Ultraviolet Keynote: The State of Marketing with Bobby Jania

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ultraviolet Keynote: The State of Marketing with Bobby Jania. The summary for this episode is: <p>Bobby Jania, SVP, Marketing at Salesforce, is joined by Abbey Sullivan, VP, Client Success at Lev, to discuss the current state of marketing in today’s technology-driven landscape. From data-driven marketing, to the value of video, and the new work-from-anywhere remote culture, they cover everything marketers want to know about the current strategies, priorities, and challenges in the marketing landscape.</p><p><br></p><p>Topics included in this episode touch on:</p><ul><li>Innovation as a priority for marketers and where to start</li><li>Adopting A.I. and improving customer experiences</li><li>Having access to the right data and how it impacts the business</li><li>Data privacy and being good stewards of customer data</li><li>What's next for Bobby's team at Salesforce</li></ul>
👋 Abbey Sullivan and Bobby Jania intros
01:38 MIN
✨ The State of Marketing report and innovation as a priority for marketers
02:16 MIN
👩‍💻 Where should you prioritize innovation as a smaller, resource-constrained marketing team?
01:52 MIN
🚀 What sophisticated marketing teams are doing to advance best-in-class customer experiences on digital platforms
01:35 MIN
🤖 Practices in adopting AI should focus on improving experiences
05:24 MIN
💥 Having access to the right data and its impact on the business
04:29 MIN
😎 Data privacy and being good stewards of customer data
04:35 MIN
🙌 What's next for Bobby and his team at Salesforce?
06:26 MIN
👏 "Chaos creates opportunities"
01:45 MIN

Bobby Tichy: Cole, do you like marketing?

Cole Fisher: I would say I've spent my entire professional life in it, so I have to enjoy it at some extent, right? Do you?

Bobby Tichy: I mean, I don't think you have to. I mean, I think there's a lot of people who do jobs that they don't really enjoy for a long period of time.

Cole Fisher: That's got to be pretty miserable. I would say, I'm actually full blown, passionate about it. Even when I was in school, working on projects, I was always gearing them towards marketing or advertising or some sort of ad agency world, which I was obsessed with at the time. It was always just something that was exciting to me because it's like the strategically influential and informative part of sales without being the greasy salesman in the plaid sport coat with the slicked back hair slinging a used car. You know what I mean?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah.

Cole Fisher: That's how I view that.

Bobby Tichy: I don't know. I like the passion. I don't think I would say I'm passionate about it, but I like the technology more than the actual marketing, but I feel like this aligns to our personalities. You're very much the people person interested in-

Cole Fisher: You feel to me like the guy from Office Space. Looks like you've been missing a lot of work." Well, I wouldn't say I've been missing it, Bob." As many as four people directly underneath you. Bobby, so passionate climbing that ladder.

Bobby Tichy: Oh yeah. Yep. Any kind of corporate world thing that you're supposed to do, I'm generally opposed to doing.

Cole Fisher: Well yeah, I would agree with that, but that's why I love being in the partners space where I... and I've been able to tell customers this before. It's like," Hey, like I work at Salesforce. I went there because it was the best product in the space." When you look at Oracle, Adobe, they're not offering the same marketing suite that Salesforce is. But when you say that when you're at Salesforce, it's like, oh, well, you have to call your baby the prettiest one. But when you're independent, it's like, well, no, I can actually share an honest opinion with you. I can tell you what the pros and cons are. I can tell you what you're really getting here. How we should implement this. I like the fact that we are a small, or Lev feels like a smaller place where you're independent of those large process, corporate ladder, the mundane world of it, the way I view it anyways. And you get to have that free range of yeah, let's just have honest conversations about what you should do in marketing. What the MarTech stack should look like. What you can have as capabilities and what we should be working towards things like that. But that's very much not the do it just because it's the corporate way that's always been done type of process.

Bobby Tichy: The only thing I got from right there is that you like calling other people's babies ugly.

Cole Fisher: Well, that I do appreciate, not unlike the Seinfeld episode.

Bobby Tichy: Oh boy. That's a good transition.

Cole Fisher: You sound real glass half empty, Bobby, here. I wouldn't say I'm passionate per se about marketing.

Bobby Tichy: I mean, do I hate it?

Cole Fisher: I'm doing it because I don't want to be unemployed.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. I mean, do I hate it? No. I mean maybe hate and then back it off a little bit.

Cole Fisher: This is Bobby in the Lev interview. Oh. How would you describe your work ethic?" I mean, if you're looking for a Clydesdale, I'm not your work horse. I'll be there, but I don't want to be." You know what I mean?

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. Let me frame it to you this way. My favorite beer is Bush light. Where does that put me on the spectrum of hard workers? Because if the Budweiser is the Clydesdale, we're far away from that.

Cole Fisher: I'm no classy IPA or anything like that.

Bobby Tichy: No way. Oh no. No fancy foreign beers. As part of our ultraviolet series, we're going to have three podcasts that focus on the three of the keynotes that we had during our ultraviolet conference. And the first one we have is Bobby Jania, who's the senior vice president of marketing at Salesforce. So it's a good thing we didn't trash Salesforce on this call. I mean, Cole, you basically did a promo for them.

