MarTech Interview with Daniel Rodriguez, Chief Marketing Officer at Simplr

Daniel Rodriguez, Chief Marketing Officer at Simplr joins us for a chat to share a few post-pandemic marketing tips:

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Welcome to this Martech chat Daniel. Take us through some of your biggest marketing moments and learnings over the years…

The category wins have been my biggest moments and, ultimately, represent the recipe for success. First at Seismic, where we owned the Sales Enablement category and now again here at Simplr, where we’re winning the emerging category of NOW CX. 

What’s your marketing structure and team like at Simplr, how has that changed during COVID-19, in what ways has the team and its processes evolved?

The Simplr marketing team has grown 3X  during COVID. I joined Simplr as CMO in April of 2020, as the unreal reality of COVID-19 was hitting us all. My charge was to grow the team and grow the business, which we did. Some of this was fueled by the pandemic-influenced growth of e-commerce and the tremendous need many retail brands have for flexible customer support that helps drive revenue. The marketing team I’ve structured includes the business development function, demand gen, product marketing, graphic design and PR. We’ve just incorporated social and community into our team, so we’re pretty close to complete! I like the structure of this team because we can easily strategize and collaborate on how to win the NOW CX category and drive revenue at a rapid pace.

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What have been some of your go-to marketing technologies over the years and also at Simplr, a few top martech platforms that you rely on to drive marketing goals?

We use HubSpot (I’ve also used Marketo), Seismic, Apollo, Bombora, ZoomInfo, and Gong, which has been particularly impactful as we moved to a remote setup. We use Gong to aggregate, tag and stage our sale calls info. It also informs us we should introduce pricing into the sales process and when to enable our sales teams. From the collaboration and workflow perspective, we use Basecamp and Asana. 

Tell us your thoughts on the evolving and growing use of AI in marketing and martech and how you see this shape up in the near-future?

There’s AI embedded into some of the technologies we’re using that makes lead targeting more accurate and give us insights what’s actually happening with our customers. But I think the real answer is that the impact of AI is overblown. I say that because some of the most important work the Simplr team is doing is creating valuable content, which AI has nothing to do with. Our smart, collaborative teammates are educating our customers on how to capture the momentum of the NOW CX movement to drive customer success and generate revenue.

What are some of the core marketing technologies that you feel marketing teams should not be doing without today? 

Any kind of revenue intelligence software where you can listen to your customers and understand the language that they’re using can prove invaluable.

A few predictions that you have for the future of maretch?

I don’t anticipate that MarTech technologies will replace marketers. I do think technology that gives people insights into what’s actually happening with their customers allows creative people to make high-impact campaigns and sales assets and target the right people.

In the B2B space, there’s a lot of benefit derived from technology advancements. But we’re seeing with some of the new privacy rules rolling out that access to data is on the decline for B2C companies. I don’t think there’s the same kind of impact in the B2B world, where technology is still aiding how we target buyers and get the right message in front of them, in a more cost-efficient way. 

A few key takeaways for marketing leaders and CMOs in 2021 as they plan, innovate, expand their teams. 

In some ways we still don’t know when things will return to larger in-person gatherings.  These gatherings are pivotal to multiple different customer and prospect channels, where we’d typically use trade shows, events, customer dinners, and prospect happy hours, all of which aren’t happening right now.  

So it’s really important to have the ability to be nimble and at the ready for when things do open up and it’s safe to get back together. We need to be flexible with our strategy and budgeting.  It’s important to communicate internally that there needs to be dry powder in the marketing budget that can be tapped when things open up. 

Essentially, we all need a pandemic budget and a post-pandemic budget and we need to be able to flip a switch to quickly tap into that money. That’s a message that needs to be delivered to leadership.

Equally important, corporate leaders need to have more human conversations with their teams about what’s happening in our country right now. Many employees are looking to leadership at their companies for empathy, acknowledgement, and for action. They want to know: what are we going to do stop Asian hate, and how do we prevent another situation like what happened with George Floyd and Duante Wright? What are we doing as an organization and how can we be proactive rather than reactive? We need to have these tough conversations and achieve a level of self-education, while also providing resources to our employees. No longer can people get a free pass on ignorance. There’s a paradigm shift in corporate responsibility. Companies that don’t take action will become dinosaurs that repel talent. As Tony Detter, CEO of our parent company Asurion says, we need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. This feeling of being uncomfortable shouldn’t be the burden of only the under-represented in our companies and our society, these uncomfortable conversations have to happen across all people at all levels.

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Simplr

Simplr® offers companies a human-first, machine-enabled customer experience solution that meets the demands of the NOW Customer across all digital channels. Offering a combination of a uniquely talented, flexible, and scalable staffing pool, AI-based technology, and actionable intelligence, Simplr allows companies to immediately expand their customer service capacity and engage customers with speed, empathy, and precision.

Daniel Rodriguez is the Chief Marketing Officer at Simplr

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