Interview with Christopher Dean, CEO – Swrve

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Chris Dean
[mnky_team name=”Christopher Dean” position=”CEO – Swrve”][/mnky_team]
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On Marketing Technology

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start a martech company)

I’ve been the CEO of Swrve for 3 years. I was recruited to Swrve by its two founders to take Swrve to the next level by bringing my go-to-market expertise to what was an engineering lead culture.

I was the Chief Revenue Officer of Urban Airship (and the Chief Strategy Officer of Skype) before I joined Swrve and knew that the market was large and growing and could see that Swrve had the most comprehensive and differentiated platform in the market. We’ve spent the last three years turning Swrve into an enterprise-class solution with an enterprise sales team, supported by an enterprise-class customer success team.

We’ve focused our efforts in five key vertical markets:
a) Media, Entertainment & Games
b) Consumer Financial Services
c) Operators and Telecommunications
d) e-commerce & m-commerce
e) Travel, Hospitality and Transport

MTS: Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?

The five key trends I’m seeing:
a) the support by the major Marketing Clouds Vendors for the new “Mobile-First Customer Journey” will deepen and expand.
b) Media & Ad side of the market focused on acquisition and engagement will be tried with rock solid attribution in the Mobile App.
c) Multi-channel customer journeys will become the norm, think about the customer first, not the messaging or engagement channel they are engaging the brand with.
d) Machine learning, predictive analytics and AI will enhance the personalized journey or experience that all end user customers will come to expect.
e) Finally, there is an arbitrary distinction between the B2C & B2B world – it’s really all the same tech stack used.

MTS: What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?

I do believe that it’s the consumer’s use of the mobile device as the preferred platform to interact with brands (now 75% of their digital time). This fundamentally changes the way a brand must interact with a consumer/end user – whether that is B2B or B2C.

Mobile represents the next major platform transformations (Mainframe → Mini → Client/Server → Desktop → Web & Social) → Mobile (& iOT)) and to address the change a new digital marketing infrastructure is required to react and deliver personalized experiences to user all in “real-time” (< than 1 sec).

MTS: What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?

Two things:
a) Have a clear view to what their core Martech stack is and cutting through all the clutter and the noise to understand what the true capabilities are from a technology/solution vs. what the product marketing from that vendor says they can do.
b) Removing the silos of data that exist so the company can develop a 360 degree view of the customer and then take action, through the legacy and emerging channels (mobile, social networks, and messaging networks).

MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?

Swrve of course! We also are watching the general areas:
a) Attribution vendors
b) Predictive algorithms
c) Location vendors.

MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?

Swrve uses Marketo, LinkedIn and Yesmail– our core web & blogging stack.

MTS: Could you tell us about a standout digital campaign? (Who was your target audience and how did you measure success)

Swrve created a Swrve branded wireless speaker and targeted the 25 largest airlines in the world. We then created customized landing pages for each company we sent the speaker to (targeting the CMO).  Once we confirmed the speaker had been delivered, our Account Development Reps along with our Account Executives followed up to schedule meetings after having researched the core challenges facing the airline.

MTS: How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?

Swrve has built a Mobile Marketing Engagement Platform that utilizes both machine-learning & predictive models in its core serve/solution offering.  We believe that many marketers are in a data overload mode today with too much coming at them at once.  We believe that AI, predictive analytics & machine learning can help simplify their lives & increase their effectiveness.


This Is How I Work


MTS: One word that best describes how you work.


MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Evernote, Gmail, Spotify, Word/Pages, Excel/Sheets, Powerpoint, Skype & Salesforce.

MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

Evernote notes → directly in Salesforce notes.

MTS: What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)

I’m an old fashion book guy. Currently, I’m reading:

● Flash Boys
● No Place To Hide
● Predictive Marketing
● End of Alchemy

MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

● “Hire good people and get out of the way”
● “Never quit.”

MTS: Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

● Memory of an elephant
● Connecting with people
● Being Positive

MTS: Tag the one person whose answers to these questions you would love to read:

Carolyn Feinstein, CMO, Dropbox

MTS: Thank you Christopher! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

A C-level startup executive specializing in disruptive companies in the Mobile, SAAS and IP communications markets. Managed through rapid organizational and revenue growth environments ($0-$500M in revenue). Led revenue, business and corporate development, strategy and marketing organizations. Focused on identifying the right product and market fit, refining monetization models and scaling distribution while building repeatable processes which drive revenue growth.

Swrve transforms the way brands connect and interact with customers in an increasingly mobile-centric world. Our integrated Mobile Engagement Platform enables enterprise organizations to deliver compelling mobile experiences and campaigns that drive engagement, revenue and ROI.

Swrve is used by the world’s largest and smartest mobile businesses, including Sony, The Guardian, Condé Nast, Warner Brothers and Microsoft. Our customers have delivered more than two billion mobile messages, and every single day the Swrve platform processes over ten billion events across over a billion devices.

[mnky_heading title=”About the MarTech Interview Series” link=”|||”]

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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