At Olapic, we’re proud of our ever-growing partner ecosystem — we designed it with innovation and strategy in mind to drive value for our clients across their marketing stack. It’s through our strong partnerships that we are able to facilitate the activation and analysis of a brand’s visual content across their marketing channels such as email, ads, social media, mobile apps, and more.
Each of our partners has a unique perspective on the digital marketing industry, so we thought what better way to showcase this knowledge than through a blog series! Check out Better Together, our partner spotlight where we interview the key players at partner organizations to share their thoughts on the industry.
Partner: Bronto Software
Name: Russ Young
Title: Global Director of Channels
What does authentic marketing mean to you?
To me, authentic marketing focuses on personalization and education. To be authentic, you must reach out to each customer, or potential customer, with the content that is most relevant and important to them. And, instead of being sales-y, be sure to provide actual value with your content. By building your brand and focusing on what it means to the customer, you foster those relationships and encourage sales in the long run.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a marketing executive today?
With so much information at our disposal, it can be difficult to manage all of that individual customer data and incorporate it effectively into a brand’s messaging. Also, finding the most effective ways to communicate with customers, while also ensuring consistent messaging across channels can be challenging. Of course, balancing revenue goals with these efforts is always top of mind, too.
In that same vein, what are the most common challenges you hear from your customers?
Many of the challenges our customers face are the same that I mentioned earlier: managing data, delivering consistent brand messaging, and identifying the best ways to reach customers. Additionally, how can we deliver on these strategies using automation and do it at scale with limited resources at our disposal?
It seems as though a new tool or company claiming to disrupt the market arises daily. How do you differentiate the wheat from the chaff?
Research their technology and ask the important questions: Have they built integrations? Is it efficient and easy to use? Will it play well with other technologies? Do they have an established ecosystem? What are the company’s core values? Can they share successes from clients who are currently using the technology?
The lines between creative and technology are continuing to blur; what are your thoughts on the interplay between the two?
It’s no secret that today’s CMO is just as important as the CTO or CIO was a decade ago, particularly when it comes to technology spend for e-commerce players. Technology is a tool to support creative through education and selling and it should allow your creative team deliver personalized content and recommendations in the simplest way possible. Just five years ago, this was considered “nice to have.” Now, if you’re not using these tools to support your creative, you do so at your own peril.
More and more, we’ve been reading about the “content commerce” model. But, the skill set to produce engaging, authentic content is quite different from what’s required for commerce success. What are your thoughts on this?
While it’s important to create content that is educational and personalized, it’s equally important to test that content and measure its effectiveness from a rigorous ROI standpoint. You must be willing to test new programs and vow never to “set it and forget it.” Be vigilant, and make sure your messaging is contributing to your overall ROI.
How can brands tell cohesive stories across all of the channels where their consumers live?
Aim for simplicity in automation. Less is more when your technology connects across all channels and allows you to use your data most effectively. Be sure you have a strong integration and brand message across all relevant channels for your audience.
With marketers on the line for larger shares of ROI, how do you advise your customers on ways to maximize their marketing strategies, and in your case, specifically with their email marketing efforts?
We encourage our customers to follow industry best practices and suggest they consider using our proven strategic sprints, including those geared toward assistance with campaign creation and execution.
The goal of the cart recovery series sprint is to design and implement a series of messages to remind shoppers of their abandoned cart. Setting up triggered cart reminders, with or without special discounts, to complete the checkout process can increase the rate of carts recovered and drive significant revenue.
The welcome series sprint is designed to create and implement a welcome message series, which includes a number of triggered messages designed to give new subscribers a very focused and positive initial experience that will hopefully lead to early engagement, conversions, and long-term loyalty. A great welcome series introduces, inspires and incentivizes subscribers (where appropriate), and it begins just after opt-in to take advantage of the current level of interest.
For a post-purchase series, the sprint includes creation and implementation of a number of triggered messages designed to give purchasers a positive post-purchase experience and generate additional conversions, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth.
With such a focus on data and analytics (ROI), how can brands leave room for true creativity in their marketing efforts?
Remember the old saying: Always be testing. Your team should always be focused on generating new creative. Keep an eye out for new trends in branding and education, and use proven technology to test ROI on your new creative efforts before employing them at scale.
Name one bold prediction you have for marketing and brands in the next few years.
Companies that continue to broadcast blanket advertising to the masses will struggle with conversion, and those that personalize and find a way to do this at scale will be the ones to succeed.
A big thanks to Russ for participating in this interview for our Better Together series. Learn more about him below!
BIO: As the Global Director of Channels at Bronto, Russ manages the worldwide team of channel managers to grow business with our partners. Russ came to Bronto with 25 years of executive experience in cloud and marketing technology, paired with international business development. Prior to joining Bronto, he was responsible for strategic business development at several growth companies including BioSpace.com, RadiusSocial, and The Bretton Woods Company, a US retail sourcing group for EMEA and APAC retailers.
His most recent role as Vice President at LTech included 7 years on Google’s Partner Advisory Board helping drive the direction and advancement of Google’s Enterprise offerings and partnership activity.