Interviews

“I see an AI-centric world full of opportunities, more than challenges”

Jacob Shama

Jacob Shama

CEO and Co-Founder at Mintigo

Startups must identify their highest priority when it comes to marketing their products and services, and craft their strategy and marketing platform integration accordingly.

On Marketing Technology


MTS:
What inspired you to co-found Mintigo and how did you get here?

Wanamaker said that half the money he spends on advertising is wasted and the trouble is that he doesn’t know which half. As someone with a science background, it always amazed me and I thought that I can use my skills in order to solve that. That’s what Mintigo is all about.  Mintigo leverages big data not only to find signals about customers and helps marketers spend money on what works, but also recommends the right actions to eventually convert them into sales.

MTS: How do you see the predictive marketing platform segment evolving over the next few years?

As people, organizations, and processes become increasingly digital, more data will continuously be produced. Data quantity is essential for companies, but what is more important is data quality. This explains why 80 percent of Global CEOs say data mining and analysis is strategically important to their organization, according to a PwC survey.

The growing relevance of and demand for predictive marketing will be driven by the need for a platform that can build accurate insights out of the large amount of customer data we have today—and turning these insights into actions. In fact, better analysis of insights can improve marketing return on investment by 10 to 20 percent and drive average profit growth of 14 percent, according to McKinsey.

Moreover, as customers are endlessly exposed to massive information from several sources, it is important for companies to distinguish themselves not only from competitors, but also from the general noise that our digital world has. By understanding customer needs in order to engage and convert them from potential leads to active customers, predictive marketing platform will be instrumental in enhancing overall customer experience.

Creating a customer-centric approach that anticipates customer needs and determines how to best deliver them by turning data insights into actions—at a faster pace and in real-time with AI technology—will drive the overall growth of the predictive marketing platform segment.

MTS: Tell us a bit about Mintigo’s Predictive Sales Coach?

Many identified AI as one of the emerging technologies that has the potential to disrupt marketing. In the same way, it is believed that AI will become integral to every competitive sales process in the coming years.

Already being leveraged in Mintigo, Predictive Sales Coach uses AI and predictive analytics to provide actionable sales intelligence such as predictive insights, purchase intent, and sales message guides to CRM systems. Essentially, the platform helps sellers engage the right prospects with the right message, at the right time. It is Mintigo’s contribution to marketing and sales alignment which has a lot of opportunities that can contribute to growth and revenue.

MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?

We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg today but AI really has a lot of potential to impact marketing. The technology’s ability to understand, learn, and then act based on the information provided has numerous amount of use cases and room for growth. In fact, I agree that AI will be a business advantage of the future, along with 72 percent of business executives surveyed by PwC. Due to its general but dynamic nature, AI will definitely be a key factor not only in marketing but also in the growth of the whole organization in the long run.

MTS: What are challenges for startups while integrating a marketing platform in 2017?

The number one challenge, I believe, is choosing a marketing platform first and foremost. Back in 2011, there were only 150 marketing technology platforms. This year, there are almost 5,000 companies in the space. Choosing the right marketing platform is one of the most important decisions for startups as it can make or break the organization’s path to growth.

Startups, like customers, are surrounded by a lot of information about how things should be done. Learning how to tune out the noise, startups must identify their highest priority when it comes to marketing their products and services, and craft their strategy and marketing platform integration accordingly. Having specific goals in mind as well considering competition and limited budget, startups can choose the right marketing platform that not only best suit their needs, but can also guide them through the integration process.

MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?

Our marketing stack can be divided depending on how it is used across our whole marketing strategy. For awareness, we highly invest in contents, social media and PR activities such as blog posts and webinars. All data from those campaigns go into our CRM which is Salesforce. It is then combined with other data to nurture leads into MQLs Marketo. Throughout this process, we analyze data with our algorithms to create better campaign and predictively score our leads. Our Sales team also works with Sales Coach to have better conversations with prospects.

MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

Technology is a constant driver of change. Doing business in today’s fast-paced, digitally-driven world, it is imperative for organizations and business leaders to keep updated on latest trends and developments, and be comfortable with change. It is expected that AI will further enhance or disrupt current business models and practices, so being proactive in staying competitive and relevant has become more vital.

As a business leader, I see an AI-centric world full of opportunities, more than challenges. It is easy to rely on AI and predictive analytics, but the greatest benefit comes when people within the organization can make smarter and data-driven decisions with the help of these technologies, rather than be replaced. In an AI-centric world, success lies in getting value from integrating human and computer intelligence.

This is How I Work

MTS: One word that best describes how you work.

Perseverance.

MTS: What apps/software/tools you love using for your daily life?

I use Evernote for notetaking in instances when I don’t have pen and paper. I like its indexing feature which makes it easier for me to search and access my notes on any device that I’m using. For work, I use Slack and Google Drive for team communication and collaboration.

MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

Planning and setting goals. I always prepare, the night before, all the things I should do the next day according to level of difficulty. Then I start off doing the harder tasks as I like the feeling that as the day ends, other things on my list are relatively easier ones to finish.

MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read/watch, and how do you consume information?)

I’m currently reading Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer. It’s a very informative book that talks about how cultural differences are the primary motivations behind many behaviors. As we continuously work in a global context, I believe being culturally aware of your potential partners and current employees can foster more success through better understanding and overall harmonious work relationship. As for shows, I’m presently hooked on House of Cards, and The Big Bang Theory for some laughs. In addition, I read newspapers and Quora, and watch TED Talks for inspiration.

MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

While Mintigo was in its early stage, a friend told me to not overthink but to just listen. As a business leader, it is easy to overcomplicate things with information because. But one thing I believe that makes businesses thrive is their ability to actually listen to their market, customers, competition, and people. Combining this willingness to listen with evidence-based information is a well-tested recipe for success that Mintigo has done and will continue doing.

MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I believe I have this constant drive to provide value to organizations and people. I am passionate about my work and see it as an opportunity not only for organizational growth but also for personal development both for me and my team. Having this mindset, I see Mintigo as a cumulative and tangible effort of the ideas shared within the organization which success wouldn’t be possible without the determination and perseverance of everyone involved.

MTS: Thank you Jacob! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Leader, entrepreneurial, with 20 years of experience in Big Data and Predictive Analysis, with 10 years of experience in executive-level management.

CEO, Co-Founder @Mintigo – A predictive marketing platform that help marketers find more customers faster. With Sequoia Capital backing and more than 100 industry-leading customers, Mintigo is leading the new era of Data-driven Marketing.

Holds DSc (Doctor of Sciences) in Communication.

Prior to Mintigo was VP Products and VP Operations at modu mobile, the modular mobile handset company.

Received his Doctoral D.Sc. degree from George Washington University and both his M.Sc. and B.Sc. with honors from Tel-Aviv University.

Specialties: Executive Management, Big Data analytic, Predictive Marketing, Information Technology.

Mintigo
Mintigo delivers intelligent customer engagement powered by predictive analytics and AI for enterprise marketing and sales. Mintigo’s predictive marketing and sales platform powered by AI helps enterprise marketing and sales teams use data and intelligence to find buyers faster. Enterprise companies including Oracle, Getty Images, Red Hat, Insight, CA, Workfront, Equinix, SolarWinds, Time Warner Cable and Neustar work with Mintigo to transform their marketing automation and sales processes. To learn more, please visit www.mintigo.com.

 

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About the MarTech Interview Series

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.
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