

On a personal level, I’m reading Razzle Dazzle by Michael Reidel, which is about the history of Broadway. It’s fascinating. And I’m also reading a young adult novel called The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon because my 17-year old daughter just finished reading it and passed it on to me. I like to read what she reads because it gives me insight.

12. What’s one piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances?
Approach everything from a starting point of ‘what can I learn?’ Every experience is an opportunity to learn something new, and to grow as a person and a professional. Find people and experiences that will stretch you and help you develop. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to have had so many wonderful mentors and in turn I try to mentor others through situations – both positive and negative – to help them expand their skill set. When you approach everything this way, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll get out of even the most difficult people and situations.

Dawn Colossi is a strategic marketing leader specializing in digital transformation. She had been named to the Top Women in MarTech and Digital and won the SiriusDecisions ROI Award for Digital Content Marketing Strategy.

FocusVision is the only full-spectrum research technology business, with a complete suite of software solutions, to capture real-time human insights and analytics. We help enterprise customers and research agencies around the globe to understand their customers and ask first, to get the facts, get the opinions, and tell the stories that move their businesses forward.
For more information please visit our Website.

Interview with Founder at The Marketing Shop – Tracy Gibb

Interview with the Founder, The Marketing Shop – Tracy Gibb

 

“I think most potential clients have become more savvy. They have a greater awareness of what is happening behind the scenes.”

 

1. Tell us about your role at The Marketing Shop and how you got here?
I am the Founder and CEO of The Marketing Shop, a boutique marketing company that specializes in done-for-you marketing services for small businesses. I grew up in a family that owned a business, so it feels like entrepreneurship runs in my veins. When I went to college I knew I wanted to major in some type of business, but as I took different classes I fell in love with marketing. I remember a professor telling us that most small businesses will fail, not because they do not have a good idea, but because they do not know how to market it. It was in that moment I knew I wanted to help make people’s dreams come true by providing services that would help them to grow their business.

2. What is it that you found lacking in the Marketing technology environment that pushed you to start a company of your own?
While I think marketing technology is so powerful, I have built my business using email, social media, and automation, I think people also need to use the tried and true business strategies such as getting people on your list and following up with them. With all of the automation I use, I still have a team of people who reach out to my customers and potential customers as they join my email list.

I also think that so many of us (and I am guilty of this myself) are always looking for the next big thing to grow our business, that we do not spend enough time focused on seeing each thing through to the fullest extent. I think that is why my programs are so popular. Most of my clients have tried to set up marketing funnels, but got bored or frustrated before finishing. Those who have marketing funnels in place were not patient enough to test and track metrics to make it work successfully. There are other client who set up a great content marketing program and then get tired of writing content or they grow their social media channels and then life gets in the way and they do not post anything for months.

The key is consistency in any aspect of marketing and I think that can be difficult for most business owners. We are constantly chasing after the next big thing or putting out fires. I know my own marketing would not be consistent if I did not have a team doing it for me.

3. How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
I think most potential clients have become more savvy. They have a greater awareness of what is happening behind the scenes, which is why it is even more important to view them as an actual person instead of a random email on your list or a like on Facebook. As the personal aspect has faded, I believe personalizing your approach to client engagement becomes the one thing that makes you stand out.

4. Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and customer insights, where do you see Company name fitting in the ecosystem?
I am a metrics driven person, so I love tracking everything I possibly can. I feel that a combination of tracking metrics and reaching out to customers personally will enable any company to provide value to their target audience. We already do that for ourselves and for our clients and it has worked to build relationships and  generate sales.

5. How do you differentiate The Marketing Shop from the competition?
When you are working with me and The Marketing Shop, your business is my business. I honestly feel that way about every single client I work with. Even though I am no longer directing the day-to-day management of our programs, I am working closely with the managers to ensure we are overdelivering and our clients are happy with their programs.

6. What changes are you majorly concentrating on to enhance and plug-in a more actionable customer interaction and communication model?
I am all about the marketing funnel as a base for communication. A great marketing funnel will allow you to track which emails people open. I will also show you what they are clicking. This will allow you to automatically only show them the content they are interested in. Doing this will easily provide so much value.

I also feel that fun, interactive opportunities such as surveys or quizzes gives them an opportunity to interact with your business while also giving you insight as to the services and products you can offer to them.

7. What tools would recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
I personally love Infusionsoft.  This tool has been the single most important hack that has helped me grow my business by allowing me to track and implement campaigns based upon what individual people want instead. This is so much more effective than just sending blanket email blasts to every single person on my email list and praying maybe someone would buy.

8. What do you think are the new standards of tech integrations? How do you manage the dire data complexities that come along with tech integrations?
I think successful tech integrations still need to have the feeling of connecting with an actual person. This so powerful because we can use these integrations to reach so many people at once and offer tremendous value, but it cannot feel like technology. The human element needs to be present and I feel that this becoming even important as we employ tech integrations in new and different ways.

9. Elaborate on your best digital transformation campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
Currently, my best digital transformation campaign is an overall marketing campaign, which is really the skeleton of all of my campaigns. My marketing funnel first offers a free lead magnet, which leads to a small sale to gauge the interest of the incoming lead. From there, we offer an upsell to a higher end offer. We may also have several other upsells that are offered after the initial upsell. This is to expose our audience to the range of services we offer. We then drive Facebook traffic to the first landing page and track how many views per opt-ins. This process is repeated for every aspect of the marketing funnel to determine where traffic is falling off. Is it a landing page issue? Is the email copy unappealing? From there we modify everything until you have a funnel that not only offers value but also generates revenue. If you are offering great products or services to the right audience, then you can find that sweet spot without much work.

10. What book are you currently reading?
I am constantly reading. Recently I read Profit First and loved it. I highly recommend that book to any entrepreneur. This book has changed how I look at my entire business.

11. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
I believe in always offering value to my clients and potential clients. I give away so much free stuff and free resources. In doing so, building the client relationship  through giving value upfront has made a world of difference. Once someone decides to invest in a program or service with me, there is already an established trust and rapport.


Experienced Marketing and Brand Strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the professionaltraining & coaching industry. Strong marketing professional skilled in Public Relations, ContentMarketing, Social Media Marketing, Public Speaking, Fundraising, and Leadership.


The Marketing Shop is an online marketing agency that provides a full suite of forward-thinking digital marketing services to clients in a wide range of industries.
For more information please visit our Website

Interview with Sr. VP of Global Sales and Alliances of Cake – Harry beck

Interview with Sr. VP of Global Sales and Alliances of Cake – Harry Beck

CAKE - Harry Beck

 

“The proliferation of marketing technology solutions has been fueled by an appetite to find an edge in the sea of digital marketing complexities.”

