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Even though marketing isn't easy anymore, new technologies are opening up worlds of opportunity for marketers. Learn about the future of marketing technology.

Video Transcript

– [Amit] I hope you sugared up during the break, and now we’re back full speed to probably what’s the last part of the session. So, we’re talking about realizing the dream. Finding that gap between the ideal, the dream, and reality. So, I’d like to call our panelists up to stage: Regan Hobbs, Head of CRM for LeoVegas, Guy Meiboom from Facebook, David Raab, and Eitan Reisel. Eitan’s from Google, I didn’t mention that.

All right, so what we’re going to talk in this panel is about the future of marketing technologies. Marketing isn’t easy anymore. Marketing used to be easy. Remember Don Draper? So, it’s not easy anymore. David was speaking before about Moe’s Restaurant. Remember that hieroglyph in the cave? He was talking about, you know, mass marketing of back at the day. It’s not easy anymore. We have channels. We have segments. We have messages. Are you a marketer? Are you a scientist? Who even are you? And in this session, we want to answer those questions of where’s that gap? Where’s that gap that we still didn’t bridge?

So, we’re talking about marketers doing something like an impossible job, and then what we’re looking at is bridging that gap with technologies, making that dream a reality. So, we have four distinguished panelists here, and guys, please present yourself, and give, you know, a few sentences about your roles, and we’ll take it from there.

– [Regan] Sure. So, my name is Regan Hobbs. I’m Head of CRM for LeoVegas. I’ve been in the gaming industry about nine years, all of it in CRM. So, mainly around casino. Obviously, that includes the rest of products as well. Poker, bingo, and that sort of thing, sports, so. New to LeoVegas, just started in January. So, we’re on a bit of a journey, which is quite fun, and yeah. This is why we’re sort of looking at Optimove at the moment, and yeah, hopefully, we can do some good things together.

– [Guy] Thanks, Regan. My name is Guy Meiboom. I’m an agency and client partner at Facebook Israel. I manage some of our ad tech performance agencies, and some of our big export clients.

– [David] Hi, I’m David Raab. I’m a consultant specializing in helping marketers to select and deploy marketing technology.

– [Eitan] Eitan. I’m Head of Gaming in Google Israel, in charge of both casual games and gambling, which is always sexy to say that you’re part of gambling. So, I’m part of gambling.

Marketing Challenges Still Unresolved

– Thanks, gentlemen. So, we have a very interesting panel here today. Obviously, we have the operator side represented by Regan, then we have, you know, the marketing technology side represented by Guy and Eitan, and then we have our specialist here, David, talking about generally marketing technologies. So, I want to start with a first question to you, Regan. So, as a senior marketer, what are those…so, we’re talking about challenges, bridging that gap. So, what are the challenges that you see today that still aren’t covered by marketing technologies?

– Sure. I mean, obviously, we’ve talked all day today about a lot of the challenges we’ve got. My challenge from an operator point of view is kind of these guys, because to be honest, they’re a long way ahead of us in our ability to deliver on a lot of this technology. So, young companies, like in gaming, are typically pretty siloed, still. So, all of their operational side, your content delivery, your BI analytics, they’re all still in silos, which means all of the scalability that we can deliver through these channels is really difficult to scale on my side. When I talk to, you know, my graphic designers and say we need 3000 banners, not 200, I tend to get some pretty funny looks. So, there’s kind of this, like, issue with the size of the data and our ability to use it.

One of the other things that’s been covered a lot here today is the proliferation of channels. There’s a huge number of channels coming online now and I think one of the other issues that we face is consumers are faster than we are in channels. We find it really difficult to, you know, integrate new channels into what we do. Consumers are, you know, they’ve been through a few channels and they’ve got rid of them by now. You know, you’re talking about people using Snapchat. You’re talking about all sorts of messenger apps, rich media within messenger apps, and we haven’t quite got to the point where we can quickly integrate with those and get, you know, a good value message out through them. So, the speed of the consumer is a real problem for us.

