Martech Interview with Tom Treanor, CMO at Treasure Data

Tom Treanor, CMO at Treasure Data talks about how CDPs are changing customer experiences in a digitally disrupted world and impacting the martech arena.

Each company blends art and science for its own marketing strategy – creativity is what helps companies stand out, in addition to having the best data and insights possible.

1. Being the CMO at Treasure Data, could you tell us more about the marketing initiatives you’ve undertaken there?
Sure. At Treasure Data, we’re very focused on growing awareness of the CDP market as well as educating people about it. Some people are still confused about how the different technologies compare: CDP vs. DMP vs. CRM, for example. To help address this industry education topic, we’re doing several things. First, we introduced the CDP Academy, as well as “Learn” pages on key topics like: “What is a CDP?” And, “What is the difference between a CDP and DMP?” Then, we went a step further and introduced, a comprehensive industry site focused on demystifying the customer data platform. We have deep-dive pieces, contributed articles, industry statistics and resources, and our first study (on Consumers and AI). In addition, we’ll be rolling out Customer Data Perspectives, a CDP-themed video podcast.

We also created an event called Digital Shift, in partnership with Adweek. This event is designed to help companies think about how they can be adjusting their strategies for the changing climate we all operate in – from their corporate strategy to their tech stack, to what business models they implement. We ran this in the Fall of 2021 and it will be returning in October 2022. The three-day virtual event covered a lot of ground related to digital transformation, customer data management, privacy and security, and customer experience. It featured speakers from companies like McKinsey, Delta Airlines, Warner Bros, ABInBev, TrueCar, Campbell’s, Marriott International, and many more! The inaugural event was a huge success, so we’re looking forward to the next one this fall.

2. How does a CDP help with mapping the customer journey?
What we hear from our customers is that after they implemented the Treasure Data CDP, they had a full view of their prospect’s journey for the first time! They didn’t know that people were researching them much earlier than their previous data showed. They didn’t understand the conversion points or triggers as well, and they didn’t understand the content they engaged with to this degree. A CDP becomes the one source of truth for the customer journey. We unify the data from all of the customer-facing touchpoints into one central customer data foundation. From there, it becomes easy to understand the customers and their journeys – both individually and at scale.

3. With marketing becoming more tech-oriented each passing year, what do you believe is the future of MarTech?
MarTech will continue to be a huge and evolving business – and people don’t want to use just any tool. We find that the leading companies are building best-of-breed stacks versus depending exclusively on the offerings of a particular suite. Having a CDP as the glue to connect the customer data across those tools (almost like a customer data central nervous system) integrates the stack much better than point-to-point connections. The customer data single source of truth makes each part of the stack even better than without access to this data.
Second, is that stacks are becoming more intertwined. You have SalesTech, customer support platforms, financial platforms, and product, and inventory management tech. Leading companies are being more considerate in how the entire tech stack fits together and interconnects. And again, that underlying customer data foundation provided by a CDP provides access to much richer data, as well as to activations across the customer journey (even in product or in customer support, for example). Think beyond just the MarTech stack into the entire company tech stack.

4. How is customer data foundational to lifecycle marketing?
For lifecycle marketing, customer data is essential. CDPs are often implemented to improve acquisition, but a lot of their value lies with ongoing customer satisfaction, retention, upsell and cross-sell. A CDP can also drive a much more satisfying customer experience – both for new customers and existing customers. One example is landing on a website. If you’re an existing customer, you won’t get pitched a “new customer” offer. Instead, you can get value-added information about the product you own – e.g. new features or training available. In addition, having great customer data helps manage communication for upcoming renewals, usage-based messages (e.g. training or adoption-related), or things like cross-sells to products that are a good fit based on existing products purchased and usage.

5. How can marketers leverage AI to deliver a hyper-personalized experience?
Marketers can leverage AI in multiple ways to drive a hyper-personalized experience. One is that marketers can use predictive capabilities on top of robust and complete customer data to understand the likelihood to buy, and which products or services. This can help them focus on the right prospects as well as what messaging to deliver. The messaging can be very personalized, based on interests, as well as the relationship with the company (e.g. past purchases, preferences, or behavior). In addition, AI can help generate product or service recommendations, which can be delivered via marketing channels (email, messaging, in-app, personalized web experiences) or via sales or customer support channels. In addition, AI can help determine which channels and times are preferred by the customer for communication, making it a better experience.

6. CDPs have data unification functionality. What is its impact on marketing?
Treasure Data’s CDP has identity resolution built-in, which is not always the case with every CDP. Some CDPs require an external ID resolution service to do profile unification. This capability has a major impact on marketers. First, by unifying disparate profiles into one, that allows marketers to finally see the single customer view and that allows the full customer journey to be understood (and it’s usually much longer and richer than previously known). Second, ID Unification reduces the number of profiles used in marketing campaigns, reducing costs. Third, having a single source of truth for MarTech, SalesTech, and customer support systems allows each system to be smarter, and to have better segmentation and information to deliver a better, more personalized experience across channels.

7. What is most satisfying about leading a marketing team in the digital age, and what are the biggest challenges?
I’ll start with the challenges. As a marketer, the landscape is constantly changing. When the pandemic hit, we had to shift overnight to all-online marketing strategies (all live events were canceled). Now, we are mixing in virtual and live events and have to make tough decisions about our own events. In addition, there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter marketing strategy.

Each company blends art and science for its own marketing strategy – creativity is what helps companies stand out, in addition to having the best data and insights possible.

What’s most satisfying? It’s when your marketing strategy pays off and delivers great results – when people respond positively and the team is happy!

8. How important is it from a demand gen standpoint to find B2B communities with aligned interests?
It’s always important to find great communities with aligned interests. I find that the engagement in communities by any marketer helps grow the brand’s reach, but it also helps the marketer learn from their peers. A healthy balance of tactics across thought leadership, lead gen, and community involvement is best.

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Tom Treanor is the CMO of Enterprise CDP leader Treasure Data. He focuses on marketing, martech, CDPs, and digital marketing. He has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. With a unique blend of business experience, technical skills, and creativity, he has been able to make a meaningful impact on many companies. Follow him on Twitter @RtMixMktg.

Arm Treasure Data is a global leader in Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and enterprise data management. Providing the ability to aggregate and translate massive volumes of scattered and siloed data.

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