 

1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start/join a martech company)
Currently I oversee CAKE’s strategic global partnerships. I am passionate about building alliances between companies to facilitate mutually beneficial revenue and growth opportunities. My experience spans over 15 years building sales and alliance teams for technology providers, with an emphasis on negotiating, marketing and scaling complex OEM, technology and resale partnerships.

Prior to joining CAKE, I held numerous executive positions at leading SaaS companies, including my most recent role as Senior Vice President of Alliances and Strategy for Compellon. I also served as the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Mavenlink and Velocify (acquired by Ellie Mae) as well as the Chief Revenue Officer at Altus365.

2. Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
The Marketing Tech Landscape Supergraphic grew by 27% this year and now includes almost 7,000 organizations. As new martech companies continue to crop up to solve niche pain points across the marketing spectrum, I believe we’ll see two trends emerge over the next few years.

  1. Simplifying and Streamlining: Less Can Equal More – The proliferation of marketing technology solutions has been fueled by an appetite to find an edge in the sea of digital
    marketing complexities. However, this expansion has made things a lot more complicated. Marketing teams are drowning in data, feeling confused about what the data means and acting
    on limited insights with little or no confidence. I believe this will lead to the streamlining and simplification of work flows through martech solutions, which when you break it
    down equates to three main components: Tracking, Measuring and Optimizing campaigns for maximum return on advertising spend (ROAS). Technologies need to easily glean data-driven
    insights to achieve desired outcomes and those that don’t will be pruned back as marketing teams strive to more effectively and efficiently achieve their growth goals.
  2. Break Through Walled Gardens: The digital duopoly of Google and Facebook has a dominant hold on digital ad dollars, with a combined U.S. digital ad market share of 56.8 percent according to the Wall Street Journal. At the same
    time, overall digital ad spend in the country is likely to grow nearly 19 percent to $107 billion in 2018. This industry landscape will result in a collective awakening of the need
    to decouple the analytics from the ad platforms for a higher level of transparency. Digital marketers will continue to demand a higher level of accountability which is only
    achievable through a third-party performance measurement and attribution platform. While Facebook and Google will remain key players, marketing teams need easy access to metrics
    that are as accurate and fair as possible.

3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
We’re going to see advanced marketing analytics – leveraging innovations like machine-learning and multi-touch attribution – really start to take off.  Marketing teams increasingly need to validate that advertising investments are truly generating returns, and there’s been a lot of interest in solutions for measuring campaign performance. Last year, eMarketer cited an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Winterberry Group survey that scored interest in “better reporting, measurement and attribution” at more than 73 percent among respondents. But it hasn’t been until recently that the technologies available for measurement and attribution have caught up with demand for accurate, in-depth, cross-channel metrics. We’ll start so see more marketers making decisions based on actual data and intelligence rather than intuition, educated guesses and siloed data.

4. What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
The biggest challenge that CMOs face is the increasingly complex nature of the digital landscape itself. Consumers engage with marketing messages across a vast array of channels and devices, from social media feeds and email offers to display ads, coupons, mobile apps and more. Marketers have more options than ever when it comes to the tactics and strategies they deploy in their campaigns, but this makes it incredibly complex to accurately measure and understand performance. In today’s multi-channel, multi-touch world, silo-based approaches to measurement and “best guess” approaches to attributing the value of each touchpoint are simply not going to cut it. Capturing an integrated view of the consumer’s path to purchase requires technologies capable of navigating this environment, which means being able to identify users across devices and channels, moving away from outdated “last-touch” attribution models that are too simplistic, and ensuring that performance data is analyzed holistically, instead of in channel-specific silos. A failure to do this will result in blind spots and lost revenue where mistakes can be made based on missing, incomplete or inaccurate information.

5. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Productivity and efficiency are applauded and I often see team members trying to do it all, at the same time. Productivity without impact is busywork. My goal is to move the needle every day. I’ve learned that focus is the key to maximum productivity AND multi-tasking is a myth. For example – at the end of each day I compile my ‘To Do” list for the next day, then rank the tasks by impact. In the morning, I start with the highest priority, big impact item on my list and stay focused on it until its complete. Not surprisingly, the items at the top of my list are often the most difficult, and avoiding them only delays success.

6. How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
There is a fear of AI replacing roles on marketing teams, however I disagree. The optimum use of AI will be a balance between human inference and machine learning working in concert. As AI and machine learning continue to become more sophisticated marketers will be capable of leveraging these advancements to perform tasks (which can take an inordinate amount of time), such as translating data into actionable insights. AI and machine learning will allow team members at all skill levels to achieve better results in a shorter amount of time. So, when asked how to prepare for an AI-centric world I suggest to first imagine how your teams would work together differently and adjust work streams as if the ‘grunt work’ and data crunching were to happen much more quickly with higher quality results, adding capacity to your teams. Then prepare your strategies and tactics accordingly.

7. What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
We empower marketers with the insights that enables more intelligent marketing decisions. This allows teams to focus more of their energy on creative campaign development and execution, and ultimately helps their brand realize the maximum (ROAS). Our flagship solution, Journey by CAKE delivers accurate and granular marketing intelligence across the end-to-end customer journey. This includes a consumer’s first interaction with a marketing touchpoint all the way through to a conversion, whether they download an app, fill out a lead gen form or make a purchase. The enterprise SaaS solution combines multi-touch attribution (MTA), an advanced analytics dashboard and seamless integrations with popular digital media platforms to give marketers a detailed picture of how all the elements of their campaigns are both individually and collectively contributing to the end result. With Journey, users can see which touchpoints are most influential in driving conversions, how various digital marketing channels are working (or not working) together, plus understand the strengths and weaknesses of their campaign strategies.

8. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
Recently CAKE launched Connections, our growing ecosystem of alliances with leading digital media and marketing tools that enrich customer journey insights for brands, agencies and publishers.

Journey also enables our online retail customers to better understand the synergies between digital channels, and identify the optimal combination of funnel strategies for attracting and converting qualified prospects. In fact, a leading online retail brand achieved 120% total revenue growth with multi-touch attribution insights of marketing channels and campaigns delivered through Journey. We continue to expand our measurement and attribution platform form online retailers with features including:

  • Voucher code support: leverage voucher codes to attribute offline interactions within the customer journey and determine the impact on your overall marketing goals.
  • eCommerce integrations: integrate Journey with shopping cart platforms to ensure online retail catalogs are in sync and provide accurate insights into campaign and product performance.
  • Powerful consumer insights in real-time: utilize powerful insights from anonymous consumer behavior for personalization and targeting, as well as retargeting efforts.


9. Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?

