Five Minutes With: Tom Belle, President & CEO of Gage

What are your biggest opportunities & challenges for the next 12-24 months?

As companies increase their investments in CRM and marketing automation, marketers are increasingly frustrated by the elusive promise of “push button marketing.” Those of us in the marketing technology space have a unique opportunity to enable those marketers to effectively harness and deploy the power that automation tools have promised by providing enabling platforms that facilitate localized marketing, dynamic promotion and through-channel marketing.

Gage is seizing this opportunity by introducing the Gage Channel Performance Suite, which is designed for brands that sell through distribution. The suite’s goal is to make learning about and doing business with a brand easier and more rewarding for channel partners. 

What keeps your clients up at night?

The days when marketers could simply produce an FSI and sleep well knowing they would realize a (virtually guaranteed) redemption rate of one percent are gone. The complexity of marketing tactics available today, and the ever-changing technical landscape along with their unknown impact is a sure recipe for insomnia.

What’s the hardest thing to educate a client about?

With marketing budgets tight and the calendar an enemy, clients understandably are looking for quick, inexpensive and easy solutions. The problem is that most of those don’t work—or at least aren’t optimal. The array of available solutions and their increasing complexity simply exacerbate the situation. The challenge for marketing technology providers is to effectively communicate that the best solution is often the more complex one, and that the reason the providers exist is to make complexity simple.

What are some of the unmet needs in the marketing technology landscape?

Marketers need tools to bridge the ERP/CRM and market gap. The data is all there, somewhere. And the marketing team knows what it wants to do. But how to bring the two together? As technology providers become more marketing savvy, and agencies become more tech savvy, the race to the middle is focusing on creating solutions to close this gap.

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

Facebook’s introduction of its Place Tips beacon technology is an indication they understand there is more to marketing than liking and sharing. Facebook’s entry into brick and mortar disruption underscores a robust vision of impacting eyeballs and wallets in innovative ways.

–Tom Belle is President and CEO of Gage

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