On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.
I’m currently the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Marchex, a leading mobile advertising analytics company that connects digital marketing online to real-world, offline actions. I have over 20 years of marketing and financial leadership in companies such as Expedia and Microsoft, as well as going through the start-up grind and mid-sized PE companies. Throughout that time, I’ve really tried to focus on bringing differentiated products to market and providing the “compelling reason to purchase” for customers and prospects alike.
Prior to joining Marchex, I was the Vice President of Marketing for Vertafore, the leading provider of technology to the insurance industry.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
The role of the CMO has changed so dramatically in the past few years. CMOs are now the profit center for the company and in many places are becoming responsible for the long-term engagement strategy for the organization. That’s great news from a career standpoint, but it also brings increased scrutiny and expectations. Whereas marketing used to be looked at only to manage the brand and produce award-winning ads, now it’s involved in every component of the customer journey and every part of the company’s operations.
It’s no longer just about creating awareness and interest, it’s about how the company ultimately converts prospects into customers—the point of sale. With prospects moving across channels at the speed of a click and swipe, and with so much money pouring into paid search and digital marketing budgets, CEOs and boards are keenly interested in knowing what the company derives from all the marketing spend—and the answer had better be more than just “awareness.” You need to justify that spend and demonstrate how your marketing converts prospects into customers. Technology is the way to do it.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
We’ve done a fair amount of thinking about this at Marchex and one of the struggles we see the industry grappling with is how to leverage the power of AI—the corollary is identifying whose budget it falls to. A lot of solutions on the market today use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze millions of calls and automatically classify and score calls based on spoken words such as “credit card” and “appointment” or on marketing keywords that reference your promotion, discount, or advertisement. This outcome of understanding performance or efficiency of a call generally falls to an ops role. But there is an enormous argument to be made that marketing is at the heart of these interactions. Marketers need to pivot, double-down, or quickly modify their marketing and media plans to respond to what prospects are saying and find more of them before the competition, and AI can help with that.
MTS: How can marketers achieve holistic understanding of their customers’ path to purchase, or prospects’ path to conversion?
I’m biased here, but I think Marchex is uniquely positioned to drive this solution, particularly in industries that define conversions offline in the real world, like a phone call. There’s research across the board that demonstrates almost 70% of the buyer’s journey is finished before they raise their hand and introduce themselves to your company. Getting that holistic understanding of the customers’ path of purchase or conversion is critical to helping accelerate the journey, then identify more prospects who you can turn into customers. To make the vital connection from digital prospect to physical customer, more and more marketers have adopted a multifaceted approach. At Marchex, we think about it as 1) finding your audience, 2) personalizing your marketing 3) measuring every channel 4) converting the call into a customer and 5) using that insight to go back and retargeting those customers online that didn’t become customers offline.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
LinkedIn and Twitter.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Technology is great, but I still love crossing an action item off an old fashioned to-do list. I keep a paper notebook for items I need to accomplish today.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Give credit, take responsibility.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Steve Bendt, VP of Marketing – PitchBook Data
MTS: Thanks Guy! We hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Guy is currently the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Marchex, a leading mobile advertising analytics company that connects online behavior to real-world, offline actions. With 20 years of marketing and financial leadership in companies such as Expedia, Microsoft, Business Objects, and Baxter Healthcare, Guy’s career has focused on bringing differentiated products to market and providing the “compelling reason to purchase” for customers and prospects alike.
Prior to joining Marchex, he served as Vice President of Marketing for Vertafore, the leading provider of insurance technology to agencies and carriers in the industry, where he was responsible for the company’s corporate, product, and digital marketing operations.
He is a regular blogger, spokesperson, and contributor for publications and thought leadership topics in marketing and technology across the industry.
Guy has a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Illinois.
Marchex is a mobile advertising analytics company that connects online behavior to real-world, offline actions. By linking critical touchpoints in the customer journey, Marchex’s products enable a 360-degree view of marketing effectiveness. Brands and agencies utilize Marchex’s products to transform business performance.
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.