Five minutes with: Spredfast CMO Jim Rudden

Five Minutes With is a new feature from The Hub, where we interview a top executive from a marketing tech company and ask them what they think the major trends and challenges will be in the industry within the next year. This week, we start with Jim Rudden, CMO of the Austin-based social media marketing platform Spredfast.

1.) What are your biggest opportunities & challenges for next 12-24 months?

We are in the golden age of marketing. Everything in the technology landscape is evolving to allow us to target more and more specific audiences. We now have targeting abilities we have always dreamed of – and everything is getting richer every day. 

Challenges? Audiences/consumers are insanely choosy and outspoken. “Know me to serve me” is the demand by the audience. That really pushes us as marketers to do our research, to be prepared and most importantly, be ready to adjust rapidly. In other words, we are fly fishing now not just throwing a big net in the ocean.

2) What are some unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

At Spredfast, we have a social lens on everything. When we talk with brands, we see a gap in their ability to rapidly respond to marketing opportunities on social. They find opportunities in one tool, orchestrate content in another and manage promotion in a third.   However, that system no longer supports marketing at the speed of life – what used to be a 24 hour window, is now often happening in a matter of minutes.  

Media companies are more “real-time” by nature, but still run into hurdles as they race to find the story, define their take  and get it on air.  Brands have a unique set of challenges in identifying their appropriate entry point.  When, how, and where do they join the conversation in a way that will resonate with their audience?

3) What keeps your clients up at night?

Three things:


  1. They are missing conversations on social that matter to their brand and market.
  2. Even if they did find those conversations, their organization is not set-up to market in real-time.  
  3. They are worried that there may be too much risk in responding quickly and getting it wrong – yet feel the pressure to be active.

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

Hmm – there is so much cooking at all of the networks. We anticipate growth (from a marketing investment perspective) for the networks that deliver on two things:

–        A really engaging “live” experience around events that attract an audience – whether that audience is physical or digital

–        Demonstrable ROI for advertising

5) What’s the hardest thing to educate clients about?

The rules of success change on the social networks every six months.  Educating clients on how to succeed on specific networks is hard – because it is very nuanced and it is continuous education.   But that’s why we have made it a priority to have some of the best social strategists in the business working on our team.

6) 2015 will be all about _________

Getting the audience you want on social, not the audience you have.  The networks are giving us all the tools – and now it’s about who goes out there takes advantage of them.   By leveraging targeting capabilities, brands can deliver truly relevant content to specific audiences.   The world needs more great content and the brands that deliver that will be rewarded.  

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