Luke Judge from Incubeta talks about the significance of customer experience and how AI will attune digital marketing in the near future.
focus on delivering remarkable customer experiences with great quality that creates super-fans of your brand and experience
1. Tell us about your role in Incubeta?
Since becoming CEO of Incubeta UK and US Group, we have expanded the Incubeta brand to an additional 12 offices in 9 markets, introduced new advanced marketing solutions, and acquired the Google-certified advertising creative specialists, Joystick Interactive.
I originally became a part of what is now Incubeta in 2008 as International Business Development Manager, and at that time it was called Net Media Planet (now NMPi). During my first 4 years at the company, I progressed into the role of International Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for scaling and accelerating the business locally and globally. I then took a year off to travel and volunteer overseas before returning as Managing Director of NMPi. I became CEO of Incubeta UK and US in 2018, which then comprised the award-winning media agency NMPi, and the programmatic ad tech consultancy, DQ&A.
2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I’ve always been passionate about digital marketing, customer experience and innovation, ensuring these remain at the core of my work. I started in the marketing division at HQ of BMW & Mini UK, before setting up my own digital photography business with an ecommerce delivery system. After moving to London, I joined the digital marketing (“new media” at the time) team at PFJ. Following this, I joined Net Media Planet (NMPi) as International Business Development Manager, and continued onwards in digital marketing.
3. How do you think technology is upgrading the Marketing Sector?
We see a constant progression of technology in the sector, primarily towards the integration, automation and individualisation of marketing communications. Machine learning is now having a significant impact on delivering marketing excellence at scale, whilst also becoming more accessible to businesses and people with lower budget and coding abilities.
Low-code development platforms in marketing are enabling the faster application of technology into the sector, speeding up test and learn approaches by being available to users of lower level technical capability, and reducing bottle-necks and delays. For example, the connectivity between REST APIs using pre-configured connectors, and building drag and drop flow processes to automate otherwise manual or time-consuming processes, and integrating vast quantities of data stored and processed in cloud environments, is enabling automated campaign decision making and deployment.
4. How has a customer centric approach helped marketing campaigns?
Being customer centric has always helped marketing campaigns. Carefully considering the characteristics of your target customers, their needs, wants and desires, and crafting a message that resonates with them is at the core of excellent marketing.
So it stands to reason that marketing campaigns (should) have always been customer centric, and the question is really just one of scalability and granularity.
At times, unfortunately, customer centricity has been taken too literally and too far, and as a result marketing may have scared customers off with overtly direct and individualised messaging. It’s vital that brand and performance co-exist, and that needs advertisers to communicate with their audiences in a carefully considered, brand enhancing, and highly-relevant way, without being intrusive
5. How does Incubeta define the Google Marketing Platform?
Google Marketing Platform (GMP) is a leading marketing technology solution for managing and measuring advanced digital marketing campaigns, comprising components such as Display & Video 360 (DV360), Search Ads 360 (SA360), Campaign Manager (CM) and Google Analytics 360 (GA360), amongst notable others.
GMP enables brands and their agency partners to develop advanced and dynamic digital marketing strategies, bringing in automation and advanced reporting in a data compliant and safe way, and layering on the creative component, allowing them to thrive in the evolving and increasingly competitive digital economy.
Incubeta is a Global Google Marketing Platform (GMP) Sales Partner, achieved only by demonstrating extensive cross-product competency in multiple markets and regions globally. Incubeta achieved this Global Partner status based on a long history of collaboration with Google, as well as undergoing rigorous vetting at company and individual expert level, to meet Google’s high standards.
Incubeta develops proprietary technology that compliments and enhances the Google Marketing Platform, along with other 3rd party platforms. Incubeta’s Seamless Suite, including Seamless Search and Seamless Creative, are examples of this technology value-add strategy by the company.
6. Can you explain how the platform empowers marketers in delivering a better customer experience?
Incubeta unifies three market-leading specialists across Media,Technology, and Creative, connected by data and measurement. By seamlessly integrating these specialisms and rethinking the rules of marketing, Incubeta puts the ownership and control of the end-to-end customer experience into the hands of the marketer, locally and globally. There is a huge focus on innovation, efficiency, performance, and quality at all times and without compromise, as well as increasing the agility to adapt to our clients’ needs in these volatile times.