We use our own platform, Journey by CAKE, to get a complete and accurate view of how all our strategies and tactics are working to drive engagement and conversions with our audience. Other solutions in CAKE’s current martech stack include Salesforce, Marketo, Sprout Social, Asana, WordPress, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook and Hootsuite.

10. Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.


Harry oversees CAKE’s strategic alliance partnerships and sales globally. He has spent more than 15 years building sales and alliance teams for SaaS technology providers, with extensive experience in negotiating, marketing and scaling complex OEM, technology and resale partnerships.
Prior to joining CAKE, Harry has held more than 5 executive roles at leading technology companies, including his most recent role as Senior Vice President of Alliances and Strategy for Compellon. Harry also served as the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Mavenlink and Velocify where his teams created channel alliances that grew to encompass more than 40% of revenue. Prior to Velocify, Harry was the Chief Revenue Officer at Altus365, growing revenue through direct and channel sales. Harry has also founded various tech companies in the past, including OrangeDock and Capital Grove bringing the companies from idea stage and development through launch and into revenue prior to exit.


CAKE provides SaaS-based solutions that track, attribute and optimize the performance of digital marketing spend, in real-time. Bringing clarity to multi-channel marketing campaigns, CAKE empowers advertisers, agencies, publishers and networks with the insight to make intelligent marketing decisions.
For more information please visit our Website

Chief Marketing Officer of Lytics – Darren Guarnnacia

Interview with Chief Marketing Officer of Lytics – Darren Guarnnacia

Darren Guarnaccia

 

“The obvious first step is really understanding your customer’s purpose. What is it they are trying to achieve through the use of your product or service.”

 

1. Tell us about your role at Lytics and how you got here?
I’m the CMO here at Lytics and lead our marketing function. What attracted me to Lytics was that they seemed to have the answer to the question I’ve been asking for 20 years in marketing technology. How can you know your customer so well that you can give them exactly what they want, when they want it, where they want it. I’ve been trying to help customers achieve this goal for a long time, and while some of the technologies out there solved some of the problem, doing it at scale without armies of people kept thwarting progress on these programs. In Lytics, I saw the opportunity to solve that problem by applying machine learning techniques to customer data.

2. What’s the most fascinating aspect of working with ? How about sharing with us a cool picture of your trendy work environment?
What fascinates me most about Lytics is the insanely smart people I’m surrounded with. These people have been thinking deeply about these problems for along time, and many have been in big data and machine learning long before it was called either of those terms.  I also love that we are deeply embedded in our customers projects in a way that allows us to constantly improve our product, and solve their business problems in more valuable ways. The insight we gain can be constantly shared across our customer base, making everyone smarter and better.

3. How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
For starters, there are probably about 100 times more companies across the martech landscape. I also think most of the ecosystem has shifted to be more integration friendly, and embrace the frenemy model. This is important. Early days, each vendor was an island, trying to own as much of the martech footprint as they could. While some of the mega-stack vendors still try to do that, I’ve seen a fundamental shift back to openness and best of breed.

4. Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and customer insights, where do you see Lytics fitting in the ecosystem?
I see customer data platforms specifically solving the problem of connecting all the data across all the marketing tools in a way that marketers can own and control. I’ve heard this called democratizing customer data, and think that’s missing in today’s marketing technology. Marketers need the ability to operative quickly and iteratively and have all the data about their customers in a way they can easily use to drive activation across their tools.  As Benjamin Bloom at Gartner stated, we’re going to see a world of smart hubs and dumb spokes. I see CDPs as that smart hub.

5. How do you differentiate Lytics from the competition?
Lytics differentiates on a few things. The first is that everything we do it in real-time. We do data integration on the fly, we process all the data and stitch profiles together in real time and all of our machine learning algorithm update instantaneously as new data comes in. Why is that important?  Because of our second differentiator. We let marketers use all of that information to affect customer experiences in real-time. Lytics has a decisioning engine that will deliver the right experience to a customer in the right channel and when that customer is most receptive. It does this based on everything it knows about that customer in the moment, so that’s why real-time data is important. The last differentiator is simplicity. Marketing tech has gotten so complex, we’ve purposefully built our technology to remove complexity, and simplify marketing workflow processes.

6. How do you think you can cope the best with the growing complexities in analyzing real time customer behavior?
There are several factors driving complexity in marketing today. The first is the volume of data coming at marketers, and how to gain insight from that deluge. The second is how to activate that data in a useful way with their customer and the third is the complexity of trying to anticipate a customer’s next step. The very nature of CDPs solve for the first 2 factors. Lytics automatically ingest customer data from all of an organization’s marketing, and use machine learning unify the customers into individual profiles and gain insight on each individual. It also shares that data out to all other marketing tools in the form of segments and triggered events to activate that data into actions and experiences delivered in each channel tool. Lytics has tackled the 3rd area of complexity by rethinking user journey management. Instead of trying to create huge decision trees with if-then-else logic get get grow incredibly complex trying to map journeys across segments,  Lytics has designed a decisioning engine that looks at macro stages that use predictive intelligence to pick the right offers in the right channels at the right time based on individual attributes. This greatly simplifies a marketers workflow, and allows them to focus on the overarching journey and stages and creating compelling experiences.

7. What do you think is the main factor in orchestrating customer interests and actually building and retaining customer trust?
The obvious first step is really understanding your customer’s purpose. What is it they are trying to achieve through the use of your product or service. Really understand their problem, and how your product will solve that problem. That is ultimately their interest you need to serve. Armed with that understanding, then everything you do with that customer must be in service of that interest. Simply removing friction from achieving that purpose, educating them on how to achieve or even enhance the value gained from achieve that purpose are ways to build trust, especially when it’s clear their interests ahead of your own. Operationally, this is done through creating consistent experiences with your customers and delivering experiences that deliver value to your customer in a that aligns to their purpose. As customers trust you and share more information with you, use that data to help customer achieve their purpose across every moment you interact with them. By intentionally orchestrating a support helpful experience that’s aligned with their purpose and goals, customers will come to trust you and do business with you longer.

8. Can you share with us in a fun video a short glimpse of your functioning as a firm and your core values?
As a scrappy little brand, we haven’t had the bandwidth to build one yet. I can say that as Portlandians, we drink too much coffee, and have cold brew and Kombucha on tap.

9. How do you build an actionable customer interaction and communication model?
To build actionability, you have to understand intent, which should always be anchored in your customer’s purpose. Ideally, your customer interaction and communication model should be built to respond in realtime to a customer’s shifting intent and aligned with helping them achieve their purpose through their journey. The rise of customer data platforms allows brands to build centralized repositories of first party data that allow them to take action on them moment in response to any customer intent signal, across any channel.

