On Marketing Technology
MTS: Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here.
As CEO at Movvo, I am accountable for all aspects of the business: owning the vision; enabling growth; delivering customer success; and building a culture of employee happiness. I have been in technology for about 20 years, and have been in the auto ID space for about 10. The opportunity to create a great experience has always been limited by data and technology. In the last few years we have started to see those limitations disappear – I want to be part of a team that takes advantage of that.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
As per the whole marketing industry, it will become more niche. The requirement to deliver an experience or offer specific not just to me but also my context suggests that the most successful martech offers are going to be very expert in something micro, like ladies fashion window upsell, rather than something macro, like display advertising.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
For sure AI, or specifically in the near term, machine learning. At Movvo, machine learning is the equivalent of panning for gold. We are finding insights and value in the data we collect that an aircraft hangar of consultants could never have found. With a natural language interface on the front of that, the toolset will be even more powerful.
MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
Patience. Nothing fixes big problems just by turning it on. Mature professionals know they need to try and learn, however sophisticated the tool is. It can be frustrating though.
MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
I can’t wait to see what Magic Leap do. Kiip are interesting in a space we might go into, so I am watching them quite closely. Companies like Clarifai are important, but I don’t know who the winners are yet.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
The usual suspects such as Google Analytics, Google Display Ads, Twitter and Linked In. We use Hootsuite to manage across social media platforms and we’re just using Outgrow for the first-time for content creation. We adopted Insightly CRM last year and that’s going well for us. It integrates with our Mailchimp campaigns and has a Slack-bot. Hunter has its uses too.
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
Our core target audience is very relationship-centric and there is a well-established circuit of events during the year where face to face counts for a lot. In 2016, we focused a lot of attention on meeting future prospects face to face, building relationships, contacts and most importantly knowledge of what they really wanted, what kept them awake at night. During that time, we built on this predominantly through email marketing & quality content.
Thanks to the quality-approach to relationship building in the first place, we have a steady audience of decision-makers, influencers and sponsor and regularly get an average open rate of 35% plus. What really excites us is the launch of our new campaign the Movvo Data Maturity Curve which we’ve just launched using Outgrow, a new tool in our arsenal.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
With warmth, enthusiasm, and the best APIs. AI doesn’t mean a lot without a huge reservoir of brilliant data sitting underneath it.
This Is How I Work
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I’m pretty old school. If I have got my cellphone, I can probably get everything done. That said, I’ve got everything in either Evernote, Airmail or Things, and I think join.me have cracked it.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Put .wf. under your signature in any email where you are waiting for a response, and make a rule that moves those emails from ‘Sent Mail’ to a ‘Waiting For’ folder. It lets me send and forget.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
Right now, ‘Hidden Figures’. What a great movie, and the book is even better. I’m wary of business books, but ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things’ has probably got everything you need in it. I like podcasts in the background and my Kindle on the plane.
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be the change you want to see. I didn’t actually receive that advice directly, Gandhi died 20 years before I was born, but I do think that’s right. I had a bad experience at work once, and my friend Dominique Chatelin said to me ‘life is too short to worry about being stabbed in the back, keep going forwards’ and he was right. That’s why he’s a good CEO.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I know people that are better than me at everything I do, so I guess that’s not my secret of success!
I do listen to people carefully, and I never lie. I think that helps.
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
It’s got to be Elon. He’s the King.
MTS: Thank you Cyrus! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
I help companies build more customer centric cultures, raise and look after funding, and operate in a transparent way.
My thirty years’ experience in tech and management has taught me how to define problems and match them to great people that can solve them. I like clarity and speed.
I have a wide network, but I love meeting new people, so feel free to get in touch. I am not looking for a new recruitment partner at the moment, I probably know which conferences I want to go to, and we already have too many internal systems at Movvo, so please don’t feel you need to get in touch on those topics.
Some topics you can’t get me to shut up about: customer experience, team happiness, sales operations and effectiveness, clear calls to action, conversion rates, targets, and honesty.
Movvo is a high-growth SaaS platform delivering Behavioural Intelligence and Live Engagement services to the Retail Real Estate and Retail sectors. We help owners and operators of retail spaces increase the value of their assets & visitors by combining technology, data and industry experience together to deliver value in the way they aggregate data, analyse, predict and influence visitors within their physical spaces.
Our proprietary technology captures and interprets the radio frequency footprint of shoppers as they move around a physical environment. Our platform combines this with multiple client-owned and open source data, to provide rich intelligence within a highly visual and effective single dashboard environment. Movvo is on-demand, easy-to-implement and comes with a host of tools that enable live visitor engagement & effortless integration with your existing business systems.
Movvo is headquartered in London with a substantial R&D facility in Porto, Portugal where the company was founded. The team is split between these offices and has sales representation globally. We have clients in the USA, Europe, Asia Pac & Africa and continue to grow in these continents and beyond.
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.