ON NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY
MTS: Tell us about your role at Lionbridge and how you got here.
I am the CMO/SVP Global Marketing at Lionbridge, responsible for leading the company’s go-to-market, demand generation and branding initiatives. I joined Lionbridge four years ago, attracted by the tremendous talent here and the unique work that is being done to help global brands effectively communicate across channels and markets.
MTS: Given the massive proliferation of NLP, how do you see the market evolving over the next few years?
Voice is quickly becoming the entrance point to all computing functionality. I see it every day when my children open their devices and click the voice-to-text microphone as their first action. This will become the expectation for customer touch points in the future. The challenge today is getting AI to a place where it understands conversational, informal language. That is how consumers actually speak, and their expectation will be that their devices respond accordingly. The voice agents that can perfect this interaction first will emerge as the clear winners, with their tech adopted broadly.
MTS: What do you see as the single most important NLP technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
It’s all about the machine intelligence systems and processes that are training the engines. The requirement of obtaining huge volumes of data in order to train the engines is a challenge. At Lionbridge, we are helping leaders source these volumes of clean inputs required to make AI effective, in multiple languages.
MTS: What are the biggest challenges startups face when buying a web or social media translation platform?
Effective content translation is not something that can be completely addressed with a translation management platform. There has been tremendous improvement in the capabilities around machine translation (MT), with a stepped improvement with recent neural MT advancements. However, it’s not effective enough today to create content that delivers the customer experience that consumers expect. You still need language services expertise, either in-house or outsourced externally depending on the model that works for you. These experts can help you leverage the efficiencies the technology provides to reduce costs and time to market, yet still ensure language quality.
MTS: What start-ups are you watching/keen on right now?
I am very interested in Persado, the cognitive platform that is helping Marketers optimize content through AI. With all of the information available regarding buyers, their preferences, how they interact, etc., it seems logical that AI could analyze this data to improve a traditionally human task (copywriting). It’s impossible for a human to collect and understand the volume of data points available to us, but that data is what drives better performance.
MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
It’s a fairly common B2B MarTech stack: CRM (Salesforce.com), CMS (Sitecore), Marketing Automation (Marketo), Content Operations/Marketing (Kapost), Predictive Analytics (Everstring), Analytics & Insights (BrightFunnel), web personalization (Marketo RTP), Social (Hootsuite), Web Analytics (GA).
MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)
Like many B2B marketers we built a digital campaign around an insights-driven piece of content called A Marketer’s Guide to Global Customer Experience Management. It was the centerpiece of a long-cycle, multi-touch content marketing and digital campaign that helped drive our efforts with marketing buyers. The metric of success was conversions into the top-of-the funnel.
MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
There are two short-term applications I see for AI in marketing. The first is predictive analytics that drive behaviors-based insights, the second is automated content publishing based on buyer behavior and the insights from the predictive analytics. For both we are evaluating the technologies that are available and working with our vendors to understand how we best leverage these today. There is more hypothesis than knowledge at this point, so it’s about learning, testing, and adapting.
MTS: Is this your first time attending Oracle MME? (If not, how were your past experiences?)
No, this is my second year. What brought me back was the quality of conversations I had with the peers who were in attendance last year. This is a true collection of enterprise marketers facing and solving similar challenges.
MTS: In your opinion, how far have content marketing clouds come to make customers feel less transactional?
The marketing clouds have provided marketers with the tools to dynamically meet the needs of customers, but marketers themselves are still learning how best to use these systems. One challenge is overcoming the organizational silos that can exist between the sub-teams within functions. Although the tech now connects teams to seamlessly serve the customer, new processes and governance models need to be adapted in order to realize the systems full potential.
MTS: Who else do you know that is attending Oracle MME17?
Several members of the Lionbridge team, as well as our clients Dupont, Hawaiian Airlines, and Texas Instruments.
THIS IS HOW I WORK
MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
MTS: What apps/software/tools you love using for your daily life?
BrightFunnel and Microsoft’s PowerBI; because these are the tools that put the insights I need at my fingertips.
MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
I have a prioritization framework for what emails I respond too. Amazingly, a small percentage make the cut. Reducing unnecessary distractions and interactions keeps you focused and reduces wasted time.
MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read/watch, and how do you consume information?)
I am currently reading Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked by Chris Matthews. I enjoy reading historical examples of great leadership, especially stories about people with different viewpoints collaborating towards a common goal. On a daily basis, I consume information digitally, usually via a publisher’s App on the iPad (be it WSJ or the Kindle App)
MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My father continually told us “This world owes you exactly nothing. If you want something, work for it”.
MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Obviously, I can’t indulge that and invite copy cats!
MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Glean Hartman, Managing Director – North America, Accenture. I haven’t spoken to him recently and would love to hear what he is up to.
Clint is a Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Lionbridge, Clint leads all aspects of the company’s global go-to-market strategy, demand generation, and branding initiatives. He joined the company in 2012, bringing over a decade of experience in developing and enhancing brands and improving marketing performance to drive revenue growth for private and publically traded professional services companies.
Lionbridge enables more than 800 world-leading brands to increase international market share, speed adoption of products and effectively engage their customers in local markets worldwide. Using our innovative cloud technology platforms and our global crowd of more than 100,000 professional cloud workers, we provide detail-critical business processes, including translation, online marketing, global content management and application testing solutions that ensure global brand consistency, local relevancy and technical usability across all touch points of the customer lifecycle. Based in Waltham, Mass., Lionbridge maintains solution centers in 27 countries.
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.