10. What tools would recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
The power of story is a wonderful sales hack. Humans are hardwired to understanding stories as a evolutionary shortcut to sharing knowledge and understanding. Using the power of story, and sharing your “why” with customers is a way to cut through the noise and be remembered by your prospects.

11. What do you think are the new standards of tech integrations? How do you manage the dire data complexities that come along with tech integrations?
Customer Data Platforms have exploded onto the martech scene in the last few years which have redefined marketer’s expectation around ease of integration. Data democratization for marketing is the new normal, and it’s now expected that integrations are as simple as a few clicks and a copy/paste of authorization key.

12. Which startups in the martech and adtech industries are you keenly following?
I’m fascinated by new chat and voice technology as a new medium. I’ve been following Drift as a chatbot platform, and more generalist platforms like Cognigy that remind me of the early days of the web content management market. It’s still early days, but I think it has a ton of potential. On the ad-tech side of things, I’m following the impact of blockchain on ad-tech. I haven’t found anyone yet really solving it, but look forward to someone solving the trust problem in advertising.

13. Elaborate on your best digital transformation campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
The best way to measure digital transformation is customer lifetime value. When a brand aligns it’s go-to-market around being useful and helpful to its customers, customers reward that with trust and loyalty, which ultimately results in customer equity and improved customer lifetime value.

14. What book are you currently reading?
I’m just wrapping up Origin Story: A big history of everything. It was a recommendation from Bill Gates’ top 5 list, and I try to rotate in an non-business book once every 5 business books or so. What I love about it is the mental framework it creates for understanding how the universe unfolded, from the big bang, through today, and how energy flows shaped everything. Fascinating stuff.

15. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
My mantra is “20% better, right direction”. It’s something I use in every aspect of my life. Keep making progress, and pushing in the right direction and you’ll get wherever you want to go.

Darren Guarnaccia is lead marketing at Lytics, a Customer Data Platform that helps brands extract customer behavior and data from every digital channel, and orchestrate their campaigns and engagement using their existing marketing tools.


The Lytics Customer Data (CDP) Platform, the company's flagship product, was launched in October 2014. The Lytics CDP connects a company's marketing data about customers and users from multiple sources (e.g., structured and unstructured data from tools, anonymous and known profiles, and other interactions and events from the marketing stack, sales, and support databases) and creates behavior-rich user segments (e.g., likely to churn, most active on mobile, coupon lover).
For more information please visit our Website

walker_sands

Interview with Account director At Walker Sands Communications– Jennifer Mulligan

 

“There is a lot of chatter about AI right now, but according to The State of Martech 2018, marketers feel most optimistic about IoT.”

1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. 
I am an account director at Walker Sands, which is a PR and digital marketing firm for B2B technology companies. I work primarily with martech, retail tech and HR tech companies to help them set and execute PR strategies that support their brand awareness and lead generation goals. We started conducting an annual survey of marketers about their use of technology three years ago and have written The State of Martech annually ever since. This is a great benchmark to see how marketers’ priorities have shifted and approaches have evolved.

2. Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
There is a lot of chatter about AI right now, but according to The State of Martech 2018, marketers feel most optimistic about IoT. Less than half of marketers plan to implement AI; whereas, 53 percent plan or have already implemented IoT solutions. I expect to see that IoT optimism grow in the next year as voice technology, like Amazon’s Alexa, advances. And across the board, as we see new technology advance and prove ROI, we’ll see marketers use them more frequently.

3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
I was most surprised to see how often marketers evaluate their martech stacks. I would have expected more to be on an annual schedule to align with annual marketing budgets. However, half evaluate more often, which means that of the 7,000+ martech solutions out there, marketers are constantly finding new solutions. Vendors need to listen and implement customer feedback to win their loyalty.

4. What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
While two-thirds of marketers believe the martech landscape has evolved rapidly or at light speed this year, only a quarter feel the same about their company’s use of martech. In fact, only 15 percent of marketers find their company to be very agile at embracing new martech solutions. For CMOs, that lack of agility is causing real investment pains. Budget is the biggest barrier to marketers making greater martech investments, and that will likely always be the case. But 27 percent of marketers cite internal resistance to change and an equal number blame difficulties with product implementation for why they don’t adopt more. To succeed in the years ahead, CMOs must align their internal teams and budget to help them implement new technology to help them do their jobs better.

5. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
For me, the key to productivity is organization. Technology that helps me stay organized is the best kind of martech. I use the Boomerang Gmail app for everything from reminders for myself to staying on top of deadlines. My team and I also rely on project management and collaboration tools like KanbanFlow and Trello to see where deliverables stand.

6. How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
There are thousands of martech solutions, and so many of them have AI capabilities. My advice for marketers who are just starting off is to use technology to streamline the low-hanging fruit first. Things like CRM and social media management that take up time that could be spent thinking more strategically is ideal for martech. As you become more comfortable with your martech, you can build up your stack. Unproven martech like VR is least likely to be implemented – a full 62 percent of marketers have either abandoned or don’t plan to implement VR/AR.

7. What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
Walker Sands is an integrated PR and digital marketing agency for B2B technology and professional services companies. We help marketers throughout the customer lifecycle, and the two most common goals our clients have are to increase brand awareness and/or generate leads. Our capabilities span media relations, content marketing, design, demand generation, web services and more, and we build our programs to achieve our clients’ unique goals.

8. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
We’ve expanded our video services this year to now include case studies, product demos, company culture videos and more, and the timing is perfect. According to State of Martech, 40 percent of marketers are experimenting with video marketing, and we will likely see more marketers made video a core solution in the next few years. We also revamped our website this summer to bring our services to life and improve the user experience.

9. What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
Industry leaders have been predicting consolidation among martech for years, but instead, the number of solutions keeps growing. This tells us that marketers are looking for more personalized solutions, and that desire for personalization will only continue to grow. That’s likely why we’re seeing more marketers turn to best-of-breed martech stacks instead of the all-in-one cloud solutions. With best-of-breed stacks, marketers can tailor their solutions to their unique needs, and martech vendors that support this level of integration will succeed.

10. Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?
Here’s a list of some of our favorite tools, but it’s not comprehensive:

  • Trello
  • KanbanFlow
  • Salesforce
  • Bambu by Sprout Social
  • SEMRush

 

11. Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.


As account director, Jennifer leads media strategy for marketing and ad technology companies ranging from start-ups to enterprises. She’s passionate about identifying her clients’ business and marketing goals and then developing PR strategies to meet them. Jennifer leads a team of talented account executives, media relations specialists and writers who are adept at securing coverage that add value for clients.


