On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.
As the Head of Marketing and Sales for Libris by PhotoShelter, my responsibilities range from building our brand and generating revenue, to managing a team of 20+ marketing and sales experts. This range is a result of the varied experiences that led me to PhotoShelter. After college, I started on the consultancy side at Globrands in Amsterdam and Davis Brand Capital in NYC, advising companies on building brands. Over the last seven years, I’ve scaled tech startups and their revenue, first as VP of Marketing at Signpost (AI driven CRM and Marketing Automation) and now for Libris by PhotoShelter (Digital Asset Management for Visual Media).
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
The innovation in technology offerings helps to better track, quantify and analyze everything from the customer journey to campaign results. This in turn then informs more targeted, and hence more effective and efficient, marketing efforts. It is no surprise that we so often speak about the marketing “machine” that generates expected output for every additional unit of input. However, I do believe the best marketing is a balance of science and art, which the proliferation of marketing technology also supports. So I also see an increasing amount of tools to enable more creativity and ways for marketers to better express and build their brand.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
Artificial Intelligence no doubt. In our industry of digital asset management for photos and videos, potential and existing clients are most interested in automated ways to help improve their work processes and results. It’s a desire across industries to collect more data and do more with less resources, specifically minimizing time spent on repetitive tasks.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that marketing leaders need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
Integration of all the different tools and processes to properly track the customer touchpoints and results. As a marketing leader today you are ahead if you’ve had the hands on experience managing and integrating different tools with the goal to get valuable insights and increase conversions. I believe it will become easier as the industry acknowledges this challenge, but for now it means that not just marketers but also marketing tools have an advantage if they are part of the overall marketing technology ecosystem enabling out of the box integrations.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
Always taking a customer-centric approach I’m intrigued by customer messaging apps like Intercom and Drift, both regarding their own marketing communication and the ability for brands to enhance the relationships with customers using their software. In the creative realm I like what Canva and Ceros are doing, simplifying how marketers create appealing assets to tell a story and build their brand.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
Our marketing stack has three pillars: Generate (content and awareness), Nurture (leads and relationships) and Sell (prospects and customers) built on top of a cross-pillar Analyze foundation.
– Generate is built around WordPress where we host our blog which is our home base for all marketing. As our Libris platform powers brand’s visual storytelling we live this mantra internally so we generate a lot of visual content, that we manage with Libris, educating the market how best to develop, manage and use photos and videos to boost brands. We create assets with Adobe Creative Cloud and Canva, and publish our content using Buffer and Wistia.
– Nurture is using Marketo as our way to track and engage potential and existing clients. Other tools that are integrated with Marketo are SurveyMonkey to learn more about these organizations, Unbounce for landing pages hosting forms, and Litmus to test emails before sending.
– Sell is facilitated by Salesforce and several different solutions that sync with it. We use ZenProspect to find more new leads, Salesloft to reach out to potential clients and LinkedIn to augment data of our contacts.
– Analyze is done within the different tools, but also by Google Analytics tracking interactions with our content and InsightSquared making it easier to learn from Salesforce data.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Google Apps. I’ve come across and tried many new shiny apps and tools that are recommended, but every time I gravitate back to the Google ecosystem in order to keep everything in one place. Working in Google Apps across Chrome and my Google Nexus phone has always solved my needs so far. As far as apps on my phone I hardly use much more than the Google Apps, Audible and Twitter.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
The art of scheduling a meeting. While it’s becoming time for me to let go and use an AI assistant to book my appointments, until then I find myself productive in my approach to coordinating meetings. Considering I schedule a lot of meetings every week, even more so when recruiting to fill open roles, I prefer to spend time preparing myself and others instead of finding the right time. By clearly communicating and cutting out steps when scheduling a meeting, you make it so much easier and more enjoyable on both sides.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I’ve been reading The Real Madrid Way by Steven Mandis about how a clear vision and cultural values helped build the biggest sports team brand worldwide. I love reading (or most often listening to, as I use Audible for audiobooks) the creation and building stories of founders and their companies, whether those are technology companies or not, online or offline.
My top 3 in no particular order are Shoe Dog about Nike’s founding, Elon Musk about his story and the founding of Tesla and SpaceX and Creativity Inc. about Pixar’s founding. These stories are not only inspiring and entertaining, I often learn about things to apply in my day to day experiences.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s a combination of two things. First, my brother in law is a successful serial entrepreneur and has often told me “If it was easy, others would have done it already”. That helps put things in perspective that there are no overnight successes (every founder’s story I’ve read can confirm this) and actually inspires to put in the hard work to overcome any challenges.
Second, my former CEO was very good at learning quickly by getting in front of experts in an industry or subject matter and asking the right questions to those who learned something already. If you think about the combination of these two pieces of advice, it encourages me to constantly keep learning from others to overcome or even get ahead of challenges in building a marketing technology business.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Empathy. It has always served me well in marketing as well as in teamwork to see the situation from someone else’s perspective. Now that we’re building out a team I believe it helps me with effective communication and making sure my team has everything they need to perform. Otherwise there are no secrets and it’s just a matter of working hard and leading by example.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Bill Macaitis, former CMO Slack and Zendesk.
MTS: Thank you Jacco! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Jacco is a customer-driven marketing executive and team builder with extensive domain expertise across all marketing disciplines. He’s a passionate advocate of the customer experience, helping companies achieve long-term growth by building customer-centric brands and acquiring and retaining valuable customers.
Libris is the simplest and fastest digital asset management platform built for visual media. With Libris, you have easy access to photos and videos so you can engage your audience anytime, anywhere. Our platform gives your team control and flexibility so everyone can upload, organize and share assets in a way that works for them. Trusted by hundreds of brands across industries and having over 12 years of experience managing half a billion assets, we power your brand’s visual storytelling.
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.