Five Minutes With: Doug Rozen, Chief Innovation Officer, MXM

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

The biggest opportunity is the biggest challenge.  According to chiefmartec.com, there are 1,876 companies in 43 categories providing marketing technology in 2015.  This represents twice the amount from just 2014. A staggering number for anyone to contend with. Right now too many platforms try to solve everything, versus being exceptional at one or two things.  As the landscape matures, it will create opportunities for the most focused platforms to rise.

What keeps your clients up at night?

In regard to marketing technology, the ad-tech mayhem is becoming a growing point of confusion and frustration for many marketers. I often get asked which technology truly solves my problems versus creating new ones.  Another area of consternation is the data layer to enable modern SaaS marketing technology.  It’s hard for clients to have the required data organized and/or accessible to take advantage of many platform features.

In regard to marketing overall, the proliferation of channels.  Over the past seven years, the amount of content available to consumers has grown at a truly astonishing pace, and isn’t slowing anytime soon. The combination of widespread Internet access and affordable connected devices has created new content-ready consumers that weren’t on the map a few years ago. At the same time, digital channels have grown.  As new channels arise and consumers adopt them, marketers believe they have no choice but to follow the migration and create content for those channels.

What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

Right now, we see a big difference in content management systems and content marketing platforms.  Some of the latter do the former, however, clients – many who installed sophisticated content management systems over the last five years to enable website content management – are challenged by the need to go through a similar exercise to enable multi-channel content management.  Additionally, no technology platform solves for organizational structure and internal process to enable marketing.

What are some unmet needs in marketing technology landscape?

There is a growing gap in how technology can manage structured marketing data from traditional campaigns (email, direct mail, web) simultaneously with the ability to analyze the massive volumes of unstructured data generated from social channels.  The insights gleaned from social interactions is rich but largely untapped from an overall single view of a customer.

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

We are really excited by the continued growth of the visually driven social platforms – Instagram and Pinterest in particular.  It’s clear from how Facebook and Twitter are evolving around timelines and moments, that a picture (or video) is worth more than words.  The real-time social apps will be the fancy of marketers who race to figure out Snapchat or Periscope.  On a sheer numbers basis, those two should see the greatest growth.

With all the new social platforms, where will Facebook get it’s growth?

When you have 1.5 billion users, growth will be within the existing users by introducing new features.  The addition of the “Buy” and more importantly “Dislike” buttons will be extremely powerful.  Imagine the call a CMO will get from a CEO who sees how many “Dislikes” a company has.  Also, usage of Facebook is becoming less about clicking through to other sites and more about clicking into deeper experiences and engagement at Facebook itself.  Right now, social accounts for a large amount of traffic volume to sites. This will decrease as Facebook (and other platforms) looks to keep users within it’s environment for as long as possible.

–Doug Rozen is Chief Innovation Office at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing.

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