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MarTech Edge Interview with Barry Padgett, CEO, Amperity

MarTech Edge Interview with Barry Padgett, CEO, Amperity

artificial intelligence 29 May 2024

Please tell us about your professional journey that led you to becoming the CEO of Amperity.

My journey began with a passion for innovative technology and data-driven decision-making. Before joining Amperity, I held leadership roles in various tech companies like Concur and Stripe, focusing on enhancing product capabilities and expanding global reach. In these positions, I gained a deep appreciation for the importance of data in making informed decisions, reducing risk, identifying trends, improving efficiencies and developing customer-centric strategies, among other things. These experiences paved the way for my role at Amperity, where we set new standards in customer data management.

It all started with my love for solving complex data challenges. Before joining the team at Amperity, I had the privilege of working with some amazing companies like Concur and Stripe. In those roles, I focused on making our products even better and helping the companies grow globally.

Through those experiences, I really came to understand just how critical data is in making smart decisions. I mean, when you have the right data, you can spot trends, reduce risks, boost efficiency, and create strategies that truly put the customer first. But it is only a game-changer if you are making decisions on a solid data foundation.

So, when the opportunity at Amperity came knocking, I knew it was the perfect fit. Here, we're not just unifying, managing and helping activate customer data; we're revolutionizing the way it's done for over 400 brands. It's an exciting time to be part of this team, and I can't wait to see how we continue to set new standards in the industry.

How do you think Customer Experience is changing the game in marketing? What role does data play in it?

Customer experience is transforming marketing by prioritizing personalized engagement at scale. In today’s digital landscape, the quality and accessibility of data are key to achieving this. Amperity ensures marketers have a solid data foundation, enabling them with high-quality data for precise personalization.

Amperity’s platform empowers brands to tailor experiences uniquely to each consumer by using advanced data capabilities and Generative AI. This approach allows for enhanced personalization, adapting to consumer behaviors and preferences in real time. The result is not just personalized marketing but personalization at the enterprise level, ensuring every customer interaction is impactful and relevant. By improving data quality and accessibility, Amperity helps marketers exceed the evolving expectations of their customers.

What trends will stand out in the retail industry? What role do AI and LLM play in the industry?

In the retail industry, trends like hyper-personalization, real-time customer engagement, and paid media activation are becoming increasingly prevalent due to consumers’ growing demand for customized shopping experiences that align closely with individual preferences and behaviors.

AI and large language models (LLM) are crucial for analyzing vast amounts of data and generating insights to predict consumer behavior. For instance, Amperity recently introduced AmpAi, a suite of generative AI capabilities, to add a critical intelligence layer to enable all technical and business users to get the most out of their customer data. The first two capabilities, AmpGPT and AI Assistant set a new benchmark in marketing and advertising technology. AmpGPT empowers marketers to interact with their data using natural language. Ai Assistant removes the barriers to creating SQL queries and fixing potential errors within those queries.

Can you share your perspective on how automation tools revolutionize the industry?

Automation tools are dramatically transforming industries by simplifying complex processes and delivering actionable insights within seconds. At Amperity, our automation capabilities streamline the unification and activation of customer data, freeing up marketing teams to concentrate on strategy and customer engagement rather than tedious data management tasks.

Amperity facilitates a seamless flow of insights across various platforms, such as CRMs and customer service tools. Consequently, these insights can be utilized to deliver precisely targeted messages at the right time, enhancing the effectiveness of communication strategies and improving overall customer experiences. This capability optimizes marketing efforts and scales personalized customer interactions across multiple touchpoints.

What advice would you like to impart regarding building customer relationships?

Building strong customer relationships starts with truly understanding your customers’ needs and preferences. Leveraging data effectively is critical. Ensure your data management tools, like our Lakehouse CDP, can share live data sets between a CDP and a lakehouse without maintaining ETLs or copying data in multiple places. This enables IT teams to optimize how data is stored and processed with any platform that uses a lakehouse’s open table formats to save time and lower costs. This composable, more secure flow of data ensures brands can fuel the data-intensive demands of Generative AI and 1:1 personalization with high-quality data.

MarTech Edge Interview with Sheila Morin, Chief Marketing Officer, Coveo

MarTech Edge Interview with Sheila Morin, Chief Marketing Officer, Coveo

artificial intelligence 3 Aug 2023

Welcome, Sheila! Could you please share your marketing journey and how it influences your decision-making as the CMO at Coveo?

