Megan McKenna, VP Marketing at Lotame discusses her interest with MarTech Advisor in the ever-changing digital world, Lotame’s highest standards of customer success and data sourcing and the evolution of DMPs. When she is not overseeing Lotame’s corporate, product, sales, event and lead generation marketing efforts you will find her enjoying yoga, scouting new restaurants and traveling.
1. Could you tell me a little about your background and how you came to be the VP of Marketing at Lotame?
I started my career in ad sales at Women’s Marketing Inc. (WMI), an advertising agency focused on digital and print. I moved on to play a key role at Seamless as part of the business development team — selling and developing new revenue stream opportunities. Immediately prior to joining Lotame, I was director of marketing at CBS Local Digital Media, driving the brand marketing strategy and execution behind five national and more than 100 local brands across 24 U.S. markets.
I have always had an interest in marketing, the ever-changing digital world and start-up environments, leading me to my current role at Lotame. I’m fortunate to oversee an awesome marketing team that focuses on Lotame’s global, corporate, product, sales, event and lead generation marketing efforts. We develop programs and campaigns that enhance the visibility of Lotame’s solutions and shape concepts and strategies to propel the brand forward. It’s extremely exciting to be a part of Lotame, as the adtech, martech and data management platform (DMP) spaces are constantly changing; we’re always learning and adjusting to market trends.
2. What is the core marketing technology capability of Lotame that you bring to a marketer? What sets Lotame apart from its competitors in the DMP space?
Lotame is the leading independent DMP. Our expert team and cutting-edge technology helps clients build more meaningful connections with consumers through the intelligent use of data. In short, clients – marketers and agencies, as well as publishers – rely on us to more efficiently and effectively engage the right audiences by leveraging their data, or layering on third-party data, from our billions of unique profiles in the Lotame Data Exchange.
We also pride ourselves on our customer service. We have a large team dedicated to client success and strategic client engagement. This team works closely with our clients to ensure ROI, growth and success. Also, because we’re an independent company, we have the flexibility to adjust our product roadmap based on client needs and market trends. In 2016, we launched a few products that set us apart from the pack, including Data Stream, our fire hose of raw behavioral data made available to clients, and TV DMP, technology that allows television networks to leverage digital data for targeting and measurement purposes.
3. From a technology perspective, what are some of the biggest challenges that your marketing team faces today?
The marketing and advertising technology spaces are growing and changing so rapidly it can be a challenge to keep up. However, we operate a fairly lean marketing team and don’t have a huge technology stack, meaning that it’s easier for us than others to keep track of all of our marketing activities and analytics.
4. Considering that data-driven digital marketing is the order of the day, would you say DMPs will become the inevitable reality for every marketer? Where do you see the DMP software industry moving to in the next two years?
Publishers recognized the need for data earlier than many marketers and agencies. However, marketers and agencies now realize the importance of data-driven marketing for more effectively engaging audiences and more efficiently spending ad dollars. We have a number of agencies using the DMP in very creative ways to power their own solutions in order to decrease CPA and increase CTR, conversion and exceed KPIs for their clients.
Over the next two years, I see the way data is sourced, as well as the DMP use cases, continuing to evolve. The DMP industry is starting to, and will continue to, move beyond powering ‘advertising-only’ solutions. Marketers will more widely begin using a DMP beyond advertising use cases, for example – to personalize site experiences for their customers
They will continue collecting as much disparate data as possible from all marketing channels through sophisticated onboarding capabilities all DMPs will allow. They’ll rely on CRM data to leverage across walled-garden environments like Google and Facebook. Also with the increase of Internet of Things (IoT) and AI-based ecosystems, like the Echo and Google Home, and voice search like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, we’ll likely have access to additional user data previously less available. I also see DMPs providing insight into channels outside of digital, such as TV. Lotame recently launched TV DMP, which empowers television broadcasters to more effectively sell spots based on audience targeting. This technology will soon help marketers by informing television media buying and planning.
5. Could you suggest a couple of creative ways for marketers to derive the optimum benefit from their DMP software, like maybe unusual segmentation and retargeting tactics, rather than complete dependence on the tool?
Lotame’s Audience Profile Reporting is frequently used to learn about new, and often obscure, behavioral attributes that may not be readily apparent about an audience or pool of consumers. For example, marketers often know “top line” demographic and psychographic information about their target consumers, but how might purchasers of, say, luxury handbags index against categories such as education, fitness/healthy lifestyle or pets? These deeper insights can inform everything from marketing messaging, creative, targeting, inventory selection and more, and ultimately allows for more efficient campaigns with greater reach (often where competitors aren’t looking).
6. What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech cos across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and / or integrate?
I think the exploding growth of the martech world is exciting! There is a wealth of opportunities still untapped and many partnerships and integrations that are yet to be recognized. There is clearly a lot of interest in the martech space, as we’ve seen with the number of acquisitions the industry saw in 2016. While there is certainly competition, I see a lot of synergies as well. There will continue to be more acquisitions and mergers as the space becomes more narrowly refined over the next few years.
7. What’s next for targeted campaigns now that we have cracked predictive, personalized and programmatic already? How can marketers draw the line between being hungry for a Unified Customer Persona (UCP) and consumer data privacy?
Consumers are beginning to understand what information is being used to engage with them. I think marketers can benefit from using onboarding and cross-device solutions from their DMP or other partners. Lotame recently partnered with LiveRamp on their newly launched IdentityLink solution. IdentityLink enables marketers to match not only devices, but people, so they are able to know exactly whom they are reaching every time. I think we’ll also see a shift in the need for better quality data — whether that’s using more second-party data or using clean, bot-free data. Lotame is currently working with partners to enhance data quality even further.
8. How do you weigh in on the whole ‘buying into vs building a marketing cloud’ choices that marketers have to face today?
This depends on company size and sophistication. Some have smaller budgets, and fewer resources, for research to pay for best of breed technology so they stick with one marketing cloud to support different marketing solutions. Others don’t want to get pigeonholed into using one tech stack to solve all marketing needs, so they pick and choose best of breed technology. The beauty of Lotame is, because of our independence, our business and our sales teams are not driven by other objectives and solutions – we are a pure play DMP, specializing in data and data management only. We won’t package up the DMP in another sale and leave our clients to fend for themselves and we won’t push solutions on clients where they don’t make sense.
9. Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?
Marketing: Hubspot, Google Analytics, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Influitive, Asana
Lead Gen: Salesforce, Linkedin Navigator, Redbooks, TryProspect
10. Who’s the one person from the martech space whose interview you would look forward to?
I’d love to hear from Jeff Smith, CMO at LiveRamp. Jeff is a leader in the ad tech, digital and data world; prior to his time at LiveRamp he was EVP & CMO at Nielsen. Lotame has recently partnered with LiveRamp for their onboarding and IdentityLink solutions and we’ve seen first-hand their continued innovation in response to market trends and needs.
11. Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.
This interview originally appeared in MarTech Advisor. Click here to see the original.