On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role at Get Smart Content and how you got here? (what inspired you to be a part of a technology innovation company)
I lead the team as CEO. The team and I have been together for a number of years and have always worked in marketing analytics and content management. About five years ago, we saw the opportunity to directionally change the way we use behavioral data – to move it from looking at the past to reacting in real time and even predicting the future.
MTS: Given the changing dynamic of engagement with online customers, how do you see the automation and analytics market evolving?
The building of the infrastructure for reaching people online is clear, so I think the biggest evolution will be in using data to ensure that the quality and relevancy of content increases. Engagement is much deeper than simply reaching people. It is as much about quality, relevant content as it is targeting and I think data feedback can be very helpful here. I was just talking with Christoph Becker, CEO at Gyro in New York and their mission to deliver “humanly relevant ideas” is very inspiring when thinking about online engagement. We should strive to create marketing that is a relevant and welcome experience.
MTS: How would audience attention and conversion analytics influence their omnichannel experience, especially over social platforms?
Conversion analytics tend to drive a more linear experience than social signals but I think it’s logical that they’ll converge into a data feed about what you would like to see right here and now.
MTS: How should marketers plan adoption of personalization for account-based marketing?
Start with the account but focus on the people. In the end, ABM is all about the individual decision makers and influencers that make up the buying center and buying committee. It is easy to lose that and I would encourage marketers to look at the work being done at Sirius Decisions by analysts like Maris Kopec and Ross Graber on audience centricity. It is the next step for account-based marketing.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make their media decisions work?
Making sure they optimize the traffic they’re paying for. LinkedIn will send you great on-target traffic but the biggest challenge we see for the CMO is making sure their teams are following a process to optimize the engagement and conversion of that traffic. That’s on the CMO and if you want more detail on this perspective I think Bill Gurley explains this very well.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
I think the integration of data where you create insights and add actionability is a great place to be because there are so many disconnected data sources. I think the team at data.world is doing a great job there, so much so that I invested.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
We designed an account-based marketing campaign to target our ICP (ideal customer profile) accounts centered around the notion that humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish, and personalization can help. The campaign included sales templates, a media surge around key accounts, a dedicated landing campaign page, account-based personalization, along with a direct mail package that included goldfish crackers, a goldfish stuffed animal, and a hand-written note for each sales rep. The campaign received a 62% response rate to targeted accounts with a 38% target to open ratio.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
The first step is to make sure you can tell the difference between AI and BS. Even Google will tell you that what they’re doing is really Machine Learning, a subset of AI, so how are all these other companies claiming to have developed AI? It’s the latter.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
My team’s minds.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
From Eternity to Here by Sean Carroll
The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach
Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson
I alternate between an actual book and Audible.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be true to yourself.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Listening carefully when people are sharing their time and thoughts with you.
MTS: Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Mike Gamson. He has insight.
MTS: Thank you Jim! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Jim serves as the CEO of Get Smart Content, a SaaS analytics and personalization platform that enables marketers to better understand and engage their target audiences at scale.
Get Smart Content customers range from the largest B2B corporations in the world such as IBM, GE, HPE and Siemens to mid-market corporations, cities, and states. The one thing they all have in common is the desire to better connect with customers and grow their business.
Before Get Smart Content, Jim served as the CEO of VM Foundry and has held leadership positions in strategy and creative in digital marketing.
Jim holds one technology patent and is an avid chef, cyclist, and learner.
Get Smart Content is a content targeting platform based in Austin, Texas that enables marketers to provide website content and messaging based on a visitor’s unique profiles and web-based interactions. Smart Content provides visitors with the right message and call to action at the right time based upon where they are in the sales funnel.
Smart Content is easily embedded on any page within your site. The result is highly relevant content — including images, video and audio — that allows you to better engage and motivate your users. Put simply, using a combination of web statistics and your marketing insight, Smart Content serves your individual users the specific content they’re seeking.
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.