I started my career in 2000 at Procter & Gamble in the sales department. I worked there for 2 years and then joined L'Oréal for a position as the Assistant Product Manager for Garnier Fructis. I worked at L’Oréal from 2002 to 2014 in Montreal and Paris. I touched on many types of positions in marketing, sales, category management, trade marketing, brand, product creation, and more. I learned everything at L’Oréal. It's an incredible marketing school!

Then I worked for Danone for 3 years before joining Cirque du Soleil, first in brand and strategy, then as CMO (interim). I've been with Coveo since January 2021.

Because I've worked in several types of industries (CPG, Entertainment, Tech) and worked several jobs (marketing, sales, category management, trade marketing, brand, and product creation), I'm more of a generalist CMO. I can touch on anything and adapt to any situation very quickly. I'm used to working in fast-paced environments. I've always been motivated by growth and transformation. The status quo is not for me!

What has been the common uphill battle for CMOs of B2B organizations in the past year?

An important one was Digital Transformation. Before Covid, a lot of B2B business was done in person. During the pandemic, we searched for new ways to find leads to grow our pipeline without live events. Many B2B organizations are still grappling with the need to adapt to the new digital landscape effectively. This includes implementing digital marketing strategies, optimizing online sales funnels, and leveraging technology to better engage with customers.

Data and Analytics: We need to base our decisions on data. What messaging is working? What initiatives should we stop doing? What should we double down on? What is the return on our investment? The data exists. There's no reason to drive blindly anymore. This is something that's very important to me.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM): Some B2B organizations have adopted ABM strategies to target specific high-value accounts. Effectively implementing ABM requires aligning sales and marketing teams, account lists, personalized messaging, and account-specific campaigns. At Coveo, we started our ABM journey officially last year. We have embarked on a major transformation that will take several years to complete. The idea is to modernize the way we do B2B marketing so we don't get bogged down in forms to fill, MQLs, and leads.

SEO and Content Marketing: Creating compelling and relevant content for B2B audiences remains challenging. CMOs and their content teams have to develop content that addresses the specific pain points and needs of their target audience while showcasing the value of their products or services. This content needs to fit the SEO strategy so we can win from an organic standpoint. There are so many areas we need to cover — we need the right strategy, the right data, and the right prioritization. AI can also be a great help in creating this content.

Adapting to new technology and rapid changes in the market: This year, Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT and alternatives have taken the world by storm. We had to react and react fast. Thanks to the fact that Coveo is very quick to adapt and was already very advanced in the field of LLMs — in addition to its 10 years of experience in AI — we were able to announce our generative AI offer very quickly. We like to say that we were the last to hype but the first to have a real product with real tangible results. We successfully changed our entire marketing plan over the course of 1 month.

How does Coveo enable businesses to “personalize everything” through its AI platform?

Large tech-enabled companies have been able to deliver remarkable, effortless, relevant experiences tailored specifically to the individual and designed for maximum consumer satisfaction.

Their tools are massive amounts of data, powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as armies of data scientists and engineers. 

The results? An understanding of who people are on an individual level. These companies know what we want and where we came from and can even predict where we’re going next. They use this rich understanding of us to deliver relevant, personalized digital experiences at scale. These experiences put people first, not products. They’re tailored for persons, not personas.

This is what we do at Coveo.

Because delivering relevance and personalization at scale absolutely requires AI.

Being relevant to one million individuals by manually writing rules is simply not humanly possible. But it is possible with AI. It is possible with Coveo AI.

The Coveo Relevance Cloud is a world-leading AI platform specifically built to make every digital experience delightful, relevant, and profitable. We do that through AI-powered advanced search, relevant recommendations, unrivaled personalization, and now relevant generative answering across Commerce, Service, Workplace, and Websites.

We are the intelligence layer behind many of the biggest global brand experiences.

What are the key elements of a successful marketing strategy, and how can marketers accomplish those with limited budget & resources?

