Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to watch our CFO Mark Garrett sit down and interview EMC’s president and COO David Goulden at a Churchill Club event held at the Four Seasons Palo Alto. It was a lively conversation given the duo’s history – Mark and Goulden go back 11 years to when EMC first acquired the company Documentum where Mark was CFO. More than a decade later, the two came together to exchange their thoughts on the Big Data landscape, with their conversation covering everything from the art of successful M&A to the “third platform” as EMC’s strategic focus. According to Goulden, quoting analyst firm IDC, the first platform was mainframes, second was client/server, third is cloud/mobile/social. Platforms aside, there was a lot of discussion about EMC’s federated model, where some acquisitions run as separate companies including standalone sales forces, while other acquisitions are integrated. Mark kept the interview dynamic and drew quite a few laughs. If he ever decides to leave the CFO world, we think he has a future in creating a business talk show and giving Charlie Rose a run for his money! If you missed the event, you can watch the full conversation between Mark and Goulden below.
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Marketing, at times, can be a blunt object. It can be in your face, intrusive and repetitive. But as more marketing has gone digital, marketers have access to data and insights that allow us to understand our customers better. This brings an opportunity to learn more about our audience and deliver more personalized customer experiences that are better tailored and better timed.
Last week, I had the opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities for customer insights and analytics with fellow CMOs John Boris of Shutterfly, and Heidi Melin of Plex Systems, at a Churchill Club talk here in Silicon Valley. A few key takeaways:
- People want personalized experiences – Consumers want to receive information that is relevant to them and they value personalized experiences.
- Collaboration is key – It is now more important than ever for organizations to work cross-functionally. We formed a Marketing Insights and Operations group to be a “single source of truth” for customer data and marketing performance here at Adobe. This group consists of Adobe employees from sales, customer support, global marketing and product marketing, and meets to align all marketing data collected across the company.
- The right data, not just ‘big data’, is a huge opportunity – We use data at every single point in our marketing campaigns to understand campaign effectiveness, mix modeling, media and website optimization, and overall impact and ROI. Developments to customer insights are evolving, and they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. That means big opportunities for innovation. It’s important to know what you’re looking for before you start collecting data to make sure that data is actionable. I like what Fatemeh Khatibloo of Forrester Research, the moderator of our talk, said – “It’s not about big data, it’s about the right data.”
The impact on brands is huge when marketing is personalized for the consumer and online experiences are rewarding, and I believe it makes all the difference. A replay of last week’s talk is below – or you can view it here. Take a look and let us know what you think.