Interview with Jon Lombardo, Global Brand Strategy Lead, LinkedIn

Jon Lombardo

“Exceptional marketing focuses on understanding customers — they are radically individualistic — and I think ABM takes that idea to the next degree.”

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Tell us about your role and how you got here?

I grew up in the era of Friendster and MySpace, which is how I — like many people — was first exposed to Web 2.0. I then read a Tomi Ahonen book called “Communities Dominate Brands,” which made a convincing case for the rise of the mobile phone and community-based platforms well before most other people took those stands. From that point forward, I’ve only worked in what we now call “social media,” ranging from political campaigns in Maine to platform marketing on LinkedIn.

What is the biggest drive for you to attend the ABM Innovation Summit 2018? What sessions are you most interested to attend?

Some of the smartest B2B marketers that I know are excited by the potential of ABM, and I am always intrigued by where the smart marketers spend their time and money. In addition, I find that most marketing lacks focus, and I really appreciate the focus that ABM brings. Those ideas are driving me to attend the conference.

Specifically, I’m most interested in seeing Heidi Bullock speak; I’ve followed her work since she was at Marketo. I am also interested in seeing Steven Casey since it’s always good to understand what academics — who have a broad industry perspective — are seeing across their conversations.

How can Brand Strategy executives truly benefit from attending the ABM Innovation Summit 2018?

Exceptional marketing focuses on understanding customers — they are radically individualistic — and I think ABM takes that idea to the next degree. We can all benefit from taking a radically customer-centric approach, and any brand strategy executive, likewise, can benefit from finding ways to translate customer needs into relevant feeds.

How are data-driven branding strategies evolving with the maturity of AI/ML and Marketing Analytics?

AI/ML allow humans to do what we do best, which is talk to customers and use those conversations to develop memorable creative campaigns. The technology also allows humans to offload what we don’t do all that well — narrow and rote tasks like re-sizing creative and making media optimizations.

We’ll be happier with our work — and get better results — by focusing on what we do best and letting the robots do the rest.

What are your predictions on the ‘State of B2B Marketing’ platforms over the next five years?

I am going to borrow the Jeff Bezos idea and submit that what changes doesn’t matter nearly as much as what doesn’t change.

What’s not going to change in B2B marketing is that customers will want a better user experience, which simply means utilizing technology to anticipate a customer’s needs based on what you already know about him or her and what you continue to learn from conversations, features, campaigns, etc.

Some people call it “anticipatory commerce,” and companies like Amazon and Netflix already practice it.

What Marketing and Sales Automation companies are you keenly following?

I am actually more interested in what we can learn from Amazon and Netflix and the way they use data to inform strategy and execution. There’s clearly much to learn by studying them.

How do you inspire your team, at LinkedIn, to work with technology?

We use technology to identify patterns that we think are durable. For example, we’re interested in which behaviors we see repeatedly — across campaigns or across channels — that we can build campaigns around.

Technology sometimes enables us to see those patterns at a scale that we can’t as humans alone.

Tag the one person at the ABM Innovation Summit 2018, whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Jenn Steele from Bizible. Everybody struggles with measurement, and her company seems to have a unique perspective (and solution).

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

Register Now! Use Promo Code – MarTech30 – To avail a 30% discount on any pass

I joined LinkedIn because I believe in its culture and mission: to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. Mission-driven companies are rare, and I am proud to be working at one.

I currently work on the Agency Team as a Creative Lead, partnering with the world’s leading brands and agencies to use data-driven approaches to re-thinking the way that they plan, produce, and distribute great content to build durable and memorable brands. Prior to LinkedIn, I led GE’s Social Media Center of Excellence, where I focused on brand and commercial efforts across all major social platforms, including: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Before GE, I spent a year in politics as Director of Online Media for Eliot Cutler for Maine Governor ’10. I managed a team that executed all online marketing and communications efforts, including: social media, paid search, display advertising, email marketing, website development, and video/web content production.I began my career in China, where I worked for China Risk Finance, a credit card start-up that was voted Asian VC Deal of 2007, before co-founding NeochaEDGE, one of the leading creative agencies in China today.

Whatever motivates and inspires you, we’re a community that helps you realize your definition of success. #InItTogether Founded in 2003, LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 546 million members worldwide, including executives from every Fortune 500 company, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The company has a diversified business model with revenue coming from Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and Premium Subscriptions products. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, LinkedIn has offices across the globe.

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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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