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AiThority Interview with Anna Luo, VP of Customer Innovation and Marketing at Jivox

This interview was originally published on AiThority.

Hi Anna, please tell us about your current role and how you arrived at Jivox.


I’m the Senior Vice President of Customer Innovation and Marketing at Jivox. I’ve been here for four and a half years.


I’ll share a fact: I was never a fan of retargeting ads–having being “chased” all over the web especially by products that I already bought. So when the personalization guru and Jivox CEO, Diaz Nesamoney, invited me to interview for the head of marketing role, I was both intrigued and excited. I’d known of Diaz’s reputation as the successful founder of Informatica and his innovative approach to data integration. After learning how he pushed personalization to transform advertising and marketing, I knew this was my calling. At that time, Jivox didn’t have much presence in the market. I saw that clean slate as an incredible opportunity.

At Jivox, I run the entire spectrum of marketing and work with a bunch of wickedly smart people. Diversity is the core of our culture. More than a third of the company employees are women, and the female-male ratio on the executive team is 50-50. Today, we are not only profitable, we have many of the top global brands using our platform. The best part of my job is introducing our technology to be a part of our brand customers innovation: creating a very special 1:1 marketing experience that is truly a service to their individual consumers while being respectful of their privacy.

 

As a marketer, what unique milestones did you cross in your career so far?


“Unique” is a great word to describe the milestones in my career that span equity/REIT research, big five consulting, and high tech startups where I moved between real-time data/streaming analytics and cyber security. Looking back, it seems as though these milestones have naturally led me to my current role — marketing an enterprise-grade personalization platform that combines the experiences of big data, real-time analytics and decisioning, enterprise software security, research in business/technology trends and, of course, metrics.


My first “in-the-trenches” tech experience began in product marketing at a startup that went IPO, followed by founding a startup where we raised $2 million in seed funding– but then the 9/11 tragedy shut us down. I experienced the boom and bust of startup life in just four years. I never regretted it. Success showed me how to be bold and pursue my dreams, while failure taught me the strength to fail forward.


My first experience in “personalization” was working with a technology called “publish-subscribe.” In a specified “heart-beat” (e.g., 60 seconds), the system took in information from the Internet. Instead of broadcasting it, the system published to individuals only information each one subscribed; information relevant to that individual.


The valuable marketing skills I learned in my early career was from a renowned cryptographer who was a brilliant marketer. With a rockstar status in cybersecurity, he pioneered managed security, a foreign concept back in the times when he persuaded corporations to outsource security to a third party. Think: giving away the keys to your kingdom!


Then there are triathlons. I’ve been training and racing for 15 years. They have taught me mental toughness and how to adjust training plans and racing strategy based on data and metrics. The biggest similarity between triathletes and digital marketers is our love for data and stats. When we’re training, we’re always looking at athletic performance metrics: threshold swimming pace, threshold heart rate and power for cycling, intensity factor, training stress score, and so on. Based on that, we can see how we recover, build our fitness and endurance overtime. As a digital marketer, we’re looking at, for example, campaign objectives, performance metrics, and KPIs. We adjust strategies based on what the data tells us, and the insight helps us evaluate marketing spend and ROI.


Each career milestone is a building block for both my personal and professional growth.


What is Jivox and what are your top services / solutions? Which markets are you currently targeting?


Jivox is a personalization platform. Our mission is to enable the world’s largest brands to engage consumers and drive sales in a personalized and relevant way using technology and consented data, helping brands achieve personalization at scale. How?


Our platform combines a series of technologies to enable creative automation, real-time data-driven decisioning and omnichannel delivery of personalized messaging to individual consumers through paid and owned media, wherever the consumers may be in their micro-moments.


