What We Learned From MarTech CEOs in 2017

Our Interview Series Has The Choicest Industry Experts Sharing Precious Insights From Their Years Of Experience. Here’s A List Of The Key Takeaways From CEOs that MTS Spoke To

We did the work so you wouldn’t have to. Here is a round-up of some crucial learning from the last year in MarTech Interview Series.

“Bots Will Empathize”

Alok Kulkarni
Alok Kulkarni

Alok Kulkarni – CEO, Co-Founder, Cyara: The very dynamic nature of providing a personalized service to the consumer with a bot can be challenging because of the vast minutiae involved with personalization. Human beings do a great job of conversations with empathy and context and are able to have a more emotionally sensitive dialogue with customers reading between the lines instead of the abstract. This can be more difficult to do with a bot. The maturing of AI technology can hopefully solve these challenges.

Another critical pain point is providing connected journeys— which is a major focus for us at Cyara. If the customer needs assisted service and the virtual agent is not able to transfer the interaction with context to a customer service agent, customers get really annoyed. It’s the number one customer-facing issue that was identified as part of a Frost & Sullivan survey we commissioned last year. It can be achieved but there is currently limited visibility if you don’t have an assurance solution like Cyara.

“Emotions Drive Behavior”

Jared A. Feldman
Jared Feldman

Jared Feldman – Founder and CEO, Canvs: Traditional engagement metrics are evolving, and it’s not enough to just spark a simple click or “like.” Emotions drive behavior and advertisers must aim to strike an emotional chord with audiences, and form an ongoing connection and narrative that consumers (and fans) can relate to and believe in. With the advent of ad-blocking technologies, advertisers will create more personalized experiences and serve more relevant ads.

In regards to digital advertising formats, expect traditional banner ads and interstitials to be traded in for more innovative, interactive formats.  Adtech vendors must start improving the piping to widely distribute mobile rich media at a massive scale, because new dynamic formats like interscroller, mosaic, chatbot, etc. have resulted in increased engagement and better user experience.

Read More: Are You GDPR Ready?

“The Messaging Industry is Evolving”

Beerud Sheth
Beerud Sheth

Beerud Sheth – Co-Founder and CEO, Gupshup: Many years ago, we saw the emergence of messaging as a platform for advanced services, not just a tool for person-to-person communication. Initially, the only messaging channel available was SMS, but today you have many other IP and voice-based messaging channels. We have developed the most advanced platform to help businesses build conversational experiences. Gupshup has substantial product leadership and customer traction.

The training free NLP platform is ideal for building NLP Bots quickly and easily. It is already pre-trained with vast amount of common knowledge. When a developer provides a user query along with possible intents, the NLP platform will automatically classify the query to the right intent. When used in conjunction with an authoring tool – provided by Gupshup – it enables the development of sophisticated NLP bots quickly and easily.

The messaging industry continues to evolve from Telecom messaging to IP based messaging. Chatbots enable the development of rich conversation experiences across any messaging channel. The two are very complementary.

“Transparency Will Increase in the Media Supply Chain”

Michael E. Driscoll

Michael Driscoll – CEO, MetamarketsThe biggest development that’s going to impact the programmatic sector is the convergence of martech and adtech. We’re starting to see marketers getting more hands on and involved with programmatic technologies. As that happens, the language of marketing will start to permeate and eventually dominate the language of ad tech. So, for example, ad tech teams talk about impressions, auctions, bid requests and bid responses – but marketers talk about people, campaigns and actions. The martech language is likely to be what ad tech adopts as part of this convergence.

The biggest challenge is that of the tension between cooperation and defection in the industry. Marketers want to see cooperation between the major ad tech channels, in terms of standardizing metrics and sharing data about audiences and performance. But unfortunately, the biggest players, namely the duopoly of Facebook and Google, have a plenty of incentives to defect and operate by their own rules. That’s a significant challenge for the long-term success of programmatic, but marketers will play a key role in demanding cooperation, as they are the ones writing the checks that these channels need to survive.

One of the biggest trends this year is the push marketers are making for more transparency into the media supply chain this year. There’s a critical need to unify and consolidate data from disparate channels into a single source of truth. I believe that ultimately, transformative transparency will require transformative technology. If marketers really want to own that transparency and get event-level data about their campaigns, they’ll have to make significant investments in infrastructure because of the unique scale and complexity of programmatic data. Marketers are going to have to make a number of important choices on what they build or buy to create the next generation marketing stack for their organization.

“IoT Will Upend the Traditional Contact Center Agent”

Thomas Goodmanson
Thomas Goodmanson

Tom Goodmanson, President and CEO, CalabrioThe emergence of smart technology and IoT will continue to change the definition of a customer service representative. One of the benefits of connected devices and appliances is that they can report issues directly to the company, completely bypassing the need for consumers to contact the brand when an issue arises. The question then becomes, “Who is the ‘contact center agent’?” In many cases, this is going to be a repair person or someone in manufacturing who can fix the issue directly. We will see that it’ll become increasingly challenging to define who the front line of customer experience is in the world of IoT. This will require companies to rethink about how they train, staff and equip different departments across an organization as the role of customer service becomes the responsibility of employees beyond the traditional contact center agent.

Recommended Read: Year-Ender 2017: Top 7 B2B Marketing Philosophies

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