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AiThority Interview with Lauren Vaccarello, Chief Marketing Officer at Talend

Hi Lauren, please tell us about your role and the team / technology you handle at Talend.

As CMO, I direct Talend’s marketing organization and lead its branding efforts. I oversee all of our company-wide customer intelligence and identify the primary business use-cases per segment. As a strategic business partner in marketing, sales, customer success, finance and operations, I am also responsible for our collective measurement mechanism.

My role at Talend focuses on balancing both short- and long-term goals– one of them being to elevate the brand and redefine the category we play in. My team and I work to educate our customers on how Talend’s data management products– ranging from Talend Data Fabric to Stitch platform– can best expedite their digital transformations with data that is clear, concise and uncompromised. That way, they can trust the information they are using to make critical decisions. 

How did your role evolve through the pandemic months? How did your previous experiences with technology management help you scale your efforts and meet unprecedented challenges?

From a marketing perspective, when COVID hit, I had to rethink two things. First, I had the team re-examine our messaging. Relevancy and having a deep sense of empathy for what is essential to our customers and prospects was critical. Once the pandemic began, we made a significant pivot in how we showed up in the market. I led Talend through an intensive brand transformation that included converting all our events to online platforms. The ability of our sales and marketing teams to push against the challenges and execute and deliver was astounding.

Secondly, I worked with my team to shift how we reached our audience. Since in-person events weren’t currently an option, we moved everything from field marketing to our conferences. We transformed Talend Connect, our in-person user conference, into three virtual events: health and wellness sessions and live entertainment. Held in May 2020, it was wildly successful, with more than 5,000 registrants and 2,300 attendees around the globe. The success of this event led us to launch the  Talend Connect World Tour 2020, held on October 28–November 11, 2020, in NORAM, EMEA and APAC. Overall, this was a real team effort and I am proud that we managed to pull it off despite every possible obstacle 2020 threw at us. This helped us set the stage for 2021, but without the successful collaboration between our marketing team and our partners across the business, it would not have been possible.

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Tell us the kind of marketing efforts that are required to promote products and services offered in the ETL segment? How do you differentiate yourself from other data management platforms? 

Talend’s marketing strategy focuses less on marketing tactics and efforts. Instead, we aim to reach out to the right account with the right message rather than say we need to do a webinar, eBook, or paid search ad. We are looking less at products and services and more at the problem our customers need to solve i.e. what is it they want to do within their business, and then we utilize our marketing efforts to help solve their issues.

Tell us more about your insights on the post-cookie-era and what kind of marketing strategies are required to embrace zero-party data?

Removing third-party cookies will have a huge impact on the advertising landscape as businesses aim to increase their focus on consumer personalization. The likelihood of being relevant to a consumer is decreasing. We can predict that advertisements will be based more on brands, than demand. So now, instead of seeing ads for flooring or cabinets when doing a home remodeling project, consumers will see general ads that may not pertain to their needs or queries. With businesses now spending billions of dollars less on advertising, it will also shift consumer spending. We must now think about how to put data privacy keys in the hands of individuals and how to create a world where people can choose what to share with businesses, to avoid invasive relevancy.

Now when customers and prospects offer and entrust companies with their data, there will be an even greater need to provide value right away in return. Subsequently, brands that offer direct value by way of incentives, surveys and contests in order to collect, manage and use zero-party data effectively will be able to build stronger, more authentic and longer-lasting relationships with their customers.

What kind of flexible marketing practices would you recommend to navigate in the post-cookie era?

Losing the ability to advertise based on user intent means that marketers will have to get creative and adapt, or die trying to keep up. Businesses need to sit down and review the tactics they have in their current suite of marketing tools. They must ask themselves what is valuable to their business. I recommend casting a wider net by utilizing LinkedIn and other digital tools – other than Facebook – and consider what the right message is by leveraging the data you already have. Now is the time to pivot.

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Company Insights

What is the future of cloud data integration platforms in the AI / ML era? How does Talend transform the overall data management experience?

As more data is automated, the overall importance of cloud data integration increases. We need to continually improve the techniques we use to manage and govern the data before it’s processed in analytics. There could be a significant risk of skewing AI/ML results with unhealthy data – and the benefits of building an accurate model are huge. That all depends on ensuring healthy data is provided to the AI/ML engines before they model patterns and predict outcomes.

