Digital First Marketers: Q&A with Ben Jorgensen, Co-Founder – Strategy and Partnerships of Klick PushJun 25, 2015 - by Kristine Lowery
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“Digital First Marketers” is a Q&A series devoted to marketing executives and professionals trailblazing their industry.
Ben Jorgensen, the Co-founder and lead of strategy and partnerships at Klick Push, is helping to re-define how marketers think about connecting with consumers. That’s a big statement to make, but they have the panache to back it up. Klick Push aims to give marketers a new avenue of content — music — to create engaging consumer experiences. They also partner with a ton of the biggest names in marketing software (including us!) to help marketers bridge the gaps of mutichannel marketing.
We recently caught up with Ben to get his thoughts on some of the topics that matter most in marketing right now…check out his answers below!
SAILTHRU: What technology are you focusing on this year that you didn’t prioritize last year?
BEN JORGENSEN: A few years ago, marketing automation tools and knowledge were only accessible to enterprise marketers, largely due to the high costs and exclusivity of the skill set.
Today, prices have fallen for these same tools and more resources have become available to teach new methodologies and strategies. We, Klick Push (the company I helped found) have become much more focused on not only leveraging marketing automation services internally, but also developing products and solutions that speak towards marketing automation. We see that more and more teams that we work with are beginning to embrace these services and are looking at marketing in completely new light.
Additionally, the emphasis of pushing relevant content has also become an initiative for us. Klick Push’s core product is dynamic content in the form of music, thus we take content very seriously and look at it in many different lights. In the marketing world, the past several years has been spent understanding how data can be leveraged for programmatic marketing, targeting, and gaining a better knowledge of their customer. Now the success of using that data is coming down to what content to put in front of that consumers to acquire, convert and retain them.
Do you see the mass of customer data available today as an opportunity or a challenge?
At Klick Push, we see it as both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is that Klick Push needs to be responsible and sophisticated with the data we have access to. There aren’t enough whistleblowers and agencies designed to scrutinize how we are leveraging and attaining this data, and thus we constantly challenge ourselves to be proactive in creating best practices in dealing with data.
The good news, and where the opportunity lies, is that industry is acquiring so much data, which is enabling the creation of unprecedented positive marketing experiences for consumers. Brands that don’t use their data to create positive experiences for consumers are going to have a problem – consumers need to see an equal exchange between data and experience. Anyone who isn’t using customer data to create the best customer experience possible is really missing the point of it all and will ultimately hurt their relationship with the customer.
What are your marketing team’s best practices for working with your internal IT team?
We are a very proactive team that looks towards the next big idea and new technologies. Our first best practice is theoretical; we look to work with new technologies and new ideas that we believe are forward thinking and ultimately will be a win-win for consumers and our clients. We dismiss major trends that are short sighted. Our decisions on what to use from marketing or a technological perspective don’t come from mere analytical or emotional stances, but a balance of both.
Our second high-level best practice is pragmatism; presenting sound business logic for anything we do when it comes to IT and marketing. The objectives need to be clear and well thought-out which will yield an outcome that embraces a level of empathy from both the marketing perspective and the technological perspective. This mindset permeates between marketing, sales and tech teams. Empathy is absolutely critical to our business and philosophy.
How is your company making strides towards connecting your ecosystem of channels?
We ardently believe in unifying teams and promote effective communication across those teams. More specifically, breaking down the silos that plague businesses today. A great example of this comes from companies like Zappos and Medium that are implementing the practice of “holacracy management”, across their infrastructure, in an effort to decentralize and depoliticize the workplace while bringing self motivated self starters to the surface.
The core structure and founding principles of our company is mirrored and exhibited in the products we build and the business we conduct. By focusing on how each team, and ultimately the ecosystem of our company, communicates and empathizes with one another, we see that our products and our customer relations evolve and become stronger. The results of connecting more effectively internally are positively expressed through our external ecosystems.
What has been your biggest barrier towards adopting a full omnichannel approach to marketing?
I would like to answer this from the aspect of Klick Push getting marketers, our clients, to adopt a full omnichannel marketing approach. One of the main hurdles we have seen is that the concept of omnichannel marketing is still in a theoretical stage, and well…still a concept. It is the goal of any marketer to create better performing campaigns that drive success. However, to make catastrophic leaps out of stagnant or slightly above average performance will require an appetite for risk and entrepreneurship that encourages interdepartmental data sharing.
This is the primary hurdle we have seen; too many marketing organizations have their own set of goals and agendas in silos and don’t utilize knowledge and data from other departments. Here’s an example: A display advertising team might be concerned with their clickthrough rate but not concerned about how the customer consumes the product or how their campaign affects the entire funnel and consumer cycle; it is just about the clickthrough rate.
Adopting a full omnichannel marketing approach will require companies to rethink management (holacracy!), rethink how people communicate in a company, and develop methods to encourage entrepreneurial thought around innovation and productivity. The data and tools are available; it comes down to whether companies feel compelled to explore those tools.
What do you think will be different about the customer experience in five years?
Will Adeney, Vice President of Marketing and Analysis at OgilvyOne said at the I-Com Data Conference in Spain 2015 that, “The customer journey will replace ad campaigns and the linear funnel will dissolve.” According to eMarketer, the marketing divisions are the largest spenders of IT over any other division including IT services by IT divisions. This also means that the marketer will be expected to have a more technical rhetoric in order to effectively do their job.
With that expectation, the marketer will be required to have deeper understanding of a company’s product, the organization that produces that product, and the consumer that consumes that product.
Conversely, the consumer is becoming much more conscious of brands, marketing/advertising, how things are made, and why they are made. We have entered an era of consumer capitalism where the consumer has a real voice, through channels like social media, where they can voice demands, concerns, and questions to companies and brands they use.
As a result, and in the next five years, marketing will go through a profound shift in accountability by the marketer, and their organizations, to the consumer, which will far exceed conversion oriented metrics and sprint planned campaigns. This will create more informative and quality-based experiences and marketing initiatives. The customer experience will truly become the marketing battlefield.