Interview with Nick Mangiapane, Chief Marketing Officer, Commerce Signals

Nick Mangiapane
Nick Mangiapane

Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be a part of Commerce Signals?

For 17 years, prior to Commerce Signals, I led marketing for great consumer products including Folgers, Rubbermaid, and Trane. The bigger my title became the more pitches and cold calls I received. I felt like many marketing technology providers were out of touch with what marketers really need, namely help growing sales (not clicks, likes, or other sales proxies).

I knew that Commerce Signals was a great fit for me as soon as I spoke with Tom Noyes, the Founder, and CEO, because the company identifies which marketing tactics are driving in-store sales in near-real time. As a marketer myself, I recognized that the value of Commerce Signals’ speed and accuracy, which makes the insights truly actionable. Once a marketer knows which parts of their plan are working and which parts are not, the decision to reallocate spend is pretty easy.

How does Commerce Signals enable customers to tap full ROI from data-based marketing efforts?

We help customers maximize the ROI of every addressable campaign by delivering sales lift insights in under 72 hours. Our 2-3 day turnaround enables companies to take action and improve results right now, not three months from now or next year. We help retailers and restaurants drive sales through great execution – optimizing for what digital tactics are working best right now. For example, if a retailer ad on a certain publisher is not driving in-store sales, they can shift the spend to other publishers that are driving in-store sales.

What are the critical pointers to leverage data collaboration platforms in improving the marketing impact on in-store sales in near-real time?

Make sure you understand and can explain what data and methodology are being used to calculate sales lift. If you can’t help others to trust the output, it will be hard to use the data to defend and grow your marketing budget. Additionally, ensure the platform you select measures incremental sales and doesn’t imply that your current marketing is responsible for 100 percent of sales or risk losing credibility with your peers.

What are your predictions for the marketing measurement and optimization tools in 2018?

I expect brand marketers to drive the rapid growth of marketing measurement and optimization tools in 2018. Here’s why: Brick and mortar businesses only have their loyal customers in their first party sales data. It’s too narrow a slice of their sales and it’s biased because it doesn’t capture the new customers that their marketing is likely trying to attract.  Thus, access to broader consumer spend data is the key asset in determining marketing effectiveness. However, many marketers and media agencies still rely on rules-based attribution, such as last click, for digital campaign optimization because actual sales data has been too slow and expensive to use. But it’s not anymore. The self-service platform we have built breaks this trade-off between timeliness and quality. Marketers are now able to access payment data for their business and use it to measure the effectiveness of their marketing, allowing them to work with their agency partners to improve results in the near term.

How can data-based marketing companies leverage programmatic technologies to achieve better customer experiences?

Programmatic technologies still have lots of room to grow in how they target consumers with advertising. Delivering ads that are consistently relevant is better for consumers and the entire advertising industry.

How do you see multi-channel marketing and sales measurement solutions evolving by 2020?

Our product and customers are focused on measuring B2C marketing. I expect our customers to continue to drive the industry towards real-time or near-real time solutions because faster measurement solutions provide more near-term optimization and sales growth opportunities.

What startups in the martech/ sales intelligence industries are you watching/keen on right now?

I love the work that AdTheorent is doing to improve the brand’s sales results using the near-real time performance insights that we provide. I’m a big fan of LiveRamp as well.

What tools does your marketing and advertising stack consist of?

We use Bitly for link management and tracking, Campaign Monitor for marketing automation and email, Pipedrive for CRM, Winmo as a sales tool, WordPress, and Slack.

Would you tell us about your standout digital campaign at Commerce Signals?

Our product overview video has been the most informative and successful content so far at Commerce Signals. You can find it on the homepage.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader? How do you leverage AI capabilities at Commerce Signals?

AI can only be as good as the data you feed it. We focus on connecting marketers to great data rather than building complex models based on imperfect data. Our measurement and optimization provide marketers sales growth opportunities by using purchase data from the world’s leading payment providers.

One word that best describes how you work.

I am results-focused. And I’m not just saying that because we are a marketing measurement and optimization company. The things I’ve done in my career that I’m most proud of are those where I can look back and say that would not have happened if I wasn’t there.

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

Evernote, Google drive, my cell phone and my whiteboard

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

Skimming marketing content. Often times, white papers are 20 pages and they include about a ½ page of useful information. I’m getting better at finding that ½ page more productively.

What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

I’m actually rereading Crossing the Chasm. It’s still the best marketing book I’ve ever read – even though I first read it about 20 years ago.

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

Don’t be intellectually dishonest. In other words, if there is a problem, identify it clearly so you can set about fixing it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. In many ways, this is what Commerce Signals does. We are a measurement only company, so we are unbiased. If you have a great campaign, we can help you drive even more sales with it. If you have a campaign that isn’t driving sales, we provide you with the knowledge and opportunity to fix a problem. You might choose to reallocate funds, improve the creative or take some other action and make a difference that improves your business. Problems are opportunities.

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

Anthony Iacovone – President, Barometric

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

I’m a marketing executive and business leader with a 20+ year track record of driving profitable growth. I have exceeded objectives in both B2C and B2B roles by putting the customer first, developing winning strategies, and acting like an owner of the business.

Since launching my marketing career with Procter & Gamble, I’ve helped companies drive more than $450M in annual sales growth. I founded DIG Marketing Consulting to help companies grow through modern marketing strategy and digital marketing technology.

Commerce Signals

Commerce Signals connects advertisers and publishers directly with near-real-time insights from financial institutions. Advertisers use these insights to optimize media tactics and measure the incremental cross-channel sales driven by their advertising.

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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