Chief Executive Officer at Relationship One
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role at Relationship One and how you got here.
I’m co-founder and CEO at Relationship One. I’ve been in marketing for over 20 years now, both on the client side running marketing teams and the consultant side as part of large ad agencies as well co-owning an agency start-up. Like most marketers, I’m doing something completely different than planned. I originally started off working on my doctorate in Biomedical Research – Biochemistry but just couldn’t see myself in that role for my career so I jumped into emerging technology and got hooked. Since then I’ve been focused on helping organizations leverage technology to enable and empower their sales and marketing efforts.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing cloud technology, how do you see the market evolving over the next few years?
I think there will be both a compression of the tools that are out there as well as a collision of different technology stacks, specifically, martech and adtech as well as its integration with the sales technology stack. And that’s a good thing. There are tons of point solutions out there available for marketers to take advantage of but only those that play well with others, share data, are interoperable, will stick around.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
I’m not sure there within marketing there is a most anything – its far too diverse. That said, there are always going to be new approaches an tactics like predictive modeling, account based marketing, etc. but one of the fundamental shifts that will impact them all in the near term, even though it too is the latest buzz work, it is probably going to be AI. More specifically, the impact of machine learning on marketing strategy, execution and optimization. I say AI because it’s not just one thing, not just a tactic or new approach…it impacts everything we do as sales and marketers.
MTS: What would be your advice to startups as they start planning to invest in marketing technologies?
Focus on the data and openness. Every thing we do requires quality data, both data we own and data we earn, buy or rent. You have to invest in tools that allow you to easily share information between them. You also have to have to invest in tools that are open and extendable. There is not one single platform that can do everything you need it to do. One of the things I love about the Oracle Marketing Cloud is it AppCloud framework which allows you to connect it to and integration with just about anything. Flexibility is always key for marketers.
MTS: What start-ups are you watching/keen on right now?
Great question – its not so much a particular company but rather different technologies. I’m really interested in data, as it powers pretty much everything we do as marketers, so I’m watching for any start-ups that have a different way of capturing data, connecting cross-channel activity, and enabling data for orchestration and optimization.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
As marketing cloud consultants, we are lucky to have access to some awesome tools for our stack including Oracle SRM for our social management, Eloqua and Responsys for orchestration, BlueKai as our DMP, Maxymiser for testing and personalization, Influitive for advocate marketing, our own Data Cloud product to warehouse all of our sales and marketing data within a single repository, and data visualization and analysis tools like Tableau.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
We’ve created and built countless campaigns for our customers, but one of ours that stands out, hands down, is our Inspired Marketing campaign which is a series of podcasts, blog postings, and now a new magazine debuting at MME17. It’s really not us but rather a platform for marketers to share their stories and experiences. We just help enable it and in doing so, we not only inspire others but ourselves. With respect to measuring our success, we look at various hard metrics like clicks, listens and revenue attribution, but one of the best success metrics has been the increase in the number of companies that want to share their story.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
Embrace it – its already here, you are already using it…its only going to get better. To take advantage, train your team members on how it will impact their efforts and how to better take advantage of it now and going forward.
MTS: Is this your first time attending Oracle MME? (If not, how were your past experiences?)
No – I’ve been at every MME, and Eloqua Experience (EE) prior, except the very first.
MTS: In your opinion, how far have marketing clouds come to make customers feel less transactional?
A huge leap…transactional based effort still do and will continue to exist. But we have moved from a simple email or simple message or simple interaction into complex journeys and orchestrations. That requires the integration of data from various systems, the ability to plan, execution and optimize your efforts, and tool interoperability.
MTS: Who else do you know that is attending Oracle MME17?
I love MME because I get to catch up with friends and colleagues, some of whom I only get to see in person once a year at MME, as well as hear what other customers are doing with their marketing and technology efforts. I’m especially excited this year’s Heroic Marketing session with Kristen O’Hara from Time Warner and Elissa Fink from Tableau.
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools you love using for your daily life?
Waze to get me around, EasilyDo to keep me organized, Facebook to keep me connected with my friends and family, my email (or course), Apple News on my iphone to keep up with events, and iMessage which usually gets a workout.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I need more but probably my Apple Watch because I can stay on top of events, messages, etc. more effectively while being less disruptive to others.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read/watch, and how do you consume information?)
I start my day and end my day with a quick review of both general and industry news and events. If I’m reading a book it’s rarely something that is not related to business, sales, or marketing (currently, I’m reading Disrupted by Dan Lyons). I’m a bit of an information junky so I’ll read or watch just about anything of interest.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If you love it, stick with it, if you just like it, move on.” That was the advice I was given by one of my PhD advisors when I was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. It served me well then and I tend to apply it daily.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I’m curious – I’ve always got to know how something works, why it works, how to make it better.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Results-driven professional with more than fifteen years of marketing and brand development experience, developing integrated marketing programs to launch and sustain product and service offerings for both B2B and B2C-centric organizations and implementation of organizational brand and integrated marketing processes.
At Relationship One, we empower organizations to modernize their marketing through strategy, technology and data. Our staff of certified Oracle Marketing Cloud consultants, integration specialists, data analysts and development gurus have a well-respected track record for delivering solutions that meet our customers’ unique business needs.
Our mission is simple – inspire success.
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.