Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Springbot?
Observing how technology is changing the world and understanding why people do the things they do are super interesting concepts for me. I’ve been lucky in my career to hold positions that incorporate both. Before Springbot, I was the Vice President of Product Strategy for the Oracle Social Cloud. At Vitrue, a social publishing platform, I was responsible for all aspects of the brand, Communications, Marketing, and Product Marketing during a time that social was so new for brands. I have also held other Executive-level Marketing positions at leading Technology companies including MindSpring pre-IPO which eventually merged with Earthlink. I joined Springbot eager to get back to the pace and challenge of a startup environment and I strongly believed (still believe!) in the founders’ commitment to being a champion for SMBs competing in a retail world full of giants. As the CMO at Springbot, I lead a team that covers the spectrum of the brand, product, partnerships, marketing campaigns, and communications.
What is Springbot and how does it fit into a modern Marketing Technology stack?
Springbot enables SMB retailers to take full advantage of even the most complex Marketing data. We do it by delivering a dynamic SaaS Marketing Automation and Analytics platform, eliminating the need for separate tools and making the overwhelming task of running and tracking multi-channel Marketing campaigns ridiculously simple. Then we do something unique; we offer data-driven Marketing recommendations that give store owners and marketers the confidence to make smarter Marketing decisions that help grow revenue.
Which businesses are the fastest to the adoption of Retail Marketing technology? How does it impact digital campaigns across channels for e-commerce businesses?
This is an interesting question because in the past the best Marketing tools and Automation technologies were really only available to large retailers with deep pockets – something we are changing. We think smaller retailers should have access to technology and data that will help them succeed and scale, so we created a robust platform that is manageable for smaller independent merchants.
Having everything in one place gives marketers the best visibility across channels to see how they are performing and adjust strategy accordingly. Our customers, many without deep experience in Marketing strategy and tactics, are able to optimize multi-channel campaigns and grow revenue simply by clicking to implement the recommendations provided in the dashboard. If they want to dig deeper into the details to get more involved, add more customization and access and review data, they are also able to do so.
Tell us how you stay relevant to e-commerce technology trends. How do you see new Automation tools impacting e-commerce businesses in the coming months?
Our customers keep us relevant. All of our Product development is driven by what we are hearing from thousands of merchants. There are new Automation technologies and tools introduced every day, especially in retail. We expect to see more that address some aspect of creating a seamless customer experience in an Omni-channel environment. The industry has been talking “Omni-channel” for years but retailers are only just starting to understand what that means to them and what they need to do to achieve their goals.
Tell us more about your data-driven solutions? How can CMOs optimize their Digital Marketing and Advertising budget using your Products, Services, and Solutions?
Springbot reduces the time spent on manual and repetitive day-to-day tasks by automating the Digital Marketing process, from email and social media to online ads, Amazon Marketplace and more. And then showing the attribution by channel. No longer do merchants need to piece together from 6+ different platforms their results. By tying into the carts + channels, merchants can finally see a path to purchase information (all the way to the product level).
How can businesses maximize their ROI from investing in your platform for digital Customer Experiences?
The Springbot platform is designed to make it as easy as possible for users to maximize Marketing ROI. To get the most out of our software and services, merchants should take a little time to understand all the features available as well as consider the optimization recommendations regularly delivered as a result of ongoing data analysis. Our customer success specialists are also frequently praised for helping merchants achieve stellar results and revenue growth with hands-on support.
Tell us about your technology integrations with other Technology platforms such as Website Analytics, Video, Contacts, Contracts, Email and Customer Service.
Springbot seamlessly integrates with all the major e-commerce cart platforms including BigCommerce, Adobe’s Magento 1 and 2, Shopify and WooCommerce. We also integrate with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, AdRoll, and Google Analytics, just to name a few. At our core, we are solving the Digital Marketing challenge for marketers so having a centralized channel dashboard and activation is key.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Machine Learning technology for 2019-2020?
AI and Machine Learning have been a high-level topic for several years now, but I think people are only just starting to consider what that means for the retail industry. It will certainly be interesting to watch how businesses and technology providers move beyond concepts to the implementation of AI-driven solutions. There are scale and opportunity for efficiency, but it can also be much better customer experience.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
I am very Atlanta-biased right now on technology startups. Metro Atlanta Chamber launched a Backed by ATL program in 2018 with a cadre of some of the area’s best tech companies. That is where I like to provide my support, attention and time. Yes, Springbot is part of the original class of cohorts, but so are a lot of other great tech companies like SalesLoft, Terminus, and others. Atlanta really has a great core set of experience in the B2B Security, Sales and Marketing Tech arenas.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?
Part of my scope of responsibility for Springbot is to determine what to build next for our customers, so my readiness is centered on what can we do for them now. A lot of what is happening right now is automation oriented, but behavioral is increasingly possible and that is very exciting.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
My preference is to motivate people to solve business problems in a unique way and let their creativity identify the solutions to do so. People are really good at discovery and creativity once they understand context and opportunity, and in the process, I also learn new things. Just recently the Marketing team at Springbot implemented a new campaign structure and tool that provided a much-needed level of attribution insight.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
My team will be mocking me for weeks to come for saying this, but Slack. I resisted the Slack phenomenon at first, but it is the most efficient technology communication channel for today’s agile Marketing team. Also, calendar and Domo (Business Intelligence) and Garmin Connect (sleep + running + activity tracker).
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
I like having a plan, working the plan and getting ahead of things in both my personal and professional lives, so that I have efficiency when disruption occurs. For me, a curveball is not stressful because I am not behind, and I might even be ahead. I really enjoy the challenge that chaos and change bring because there is stability in other areas.
What are you currently reading?
I read fiction and non-fiction. I just finished listening to “Let Your Mind Run” by Deena Kastor. As a lifelong runner, there were some incredibly valuable insights on how to harness the power of the mind for performance. My last beach read was “The Dakota Winters” that is based in NYC in the late 70s/early 80s which overlaps with a time I lived there.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
From my dad who was a seasoned Business Executive as I started my first job: “Do not discuss politics or religion with co-workers; nothing good can come from that!”
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Problem-solving and finding the upside.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Rudina Seseri, Founder and Managing Partner at Glasswing Ventures.
Thank you, Erika! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Erika is a Chief Marketing Officer at Springbot. She manages and develops business models to forecast advertising and subscription revenue streams. Erika develops brand positioning, messaging and creative to reach the target audience.
Erika leads communications strategy including public relations, social, analyst relations, influencer outreach. She is the former Vice President of Strategy at Oracle Social Cloud and Head of Marketing for Vitrue.
Springbot enables small- to medium-size retailers to take full advantage of even the most complex marketing data. Springbot does it by delivering marketing automation and analytics in one dynamic platform, eliminating the need for separate tools and making the overwhelming task of running and tracking multi-channel marketing campaigns ridiculously simple. Then Springbot does something unique; we offer data-driven marketing recommendations that give you the confidence to make smarter marketing decisions to help grow your revenue.
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.