I think probably the third thing is maybe something that’s not going to go down so well, but the usability of CRM systems has never been particularly good, right? So, they’ve kind of turned CRM almost into a data entry task. It’s quite heavy and laborious to get these things planned and executed correctly, and to be fair, I haven’t seen the Optimove mobile solution, but I’ve also never seen a decent mobile app for myself running a CRM team. You know, in terms of running what’s going out today, tomorrow, what the results were. I want to be able to do that on the move. I’m spending all day here today. I don’t know what’s going on at work unless I’m, you know, logging in and talking to other people, and that’s not really going to help us. To get around some of these issues in the next few years, I think automation’s going to become a huge part of what we do from a content and operational side, but I also don’t think in the next sort of five years it’s going to get to the point where we can rely on it and sort of replace human creativity. So, it’s an interesting time. I’m looking forward to it, but we’ve got to be quicker, and that’s part of the challenge.

The Next Step in Marketing Technologies

– Thanks, Regan. So, yes, speed to consumer, that is a thing that most B2C marketers say is a big challenge. And the next question I’d like to address to David. So, David, from your experience working across a variety of industries, what solutions are in the woodwork in terms of both, A, speed to consumer, speed to market, and, B, generally, you know, taking the next step in marketing technologies?

– I would say that the…you know, the critical problem, as Regan just said, is the need to move quickly and to make so many decisions in so many different places. So, we are seeing very rapid and very widespread adoption of the artificial intelligence in a number of different forms to really begin to not just make the simpler decisions about, you know, “What content should I present?” Or, “How do I do my segmentation?” The kinds of things that we’ve been using predictive models for for quite some time. But really, we now are beginning to see the technology used to give the structure to the campaign itself. So, “How many messages should I send? What channels should I send them in?” Really, at the individual level. So, that’s the goal, is to move from a sort of a program approach that says, “I have these campaigns, and who’s the right person for this particular campaign, for the blast that’s going to go out this… Will it be to…you know, what’s the right message and the right channel for this particular person today, tomorrow, the next day?” Which’ll change and which we really need the artificial intelligence systems to do in the level of detail we need to them on. So, that’s the one area. The other area we see AI used increasingly is in content creation, the actual writing of content. We’re seeing some really interesting progress in that area, which removes one of the other big bottlenecks, because content creation becomes the big bottleneck once you solve your campaign complexity.

What do Marketers Lack?

– Thanks, David. So, content creation, probably this is not the platform to answer because that’s for, you know, for other people. But generally speaking… I want to address a general question to the entire panel and you guys can, you know, take your stand on it. But based on your understanding, and maybe Eitan, you can start here, what do you think, given the state of things today, what do marketers lack? What are they missing in technologies, marketing technologies?

– So, I think that it’s a good question, and I think we see the market evolving, so I think there… I’ll take it on two angles. One is organizational structure, right? So, I work with big advertisers. They spend millions and millions of dollars with us. But then they look at us as a channel, and then they look at another media, and it’s also a channel, and then starting to aggregate that data. I think we’re starting to see technologies…and Google is on that, and Facebook, and there are many startups here in Israel and all around the globe, like, trying to answer that solution of, “How do I aggregate that data?” But I think we’re only in the initial stages, and once I aggregate it, what do I with it? So, that’s maybe on the organizational structure.

On the second hand, I’d say that…and this is, I think, a transition that we see in the market going from, let’s say, user acquisition, user acquisition, to retention, retention, etc., and we’re starting to see that blur a little bit. Now, if I’m a gambling client or a gaming client that I all care about is first deposit and ROI 7, ROI 30, etc., but now I’m not going to go call negative first acquisition, but what happens when I get back this user twice, three times, four times into the game? If he’s still ROI positive, why aren’t they buying? And the signals are very different today, and I think that’s something that we’re going to see on the platform and tech part of it coming out with great solutions on that front.

Customer Aquisition to Retention

– Thanks. So, you’re talking about more of the shift from retention to…sorry, from acquisition to retention, which is a very important standard, and I think that generally it’s what this whole event is talking about today, that paradigm shift. Let me present the next question to Guy from Facebook. So, you guys have also, you know, one of the probably leading marketing solutions, marketing technologies out there. How does Facebook marketing solutions enable pushing the customer throughout the funnel? So, if Eitan spoke about the shift from acquisition to retention, how do you guys look holistically at this whole funnel?