Walker Sands is a public relations and digital marketing agency for business-to-business technology companies. With an integrated approach known as the Digital Ecosystem, Walker Sands helps clients build brand awareness, enhance credibility and drive new business. Walker Sands is a four-time Inc. 5000 honoree and regular recipient of some of the industry’s most prestigious awards from organizations including PRSA, Holmes Report and PR News. Walker Sands was founded in 2001 and has offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.
For more information please visit our Website

Interview with Founder & CEO of Total Expert – Joe Welu

 

 

“I think we’ll see marketing technology evolving quickly beyond simple automation and into artificial intelligence.”

1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to start a martech company?

I’m the founder and CEO at Total Expert, a SaaS company that created the first web-based, enterprise-level marketing and sales software solution built specifically for banks and mortgage lenders. I’m passionate about empowering producers to bring personal relationships back into big financial purchases. Somewhere along the line, banks and mortgage lenders started focusing more on the transaction instead of the customer relationship, and I want to restore that focus on the relationship. I spend a lot of time talking to our prospects and customers, CMOs and loan officers alike to understand the needs of our customers and ensure that Total Expert is giving them the tools they need to serve their customers and grow their business.

Before starting Total Expert in 2012, I co-founded and led one of the most successful real estate teams in the country. I also served as an advisor to real estate brokerages and lenders and developed marketing programs that generated more than $1 billion in residential and mortgage sales volume.

As a Realtor, when I looked at real estate transactions as a whole, I was fascinated with the lack of companies solving industry-specific challenges. This led me to start Total Expert and the Marketing Operating System (MOS), which empowers producers to personalize and automate their marketing and communications efforts, giving them more time to build relationships face to face.

2. Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?

I think we’ll see marketing technology evolving quickly beyond simple automation and into artificial intelligence. In the financial services industry that we serve, marketing technology has to support the unique relationships the enterprise and the producer have with customers. Banks and lenders need to constantly be looking for new ways to improve their reach and their customer experience. If they fall behind, their customers will take their wallet elsewhere.

That said, the customer experience has and will evolve the most. Companies like Uber and Amazon have raised consumer expectations around online commerce. However, while consumers expect a seamless online experience, research shows that when it comes to complex financial transactions, they also prefer face to face interaction. It is critical for marketing technology, especially in the financial services vertical to remove friction and make it continually easier for consumers to interact with brands across all channels – and, free up time for producers to cultivate customer relationships in-person.

3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?

AI is the trend to watch. It will make a huge impact on the way messaging and consumer interactions are developed and handled. If done correctly, it will really be a game changer, particularly when it comes to how banks and lenders turn a lead into a customer – and a customer into a customer for life. AI will allow relationship managers to personalize and automate their marketing and communications efforts, so they can customize their messaging and educate their prospects and customers alike.

4. What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?

The biggest challenge for any CMO is identifying the right technology that can meet the needs of their customers and grow sales. The problem is martech is an extremely crowded field with lots of competing products that are mostly different versions of the same thing. Identifying the technology that is a true differentiator is very difficult. Plus, the product you choose needs to be able to evolve and change as your organizational needs evolve and change.

5. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

I’m a fan of the minimally viable product (MVP), which is the strategy of putting out a technology solution quickly that may not be perfect but satisfies early adopters. Everybody wants perfection right out of the gate, but technology moves so quickly that perfection isn’t always realistic. By starting small and creating a product quickly that is imperfect yet still useful, you can go to market quickly and then take the feedback to adjust, tweak and reiterate. I’ve found the MVP strategy has enormous value, especially in the ever-evolving world of SaaS. We work very closely with our customers to understand their challenges and needs, and then ensure that as we iterate and improve our product, it continues to meet their evolving needs. Our mantra as a company is “Move Fast and Innovate,” so we are committed to quickly delivering great features and capabilities and we continue to make them better with future enhancements.

6. How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

The main concern marketing professionals have with AI is whether they will even be needed anymore. However, in our particular market, things are a little different. As I said, research shows that when making complex financial purchase, people want human interaction and expertise. For banks and lenders, AI will mostly work behind the scenes to enhance and improve their marketing and communications efforts, making them more efficient and impacting the bottom line. Our job is to have the right developers and programmers on our team, so that AI is as easy as possible for our customers to embrace.

7. What is the core marketing technology capability of your company that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?

The Total Expert MOS is our core product. It uses automated intelligence to empower relationship managers at banks and mortgage lenders to connect with customers and prospects quickly with personalized messaging. The MOS has marketing, co-marketing and CRM capabilities and can be integrated with a customer’s existing CRM and loan origination system, which is the primary technology most banks and lenders use to generate loans.

Our solution is unique in that it also ensures a company’s marketing, sales and compliance organizations are aligned in a single system of record. This is of huge importance to banks and lenders that are regulated by multiple agencies at the federal, state and local level. There can be serious repercussions for things as small as not disclosing the right information in an email. The Total Expert MOS was built with these safeguards in place. We empower organizations to elevate their marketing and sales efforts and still remain compliant with complex regulations.

8. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?

We recently added a new feature to the Total Expert MOS called Expert Content, a complete content and campaign strategy designed to help banks and lenders amplify marketing and increase sales velocity. It’s a robust collection of customizable content and campaigns that marries targeted web, social, email, print and video with best practices and cutting-edge intelligent automation. Expert Content is also industry-specific for banks and lenders to be able to drive results with content that is authentic to the recipient, timely, relevant and in context. The content is fully customizable, allowing users to change verbiage, select campaign cadence and supplement with their own content. Expert Content will free up producers’ time to build and maintain profitable partnerships and customer relationships.

We’re always working to “Move Fast and Innovate,” so there are definitely more product enhancements on the horizon. Be on the lookout.

9. What is your take on the massive explosion of martech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?

It’s an exciting time to be in marketing technology, for sure. The technology landscape is ever-evolving and companies must continue to innovate to stay ahead. So, the increase in marketing technology across many industries and categories is really no surprise.

The opportunities for partnerships and integrations are abundant. I think martech companies need to be open to integrating with other companies that ultimately benefit their customers. Just as the tech landscape is always evolving, so are the needs of our customers, and so one thing we’re really proud of is our open API to allow integrations with today’s best of breed technology providers – and tomorrow’s. For example, earlier this year, we partnered with Blend, a technology leader that provides digital mortgage workflows to improve the loan application process for loan officers and consumers. This integration – and all of our integrations – empower our customers to better serve their customers.

In terms of our own technology, there’s no company that does what we do specifically for banks and mortgage lenders. However, we have to continue to challenge ourselves, listen to our customers and expand our services to meet their needs. If we don’t, someone else will.

10. Could you share for our readers an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?

11. Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.

