Van Diamandakis is CMO at Persado, a martech company that, in their own words, ‘is reinventing marketing creative by applying mathematical certainty to words’.
If you’re an Econsultancy subscriber, you can get an overview of AI copywriting in our handy briefing, but first things first, let’s catch up with Van to find out what his job entails.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Van: As CMO of Persado, I am responsible for developing the company’s global marketing vision and strategy, along with leading global branding and positioning efforts.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Van: I report to Alex Vratskides, Persado’s co-founder and CEO, but I also work closely with the entire executive team. More and more, the CMO serves as the connective tissue between departments within an organization – ours is no different. Some days, I’m reviewing financials with our CFO. Other days, I’m working with our SVP of Product and Engineering to decipher and relay technology updates to product leads.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Van: At a high level, I think CMOs (myself included) need to have the ability to move with customers, anticipate their needs and deliver relevant, personalized experiences. At the same time, it is critical to take a step back and see the bigger picture of how Persado delivers value to our customers.
In recent years, the rise of marketing tech and integration of AI has informed the types of experiences that customers expect from brands. To be effective as a CMO, it’s incredibly important to understand the technology that is delivering personalized experiences to customers, but also how it can help a business grow and scale. Learning about technology is core to my personal success on both fronts. I also need to ensure that my team is up to date and aware of the larger trends influencing the market and our customers.
Today, it’s table stakes that CMOs are able to distill market trends and draw from research to turn business data and product attributes into messaging. To be successful, you need to have strong storytelling abilities and take the time needed to fully understand technical details in order to distill them clearly for target audiences. You need to create a business story that is compelling and that establishes a connection with people. And that story needs to be adaptable to a range of different channels that the organization uses to communicate with their audience.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Van: Everyday is a bit different and that’s part of what I love about my job.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Van: I love the creative process combined with data science and using AI to deliver the most compelling customer experiences.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
- Engagement and brand power
- Marketing qualified accounts
- Share of voice
- Customer lifetime value
- Customer acquisition costs
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Van: Persado, Demandbase and Qlik.
How did you end up at Persado, and where might you go from here?
Van: I’ve worked in the industry for more than two decades, and have led B2B tech brands like Sage, Oracle, WebEx and Riverbed through global marketing transformations.
I’ve long believed in the power of technology – and specifically, artificial intelligence – to dramatically enhance marketing creative. Marketers already use technology to deploy and improve everything from ad buying to audience targeting, but many still rely on intuition and subjective opinions when crafting marketing messages.
What impressed me about Persado is that they saw the opportunity to generate data-driven creative years ago and have built an industry-leading solution that is used by CMOs at the world’s leading brands. AI and machine learning are now sophisticated enough to empower marketers take the guesswork out of creative, and we believe that we’re just at the beginning of this revolution.
It’s hard to say for certain what I see as the next chapter in my career, but I’ve always been interested in data science and AI applied to marketing. I believe there is a massive confidence crisis with CMOs in their creative’s ability to drive results. Until now marketing creative has been all guesswork. We are now seeing that when we apply data science and AI to creative we can deliver a force multiplier in brand engagement and revenue performance. If copywriters and creative directors are Tony Stark, AI and data science is their Iron Man suit.
What advice would you give marketers thinking about applying AI to the creative process?
Van: Try it. You’ll like it and so will your CFO, your CEO and most of all your customers.