For example, a DTC brand selling meal kits takes all of its content (streams of product information, images, copy, calls-to-action) and, using our platform, serves a vegan customer a free salad ad on her birthday, middle age customer on paleo diet a discount on the Grade-A beef kit just before dinner time, triathlete a new high-carbs kit at the start of her race season, or individual work-from-home professionals a two-for-one soup kit offer–based on their preferences and diet restrictions–on a rainy day. In short, our platform assembles brand content dynamically into thousands, or millions, of personalized ads at scale to individual consumers with different interests, preferences or restriction in the right context. While traditional methods of delivering these ads are manual and time-consuming, our technology uses AI and ML algorithms to optimize these different variations. Can you imagine the time and cost for making a different ad for every product, location, time of day, sub-brand? Last year, brands using our technology saved in production cost a combined $642 million!


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how consumers behave –as they are forced to work, socialize, and shop online. We currently see retail, direct-to-consumer, CPG, telecommunications, automotive, and sporting goods very actively running marketing campaigns on our platform.


What is your go-to-market strategy for 2021 in the post-pandemic era?


Before the pandemic, the Jivox platform was already helping customers personalize digital commerce marketing.


Last year, we saw the eCommerce market taking the industry by storm with the acceleration of the pandemic. We expanded our capability by launching Kairos Purchase Prediction Engine. Kairos is a patented technology that “learns” how a product is relevant to a specific consumer, based on their purchase intent. These algorithms score individual users’ likelihood and immediacy to make a purchase, and rank products relative to the consumer’s interest. This creates an opportunity for brands to serve the right message with the right product offer at the right time. Kairos knows all the nodes along each consumer’s purchase path. The precision in its predictions is built on its ability to process large quantities of data from a brand’s e-commerce site and consumers’ interactions with the brand ads on news or hobby sites.


Our go-to-market strategy for 2021 is to make personalizing eCommerce marketing easy with an “out-of-the-box” model, which helps to speed brands’ sales.


Popular trend: Can Cloud Ops platforms transform Digital marketing tactics?


Absolutely, and Jivox platform is a prime example of cloud operations in action. For scalability, our platform is cloud-based, including customers’ creative assets, data, decisioning and so on.


In Nov 2019, we launched Jivox IQiD™. What’s unique about IQiD is how it is developed to enable brands to use their vast amounts of consented data to deliver personalized experiences to the consumers who have chosen to engage with or purchase from the brand—all in a privacy-compliant manner.


Unlike most martech and adtech platforms, which run outside the brand’s firewall and domain, Jivox IQiD uses groundbreaking hybrid cloud technology that runs within the brand’s domain. Fully integrated with the brands’ data infrastructure, Jivox IQiD ensures that data collected for personalization utilizes the brand’s consent technology and privacy compliance infrastructure for opt-out. Jivox IQiD essentially acts like a brand’s CRM system. It does not rely on third-party cookies or fingerprinting techniques.


Tell us more about your remote workplace stack and how it evolved since the start of the pandemic?


Jivox is a global company. We already have remote workplace stack in place for global team collaboration well before the pandemic. We use, for example, Zoom for online meetings and Slack for company, team and x-organizational collaboration. The pandemic has not impacted our productivity, other than the occasional interrupted bandwidth.


What is your advice to female IT / marketing technology professionals ahead of International Women’s Day?

  • Take time each day to reflect on what you want in life and how you are going to get there.
  • Focus on your passion and commit to seeing it through.
  • Pave the road for tomorrow’s leaders.


By taking time to look inside and evaluate how you make decisions and how you can make a difference, you’ll notice the rest comes naturally. It’s also important to surround yourself with people who support you and push you to be a better version of yourself. I’m fortunate to work with extraordinary leaders who allow me to share my passion of training tomorrow’s leaders. We’re all at different stages of our lives, but it’s important to stay true to yourself and your aspirations.

 

Thank you, Anna! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.

June 09th, 2021

 

By Anna Luo

Anna Luo, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Customer Innovation at Jivox, is passionate about introducing cutting-edge technologies to enterprise customers – putting them on the path of increased competitiveness and accelerated growth. She has two decades of marketing experience, most of which she has spent driving across-functional collaboration to scale startups and contributing to successful exits via IPO and acquisition.

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