Manu Mathew is the Co-Founder and CEO of Visual IQ, where he is responsible for directing the company’s growth and expanding the capabilities of the company’s IQ Intelligence Suite of cross channel marketing attribution software products.
Question 1: How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
“Today, ‘digital strategy’ can be defined by three dimensions – the first being what most marketers think of when they hear the word ‘digital.’ This includes the individual campaigns, creatives, offers and placements within channels like paid and organic search, paid and organic social, online display advertising, retargeting, and video. It also includes the manner/logic behind how these efforts focus on the marketing/business goals of the brand.
The second dimension is coordinating how these digital efforts influence each other based on quantifiable cross channel metrics in order to harness the power of that influence. Which display ads or video views drive searches for which keywords? Which email offers work most effectively after which keyword searches?
The third dimension is coordinating, and to an extent orchestrating, how these digital efforts influence – and are influenced by – traditional offline campaigns/channels based on quantifiable cross channel metrics in order to harness the impact and power of that influence. Which search terms are used when specific TV spots are in market? What is the impact on inbound/outbound call centers when specific display ad campaigns are being shown? How does direct mail impact search marketing performance?
Without quantifying the influence and synergies across both online and offline channels, a brand’s digital strategy is sub-optimal and incomplete in today’s ecosystem.”
Question 2: What are the three most significant digital trends that will define 2014?
“The first significant digital trend in the next year will be improved techniques/technologies for tracking consumers’ paths across devices, thereby providing a more accurate and complete view of the customer journey. This will empower marketers with more accurate metrics and insight on which to measure the success of their efforts, as well as better inform their optimization and go-to-market strategies, not only across channels, but across devices.
The second trend will include a move by brands to increasingly measure and optimize the effectiveness of their entire marketing mix – not just individual channels or campaigns – but strategically more so at the individual audience segment level based on enterprise value and objectives. Not every audience responds the same way to the same combination of touchpoints, and not every audience demonstrates the same propensity to convert. Identifying the tactics that work best for the audience that has the highest likelihood to convert or the highest potential lifetime value, and then being able to execute those tactics for those audiences will be key to gaining a competitive marketing advantage.
Finally, the adoption of marketing attribution will start to move from the early adopter stage to the early majority stage, and attributed metrics – which take into account the fractional credit that every touchpoint earned toward a given conversion – will start to become the currency-of-record within many marketing organizations. The two previous trends listed above will play a major role in the increased adoption of marketing attribution, given that they are integral components and outputs of attribution measurement and optimization.”
Question 3: What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?
“I am a Mac guy, so along with my MacBook comes my iPhone and my iPad. One of my favorite apps is Trello, which helps me keep my action list current and enables me to easily share information and updates with my management team. Two other apps I really like include Concur, which I use to manage my travel, and Uber for when I need a ride.”
Question 4: What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role?
“The emergence of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) role within many organizations is an important one and an obvious sign of the times we live in and of the marketplace in which most brands operate. The role was bound to arise just as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role evolved 20 years ago and the Chief Security Officer (CSO) role evolved 10 years ago – out of necessity based on organizational and marketplace need. To some degree, the CDO role has evolved because the skillsets of some of today’s CMO’s – which were forged in the traditional (offline) marketing world – have not evolved as quickly as the ecosystem around them. I think it’s also a function of how quickly the digital marketplace is changing and the amount of time necessary for a CMO to keep track of the changing lumascape, along with all their other responsibilities. But make no mistake, in my mind the role and associated skillsets of the CMO and CDO are different, yet complimentary.”
Question 5: What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
“It sounds cliché – and perhaps it’s overused – but my advice for aspiring digital professionals is to always remember that you’re a marketer first and foremost, and a technologist second. Though today’s technology has enabled marketers to base a high percentage of their decisions on concrete data – and much less than ever before on gut instinct and intuition – at the heart of any initiative put into market must be good, sound marketing techniques. That means great writing, great visual, great offers, and great products targeting the right audience – something that hasn’t changed in 100 years.”