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Five Minutes With: Joe Apprendi, CEO of Collective

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

The marketing landscape continues to fragment with more choices and channels.  It’s a full-time job to keep on top of the growing choices for how and where to advertise.  Marketers must not only create compelling ad messages, but must also be ad technology and analytics experts to take advantage of automated campaign planning tools, execution tools, and data management that lead to targeted, efficient and effective ad placement.  With continued changes in the ad landscape due to new ad tech entrants and contractions through mergers and acquisitions, marketers must decide if they will stretch their arms and resources to work with more groups of ad partners to gain the widest selection of media, or go into the “walled gardens” of large aggregators who offer a streamlined engagement, but typically with a more limited group of pre-selected media options.

What are some unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

One of the biggest marketer needs is streamlined access to data from multiple sources, and hiring the people who know how to manage and mine it for valuable insights.  Leading marketers are also looking for ways to avoid organizational data overload by synthesizing analysis into easy to read reports and dashboards.  This need has created the demand for two key roles on marketing teams: decision science and data analytics. Marketers are faced with either hiring and retaining talent in an extremely competitive area, or finding savvy external partners to help them in this quest.

What keeps marketers up at night?

With advertising technology evolving so quickly, marketers fear their strategy will become obsolete due to their choice of partners, technology and processes.  With a proliferation of choices and the need to make smart bets, marketers are faced with the daunting task of selecting external partners or building an internal system that is flexible enough to anticipate changes on the horizon.  Marketers also must contend with a growing number of challenges ranging from bad actors serving fraudulent advertising to increased ad blocking, all of which create barriers to their ultimate goal of getting their marketing messages to the right people.

What marketing tech sector are you expecting to lead the next wave of growth?

We anticipate seeing continued growth within data management, data analytics and data visualization, all in real time.  These are areas that will help marketers make sense of their marketing spend, and help them respond to a rapidly changing marketplace.  We also expect to see a rise of technology specifically aimed at addressing fraudulent activity, ad blocking and other barriers that impede marketing effectiveness.

2015 is all about:

The empowered CMO.  Armed with data, tools, and insights gained through marketing and technology savvy data scientists and strategists, this CMO will be able to make the most of precious marketing dollars.

Joe Apprendi is CEO of Collective.

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