Joe Welu is the Founder and CEO of Total Expert, a venture backed Software-as-a-Service technology company based in Minneapolis, MN. Total Expert currently serves 8 of the top 15 lenders in the nation and was recently recognized as Minnesota’s Most Promising Startup by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Prior to starting Total Expert in 2012, Joe co-founded and led one of the top-selling real estate teams in the U.S., achieving over $1 billion in sales volume.


Total Expert is a software platform for the Real Estate and Mortgage industry. Leveraging deep industry experience by its core executive team, Total Expert has delivered the industry's first enterprise grade Co-Marketing platform for Lenders + Real Estate partners to collaborate and deploy marketing throughout the life cycle of the customer. Compliance, sales, and marketing work together in a seamless system to create, deploy, and track marketing and co-marketing.
For more information please visit our Website

President and Co-Founder, gen.video - Jessica Thorpe

Interview with President and Co-Founder, gen.video – Jessica Thorpe

” With so many companies finding their “niche” in their unique service offerings I think the opportunities for companies to partner to be more effective for the brands they work is amazing and bountiful.”

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start a martech company)

I’m president and co-founder. More than 12 years ago, I made the leap from traditional media to digital and was bit by the entrepreneurial bug. Three years ago I was part of the founding team that launched gen.video  (http://gen.video), the first influencer marketing company focused on bridging the gap between social media and ecommerce. We help brands and agencies partner with influencers to drive awareness, traffic to retail and increase sales. We are pioneering the path, helping brands expand and evolve their social media practices from word-of-mouth to influencer marketing – focused on ecommerce results.

Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?

Advertising is known for art, but the importance of the science is increasingly the key.

That being said, our mantra is, “When amazing content inspires shoppers.” The content is the focal point of influencer marketing and it should be. However, working with the right influencers is part art, part science and the gen.video platform identifies, amplifies, monitors and tracks success across social media with the goal to increase sales and lift conversion rates on top retail sites.

The science marketing technology provides is only going to increase and will enable marketers to make smarter choices and understand the impact of their campaigns

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?

There are many weapons in the marketing arsenal – none more exciting in the past few years than Influencer Marketing. Really interested to see the role influencers can place as Voice becomes more common place and is optimized for shopping.

What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?

CMOs need to prove out their efforts, in any form, by telling a good ROI story at the end. What’s a better ROI story than sales lift and traffic? The problem is, organizations are typically very siloed and ecommerce and communications or social media are often worlds apart. Aligning and developing a more omnichannel, multi-functional planning approach can ensure that brand building and bottom funnel activities are supporting each other.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I send myself emails and to-do lists all the time.  Sometimes the best idea or inspiration for product innovation or to solve a client’s problem happens when you least expect it.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

Data is king. However sometimes harnessing it for good is challenging. As a company that sits between social and e-commerce intelligence, it is very exciting to think about how artificial intelligence can help ‘connect the dots’ and optimize performance. As this progresses, marketers will benefit from smarter, more efficient spending across influencer and many other forms of media.

What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?

The gen.video platform has established itself as the only do-it-all platform for influencer marketing and ecommerce video.

Our platform provides a comprehensive look at influencer marketing campaigns focusing on understanding the impact of traffic generated into retail channels. In addition, it connects the dots on attributed sales, delivers video engagement metrics and reporting on conversion lift and sales and traffic trends.

Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?

We are looking into expanding our attribution data and e-commerce analytics and anticipate a big V2 launch before end of year.

What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?

With the world of e-commerce and influencer closer than ever, there will always be competition, but with so many companies finding their “niche” in their unique service offerings I think the opportunities for companies to partner to be more effective for the brands they work is amazing and bountiful.

Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?

We’ve developed a data-driven platform enabling marketers to make smarter choices when it comes to leveraging the right influencers to create content on their social channels, while also optimizing the content to live on ecommerce and brand properties.

The gen.video platform includes integrations with Salesforce and SalesLoft, MailChimp, WordPress, Hootsuite, Slack and Airtable. In addition, through our partnership with Amazon, the gen.video platform enables brands to flood their Amazon product pages with relevant, brand-approved videos created by influencers. When influencer video is placed on product pages, there is a lift in purchase intent and conversion on average 30+ percent.

Once produced, the gen.video platform distributes video content across social media platforms, including, notably, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch; in targeted media; and to ecommerce product pages on, notably, Amazon, and other top retail sites, including Walgreens, Walmart, Target and CVS Pharmacy to name a few.

Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.

Jessica is a Media-industry veteran with deep understanding of the evolving interactions between consumers and brands.

gen.video is the first influencer video platform connecting brands and creators to develop branded content for YouTube and eCommerce.

Founder & CEO, Fosina Marketing – Jim Fosina

Interview with Founder & CEO, Fosina Marketing – Jim Fosina

 

“Martech needs to do much more than enable targeted reach
of a customer and/or reporting/analytics”

  Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. 
• My focus has always been centered on helping marketers; my customers leverage the most relevant and resourceful tools and strategies to achieve their goals and objectives.

• With the rise of a wide suite of marketing technology platforms, I always felt that nothing was truly “plug and play” – there would always be a need for professionals who had a keen understanding of how to leverage these tools in order to help the client achieve their goals and objectives.

• Fosina Marketing was born as such a company; our focus has always been on helping clients achieve their subscription/direct to consumer goals and objectives leveraging our insight and technology platforms to achieve those goals cost efficiently and effectively

• The market is filled with very strong platforms…however the challenge remains for marketers to figure out how to integrate these platforms and optimize the performance of these tools in order to achieve their bottom line objectives

  Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the MarTech market
  evolving over the next few years?
• I see the rise of “smart” marketing technology platforms

• Platforms that integrate various aspects of the marketing spectrum in order to make it easier for the platform to help the client achieve that top and bottom line goals

• I see marketing technology platforms in the future leveraging the huge data warehouses that most clients are building of their customer profile data to drive all marketing function in a most relevant and engaging manner with customers

• Martech needs to do much more than enable targeted reach of a customer and/or reporting/analytics…these platforms need to enable the “smart next step” in the marketing schema.

  What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to
impact us?

• The rise of Artificial intelligence based marketing technology platforms

• Platforms that allow the marketer to ingest as much disparate data thru the front door and then, based on smart thinking…allow decisions to be made about optimization of the full messaging and marketing funnel.

• Platforms that will provide media planning and messaging schedules that are fuel and optimized in real time based on real time performance data

• For Marketers, the rise of these “thinking” platforms will put greater emphasis on our need to understand our goals and objectives for all efforts and initiatives. We will need to have a greater understanding of the data that is required to enter into the “brain” of a platform in order to produce optimal results

  What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
• In the future the CMO will need to understand in a much more detailed manner the true bottom line goals and objectives of their marketing spend

• They will be commanded to be much more transparent about the net effect and contribution of the marketing spend to the bottom line of the company

• Huge shift from being solely focused on a customer brand awareness approach to one that engages with consumers, builds loyalty and creates great lifetime value in each and every customer.

