AI/ML

Interview with Andy Zimmerman, CMO – Evergage

Andy Zimmerman

Andy Zimmerman

CMO, Evergage

Those products that efficiently integrate into existing tech stacks and can capture, analyze, interpret and act on customer data will have the biggest advantage.

On Marketing Technology


MTS:
Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.

I oversee the marketing function at Evergage. I first learned about Evergage as a client at my previous company. Once I got to know the platform and the people behind it and came to appreciate the huge market potential for the company, I worked with the CEO to come on board in mid-2014 as CMO.

MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?

Martech is moving at a blazing speed, no doubt. The barriers to entry for vendors are low, and demand for automation and optimization of all facets of marketing is huge. But, like most competitive markets, only the best quality and highest value-delivering solutions will prevail. Those products that efficiently integrate into existing tech stacks and can capture, analyze, interpret and act on customer data will have the biggest advantage.

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

Everyone is talking about machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) these days – and for good reason. We have so much technology, and generally so few people to operate it, that we need to find ways to leverage solutions than can operate with minimal intervention, and can automatically and continually self-optimize. That’s what machine learning and AI offer.

MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?

The biggest challenge CMOs face with martech these days seems to be hiring and educating staff to make it all work. Machine-learning-driven solutions, therefore, are key to addressing this challenge.

MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?

Well, besides Evergage, which provides real-time 1:1 personalization (and is on a tear), I’m keeping an eye on account-based marketing (ABM) companies like Engagio, funnel analytics companies like FunnelWise, customer advocacy solutions like Influitive, and sales enablement platforms like Brainshark.

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

Although not a complete list, here are highlights:

CRM: Salesforce
MAP: Act-On
CMS: WordPress
Personalization: Evergage
Analytics: Google Analytics, FunnelWise
Sales Enablement: Brainshark
Prospecting: SalesLoft, LinkedIn
Data: Synthio, RainKing
Video Hosting: Wistia
Social: Hootsuite
Adwords Management: WordStream
Event Management: Eventbrite
Web Conferencing: GoToMeeting/GoToWebinar

MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)

One of our best-performing campaigns is our industry-specific home page personalization, which has helped reduce our bounce rate by over 15 percent and increase conversions by 20 percent. Based on the industry a visitor is in – which we determine via reverse IP lookup, the email or ad campaign they responded to, and/or the industry-specific pages and blog articles they spend time reading on our site – we present a home page experience with imagery, copy, calls-to-action and client logos pertinent to that industry. This significantly reduces the number of exits and helps more visitors find and download information relevant to them.

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

AI will help us do more and do it more efficiently. The first step is to learn what AI is and how it’s being applied in marketing. Examples already in use today include real-time decisioning, personalized recommendations, campaign optimization, behavioral pattern recognition and more. The key is understanding how and whether these technologies can help your business and selecting initial projects based on a thoughtful analysis of the likely benefits.

 

This Is How I Work

 

MTS: One word that best describes how you work.

Thoughtfully.

MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

For our business: Salesforce, our website and Evergage (because how could we not use our own software?!)
For me personally: my Macbook and iPhone

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

Using Google Docs with my team instead of endlessly emailing around document attachments.

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

Play Bigger – great business book.  But I normally read – or, rather, listen to – historical fiction, thrillers and science fiction books at a rate of about one per month. It’s the best way to “enjoy” a Boston commute.

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

“Drive the bus”
was an expression a manager of mine early in my career taught me. I loved it. Basically, it means if you think something needs be done, then don’t wait for someone else to do it. Make it happen.

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

I’m a very good listener. Is it a coincidence that “listen” and “silent” have the same exact letters? Something to ponder, right?

MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Mike Troiano, CMO – Actifio

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

As CMO of Evergage, Andy leads the marketing team, which produces content and programs that drive brand awareness, demand generation and sales enablement. Andy has more than two decades of experience in marketing, sales, business development and alliances at enterprise software companies.

Evergage, the real-time personalization platform company, empowers B2B and B2C marketers across industries to increase customer engagement, accelerate conversions and grow revenue. Its cloud-based platform delivers true 1:1 personalization, based on deep behavioral analytics, customer data and machine learning – so every site visitor or app user gets a relevant, individualized experience.

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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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