Five Minutes With: Antonio Tomarchio, Founder and CEO of Cuebiq

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Five Minutes With: Antonio Tomarchio, Founder and CEO of Cuebiq
Five Minutes With: Antonio Tomarchio, Founder and CEO of Cuebiq

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges in marketing tech for next 12-24 months?

Cross-device and offline attribution.  Lately, there has been industry-wide discussion about shifting to people-based marketing, targeting consumers cross-screen and cross-device. There has been a lot of progress, in terms of tech capabilities, over the past year, now is the time to fully execute upon this idea and help marketers better reach and engage their target consumers.

Offline measurement is another key area of opportunity, but it, too, comes with challenges.  Technology finally gives us the ability to asses campaigns' ROI both in terms of footfall analysis and transactional data analysis, which offer marketers a great opportunity. On one end, it is highly valuable to be able to measure in-store purchases, on the other, it is equally important to know if consumers went to a certain point of interest upon being exposed to a campaign (e.g. how much time they spent there, how far it was from their home/office/etc.).  The challenge with the first approach is that it requires several weeks upon the end of the campaign to provide results, not allowing for on-the-fly optimization.  When it comes to the latter, the challenge is that it does not measure actual in-store purchase, however it does allow advertisers to visualize in-store impact almost in real-time, enabling them to adjust and optimize efforts on the fly.

What keeps your clients up at night?

When we speak with our clients, they express concern about campaign ROI and data accuracy. Determining ROI on marketing campaigns.  For example, think of CPG brands for whom most of the revenue comes from brick and mortar distribution and where measuring the overall impact of marketing efforts over time and offline attribution have been proving challenging.

Data accuracy.  With so many data providers and audience segments available in the marketplace, marketers need to make sure they are identifying the right partners, and best data sources in terms of quality and accuracy.  Think of location data for example. In theory it provides an unprecedented picture of consumers' offline behavior and purchase intent--the holy grail of targeting. Unfortunately, a significant amount of data used for ad targeting is inaccurate.

What's the hardest thing to educate clients about?

How to best leverage location data and really make it work to drive campaign ROI.  Many clients today are focusing on real time geo-fencing, however, geo-fencing is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how marketers can leverage location-based data.  Knowing that users have certain behaviors, interests and predisposition towards certain purchases is significantly more powerful than the ability to target users while they might be in a certain location.  I say “might” because many times, due to low accuracy, geo-fencing does not allow marketers to reach the desired target, thus resulting in wasted impressions and budgets.

When it comes to location data, the true advantage is the ability to grasp the “big picture”, and unlock the potential of anonymous user profiles developed by analyzing a high volume of data points, not just one visit to a location.

What's the hardest thing to educate clients about? 

A key need, especially for brands and retailers, is to get more granular offline measurement capabilities.  To this point, there has been a lot of buzz around beacon technology, which, once deployed at scale, will allow for great progress in offline measurement and attribution.  Just think of what a game changer it would be for a number of clients having the ability to collect accurate location data at the granularity of single aisles in stores.  Unfortunately, beacon technology has not been able to scale yet. Many companies are working on its applications and the industry has been buzzing about it, but we have not seen large adoption to date. 

Given the urgency of fulfilling such a key need, I hope to see marketing technology successfully close the loop on this as soon as possible.  We, as a company, are excited about the implications that large-scale beacon technology adoption would have on location data capabilities.

What social network do you anticipate accelerating growth in the next year?

Facebook will keep growing.  Its mobile advertising capabilities and ability to provide custom audiences in connection with CRMs are truly paving the way for them to become a true, holistic MarTech platform.

--Antonio Tomarchio is Founder and CEO of Cuebiq.

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