Cole Fisher: Well, not on purpose, but-

Bobby Tichy: I hope I never see a check on your table from Salesforce for the promo during this podcast. Bobby's going to be joined by Abbey Sullivan, who is the vice president of client success here at Lev. And they're going to discuss the current state of marketing in today's world, especially, kind of like we talked about just a moment ago, how it's very just technology driven, obviously more so than it ever has been in the past. It's kind of like when you look at those... I remember 10 years ago or so they had those MarTech landscape slides where there's 80 people in the space, 80 different providers across whatever it might be. And now it's, I don't know, I'm going to get their number wrong, but it's probably 8, 000 different providers who claim they do some kind of MarTech, which is just crazy how fast it's grown over the years. They dive into data driven, marketing the value of video, touch a little bit on remote culture and how that's changed things for Bobby and his team. And they'll cover a lot about what you'd be interested in around current strategies, priorities, and really focusing on what Bobby does at Salesforce, which I thought was really interesting, especially because there's a technology focus to it. We hope you enjoy and we'll be back for completely unrelated.

Abbey Sullivan: Hi everyone. Welcome. I hope you've enjoyed the day so far and thanks so much for being here with us this afternoon. I know it can be very difficult to set aside time to prioritize events like this, so we really appreciate you being here. Thanks so much. I'm Abbey Sullivan and I lead our client success team here at Lev. That includes our client success partners and our marketing consultants, many of whom are presenting with clients during ultraviolet, so shout out to our team. I've spent the last decade in tech and marketing, including leadership roles in product technical support, product management, product marketing, and of course client success. But it's not just me here today, I'm thrilled to introduce our guest as well, bobby Jania. Bobby is a technology veteran, having spent over 17 years working in enterprise software and hardware. And Bobby is currently the senior vice president of marketing cloud at Salesforce. Prior to Salesforce, Bobby was director of product marketing at Responses and he formerly served in senior product marketing and management roles as well. So welcome Bobby, and thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today.

Bobby Jania: Absolutely. Thank you for having me here.

Abbey Sullivan: Yeah, of course. To kick us off, could you just tell us a little bit more about your role at Salesforce and then also the work you and your team are doing to really keep tabs on the current and future states of marketing?

Bobby Jania: I have the best job. I get to lead marketing for marketing cloud, which means I get to spend my entire day talking about marketing to marketers. Just the fun aspect there of, fun and scary, because I don't think anyone is ever as critical of your slides as another marketer or as your messages.

Abbey Sullivan: Good point.

Bobby Jania: We then get to do all things for, as we think about, our messaging, our website, our awareness, any campaigns, demand gen, sales enablement and support, the whole gauntlet, we're responsible for.

Abbey Sullivan: Yeah. So quite a lot of internal, and then of course, external accountabilities as well, probably similar to a lot of our marketers today. Let's talk about some of the recent work your team put together and published, the state of marketing report. I, of course, read the report. I had takeaways, for me, really in three main categories, a day in the life of a marketer or what it's like to be a marketer in'22, changes to technology, specifically, MarTech, and then also data, everyone's favorite topic, data. Starting with, really the marketers who make up most of our audience today, part of that report was ranking their top challenges and also their top priorities. And I saw innovation at the top of both lists, as the top challenge and a top priority. What you and your team seeing for marketers that explains why, despite that being such a high priority, it's still such a tough challenge for marketers.

Bobby Jania: That shift happened starting a couple years ago, really right around the same time as 2020 and all of us going inside and going through the pandemic. And I think what happened was, we saw a digital evolution at a speed that I don't think any of us were ever expecting. I think a lot of organizations talked about having digital transformation plans, they're are often many year plans, and then we just went through a compression where everyone, you didn't go digital first, you went digital only. And so I think organizations really saw the opportunity and the need to improve a lot of those digital experiences, those digital innovations, and at the same time they realized everyone is their competitor. And I don't mean necessarily stealing their dollars. I mean that every time you interact with an organization or a brand, you have an experience. We all went digital only. And we all had great experiences. We also all had probably some pretty terrible experiences. And so, it doesn't matter what industry you're in, you're competing with all of us as consumers. We've all experienced great recommendations. We've all experienced that great customer service handoff. And we're bringing that to the table anytime we interact with the brand now, and we have expectations now. The first time someone does something, you're like," Oh, that's cool. I didn't expect that." And then two months later it becomes what you expect. And so I think that's where a lot of marketers are really seeing that challenge where innovations are both the number one opportunity and their number one challenge.

Abbey Sullivan: It's a lot of tension between the two. It's a lot of pressure on the marketer to kind of reconcile all of that, to keep up, to keep tabs, and then nevertheless, try to be the one that's really pushing their team forward and pushing their initiatives forward. So if you are a small resource constrained marketing team, really independent of how large your organization may be, but if your team is relatively small, where should you as a marketer start trying to prioritize that level of innovation and try to meet some of that pressure

Bobby Jania: I think it starts at data, and really at that data level. Because if you start it and you don't worry about data first, at some point you're going to build onto this beast, and you're going to have this huge plan, experience with anything else, and it won't really use data. And then back fitting it in will be really hard. I think what people, especially marketers, need to recognize is data can be overwhelming. There is so much data. There's always the stats out there about how there's more pictures taken in the last couple of minutes than there were of all of humanity before that, the craziness amount out there. And I think it can be paralyzing. I think there could be so much that you just don't know where to start. And I think a key is just start with what you are going to use. If you're going to collect a bunch of data, if you're going to get first party data and you're going to try to gather it, if you're not going to leverage it in your marketing experiences, if you're not going to leverage it on your website, if you're not going to leverage it with other departments, perhaps through customer service partnerships, you don't need to collect it from day one. You don't need to be thinking about it from day one. You really want to be thinking about the data that's relevant to use, and then that just helps break the problem up a little bit and become a little bit more tangible and a little bit more of like, I know how to take the first step.

