TechBytes with Scott Brazina, CMO at Impact

TechBytes with Scott Brazina, CMO at Impact
TechBytes with Scott Brazina, CMO at Impact

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

As the CMO, my role is reflective of both Impact’s organizational direction, as well as my personal experience. My background is in software category creation, including branding, thought leadership, research. This background has really lent itself to support Impact’s announcement of the creation of the Partnership Automation category.

I also have experience around supporting rapid revenue growth directly through pipeline creation through marketing, including a highly-targeted ABMS approach. It’s been important not just at my current role, but throughout my career, to make marketing responsible for owning a percent of rapid revenue growth. In many organizations, marketing is really an untapped resource when it comes to driving growth.

My role with the Impact’s marketing team has been to establish a world-class marketing team with a focus on marketing performance. We’ve hired a completely new marketing team and have expanded it globally. Our team is made up of functional experts marketers with direct industry experience in software and SaaS solutions in MarTech and AdTech and affiliate, and spanning areas across Demand Generation, Event Marketing, Product and Program Marketing.

How did you arrive at the company?

I alluded to it before, but I’ve been in the Business Development and Marketing leadership position for enterprise SaaS companies in Product Development and MarTech for more than 18 years. A large part of that experience has been supporting fast growth in enterprises: the sweet spot is 40 percent growth to large-scale enterprises. Before Impact, I held a number of positions across various biz dev, MarTech, enterprise software companies.

 Which businesses benefit most from buying Partnership Automation platforms?

Really any size from small to large. The companies that see the best return are those with existing partnership programs that have been managed manually up until this point and can be scaled by automating the lifecycle of a partnership. Additionally, we also see large returns for companies that are looking to accelerate their partnership strategy program and the revenue they generate there.

A strong indication of this is Impact’s existing customer base. It ranges from traditional retail-like Home Depot and Target to new DTC and subscription-based digital natives like Barkbox and Casper, tech enterprises like Lenovo and Microsoft, disruptors like Uber and Airbnb, and financial services like AmEx and Capital One. There are virtually no size, industry, revenue requirements to benefit from a partnership program.

Once any of our customers establish a program, the next step is to look to support more of their revenue growth by focusing on the maturity of the program. As you saw, Forrester just published a study that we commissioned that examined the competitive advantage that mature partnership programs have over new ones.

The study found that companies with mature partner programs grow overall company revenue 2x faster than those with immature partner programs. That’s overall company revenue!

How many players are there in this technology marketplace?

Since we announced our new Partnership Automation Cloud back in March, we’ve put a focus on studying the worldwide opportunities that partnerships bring to companies, which can be referred to as the Partnership Economy. We’ve worked to develop solutions that tap into opportunities in the Partnership Economy and refer to this range of solutions as the new category of Partnership Automation, with Impact as the leading solutions provider in the category.

Like any other category, there are competitors, making it valuable and healthy. We see a lot of economic promise in the Partnership Economy and see the enormous value for enterprises in automating those partnerships.

Why did you decide to publish this report? What are your objectives?

Forrester has well-established expertise and pre-existing depth in channel Partnership Performance research worldwide. With that existing knowledge, we commissioned this study with Forrester to substantiate the value around Partnership Automation and measure the impact that partnership strategies can and is currently having on enterprises worldwide.

We’re really excited, as Forrester is, about the results because it’s unique. This is the first time that there has been a demonstrative, worldwide study linking partnership maturity to economic results of partnership programs – both overall revenue and growth rates. As a result of this study, the world now has proof of the economic performance that organizations are generating through partnerships.

In addition to determining and quantifying the link between revenue and performance of partnerships, we also wanted to validate what the best practices were. What does an effective program look like? What components go into maturity and how are organizations doing that? What we found is that mature programs really hinge on four pillars: people, process, technology, and breadth.

How can CMOs benefit from reading your report?

It’s not just CMOs, but CEOs, CROs, CFOs: really any exec that has a responsibility to grow their organization. But as a CMO myself, I, of course, recognize that many times that responsibility is number one for every CMO right now. So to showcase the benefit, let’s follow the CMO’s decision tree of examining options for how to drive growth and meet – and hopefully exceed – expectations.

