Interview with John Nash, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, RedPoint Global

John Nash

“A marketing leader needs to realize is that the best marketing comes from a blend of art and science; the better the science, the better use of the art.”

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Tell us about your role and how you got here? What led you to be a part of RedPoint Global?

As Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, I lead marketing and product strategy initiatives with the primary goal of driving growth. My day-to-day involves collaboration with a broad range of internal teams, including marketing, sales, development and the executive leadership team.

I was drawn to RedPoint Global because of the strength of its customer engagement platform and the team’s vision for empowering brands to transform their customer experience. Throughout my career, I’ve focused on helping businesses use data and analytics to fuel innovation in their product offerings, business models and customer engagement – and in developing product and marketing strategies for companies like Accenture, Seisint and FICO. These roles have given me a deep understanding of the data available to businesses and how often it’s underutilized. That’s why RedPoint Global excited me. The company saw a problem in the industry (data silos & inconsistent customer experiences) and provided a solution (a customer data platform); they are developing innovative technology that is shaping the future of marketing. It was a business venture I could easily get behind, and something I have been happy to be a part of ever since.

How has RedPoint Global evolved or transformed with the maturity of marketing technologies? What are the core tenets of your Digital Transformation strategy?

We are focused on the customer experience segment within digital transformation – enterprises are embracing digital to transform their products and operations, but the real competitive advantage will come to those that transform how they engage with customers. At the same time, the marketing technology space has become more fragmented, now having almost 5000 different technologies that could be part of a technology stack. Consumers expect brands to get past this fragmentation, as they are increasingly completing multi-stage customer journeys with many real-time and dynamic interactions. We have evolved our technology to handle this complexity and exploit the multifaceted nature of data and engagement technology.

A core solution for this digital transformation strategy is our customer engagement hub (CEH). It offers a single point of control over data and interactions and gives marketers the power to automatically deliver seamless, hyper-personalized customer engagement. We took an open garden approach with our Customer Engagement Hub so we could provide an agile, open and connected architecture that leverages existing marketing technology investments, extends their value, and easily incorporates new best-of- breed technologies.

What would you say is the biggest driver of the boom in Omnichannel Marketing Optimization platforms? How does RedPoint Global compete in this highly dynamic ecosystem?

The biggest driver for this boom in omnichannel marketing optimization platforms is the omnipresent consumer. Today’s customers can appear at any time and in any channel, and they expect experiences with brands to be the same, or at least similar, regardless of the channel. These new expectations have led to brands quickly investing in platforms that can orchestrate interactions across all touchpoints.

At RedPoint Global, we have pinpointed one of the biggest marketing challenges associated with creating a seamless, omnichannel experience: disparate data. When looking to optimize customer engagement, one of the most important steps is breaking down silos and bringing together data in a single customer view. The RedPoint Global Customer Data Platform does just that. By providing an always-on, always-processing golden record, we give marketers the complete picture they need to deliver hyper-personalized interactions and experiences across all channels.

How do you see digital experience platforms evolving with the maturity of AI/ML?

Customer experiences cannot be fully transformed without the type of individualized scale that AI/ML provide. The customer journey is far more complex and intricate than ever before, and platforms can no longer rely on static linear models that generalize customers and put them into broad segments. Today’s customers expect individualized experiences by channel and tailored to their specific interaction history, behaviors, and preferences.

To meet these expectations, marketers need to focus on a segment-of-one approach to drive more efficient, effective and personalized experiences. As customers hop in and out of channels and journey stages, machine learning and AI will be the best means for evaluating and recommending the next best action for each customer. Traditional methods of segmentation will no longer keep up as consumers expect highly personalized and relevant offers, messages and content.

What challenges do you foresee marketers will face in better leveraging CDPs?

Those looking to leverage a customer data platform (CDP) are often struggling to bring all available data together to drive better customer experiences and better analytics. They should be careful to select a CDP that empowers them to know all that is knowable about a customer, meaning one that can precisely integrate all types of data whether batch or streaming, First, Second or Third party, and structured or unstructured. A robust CDP can counteract the fragmented marketing stack and integrate data across functional and channel-specific silos. Marketers use this single point of control to make the unified customer view accessible across the enterprise and drive more contextually relevant interactions in cadence with the customer, which may be real time.