Abbey Sullivan: I think that's, I mean, presumably also accessible independent the size of your team. Because if you are a small resource constrain team, there's really, in theory, maybe nothing prohibiting you from starting there even if maybe your budget's a little more constrained for purchasing additional tech or adding people, or what have you, what about the more sophisticated marketing teams that you're seeing? They're ready to meet that challenge and hit that priority of advancing innovation. What are some of the things you're seeing them do to really advance that best in class customer experience that they need to deliver to be all in on digital?

Bobby Jania: I think we're going to see a big leap in the next five to 10 years in the idea of that realtime personalization. And I don't just mean putting an alert on necessarily a website or having it be a little different. I'm really thinking of, if you think about an experience a customer has with a company, if it's an in person experience, it's a two- way conversation. I am talking to someone, they are learning from every interaction and in theory, they're hopefully tailoring the response back. But for so long that digital conversation's been one way. In essence, as you talk to a website by browsing it, by clicking, by spending more time on a page, you're giving all of these signals to a company, but most companies aren't taking any of that information or what they might already know about you from previous parts and adapting the experience. And so what I think we're going to really see is this level of real time personalization, where it starts to feel more like a two- way conversation even digitally, and that you can start to build that relationship with the customer, and the customer builds a relationship with the brand, not just through the human interactions, but even more also through the digital interactions.

Abbey Sullivan: I love the parallel too, if you're in person, there's no talking to a wall. You have a real human there who's offering you some level of support or service or what have you. And it's also probably a good transition into some changes in tech, AI being one of those. For a marketer that's looking to... I think Lev, as a consultancy, we might say," Okay, you're looking to adopt some AI, adopt some changes in tech. The first thing you might think about is some things were manual, make those automated." That's a really good first step to start thinking about adopting that technology. What's then that two way communication? What are some of the examples that you're seeing of customers best in class delivering that two way, personalized learning from you and then giving that right back to you in the form of a better experience?

Bobby Jania: Yeah. I think you're dead on there on AI. I often like to just simplify things and sometimes it's oversimplification, but it makes it easy for most people to understand then. I bucket AI into two categories. One of how do I make the marketer do their job better, automate tasks, automate reports automate... I still think about the fact that I've spent more time than I ever wish, you know, copying and pasting data into cell files to send out internal reports, to look at how potentially a campaign was performing. And so there's a lot AI can do there to free up time for the marketer to hopefully do more marketing. The other part, I think that is really... the other bucket for AI is really about how does AI help that experience. So we want to talk about one- to- one marketing. We want to talk about building those relationships. That means less segments and less audiences. That means more reacting to the individual. We're not going to be able to have someone review every email that goes out, if they're truly one- to- one personalized with different hero images and different offers, everything else. So the only way we can make that work at scale is through AI. And AI is something that, I think we've seen a lot of marketers really... There was, I think, more skepticalness this years ago, because I felt like some people, when they heard AI marketing were thinking Space Odyssey, and you're going to have a computer like HAL just do everything for you. We might get to a point where you could ask AI questions on campaigns and it will help you give human answers back on what it thinks a marketer should do. At this point, I think we're a lot more about how do I make sure that the right hero image goes to me, or the right subject line, or the right offer goes to me? And, and I think that when you pair AI with the right kind of customer profile information, you can really create some amazing experiences, whether it be, I go to a brand's website and it knows if I've been to the page or not. So it knows whether or not it needs to... Or let me rephrase it. It knows the last time I was at the page and maybe something has happened since then and they want to put some sort of eyebrow banner on there, but it can figure out whether I need to see it or not because of what I've seen. It can know whether or not I've last interacted with the brand or purchased something recently or whatever those are, so you don't get the occasional email where it's like, we miss you. We haven't seen you forever. And you're like, well I was actually on the website just last week. I think being able to connect those dots. But AI is really going to enable us to do this personalization at a scale we just couldn't have done before. And I think that, you get that right, you get a relevant message. What we see from customers, typically speaking, is they're very often okay with that exchange of information worth. I am going to give you some of my personal information if it gives me a better experience. The challenge is a lot of customers think that personal information's a one way street and that the brand's using it only for the brand's benefit. They get very concerned about how that information might be used or if it's sold. And so I think there's a lot of this is, in order for a brand to work and make AI work in this level, they need to be thinking about trust. They need to be thinking about transparency, of being very clear on what they are gathering, what they are collecting, how they might use it back. Just like for a lot of us, it's still a human being, so the customer wants to know what's in it for them. There's some sort of exchange here. What am I getting back by giving you this information? AI can be a wonderful tool if you follow those guardrails.

Abbey Sullivan: I heard several things there. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, they just did a segment on this and the skepticism around collecting data and what the heck your company's doing with it, I heard fewer segments and more one- to- one personalization. That's probably a great illustration of that tension between innovation being the top challenge and the top priority, because some of our marketers are probably just starting to get their heads around segments or they just now have the data for segments, and now all of a sudden we're saying," Well, the next thing to do is make sure it's highly personalized." And that's a totally different ballgame. It's an interesting illustration of the state of marketing, how quickly things are shifting, I think. And then also I think the move to digital only, and being amidst, still, probably the great resignation and people making dramatic changes in their work life and how they want to spend their time. That level of automation becomes increasingly more important for teams because you may very well have fewer people, even if you desire to have more, to do that work. And so whether you may have been resistant to it or knew how to use it or not, your hand may be a little more forced at this point to try to figure it out.