Alongside DQ&A and NMPi, Joystick is able to provide clients with insights about the performance of creative assets, by providing results in real time, and allowing clients to make dynamic adjustments that deliver the best possible customer experience and campaign results.
7. What features of your marketing platform differentiates it in the market?
What makes our approach to partnering with the Google Marketing Platform unique is the high level of expertise that enables advanced integration across media and creative fulfilment. This allows marketers to achieve data-driven dynamic creative solutions at scale and speed, delivered through highly optimized paid media campaigns. Incubeta’s proprietary Seamless technology further augments Google Marketing Platform’s functionality, providing clients with a unique dynamic marketing proposition that gets even more power out of enterprise solutions.
8. What advice would like to give to Start-Ups?
focus on delivering remarkable customer experiences with great quality that creates super-fans of your brand and experience.
Plan your maturity for the years ahead, and build your framework with that in mind; be very aware of the technology and systems that you are implementing, and ensure that you own the data and that it’s transferrable to other systems in the future to avoid getting locked in to any outdated technologies or ways of working.
Secondly, ensure you review and optimize the speed and accessibility of your website, ensuring that you’re optimizing to best practice standards and finding the marginal gains in page load time.
It is also vital to optimize your campaigns to margin and aim for scalable profitability by ensuring that all costs of sale are taken into account, including costs such as payment processing, fulfilment, and the cost of returns and refunds.
9. What work related hack do you follow to enjoy maximum productivity?
Keyboard shortcuts in Gmail are an under-used hack, and Google Cloud Search is a simple and yet very powerful tool. Tabs-Outliner enables hundreds of open tabs to be beautifully organised and managed, being able to search across all tabs to instantly locate a frequently used document, and if you lose your tabs you can fire them all back up again in an instant.
10. How do you prepare for an AI-Centric world?
An AI-Centric world is already here; the key is to embrace it quickly. You need to learn what works and what doesn’t work, what’s comfortable and uncomfortable, what’s safe and what’s not, and set your rules and boundaries. Ensure that you have a keen eye on the security of data that you’re working with in AI powered systems.
11. What are the major developments you are planning soon?
In September, we launched search management platform Seamless Search. This brand new search optimization software is the first of its kind, enabling marketers to manage paid and organic search optimisation holistically. The system is entirely cloud based, and enables advertisers to identify their true organic coverage and competitor activity, and adjust their campaigns automatically in order to reduce the risk of unnecessary bid spend.
A further development we are focussing on is building a truly cloud based business in all senses, as cloud computing enables us to process data at scale and speed. We already interact via GSuite, and comms programmes such as Slack and Podio. We want to continue using only cloud-based working processes and systems, cloud-based technology for our clients, and improved marketing effectiveness, and even cloud based employees in that we plan to carry on remote working.
12. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
We support each other, and it works brilliantly. The team are the experts, the operational muscle, the deep thinkers, and the team managers. Their level of expertise and bias to action is exceptional. I simply support them where required and ensure that they have the tools, energy, encouragement and appreciation to do their best work, to help their teams do their best work in turn, so that collectively we all move in the same direction towards a clear and agreed picture of success.
13. What movie inspires you the most?
The first movie that comes to mind is a little known movie called “Pay it forward”, in which a young student embarks on a school project to help others, with the notion of the butterfly effect that doing good creates.
14. 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?
15. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?For work, Slack and LinkedIn are my go-to. They’re how I keep connected to my team and others in the industry, reach out to new people or discuss and share information from Incubeta or the wider industry. The Financial Times keeps me informed of broader news stories, and they usually have an interesting angle on current affairs.
I’ve always been a big fan of Airbnb for booking travel accommodation, but during lockdown they launched a fantastic selection of online experiences. It helped me enormously during lockdown to transport my mind elsewhere; the experiences ranged from virtual walking tours, dance and music lessons, history classes to cooking courses and tarot card readings, all led by experienced and highly rated hosts.
For my personal life, Rover takes care of my dog-sitting needs, and as I live in central London I’m a big fan of zipcar if I want to hire a car for the day.