On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a bit about your role at SnapApp and how you got here.
I head up all of marketing for SnapApp, making sure that we get our story out into the market and scale demand for our products. I particularly enjoy helping other marketers reshape their strategies and find better approaches to get the results they need.
How did I get here? I love marketing to marketers, and after we sold my last company, I was excited about jumping back into this market and working with the team to scale the business.
MTS: How do you see the B2B interactive-marketing segment evolving over the next few years?
As the millennial generation becomes our business buyers, we are seeing a dramatic shift in how we as B2B marketers have to think. Buyers today are demanding more conversational, more engaging experiences – it’s a buyer-centric world, and we need to create content focused on their wants and needs, not just what we want to say to them. The focus on engaging, interactive experiences is becoming a must have part of a marketing strategy, not just a nice to have.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that startups need to tackle to integrate a marketing platform like SnapApp into their strategy?
Marketers need to start thinking bigger about interactive marketing. To be effective, interactive content can’t be the latest cool tactic marketers can use one time to impress the boss. It needs to be part of a larger strategy that lets marketers create amazing experiences that drive engagement at scale, all while also capturing the information they need to better qualify and convert leads. Interactive content layered across different stages in the funnel can transform your marketing strategy, but it can’t be a one off event.
MTS: In your opinion, how far has video marketing come to humanizing the customer connect?
I think this is still in its very early stages. Video is still a static one-way flow of information, it’s just a better presentation medium. We need to think about more ways to create a conversation. Imagine a video that watchers can actually interact with, and structure the message based on how you respond to certain questions? It encourages the kind of engaging experience that standard video just isn’t providing.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
SnapApp of course, but I think there big things going on in ABM with companies like Engagio and real-time sales with companies like Drift.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
We have lots of tools that we use and test frequently including Uberflip, Hootsuite, Optimizely, among others. Well, and SnapApp of course!
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
Because we market to marketers, we get the unique opportunity to use our own interactive content platform to create marketing content. One great example that comes to mind is what we call Content Land: An Interactive Quest for Modern Marketers. We had three main goals when conceiving Content Land: (1) educate users about the impact of interactivity with compelling statistics; (2) exhibit the possibilities of the SnapApp platform; and (3) provide some unique B2B entertainment.
Our main target was our top of the funnel audience (since it’s more of a light, entertaining touch), but we also used it as a sales enablement tool at the bottom of the funnel to show off what our platform can do. For the initial launch, we layered the experiences across all our promotion channels, including email campaigns nurture streams, paid media, social media, our website, blog posts, and more. (Though to this day, we incorporate Content Land as a call to action for other content where appropriate!)
We hit on a theme and a concept that really resonated with our audience. The piece say higher click throughs, conversions – all the metrics you want to see go up. And beyond the hard metrics, we ended up with an awesome piece of evergreen content to use across the funnel that also served as great social fodder and customer inspiration.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
The good news is that I think we have a long time to worry about this. Certainly there are some first movers who will see some interesting traction, but we are a long way from mainstream. The challenge I have with AI is where is the dialogue? If we create a bot, does that bot actually deliver value to the prospect/customer or does it become another static channel that we push undifferentiated content through? Would love to see AI that actually improves and advances the experience at scale.
MTS: Is this your first time attending Oracle MME? (If not, how were your past experiences?)
First time for me, definitely looking forward to seeing what’s new and learning from the other attendees and sessions.
MTS: Who else do you know that is attending Oracle MME17?
Great question, aside from my team and a number of our customers, will see when we get there!
THIS IS HOW I WORK
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
Real-Time? I try to collaborate and enable folks to deliver their best and then get out of their way.
MTS: What apps/software/tools you love using for your daily life?
Evernote, Slack, iMessage, Waze, Fitbit, Pocket, Runkeeper, SnagIt (and more!)
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I deal with my personal email generally just once a day. While I might keep up with anything that is important as it happens, I don’t worry about cleaning it out until the next morning. I take 45 minutes or so early (5AM) to clear through email, set up my to-dos for the day, and read something interesting. That way when I am ready to go when I hit the office and the rest of the world is rolling.
MTS: What are you currently reading?
I just finished Chaos Monkeys, by Antonio García Martínez, a fascinating insider look at ad-tech and the Silicon Valley startup world.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t wait around for someone to tell you to address something that needs fixing, volunteer to take it on, go make it happen. Bias towards action, always.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
That’s a tough one, better to ask the people I have worked for/worked for me! I would say that I just try to stay focused as best I can on the end goal, and help people achieve their own success along the way.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Aaron drives marketing and strategy for SnapApp. Prior to SnapApp, Aaron served as the CMO for Intronis through its acquisition by Barracuda Networks. He has played a leadership role in the marketing success behind Percussion Software, Ness Technologies, Lionbridge Technologies, and Softscape.
SnapApp empowers marketers to create personalized interactive experiences that activate buyers, accelerates leads through the funnel, and unleashes growth. We do this by putting the buyer at the center of their strategies with interactive content that creates a two-way, dynamic conversation vs. the static one-way information flow that comes from traditional content types.
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.