For marketers that want to better leverage their CDPs to create personalized omnichannel experiences, they will need to tie their platform into an intelligent orchestration engine that enables them to act on their unified data and deliver contextually relevant messaging to individual customers across both digital and traditional channels. RedPoint Global’s customer engagement hub provides this single point of control over both data and interactions. A customer engagement hub is critical to making unified customer profiles actionable and delivering contextually relevant messaging to consumers in the moment of need.

How do you see Location Data improving omnichannel experiences based on customer data management?

Although location data can provide great insights into a customer’s behavior, it’s only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to improving the omnichannel experience. The path-to-purchase involves several other types of quality data and personally identifiable information (PII) that must be considered when creating the golden record, or the single customer view. A single piece of information, such as location data, becomes significantly more valuable when it’s united with all the other customer data on file. You will have a better chance of improving the omnichannel experience when an individual piece of information is put in context with the bigger picture and provides a deeper understanding of the customer.

What marketing and sales automation tools do you use?  

We use RedPoint technology to create a single customer view that powers a number of improvements to marketing effectiveness and efficiency. One use of this data is a browser-based view of an individual customer’s journey that visually shows their journey stages, marketing offer history, interaction history, transaction history and other information in a single snapshot. We also use behavior data to anticipate customer intent and couple it with response actions to determine which content to offer next, at which stage of the journey and through which channel.

What are your predictions on the ‘State of Marketing Technologies’ for 2018-2025?

There are a few things we can expect to see in the years ahead. One is that personalized marketing will continue to dominate the conversation. Personalization efforts will reach a new level of specificity, incorporating advanced tools such as analytics, natural language parsing and bots. There will also be a greater reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning to individualize interactions. This hunger for more relevant customer experiences will also cause an increase in adoption of customer data platforms. Marketers will become familiarized with its capabilities and tap the solution for real-time, hyper-personalized experiences.

Another prediction for marketing technologies is that we will continue to see them converge with ad tech. Programmatic advertising is no longer producing the results brands want, and advertisers are itching for better ad placements. First-party relationship management through marketing technology will enable that, and we will see marketing and advertising silos crumble as marketers take this new approach to targeting consumers.

What webinars and podcasts are you most interested in?

A recent addition to my podcast lineup is DM Radio, which explores new technology innovations in data management and how those innovations impact business models, product offerings and society at large.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric ecosystem as a marketing leader?

The first thing that a marketing leader needs to realize is that the best marketing comes from a blend of art and science; the better the science, the better use of the art. AI, machine learning and advanced analytics are all critical components of what we do now. Machine learning will increasingly be integrated in-line with customer journey stages in the future and become the best way for marketers to manage the growing number of touchpoints and customer interactions.

However, as enterprises rapidly progress toward unattended AI and machine learning solutions, they need to understand the technological challenges associated with this movement. Fragmented databases are at odds with sophisticated levels of automation, and enterprises will require data weaving not yet seen at this scale. In the AI marketing era, data must be available in the proper format and structure through service layers. It’s a solvable challenge but something we must address proactively as AI continues to enter our work as marketers.

How do you bring together people and technology at one place?   

One of our goals is to make technology as seamless as possible, to the point that it is invisible and does not get in the way of marketer-to-customer connections, or customer-to-brand connections.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? 

I am a big fan of elegant foundational technologies that make everything else better, and for me, I would have a hard time without Apple’s iOS. It provides that single point to engage with my apps and is the foundation for apps to seamlessly sync across devices.

What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack? 

Set aside time for email and then try to cut that time in half. Picking up the phone or connecting in person is a much more creative and productive way to work.

What are you currently reading? 

I will switch between paper and electronic versions depending on what I am reading. I am currently reading The hardcover version of Option B by Sheryl Sandberg, which serves as a good reminder that not everything goes according to plan in life, but there are still many ways to find joy and success.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Pursue your dreams.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Philip W. Schiller

Thank you John! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

John Nash has spent his career helping businesses grow revenue through the application of advanced technologies, analytics, and business model innovations. As Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at RedPoint Global, John is responsible for developing new markets, launching new solutions, building brand awareness, generating pipeline growth and advancing thought leadership.

RedPoint Global

RedPoint Global offers data-driven customer engagement solutions that help companies derive insights from customer behaviors and create consistent, relevant and precise messaging across any and all marketing channels. Intelligent customer journey and machine learning capabilities enhance RedPoint’s ability to deliver strong customer engagement results. RedPoint also offers a world-class ETL, data quality and data integration solution that operates in and across both traditional and Hadoop 2.0 environments.

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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.

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