Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

Alex Atzberger: Now that you just’ve stepped into the CMO position, what are you wanting ahead to?   

Shafqat Islam: It’s superb to tackle this position at each a class creator and chief. What number of manufacturers is usually a chief in virtually each class–assume Experimentation and CMS–that we play in?  

And we’ve got a lot to stay up for and construct on. We’ve an distinctive staff of selling leaders and practitioners. They’re fiercely clever, optimistic, and care deeply about what our merchandise can *do* for our prospects. Not only for the individuals who will encounter the advertising and marketing, retail, and product experiences that we assist, however for the individuals who construct them. As anyone who has each constructed merchandise and been deeply immersed in advertising and marketing, I really like the attitude that our staff has.  

Alex Atzberger: What makes Optimizely distinctive?   

Shafqat Islam: First off, we’re class creators in experimentation and content material administration, each CMS and CMP. Entrepreneurs know this, and analysts understand it, as one thing like 7 main analyst reviews will inform you.  

Martech is a crowded area, so it’s true that there are quite a lot of corporations whose territory overlaps with a few of ours. However present me one other firm that may deal with the complete content material lifecycle like we will. Or present me one other firm that may do each function flagging and experimentation.  

We even have a legendary legacy within the martech world. Earlier than I joined, I knew that A/B testing and Optimizely have been synonymous, and that the corporate’s roots go all the best way again to the origins of the observe. And that’s one thing that’s like frequent folklore in advertising and marketing and expertise.  

And greater than something, the 1500 individuals who work listed here are world-class. 

Alex Atzberger: Being a CMO speaking to different CMOs and advertising and marketing leaders is a bonus. You realize the client. However you’ve additionally constructed tech merchandise. How does that have an effect on your work now?  

Shafqat Islam: I’ve spent nearly all of my grownup life constructing merchandise for entrepreneurs. So I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot time speaking to CMOs and entrepreneurs in virtually each kind of firm everywhere in the world. Because the founder/CEO of Welcome, my strategy was to resolve marketer challenges by constructing merchandise. However now as CMO, I get to make use of the merchandise we construct.  

We’re practitioners of all of our personal options, so along with the pure empathy I’ve for entrepreneurs, I’m additionally near the job’s distinctive challenges every single day. There’s nothing like that to maintain you sharp and preserve you near the client.  

As a product builder, I knew we should all the time communicate to enterprise outcomes. However as CMO, I really like that we aren’t simply speaking concerning the options – we’re dwelling them, too.  

As a result of I used to be an entrepreneur for therefore lengthy, I additionally deliver one other distinctive view – my willingness to take sensible dangers. I like to strive issues, even when (particularly if?) the outcomes are generally stunning. With regards to experimentation, there aren’t any failures, solely learnings. 

Alex Atzberger: What are the most important challenges you’re listening to from our prospects, present and future?  

Shafqat Islam: Progress, particularly given how robust it’s on the market for therefore many industries. The stakes are very excessive in the case of creating experiences that can win and retain prospects. That’s what all of our prospects–particularly the retail heavyweights-are excited about.  

And advertising and marketing and expertise leaders want to do that with leaner budgets. Effectivity issues so much proper now, and meaning not solely lowering the prices you may see, like the value tag hooked up to software program, but additionally the prices you may’t see instantly, like how a lot money and time it takes to handle a set of options. With that mentioned, in robust occasions, I believe the strongest manufacturers cannot simply survive but additionally thrive. I additionally assume when others are fearful, which may be the time to speculate aggressively. 

And within the background of all this, there may be nonetheless the ever-expanding record of buyer touchpoints. That is concurrently an thrilling problem for entrepreneurs and an thrilling alternative. Extra information means simpler storytelling– if you should use it proper.

I additionally hear entrepreneurs once they say there’s a necessity for a shared area for collaboration amongst us. The position of the marketer is expansive, and it’s solely getting extra sophisticated. Constructing a group the place we will come collectively and admire our shared targets is troublesome, however I’m optimistic that we’re shifting in the fitting route.  

Alex Atzberger: What’s subsequent in our area? What is going to advertising and marketing and expertise leaders be speaking about six months from now?  

Shafqat Islam: Wanting round now, it’s clear that 2023 would be the yr that AI-generated content material goes mainstream. We’re simply beginning to see the makes use of and the results of this. There’s already buzz about ChatGPT and its capabilities, and platforms are already making area to combine AI performance into their choices. It might be an thrilling approach for customers to develop into higher outfitted to create and share high-quality content material.  

Prospects even have gotten very used to personalization. Each display screen they see every day is personalised, whether or not it’s their Netflix account or social feeds. So, after I see a website that isn’t personalised, I sort of scratch my head and surprise, why? With personalization now the norm, expectations for digital creators are sky-high.

Learn the official press release.


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