Bobby Jania: Yeah. I mean, and data is such... internally, if you think about all of us at our companies, having access to the right data or access to the right report or the right information has probably made all of our jobs much easier to use. And I'm sure many people listening right now have had the same problem I've had, where I have a report. I have it in my email. But it's potentially an Excel file. And I don't know, do I trust it still? Is it accurate still? just knowing that you have the right data and having confidence that the data you're looking at is still current and fresh is just, it goes such a long way with us being able to do our jobs.

Abbey Sullivan: That's a great segue because, for us to be able to do our jobs then also, I see an opportunity to impact the rest of the business, the rest of the organization where you work. As a marketer, you have tech like AI at your disposal, or you're accountable for that, and now you have the opportunity to gather data, use data, but probably inform other functions like sales, service, operations, whatever that might be. Are you seeing any customers do this particularly well, or take things into consideration to really improve the influence they have as a marketing function over the rest of the business and really step forward into the spotlight and be the thought leaders at their organization.

Bobby Jania: Yeah. I mean, it's interesting to see the different paths some of our customers are on with data, because sometimes it's just about, like you said, does the marketing department know what's going on and do they really understand what their marketing is doing? And then you start getting into how do they potentially share that information and make sure that all the other departments, whether that be sales, customer service, if they have a website or e- commerce department that is potentially separate, is all on the same page. I can think of some customers, one that comes to mind that's been doing some really, really cool things with data has been HBO Max. They've been using a lot of the products there to go through and just really holistically understand how their marketing is performing, and then sharing that across the organization. There's the old saying of, I know I waste half my advertising budget. I just don't know which half. And I think that we're at a point now with data that it's starting to get a lot easier to really see, potentially, dollar spend, dollars returned and looking at how is that performing potentially at a campaign level? Because I don't think the idea of a campaign's going away? How is that performing on a given channel level? How is that performing at a given region level? And then there's some pretty cool tools out there now that run AI on top of that, that detect, basically, abnormalities, both good and bad. One where it's a campaign is underperforming. How do you alert a marketer in real time, so potentially they consider putting less dollars towards it?

Abbey Sullivan: Definitely.

Bobby Jania: But there's also a campaign is over performing. And how do you either potentially put more spend to it, or how do you just learn from it? How do you look into figuring out what was going on? Why did this over perform and how do I leverage that for future efforts?

Abbey Sullivan: Yeah. And to your point about real time, knowing that sooner rather than later, I mean, gives you that much more runway to make those adjustments, be a more responsible with the budget and then act that much sooner and make improvements moving forward. I think that's key too, to your point about having the report in your inbox, that's one minute old is too old at that point, because you don't know what's been happening since it's transpired.

Bobby Jania: I mean, I remember a time where I would finish a quarter and about four to five weeks after the quarter was closed, I would finally get a report to see how all of my marketing performed that quarter. That's better than nothing, but there's no time for adjustments then. Once you're four to five weeks after the quarter closed, that also means you're four to five weeks into the new quarter.

Abbey Sullivan: That's right.

Bobby Jania: And so you're thinking about how long it could potentially take to gain insight to change marketing plan. Right. And that can't be months or weeks. That needs to be days, if not hours.

Abbey Sullivan: Yeah, absolutely. Especially in the, I keep saying it, but in the digital only environment where there's not even anything else maybe to fall back on or report on. Well, shout out to HBO Max. I mean it helps to have phenomenal content for sure. I'm a big fan. But I love hearing the use case for the analytics reporting as well. You mentioned earlier a number of things about data and one of those was about privacy and about being good stewards of our customer's data. And then understanding how to use that for our marketers in the audience who it's critically important to understand the regulation part of that. Maybe, what advice can you offer about the current state of regulation over privacy and consent and then where you see some of that legislation, either in the states or overseas going in the future?

Bobby Jania: I mean, I would honestly say embrace it. I think a lot of this is, I don't want to say overdue, but I think for a long time, I don't think us all as consumers were really consciously aware of how our data may or may not have been used, or potentially more importantly, may or may not have been sold. I think when you first saw GDPR and CCPA and a few of those, I think you saw a little bit, or even with the recent changes with you Apple changing email privacy and opening an email at the time it hits their servers versus anything else, there's always been hacks that people have tried to do. You look at Google ad search and forever people have tried to hack the algorithm. And as soon as... If someone finds those, they just close the loophole. If you're trying to play a loophole game between the email protection privacy changes or legislation changes that have happened, you're just going to stay in that race. You're just going to be constantly trying to find new loopholes and others are closed. I think instead it is more of a, it is a great reset opportunity for so many organizations. It is an opportunity that we are redoing the playing field all over again where, yes, third party data is probably less impactful than it used to be. First party data is now incredibly important. It always has been. But I think for some organizations, their first party data strategy was lacking where they probably would like it to be now. I think the first party data is an amazing exchange though, because that's the one time if you're really... as you gather and collect first party data, if you're doing it right, that customer is giving it to you directly. Now, I know it might not necessarily be them putting a form on there saying here is my email address, and you can talk about the idea of whether first party and zero party data and the differences between those, but at least if I'm interacting with a brand's website, I know I'm interacting with that brand's website. It's very different when I interact somewhere. And then suddenly that has been sold off, whether it be a cookie or something else, and now a brand I never interacted with is approaching me. And so I think that there's a great opportunity now for any company to really be very, very transparent and the laws help here too, of what are they collecting? How are they going to use it? And how does it potentially benefit the customer? We see time and time again, that if you are willing to go that route, customers tend to be okay with it. We have the state of connected customer report, and my favorite stat was that a couple years ago in 2020, it said that 80% of customers say the experience is just as important as the product or service. I am going to release a stat that has not been fully published yet, but in the report that comes out this summer, that number's jumped to 88%.

