“The Evolution of No-Code AI Means More Business Users Will Be Making AI Part of Their Day-to-Day Jobs without the Need for Data Science Expertise.”
Please tell us about your role and the team / technology you handle at Stratifyd. How did you reach here?
I am the CMO at Stratifyd, an Experience Analytics Platform powered by Smart AI. I oversee all aspects of Stratifyd’s marketing program, including customer and product marketing, revenue and demand gen, operations, brand, content, events, education, enablement, public relations and analyst relations and more. I am very fortunate to have an amazing group of professionals on my team with incredible talent in each of these areas. Our tech stack is geared towards enabling as many people on our team as possible and providing the best marketing experience.
We rely on Salesforce, Pardot, Adroll, Plannuh and Google Tag Manager and Analytics on the operations side, and Brighttalk, Intercom, Canva, Figma, Vimeo, and Podable for creative/content. Additionally, our team uses our own Stratifyd platform to improve our customer experience.
I started my career in professional sports working for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. From there, I joined the experimentation and personalization agency Brooks Bell, which was an amazing opportunity to develop relationships with some of the most innovative brands and tech companies in the business. From there I made the switch to the B2B product side, which led me to Tealium, where I spent over four years helping lead Marketing in NA, EMEA, and APAC as the VP of Marketing.
When I made the move to Stratifyd, I was excited to bring all of that experience to help lead the marketing efforts for a game-changing product for which so many companies have a need.
How did your role evolve through the pandemic months?
I started my role with Stratifyd during the pandemic, meaning I’ve had to build this team without officially meeting anyone in person yet.
The remote environment made for a much more dynamic hiring process. Since the company opened up to remote work, we’ve been able to find the best talent, regardless of where they live. On the flip side of that, I’ve had to become more creative about how I build camaraderie and support on the team through our Zoom meetings and Slack conversations.
Beyond hiring, the role of the CMO for me became much more proactive, in large part because the Marketing team has become more proactive to keep up with our customers.
Companies across all industries have undergone a massive shift in how they operate, and certain aspects of their business like digital transformation and customer obsession have become top priorities. As CMO, I’ve had to make sure we’re staying close to our customers’ needs. We’re constantly fine-tuning our messaging and ensuring that the content and experiences we’re delivering remain relevant to our audience and are truly adding value.
As a CMO, how did you stay on top of your marketing strategy? What adjustments did you make to ensure you are able to cope with the situation?
My touchstone throughout this has been to ask: “Is what we’re doing valuable to our customers and prospects?” With the switch to virtual everything, we’ve had to ask ourselves this question daily. In order to do that, we’ve doubled down on being data-driven.
Our weekly team meetings focus on our key metrics, and we have an open discussion as a team to share feedback on how new channels, new methods, and new content are performing.
As a result of our data-driven approach, we’ve had to stay agile. The tried-and-true marketing tactics aren’t so tried-and-true anymore. For example, webinar programs have definitely suffered as a result of Zoom fatigue. While they’re still a cornerstone of our demand gen program, we’re also packaging up our content into more digestible forms that can help customers feel empowered without contributing to the “burnout.”
Personally, I’ve taken this time as an opportunity to grow by networking and joining in the discussions happening in the CMO community. I’ve been regularly tuning into CMO Coffee Talk with Matt Heinz and Latané Conant. Podcasts have been one of my favorite additions to my routine this year, including ones from Randy Frisch at Uberflip and Dave Gerhardt and the DGMG community. Having that support structure of people who are in the same boat you’re in has been huge.
Tell us more about your remote working technology stack and how has it evolved in the last 2-3 years?
I’ve been a remote employee for over five years. As an early adopter, I was used to being the voice coming out of the speaker on the conference table. It was difficult to just hear voices without faces. But the shift towards video-based conferencing has really changed that to be more welcoming and it has made building a team during quarantine possible.
The flip side of the Zoom coin means that you have to be really attuned to your employees’ needs because how we use these remote-work tools has changed over the last few years. As the primary mode of communication for my team, we’ve made sure to make space for non-work engagements such as trivia or other virtual games like Jackbox.
Looking towards the future of our remote technology stack as we continue to have people working both in the office and at a distance, the goal for these technologies is to ensure collaboration, camaraderie, and to enable as many people as possible.
No one should feel like they’re on their own.
From a common Jira board to give everyone insights into group projects to Friday lunches together over Zoom to utilizing Canva to iterate on creative content, I want our technology to help support the team working together, not build more barriers between them.
Marketing and Sales are big contributors to digital transformation journeys. How does Stratifyd support its customers to create an agile digital transformation roadmap? What are the biggest lessons you have learned in working with your customers?
