TechBytes with Christian Monberg, CTO and Head of Product at Zeta Global

TechBytes with Christian Monberg, CTO and Head of Product at Zeta Global

Hi Chris, please tell us how much your role and functions changed in the last 6-8 months.

In my role as CTO and Head of Product, I’m responsible for ensuring our product strategy and vision align with our business strategy. As you can imagine, our customers’ needs rapidly changed in the last eight months, requiring us to adapt quickly. Our Product Advisory Board and group of Product Advisor SMEs are more important than ever. To succeed, we’re spending more time with our customers to learn about their evolving requirements, so we can efficiently experiment and update our engagement methodologies.

As a CTO in a CDP making company, what are the unique challenges and milestones you crossed in a remote workplace environment?

The truth is, our Technology and Product have been working in a remote environment since our inception, so the challenge of not sharing an office isn’t entirely new to us. Success in a remote environment requires phenomenal leaders who spend a considerable amount of time refining their team’s capacity to be productive amidst remote workplace and time zone dynamics. Of course, there are always some creative tasks better accomplished in a room with a whiteboard, so we’re experimenting with different free-form collaboration tools to try to recapture some of the magic lost from not having those in-person brainstorming. Also, Zoom-burn-out is a real thing…

Is CDP for Marketing or is it for Sales — which department can better leverage the CDP capabilities?

This question gets to the core of what a CDP should be. A CDP should enable an entire business to be more effective and profitable. At Zeta, we think about a CDP as a platform that creates a stronger, customer-obsessed view of a business’ data. While Sales, Marketing, Account Management, and Support have different views and decisioning needs, the underlying unified customer data must be flexible and adaptable enough to deliver for all departments within a business.

Are CDPs slowly replacing traditional CRMs? What is the future of Customer Relationship Management tools in an AI-driven customer intelligence / analytics landscape?

CRM is a bit of an outdated term in my opinion. Customer relationship is everyone’s job, and there’s no single technology or three letter acronym that can replace that role. Instead, we believe that CDPs, and the capabilities that are defined in the CDP ecosystem, should be the bedrock of any company’s engagement strategy. This is the first step in digital transformation:  bringing a unified, informed, and actionable view of individuals into focus within a brand, rather than within a business unit.

Tell us more about your CDP+ and how it empowers Sales teams to accelerate revenue opportunities.

Zeta’s CDP+ has all the expected capabilities of a CDP plus:

– Rigorous and efficient data onboarding, hygiene, identity unification and enrichment from our data cloud. This provides a rich view to understand consumers no matter if they are prospects or customers.

– Integrated 1:1 personalization and decisioning on top of recommended actionable opportunities that are accretive to your existing marketing strategy. This deploys AI on your top business outcomes, whether it’s revenue growth, improved customer experiences, or digital transformation.

– Native Omnichannel support for orchestration and activation. This means that you can connect with individuals in a timely, bespoke manner.

What is the role of AI and Predictive intelligence in CDPs?

Within a CDP, AI and predictive intelligence are all about better understanding individuals and finding more effective opportunities for businesses to engage them on relevant terms. There are AI optimization aspects to improving business outcomes that touch everything from audience generation, to personalization of offers and content, to decision trees in orchestration. Then, there are a set of needs around explainability of AI to help marketers understand what the system sees and enable their creative brilliance, lateral ideation, and omnichannel engagement experimentation.

Could you tell us how you utilize testimonials and case studies from your customers to improve your Product Experience?

This is an area that I’m very passionate about and have written about elsewhere. Our customers are intimately involved in our roadmap, and it’s one of our biggest differentiators. Select customers on our Product Advisory Board are intimately involved in our planning process behind the scenes. They’re working directly with the product managers to build product requirements, reviewing designs, and helping to make trade-offs. We kick off every quarter with these commitments and follow up throughout the quarter to show progress. It’s a careful and intentful orchestration of vision, resourcing, and collaboration. We call this “planning our race and racing our plan”.

Hear it from the pro: How to choose a CDP for Retail business — 3 key differentiators:

– It should unify your understanding of both prospects and customers in one place so you can centralize and magnify your learnings.

– It should have the capacity to understand individuals in context of the items they may be buying beyond tagging or traditional business rules. This requires AI systems and data enrichment (eg. location or intender data) that are built specifically for retail use-cases.

– Retail therapy is a coping mechanism these days. We’re fickle as consumers which means that relevance and timeliness are more critical than ever. Ensure that your CDP is tightly coupled with your system of engagement so that time and individual journeys aren’t lost in process.

Tag a person in the industry whose answers you would like to see here:

John Kucera of Salesforce

Thank you for answering all our questions!

Christian Monberg is a Chief Technology Officer and Head of Product at Zeta Global

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Zeta Global is a data-powered marketing technology company that combines the industry’s third largest data set (2.4B+ identities) with results-driven AI to unlock consumer intent, personalize experiences and drive customer acquisition, retention and growth.

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