– Okay, so I think, again, that’s a very good question because funnel is something that we performance advertisers sometimes forget. But this Don Draper that you mentioned, he actually knew that a funnel exists, and we took it to a very scientific place, which is great, but there is still the basic marketeer thing that we must address, as well, and this is where funnel comes into the picture. And funnel is moving someone from awareness, to consideration, to transaction, and then upsell, and cross-sell, or retention, or whatever we call it. But it’s what happens to a consumer when he sees your first impression, which is usually on those mobile devices that you’re now looking at right when I speak, and that’s okay, because we just can’t disconnect till they actually buy something. And I think that Facebook today is in a very good place to address these issues, first of all, because when you are on your mobile device, you are probably on Facebook, and after that, we know how to take those people who’re engaged with the first stage of the funnel to the second stage, to make a desire to explore the product. And to those people who showed some intent in our product to come back with a hardcore sales ad, and to make sure that they actually buy something. And afterwards, we come to those people, again, with a retention, or with another ad that is relevant for them. Doesn’t matter if they’re on their mobile device, or on their desktop, or on their iPad, or whatever, and we make sure that we make the most out of every impression that was served at the beginning. And I think…you spoke before about the gap. I think that the gap today is looking at impressions and looking at the entire funnel and understand how impressions throughout the funnel actually contribute to my end goal, which is driving more sales.

– Thanks. Yeah, that… I mean, I think that looking at the funnel holistically is important and seeing…and I think that generally, marketers’ agenda is to push customers throughout that funnel, especially in the B2C space. I think Eitan probably should also, you know, the battle of the giants, Facebook, Google, yeah? So…

– We’re better.

The Marketing Funnel: Data Simplification as a Solution

– All right, let’s…so, Eitan, would you like to address that question also? How do you guys, with your existing technologies, help pushing the customer throughout the funnel?

– Yeah, so… I think one of the…so, I’m maybe representing here, the platform, but one of the things that we see when I meet with clients or partners is there is so much information. I sat in one of the big support events this year, and I visited my client. It was a Saturday, and they had, like, I think 15 screens open on getting live data at once. So, I think one of our main challenges is too much information, and when I hear the word “funnel,” I get a bit worried, because then that’s…for me, it’s adding another screen. I think the more technology goes to when…it was mentioned here, in machine learning, which I think that looks specifically on the app ecosystem, that’s going to be the game-changer, right?

So, if I know, coming from the BI and CRM and I know Optimove are specialists there in understanding user behavior for very good…and once he’s playing my game, or using my app, why not to take that technology out to the marketing world? And I think, and there’s going to be also a very big…the Mexico is tomorrow, I think, and we’re going to come out with a few topics on this specifically, but I think we’re going to see more and more stuff evolving through the actions themselves, and what I can do with an action. So, less looking at the funnel, but more looking at how I can find users that touched upon actions in my game. I think that’s really, really important because in the world of data, when we have too much data, we get lost. So, we really have to simplify what we’re aiming for and what we’re looking for, and it differs between web and app, because web, it’s more challenging because what I call a conversion, what somebody here in the audience can call a conversion, could be very different. In the world of apps, it’s like, more simple. We have, like, a more simple approach to that. So, I don’t think it’s easy, but it’s more simple.

An Agile Approach to Marketing Optimization

– So, thanks, Eitan. That touches, I think, a lot of the points that we touched in the workshops today about, you know, when you define an audience, you need to have, first and foremost, a goal for that audience and justify why they’re there. And that approach of not looking at the funnel but looking at the customer state is very much like what Optimove do in terms of, like, the infinite customer journey, so looking at an intervention point rather at a linear approach. So that makes perfect sense to me and I think the audience here. Let me address the next question, because we all sold enough to Regan here. Regan, you heard what these guys had to say, and let me ask you, after you hear all of this existing technology and everything, you as Head of CRM, how do you take your campaigns forward? How do you further improve? How do you optimize? That process of optimization, walk us through that process and what’re the challenges, you know?