Here are 3 simple steps for creating a successful marketing campaign:

  1. Understand Your Target AudienceConduct thorough research to understand your target audience's preferences, needs, and pain points.
  2. Establish a Clear Value Proposition and MessagingDetermine what is unique about your brand, your offer, and your product/solution. Clearly communicate what sets your product or service apart from competitors and why it's valuable to the target audience. Use engaging and concise messaging in your go-to-market materials.
  3. Then, you can Build Your Marketing Plan with Multi Tactics and Touch Points:
    • Events and Webinars: Participating in third-party events or creating your own.
    • Media: Paid Search and Paid Social
    • Organic traffic - Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimize your website and content to rank higher in search engine results.
    • Content: In B2B, content is key. You need to have insightful, valuable, and relevant content that educates, entertains, or solves problems for your audience.
    • PR and Social Media: Establish a strong presence on relevant social media platforms to engage with your audience directly. Make sure journalists and media are also engaging and talking about you.
    • Emails: Build an email list and use it to nurture relationships with potential and existing customers.

And more…

Remember, success in B2B marketing doesn't solely depend on the budget. It's about understanding your audience, being resourceful, and focusing on the channels and strategies that provide the most value for your specific business.

In this constantly evolving marketing landscape, what’s your drill to ensure you & your team are on top of trends?

The dynamic landscape of Business, Marketing, and Technology is undergoing rapid and constant change. Staying up to date in such an environment can be challenging at times. It takes a village (my full team) to stay up to date. You need to have curious people in your team, people hungry for new ways of doing things.

The way we do it at Coveo is through different practices:

Continuous Learning: Encourage a culture of curiosity and continuous learning within your team.

Marketing and Industry Publications: Keep a close eye on reputable marketing publications, blogs, and websites. Subscribe to newsletters and follow thought leaders in the industry.

Other industry best practices: We should also look at what other industries are doing. B2B can learn from B2C and vice-versa. Make-up brands can learn from the automotive industry, tech can learn from CPG, etc.

Competitor Analysis: Regularly analyze your competitors' marketing efforts to identify any new strategies they are implementing successfully.

Experimentation and Testing: Encourage a culture of experimentation within your team. For example, this year, the Coveo Marketing team launched its own 1000-tests initiative. We are learning tons.

Could you tell us about an innovative solution that Coveo is currently developing, which has the potential to set a new industry benchmark?

Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT and alternatives have taken the world by storm. Despite their current shortcomings for enterprise-level adoption (misinformation, hallucinations, no personalization, expensive training costs, lack of privacy & security, and questionable ethics, among others), we see a huge demand for Generative AI question-answering experiences in customer service, workplace, website, and commerce. We believe that search and generative question-answering need to be integrated, coherent, and based on current sources of truth with compliance for security and privacy — providing relevant answers every time.

At Coveo, we just launched our GenAI solution, Coveo Relevance Generative Answering.

We have seen unprecedented customer interest in this enterprise-grade Generative Answering that brings factually accurate and contextually relevant question-answering combined with enterprise-grade security from multiple sources of enterprise content. Coveo Relevance Generative Answering brings Large Language Model (LLM) technology on top of the secure unified indexing and relevance capabilities of Coveo's market-leading Relevance Cloud AI platform. This makes generative answering using LLMs applicable within enterprise — where security, privacy, factuality, real-time sources of truth, relevance, and access to multiple sources of content are all key imperatives. This is more than a decade in the making, building on Coveo’s powerful Relevance Cloud AI Platform.

Coveo's Relevance Generative Answering capability is designed to solve eight critical GenAI challenges:

  1. Vulnerable Environment – The Coveo Relevance Generative Answering solution is built on top of Coveo’s secure indexing at its core. Robust security measures protect valuable assets, ensuring data remains secure throughout the generative answering content generation process.
  2. Lack of Confidentiality and Privacy – Coveo Relevance Generative Answering protects confidentiality and privacy, ensuring that valuable data remains secure within organizational boundaries and proprietary content is not shared with public engines or used in a generated answer.
  3. Hallucinations or Lack of Accuracy – Leading brands cannot hallucinate. The Coveo Relevance Generative Answering capability maintains factual accuracy at scale without compromising a brand's credibility.
  4. Outdated Facts and Answers – Coveo Relevance Generative Answering leverages real-time data sources from the unified index, enabling answers to be generated that are consistent with enterprise content.
  5. Non-Compliancy and Validity – Coveo Relevance Generative Answering establishes seamless links with sources of truth, allowing users to verify and validate the accuracy and credibility of generated answers.
  6. Content Decentralization – Coveo Relevance Generative Answering is built on the power of the Coveo unified secure indexing and enrichment of enterprise content using Coveo AI. By integrating multiple content sources securely, it enables exponential growth in generative AI capabilities.
  7. Siloed Search and Chat Channels – Search and generative answering should not operate as separate silos; the future lies in their coherent integration. Coveo Relevance Generative Answering bridges the gap by delivering a unified and consistent user & veracity experience across all search and chat channels, as they are fed from the same unified index and relevance mechanisms.
  8. Generative AI Chat Is Expensive – By leveraging advanced search and relevance algorithms combined with LLMs, Coveo eliminates the need for costly alternatives. With this approach, enterprises can get results for a fraction of the cost typically associated with generative AI, offsetting the fact that chat can be 100x to 1,000x more expensive than query-based search.

