TechBytes with John Barnes, CTO at Infutor

TechBytes with John Barnes, CTO at Infutor
TechBytes with John Barnes, CTO at Infutor

Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Infutor.

I’m currently the Chief Technology Officer and Product Leader for Chicago-based Infutor. We have a great technology team comprised of 65 employees; with the entire development team based in Costa Rica and my IT/infrastructure team here in Chicago. Through my 25+ year career, I’ve seen a lot of technologies from the mainframe to client-server to web and now to serverless and Big Data. Our team strives to tackle the Big Data challenge as our expansive data network leverages 97.5 million daily contact updates across the company’s master Identity Graph of 255 million consumers to ensure up-to-the-minute accuracy.

What is the current definition of Consumer Identity Management (CIM)?

Sure. CIM enables accurate identity linking, resolves and completes identities and keeps up with constant identity changes. Serving as the fuel to identify consumers and their associated profiles and attributes – CIM provides insights to improve consumer experiences across inbound and outbound engagements and enables analytics-driven modeling.

How do CIM platforms integrate with Customer Data and Analytics platforms? Which integrations are you currently providing to the market currently?

CIM and the critical foundational identity graph serve as the master source of truth for improving the efficiency and accuracy of a CRM and a CDP by ensuring accurate linking between each consumer identity. The collective power gives marketers the ability to identify customers across all touchpoints; track their fluctuating habits and purchases; yield more complete insights into their interests and needs, and personalize their experiences – all with unparalleled accuracy. This helps drive an increased return on advertising and Marketing spend and reduce ad spend waste.

Our CIM platform is set-up with continuous API integration between CRM, CDPs and other Marketing stack systems. Our solution searches more than 1 billion records of identity data and resolves the identity to a single consumer, then returning that information through an API in a sub-second speed.

Is it easier to deliver better CX online compared to physical platforms/interaction?

As I touched on before, we deal with mountains of consumer data on a daily basis with the goal of resolving the identity to a single consumer for our customer in sub-second speeds. This could not be achieved without cloud technology using a serverless next-gen approach with unlimited horizontal scalability.

With any physical platform there are inherent limitations, and using an online/cloud approach we can more quickly ingest real-time data to update and enhance our Identity Graph, and utilize best-of-breed models to add intelligence to a customer query and provide Enhanced Matching and Identity Resolution. All of this capability results in a better overall CX.

Does the new-age of AI ML in CDP and CIM platforms announce the end of CRM? What is the future of CRM?

I think the discussion around AI/ML in CDP platforms is more hype than reality at this point, but AI/ML is a key component in many areas around CRM and is a component of how matching or profile building may be accomplished within a CDP. AI/ML is a great tool within a CRM to help with key areas to make the CRM more intelligent. Einstein is a great example of this within Salesforce to improve forecasting, or to make data more predictive or to build propensity scores around leads or customers.

I don’t see CRM going away, but there is a stronger move to the Marketing Clouds with larger customers, and will likely be more consolidation to stronger providers on the SMB market as people move away from a “best-of-breed” approach, towards using a more unified stack to remove integration challenges.

What does it take for an organization to build true Customer Intelligence with CIM?  

Rich and complete consumer profiles allow marketers to better target their messages and build consumer loyalty with personalization, however, marketers are not able to achieve this on their own. The compiling, management and analysis of enormous amounts of data is accomplished through Identity Resolution platforms and the essential data sources that power the identity graph. Through CIM platforms, an organization is able to increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction while more accurately predict and track Marketing and Ad spend.

Tell us more about your Identity Graph and how CMOs can benefit from the reporting?

At its core, the job of an identity graph is to recognize consumers and their associated profiles. Infutor’s identity graph is the underpinning of our CIM which encompasses all consumer touchpoint data along with data from other disparate sources, in a singular view of a consumer. The identity graph impacts three critical Marketing stages – data ingestion, data optimization, and data deployment – to ensure accurate and resolved consumer identity data powers all MarTech stack interactions.

What are your predictions about your Acquisition Marketing tools for the next 3 years? What does your product roadmap look like for 2019-2024?

Acquisition Marketing tools will continue to evolve over the next several years and my prediction is that AI/ML will play a larger role here and move into more of the driver’s seat in the coming years. It already is a key part of many of these tools for smaller areas, such as choosing a channel or around send-time optimization to drive higher engagement. In the future, it will help drive more of the Campaign Execution, Content Selection, and Personalization as the volume and options will be more complex than a marketer has time to choose and execute.

Our roadmap in the coming years will focus on areas to allow us to host customized versions of a client’s identity graph, and allow our matching logic and ML to help them better utilize their data and expose it via our high scale API’s. We will also continue to evolve our AI/ML into life stage predictions to help our customers better understand their customers and prospects and help them know how to engage and when to engage prior to a life event occurring, such as becoming empty nesters, moving, or buying a new car.

Harnessing over 20 years of experience, John specializes in Cloud and Mobile computing. As an innovative Senior Product and Technology Executive, he possesses a successful track record providing guidance, vision, and leadership to teams, while focusing on reliability, scalability, and performance to help companies grow exponentially.

infutor logo

Infutor is an expert in Consumer Identity Management. We are 100% focused on enabling brands to know everything they need to about consumers, to instantly make informed marketing and risk decisions. Infutor’s experience linking trusted data sources result in solutions that:

  • Identify, verify and score inbound consumers, on-demand, with as little as a single identifier.
  • Link customer data, update/add missing identifiers and enhanced attributes.
  • Enable improved digital marketing performance through higher match rates and complete insights.

Infutor gives brands a secure, privacy-compliant foundation to improve inbound engagements and outbound marketing reach and to minimize fraud and collections risk.

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