Interview with VP, Head of Business Development, GeistM – Rob Gregg



“AI is only as good as the programmers who built it, and we’re fortunate enough to have some of the most brilliant minds developing our tech.”

1. Tell us about your role at GeistM and how you got here?
I’m GeistM’s Vice President & Head of Business Development. I’ve worked on all sides of the brand world from agencies, management companies, consulting firms, and brand direct, and the biggest challenge I saw was a lack of data transparency and clear, measurable performance.  When I joined GeistM a consultant originally, I saw how smart and transparent their model was, everything clicked, and I made the decision to come on board full time.

2. There is always so much buzz surrounding the trends of content marketing which are doing rounds , would you like to clear some air on what is the reality and what are the myths which surrounds content marketing?
All marketing is technically content marketing. Written, photo, video, audio, etc. it’s all content.  They key is in how you string together the message and use data to measure its performance.  Dying are the days and companies who carve out black hole media spend without a tie back to CPA, CPL, etc. and say, “trust us, the content and impressions are good.” Content without a thoughtful approach to powering and refining its course is like letting a balloon fly in the wind and hoping it hits a bulls-eye in the sky miles away.  Now that every dollar spent can be tracked, measured and backed into performance, it’s less of a shotgun and more of a sniper approach, narrowing in on specific targets, channels, strategies and creatives that lead to the highest volume of profitable performance. GeistM has pioneered a laser focused, data driven approach to testing, optimizing and scaling on a fully transparent basis, so once we hit the gas, we quickly become the most powerful performance engine in our partner’s war chest.

3. How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
We’ve gotten smarter and advanced the technology to the point our testing and optimizations get faster every day. Over the past three years we’ve experienced 1,157% Revenue Growth, making us the #1 Fastest Growing NY Performance MarTech platform on the 2018 Inc 500 Fastest Growing Companies list, so it’s exciting to be at the forefront shaping the evolution of our industry.  Looking to the future we’ll continue the trend towards a higher level of automation and faster speed to optimization and scale.

4. Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and AI centric solution handling, where do you see GeistM fitting in the ecosystem? Can you explain it to us with an exciting video maybe?
AI is only as good as the programmers who built it, and we’re fortunate enough to have some of the most brilliant minds developing our tech. Our CTO created the formative transaction management code base for the software-driven transformation of Wall Street, and our Head of Data Science & Engineering designed and implemented the largest funds transfer network and securities settlement systems for JP Morgan Chase, author of ISO Object Management Group standards, Associate Professor at MIT and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and winner of awards form Union bank of Switzerland, Citibank, IBM, and Cedars Sinai. To oversimplify a complex system, the key is building technology that can attribute the right data points to the right information and process it in the right way to produce the desired outcome.  In our case, creating real time market insights to craft and deliver the right message at the right time to the right audience to engage with our partner’s products and services

5. How do you differentiate GeistM from the competition?
Data transparency. We want our partners to succeed across all marketing channels, not just ours, so we provide real-time insights with an incredible level of granularity they leverage to better inform their overall company strategies.  We’ve also built a self-contained end-to-end ecosystem and preferred partner network, so there are no elements from top of the funnel all the way down to conversion we don’t directly influence and control.

6. What changes are you majorly concentrating on to enhance and plug-in a more actionable customer interaction and communication model?
What worked today won’t necessarily work tomorrow. As platforms and networks become popular, they become less efficient in terms of spend to reach key consumers, so our ABT (Always Be Testing) approach helps us continually unlock new pockets of efficiency and scale as wee actively test into new channels and tools before they become crowded.  In terms of communication itself, it’s all about authenticity, so we rigorously study and test new communication styles and formats to match the authentic format of the outlets we distribute on.

7. What tools would recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
Invest in fully data transparent, end-to-end channels. An effective strategy tells a consistent message end to end, so not only do you want to control the flow, it’s important to look at mid-funnel metrics to diagnose any clogs in the pipe.

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?
Attribution analytics. When running a multi-channel digital strategy, its important to understand what sources build intent, awareness, and conversion to properly allocate spend on channels that either directly drive profitability or provide a lift on other channels.

9. Do you AI as an pivotal game changer in today’s Martech arena? How do you think AI will impact martech operations in the future?
AI isn’t self-sufficient yet in the context of Martech, but with advancement it will be an incredibly powerful tool to provide richer and faster insights to connecting consumers with the brands that fit their lifestyle.

10. Which startups in the martech and adtech industries are you keenly following?
Our own

11. Elaborate on your best digital transformation content marketing campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
There’s an art and science to what we do, but because we’re measured on a performance benchmarked basis, by definition every campaign we have running is performing at or beneath target goal. Our model is focused on success, so at a high level, we consider individual campaigns that ramp up to 6-7 figures in spend per month profitably a success.  We measure performance end-to-end down to the penny from cost per click to click out rate, time on page, click through rate, landing page conversion rate, fully loaded cost per lead/acquisition, and lifetime value.

12. Tell us what is the most exciting aspect of working with GeistM. Can you share with us some fun pictures of your one-in-a -league work environment?
Constant innovation that arises from all levels of the company. We encourage everyone from entry level to senior management to test new ideas, concepts and strategies, and as a result learn new things as a company every day that we can apply to our overall strategy.

13. What book are you currently reading?
I’m writing one actually as a guide to help professionals and businesses get unstuck from whatever stage in growth they’re in and reach their full potential.

14. One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
Always stay curious.

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Rob heads Business Development for the 2018 Crain’s Fast 50 and Inc. 500 #1 Fastest Growing MarTech Platform in NY, scaling customer acquisition on a performance benchmarked basis for 60+ hyper-growth start-ups, Fortune 100 Companies, and $1Billion+ valuation businesses. He acts as a conduit for creative disruption, finding holes in industries and developing / implementing revolutionary strategies to expand market penetration, increase efficiencies & scale new revenue streams. Rob is an industry veteran himself in leadership roles across the top Global Talent Agencies, Entertainment Companies, International Advertising / Brand Licensing Firms, and MarTech Platforms.

GeistM leverages proprietary technology and strategic integrations with key players in content creation, distribution, real-time analytics, and social sharing to drive profitable customer acquisition at scale.They offer network optimization, publisher optimization, headline optimization, content creation, content enhancement, A/B and multivariate testing, landing page optimization, network scaling and social scaling to maximize profitable customer conversion and efficiency of spend.
For more information please visit our Website.

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