MarTech Interview With Richard Jones, Chief Revenue Officer at Wunderkind

Richard Jones, Chief Revenue Officer at Wunderkind comments on the biggest trends that will shape the digital commerce marketplace through 2023:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Richard, tell us about yourself and more about your role at Wunderkind…

I started my career at a marketing agency working on incentive programs for IBM right at the time eCommerce was born. I quickly realized that the incentives handed out to IBM salespeople were worth more than my annual salary, so I decided to take a job in technology sales. I spent many years working at a variety of martech companies focused on both B2C and B2B solutions, before deciding that I not only wanted to sell technology, but wanted to build solutions for marketers.

I ended up founding a software as a services company that did pretty well. It spread to the US, UK, and Australia, and grew to about 200 enterprise customers. We essentially had a platform that ran quizzes, challenges, competitions and sweepstakes to engage audiences, collect first-party data, and profile consumers. I sold that to Cheetah Digital and worked there for three years as its CMO. I then joined Wunderkind, a martech company fast approaching unicorn status, and one that all B2C revenue focused marketers should know about! Quickly after being hired, I was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer, overseeing all global commercial functions including sales, marketing, customer success and services.

What should marketers do more of through 2023 to drive brand value and customer experiences?

Despite a shift to online commerce, supply chain disruptions and inflation in 2022 has posed a huge challenge to retailers. However, they are poised for a bounce back in 2023 if they adjust their services to match consumers’ priorities.

A looming recession has made consumers price conscious, leading to frugal behavior and secondhand shopping, taking the resale market which has tripled since 2020. We can expect this will create new opportunities for up and coming resale apps catering to the younger generation in the coming year.

Along with recommerce, the rise in popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options will help brands drive customer traffic to stores, creating straightforward shopping experiences unburdened by late or canceled shipping orders, as well as tend to consumers’ shift in spending. Finally, loyal shoppers are trusting brands for cheaper product recommendations and incentives that match their lifestyle and budgets. Hassle-free returns and loyalty programs will need to be top of mind to marketers to keep customers coming back in 2023.

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What are some of the changes you predict for digital marketers / online brands for 2023: trends that will dominate the market?

I think we’re going to see some big changes for digital marketers in 2023, if the last few years are anything to go off of. Conscious opt-out options for customers protect the customer, but make it harder for brands to identify their traffic–particularly with iOS14 privacy settings, and the deprecation of cookies on Chrome. Consumers have reported being annoyed by blasted, repetitive ads from brands, and the same can be said about reminders that can affect their mental health. Therefore, retailers will look to tie sensitivity to national holidays moving forward, such as opt-outs for consumers who do not wish to be reminded of Mother’s Day. It’s all about tailoring their advertising and messaging to individuals’ needs.

The second trend we can expect to see is product discovery for retailers. The ability to be in-store and therefore explore, discover and find the right fit, can turn consumers into loyal customers very quickly. As such, brands will be expected to utilize AI for customized customer experience, even in brick and mortar, to deliver a better discovery process.

How do you feel ad spending priorities and online advertising will fare through 2023: what are some pointers that marketers/advertisers should follow?

Money is getting pulled from Facebook and we expect that to accelerate as time onsite and user numbers dwindle, combined with how the Apple privacy changes continue to bite into the Facebook advertising ecosystem effectiveness. For the first time advertising revenues on Youtube have also stalled and there is a significant advertiser pull back from Twitter post the Elon Musk takeover. Tiktok can’t sweep up all of this digital ad money, so we expect publishers like Weather.com who can deliver Ads that focus on a great user experience to take up a lot of this slack.

What do you feel about the future of martech/adtech and the B2B tech marketing ecosystem?

As seen in Wunderkind’s CMO State of the Union report, while 79% of CMO’s have shifted the majority of their marketing spend online, only 29% of those CMOs feel this shift will last. As consumer wallets tighten and the gap between online and brick-and-mortar revenue equalizes, it is likely that marketing leaders will need to pivot once more. Most notably, the greatest areas of opportunity are resource allocation, in-house knowledge, measurement, and the use of first-party data.

In 2022 we learned that 67% of CMOs rely on their own employees to adapt legacy technology to get the value they need, and only 9% believe their tech strategy greatly enables their marketing performance. This opens the opportunity to adopt new technology that knows your customers and allows for your teams to focus on other marketing campaigns.

We also saw 96% of brand marketing leaders believe there is a gap in knowledge of their technology, while 90% believe there is a gap in resources holding them back from success. These results call out the need to understand your own data with the right training and tools all under one pane of glass.

Nearly three quarters of CMOs rely on social media and search engine statistics to measure marketing ROI, while less than half depend on customer experience statistics. We can expect CMOs to begin paying closer attention to experience and focus less on paid social media tactics to understand a consumer base.

Lastly, with third-party cookies going away, a whopping 40% of CMOs feel there is more work to be done.

When it comes to B2B tech marketing, the main development as I see it is a continued movement to make sure that ‘B2B’ marketing doesn’t stand for ‘Business 2 Boring’. B2B buyers are time poor, just like modern consumers, so we need to move to more entertaining short form content to engage and entertain. The CMO State of the Union webinar is a great example of how a staple of B2B marketing – the webinar – can be reinvented in this way!

Marketing Technology News: 2023 … Will It Really Be Any Different? Yes, Yes It Will.

Performance Marketing Leader Wunderkind Reports 46% YoY Growth Following US Expansion

Wunderkind is a leading performance marketing engine that delivers tailored experiences at scale.

Richard Jones has more than 20 years of marketing, sales and strategy experience during which he has worked with top brands to understand and adapt to the nuances of modern consumerism amid any ever-evolving customer landscape. Prior to joining Wunderkind as Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Jones served as CMO of Cheetah Digital, a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider. Previously, he served as CEO of Wayin, a global leader in zero-party data collection and activation, where he helped leading brands, such as Daily Mail Group, NHL, Bauer Media, Vodafone, Priceline.com, Reckitt Benckiser, Air New Zealand and Manchester City FC, create zero-party data strategies. Jones began his career in sales and continuously transformed his path towards entrepreneurship, and  as a two-time start-up CEO and a proven CRO, Jones can provide a unique perspective on the proven and next-gen strategies that brands must implement to survive this challenging market and stay a step ahead of the discerning consumer.

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