– Sure. Well, I think one of the ways to do it is to go back to the start, and if you’re honest with yourself as a CRM manager, you realize that a lot of what we talk about is actually very predictable and very…you can organize it in advance. And I think CRM people, may be the wrong audience for this again, but are pretty bad at doing this. We tend to leave things up until the last minute thinking we’re being real-time and thinking we’re being sort of really sharp on what we’re doing. What we’re really doing is just putting pressure on what we could’ve done two weeks ago and got 90% of the same result. By doing it at the last minute, what we miss is the ability to really use the science and the magic in here to be creative.

And what we’re focusing a lot on at the moment is bringing all the decisions forward. We call it timing your confidence. So, when you’re confident you’ve got about the right idea of what you’re going to be doing, then lock it in. Do it, and plan for it, start building it. And as you get closer to launch day in your campaigns, then you can start dropping in these little nuggets of science we’ve got. We’ve talked about too much information. You’re not going to get it all into every campaign, but you will find these little nuggets of information. So, certain segments that may need different offers, or certain psychographics that may receive something differently. And by doing that, you’re not building the whole campaign in two days before you launch it. You’ve got it all built upfront and you slowly get better and better, and you can use this information a little bit easier, I think.

– So, talking about, correct me if I’m wrong, more of an agile approach.

– Yeah, I think so. Yeah. It’ll probably fit.

Prioritizing CRM Challenges

– Sounds good. Yeah, I would tend to agree, and that’s also things that we try to preach as we start, you know, it’s about a whole philosophy of CRM marketing, and being agile is definitely something that’s very important. Can you take us through the decision-making process that you’re doing? Like, probably that, as a CRM manager…as Head of CRM, sorry. On a day-to-day basis, you have a lot of decision-making. So, how do you prioritize? How do you look at what’s, you know, more important, less important? How do you prioritize your different challenges?

– Well. Yeah, it’s tricky. You know, there’s no shortage of, you know, new products, new games, new everything from all around the organization, and of course, they’re all business-critical. They all have to be done. So, yeah, someone has to make the decisions on what to do. I think it’s tricky to genuinely look at the actual…what the customer really, you know, wants, simply because you’ve got to get back through a lot of the data that’s there, and that’s not always practical. So, you know, at the moment you’ve got to take a little bit of sort of…agile sort of ability to time your confidence, and then say, you know, “Where am I confident that this is the right thing to do and not?” And then just go with it. Otherwise, you sort of end up in a process of constantly choosing what you should be doing, and at some point, you’ve just got to make the call and go with it.

– So there’s a lot of intuition here. It’s like a lot of human common sense and…

– Well, in the absence of decent machine learning, yeah. I mean, and I think that’s where the future will go. A lot of those things will start to disappear as the data becomes a bit easier to consume, machine learning starts to show you exactly what you should be doing. And Optimove will as well, right?

Ideal CRM and Marketing Tools

– Hopefully. I don’t know. Well, let’s wait for Pini’s session. Let me address one question to the all of the panel, you know, to start just getting things started towards the end of the conference, generally. So, let’s say that there was some…look at that photographer. Smile nicely. Let’s say that there’s some kind of marketing technologies fairy giving you one wish. What would that wish be? Let’s start, you know, counterclockwise. Eitan. Or from left to right.

– Good question. What the wish would be?

– You have one wish. Marketing technologies. You guys can probably make that wish come true, but…you know?

– I hope we are.

– Just pretend.

– I hope we are. It’s not a wish. I think it’s a process, but I think the world now is trying to understand not what the buzzword “programmatic buying” is, but what real programmatic buying is. I think that’s so much an opportunity for, like, so many companies to diverse their businesses into, like…you know, think about… I don’t know. I don’t know people here personally in the crowd, but I’m sure people here come from all kinds of companies, that they have a lot of traffic and audiences coming in and coming out, and they know a lot about that. So, you don’t have to be Google or Facebook to know a lot about your audience and size-centric data, etc., and I think programmatic evolving is going to be my wishful thinking of what we’re going to see in the next one to two years, and I know there are many companies in this ecosystem working on that. So, I may answer what I wanted and not your question, but…sorry for that.

– Politics, man. David, marketing technology fairy. That’s probably you, by the way, but yeah, you know.

– That’d be frightening. Well, actually, if I could get one wish, it would be for training and education of marketers on how to use these tools. So, we can wish that there was a technology, if you want to stick within the parameters of your question, that that does that. But the problem is not that there’s a lack of technology. The problem, frankly, is that it’s so hard for marketers to master the technologies that are available. So, if there were some way to simplify that, that would be the biggest wish that I could hope to see granted.

