Five Minutes With: David Shulman, CEO of Organic

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

Continually optimizing a constantly evolving marketing tech landscape is both our biggest opportunity and challenge. Ultimately, we need to help our clients maximize their investments. That requires significant investments in understanding scale platforms, such as Adobe and Salesforce’s marketing clouds, where we can leverage Organic’s preferred partnerships. At the same time, we have to balance proactive investments in order to stay on top of emerging solutions and offerings – from Ad Tech/DMP providers to platforms which enable dynamic engagement.

What keeps your clients up at night?

I always like to put myself in the client’s shoes. Once they’ve made an investment in marketing technology, the next logical questions they have are around how best to utilize and apply it to drive results. They contemplate whether it needs to remain in-house or can be divested to vendors. Their primary concern, of course, is making sure they get a good return on their investment. Having trusted partners to help guide them enables clients to make these choices confidently.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

Many clients are investing in technology platforms with a focus on improving the accuracy and efficiency of their media buys in order to reach their desired target. That’s definitely something they should be doing. But it’s important that once they’ve reached a specific target, the focus shouldn’t simply be to deliver a generic message. Brands need to have dynamic content that’s delivered via the right channel(s) at the right time to truly engage their customers in a meaningful way.

What are some unmet needs in marketing technology landscape?

The reality is that there’s an abundance of technology platforms available to us. The hard part is finding a way to integrate those pieces seamlessly into the marketing needs of the client. To me, innovation still seems to be happening in silos. I think there’s room to innovate across the entire consumer journey by stringing touch points together in a valuable way.

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

Well, Facebook and YouTube are the obvious choices in terms of scale and capability, but brands are increasingly finding Instagram to be an important social network. In my opinion, Snapchat is an intriguing platform that marketers haven’t cracked yet. It’s definitely the space I anticipate growth in the coming months.

With all of the advances in technology, should brands now be re-thinking their approach to marketing and advertising?  

No. In fact, we should be looking at the basic principles that have been in place for decades. The difference is—and this is what makes it such an exciting time in our industry—now we finally have the technology to deliver on the promise of truly reaching the right target, with the right message, via the right channel(s), at the most meaningful time and place.

–David Shulman is CEO of Organic

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