Digital transformation has been at the top of everyone’s list for a long time, but COVID made it a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. What the rapid acceleration of digital transformation really highlighted for a lot of companies, however, is the need to put the customer experience at the center of that transformation.
Companies continue to struggle to make sense of the data they already have, miss out on the data they don’t have, and don’t know how to prioritize data effectively. Brands are missing key insights into experience journeys because they aren’t able to connect, prioritize, and analyze the data when it matters most. What we’re seeing is an expanded idea of digital transformation that includes the whole company. It’s really the data that unifies all of these disparate organizations but so much of the data is not only siloed away, it’s just too difficult for most companies to get value out of it.
For the most part, it’s the unstructured customer feedback that you get from surveys, contact centers, social media, chat and more that has historically been underutilized. So many of our customers want to use AI to help understand this data better and tie it into operational and behavioral data, that way they’re not oversampling customer opinions but are instead getting a complete view of the customer experience.
Many companies realize that utilizing all of their unstructured data requires a company-wide shift to building a unified approach for data and analytics. But they’re also phasing in these changes by identifying the parts of the business that will have the highest ROI for these changes–usually starting with the CX, Contact Center, or Marketing teams.
What are your predictions on the future of AI-based analytics for decision-making teams?
Historically, there’s been a lot of misunderstanding towards AI-based analytics among decision-makers, resulting in a lot of these projects ending before they start. Gartner estimated that 85% of traditional AI projects will fail to deliver on their promised value.
A lot of that comes down to not understanding how to best utilize AI models and the challenge of aligning goals of the data science teams with the ever-changing goals of the business unit. It takes a long time to build and train an AI model in the traditional manner, so shifting data sets and goals (like we’ve seen during COVID) can really hamper those projects.
What we’ll see in the future more is the use of AI by the business user. AI has become much more business-user friendly and will make it much easier for decision-making teams to rely on AI-driven insights. The evolution of no-code AI means more business users will be making AI part of their day-to-day jobs without the need for data science expertise.
By enabling the business user who needs the insights to find the insights themselves, you can replace a lot of the menial, manual labor involved with analytics and focus making employees more effective.
Since many tasks will be automated and done at a scale previously impossible, one of the things we’ll see for decision-making teams using AI-based analytics is a rise in cross-department collaboration. There’s always been value in customer feedback from one area of the business to another, but it’s been too hard to uncover and share them. With AI, feedback from CX surveys can be analyzed alongside Contact Center transcripts to get a better view of the customer experience, or product reviews can help provide insights to the team creating self-service content. Teams that are willing to share their data will be able to improve their customer experience (and employee experience) in a whole new way.
Tell us more about the hiring trends in the AI-based tech industry.
What kind of talent / skills do you hire for in your company to lead Product and Marketing goals?
It’s not exactly a trend, but it’s really important to hire diversely. AI can have a perception of objectivity, but it is a reflection of the teams that built the technology and the biases they carry. Diversity helps you make a stronger product and improve your communications to what’s undoubtedly a diverse consumer base.
Since AI is a little scary and an unknown quantity for many people, one of the key skills to look for in new hires is taking complex topics and making them approachable. It’s really easy to get ‘in the weeds’ with all the cool things AI can do, but it’s also really easy to lose the business value. It’s critical for Product Marketers, or really anyone who’s creating content and experiences for AI consumers, to be able to speak to the technical audience–i.e. the data and analytics crowd— while also including the people who need the AI-driven insights to do their jobs.
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Thank you, Meredith! That was fun and we hope to see you back on itechnologyseries.com soon.
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Meredith Albertson serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at Stratifyd, Inc. She is an accomplished, strategic leader with global experience spanning the US, EMEA, and APAC regions. Albertson is a data-driven marketer with the ability to develop remarkable global teams that drive marketing results with a sales-first approach. Albertson joins Stratifyd after spending the last four-and-a-half years at global SaaS company Tealium, overseeing marketing programs in North America, as well as EMEA and APAC.
As CMO, she is responsible for leading and developing all aspects of Stratifyd’s marketing program, including customer and product marketing, revenue and demand generation, brand, content, events, public relations, analyst relations, education and enablement, and more.
Stratifyd takes the burden of manual analytics off your team by proactively surfacing hidden experience signals and trends 24/7 to ensure you never miss another insight. Stratifyd’s vendor-neutral approach connects experience, behavioral, and operational data to remove data blind spots, uncover prescriptive insights, and enable smarter decisions. Now your business can stay ahead of your customers and the competition. Our Experience Analytics Platform powered by Smart AI™ is trusted by startups, enterprise, and Fortune 500 companies to improve experiences across channels, drive efficiencies, and increase employee and customer loyalty.