• Also see a much great obsession with the competitive arena and shifts that are being made in real time that impact on the relative competitiveness of the company and its product offering.

• The market is shifting very quickly and accelerating this shift with each passing quarter. CMOs need to not only anticipate change, they must be focused on making the right moves to take advantage of these shifts

• CMO’s will also be challenged with the need to build brand loyalty, affinity and subscribership.

  What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
• Everything in our organization pivots on customer bottom line need

• The more time I spend understanding the client’s ultimate objective…the shorter path to servicing their need and solving for their challenge.

• Everyone can waste a lot of time talking around a challenge…and/or over analyzing an issue, I tend to get to the bottom line objective quickly.

• With that knowledge and an understanding of the competitive arena, we can bring the right resources and technology platforms to bear ….and solve things more quickly

  How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
• Chronicle the specific challenges that you face each day as a marketer – those that take a tremendous amount of time and resources

• Create a hierarchy of data and input required throughout your company at various customer touchpoints in order to achieve the goals and objectives that you have

• Study, Study, Study – case studies that are in market today about how AI is being used to solve marketing problems efficiently – search for matches in these case studies that mirror your list of challenges.

• Start small and begin to implement AI based solutions and measure overall performance and efficiency in achieving your goal.

• Small projects in each area of your business….will give you the confidence to tackle bigger issues.

  What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
• We have a series of marketing technology platforms that are centered on subscription/direct to consumer demand creation, order processing, order fulfillment, credit card processing, customer retention & ongoing retention.

• We have platforms that mirror the marketer’s customer life-cycle – Customer acquisition efforts cross digital and legacy channels, Order processing, management & fulfillment. Analytical platforms that focus on delivering insight for greater optimization of upcoming campaign optimization.

• With the rise of the subscription economy, our tools and insight are the right services for a generation of marketers that are now focused on retaining customers and building long term value thru subscription relationships.

   Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
• Given the proprietary nature of our offering and the intensely competitive arena that we operate within…. we won’t’ be able to share any of the new ideas and upgrades that we have in the planning stages.

• Suffice to say we operate in the mind of our customer; understanding their needs for greater effectiveness and efficiency. Everything that we do is centered on delivering the highest quality services and platforms that achieve those goals and objectives.

  What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
• We see this massive explosion as exciting for our industry.

• No doubt there is a tremendous amount of thinking and innovating going on within our industry.

• There is definitely much more competition in the market which pushes all of us to be at our best and provide nothing but the best in terms of platforms and services to clients

• If we don’t solve a client problem, you can be sure that there are others waiting in the wings…ready to step in and solve it for them

• We don’t see merit in partnering or integrating for the sake of appearances. There are logical partnerships that make sense from the ability to create greater value to customers. We are always open to those kind of relationships where 1+1 = 4.

Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack
?
• Fosina Screening (internal, proprietary) – transaction hosting with fraud detection and screening

• CAKE – SaaS solution for tracking and managing multi-channel; marketing campaigns

• Adroll – Customer growth platform that uses display, social and email to increase client revenues

• Optizmo – Enterprise Class Solution for automating suppression list management

• Facebook Business Manager – Facebook platform used to run and track ads, manage assets, pages and ad accounts across multiple clients

• UpSellit – Email and display abandon cart remarketing tool

• Lead Forensics – B2B lead generation management tool

• Affiliate Marketing Platforms – Impact Radius & ShareASale

• HubSpot – CRM software managing both sales and inbound marketing activities

• MailChimp – marketing automation platform for email customer engagement

If you are involved in online direct response, chances are you already know Jim Fosina. He's led the building of online businesses for a number of the biggest and best-known traditional direct marketing companies (Gevalia, Tassimo, Gerber Life, Bertelsmann, Scholastic and more), generating hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. Jim also helped write the book on CANSPAM compliance as prior Chairman of the DMA Ethics & Policy Committee and, prior to founding Fosina, served as SVP of Online Marketing for Scholastic, and in numerous marketing roles for Kraft's Gevalia Kaffe.

At Fosina Marketing Group, we take great pride in understanding your specific needs and goals. Our team will spend time with you to understand the specific challenges you face in the competitive arena. It is with that level of understanding that we can provide you with the insight and recommendations that will guide us on the path towards building,maintaining and/or enhancing your direct to consumer efforts. Our experts can and will provide you with incremental market insights in order to put all of these discussions in proper context.
For more information please visit our Website

Interview with CEO, Giant Media – John Cobb

Interview with CEO, Giant Media – John Cobb

 

“Today, CMOs are making more technology decisions than most C-level technological decision-makers.”

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.

I am CEO of Giant Media. We’re based in Los Angeles and recently launched VuePlanner, a transparent pre-buy planning tool for brands and agencies advertising on YouTube.

My background involves leading and running large media companies. I joined Giant Media a couple of years ago from Fexy Media, a private equity backed new media company where I served as president and COO. Previously, I was the CEO of Publishing Group of America (PGOA), a Bain Capital Ventures and Shamrock Capital backed multi-media publisher of newspaper inserted magazines and branded digital properties reaching nearly 35 million households in nearly 1,700 local markets in the U.S. I led the sale of PGOA to Fexy Media.

Throughout my career, I’ve been focused on content that entertains and interacts with audiences, while creating opportunities for advertisers to transact.

Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
We believe the future of technology and marketing begins with solutions focused on the consumer of media. Technologies for marketers that focus there will, ultimately, be the most successful.

We’re doing it through contextual relevancy. In digital video there’s an untapped environment to reach audiences in a much deeper, targeted way. Notably, leveraging a variety of data points and artificial intelligence to deliver advertising experiences that put the consumer first in the equation. To date, they haven’t had a say.

It is exactly why we developed VuePlanner for brand and agencies to transparently plan down to the video level, selecting each individual YouTube video URL before the campaign is bought. The more you can provide advertising that is complementary, rather than disruptive, the better marketing technology will be.

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
We’re at an exciting point-in-time as it relates to digital experiences. I’m excited about the cross-section of AI and new realities, such as Virtual and Augmented. These new technologies are creating innovative ways to better entertain and interact with audiences.

What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
I believe today’s CMOs will be the CEOs of the future. All the challenges they face in today’s digital world are preparing them to be at the forefront of leading businesses forward.

Today, CMOs are making more technology decisions than most C-level technological decision-makers. They are tackling extensive data management, while at the same time, providing value to internal and external stakeholders. CMOs are charged with aligning sales and product through data – no easy task, but one that done right, is making them standout.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
The last action item before I leave the office everyday is planning out my tomorrow. I’ve been doing this for the past five years. I schedule equal amount of time on my calendar to focus on major business initiatives and managing external and internal responsibilities. I call it, “Plan your work, and work your plan.”

