Forrester’s Brosnan Takes On StrongView’s Strategy

BrosnanArtRob Brosnan, a Forrester Research analyst covering customer intelligence and interactive marketing, has secured a new post as SVP of strategy for marketing technology company StrongView.

One of the remaining independent marketing-automation platforms, StrongView recently rebranded from the name “StrongMail,” a move company CEO Bill Wagner said is representative of cross-channel buyer needs in today’s market.

Brosnan, who covered a range of digital marketing technology acquisitions during his two and a half years at Forrester, recognized marketing solutions shifting from campaign management to interaction management driven by data, analytics and changing consumer relations with brands.

Brosnan spoke with AdExchanger about the evolution of marketing technology, the enterprise space and where ad tech fits into the mix.

AdExchanger: What’s causing this genesis of “new” marketing technology, driven by new pricing schemas? For instance, Adobe’s losing CPM-based pricing on its email campaign-management product in favor of customer profiles.

ROB BROSNAN: With all the channels and vehicles and media we have to communicate with, even nontraditional direct, if you look at where display is heading with real-time bidding, all of this [is] being driven by all of this data we have and the need to engage with consumers in really different ways. The thing that I always keep coming back to is this is all about being able to operate in a really personal manner at really big scale. It’s more messaging overall, but not more for the individual. It’s essentially right-sizing the amount of communication with an individual but that total volume will go up for the industry because more industries are communicating directly with consumers.

For instance, CPG companies that weren’t doing this in the past – there are more opportunities to communicate now and help consumers get value out of the products they’ve bought, rather than just trying to sell them new stuff. This scale factor, combined with the actual analytics you need to figure out what’s right or what’s relevant, [is] why you see us aligning similarly with where Adobe’s gone as well [with our rebrand].

What about this convergence of digital marketing tech, CRM and ad tech?

When I started at Forrester, the big talk was this convergence between CRM and digital marketers, but it was also the media buyers starting to show up in the room going, “How can we do real-time decisioning based on our data to figure out what ads to buy?” It’s such a new space that it’s not even clear what a DMP (data-management platform) will be in a couple of years.

I think this idea of an end-to-end, what ads to buy, what we need to do for acquisition, what we need to do to retain and engage customers and what we need to do to understand them after the fact — that’s why I was always bullish on the Adobe story at Forrester. If you come out of the IT world, you don’t always understand that there’s something unique about the marketer’s needs that the traditional enterprise ecosystem doesn’t solve.

This isn’t just limited to the marketing tech players, right?

I think you’ll see this happen with … Google, Yahoo and Facebook [as well]. These guys haven’t been as acquisitive on the marketing tech front. I think Adobe’s moves will force them to say, “Can we be purely on the media side?” Facebook sees that. They want access to the data and to know marketers’ wants. They may come into the mix and say, “We don’t want Adobe to own all the data,” and, “We want to be able to empower marketers who need to get access to their consumers,” and an important part of doing that is using something like FBX and their own, internal enterprise data stores on their customers to find and engage their customers through the Facebook service.

What’s your agenda at StrongView?

When I was at Forrester, there was an opportunity to work with them to help them understand the opportunities out there in the marketplace. First and foremost, I will hit the ground running with the product and services teams, and also go out and work with the customer base and the world at large … and help tell the story out there to investors.

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