Year Ender 2017: The Best of MTS’ Interview Series-Part 1

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“A roundup of the best of our Martech Interview Series. “

2017 was the year that saw some of the top names in MarTech feature in the Martech Interview Series. As part of our year end specials, we present a recap of some of the best interviews. 

Steve Lucas, Chief Executive Officer, Marketo on how the martech sector would evolve over the next few years:

“First and foremost, I see the landscape getting more complex, not less. Which is daunting, given there are over 4,500+ MarTech vendors in the space today. CMOs and marketers will look to us to help them simplify their engagement with customers and that’s a sharp contrast to our competition.

Additionally, there’s no question that new technologies, channels, and touchpoints have fundamentally changed the relationship between buyers and sellers. Marketers no longer get to define the terms of a relationship with their consumer.

The whole acronym – CRM – is fundamentally flawed because it implies that we get to “manage” our customers. They don’t want to be managed, they want to be engaged. It’s a fact that buyers are in now charge, and they demand brand experiences that let them feel valued, align with their values, and connect with them on a personal level. I call this concept the Engagement Economy, and succeeding in this new world means engaging with customers continuously – at every touchpoint, on every channel – throughout the entire lifecycle.

Deeper, more meaningful engagement is the only way for a marketer to win, and we’ll continue to see an acceleration of adaptive and intuitive applications and technologies that will enable the marketer to deliver consistent and personalized experiences at scale. It’s this powerful combination – the marketer and the machine – that will enable marketers and brands to build life-long customer relationships.”

Jennifer Grant, Chief Marketing Officer, Looker on the challenges that firms face in integrating an analytics platform into their martech stack

“The first step is to actually collect accurate data. Very often you set up your Salesforce or other CRM at the early stages of a start-up and you don’t have the conversation about the future. What data do you want to collect today – and what might you be asking in the future? The more time you spend on the data strategy early on, the faster you can scale your understanding of what’s happening in your business. Even if you know you won’t have time today to do the analysis, collect the data for the future. The second step is when you’re ready to pull all that data together and let Looker clean it up and join it together for analysis.

If you’ve already been collecting the data you need for the questions you have, you’ll be in better shape to pull it all together from all the marketing and sales tools now available and get it centralized. Once you’ve done those two things, the rest is fairly easy. With a data platform, you can then figure out what each department needs, create dashboards, and push data into everyone’s existing workflow – Slack or Salesforce – to make it as easy as possible to make better, more informed, decisions.”

Peter Isaacson, Chief Marketing Officer, Demandbase on the challenges that startups face in integrating ABM into their martech stack.

“The biggest challenge to practicing ABM successfully – across companies of all sizes – is in gaining alignment across your company and getting sales and marketing on board and collaborating. It’s essential that all teams involved coordinate programs across target accounts and that metrics are agreed upon prior to moving forward with any ABM program.

ABM can be effective for most B2B companies, but startups will need to consider their audience and deal sizes. ABM is about being laser focused on specific target accounts, so organizations that have a broader focus or small deals usually do better with horizontal sales and marketing efforts.”

Ross Andrew Paquette, CEO, Maropost on how he sees the martech market evolving over the next few years.

“Like the rest of the tech industry, martech is in the midst of a growth boom, with products and offerings evolving and innovating rapidly. That means more automation, more personalization, more machine learning. And we’re right there with the boom, having just launched “Da Vinci” our new machine intelligence.

Consumers are also becoming smarter about martech and with that, pickier. In the end, the product and service is always going to be the most important. It’s not enough to simply solve the customer’s problem, you have to set yourself apart by putting the customer and product first.”

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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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