– Can you…simplifying, sorry, the process of?

– The process of learning how to use these things.

– I would go for attribution. I think that marketers have today a real problem understanding the true value of each impression that they’re serving throughout the different channels that exist, and if we could have a technology that really shows them what is the value of every impression in the end sale, it could solve a lot of their problems and make their life a lot easier and simpler.

– Well, I’ve got two wishes. Because I’m the last speaker, I’m allowed to. My first wish is pragmatic. I want David to come and teach my team a lot of these things and how to use this technology.

– David, you have a business card?

– But I think the second one is, you know, if we’re talking about fairies, I think it’s the ability to consume all of the consumer data on social media, you know. People are moving so much of their lives and their emotional states onto social media that there’s a plethora of information out there. To be able to gather that in one place, and then, you know, have that discussion with customers in their preferred social channels, I think that would be really, really powerful for a CRM manager.

Challenges of Social Marketing Campaigns

– Thanks, Regan. So, touching that last point, and actually, your first point, Regan, is speed to market in all these social media channels. I’ll just…one question to David, if you will, about the future of marketing technologies in terms of social media and all that things. So, where does that, in terms of your analysis, speed to consumer and understanding what happens from these technologies moving forward, in terms of, like, social media, and then speed and agility?

– Well, social is a real challenge because the data analysis across the data graph that’s involved with social is very, very complicated. So…yeah. I read there’s a lot of progress, but there’s still a lot of work to be done, so I think that we will continue to see…the pace of technical progress continues to accelerate, so going back to the issues of machine learning, and deep learning, and AI and all that, you know, we’re seeing things this month that we didn’t realize were possible last month, in some cases. There was just something I saw the other day. There are going to be 200 self-driving Ubers in Pittsburgh, like, any day now, or maybe they got there yesterday already. I mean, we didn’t expect that to happen for months, if not years. So it’s just moving so quickly, and I think all these other technologies, as well. There are limits to what can be done because, like, you know, you get to attribution, there are a lot of imponderables that are not…it’s not a technical problem. It’s like the world changes, you know? So, even if you had a perfectly accurate attribution model for yesterday, it wouldn’t be perfect tomorrow. So, there are some things that are just…can’t be solved perfectly, but can be solved way better than we’re solving. There are other things, like as I say, just the graph analysis is more of a technical issue that we can expect, you know, much, much better work with.

The Gap Between Data Science Marketing and the Creative Hipster

– Thanks. So, just to wrap things up before we, you know, address the audience, another question to all the panel. What will the CRM customer marketing executive, manager, director, whatever, look like five years from today, and what tools will he use? It’s a tough one, I know, and I didn’t prepare you guys for this, but…you know how these panels work. I send them the questions in advance, but here, we’re a bit in front of time, so I’m starting to improvise. So, Eitan, I gave you a little time to think, and what’s your answer?

– I think, you know, if I’d go back now, I would go learn data science. Now, that’s a big word, but I’m truly think, like… I see the people that we recruit. I started Google five years ago. I was looking for people with online media background. Now, the last thing I want is for them to have online media background. I care of what they studied, if it’s statistics, data science, computer science, because I think…it’s all about data, right? And if we go to more machine learning and more automation, and the people are less optimizing campaigns, they’re more planning the campaigns, I think that’s a big, big thing. So, on the CRM side, media side, BI side, and I think we’re starting to see that. Like, that’s not even five years. I think that’s starting to happen today. Many in the agile companies are coming in into this ecosystem, and founders, etc., etc.

– Question by the moderator. While everyone’s talking about…this one’s for Eitan…so, everyone’s talking about the…continuance to your answer…about that mixture between scientist and hipster, right? That’s the ideal marketer. So, your answer takes us more towards the smarter, scientific marketer. Is that where the future is taking us?

– I don’t know what the hipster refers to…

– Yours truly! No, just kidding.

