Tell us about your journey to Marketing Technology. What inspired you to join 4C?
Well, I just opened the MarTech phone book and 4C was at the top before the A’s! Just kidding of course, though it’s awesome being first in every list. Fun fact: 4C is named after an airplane seat. Our CEO got an upgrade, which eventually led to him meeting our Chairman and Chief Scientist.
As for my journey — it’s a bit of planes, trains, and automobiles too. I did about 10 years on the media side and agency side before coming to the tech side in 2010. What I love about MarTech is the ability to solve problems through products. Our incentive is to automate anything that can be automated.
If not Marketing Technology, in which other domain would you have aspired to build your career?
I actually went to school for journalism and backdoored my way into advertising. I love writing — always have. But during my first semester in college, I got sick of having so many papers and deadlines, so I picked the only other major at the time in the College of Communications at the University of Illinois. Then I started selling ads at the Daily Illini newspaper and the rest was history. I did come back to writing about 10 years after school and got a book published along with a slew of columns, blogs, and newsletters. But it’s all just part of my marketing scope.
How should young Marketing and Sales reps leverage data science to further their career goals?
Rule #1 is don’t be scared. You don’t have to be a data scientist to use data science. Even better, don’t think about it as data science. Just think about it as asking questions that can be answered with data.
Which other CMOs and VPs in Marketing Technology have a profound impact on your marketing vision? How do you keenly follow among these?
What are the core tenets of your Marketing Technology operations? How does 4C add value to the digital ecosystem?
The thing that drives us is helping marketers market the way consumers consume — seamlessly across the channels, formats, and moments that matter most. Scope by 4C is a self-serve software platform that does just that.
What are the challenges to modern-day marketing? Why should brands reconsider the way they work with data and automation?
Today’s consumers are bouncing between more screens at more times than ever before. Marketing used to be pretty easy. Just buy ads on a few TV networks and you could reach the entire universe and beat them over the head with repetition. Nowadays, the power equation has shifted. Consumers can fast-forward through your spots or avoid you altogether on ad-free platforms. And that’s just TV. Browsers have ad blockers. Emails have spam filters. And the list goes on.
To win the battle for consumer attention, brands need to use data to figure out who will be most receptive to your message and where they can be reached. From there, automation can help with delivery or the right message at the right time. That’s what we’re all about at 4C. We call it multi-screen marketing magic.
How does AI fit into Marketing Technology offerings? What are your major differentiators in the tech-heavy ecosystem?
AI makes everything better. In the MarTech space, it helps connect data points that mere mortals cannot. Then, it turns those connections into predictions and recommendations that us humans can act on.
As for 4C, our AI is built on 30+ years of data science and Machine Learning by Dr. Alok Choudhary at prestigious institutions like Northwestern University. His patented research is the backbone of the 4C Insights Affinity Graph™ which crunches trillions of data points to understand the connections between people and their passions.
Before starting 4C, Alok used his data science techniques to predict outcomes in everything from weather to disease to astronomy to politics. He was the first person to use Twitter data to identify the Arab Spring. We also saw the Trump and Brexit elections coming. If our data science can be used to predict those results imagine what it can do for business outcomes.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
Read. Think. Ask. Repeat.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in video and premium content marketing technologies? How do you see these streams adding more power to CMO goals?
I think we’ll see the monetization model for premium video move beyond just ads, sponsorships, and subscriptions. We’ll start to see dynamic product placement in the content itself. See an actress with a dress you like? Buy it. Watching a football match? See sponsors rotate on the uniforms. And you can bet the featured products and brands will be customized to the viewers.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
G2 Crowd is past the startup phase but I’m pretty fascinated with what they’re doing. In a nutshell, they’ve built Yelp for business software. They’re democratizing a function in our industry that was previously served solely by big analyst firms. When you’re evaluating technology platforms you can talk to reps from the companies selling them, you can pay for an analyst report, or you can read verified reviews from actual customers. I’ve found it incredibly helpful when deciding which tools to onboard. And I’m very proud that 4C is #1 in cross-channel advertising software.
What Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
For Account-Based Marketing (ABM) we use Salesforce, Pardot, Winmo, Dunn & Bradstreet, AppNexus, and of course, 4C. We’re also a poster child for Survey Monkey and use their tools for generating content, conducting market research, tracking customer satisfaction, and measuring employee engagement.
Could you tell us about an outstanding digital campaign?
Old Spice did something cool to engage sports fans across screens using 4C. Their agency, Wieden+Kennedy, created a bunch of GIFs featuring Von Miller from the Denver Broncos. Every time he made a big play in a game, we automatically served a promoted tweet showing him celebrating. The campaign generated over 50 million impressions and had an engagement rate that was 11% higher than benchmarks.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
I always try to lead by example. In the case of technology, I’m a super early adopter. So, if you work with me and want to keep up with me, you’ll get hip to it. It works both ways though. I needed someone on my team to show me how to use Snap when I first got the app.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Waking up early.
What are you currently reading?
Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And always bet on black.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Aaron! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Aaron Goldman is Chief Marketing Officer at 4C, a data science and marketing technology company. Bridging TV, digital, social, and mobile, the 4C product suite helps marketers make multi-screen magic.
Well-known in the industry for his freestyle flow and propensity to talk about himself in 3rd person, Goldman has been running the digital marketing rap game for about 20 years.
Prior to 4C, Goldman was CMO at Kenshoo, a leading enterprise marketing software company, for nearly 5 years. Of all his accomplishments during this time, Goldman is most proud of turning Kenshoo into multiple parts of speech, with such taglines as Kenshoo Do It? I Kenshoo, Can You? And How Do You Kenshoo?
Previously, Goldman founded Connectual, a digital marketing consulting and matchmaking firm. Before that, he was VP Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Resolution Media, a search marketing agency that makes it rain under the Omnicom umbrella. And in the early days, Goldman managed U.S. Midwest sales for MaxOnline, an ad network that was folded into IAC. He sold a lot of pop-ups.
4C is global marketing technology company that delivers a unified platform for audience intelligence and media activation. Leading brands, global agencies, and media owners trust the Scope by 4C platform to identify their most valuable audiences and reach them across channels and devices.
With nearly $2 billion in annualized advertising spend running through Scope, 4C enables self-service activation on Apple News, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, NBCUniversal, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter as well as TV synced ads via display, search, social, and video. The company also provides paid, earned, and owned media analytics leveraging its Teletrax television monitoring network which detects over 400 million TV asset airings on an annual basis. Founded in 2011 and based in Chicago, 4C has staff in 16 worldwide locations across the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, and the Philippines.
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.