MarTech Interview with David Turner, CMO at Sidetrade

MarTech Interview with David Turner, CMO & Chief Customer Officer at Sidetrade

“Marketers today are keen to use technology, the trick is to keep the focus on the outcomes and measurable benefits – not technology for its own sake!”

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You have a long track-record of successfully working in and managing diverse business teams. How did you arrive at Sidetrade?

Having run EMEA Marketing for a US tech company for the last 4 years, I was looking for a European-based scale-up where I could be at the heart of the business – building a global Marketing Operation but also part of the Executive team driving strategy company-wide. Sidetrade is a French-founded SaaS (software-as-a-service) company whose recent introduction of Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) is leading to massive growth opportunities worldwide. We’ve currently got seven offices across Europe, with plans for a new office opening in America in 2020.

How do you mix your technical expertise and team leadership skills to stay on top of your game? 

To me, attracting and motivating great people is priority one – Marketing is a team sport and no one person can maintain all the technical skills and knowledge needed for a modern Marketing operation. So, I try to focus on team building and nurturing their skills, whilst keeping up myself with the latest trends and technology.

Which Marketing, Sales and Communication tools, and technologies do you use at Sidetrade? 

We’re reviewing and building these all the time, but currently, we have Marketo and Salesforce as the foundation, and a website built on WordPress. We use Sharepoint and Microsoft Teams to communicate across the company (messaging and calling), which works really well when you’re using Outlook 365 for email. We also use media database and monitoring providers, and tools to help us manage and optimize our social channel content creation and reach. We’re currently looking at other tools that can help us as we scale globally.

How much have the Marketing concepts evolved since you first started? What does the subscription economy look like to you today? 

Concepts haven’t changed too much, but technology has transformed Marketing. When I started Marketing in the early 90s (yep, really!), ‘Crossing the Chasm’ was making waves in high-tech Marketing. Those basic concepts still apply today. We were also talking about Personalized Marketing, but email was only just evolving – now we have the technology to achieve that on a mass scale, which is fantastic. But basic principles still apply – think about the customer pains, talk about benefits in their language, that’s all still critical!

Could you tell us about the unique features of Aimie AI – how does it tie in Customer data to provide a unified analytics platform for users? 

Aimie, our AI tech, analyzes our users’ customer data and external data sources – from our own massive data pool of 230 million financial data points worth 900 billion euros built up over 20 years, plus web-trawled information such as company websites and social media – and draws insights from that.

The above, combined with the customer’s data, means Aimie can compare agreed and actual payment behaviors, to provide our customers with a benchmark to improve Days Sales Outstanding; which customers to prioritize; and the best times and methods to communicate with them to result in payment.

Aimie can also predict future outcomes – whether your customer is likely to leave you (churn), be open to buying more from you (upsell) or buy other products and services from you (cross-sell), as well AI-recommended communications to reduce churn and optimize sales. It’s AI for the entire customer lifecycle.

What major challenges and opportunities do you foresee for Marketing, Sales and Finance teams that are yet to untap the true potential of CRM data using AI and ML? 

Companies have invested heavily in CRM over the years, but still, struggle with basic challenges. Data quality is a constant issue, particularly getting their Sales teams to actually enter data. But the biggest issue is that CRM data is static – it doesn’t drive behavior or outcomes and lacks financial data from ERP.

ML and DL can help by automating the collection of data, filing it and understanding its relevance. But it can then analyze the data and compare it to learning from past actions and activities, drawing conclusions and predicting outcomes. It can then drive those outcomes by either taking actions itself or prompting Salespeople to act. Most recently, we created a Salesforce force that uses our ML and DL, and financial date to unlock the full potential of CRM data for Salesforce users.

What is the future of Augmented Sales-to-Cash platforms as we head into 2020? How are you preparing for the AI-driven B2B commerce? 

The future’s bright – with the power of ML and DL now driving more customer value, this area is booming, which is why Sidetrade is on a high-growth trajectory right now – and ramping up our Marketing and delivery capabilities in order to meet the growing demand for our solutions.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology? 

Marketers today are keen to use technology, the trick is to keep the focus on the outcomes and measurable benefits – not technology for its own sake!

One word that best describes how you work. 


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

Google maps – I’d literally be lost without it! J

Which superhero character/movie do you most profoundly relate to?

The Tick!

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


What are you currently reading?

Asterix the Gaul (in French) – I’m trying to improve my French! My smart phone is my go-to device, mainly because I’m always traveling.

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

Question everything!

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success? 

Collaborating across functions –bringing together people with different objectives and getting them to work as a team.

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

Sally Scott, CMO at Advanced

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

David Turner was appointed CMO of Sidetrade is October 2019. He Joined Sidetrade from major US software vendor Oracle NetSuite, where he was senior director, EMEA marketing. He brings nearly two decades of extensive management and marketing expertise to his role, having held senior marketing roles with Nucleus Software, Unit4 NV, and Coda Group. David also brings entrepreneurial experience, having conceived and helped to develop FinancialForce, a cloud software start-up, while at Coda and Unit4 NV, as well as running a number of businesses outside of the tech industry.


Sidetrade accelerates growth by laying the cornerstones of the customer journey: acquisition, upsell/cross-sell, churn reduction, and payment acceleration. Integrated with your CRM and your ERP, Sidetrade’s revolutionary AI system called Aimie reveals unseen factors that can generate leads, drive new sales opportunities, improve retention and shorten payment delay. Over 1,500 businesses in 80 countries use Sidetrade technology to give their Marketing, Sales and Finance teams a competitive edge on their markets.

[mnky_heading title=”MarTech Interview Series” link=”|||”]

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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