There’s a certain irony to modern marketing. We’re reliant on technology — but we should increasingly focus on empathy. We can reach millions of people at once, yet we need to market to individuals more than ever before. Pegasystems is at the heart of this ever-changing landscape: giving companies of all shapes and sizes the ability to connect with audiences, improve their customer engagement, and become more operationally efficient.
We were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Tom Libretto, CMO of Pegasystems, about all these topics and more…
I’ve always been enamored by the intersection of technology, marketing, and storytelling. I started my career at IBM — I loved it, and I was fortunate enough to cut my teeth in a variety of disciplines all across the company. I then moved to Nokia; I initially had a ton of fun trying to build a software and services side to the business, before moving around the company and eventually landing in my last post, where I ran what was the world’s largest CRM program at the time (we had 1.1 billion consumers actively using our technology.)
This really showed me the power of consumer analytics and data management in effectively connecting with consumers. After Nokia, I pivoted into financial services — spending four years at JP Morgan creating a digital office and running a whole range of digital transformation programs.
Then Pegasystems came calling, and it was the right opportunity to wed my passion for technology with the challenge of connecting to various types of audiences.
I worked with three massive organizations prior to Pegasystems, so my experiences there were very different from how it’s been coming into a midsize company like Pegasystems.
I’ve loved it here because there’s an opportunity to really put a mark on a variety of areas across the business beyond the marketing domain itself. But this process required a certain personal adjustment — here we have a faster, more nimble, less bureaucratic culture if you will.
It’s a bit cliché, but when evaluating a new job opportunity, I always analyze the three P’s: people, product, and potential.
Firstly, we come into work and interact with our colleagues day in, day out — so the company culture has to be aligned with your own value systems. From a product perspective, it’s important for me as a marketer to feel that the product has the right thought-leadership governing product direction, and that it does exactly what we say it does (and ideally even more). Lastly, it needs to have the potential to provide real, lasting value for the business’s target customers.
So when looking at any job opportunity, I always keep these three things in mind.
There’s no doubt that the CMO role has been changing now for the past decade or so, and I think that it will continue to change going forward. From my perspective, the role will start to encompass a wider mandate around setting the company strategy — CMOs will act as a sort of purveyor of what the market needs. This will then support a lot of internal decision-making regarding what products are developed, and what the shape and texture of those offerings are.
For example, here at Pegasystems, I’ve noticed how critical it is that the CMO is a close partner with the sales organization and sales leadership in general.
Plus, I also think that a CMO’s profile is also changing — more and more of the CMOs that I interact with come from deep data and analytics backgrounds; they know how to wield data in the right ways to make better decisions around how to connect with (and engage) their customer audiences.
So I think CMOs will need to be more technology-focused going forward than they were in the past and will need to be true experts in harnessing the power of consumer data.
Fortunately, my CEO and I have a very aligned view on how to measure the marketing department: it starts and stops with customer engagement.
We’ve scientifically correlated customer engagement outcomes to a wide swathe of other commercial outcomes like pipeline generation, deal size, and average deal size. So across my organization, across the different marketing disciplines that sit within our marketing department, we’re all shooting for the same goal: increasing user-based interactions or engagement. We measure this on a 90-day basis across dozens of different real time-interaction channels.
So we’ve actually been around for 36 years. We were originally the 800-pound gorilla in what used to be known as the ‘business process management’ market, and the company has since gone through multiple renaming cycles. Our current tagline is “Intelligent Automation” — this includes things like robotic process automation, business process management, case management, and low-code application development. That’s been our bread and butter for a really long time.
For about a dozen years, we’ve also been equally strong in the customer engagement market, which is sort of today’s nomenclature for CRM. Very simply, we want to enable organizations to make better decisions as a result of their customer engagement. Then, on the other side of the aisle, to get work done more effectively — becoming more operationally efficient through increased process automation.
We’ve been in this field for a long time, so we fortunately have a hardened methodology and blueprint for how companies can get started very quickly. We call this a microjourney approach; simply put, companies need to pick one single end customer outcome before they begin. Once you have this nailed down, you can design that very tight, microjourney directly within our software — we generate the code behind the scenes in order to bring that customer journey to life in a matter of days and weeks. Then, rinse and repeat.
When looking at how organizations can better engage their customers, we have what’s called our Pega Customer Decision Hub: a centralized authoritative brain that integrates very easily with any of a customer’s interaction channels — whether that’s pre-login, web login, web, mobile, call centers, IVR, or retail outlets. All of those interaction channels can be wired to a singular brain that then decides in real time what the best next decision is to make.
This means that organizations can consistently manage their customer experience independent of the channel — the world’s leading brands are relying on this tool to help them transform their customer engagement profile.
My perspective is that martech is quickly giving us the ability to offer one-to-one customer engagement — instead of looking at the wants and needs of a segment of your customer base, you should be looking at a specific individual’s wants and needs.
This requires a complete shift in mindset. It’s not about generating an audience and then firing off a campaign to see what it does, it’s about dealing with every single customer as an individual. So that’s how I sort of define empathetic marketing.
I think it’s now arguably more difficult for brands to project a brand value statement into the marketplace — there are more platforms, more people offering their opinion, and it’s difficult for brands to manage all these different voices and perspectives. But in many ways, I think that’s requiring most brands to just go back to basics and to treat their customers like they want to be treated themselves
Well given that these are the two areas we mainly focus on, we hope they’re going to play a huge role going forward! We’ve always strongly believed that there are endless opportunities to automate work around an enterprise — especially as technology is becoming greatly more accessible and easier to adopt.
With regards to artificial intelligence, there are again vast and endless use cases for AI: ranging from natural language processing through to the widespread adoption of continuous-learning models that are constantly getting better and better (like our Pega Customer Decision Hub).
We’ve basically had the same goal since our founder and CEO, Alan Trefler, founded the company: to be the leading technology provider for digital transformation initiatives, helping our clients achieve truly unprecedented outcomes.
This remains true today and it will also remain true in the future. We get a lot of energy, excitement, and satisfaction out of seeing organizations that we work with — enterprises and governments and so forth — realize their digital transformation ambitions, whatever they may be.
To be honest, we’ve gone all-in on our own technology — our Pega Customer Decision Hub is the single most important tool in helping our own customer engagement efforts. It’s transformed our marketing organization, and it’s done amazing things for helping us connect and engage with our own audiences. There’s no way we could replicate that if it were ever taken out of our stack.Reblogged 7 months ago from www.clickz.com