Interview with Chaitanya Chandrasekar, Co-Founder and CEO at QuanticMind
On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to start an AdTech innovation company?
I’ve been obsessed with data and the insights they provide for as long as I can remember. In particular, I love the the immediate gratification of being able to drive results & decisions by leveraging data and insights. During my time at the NexTag, I knew there was a need for applying data science to the discipline of marketing, which is becoming more and more data-dependent, but seemed to lack a solution to pull actionable insights from the data explosion we are seeing today.
MTS: Given the changing dynamic of search and social engagements, how do you see the marketing automation and analytics market evolving over the next five years?
For a company to succeed today, it needs to be a data company.
Data should be core part of the DNA. However, there’s simply too much data out there for individual human beings to parse. This field has become insanely challenging – today’s marketers must be more multidisciplinary, more astute and more talented than ever.
This is where the power of machine learning-powered automation – which can use the insights derived from the data – can intelligently lift performance from a marketing perspective.
To summarize, I envision marketing automation and analytics to see a proliferation of data and use of machine learning to make sense of that data. We’ll then we able to use this insight to deliver the right experience for our customers & users.
MTS: How should CMOs leverage the customer experience platforms to drive omnichannel campaigns with a greater authority?
Customer experience has become mission-critical in marketing. The advertisers that succeed will be the ones that deliver the right message to the right customers over the right channel at the right time. Others will be ignored, blocked out and potentially see their brand tarnished over time as “that one annoying advertiser” whose irrelevant ads pop up wherever customers go.
This has become increasingly important as ad blocker usage has surged to 30% according to BusinessInsider, and Google itself will be adding a built-in “ad filter” to the most popular browser in America, Chrome, in the near future.
CMOs looking to a customer experience platform should seek solutions that help them provide the right ads for their customers along their decision journey, but understand that they also need the intelligence to consistently locate their prospects at the right point in their journeys to push them through the funnel and eventually convert them to paying customers.
MTS: How should CMOs plan their stack integrations to maximize the benefits from AI assisted conversation and predictive analytics platforms?
I believe CMOs need to have full-funnel visibility for all customer stages, plus comprehensive analytics fueled by data from all sources. There doesn’t exist a solution that compiles marketers’ data from every single source (primary publishers, secondary channels, exogenous sources) and empowers them to create a complete, holistic picture built entirely on empirical data (rather than guesswork and gut feelings), from which they can extract exceptionally accurate, and actionable, insights. Yet.
MTS: What startups in the MarTech ecosystem are you watching/keen on right now?
Cliché answer, I know, but my attention is laser-focused on my own team. I’m incredibly proud of the people we’ve managed to bring together. And I’m humbled by their creativity and dedication every day.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
We use automation solutions for marketing, sales and email such as Salesforce and Marketo, as well as fairly conventional solutions for task tracking and collaboration, such as JIRA and Slack, as mentioned.
As a rule of thumb, if we find ourselves faced with a time-consuming task that we can only resolve manually, “the hard way,” more than three times or so, we’ll look for a better solution that can save our valuable time and help us focus on the task at hand.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
A few months ago, we added Rosetta Stone to our ever-growing customer list. Despite being a huge, established global brand, like any other savvy advertiser, they were unwilling to settle for the status quo and sought ways to increase their advertising performance. In just 8 weeks, we cut their CPA costs in half, increased their conversions 50%, and lifted their revenue 42% by using our solution’s granular data science algorithms to squeeze out incremental gains across the company’s entire performance marketing portfolio, leading to significant aggregate lift overall. This was a big win for everyone involved and a strong proof of concept for our product.
MTS: How do you prepare for an Artificial Intelligence-centric world as a marketing leader?
I welcome it with open arms. I don’t believe the future is going to be a world of robots and software that completely replace humans, but rather, one where intelligent technology empowers already-talented people to reach the next level of their abilities. In a recent survey we held on our website with the top influencers in marketing, 97% of them basically said the same thing.
This is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
It isn’t completely perfect, but I and my team make good use of Slack as a communications and info sharing tool. The abilities to hold instant conversations, and to archive and search older content, are both very useful for me and my team, particularly for our international offices in Argentina and Canada as we coordinate across different time zones.
I also love WorkFlowy. I would be a mess without it.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Focus on the core purpose of what you’re doing and hold no process or tool sacred. Is your approach really the most direct and efficient way to accomplish your goal? Or are you just doing what you’re doing “because we’ve always done it that way?”
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I’m currently reading Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE. I typically alternate between fiction and non-fiction. I use my Kindle and a RSS reader for digital content.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received– your secret sauce?
It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
MTS: Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
I’m an admirer of Elon Musk.
MTS: Thank you Chaitanya! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Prior to QuanticMind, Chaitanya built and managed the traffic acquisition platform and was part of the Data Science team at NexTag. His experience in the industry and knowledge of platforms led to his co-founding QuanticMind. He strongly believes in the power of data technology, which can help decipher Big Data to unlock new ideas and opportunities. Chaitanya earned his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
QuanticMind, the Platform for Smarter Advertising, is the pioneer of predictive advertising management software for paid search and social channels. By reinventing ad management point solutions through machine learning, distributed cloud computing, and in-memory processing, QuanticMind delivers the most intelligent, scalable, and fastest platform for maximizing advertising performance for enterprises. A global community of data-driven marketers relies on QuanticMind’s data science-powered platform to anticipate and execute the best and most granular advertising investments. For more information, please visit QuanticMind.com.
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.