On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.
My role at MatchCraft came about when I made the change from being a client to the captain of the MatchCraft team.
In my previous role, I worked with MatchCraft as a core component of creating the best in digital solutions, for publishers to offer to local merchants in markets across the US. So, understanding the needs of our resellers, globally, comes naturally because I was sitting in their chair less than two years ago.
Now that I am MatchCrafter, a big part of what MatchCraft brings to our clients is a consulting approach – we have a crystal-clear understanding of what they are facing day in and day out.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
You will see fewer of us competing in ‘legacy space’ such as ‘digital presence’ and ‘paid search’ – it’s creating a defacto best-of-class scenario. You will see more of us chasing unicorns – the shiny new toys in hopes of better margins and new revenue streams. What it means for the Martech space is a more complex lumascape. What it means for companies that want to survive is figuring out ‘how to make this complex world simple’.
It still comes down to marketing technology that enables putting more of the right customers in front of merchants. Solving for that in an ever-changing world is complex. The execution must be simplified. Merchants don’t want to deal with 20 solutions. Nor do they want to be saddled with a box that everyone else has. They want to trust their marketing solution provider to offer the best results across multiple-channels.
I also see the continued evolution of Artificial Intelligence and Predictive data as it surrounds location.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
You have all these messages being slammed at consumers. Helping cut through the noise by tracking how consumers respond, when they respond, where they respond and what channel and device they respond is key. Multi-channel data mining is our way to find solutions based on the ever-changing consumer purchase journey.
We are using data to help our resellers be able to help merchants solve for this – not just at the end of funnel, but throughout the process. Merchants need to make the phones ring (and the cash register!) and need to know how to keep those consumers coming back – and how to get the ones they missed the next time they are ready to buy their widgets or services.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge to make marketing technology work?
The biggest challenge to make marketing technology work is being able to show how Martech delivers a clear ROI. To bring that home to MatchCraft, we need to show how we provide value in the complex ecosystem. For example, we challenge ourselves to be accountable for churn rates for the digital campaigns on our platform.
Even though we don’t control the sale to the merchant, or the expectations that were established or the goals that were discussed, we consider churn one of the most vital of the metrics we track. At the end of the day, if we deliver for the merchant – and they see the value by staying with our client – then we know we’re doing our job.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
The Disrupters! Basically, the startups that are allowing SMBs to compete with giants like Amazon and Ebay. My watch list consists of companies like Etsy, Viral Style, Houzz, Volusion and BigCommerce.
I am also interested in watching out for the next Uber or Task Rabbit. Driverless cars are on my radar too!
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
At MatchCraft, our focus is on providing comprehensive digital solutions and thus, our marketing stack is very robust. Our platform, AdVantageTM supports:
– Search (Google, Bing, Gemini)
– Display (Google Display Network)
– Social (Facebook, Instagram)
– Shopping (Google Shopping Network)
– Auto Search (Dynamic Inventory)
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
We don’t deal with merchant specific sales – resellers only. We can tell you that recently we were looking at campaigns that have been running on our platform, through our resellers, for over 6 consecutive years now. Our client base includes resellers that have been with us for over 9 years.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
While AI will replace many repetitive tasks, AI will also pave the way for new industries and new roles within companies. Companies will have to understand how consumers are gaining their information and integrate marketing technology with AI to the extent possible.
As technologies like voice and bots evolve to be part of a consumer’s journey to purchase, marketing will evolve so businesses can pay to be a part of the new path.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
In the ever-evolving technology industry, being adaptive is kind of a job requirement. When a new technology arrives, if you are not there, you will be square.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
- Slack – I never miss a beat!
- WSJ App – My go to for biz news.
- Flight Tracker – For when I’m on the road.
- Recode.net – To keep track of all the latest tech happenings.
- Venturebeat.com – My source for industry scoop.
- Sports alerts – Go ACC & Yankees!!
- Vivino.com – Cheers!
- Doggiebliss.net – Takes care of my BFF, Nala 🙂
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
It is corporate stalking at its best!
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
Art of War by Ralph D. Sawyer, Sun Bin, and Sun Tzu. It teaches so much about leadership. Even though it was written over 2000 years ago, the Master Warrior has profound strategy that can be applied to our competitive world as we strive to be victorious today.
Interestingly, what inspired me to read the book was the Snapchat-Facebook episode when post turning down Facebook’s offer of $3 billion, the company’s co-founder Evan Spiegel bought a copy of the book for every snapchat employee, all 7 of them.
I love Ted Talks, but don’t we all! Another guilty pleasure of mine is the #AskGaryVee Show by Jersey guy, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Since I like to be well versed on current world events, I have set up alerts on all my favorite news apps and news is constantly running on the TV in my office.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be humble and never stop learning. I continually make efforts to learn from our employees, peers, and clients.
MatchCraft is a company with many moving parts and departments. To learn more about the everyday functioning of my company, I like to shadow my employees so I can learn what they are doing and understand their pain points.
The same goes for our clients. I always learn from them and love strategic discussions on how we can provide solutions that work for local merchants.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
As a leader of a technology company, it is important to recognize that the people are our secret sauce. They make our offerings unique and help us differentiate from our competitors.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Our new neighbors, the Snap (Inc.) guys.
MTS: Thank you Sandy! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Thought leader, dog lover, mother, wife, golfer (wannabe), media executive, tech enthusiast…
I am enjoying the SoCal lifestyle and leading the talented team at MatchCraft. We are passionate to be the world’s leading digital advertising platform for resellers of search, social and display. Our AdVantage platform manages the fulfillment of advertising campaigns allowing our partners to sell at scale with increased profits and performance.
MatchCraft is a global provider of search engine marketing (SEM) technology that enables large-scale sales organizations to provision local SEM solutions for high volumes of small and medium sized businesses. MatchCraft’s mission is to be the best in the world at providing scalable, local marketing solutions online and via mobile devices. The company’s sophisticated technology platform provides a full suite of solutions combined with product, sales, marketing and strategy support for online directories, Yellow Page Publishers, newspapers, and digital agencies.
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.