I’ve been deeply embedded in the marketing technology world for several decades. Finding my niche within an industry I’m passionate about has really enabled my personal and professional growth. It’s a cliché, but if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
My career path to my current role is a relatively well trodden path. Starting off in sales led me to quickly look for the genuine customer value in every interaction, every product and every company I worked for. My years in sales at Oracle, with a focus on nurturing relationships both internally and externally, made for an easy transition to UK country manager at Kana in 2006, and managing director at Neolane in 2009.
The move to Tealium 2013 represented the most significant challenge in my career to date. Taking on the role, in a company that had the best technology in the marketplace but no real traction or exposure in EMEA, was a move that really excited me.
The rapid growth of Tealium EMEA over the past six years never ceases to blow me away. Ultimately, it always comes down to the bottom line, right? That’s not to say that revenue is the only measure of achievement that matters. But when you think about the variety of elements that enable that, it always comes down to the people.
So, pride in growth and revenue, really equates to pride in your people. Finding and keeping those people is my proudest achievement. Seeing their energy and commitment to Tealium, and their unwavering focus on getting us to those growth and revenue figures is what it’s all about for me.
Emily Davison was a militant suffragette who died after throwing herself in front of the king’s horse at the Epsom Derby. Perhaps this seems like something of an unexpected choice. But those who know me, know that her unwavering dedication to her convictions, giving her life in the process, cannot be viewed as anything other than completely inspirational.
Does any year turn out the way you expect? I sincerely doubt it. Every year presents its own unique challenges and delightful surprises. Those who survive are those that are most adaptable to change. An unexpected challenge for us in 2019 was the explosion of technology companies also claiming to have a customer data platform. That was tough because, to be frank, a lot of them don’t.
But it muddies the water for marketers looking to unify their customer data and also confuses the marketplace in what benefit and value they should expect to see from a CDP. The antidote to this is a focus on education pieces, which requires a great degree of flexibility within all externally facing teams and communications.
Bringing some brutal realism to the table, I think we’re going to see a lot of smaller companies sold or disappear altogether. A key reason for this is that marketers are becoming savvier and more aware of what they should expect in terms of solid results from their data and analytics martech.
This will be fuelled by the rapid and impressive adoption of data, analytics and martech by some leading B2C brands that have really put the customer at the heart of what they do. The disparity between the customer experience with these brands versus the brands not making strides in these areas, is becoming obvious to the consumer. And, more clearly than ever, affecting their consumer habits. If data, analytics and martech companies aren’t supporting and facilitating the provision of a standout customer experience, they’ll struggle to survive.
This is an incredibly exciting time. Consumers’ expectations in terms of what they should get from the value-exchange of sharing their data, are getting higher and higher.
What does this mean? It means they’re less squeamish about sharing their data. But they want to clearly see that shared data delivers a superb customer experience as a result. It means brands have access to an unprecedented level of customer data and interactions. In turn, that brand must produce personalised and tailored communications that genuinely delight their customers.
The time of hiding behind Dear [first name] is over. There’s an enormous opportunity for brands that embrace the innovation provided by unified data to deliver an exceptional customer experience, and dramatically increase their market share.
Unifying the data. The biggest challenge we see from new clients, and why they’re talking to us in the first place, is the lack of a genuine view of their customers. Old, disparate systems and pots of data, incorrectly connected, or not connected at all, prevent brands from providing their customers with interactions that genuinely engage.
Brands know they need to tie together every piece of known data about that customer – website interactions, social media engagement, previous transactions, channel preferences, basically – everything. And they need to do it in real-time, so they can respond in real-time. Brands know this is the path they need to go down. Only by connecting their data, can they successfully connect with their customers.