Podcast: For Salesforce CSO Jon Suarez-Davis, A Winding Career Path To The Cloud

Welcome to AdExchanger Talks, a podcast focused on data-driven marketing. Subscribe hereJonathan Suarez-Davis will speak at AdExchanger’s upcoming Industry Preview conference on Jan. 17-18.

In the wake of several big acquisitions, Salesforce Marketing Cloud has surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue. In this week’s episode we talk with its chief strategy officer, Jon Suarez-Davis, who joined the company through its 2016 acquisition of Krux.

Suarez-Davis, known to many as JSD, has made a number of dramatic career choices. Each of his moves – from agency (Leo Burnett) to client (Kellogg’s) to tech (Krux) – has been motivated by a desire to gain as much “cross-functional” experience as possible.

“I highly recommend that anyone who wants a career in marketing should spend some time on the agency side,” he says. “That sounds like a crazy statement with the trials and tribulations of the agency world, but it’s one of the best places where you can truly understand the craft.”

It was after he joined the marketing team at Kellogg Co. that JSD first heard the term “programmatic” from his colleague Bob Arnold. Programmatic quickly became an important piece of the company’s marketing vision.

“It was hard yards,” he says of the CPG giant’s early moves in programmatic. “Kellogg’s is a 100-plus-year-old company. They have decades-long relationships with partners. We faced a lot of resistance.”

Former Kellogg’s CMO Mark Baynes dramatically provided some cover. JSD describes a meeting with the company’s presidents and brand owners in which Baines, noting the pushback against audience buying, slammed his fist on the table and said, “I want to know what it is that is going to change the behavior of our organization. How are we going to move forward?”

“It was the defining moment for us,” JSD says.

Also in this episode: What is the Salesforce Marketing Cloud? What’s driving its growth? And what’s on the product road map?

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