Abbey Sullivan: Oh wow.

Bobby Jania: So in two years we've seen an eight point swing in that the experience is just important as the product or service. And I think that is, goes back again to that the number one challenge and the number one and opportunity for marketers is innovation, because we all, as digital customers want great experiences. We've had them with some organizations, so we feel everyone should and can be able to do it.

Abbey Sullivan: Yeah. The great experiences and also that transparency. I like what you said, because it can become your value prop. It does not have to be a thorn in your side that additional regulation has been passed and now you have to make all these changes really. I love the idea of embracing it, that it is an opportunity to change, an opportunity to do things a little bit differently. And then that level of transparency being what customers have come to expect, especially younger customers wanting that full level of transparency and relationship with your company. It's really, I think a value add to say," Look, we're telling you exactly what we're doing, how we're using it, and we're setting that appropriate expectation with you. Seems like it would, it would lean toward having a consumer be more likely to provide that data to you.

Bobby Jania: Yeah, absolutely.

Abbey Sullivan: With thinking about some of those changes in tech systems like a CDP, a customer data platform, or adding on tools with AI capabilities, CRM, really any of these tools, they all require data to be increasingly effective. We've talked a little bit about that. Yu talked a little bit too about starting to think about what you're going to collect. What's the right way for a marketer to start thinking about collecting that data in order to then be able to act on it and evaluating... You talked what do you really need. Collect that and then act on it, but what's the right way to approach that if you're, if you're brand new to thinking about this?

Bobby Jania: I think a lot of it is that kind of automation path, which is, okay, I need to start to collect data. It needs to be in an automated fashion. And then I need to be able to have that stream in and be able to use that in my marketing efforts, whether that be something like a website personalization, whether that be an email I'm sending out, whatever that might be. And as I think about the evolution, you talked about CDPs, you talked about CRM, they were all tools to help a company organize and then activate the data they have. I think a big thing you're seeing is when we think of CRM, if we think about what probably pops into your mind the first time you hear a term like CRM, you're thinking a lot more about organizing contacts, organizing leads, organizing opportunities. I kind of think about it from a slightly different lens, which is many CRM systems, the data entry has still been a human. Not always, I mean, there's integrations. There is still the idea of I have a form that I complete on a website and it flows in, and that's a great way to capture information, as it goes on, though, you think about a lot of times people are hitting an edit on a field, typing a new value in and hitting save. And I think what we see as we evolve into the notion of a CDP is, in my mind, it's really the same concept. It's about how the data is being entered and how it's being done at scale. And so for a lot of times, for a lot of these CDPS, gone are the day that you're not asking a marketer to pull up the profile of Bobby and go in there and edit what my favorite activities are. You're instead asking systems to write to that in real time and determine interests based on stats and information about webpages viewed and products viewed and purchases or card abandonment or clicks on email. And so there's a different level of scale to it. But at the end of the day, what we're trying to do still is get the right data, that we can then action on to have a more relevant experience, whether that be a conversation on the phone, whether that be an email, whether that be a website visit. And so I think so much of this is making sure that as you scale and grow these, you are ready to automate. I think you said, made me feel old, but you said, the beginning of 17 years doing this and did the math, I was like, yeah, that's right. And I think about where I was 17 years ago, there was a lot less data. There was a lot less... Our digital footprint was a lot smaller. Our digital footprint's much bigger now. That creates amazing opportunities, but it also creates amazing amounts of data to sift through to get to those ripe nuggets. So I think a huge thing it comes down to is, getting it automated. I still think about... Hopefully I can start going to in person trade shows more often again, but I still think about how often you've seen someone have an email sign up list where it's still like, look, paper, right?

Abbey Sullivan: Yes. First name, last name.

Bobby Jania: Yeah. Someone has to type that in. I think for a lot of marketers, the strategy, wherever it is, however you're loading it in, and third party data kind of also allowed for that to happen. We'd often get potentially dumps of third party data, and do some sort of bulk in. We need to really start thinking now about how do you, every moment you have with that customer. Every time you have a digital moment, you've learned something. Whether they acted or not with that, whatever it was, you've learned something. And how is that information being captured in an automated way, so that we can kind of move away from the bulks. Bulks are fine from one system to another. I totally get it. You've got a digital footprint in this system. You've got a digital footprint in this system, maybe once a week, maybe once a day, you've got to reconcile those. That, that's not what I mean there. I mean, much more on the only kind of... I'm capturing something in a non- automated fashion and I'm having to move it into a system. We really need to make sure that is a, you get it and it's more of a set and forget. And it really becomes a seed and growth strategy then, where you're not going to have amazing first party data profiles overnight if you're just starting it, but if you think about every moment as an opportunity to build that profile, and then you think about every moment becoming a flywheel, and you think about that I'm using the data I have to personalize a moment, to engage on the channel I think is most relevant, and I'm learning what happened in an interaction, and I'm feeding that back in. And that flywheel will start to spin pretty fast.

