Interview with Tuval Chomut, CEO, Clicktale

Tuval Chomut
Tuval Chomut

“Brands that want to truly stand out will need to optimize every touchpoint along the journey – and the only way to achieve that will be by thinking about the customer experience.”

Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to join Clicktale?

As the CEO of Clicktale, it’s my role to lead by example, be a positive mentor, and ultimately to make the decisions needed to steer the company in the right direction. That doesn’t just mean following an existing roadmap, it means defining the map and changing course whenever the opportunity arises to do bigger and better things.

I was drawn to my role at Clicktale as it offers a great opportunity to solve problems in a creative way. I’ve always been fascinated by finding innovative solutions to inefficiencies, and my role at Clicktale provides me with a chance to do just that. It’s not an easy task, but it’s about feeling responsible and doing what’s best for all of the company’s different stakeholders – be they employees, clients or investors in the business.

What’s the most cutting-edge aspect of Clicktale’s Experience Analytics platform?

For me, it’s Clicktale’s ability to take digital data and turn it into genuinely meaningful business signals. So many platforms deal in data, but how that data actually helps organizations improve – or get to know their customers better – is simply unknown. Clicktale solves that issue.

By combining big data, machine learning, and psychological research, we identify not just the things that companies need to improve, but also the underlying processes that are involved in making those changes. This allows us to convert raw data into what we call ‘Digital Body Language’, and then from that body language, we can identify exactly what a business needs to do to maximize the customer experience.

What are your predictions for B2B experience management tools? How should CMOs plan the inclusion of these technologies in 2018?

My biggest prediction – or perhaps ‘hope’ – for B2B experience is that CMOs and marketers will start to focus their efforts on measuring the right things. It always amazes me that, in an industry obsessed with measurement, so many brands seem set on measuring the wrong things.

Too much time is being spent on measuring conversion rates rather than really listening to customers and measuring their experiences. The problem is that most brands just don’t understand experience as a concept. It’s too fluid. This is why Clicktale doesn’t just rely on website data, but instead uses psychologists and academic researchers to add an extra layer of insights to such data. It’s only by thinking about experience in this way, that we can work out exactly how consumers interact with our brands.

In order to illustrate what actions you can take and how you can improve, you must first understand your customers at a fundamentally human level. Everyone collects data, but Clicktale helps to interpret it in terms of true human behavior – behavior that can then be converted into unparalleled customer insights.

With the maturity of B2B audience acquisition models, how do you see multi-channel marketing and sales automation integrations playing a bigger role between 2018 and 2022?

Multichannel marketing is getting both easier, and somehow more complex. The main evolutions I see happening over the next five years will be the move from segmentation to personalization and the move from vertical journeys to omnichannel journeys. In terms of how this relates to sales and marketing, you really have to look at the broader picture.

Thanks to a combination of increasingly advanced online analytics and ever more data-driven in-store experiences, brands will increasingly be able to view their customers across every touchpoint in the buying journey. But just achieving this omnichannel experience isn’t enough; brands that want to truly stand out will need to optimize every touchpoint along that journey – and the only way to achieve that will be by thinking about the customer experience.

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

There are so many innovative start-ups in this space at the moment it’s hard to pick just one. A big part of what we do at Clicktale is working with smaller martech brands, and helping them make the most out of their platforms through insightful data. We’re always keen to aggregate our data to other interesting technologies, and through these partnerships and integrations, we can, in turn, grow our overall ecosystem in the marketing space. Collaboration is always the best way to learn new things, and we try to always embed that idea in the way we work with other martech brands.

What tools does your marketing and advertising stack consist of in 2018?

We use a huge array of tools, but off of the top of my head: Marketo (Automation), Salesforce (CRM), Oktopost (Social Media Management), Monday.com (Collaboration), Google Analytics (Web Analytics), Clicktale (Experience Analytics), Zoominfo (Data), OneTrust (Consent Management), FullCircle (Attribution & Reporting), Zoom (Video Conferencing), GoToMeeting (Webcam), Feedly (Content Curation), and Slack (Collaboration).

Would you tell us about your standout digital campaign at Clicktale? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success?)

One of the standout campaigns was how we supported a recent local event. Festival of Marketing in the UK is a stand-out event in the calendar, with senior-level marketers, digital and customer experience leaders joining to access premium content across 2 days. As part of launching our new “digital body language” messaging we accompanied the physical event presence with wrap around digital activity.

Using Facebook and Twitter we used a combination of geo-targeting, interest and keyword targeting through paid media to hone in on our audience with messaging pre, during after the event. During the 2 days itself we acted as the reporter on the ground at the event – sharing content from the keynotes, break-out sessions, stands weaved in with our own messaging.

The event success was measured by a number of key metrics, looking at both the direct impact of activity and attribution to pipeline value. The digital-event extension generated:

  • 465,347 targeted impressions across the two channels
  • Over 1000 engagements with prospects, influencers, partners and show organizers both who were there physically and who were following the conversation on social media
  • 900 clicks through to dedicated landing pages around the event
  • 45 downloads of the Digital Body Language guide

We were also recognized in the top 3 for contribution and engagement at the event alongside enterprise technology vendors (with big stands!) IBM and Adobe.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader? How do you leverage AI capabilities at Clicktale?

