Interview with Jason Oates, Chief Business Officer, LiveIntent

Jason Oates
[mnky_team name=”Jason Oates” position=” Chief Business Officer, LiveIntent”][/mnky_team]
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[mnky_testimonial_slider][mnky_testimonial name=”” author_dec=”” position=”Designer”]“We’re big fans of eating our own dogfood, so we test and use our own products and features that relate to people-based advertising and marketing.”[/mnky_testimonial][/mnky_testimonial_slider]

On Marketing Technology

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

We built LiveIntent to solve the age-old conundrum: How do we bring all that is special about display advertising the first medium to go cross-device (remember the Blackberry?): email. We developed a platform where brands could reach their customers in publishers’ newsletters as they were present and paying attention, all without sending another email. Years later, we’ve evolved with new products and offerings and sit at the intersection of Marketing and Advertising: bringing the power of one to one relationships to channels where that was never before possible. The ability to do marketing in advertising channels, and use advertising technology in marketing channels is key to the biggest single shift in advertising since digital: People-based Marketing.

These days I spend much of my time at conferences and events evangelizing People Based Marketing and the LiveIntent vision. I also have the pleasure of collaborating directly with many of our clients on the development and evolution of their people-based advertising and marketing initiatives and am passionate about fostering relationships between brands and the people they serve.

MTS: How do you see the cross-device ad market evolving over the next few years?

The industry is becoming more people centric; brands must understand where people are in their journeys and be present where their audiences are paying attention, in ways that fit with their intent and their interests.  With technologies like Identity Graphs coming to the fore, the question of device will become irrelevant. Instead, Identity Graphs built by platforms and brands working together (and not through the intermediary of walled gardens) will help brands be present with the customer irrespective of device, channel, or platform. Email will be central to this shift, as email has evolved from no longer being about sending email. Email is now the key to marketing to people, not devices.

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

To fully realize the dream of people based marketing, the industry must rethink how it defines reporting and attribution. Many of the attribution companies are overly dependent on cookies. The truth is, we are living in a mobile first world. Because the mobile environment is unreliable for cookies, it doesn’t make sense to rely on cookies for attribution. Favoring cookie-friendly channels will ultimately drive down scale and ROI because marketers will optimize out of high performing blind spots; which are channels where commercial cookies don’t work globally.

MTS: What’s the biggest challenge for startups to integrate a platform like LiveIntent into their stack?

Marketing departments have traditionally evolved in a structure that separates Media Buying teams from CRM teams. Yes, they both may fall under a CMO, but these teams have traditionally worked in silos, competed for budget, used different tech and had different goals and approaches to attribution. To bring these teams together takes a tremendous amount of inspiration, education and perspiration. Because we sit at the intersection of Marketing and Advertising (allowing brands to have a consistent relationship with a known person, irrespective of device, channel, or platform) it requires a change mindset for brands to adopt these new opportunities. But those who are forward-looking and prepared for a future where a brand can be present wherever their audience is paying attention have been the best adopters.

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

I spend a lot of time with retail start-ups; direct-to-consumer brands and those who will be direct-to-consumer  and brick-and-mortar. They are challenging the status quo and know they’ll need to leverage new technologies and approaches to disrupt their entrenched competitors. Since they are relatively small and work with a sense of urgency, the process of testing, learning and optimization moves and evolves quickly.

I also love that up-and-coming brands like Mack Weldon, Greats, TechStyle, Outdoor Voices, Bombas and Harry’s focus on being great at one thing and have found a way to compete with the likes of Amazon. Yes, you can buy razors, socks and shoes at Amazon, but many people will identify and buy from a brand that has a product and story they align with.

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

We’re big fans of eating our own dogfood, so we test and use our own products and features that relate to people-based advertising and marketing. On top of that, we test and use many 3rd party technologies such as Marketo, Outreach, Salesforce and Clearslide.

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

We have done very well with automotive campaigns, since they tend to jump in with both feet.  With one Auto Company, we were working with a CRM team that was tasked with acquiring hand-raisers (prospects) and engaging current customers interested in learning about a dramatically redesigned SUV.  The CTR on the acquisition campaign was 350% higher than their average CTR. We beat the cost per lead (hand raiser) goal and we helped the CRM team reach 38% more customers than the CRM team reached by sending customers CRM emails themselves. That was the first time the automotive team tried CRM retargeting and they’ve been doing it ever sense.

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

I remind brands and partners to consider how important creative is. You might have an identity graph and all the right activation partners (e.g. Facebook, Google, LiveIntent), but if you don’t have the right thing to say or offer to people, you’ll miss the point of AI driven People Based Marketing.

MTS: Is this your first time attending Oracle MME? (If not, how were your past experiences?)

Oracle MME is a reflection of Oracle’s reputation: brilliant insight, great design, and exemplary thought leadership. Oracle is one of our favorite partners, and Oracle MME is always a great opportunity to meet with our customers. One of the huge advantages of MME is that most attendees understand the value of people based marketing, so we can have higher level conversations. Many of our top executives, including Matt Keiser (CEO) and David Helmreich (COO) will be attending this year.

MTS: Who else do you know that is attending Oracle MME17?

We work with thousands of brands and publishing companies and many of them will be attending MME17.


MTS: One word that best describes how you work.


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

Email (of course), along with Slack, LinkedIn and Salesforce.

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

Starting with why and leading with a deep sense of purpose.

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

I’m comfortable being uncomfortable. To do anything extraordinary, you must embrace and foster change which pushes people outside of their comfort zones. That’s something I do better than most people and yet I know I could do better.

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

I listen to audio books on a regular basis with a focus on business, sales and leadership. I just finished Our Iceberg is Melting and next I’ll be reading Chaos Monkeys.

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

The first thing that comes to mind is the poem If by Kipling. My grandfather recited that poem to me many times and I’m now doing the same with my son. This stanza that’s been top of mind lately is

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

Editor’s note: Bien, esto puede interesarte –

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

John Edwards who heads up the Verizon CRM team.

Jason Oates is Chief Business Officer of LiveIntent–the first and only real-time email ad serving platform and email advertising marketplace. Jason helped co-found LiveIntent in 2010 and focused on sales and customer success. As CBO he’s now fueling the company’s hyper-growth by overseeing recruiting and people development, culture and sales development. In 2013 LiveIntent was recognized as the 7th fastest growing company in NYC according to INC 500.


LiveIntent is a company built on people. Our culture centers on the people that work here, and our platform centers on the people we help marketers reach. We’re smart. We’re unique. We’re fun to work with. And we’re looking for people that are smart, unique and fun to work with.

Our platform helps over 1100 top brands deliver marketing and advertising messages in logged-in media to over 145MM unique, engaged people each month, in emails sent by over 1300 top US publishers and brands to their loyal subscribers.

[mnky_heading title=”About the MarTech Interview Series” link=”|||”]

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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