Abbey Sullivan: Two main thoughts on that point. I think that also comes back to influence over the rest of the business, because if you, as the marketing team, are partial or full owner of all of this, especially in something like a CDP, that's really coveted information that the rest of the org should be highly interested in accessing. And so I think marketers have the opportunity then to flex a little bit and say," Look at what we're collecting. Look at how we're learning from it. Look at how we're aggregating it, consolidating it in something like a single record, or we're more reliably populating the accuracy of something like CRM. And here's what we're doing about all of that. And by the way, it's making your life better, service person, salesperson, whoever it is. So that's a pretty cool opportunity. And then the other thing is, the automation of that collection, I really like that mentality to think of every touchpoint not just as delivering that great experience, but also what else could we potentially pull out of the customer and sent the customer with to then learn from that interaction? Who's doing this really well right now? What customers do you point to who use really every single touchpoint, not to just highly personalize, but also gain a little bit more to then use in the next interaction?

Bobby Jania: What I'll say before we get to the customer there is, what can get tricky is what the marketer views the single source of truth to be, might not be what someone in the service department views the single source of truth to be.

Abbey Sullivan: Good point

Bobby Jania: Might not be what the entire companies look at it. And so, as you think about the idea of a single source of truth, what does that mean? Does it mean it's really in one system? I think the first thing one needs to recognize is the information that different departments need can be not always the exact same field. And so then the question is, are you working on copies of data or are you working on having all of the data in potentially one system or at least connected systems where data is being properly shared? Myself as a consumer, I'm probably not the only one out there, that my Gmail address, I don't normally use with brands. I still have a Yahoo address for that. And that's still the one I often sign up with on stuff, because that way it has kind of kept... just from a curation standpoint, my Gmail address is much more than from a true personal. And when I log into my Yahoo address, which still happens multiple times a day, I know what I'm expecting when I go there. And I know that I'm going there to look more at communications with organizations than potentially with an individual human and have that piece there. I think a lot of that connects the dots as we go through there. I think of organizations that have done it well. We were talking about marketing cloud's new features at a world tour event in Sydney last week. And the beauty company MECCA comes to mind, where they're really doing a good job at connecting those experiences from the website to their digital marketing efforts, to their customer service efforts, to in- store rep efforts, so that they're all looking at the same record and they're all able to figure out, how does... what that allows an organization to do once you start connecting those dots is, some of it is, Sounds harsh, but it's common sense, but it's still hard to do. How do you suppress someone from marketing when they have a service case open? That makes a lot of sense to do, but for a lot of organizations, it's hard. How do you recognize that Sam and Samantha might be the same person if they have the same phone number or the same email address and how do you not make it where you have all of those? It's always interesting when I can still see if someone manually potentially typed in data or if they didn't run any type of scripts on top of it, or I'll get an email that has my first name in all caps, or I'll get an email that... I've literally got an email that says, Robert, parenthesis, goes by Bobby, end parenthesis,

Abbey Sullivan: Perfect.

Bobby Jania: I mean, I get what happened there. but that is definitely when you start having data potentially shared where whoever inputted that field was probably not thinking that would be used in any type of marketing automations.

Abbey Sullivan: I have tremendous empathy for that situation, but also very high expectations. I got an email this morning from a brand that I reordered from and I got a," Wow, thank you so much. It means so much to us that you placed another order, your loyalty." And it was addressed to my husband in all caps and I'm just going," Okay, well, thanks. I get it. I see what happened there." But to your point, opportunity for improvement. And the other thing I run into all the time, especially traveling, is the whole rigamarole by the service person to run me through all of the ceremonies of the hotel or of the rental car or whatever. And I just think if you were to look at the points on my account or the fact that I've had a prior stay, you would know I'm so impatient. I just want to go to bed or get in the car or whatever it might be. Like, come on. I try to be patient. I know they don't have the information, because if they did, they'd probably use it. But it is difficult when you know it could be better.

Bobby Jania: And some of them are challenges that are probably more like coroner cases you might not need to solve for. And I'll give an example, my aunt and uncle share an email address.

Abbey Sullivan: Of course.

Bobby Jania: And it baffles me because I'm like, you know they're free, right? But they'll get two email and some organizations are like, well, will get two emails of the same email address with like different content, because they might realize that email address purchases men's and women's, and sometimes that gets merged into one. Sometimes they get two different email addresses because they've checked out with the same email address with different first names.

Abbey Sullivan: Yep.

Bobby Jania: There's challenges out there. It gets messy fast.

Abbey Sullivan: For offers in particular, in retail and e- com, I would have to assume, but also our gaming clients, I've worked quite a bit with gaming customers, and it's very common for a spouse or partners to share an email address, but they have different gaming habits or styles. And so the data on them as players and they have their own loyalty cards is very different, but the communication goes to the same place and that's something that they have prioritized. That's another good probably example of the innovation challenge in priority, because they've felt compelled to solve that because they know that providing the right offer at the right time makes a tremendous impact on your visit to the gaming location and really the amount of revenue you can generate for them. So I run into that often, but it's a very technically difficult problem to solve for sure. Yeah. And to make sure you get right.

Bobby Jania: Super in the weeds years, years, years ago, we tried to use the email address as a unique identifier in one of our databases. And very quickly realized we had to assemble a different identifier on top of that, because, I'm guessing it's probably less than it was 10 or 15 years ago, but there was a lot of people that would... we realized we'd had two different records, two different names that had the same email address and similar about there. If you want be able to engage with them, while you're sending them both to the same message or the same email address, if you want to engage with them with different personalized content, you had to have them as two different records.

Abbey Sullivan: We run into this often working with clients who are migrating, implementing, doing all kinds of things, especially on the Salesforce platform. I'm starting to think we need a session at next year's ultraviolet about email addresses are free. You can get your own email. Here's how to do it. Here's how to help your aunt and uncle or your grandparents sign up for their own email address. This will make all of our marketers lives much easier. So what's next? What's next for you and your team? What are you thinking about right now working on?