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
First and foremost, you must view AI through the lens of the recipient. That is the opportunity. Right now, AI is mostly being used to figure out marketers needs. That is great, but it is the short-term win for AI. The long-term win is understanding customers and delivering unlocked value that AI will deliver. With AI, I think it is important to note that today’s solutions are like the early days of the Internet. We have a long way to go.

What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
Our focus is on VuePlanner. YouTube offers an incredible opportunity to reach video consumers at the moment they are most engaged with the content they care about and through VuePlanner we’re enabling buyers to view YouTube inventory pre-bid, providing better video-level targeting by curating the most contextually relevant video content environments that are suitable for brand advertising.

Through VuePlanner, brands and agencies gain access to a suite of tools that enable them to transparently plan down to the video level, selecting each individual YouTube video URL before the campaign is bought. VuePlanner allows buyers to hand-curate and build contextually relevant YouTube segments by using proprietary data that includes engagement, scale, sentiment and relevancy rankings.

VuePlanner calculates a VueScore placement quality metric for each campaign by processing and segmenting data from hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube; scanning and filtering videos by concept and page sentiment through a partnership with IBM Watson; and a proprietary algorithm that determines content relevancy, user engagement and traffic trends over time.

Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
Analyzing video at a much deeper level using AI. We can do this on a frame-by-frame basis, which takes contextual to a whole new level – beyond meta data and transcription, but to visual cues of a video. We’re demanding the next layer of data from our team and technology because our customers – brands and agencies – will soon do so as well.

In addition, I’d like to mention that any marketer can learn more about their current YouTube campaigns for free by inputting YouTube video IDs or URLs into VuePlanner’s Placement Scan at: https://app.vueplanner.com. With insights from more than 300 million monetizable YouTube videos, the tool provides an analysis of the brand suitability and contextual relevance of a sample of the videos they’ve been running TrueView ads against.

What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
We are at an exciting inflection point. I see tremendous opportunities ahead to deliver better consumer experiences, thus better advertising. That is where we are operating and believe we’re taking a leadership position. Thinking about the consumer first is delivering better products for CMOs and agencies alike.

Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?


Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.

Martech-Cube-Phone-Screenshot-498x1024

John W. Cobb III is the Chief Executive Officer of Giant Media.
Previously, John was the President and COO of FEXY Brands Los Angeles, the CEO of PGOA (Publishing Group of American) Media, the Senior Vice President, Digital for Source Interlink Media, and the Senior Vice President, Group Publisher of the Consumer Automotive and Motorcycle Groups.
An Ithaca College graduate, John now calls Manhattan Beach, CA his home. He’s an avid pilot and an active snow and water skier. He also enjoys golf, travel and technology.

Giant Media is a media and technology company that provides advertisers and their agencies the confidence to plan and buy contextually relevant video campaigns while identifying the environments most suitable for brand advertising.
The company supports clients through a managed services approach to media buying led by VuePlanner, a transparent, insight-driven planning tool for buying advertising on YouTube. Giant Media combines proprietary technology and IBM Watson to read, understand and interpret the content and context of hundreds of millions videos, which helps buyers to get closer to the audiences they want to reach.
For more information please visit our Website

Chief Strategy officer, Ansira Trae Clevenger

Interview with Chief Strategy officer, Ansira – Trae Clevenger

cso ansira

 

“One of the biggest challenges for CMOs is their own organizational silos.”

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (What inspired you to start a MarTech company?)
I started my career 25 years ago in analytics and forecasting. My position has evolved over the years based on the data we collect to execute brand-to-local marketing, and has formed into a strategic role creating relationships with customers. I am currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Ansira, where I lead teams from strategy and analytics to creative.

Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the MarTech market evolving over the next few years?
I do think there is a crazy amount of proliferation in MarTech, and that this will continue to lead to a lot of confusion in the space. Marketers have to know more now, and our company spends a great deal of time consulting and strategizing on what clients use for their marketing needs. Consolidation with cloud providers is more of a promise than a reality today. At Ansira, we are practitioners who use these technologies on behalf of our clients, allowing us credibility as users rather than just consultants. This service will continue to be in demand until marketers become more technologists or have partners that can help them through the MarTech landscape. The other component is that marketers will need to demonstrate effectiveness, so AI solutions will be key to prove that the marketing technology is effective.

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
From a purely technical standpoint, I would say AI. Although the current state of AI is hype, it does have potential that will require more evolution and development. AI today is effective in some single solutions, like chatbots, but that level of intelligence needs to be stitched together. Another thing that you can call a tech trend is the privacy component. That will seriously impact how marketers use data moving forward.

What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
One of the biggest challenges for CMOs is their own organizational silos. Often they don’t have budgets set up that way, or the CMO won’t have access to sales because it is not under their purview. With the rise of MarTech, we have seen the creation of Chief Marketing Tech Officers, this position can address the internal structure that can take advantage of technology.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
A lot of it is going to be surrounding yourself with trusted advisors knowledgeable in the space. These “translators” are really in demand. An agency, like Ansira, can help you plow through the hype to see what is real and best fits your business. The sales guy has the loudest voice, and he may explain things that may not be reality. To prepare, you need to educate yourself by talking with those who understand the space and how it can specifically help your company.

What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer lifecycle?
Ansira’s value prop is brand-to-local marketing, which enables seamless customer experiences for clients that have direct interaction with the customer (like loyalty programs) as well as a local store/franchisee. How we treat a customer across all levels using data we have (know me for me) is seamless from national brand to local store. We fit across the customer lifecycle. By putting customers first, the brand feels like one experience and one voice.

What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
Our take is that because marketing has now become more data-driven, there are more technologies every day. This can lead to confusion on the client side. As an agency, we see RFPs and RFIs that show that clients may not know what they are asking for. They may blend terms and technologies across categories. That’s understandable because it is a chaotic space. We can act as a partner and be an integrator with a technology the client has already paid for, which is tremendously valuable. We also have great partnerships with MarTech platforms, even helping their prospective clients and our prospective clients.

Trae is the Chief Strategy Officer at Ansira where he leads and assists the Analytics and Strategy teams. His strategy team works to develop Ansira's services to effectively solve clients’ business challenges, providing data-driven solutions that enable them to get closer to their customers.

Ansira’s data-driven marketing expertise marries brand objectives with customer need and delivers long-term profitability with transparency and accountability by activating and extending customer relationships through branded experience curation, data driven insight generation, channel partner empowerment, and a blend of proprietary and third party marketing technology platform expertise.
For more information please visit our Website