Interviews

Martech Interview with VP of Digital Marketing Strategy, ChannelAdvisor – Link Walls

Link Walls from ChannelAdvisor reveals the significance of data in the e-commerce industry & how their Martech solution empowers e-commerce businesses

 

“It is important to understand the latest technology when it comes to AI or anything else, but ultimately, you have to make sure it solves a real business problem”

1. Tell us about your role in ChannelAdvisor?
Essentially, I get to come to work each day and help our customers solve problems. As a strategic consultant to brands and retailers across the spectrum, I am responsible for ChannelAdvisor’s Digital Marketing Strategy. The best part of my job involves working one-on-one with clients, helping them with the strategy and solutions needed to break through the noise and successfully advertise their products online in what has become a very crowded e-commerce landscape.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I have always been fascinated by data and analytics. I can remember as a kid sorting my baseball cards by different attributes and poring over the stats on the back of each. At the same time, I have always been interested in how businesses work – which ones succeed, which ones don’t and why. It’s probably why I find e-commerce so interesting – the landscape is changing so rapidly that it forces all of us to bring our best. For me, digital advertising is the perfect intersection of these two – a data-driven field that is critical to business success.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing Sector?
Technology has enabled us to get significantly smarter as marketers. The amount of data we have on every campaign is pretty mind-blowing and enables us to do a much better job of crafting relevant advertising campaigns that minimize waste This is all happening at a time where e-commerce is more important than ever and a bigger part of consumer’s daily spending habits than ever before.

4. How has data-driven approach empowered the e-commerce Industry?

E-commerce runs on data – everything from what ad you are served as a consumer to what delivery promise is made to the consumer – it all starts with data.

The use of data has allowed the industry to evolve into a place where things like a/b testing are commonplace and drive much of the e-commerce experience that consumers see. Recently, we’ve seen it in other areas with many retailers adding new options such as curbside pickup as they see the impact on conversion rates if they offer these.

5. Can you explain how your digital marketing solution helps your e-commerce clients?
Our digital marketing solution enables brands and retailers to successfully advertise all of their products in a profitable way that’s tied to their goals across many channels. We take our time to learn each client’s unique set of needs and challenges. Our team considers those nuances along with industry trends to help develop a strategy, real solutions to help power revenue growth, increase customer acquisition, and help improve return on ad spend. Put simply, our digital marketing team acts as an extension of our clients’ teams and provides them with additional expertise and technology to drive results.

6. What features of your Brand Analytics Solution differentiates it in the market?
We’re very excited about the recent addition of ChannelAdvisor Brand Analytics to our platform. It’s really a step above the rest — a dynamic, results-driven solution that can help define and improve a brand’s position on the market, help inform strategic business decisions, and more importantly, help operational teams daily to improve the uniteconomics of their businesses. What’s more, ChannelAdvisor provides actionable data. For instance, other providers offer daily data updates while Brand Analytics refreshes the data every four hours, and we can go down to one hour upon request, which is significant because we can help unlock a lot of business use cases such as finding out where price drops came from. Also, it’s worth noting that ChannelAdvisor has a great UI and extensive retailer coverage with the option to add new ones. With Brand Analytics, a brand can use ChannelAdvisor to put more control in the hands of their regional sales and marketing teams worldwide and not just an analytics team at their headquarters.

7. We recently covered the news about the launch of Shoppable Media, can you elaborate on it for our audience?
Shoppable Media is a one-stop-shop option for brands that are ready to embrace a digital transformation. Nowadays, there are a plethora of paths — and not all of them are frictionless — to purchase a product so guiding an online shopper from an advertisement to a place where they can buy is a potential game-changer for a brand. ChannelAdvisor’s Shoppable Media combines the power of Where to Buy Online, Where to Buy Local, Dynamic Shopping Links, and Buy Now Interstitial, a new dynamic linking feature. Through dynamic shopping links, which are automated and take the consumer directly to a product page or cart on the brand or retail site, a brand can offer purchase- ready consumers more options. Plus, we can also add an interstitial into the ad campaign that lists the retailers where the product is available. It’s a pretty exciting enhancement for brands that are ready for the next level.

8. What sales or marketing automation technologies do your marketing teams use?
Our product and engineering teams are constantly adding innovations to the ChannelAdvisor platform.A recent example is around Keyword Automation for both Amazon and Google advertising. Our platform evaluates search query data and automatically adds the best performing terms into our campaigns. The result is an advertising campaign that is dynamic, data driven and reflects the current retail landscape for each brand and retailer we work with.

9. What advice would you like to give to the Start Ups?
The best ideas come from your customers (or potential customers). It’s important to listen to their problems and find areas to innovate real solutions. Too often, companies get locked into an idea early on that just falls flat with the market. So it’s essential to listen to as many potential customers as you can.

10. What work-related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
I recommend keyboard shortcuts in G-Mail, which are a great time-saver. I can’t imagine managing my inbox without those.

11. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world as a Martech leader?

It is important to understand the latest technology when it comes to AI or anything else, but ultimately, you have to make sure it solves a real business problem.

We spend a lot of time at ChannelAdvisor thinking about how we can help make our clients more successful and looking for technology to help solve their business challenges. It can be easy to get caught up in the hype of any new tech and not realize that if it doesn’t move your business forward, it isn’t worth the effort.

12. What movie inspires you the most?
“Moneyball” definitely ranks high on my movie list. I just love the story of how Billy Beane was able to drive performance at a very high level using data and analytics in a way that, at the time, hadn’t been done before. Now, of course, it is the standard but, at the time, it was revolutionary.

13. We have heard that you have a very joyful work culture, so can you share with us some of the fun pictures of your workplace?
We’re a creative and hardworking team of people who know how to have a bit of fun. Recently, ChannelAdvisor celebrated Founder’s Day, and it was the perfect opportunity to recognize how far we’ve come since 2001. Like e-commerce, we’re continually evolving, but one thing remains constant: Halloween. Halloween is a pretty big deal at ChannelAdvisor and like most things in 2020, we had to evolve our approach since we are all working from home. From Zoom-themed pumpkin carvings to showing up to meetings in costume, we made sure to have a bit of fun with it.

14. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
You would find a lot of the usual suspects – news apps to keep me informed, podcast apps, social media, etc. The area of my phone that’s collecting dust these days is where I store all of my travel apps. Unfortunately, they’re not getting much use these days.

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Link is responsible for ChannelAdvisor’s Digital Marketing Strategy, serving as a strategic consultant to leading brands and retailers, helping them with the strategy and solutions needed to successfully advertise their products online.
Link is a digital marketing and e-commerce thought leader who often speaks at industry events and regularly contributes to ChannelAdvisor’s blog. Prior to joining ChannelAdvisor in 2005, he managed online marketing for Art.com, an online retailer. Previous to Art.com, Link worked as a management consultant helping companies in finance, strategy, and organizational design.


ChannelAdvisor is a leading e-commerce cloud platform whose mission is to connect and optimize the world’s commerce. For nearly two decades, ChannelAdvisor has helped brands and retailers worldwide improve their online performance by expanding sales channels, connecting with consumers around the world, optimizing their operations for peak performance, and providing actionable analytics to improve competitiveness. Thousands of customers depend on ChannelAdvisor to securely power their sales and optimize fulfillment on channels such as Amazon, eBay, Google, Facebook, Walmart, and hundreds more.
www.channeladvisor.com/

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