In your opinion, what do you think will be the next big trend in marketing that will surpass personalization in terms of industry buzz?

Personalization remains a cornerstone of strategic marketing.

In the B2B world, there is a big movement from traditional lead generation to ABM - Account-based marketing. MQL, leads, and form-fills are old ways of doing business that make our customer journey difficult and even painful. Some people are saying that MQLs are dead; they may not be dead, but when you think about it, they are not so relevant in a customer-centric go-to-market.

To explain ABM vs. Traditional Marketing, I often use the fishing metaphor.

Traditional Marketing can be compared to net fishing, where the goal is to cast a wide net and capture as many fish as possible. Then you can reject the ones you do not want and hope the best ones will stick.

On the other hand, Account-Based Marketing can be likened to spearfishing, which is much more targeted and precise. Instead of casting a wide net, ABM focuses on identifying specific high-value target accounts and decision-makers within those accounts. This approach is akin to a surgical strike, where the marketing and sales teams collaborate closely to tailor personalized experiences for each account.

The core of ABM lies in understanding the unique pain points, needs, and objectives of each target account. By gaining a deep understanding of the challenges faced by a particular company or organization, marketers can develop tailored content, messages, and marketing campaigns.

ABM and Personalization are not new, but the reality is that they will still be a priority for many marketing teams for the next 2-3 years.

What major goals do you aim to accomplish as a marketing leader over the next five years?

Growth. Growth. Growth. At Coveo, the potential ahead of us is truly exhilarating. We are fueled by excitement, and it’s crucial that we maintain our focus and momentum as we move forward.

In order to support and fuel this Growth, my aspiration is to continue to build the best B2B marketing team in the world. To realize this vision, our people will be at the core of our success. I want them to feel happy, motivated, and curious, as these attributes fuel creativity and innovation. Encouraging a culture of constant learning and development will enable us to remain at the forefront of marketing practices and technologies. To achieve greatness, we must be committed to "getting better at getting better." I want our team to embrace a culture of continuous analysis and improvement. Complacency is not an option. We must challenge the status quo and constantly seek ways to enhance our strategies, processes, and outcomes.

Moreover, I value a growth mindset. I want our team to approach challenges with tenacity and a willingness to take risks.

Ultimately, success will come not only from the brilliance of our technology but also from the passion, dedication, and collaboration of our people. Together, we can exceed our potential and make Coveo AI a beacon of innovation and excellence.

MarTech Edge Interview with Ruth Zive, Chief Marketing Officer, LivePerson

MarTech Edge Interview with Ruth Zive, Chief Marketing Officer, LivePerson

artificial intelligence 27 Jul 2023

Welcome, Ruth! Can you tell us about the journey that eventually led you to join LivePerson?

Throughout my career, I’ve always cared deeply about creating meaningful connections between businesses and their customers; in fact, connecting with customers and seeing them use what I’ve marketed to deliver meaningful outcomes is by far the most gratifying part of my job. So it’s meant a lot to work for companies that sell solutions to bring brands closer to their customers.

Before my current role at LivePerson, I was CMO at Ada, where I helped transform the company from a startup into a prominent player in the industry. Prior to that, I led marketing for Blueprint Software Systems.

So this is my third turn as CMO, and LivePerson felt like a perfect fit for someone passionate about shaping the future of customer engagement.

Could you kindly elaborate on your company’s mission and how AI plays a significant role in accomplishing that mission?

LivePerson is the global leader in enterprise conversations. Thousands of the world’s leading brands—including HSBC, Chipotle, and Virgin Media—use our award-winning Conversational Cloud platform and AI to connect with millions of consumers.

AI plays a huge role in our ability to automate conversations at such a massive scale. In fact, we power nearly a billion conversational interactions every month, and that provides a uniquely rich data set for us to build and improve the AI tools that help our customer brands achieve better business outcomes.

