MarTech Interview with Jonathan Lacoste, Co-Founder and CEO at Jebbit

MarTech Interview with Jonathan Lacoste, Co-Founder and CEO, Jebbit

” When consumers are offered something of value in return for their information, they are more willing to share their data with marketers. “

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What is Jebbit and how does it help marketers better understand people’s needs?

Jebbit is a new type of Marketing Technology, called a Declared Data platform. Given how important relevant or personalized experiences are to consumers, yet the apprehension they have around brands collecting any and all data on them, the Jebbit platform gives consumers the ability to share the data they want with any given brand. These experiences can be as simple as interactive shopping guides to more robust mobile experiences. The data that consumers share with the brand during these experiences is only used to personalize and make their next experience more relevant than the prior one.

Which businesses and geographies are you currently marketing to? What’s your Ideal Customer Profile?

The biggest opportunity for a Declared Data platform and this excites us, is that it can be used across the board – every category, both enterprise and SMB, and internationally. To remain focused, we primarily target Enterprise companies in North America. However, we continue to be excited by the interest European and Asian companies have, as data privacy regulation accelerates overseas.

What is First-party Declared Data? How does it impact the Sales cycle?

Declared Data is a type of first-party data that is explicitly shared with a brand by a consumer. It yields more information about a consumer’s preferences and results in more targeting offerings. It includes the consumer in the conversation, which over time increases brand trust.

 What role does Consumer Value Exchange play in Declared Data?

As you might expect, when consumers are offered something of value in return for their information, they are more willing to share their data with marketers. Moreover, once a mutual value exchange is established, the brand also builds trust with the consumer. Per Jebbit’s Consumer Data Trust Index, marketers suffer from a wide-scale lack of trust with consumers. The more they are able to enter into a mutual value exchange with consumers, the deeper the trust they can establish—and the deeper the relationship they can build with consumers.

How do you bridge the gap between Customer Data and Mobile experiences? Why is it so important to understand the correlation between these two?

Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, we’ve had a proliferation of smartphones. This has changed the way in which consumers interact and consume content on their devices, breaking up their attention span into hundreds of small moments throughout the day. As marketers, we desire to track, measure, and collect data at each of these touchpoints, but this has become increasingly difficult given the ‘attention fragmentation’. Moving forward, savvy digital marketers realize that customized mobile experiences offer a unique opportunity to capture consumer data.

How will changes in the data regulatory market impact how this data is collected and shared?

Savvy marketers also need to make sure they get in front of the tidal wave of data and privacy regulation coming their way. It will begin in the U.S. with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in 2020—following the enactment of GDRP in Europe last year—and there are many more states planning to follow California’s lead in this department. Instead of looking at conforming to this impending regulation (ie sharpening data collection and disclosures practices) as a burden, marketers should look at it as an opportunity to shift their focus to the consumer provided first-party data (like Declared Data) vs. third-party sources. Not only will this result in more safe and secure data practices and more trusted relationships with consumers, but it will also lead to more effective and efficient data sources.

How exciting is the current Mobile Experience Technology today?

The last 12 years have marked the Golden Age for mobile innovation and technology. With the average consumer touching, tapping, and swiping content on their phones nearly 2,600 times per day, the opportunity for companies to create experiences that capture and sustain attention has never been greater. That said, it remains an incredibly crowded field of Marketing Technologies.

Tell us about your role and journey into Marketing Technology. What inspired you to start Jebbit?

The idea was initially sparked by feeling the pain of irrelevant advertising as a consumer. We were watching a Hulu TV show and a 30-second pre-roll video ad appeared. Our first instinct was to open up a new tab, go to Facebook, and scroll our newsfeed until the ad had completed. When we returned back to the Hulu tab, it dawned on us that a brand had just paid for an ad that was never seen. We then began exploring the possibility of guaranteeing engagement and education as part of marketing.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in AI and Data Management technology for 2019-2020?

As the regulatory environment continues to evolve—especially as it relates to the transfer of data between companies and consumers—Data Management technologies will emerge to help marketers better adapt to new restrictions and new behaviors.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?

AI will allow the application of our data and insights to be that much more effective. Everything hinges, of course, on the quality of that data in the first place though.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

I’ve found that the best employees are inspired by the impact and outcome technology can have on the lives of consumers and companies.

One word that best describes how you work.


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

Slack, Twitter, and Spotify

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

Constantly be re-prioritizing your to-do list. I often do this 5-6 times a day, with the largest and most strategic problems at the top of the list.

What are you currently reading?

Given the Presidential Election, I’m currently reading several biographies from candidates running for office. For me, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the various leadership styles of politicians and understand how their backgrounds have crafted their viewpoint on the world.

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

Focus – In the fast-paced world of software startups, your success is often more determined by what you don’t do.

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

Having a deep understanding of your customer, the pain they feel that your solution uniquely solves, and remaining manically focused on repeating what is working.

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

Ragy Thomas, CEO/Founder @ Sprinklr

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

Jonathan Lacoste is the Co-Founder and President of Jebbit, a mobile marketing software company. Jebbit has raised over $10M in venture capital with some of the largest brands in the world as customers and partners, including Google, Expedia and dozens of professional sports teams. Since launching the company, Jonathan has been named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and was the “Emerging Executive of the Year” in the state of Massachusetts.

jebbit logoJebbit has built the world’s first declared data platform. Our platform enables marketing and sales teams to create beautiful, mobile experiences aimed at capturing the most important consumer data an enterprise needs. Instead of relying on third-party data which is often highly inaccurate and incomplete, enterprise brands use Jebbit to capture consumer intentions, motivations, and preferences.

Customers include travel, ecommerce, and sports brands such as Cathay Pacific Airways, LifeLock, and the New England Revolution.

Jebbit was named one of the Top 25 Most Promising Companies in the World by CNBC, the Best Tech Culture in Boston 2016, and its cofounders are Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees. To learn how you can get started with a declared data strategy, visit

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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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