At the top, we have our existing traditional growth methods: Sales and Marketing investments like CRMs and Marketing Automation. As they’ve been established for years, these methods are getting mature: your competitors are using the same tools you are, and you’ve already squeezed every drop of optimization out of them. So you maintain that channel and shift to focus on Digital Marketing methods like paid search and paid social. Those approaches are getting more crowded, costly and competitive. Existing methods are functioning well, but as competitors hop on the bandwagon, you’re experiencing diminishing returns.

So as the CMO, you return back to the ask: increase growth. It’s time to figure out other smart competitive differentiated growth channels. This is why you see so many c-suite decision-makers looking to partnerships today: it’s a channel that, even if it’s already in use, is certainly not optimized, providing a huge competitive opportunity. The competitive advantage goes to early adopters. For example, Harry’s was just acquired for $1.38 billion in less than 6 years after their founding, with partnership strategy as a top 3 performing strategy for their revenue growth. That’s the power of the Partnership Economy and Partnership Automation!

Tell us about the AI and ML side of your Partnership Process Automation? What other technologies are you using to make your PA more efficient and effective?

As a company, we’ve honed in on excellence in Data Science as a defining differentiator for Impact and the Partnership Cloud. We’re very proud of the many talented data scientist we have as part of the organization, and much of that DNA has really come to via our Forensiq and Altitude acquisitions. With those two product lines fully integrated into the Partnership Cloud, we are now infusing Machine Learning into every aspect of the Partnership Cloud. Its use now has becomes so pervasive that we branded it and announced it during our Impact Growth conference: ImpactEdge

Here are some examples of how ImpactEdge’s Machine Learning has made its way into new, innovative and useful capabilities that power our Partnership Automation solution:

  • ImpactEdge powers Altitude’s forecasting and anomaly detection capabilities, allowing partnership professionals to look 90 days into the future and predict how each partner contributes to your main KPIs. And anomaly detection works side-by-side with it, automatically alerting you when a partner’s performance dips below or shoots above expected values, so you can take remediating (if it comes in below) or amplifying (if it comes in above) action; best of all, the Machine Learning gets rid of the anxiety-ridden need to constantly monitoring your dashboards
  • ImpactEdge also powers Forensiq’s fraud detection We’ve always used a combination of heuristic browser-side and server-side rules, coupled with ImpactEdge’s Machine Learning capabilities to detect suspicious events such as clicks, installs, and conversions. ImpactEdge’s Machine Learning also protects partnership programs from the growing incidence of attribution fraud – whether it’s installed attribution fraud on mobile apps or conversion attribution fraud on website sales. ImpactEdge can keep users from wasting media dollars on malicious partners trying to steal attribution credit without adding value.

A Veteran Technology Marketing executive, Scott joined Impact in November 2017 and brings 18 years of Business Development and Marketing leadership for enterprise SaaS companies in the Product Development and MarTech space.

Scott has a proven track record of accelerating growth through highly targeted account-based marketing and selling. Before joining Impact, Scott was VP of MarTech and Media for Dyn, an Internet Performance Management company acquired by Oracle. Prior to Dyn, Scott was CMO of the leading MarTech DSP provider, DataXu. Before DataXu, Scott was SVP Global Enterprise Marketing, PTC. Scott is responsible for the Impacts’ global marketing strategy, brand-building, thought leadership, demand generation, communications, and public relations initiatives.

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Impact is the global leader in Partnership Automation and catalyst for the new Partnership Economy. Impact accelerates enterprise growth by scaling discovery, recruitment, onboarding, engagement, and optimization of all types of partnerships. Impact’s Partnership Cloud provides automation for the full partnership lifecycle; confident decision making and optimization through measurement and attribution; and protection from fraud.

Impact drives revenue growth for global enterprises such as Cabela’s, Fanatics, Getty Images, Lenovo, Levi’s, TechStyle and Ticketmaster. Founded in Santa Barbara, CA in 2008, Impact has grown to over 400 employees and twelve offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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