Can you provide some insights into how your company’s Generative AI and Large Language Models contribute to driving improved business outcomes?

LivePerson’s AI is fueled by the world’s largest dataset of enterprise customer interactions. If you’re working with AI based on a good foundational dataset—and you have in place controls to protect the experience—the benefits of using Generative AI and LLMs for customer engagement are huge.

For example, the ability of LLMs to craft natural-sounding responses makes it very easy for a consumer to interact with AI in a way that feels simple and comfortable. Plus, LLMs can retain context, so people don’t have to repeat themselves and can continue a thread of dialog that feels very human. This results in consumer experiences that are way beyond the scripted dialog flows we see in traditional bot-building; we’re talking next-level experiences.

Still, they need to be integrated and developed with safeguards in place and hosted on a safe and secure platform to protect both the consumer experience and your brand’s reputation. A thoughtful, controlled approach to creating and improving these experiences can help ensure they perform correctly and deliver amazing customer experiences.

Congratulations on LivePerson’s recognition at the 2023 SIIA CODiEs for winning top AI-powered customer service awards! How has this achievement impacted your company’s approach, and what strategies do you have in place?

Thank you! It’s always an honor to be recognized by our peers in the AI and customer service industries. Since our inception and entry into the AI space nearly 20 years ago, our goal has always been to deliver best-in-class technology solutions that transform the customer experience.

Ever since we invented webchat for brands decades back, we’ve kept to the cutting edge of providing more efficient ways for companies and customers to connect digitally, and we just keep building on that on purpose. Our recently launched generative AI capabilities are no different, aimed at applying the power of the latest AI developments to customer conversations—all in a way that restores a sense of control and safety.

In the rapidly evolving industry, how do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in AI and technology to drive your marketing strategies forward?

I’m fortunate to work with a great team that helps me keep ahead of the curve. LivePerson employees are the best and brightest in AI and CX, with many having made great strides with AI and automation well before the current wave of hype. I also make it a point to keep up with our customers, who represent many of the most innovative and biggest brands in the world. I learn a lot from them about their needs, goals, and what they’re doing to keep at the top of their game.

On top of that, I talk to other CX and AI leaders to stay up-to-date. In fact, LivePerson recently launched a new podcast, Generation AI: Automating Better Business, that’s all about getting the latest news and strategies from innovators in the space. I encourage your readers to check it out and share their feedback!

How do you tailor marketing strategies to effectively target and engage specific verticals while maintaining a consistent brand message?

First, we create our top-level brand messaging and value propositions that apply across the board. Beneath those core concepts, we dig deep into the specifics for particular verticals in an effort to really understand their unique needs and pain points.

Highlighting our work with customers in key verticals is critical—it demonstrates that we “get it” and have successfully partnered with and helped other companies in their field. Our customer success stories create a narrative including stats that show off our work together, as well as quotes from our customers so they can communicate in their own words how our solutions helped meet their particular needs.

In what ways does your company promote diversity and inclusion in AI development and deployment?

As a pioneer in AI, we saw the need early on to fight against bias. In 2018, we founded a nonprofit, EqualAI, to help set standards and certifications for responsible AI. Today, it’s one of the leading voices in the space. They have a ton of resources at equalai.org, from podcasts to checklists to frameworks, on creating responsible AI.

It’s open to everyone—anyone can become EqualAI certified or access its resources. We also make sure we are utilizing their training and best practices in-house, with several of our executives and employees becoming EqualAI certified.

As CMO, how do you plan to position your company to stay ahead in this rapidly changing martech landscape in the next five years?

Staying ahead can be a challenge, especially in a field that moves as fast as ours. Similar to what I said earlier about good data underpinning good AI, it’s also important to use data in our decision-making. This involves keeping a close eye on emerging trends and customer preferences—and how the competition is responding to them. It also means we need to continually use data to optimize our campaigns, allocate resources, and measure how we are driving marketing results.

Another priority is staying customer-centric. We need to be agile and adaptable to quickly respond to their demands and provide tailored solutions that meet their specific needs and pain points. When our customers succeed, we succeed.

And last but certainly not least, it’s a priority of mine to continue to invest in our talent. We have an exceptional team of experts, and it’s crucial to their individual development and our collective success that we keep developing their skills and foster a culture of innovation.

   

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