MarTech Interview with Mary Clark, Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Synchronoss

Mary Clark, Chief Product Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Synchronoss

“Insights gathered through analytics and business intelligence are only relevant when they can be applied quickly and with near real-time methodology to solve problems and deliver desired outcomes.”

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Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be part of a Marketing Technology company?

I began my role as Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer in January 2018 — a year ago. I am responsible for Product Management, marketing and communications globally. My roots are in technology, telecom and mobile, having been in the mobile industry for more than 25 years. My first job in telecoms started in 1992, selling mobile phones. I sold the Motorola Startac Lite and the 8000M, the original brick phone. I loved my time there, and that was the moment when I became a total technology geek.

Throughout my career, I have spent the majority of my time in Product Management and P&L roles — roles by their very nature that have had either direct responsibility for marketing or have had significant influence over marketing. As a CMO, having been in P&L for so much of my career, I am intrinsically focused on business outcomes we want to achieve. This has lent itself to be a terrific point-of-view with other stakeholders to ensure marketing is considered a critical component to our collective success. I have seen marketing organizations pushed to the side when not tied to the business outcomes.  In the role I have today in Product Management and marketing leadership, it is really the best of both worlds as I can ensure we are in lockstep from product innovation and ideation to go-to-market and general availability.

As a woman in a tech-heavy ecosystem, what message would you give to other women, especially in the Marketing and Sales functions?

During my career, I have always been an active champion of gender diversity and I speak on topics ranging from gender equality, career development, and empowering females in the workplace.  I would first and foremost tell them to listen to their instincts and have confidence.

A key part of having confidence is learning how to manage conflicts. This ability will help them in business and achieving success. The three rules to manage conflicts in the workplace no matter what job function you are in is to:

  • Embrace and understand conflict management and how it is a critical asset for owning your power, getting the job done and building confidence rather than letting insecurity creep in.
  • Focus on the issue and what you want to achieve and not on differing opinions or worries.
  • Listen before reacting because if you listen first, you can still assertively communicate what they are thinking and move closer to your goal.

Tell us about the strategic roadmap for honeybee’s acquisition. How does it impact your CDP adoption for omnichannel marketing execution?

In June 2018, Synchronoss completed the acquisition of honeybee, whose digital experience platform lets operators andan other service providers quickly design and launch optimized customer interaction journeys for their subscribers across multiple channels — at the point-of-sale, in the call center and online. We’ve incorporated honeybee into our own Digital Experience Platform (DXP), an easy-to-use, carrier-grade platform that easily integrates to legacy CRM systems and reduces operator time to market for new offers, improving revenue growth and driving down costs.

The integration of the honeybee in the Synchronoss’ DXP platform solves a specific problem that exists consistently within specific telecom operator channels — the end user is not able to pause in a journey (for ex. upgrading a mobile phone) and resume that same journey on another channel. The honeybee technology solves that problem and allows for an omnichannel experience by allowing the user to hit pause and resume between channels. This is a tremendous benefit to channel owners in organizations looking to perfect an omnichannel experience. This capability allowed us to implement 12 proof of concepts with our target customers in a very short period of time.

What areas in marketing Analytics and Business Intelligence keeps you glued?

I am most fascinated by the applicability of Marketing Analytics and Business Intelligence. Insights gathered through Analytics and Business Intelligence are only relevant when they can be applied quickly and with near real-time methodology to solve problems and deliver desired outcomes. The use of Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics are of great interest as they will transform the customer experience across various touch points for telecom, media and technology (TMT) companies.

What was the biggest event/disruption for MarTech players in 2019?

As marketers look to build more content to both improve relevance and timeliness to their targets, and Content Marketing, in general, becomes more critical to the overall strategy for a marketer, leveraging new technology to proliferate that content is a constant challenge. One technology that I am happy to see embraced and made a priority for Mobile Network Operators (MNO) is Rich Communications Services (RCS) around RCS-based messaging solutions.

This next-generation advanced messaging technology is currently being used by three operators in Japan (KDDI Corporation, NTT Docomo Inc. and SoftBank Corp.) through a common device client called ‘plus’ message. This provides an interoperable messaging capability similar to traditional text messaging between consumers — regardless of which operator they are using. And, it also provides a ubiquitous platform for brands to reach those same consumers regardless of the operator through a visually rich experience. RCS has been long talked of in the MNO space, however, it is now just beginning to become a reality and brand markets will need to become familiar with this innovative content delivery method.

How do you see the evolution of Marketing Technologies impacting digital transformation journeys for organizations?

The buzz word for the last few years has been omnichannel. Marketers are consistently looking for an omnichannel experience for the consumer, whether it is to acquire, retain or to grow that interaction requires a constantly evolving examination. As a marketer, I need to question the value exchange between the customer and the brand at every touchpoint and the Marketing Technology that is used to maintain a relationship with the consumer is smack in the middle of digital transformation. Digital transformation is touching, and should be touching, all customer experience touch points and given the emphasis on omnichannel, digital transformation must examine all channels, and therefore, all touch points in order to ensure the best possible customer experience.

What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2018? Which technologies and tools are you keen to invest into for 2019-2020?

We are investing in content management and distribution including heavy invest in channel distribution agreements. We will be examining lead generation technology over the next 12-18 months, as we developing a strategy for demand generation for 2020. As a B2B technology solutions provider, content creation and distribution is critical to supporting our account-based marketing approach and tools that support us in that activity are critical for us in 2019-2020.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

For Synchronoss, we are very focused on the evolution of AI in terms of Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics. To help our solutions not only identify issues and/or opportunities, but also take action on those issues or opportunities.  And, from that same place, we also are very interested in how we can use insights gained to better convey value proposition to our customers. AI is critical not just for the operations of technology, but also a way in which we articulate benefits and proof points associated with using our technology. The rise of AI goes hand-in-hand with product development and marketing as one defines the product and improves on its efficacy, and the other helps find why it should be selected.

One word that best describes how you work.

Holistically. I try to think holistically in terms of the 360 degrees of an issue all the time, whether it is problem-solving, marketing, Product Management issues or operations.

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

My smartphone.

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

Google Keep. It is a cloud-based constantly syncing action list with a note-taking capability.  It allows me to go on to any device to get my notes and maintain my action item list.

What are you currently reading?

I am constantly reading several different fictional books at any given time. (romance, historical fiction), but also listening to a lot of industry podcasts including The podcast and the Recode Decode podcast. I am always on the lookout for new podcasts.

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

I’ve been a recipient of great coaching and advice over the years and there are many examples from which I can pull.  However, one that I use a great deal in my career is to be a person in a meeting that is listening more and saying less.

Thank you, Mary! Hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon

Mary Clark joined the Synchronoss team in January 2018 and serves as Chief Product Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Clark is responsible for product management, marketing and communications. Throughout her 25 years in mobile, she has held several executive-level positions and serves as a Board member for The CTIA Wireless Foundation and The CMO Advisory Council.

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Synchronoss transforms the way companies create new revenue, reduce costs and delight their subscribers with cloud, messaging, digital and IoT products and platforms supporting hundreds of millions of subscribers across the globe. Synchronoss’ secure, scalable and groundbreaking new technologies, trusted partnerships and talented people change the way TMT customers grow their businesses.

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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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