– I didn’t want to say that. You said it. The bow tie, the bow tie. But I think…it’s a good question, right? Because I don’t know if creative comes from data, and I don’t know if the data scientists…if we have any in the crowd, don’t get insulted…but I don’t know if those are the right people to come out with the best creative and the best story. And still, marketing and CRM and BI’s a lot about the story and about the, you know, how you bring it to your user, but I think there’s a lot of data also behind that. So, if even…you know, if you’re looking at who has to take the role of the manager, then I think a lot, a lot of stuff is going to be on asking the right questions, and then it doesn’t matter who you’re asking. So, maybe the hipster or the creative or maybe somebody that’s sitting on the data and planning the next model, etc. But yeah, I think that’s where it comes from. You see it today. You see it today, you know. We could look at three, five creatives. We’ll have 5000 opinions. We’ll run a test, and we’ll see that 5000 opinions were wrong, and what we thought was right, or what we thought was wrong, is true. So, I think that would be the combination, but I still think the data scientists here will lead. So, with…you’ll still have a job, I promise. Or, that, we have to ask Pini.

– Thank you. I appreciate it. So, I think that’s…to summarize the answer, because it’s a very important point. It’s like the gap that we’re talking about throughout the whole day is from hip to scientist or vice versa. It’s an interesting point. You can tweet that, #OptimoveConnect. No. Guy?

– Yeah, I just want to refer to this last point. I think that we cannot neglect either side, because if we create 5000 creatives, we cannot predict which one is good. But if we have 5000 pieces of data, usually data scientists can make… can deduct some conclusions out of it. And that’s why the more scientific side can be automated perhaps in a much easier way than the creative side, which I don’t see that it’s being automated in the foreseeable future, and it is something that is crucial for every marketeer. So, I think… I mean, I totally agree with Eitan that data scientists are crucial here, but the creative side is as important, I think.

Moving Toward Brand Oriented Marketing and Automation

– It’s a good point. Let’s just not skip there on over David. So, David, looking at, you know, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, a millennium from now, what…5 years from now, what will CRM and customer marketing look like?

– Well, the first thing you have to understand is it’s almost impossible to predict, and every prediction that is made is wrong. So, throwing that aside, my prediction is that we actually are seeing a shift in the economy from transactional buying to relationship buying. About half the economy is already based on relationships. Your insurance company, your bank, your healthcare, at least in the U.S. Those are long-term relationships, but buying at retail, I go to the store, I decide what to buy, that, actually, will also be more of a subscription market. Even buying a car, I don’t buy a car. I just subscribe to a transit service. That will change what marketers do and it will make marketing more brand-oriented. It will actually push us back to selling relationships, and a lot of the science that we do is actually very transactional. It’s, you know, what can optimize this particular programmatic ad? Well, that’s going to be less important than the people who are figuring out, “How can I build trust in my customers?” Because that’s what I’m going to have to sell, is trusting them to enter into a long-term relationship with me, not just to buy this one part of my product. So, that’s going to drive a lot of the long-term changes.

– It’s interesting. I’d say, in a way, it’s kind of counterintuitive because we’re saying that, you know, loyalty is dead, but then again…it’s not counterintuitive, but…loyalty is dead, but then again, we’re talking for the future about long-term relationships, subscription-based. Very interesting. Regan, five years from now, where you at?

– Well, I don’t follow David, but I think…a good analogy would be The Wizard of Oz, right? So, you’ve got this sort of, you know, great, glorious wizard, a beautiful product, this amazing-looking product, and a whole town devoted to this product. You know, the brand loyalty is there. But you scratch away at the surface a little bit, and it’s just a guy in the background just twisting knobs and making sure everything looks perfect. So, I think that’s probably what your CRM managers are going to look a little bit like, essentially running this large brand product, but actually, in the background, just tweaking these systems, checking analysis, making sure the machine learning is doing the right things, catching it when it fails, those sort of things. So, it’s part data scientist, but it’s using data science to create a beautiful product.

– It’s a great one. So, we just have a few more minutes for questions from the audience, and just to recap, I think that if we’re looking at the major trend, what these four educated people were talking about, I think that the biggest gap we’re talking about, and correct me if I’m wrong, is, yes, between the data science and the creativity, and where the machine comes in the middle there. So, seems like we covered it all. So, gentlemen, I’d like to thank you very much, and thanks for making the effort.