Tell us about your role and journey into Data-driven Marketing Technology. What inspired you to start at Cint?
I started at Cint in 2000 before data-driven marketing technology was a popular topic. I was initially attracted to the company because it was working to create online solutions and seamless interactions with consumers. Through these past years, we have gone on a major journey to become a global company and create technology that eases the interactions and dialogs between brands and users.
From the time you started at Cint, how much has the Digital Marketing paradigm changed?
It has changed dramatically since I started working at Cint. From the transition of traditional print marketing to online marketing and even more so with the launch of ad exchanges as this made a huge impact on the industry. Since the start, Cint has been on the sidelines watching what has been happening in the adtech space. We’ve taken those learnings and have applied them to our work with first-party data and in the market research industry.
How does your role at Cint enable your product innovation and development teams to deliver to customers?
I’m head of innovation at Cint and we work to separate the future innovations from the current innovations. This mindset is the backbone of Cint as we pride ourselves in being a disruptor in the market research industry. Our core solutions are like nothing else on the market and we are constantly thinking ahead to find the next tech that will change the face of the space. This enables us to work with a lot of our partners to look into future growth areas and technology.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in technology for 2019?
The one thing that will be most impactful will be the democratization and mature use cases of AI. We will see more mature products coming into the market that are using AI for predictive analytics and working to create more user friendly products. This will change the way that we consume services.
Tell us about your recent collaborations in the data exchange marketplace? How does it benefit your customers?
We are frequently working with bigger, more traditional clients in the market research space who are looking for ways to disrupt and transform their own businesses. For example, we have worked closely with Kantar and Lightspeed to change how they function from how they are servicing clients to their operations in the actual research process. This has helped them with the efficiency they need in order to be competitive in the market.
Another example is with Lotame – we have worked with them on their predictive targeting tools to be able to use first party data to enable better ad targeting for their clients’ campaigns.
Which Marketing and Sales trends are you excited about trying and working with, in 2019-2020?
The biggest trend is the digitization of the research process and digital transformation in general. Everyone wants to reduce costs and get to the answers quickly. Companies are always looking for better ways to drive efficiencies and finding the means through technology to move the needle faster. Due to this, we are seeing an increase in the consolidation in the industry when it comes to technology and partners.
In the market research space specifically, the customer journey is changing. In the future, we will see more event based surveying that depends on the different steps of the process. By measuring the conversion rates from advertising to e-commerce sites we will get a more holistic view of the customers and the journey they take.
Data security will also always be a trend in the space and every company needs to work to protect PII (Personal Identifiable Information). Cint prioritizes data privacy and we maintain an open and transparent environment for consent and engagement.
How do you prepare for the complex Digital Marketing challenges?
Consent is one of the most important aspects of market research. Having a 1-to-1 relationship with the user means you can capture consent and be transparent about what you want to do with their data. The contract between the research industry and the respondent is a value exchange where respondents want to share views, data and opinions to create better products and also be rewarded. This puts us aside from the AdTech industry. You are able to technically and legally capture both consent and data and then action on that data with the right partners.
How do you identify the biggest advantages and challenges in making data analytics and intelligence technology a staple in modern CMO’s stack?
Cint is always in the background servicing all of the solutions in a modern CMO’s stack. We are not looking to replace any technology, rather we want to add more insight and ease of use to what the CMO is already doing. Cint makes sure that businesses can easily add any metrics into their reporting and analytics and provide immediate insights.
What role does Cint play in sales acceleration processes and acquiring loyal customers?
We offer measurement and validation on campaigns and help businesses to understand what is working and what is not in real time. We also help to measure the satisfaction of customers so you can ensure you are creating a positive experience.
Tell us about your go-to strategies to support rapid growth, lessons learned through period of massive shift and transition in 2018.
Cint has always been a high growth company. It is a part of our DNA to grow quickly and we made sure that we planned in advance on both the technology and sales side. This helped to ensure that we were always able to easily deliver on our expected future volumes. Businesses need to plan ahead and set targets. They should continuously be thinking about hitting those goals so it does not come as a surprise or they risk not being prepared later down the road.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
On the backend, we use HubSpot for the majority of our automation.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
We like to watch the insight automation and technology companies that are growing quickly, like Zappi. These types of companies are bringing end-to-end solutions which are easily consumable for a product manager and not just the traditional insights department of a company. They are also utilizing AI to interpret and action on the data, which is putting them ahead of the competition.
What does your technology community look like? Who do you meet at events and conferences to discuss technology?
Our community is very collaborative. At events, we share experiences with leading companies in the space and at times, we also collaborate on products, supporting our clients and sharing technology that has been useful for different purposes. On the developer side, our community is very active in the space to ensure they are updated on the latest technology and trends.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
Our employees are technology-first, but there is a balance between adopting and learning new technology and keeping both feet on the ground. We always make a point to understand what technology our clients are using so we are incorporating and enabling tech that actually relates to the problems they are trying to solve.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Excel is a tool that I use on a daily basis and as an organization, we use Power BI consistently.
What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
You need to make sure you are actually talking to people and taking part in cross departmental conversations. Picking up the phone or quick skype chat and having a real conversation is the fastest way to get things done.
What are you currently reading? (What do you read, and how do you consume information?)
I normally read technology and business related articles and blogs online to make sure I am up to date on all of the industry news and trends.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“If you put your mind to it you can do anything”
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
It is a combination of being able to understand complex technology and also relate to customers at the same time. I am able to have one foot on both sides of the business.
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Auren Hoffman, CEO of SafeGraph
Thank you, Oscar! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.