AiThority Interview with Darren Guarnaccia, President at Uniform
Hi, Darren. Welcome to our Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your journey and what inspired you to start with Uniform.
I got my start in marketing technology 25 years ago when the internet was shiny and new. As luck would have it, I started working with the first content management systems on the market back then, and ever since, I’ve watched successive waves of technology evolve. I’ve seen firsthand how history can repeat and a repeat pattern started taking shape a few years ago. I was reminded of what the world was like back in 2003, when CMS technologies were built for developers, and marketing teams were an afterthought. I’ve been seeing this similar trend today with the rise of headless and composable technologies in digital experience and how marketers were being left behind and disempowered. That’s what attracted me to Uniform. They had seen the same pattern, and they were attempting to bridge that gap and solve the marketing empowerment problem.
What makes Uniform so unique in the current enterprise technology landscape?
I think what makes Uniform unique is that we are a bunch of industry veterans that have all been in the digital experience market for 20 years or more, and we understand the problem from all perspectives. This newest trend towards composability is the polar opposite of where the industry was a decade ago, which then valued single, all-in-one monolithic suites. Now, the market values flexibility to rapidly assemble your own digital experience stack from component parts. With great flexibility though, can come complexity. Uniform’s true distinction is that it can help remove that complexity while maintaining the freedom of choice for marketers and developers regarding the tools and workflows they want to use. More often than not, one group’s problems get solved at the expense of the other’s needs, and Uniform was founded to solve them both together. It doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game.
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You serve some of the biggest customer-centric organizations globally. Could you tell us about a unique user case scenario that highlights your agility and quality of service?
One of our telecom customers was looking for a way to improve their marketing agility and their operational tempo. They were looking to get into a test-and-learn rhythm where they could start to bring together new technologies and content and even prototype different business models. Using Uniform to weave together a variety of different content sources and functionalities, they were able to dramatically speed up their launch times, improve marketing metrics, and still have time to experiment with a variety of market strategies.
How do you distinguish digital engagement tech stacks from the existing martech stacks? What business titles benefit the most from deploying Uniform?
Digital engagement technology is a subset of marketing technology. I view digital engagement as the elements that are customer-facing and customer-touching. Marketing technology is broader than that and includes all the operational controls, reporting, and other back-office elements used in marketing beyond just customer-facing technology. In terms of who benefits most from digital experience composition platforms like Uniform, it’s a combination of marketing and technology titles. From the technology side of the house, it’s often chief digital, technology officers, enterprise architects or e-commerce leadership roles. From the marketing side, it’s often CMO, VP of marketing / digital, or VP of customer experience. In reality, both sides of the house need to come together to solve the digital experience equation.
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Please tell us more about the recently launched “CMS Comprehension Guide” and how CEOs and CMOs could benefit from this resource?
There is so much innovation happening in the digital experience space, and it’s hard for brands to keep up. As a technology company that helps bring many of these vendors together, we were in a unique position to have an unbiased point of view on what each of their strengths and weaknesses are, and how best to choose the right solution to fit various needs and problems. Our CMS buyer’s guide helps marketing and technology teams get to that shortlist a little faster and arms them with the best questions to ask to make sure they are getting the right tool for the job.
Could you tell us more about the market for DXCP and how it uses AI and machine learning to build faster experience models for customers?
The real power of digital experience composition platforms is their ability to allow brands to combine various new capabilities together rapidly, and to create a technology stack that can constantly evolve and take advantage of the best new technology arriving every day. The recent leaps forward in generative AI are a great example of how this can come to life. Within days of access to ChatGPT’s APIs, entire new connectors and integrations were being created to help generate alternate content options for personalization, optimized copy for calls to action, and even new visual elements for page design. The agility to take advantage of market innovations quickly and deploy them into the market is precisely the advantage that DXCPs give to brands. Instead of waiting on a vendor’s roadmap to take advantage of this breakthrough, DXCPs make every new breakthrough usable in real-time.
What’s the future of AI-assisted Search Analytics and DAMs?
AI has the potential to demystify and democratize many areas that require deep expertise. Search analytics and DAM are two such areas. Search analytics tools give marketers and merchandisers insights into what their customers are looking for but can be challenging to translate into actionable improvements. AI can help bridge the gap between actions and insights by answering the “so what, now what” question business users have when looking at analytics. Likewise, with digital asset management technology, marketers and merchandisers need help to know what are the best assets or images to achieve their goals, given the audience or segment they are appealing to. his is a place AI can assist and help marketers optimize for any situation. Generative AI can also help fill in gaps where the required asset does not exist for a given situation or requirement.
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Any advice to CEOs or CIOs looking to invest in AI-powered creative designing solutions:
It’s important to think about workflow and governance with all this new AI-powered technology. It’s clear that AI can get things very wrong, so as appealing as it is to use these technologies to move incredibly fast, it’s smart to layer in a set of checkpoints and validation steps to protect yourself and your brand. This should be built into your workflows and processes. In the words of Ronald Regan, “trust but verify.” After all, AI is new, and there are still many unknowns out there, but the sheer value and potential of these technologies is worth the overhead.
Thank you, Darren! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
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Darren Guarnaccia is president of Uniform, a digital experience composition platform (DXCP) on which developers and marketers can control their digital-experience stack. As a leader with deep expertise in blending best-in-class product-marketing and product-management strategies to overcome business challenges, differentiate products, and drive exponential growth, Darren oversees marketing, product strategy, and enablement at Uniform.
Uniform DXCP allows modern businesses to create the fastest and most adaptable platform to build digital experiences. By creating a consistent visual layer for content orchestration in any channel, Uniform gives business users such as marketing and e-commerce teams the power to build quickly and test ideas without any developer support. This is powered by pre-built integrations that eliminate the need for custom code to connect content sources such as legacy DXPs, customer data platforms and headless services. This means that projects can be delivered faster and at lower cost, while retaining long-term flexibility for innovation. Uniform also supports high-performance digital experiences by delivering content directly to the edge of modern CDNs, including for personalized content.
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