Bobby Jania: I mean, very, very near term, a lot of us are thinking about the upcoming connections event that we're going to have in Chicago. And that is because it's going to be the first time we are back in person for this event since-

Abbey Sullivan: Awesome.

Bobby Jania: I guess June, 2019 was the last time it happened in person. And so kind of dusting off the cobwebs on some of those muscles. I'm going to have to start dry cleaning shirts again, and get a few blazers pulled out all over again. So we're thinking about that, but I think a lot of it is, we're really excited about just where marketers are really embracing and just starting to leverage data. Where I think there's a level of many of us had to just be brute force our way into getting access to some of the data before in organizations where... I've personally faced it where IT might not want me having access to it, or they're going to give me a copy of it, but the copy's weeks, if not months old, and I can't react to it in real time. I mean, that's one of the gifts of the last couple of years is that, we are seeing everyone's digital transformation accelerate. We're seeing the plans get thrown out. The plan from 2019 doesn't matter anymore. There's a different expectation of what they need to do by when. And it's really putting marketing at a seat at the table with any other department and marketing is now coming in with all of this rich data on how their dollars are spending, but also all this rich data on the customer. And if they can do it right, they can share it with all these other departments. And we often think of marketing at the tip of the arrow, but this is allows us to really have that arrow be that customer profile and be the same profile that the company's using across the board. And we start to build it with marketing and service can add onto it and every other department can add onto it to get to eventually that complete record, but it's just really exciting to see marketers embrace data, talk more, a lot about the strategies. I'm hearing a lot less people thinking about just the idea of third party data buys. I think it's been a challenge for people to think about, okay, cookies and device IDs are going to go away. What do I do now? But it's allowing us to fix some data strategies we know have been fundamentally broken for a while. We've just duct tape and bubble gummed a lot of our data strategies together as marketers, grabbing pieces we can from here or there to build what we can do. And we've done a great job with what we've had, but this is a great moment to kind of reset that and really start thinking about... I sometimes talk about companies, I call, I refer to as digital native companies. And I think of digital native company as like a Warby Parker who started online and eventually went backwards, not backwards in a bad way, but has retail shops now that you can kind of see, but that wasn't where they started with. And I think even a company like Salesforce who's been around for over 20 years. And I think about our tech deck, I think about how much stuff we have, that is a little bit of like, yeah, we have it, we got to deal with it. We'll figure out to make it work. And I think this is just an opportunity for a lot of marketers to embrace a lot of the bad stuff we might have had or been doing, let's get rid of it now. Let's rethink it. And let's build the right data strategy moving forward that creates these amazing moments. And just like in real life, you deliver the right moments with a customer, you start to build a relationship. And ultimately we all want relationships with our customers.

Abbey Sullivan: I think too, embracing the pace that you mentioned, because I think... we talked about data and being able to reflect on that four weeks after the quarter end and that being too slow, to be able to recognize that throwing out a plan that's no longer relevant and that you don't have to stick to the plan just because it was the plan, but operating in a more agile way with your team, embracing that and saying, we're going to try the thing. We're going to measure it in near real time. We're going to learn from it in near real time. And then we're going to just keep adding on, keep experimenting, keep moving forward. I think that's very uncomfortable for a lot of people because there is, in some cases, a tendency to build the plan and then say," Well, we must stick to it. We put effort into the plan. Now we have to see it through." But we have the advantage of so much more information and so much more data that that's not quite maybe the most efficient way of working, the most efficient way of spending budgets and also gets a little uncomfortable, I think, to have to figure out in your near time and problem solve through that.

Bobby Jania: One thing I'm very lucky for being able to work for a company like Salesforce is, I've had access to some amazing executive coaches and was recently speaking with one through as we move into exactly when do we go from pandemic to endemic? I don't know. It feels like we're close, if not there. I'm not going to pretend to know the answers to that one there. But what he said to me was really interesting and it kind of opened my eyes in a different way, which was we've all proved now we can perform. For two years now, we all got put in our houses. Everything got disrupted, everything changed. I remember April 2020 being very worried about what the economy would look like by the end of the summer, would I still have a job even? I was thinking back to 2008 feelings. It was a very scary time there for sure a lot of us. And we as a whole performed. His comment to me was," You can do it. You know you can do it. Now it's time to transform. Don't be as afraid of can these monumental changes, can you survive through? We've proven that. So recognize that this is an opportunity to transform. And I think a lot of the times with what's going on with right data right now is, we've proved we can perform. Now, let's use this as an opportunity to transform.

Abbey Sullivan: One of my mentors always said chaos creates opportunities. So I think that's a perfect way to conclude and also a perfect way to be thinking about for our audience, how they're going to move their teams forward, what they're going to embrace and knowing that things are going to keep changing and changing even faster. That's just the reality. We've now lived through that. And so it's time to really think about, I think, how we're going to put that into practice at work and probably in our personal lives as well.

Bobby Jania: Yeah, absolutely.

Abbey Sullivan: Well, Bobby, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and to speak with all of our guests and share your insights. And I just want to thank everybody who joined us today as well, for taking the time, and our incredible marketing team for putting the event together and hosting everything. I hope everyone has a great afternoon. Thanks so much.

Bobby Jania: Thank you.

Bobby Tichy: So going to completely unrelated, we have the whole marketing element that Bobby just talked through and the technology piece of it, but I'm interested in what your favorite marketing campaign is right now. Because if there's anything we like to do on this podcast is we like to date ourselves as quickly as possible. And putting a line in the sand for what your favorite marketing campaign or marketing effectiveness from a company is right now, that's probably the best way to do it.

