Tell us about your role and how you got here? What inspired you to join Aprimo?
As VP, Head of Marketing at Aprimo, I drive the market strategy and operations, including all paid/owned/earned media, brand experience, product marketing, marketing, PR, Demand Gen, and the rebirth and growth of the company. Before Aprimo, I worked in complex data in the nuclear energy field, then moved into business transformation, which is what led me to the data and complexity around marketing operations for Aprimo, where I have been for the past 13 years.
Could you tell us about the Aprimo Idea Lab? How do you deliver IDEATION through EXPERIENCE at Aprimo?
Aprimo offers a platform of best-of-breed capabilities that function as an Experience Command Center which enables enterprises to easily manage all the behind-the-scenes activities involved in delivering impactful customer experiences. Our solutions offer better collaboration and visibility into each stage of the process, from ideation, planning, and budgeting, to creation, analysis, and retirement.
Who is your ‘Ideal Customer’?
Aprimo helps enterprise organizations in the Financial Services, Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, Life Sciences, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Technology industries that need to better coordinate their marketing, customer experience, content, and other teams so they can better manage all their brand experiences.
Aprimo Campaign allows marketers and analysts to generate their targeted customer lists, assign offers to subsegments, and orchestrate delivery to any marketing channel: email, direct mail, call, social, and other digital channels. It offers advanced segmentation features that securely query your data in place wherever it rests—on-premise, hosted, or in the cloud. This allows your organization to better target prospects and customers with the best campaigns and offers throughout their customer journey.
What is the current state of Product Content Management tools in 2019? How much of that state is influenced by the maturity of data science and customer experience platforms?
Product Content Management or Product Information Management is a fragmented market. There are main areas we are seeing right now which are Master Data Management, Product Syndication, Product Content and Experience, and Vendor Portals and Onboarding. Master Data Management manages and distributes product data across the enterprise, integrating with data sources of many domains (customer, supplier, location, etc.) and with heavy data capabilities like data governance, cleansing, etc. Product Syndication supports distribution capabilities globally to hundreds of sales channels, marketing channels, and marketplaces. Product Content and Experience enables product managers and merchandisers to enrich content and create product experiences. Powerful content, workflow, editing, and data relationship tools allow channel marketers, merchandisers, buyers, and channel managers to collaborate in one space. Vendor Portals enable retailers and distributors to manage hundreds of vendor relationships by enabling suppliers to load content directly into the retailer’s PIM.
How do you see the Content Experience strategies evolving around omnichannel marketing campaigns?
Enterprises are now challenged with providing consistent, engaging experiences on every emerging channel. That requires collaboration and coordination of multiple teams, activities, and messaging to ensure those experiences stay on-brand every time. To successfully achieve this, organizations are building new customer experience teams that draw from different groups across the enterprise and providing them new processes and optimized integrated technology platforms so they can deliver more rich experiences that better support customer expectations as well as ensure they achieve the ROI they desire.
What are your predictions on the growing inclination toward delivering Personalization as a service with Content?
My prediction is that we are going to see organizations adopt an atomic content strategy to support personalization as a service. This will include storing, cataloging, relating and managing content elements as the smallest particle possible. This coupled with data whether it be customer data, transaction data, preferences data, contextual data, or purchase history and real-time content with the delivery of personalized experiences at scale and as a service. Not only will we see personalization capabilities increase, but the reuse of content and efficiency and effectiveness of content will improve as a result.
Which startups in MarTech and AdTech industries are you keenly following?
I follow a lot of technology across numerous categories, but 2 pieces of technology that are in a hyper-growth mode right now are 6sense and Drift. These 2 technologies have been game-changers in my MarTech stack. We use Drift for ‘Conversational Marketing‘. We realized that we needed to do more than modernize our buyer’s journey within the digital space. We also had to bring our sales experience up to speed with buyer expectations. Our exploration of the problem uncovered a need to bring conversational marketing into the mix. Drift continues to keep pulling us into the future. We also use 6sense for a ‘Predictive Demand’ for our Account-Based Marketing efforts. 6sense allows us to see into the ‘Dark Funnel’ and get a competitive advantage by prioritizing marketing efforts only on active demand in the market.
Elaborate on your best Digital Transformation campaign at Aprimo?
Our best Digital Transformation campaign is actually the internal business transformation, that we have achieved after splitting off from Teradata in 2016. After the divestiture, we were left with no operational infrastructure and were facing an evolving market. Aprimo’s short-term transformation strategy included a new operational model, internal product enhancements, and a series of acquisitions to help us round out our platform of solutions so we could not only connect the entire marketing ecosystem but also transform our platform into an Experience Command Center that enables enterprises to better manage all the behind-the-scenes activities involved in creating rich customer experiences.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric ecosystem as a marketing leader?
The general reason for adopting AI is that most marketing departments are so focused on the outbound execution side of things, they forget that tremendous savings can be found by utilizing this emerging technology to expedite content creation and simplify the internal coordination of getting their activities completed. But, before they can begin implementing any kind of AI, they must first determine a business value for each area that they are looking to enhance with it. For example, utilizing AI for automated asset tagging can decrease content creation costs and reduce asset search time, while utilizing AI for routing tasks could increase the percentage of on-time projects and decrease employee burnout. Creating strategies and business values for AI applications not only increases stakeholder buy-in but ultimately helps marketers create better success metrics for the entire project.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology at Aprimo?
I mandate that 10% of everything we do is new. Experimentation, testing, and continuous evolution of what we are doing is part of our culture. Also, when we pick a technology we go all in to understand its full potential. I personally ride along and with my team, as I need to be fully aware of what our technology can do, I am always looking for a competitive advantage and need to be unlocked within the stack.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What is your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
My passion is triathlon and it requires lots of long workouts. I hack into this by preparing for them by downloading lots of podcasts and audiobooks. When you are left with your thoughts and rich content is filling your head, it enriches your ability to find that next big idea.
What are you currently reading?
Currently in hand is ‘The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million’ by Mark Roberge, but I typically take consume through audio as mentioned in my productivity hack.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Get comfortable at staying uncomfortable.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Thank you, Ed Breault! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Ed is a “full stack” marketer driving both the art and science aspects of marketing. As head of marketing, Ed leads Aprimo’s marketing strategy and operations including all paid/owned/earned media, brand experience, product marketing, content marketing, PR, demand generation, and the rebirth and growth of Aprimo.
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.