As a company, I’d like to think we’re quite far ahead in terms of our adoption of AI. We have numerous AI facilities and projects throughout Clicktale, mainly being used to analyze the vast data sets that flow through our platform and then to work out the best ways to recalibrate and improve our approach.

We’re also currently using machine learning in an effort to find out what the exact parameters are that impact experience and performance – both for customers and across Clicktale itself.

A lot of these projects are still very much ‘in the lab’, but it’s important to always be experimenting with the latest technologies. In one study, we have a customer that has asked us to predict if consumers that have made purchases in the digital space are more inclined to buy in the physical space. By combining our machine learning with experimental AI we’ve been able to make predictions about exactly how people will react in these different scenarios.

While plenty of interesting findings have come out of these projects, we try not to rely solely on AI for our insights. The trick is to combine big data with machine learning and AI, and then marry it with a secret sauce – inputs from cognitive scientists and web psychologists. That is how you get the best insights and the most informative results.

How do you get tech and people to converge at one place?

In terms of people converging, we use a lot of the same tools and facilities as other growth companies; we have Slack and Zoom, and encourage regular information sharing across the company.

As an organization, we’re relatively spread-out, with about two-thirds of the workforce working in Israel and about a third working remotely without a set office. Given this distributed workforce, we’ve had to try and create an environment where collaboration is easy – and technology has played a big role in achieving that. Part of this process has been providing people with virtual workspace, but mostly it’s about creating cultural alignment and a clarity of vision. As CEO it’s been a big part of my role to define this vision.

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

At Clicktale we couldn’t live without Slack and Zoom. Having a distributed workforce has meant these tools are absolutely vital to our day to day operation. Document sharing platforms are also very important.

In terms of my own personal apps, anything that helps improve my productivity is important. I like MindMap, as it helps to model loosely-coupled thoughts in an easy to digest way. News aggregators are also very important in terms of timesaving and productivity.

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

I don’t have one set productivity hack, but I have developed a number of vital time management techniques over the years. Most of it comes down to planning ahead – to sitting down with my assistant for an hour and a half and really thinking about what my priorities are. The first step in this process is to define what my goals are for 2018. Next, I define my goals for the quarter, then the month, and then the week. By knowing exactly where you’re going, and then deciding exactly how to get there, you are almost guaranteed to avoid distractions.

A lot of productivity also comes down to having your own system for managing tasks, notes and meetings. It doesn’t matter what that system is, as long as you stick to it. I find that the foundation of productivity is being disciplined about how you manage your time.

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

As a CEO, I think the most important thing you can do is learn from others. As a result, I try to read as much as I can get my hands on, often jumping between different books and various news sources.

In terms of what I’m reading at the moment, I’m jumping between a book about Tibetan Buddhism, a book about ‘positive intelligence’ and a book about how technology can be used to shape the world. I also read various blogs and news sites but, in general, I try to organize those through a news aggregator. At the moment I’m mainly using Flipboard to keep all of my interests in one place, and also Pocket when I want to deep-dive into longer-form articles.

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

Listen more, and listen less.

The key to being a successful CEO is about calibrating who you listen to and when you listen. It’s about spotting the good ideas, knowing when to listen and when to go with your gut. At the same time, I’d also tell myself to stop worrying so much about the mundane and the day-to-day.

I always describe running a business as a bit like skiing: if you spend too much time looking into the distance you’ll fall over, but, if you spend all your time looking down, sooner or later you’re bound to hit a tree. It’s about finding that middle ground between the idealistic and the mundane. That’s the secret.

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

I can’t say I’m a religious follower of any one CEO, speaker or entrepreneur. In general, I always just want to hear from people smarter than me. I love to take bits and pieces of insight from different people and then customize it to fit my own business needs. The trick is to listen to and learn from as many different people as possible.

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

As CEO of Clicktale, Tuval is on a mission to drive next level innovation in experience analytics.

He has over two decades of experience in entrepreneurship and start-up management, which includes guiding ITG from a ‘10 person start-up’ to a billion-dollar global corporation in an extremely competitive environment.

Yoga and cycling keep him moving and help him take a break from the digital world. Tuval also indulges in Japanese cooking, photography and painting. My His days as a competitive basketball player are, sadly, behind him.

clicktale
Clicktale taps into the wisdom and behavior of millions of visitors so that businesses can deliver the best digital experiences and drive amazing business results. Complex behavioral patterns are synthesized based on millisecond-level actions such as hovers and scrolls, enabling businesses to interpret their customers’ digital body language to understand intent. The pioneer in Experience Analytics, Clicktale marries cognitive computing, machine learning and psychological research to automatically surface issues and answer questions that keep executives up at night. With unique behavioral data, clear visualizations, and world-class customer experience expertise, Clicktale is driving the “Experience Era” at the world’s leading brands.

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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