Signal Voices: Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Marketer

Joe Stanhope_BrightTag_2014One of the things I have enjoyed most about spending my career in the marketing industry is the aggressive pace of change. It’s been fascinating and rewarding to spend more than 15 years in a perpetual state of reinvention. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been bored or at a loss for new ideas! And there’s no end in sight; take a moment to consider the factors currently driving marketing’s evolution:

  • The intersection of technology and channels – There have never been so many ways to interact with customers. Touchpoints are exploding in volume and diversity as new devices such as smart phones and tablets cross over with new end points such as applications, Web and messaging.
  • Real-time rules – Everything is speeding up. Traditional analysis and marketing processes taking days or hours are giving way to transactional, on-demand interactions that take milliseconds powered by machine learning, APIs and cloud-based infrastructure.
  • The shifting data management paradigm – The data lifecycle is increasingly complex. The onus is on brands to collect data from an increasing array of sources, integrate that information to form an intelligent view of the customer, make the information actionable to drive customer interactions, and observe privacy and regulatory mandates.

These changes in the marketing landscape are easy to talk about at an intellectual level, but they are anything but easy to manage operationally. We know this is true because we are seeing a widening chasm between consumers and brands. After all, we’re asking marketers to chase a moving target with finite resources, all while maintaining current workloads.

But complexity and disruption are full of opportunity. I steadfastly maintain that there’s never been a better time to be a marketer because the brands that make tangible progress adopting new technologies and channels, heed the need for speed, and harness the power of data will create sustainable competitive differentiators.

During my time as an industry analyst at Forrester Research, I was drawn to tag management as early as 2010. Why? Tag management was never about JavaScript and pixels for me. I saw tag management as the foundation for the toolkit that helps brands grab the opportunities of today and tomorrow by reducing the friction of data collection, integration, distribution and marketing execution.

Tag management is a critically important tool for any brand that does business on the Web, but Signal’s plans encompass so much more. Look for exciting innovations in the coming year that push the boundaries of marketing technology along the following themes:

  • Technology Management – Signal is at the vanguard of the ever-expanding palette of customer-interaction touchpoints by going beyond the browser to offer true universal, cross-channel, programmatic data-collection capabilities.
  • Data Management – Signal provides a data layer that excels at data normalization, enhancement and distribution, but the real key to supporting marketers’ needs is the ability to integrate data across sources to provide a complete view of the customer lifecycle.
  • Marketing Management – Technology and data management are tactically important, but Signal knows that the real payoff comes with marketer-friendly tools that make data actionable to support marketing, analytics and execution.

That’s why I’m so excited to join Signal, where our ultimate goal is to help brands deliver amazing customer experiences. I’ll be responsible for Signal’s corporate and product marketing, but my most important role is making the connections between participants in the marketing ecosystem that turn today’s challenges into incredible opportunities. I’ll be working with my fellow Signal team members, industry experts, the vendor community and our clients to transform how marketing technology is developed, delivered and managed.

This is an exciting opportunity for all of us, and I can’t wait to get started. Signal’s vision is bigger than any single company, and we want to hear from you. Drop me a line, or even better, let’s meet at an upcoming industry event!

Originally published March 11, 2014

Joe Stanhope was formerly Senior Vice President of Marketing at Signal.

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