Interview with Steve Warren, CEO, Mapp
Tell us about your role at Mapp Digital and how you got here. What galvanized you to join a marketing technology company?
I serve as Mapp’s chief executive officer. In my role, I focus on positioning our company for success and leading Mapp’s long- and short-term strategy. I heavily focus on increasing overall business value and stand as a liaison between the board and executive management teams. Before my time as CEO, I served as chief revenue officer for Mapp, overseeing all our customer relationships and growing the use of the Mapp solutions. Prior to joining Mapp, I was Teradata’s Chief Customer Officer, responsible for managing global services and the company’s entire customer lifecycle.
How is the marketing tech ecosystem different from when you first started here?
There continue to be more vendors, more solutions, and more problems that digital marketers face when trying to acquire, engage and come closer to their customers. While the market has grown, and the solutions that solve problems have expanded, what remains constant is the need for brands to stand out and reach their potential by enabling meaningful connections and lasting engagement with their customers.
What does your ‘Ideal Customer’ Profile look like? How do you build your audience segments at Mapp Digital?
Mapp Digital best serves customers who seek an integrated set of marketing solutions to drive acquisition and engagement of customers. They are often frustrated with other solutions that create more silos of data, so they really want an easy-to-use, flexible platform which covers data aggregation, customer segmentation, campaign design, multi-channel orchestration and scalable execution.
Given the changing dynamic of the marketing technology landscape, where do you see map Digital fitting into the stack?
The Mapp Cloud is emerging as a leading Customer Data Platform (CDP) which enables marketing teams with relevant insights needed to run campaigns, grab information from sources such as websites, mobile apps, and email platforms to offer a complete view customers, and integrates with email software, data warehouse software, and other platforms that store data. This enables Mapp Cloud customers to solve for the inefficiencies of marketing, identify new value and opportunities, and enable them to take action to create more customer value.
How could Mapp Cloud improve conversations across all marketing channels?
Mapp Cloud is unique in the Customer Data Platform (CDP) space as it unifies customer data from separate systems that weren’t designed to share it with anything else. It also enables marketers to execute campaigns across marketing channels based on the insights from that unified customer data. This is critical to delivering the experience that consumers demand from brands today.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?
We should expect AI and machine-based learning solutions to assume roles and responsibilities in specific use cases that add value to the business. For example, a redundant, repetitive marketing task that might be consuming a certain employee’s time could be relegated to an AI system, such as a chatbot that answers basic online questions commonly posed by prospects. Over time, we’ll likely see the workforce and specifically, marketers, focus more on creative endeavors that humans do best and leave these repetitive tasks for the machines.
What startups, from the tech industry. are you watching/keen on right now?
Without citing specific startups by name, we are interested in categories of new businesses that push the boundaries of better serving customers, providing more meaningful insights, and enabling the ability to execute marketing where consumers are respected and brands thrive.
What marketing and sales automation tools and technologies do you use?
We use the Mapp Cloud to deliver engaging experiences to our customers, along with other sales automation solutions we’ve integrated with it. This provides us with insights as to how our sales and marketing are performing, and the ability to execute marketing campaigns across channels based on these insights.
Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign at Mapp Digital?
GDPR, the EU consumer data protection regulation has been a hot topic with both our European customers as well as our US customers doing business there. Our ongoing campaign, “Are You Ready for GDPR?” has connected with marketers and helped drive a better understanding of the complexities of this new regulation. We’ve seen success in the levels of engagement and inquiries from our GDPR resource center.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
For Mapp, it has never been about technology per se…it has been about helping our customers drive marketing results and grow their businesses. When our customers see improvements in things like spend optimization or conversion rates, it means we are doing the right things.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
With our global company, we rely on tools like Skype or other web conferencing tools. It’s totally changed how companies work. I also have embraced digital note taking apps like Notability, or others that leverage the Apple pencil. It has really created a way to track historical notes as well as eliminate paper usage.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
I have really created a discipline for trying to knock down daily short-term tasks instead of trying to consume huge strategic objectives all at once. Each day for me starts and ends the same way…I have a list of items that I need to complete the next day, and I start my day by knocking off those items. By focusing on what I can impact today, the ball moves…
What are you currently reading?
I wish I had some inspirational business or leadership book here…I’m currently reading “The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup” by John Feinstein. I’m a golf guy so there’s that. I also enjoy historical military novels by authors like Jeff Shaara.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Decide which hills you want to die on…” or something like that. I think the mistake most young leaders make is that every problem is the biggest problem. When you manage up, you must decide which issue is something you must dig in on and which ones you just move on from…my 2 cents.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I think I communicate well, both in groups as well as when there might be some difficult news to share. I have no issue with conflict and I feel that my strength is disarming the conflict with my communication style. To be a good leader, you must communicate well, regardless of the type of news.
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Steve! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Steve’s experience involves over 20 years of Executive Leadership, Business Development, Global Software, Marketing, Professional Services, Digital Marketing, and Executive Sales Management Experience. His teams have sold and delivered projects to Enterprise C-Level contacts worldwide.
Currently, Steve is Chief Revenue Officer of Mapp Digital managing all of Global Sales and Accounts for Mapp. This includes global revenue & P&L responsibility, direct and indirect sales, Account Management, and Solutions Consulting. Mapp Digital is the combination of Teradata Marketing Applications and Blue Hornet, a worldwide leader in advanced marketing technology. Prior to this role, Steve was the Chief Customer Officer of Teradata, in its Marketing Applications Division, managing Global Services (Professional, Agency, Consulting) along with the entire customer lifecycle for the company. Steve also launched Teradata’s digital marketing business in the US market in 2012.
Mapp Digital is one of the largest, global independent marketing technology companies. Mapp Cloud streamlines insights and pushes business results by identifying consumer and behavioral data to acquire new customers and grow brand affinity. Our efforts are propelled by people, cross-channel insights, marketing automation and orchestration. Mapp Data Management Platform (DMP), modular software and customer-centric services enable marketers to go the extra mile, to bridge the digital gap and enhance brand engagement and marketing execution across channel and display. Mapp is headquartered in San Diego with global offices in eight countries. The company helps more than 3,000 companies obtain the maximum return from their digital marketing executions. Mapp customers include CNET, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Lloyds Banking Group, Pepsi, Puma, TSB Bank, Xerox.
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.