Cole Fisher: Well, it's hard to say. Effectiveness versus what I just enjoy, we've all seen those kind of studies, like humor and fear and how well those drive, but how they really don't correlate to brand recognition or retaining the information specific to that brand or offering or product. But I got to say, and you and I have spoken about this in the past, but I think insurance companies just happen to have a leg up on everyone right now. I mean, everything from, I think Geico probably was the first nose across the finish line with the big movement of, remember those old caveman ads?

Bobby Tichy: Oh, caveman was the best. Yeah.

Cole Fisher: What was it, like Brian the caveman or something like that? He got so offended being called a caveman. It's so easy a caveman could do it and how offensive that was and things like that. And they really blew that out and had fun. There were even spinoff sitcoms. I think there was a sitcom of Brian, the Caveman-

Bobby Tichy: Really?

Cole Fisher: like that. Yeah. I remember. I mean, I'm sure it was short lived. But I remember seeing actual promotions for a sitcom of that same character. So I feel like insurance companies have always done it well. I can't think of the actor's name, but he's always bandaged up and causing, wreaking havoc, flying through windshields or dancing and causing car accidents or something like that. Insurance companies just seem to have, A, a ton of marketing budget, because their rates are quite healthy, but I think they get to hire the firms that must just get to enjoy the most fun on creating those campaigns.

Bobby Tichy: I would like to confirm there was a caveman sitcom cave.

Cole Fisher: Yeah? Looked it up?

Bobby Tichy: It was cave men. Yes. But it was a real thing. And Nick Kroll, who has gone on to have a very successful career in entertainment was on the show, but the show was not very successful.

Cole Fisher: What about you?

Bobby Tichy: I'm right there. I think the insurance ones, I mean the Dr. Rick from Progressive has got to be by far my favorite right now.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. The becoming your parents.

Bobby Tichy: Especially as I get older, recently I've started to say things that my dad used to say when I was a kid, which is really annoying, but I'll also, I'll preface it with, like my dad used to say. Oh boy, this isn't good.

Cole Fisher: Well, it's funny because they've hit everyone from like age 25 and up basically anybody that will be shopping for insurance. Because even even our parents remember what it was like becoming their parents. So everybody can resonate with this. So in terms of a message that is large scale enough that it resonates with everybody, they hit the nail on the head. And then on top of that, the actors and the scenarios, like where he's helping somebody back up into a parking space at Lowe's or whatever it I. You don't know them. You don't need to help. You're not supposed to help. You don't know them. Or blue hair. We all see it. We all see it.

Bobby Tichy: I think my favorite one is when they're walking into the... they get to the sports stadium for a game and they're all talking about how much they make from parking. And then they're walking in and they're like, so should we leave around the third quarter? And they're already talking about leaving before they get into the game, all of these things. I think the problem is, I was even thinking the other day, it would be fun to go to a... we live a half hour from Jacksonville. It's like, oh, it would be fun to go to a Jaguars game. So my first thought was, man, I don't know. Parking, getting there, and then you got leave. And I mean, I feel like I'm to the point now where I'm part of that conversation of, yeah. But I got my own bathroom and big screen TV at home.

Cole Fisher: Bear's a lot cheaper on my couch.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, exactly.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. Well-

Bobby Tichy: Oh man.

Cole Fisher: Plus it's a Jags game.

Bobby Tichy: That's probably the biggest point.

Cole Fisher: Actually, if you think about it, the Jags have some of the most fun marketing schemes out there, in terms of the NFL teams. They've got those pools in the upper deck of their stadium like that.

Bobby Tichy: Because otherwise, why would you ever go to a game?

Cole Fisher: Exactly. Your job is to sell everything but the football there, because that's not a selling point.

Bobby Tichy: Oh yeah. For sure.

Cole Fisher: At least, you sell the future, you sell fun in the stadium. You can sell weather, sometimes. You can sell a lot of things, but a winning season and the enthusiasm inaudible around football, now that-

Bobby Tichy: You sell the future.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. You're selling for the future. Oh, this is a rebuilding year.

Bobby Tichy: We're going to be good at some point.

Cole Fisher: It's a rebuilding year. And this is coming from a Cincinnati Reds and Buffalo Sabers hockey fan where I know what it's like to have a decade of rebuilding.

Bobby Tichy: Ooh, poor Reds.

Cole Fisher: Oh.

Bobby Tichy: Well we hope you enjoyed the conversation with Bobby and Abbey, and even more so, we hope you enjoyed the conversation with us. If you want to get in touch with us, intheclouds @levdigital. com And we'll see you next time.


Bobby Jania, SVP, Marketing at Salesforce, is joined by Abbey Sullivan, VP, Client Success at Lev, to discuss the current state of marketing in today’s technology-driven landscape. From data-driven marketing, to the value of video, and the new work-from-anywhere remote culture, they cover everything marketers want to know about the current strategies, priorities, and challenges in the marketing landscape.

Topics included in this episode touch on:

  • Innovation as a priority for marketers and where to start
  • Adopting A.I. and improving customer experiences
  • Having access to the right data and how it impacts the business
  • Data privacy and being good stewards of customer data
  • What's next for Bobby's team at Salesforce

Today's Guests

Guest Thumbnail

Abbey Sullivan

|VP, Client Success @ Lev
Guest Thumbnail

Bobby Jania

|SVP, Marketing @ Salesforce