Interviews

Interview with Senior VP of Product Marketing-LiveIntent, Kerel Cooper

 “The ‘data’ conversation will be the conversation that dominates all martech thinking.”

1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start a martech company)
I am the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at LiveIntent. I lead a team of Product Marketers focused on conveying how to leverage the LiveIntent platform and the power of email through storytelling, among many tactics. My role is a hybrid between Product, Marketing, Sales and Account Management. I focus on working very closely with all of those teams on messaging, client feedback, market research & industry trends. I’ve been at LiveIntent for close to 4 years, previously leading Account Management. Prior to my time at LiveIntent I was at Advance Digital for close to 8 years. There, I led the Ad Operations and Platform strategy. During my time at Advance Digital, LiveIntent was a trusted partner, helping us be the best Publisher we could be. I decided to join LiveIntent and help other Publishers.

2. Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
The “data” conversation will be the conversation that dominates all martech thinking.
GDPR, fake news and the Facebook data scandal will continue to be the catalyst for the average
consumer to become more educated and smarter about what information they share and why
they share it. On the flip side, Marketers will embrace methods that make them more efficient in their tactics.

Marketers will renew focus in trying to utilize and grow the usage of first-party, identity-driven/deterministic data. There will be less focus on 3rd party data (decision companies like Facebook and ourselves have made for our platforms in deprecating their usage) and other data that isn’t trusted.

3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
The number of devices per household will continue to grow. 90% of US households have at least one connected device. Thinking about my own household, 5 years ago we had 3 connected devices. Now between my oldest daughter, wife and I, there are a total of 15 connected devices in our household (4 echoes, 3 Rokus, 3 iPhones, iwatch, 2 laptops, 1 iPad, Xbox). With this proliferation of devices comes an added need to market to a person, and not a device. Logged-in channels like email become more important than ever, and being able to tie probabilistic and deterministic data together to perform true people-based marketing becomes paramount. It’s an interesting and exciting challenge to see how marketers keep up and learn about the complex identity of their audience. he one common connector across all devices is email. The email address continues to be at the forefront of how people go about their daily digital lives, and identify themselves online.

4. What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
CMOs are asked to oversee Marketing and Advertising, and the opportunity to operate at the intersection of the two has come. As exciting as that is, it also presents its challenges.

As a criminal oversimplification, Marketing is commonly understood to be a relationship with a known person (traditionally in email or social media or another logged-in environment where you can be sure of Identity) whereas Advertising is typically understood to be prospecting for the unknown (characterized by channels where Identity has been hard to confirm: like mobile, open web or video).

However, the blessing and the curse for the modern Marketing leader is that it’s now possible to continue a marketing relationship in a channel typically reserved for advertising. In other words, with the power of an Identity Graph, we can now turn the known into the unknown. That’s the good thing.

The challenge, of course, is breaking down the silos to make this possible (a guide to doing so here). In order to bring the beating heart of martech data (email is by far the most important martech data for the convergence) into the AI and other fancy technology leveraged brains of ad-tech, you need a CMO versed in both martech and adtech, and with the emotional intelligence to bring together the two teams and create a language for each to speak to the other.

5. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Before leaving work, I write out three priority items for the following day. This makes it easy to handle the most important items in the morning, and not fall into a cadence of becoming reactive and responding to emails and requests that may have come in overnight. For team meetings, using Trello has been very helpful. My team & I update our shared board throughout the week, so there isn’t a scramble to create an agenda ahead of our meeting.

6. How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
AI is only as good as its inputs. After all, that’s the means and methods by which the Artificial Intelligence grows and learns. Therefore, as a marketing leader, it’s essential that you perform due diligence in making sure the data you use in your machine-learning and AI models is worthwhile and rich. That way, you can communicate to people wherever they are present and paying attention, irrespective of device, channel or platform with relevant material.

But how do you ensure that the data you use is relevant and worthwhile, and tuned to your needs? LiveIntent is able to provide that nourishing meal of data ripe for consumption by AI in the form of a Private Customer Graph for each customer. LiveIntent is able to help its partners connect their web visitors to hashed emails in their database in a privacy-safe way. LiveIntent connects the first party cookies from a brand’s site to a brand’s first-party email subscribers. It’s the combination of marketing data and advertising data that has so eluded those who sought the intersection of marketing and advertising for so long and it’s an augur of things to come. As AI becomes part and parcel of marketing efforts, each brand and publisher needs to use their own data, not a one-size fits all solution. That data needs to span every touchpoint along the customer journey and represent true “people data”, ready to be deployed by AI and machine-learning wherever marketing efforts are made.

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 lifecycle?
LiveIntent is the 4th largest people-based marketing platform (after Amazon, Google and Facebook). LiveIntent transforms email into your superpower. LiveIntent is working with 2,000+ of the world’s largest brands and publishers on every step of the customer journey. Yes, LiveIntent helps publishers maximize the value of their email inventory, transforming this exclusive logged-in email channel owned by the Publisher and not subject to the walled garden policies of Facebook and Google into its own revenue source. But, additionally, for the marketer side, LiveIntent provides everything from acquisition campaigns and retention campaigns to the creation of dynamic segments so that marketers have real-time information on site visitors, audiences vs. a static CRM file. With this insight, they’re always informed on what’s working and how to tweak messaging and their campaign accordingly.

8. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
Getting a handle on how our customers work with our platform (and the ease of the full experience) is very important to us. Over the next few months, we’re excited to share more updates to our reporting functionality and revenue calculators.

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?
From CDPs to DMPs and ESPs, there’s a massive explosion of martech platforms (and acronyms). People are realizing that mar-tech can be leveraged for their needs. LiveIntent is in a unique position because we work with marketers, publishers and brands. LiveIntent doesn’t replace anything in the marketing stack — we just make your existing marketing efforts better. We’re not helping you send more email, we’re helping you achieve an effective 5x open rate, all without sending another email.

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)?

This video is a quick intro to the LiveIntent platform and how we’re changing the ways that brands and publishers think about email.:

 

11. Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It wouldbe 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
My most-used apps are Instagram for photos and keeping up with friends and family, LinkedIn for networking, the Apple Podcast App and Audible for podcasts, and Strava for tracking my cycling.

Kerel is the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at LiveIntent. He lead a team of Product Marketers focused on conveying how to leverage the LiveIntent platform.He had been at LiveIntent for close to 4 years, previously leading Account Management. Prior to LiveIntent he was at Advance Digital for close to 8 years. Kerel likes to play around with various advertising and marketing strategies and hence his role had been a hybrid between Product, Marketing, Sales and Account Management.

: LiveIntent delivers people-based marketing programs that empower brands to be present wherever their most essential customers are paying attention, at every point in the customer journey, irrespective of channel, device, or platform. With the anonymized email address at the center of its platform, LiveIntent and its Identity Graph provides incremental reach to brands, in mobile inventory where brands are struggling to reach their customers beyond the Walled Gardens. LiveIntent is now one of the largest people-based marketing platforms in the world: reaching over 160MM logged-in people across the LiveIntent platform, 170mm across the web, and 100mm in app. LiveIntent was recognized for the past three years as one of NYC's fastest growing companies (by Crain's) and as one of America's Most Promising Companies (Forbes 2015.) LiveIntent is headquartered in NYC, with offices in Austin, Berlin, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the UK, serving as home to 209 people and counting.
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