Modern cloud data integration platforms will help customers leverage the promise of AI/ML by augmenting the user experience with suggestions and recommendations. It will start with productivity recommendations to take the work out of working with data. It will continue with insights into the data needed. Insights include detecting anomalies and outliers the human will not find, which can be given to the data scientists in order to refine the data and have augmented decisions. In all cases, though explainable, AI is key to adoption in a wide variety of industries. If you can explain it, you can trust it, right?

With 24/7 uptime, industry-leading reliability, and a more straightforward learning curve, services like Talend’s give data managers greater control for less expense—in time, and actual dollars—than approaches built entirely in-house.

Which industries are most likely to benefit the most from adopting your Cloud services? Could you tell us about the AI and Machine Learning features included in your platform?

Businesses of all sizes, across every industry, are reinventing themselves, creating new business models, and leaning into their data in new ways and more deliberately than ever before.  The advent of mobile, social, cloud and AI has wholly changed the volume of data globally and how businesses interact with each other and with their customers. Hence, every business needs to transform itself into a dynamic business. The core of all this change is data, which means new data management systems lay at the heart of those businesses. The new requirements for data management are different than they once were; it’s no longer about the mechanics of moving data from point A to point B. 

The new requirements are about ensuring data performance teams are adapting as quickly as the business needs and providing the data is healthy across every facet of the business.  In that way, every industry is impacted.

AI/ML-based scenarios require reliable and sound databases to allow data scientists to give full power to their model. The adage garbage in, garbage out still applies. The integration of data quality for data scientists is a critical success factor that, if not considered, can lead predictive models to failure. Through its collaborative data integration platform, Talend democratizes reliable data for data scientists and allows them to share their data with others.

Talend leverages AI/ML technologies to replicate simple tasks at scale and simplify the work of data professionals. However, most users are reluctant to leverage its advanced technologies because they don’t understand how they work. Since 2020, we have been working to break out of this black box effect by making the underlying algorithms transparent and understandable to provide augmented intelligence.

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If we were to evaluate the modern Customer Experience management technology maturity trends, which industries have been leading in adoption of these capabilities? How do you enable the slower / lagging industries to come to pace with Service Cloud/ CRM adoption?

The pandemic forced both retail and eCommerce providers to scramble to adapt for a remedy. Traditional brick and mortar could no longer rely on foot traffic for customer connection. They had to rapidly change to online shopping platforms while organizing click & collect in stores. This implies pooling physical and digital data sources that often lived separately and were still looking for ways to converge. E-commerce providers were inundated with orders and could not keep up with demands or subsequent logistics required to execute.

Both industries had to streamline customer support technology. Retail organizations that successfully navigated these changes used data to transform the way they interacted with their customers and conducted their business operations. But there are numerous challenges to using data to achieve these goals, including data protection legislation and unlocking data in legacy systems.

French children’s clothing retailer and Talend customer Tape à l’oeil is an example. In early 2020, Tape à l’oeil’s digital data strategy accelerated with the Covid-19 crisis. The company needed to optimize its online operations as the pandemic accelerated the research online, purchase offline (ROPO) behaviors of their customers.

Talend is helping this retailer empower data workers and business users with trusted customer intelligence in real-time to help it optimize and personalize the online shopping experience for its customers. The company uses Talend Data Fabric to speed information delivery and data exchange through APIs to manage its supply chain. It relies on Talend Stitch to rapidly integrate data from the web and social media platforms, and analyzes sales performance.

The retail industry has been heavily impacted and disrupted with Covid-19 with a massive change in customers’ purchasing behaviors. Tape à l’oeil’s data strategy and achievements illustrate the importance of relying on complete, clean and trusted data to react faster and mitigate risk. We are proud to support Tape à l’oeil’s data journey and continuous growth.

The rise of new privacy regulations also makes consumers question their rights and the use of data by brands. More and more consumers are reluctant to trust a brand that does not respect their data. Data management is therefore becoming an issue for the entire brand.

Luckily, Talend understands and can solve integration, customer experience and privacy challenges. We also solve them for business users by democratizing our self-service tools. Take, for example, data anonymization, an essential element for privacy. A data engineer can use powerful data masking functionalities and delegate them to business experts via simplified self-service functionalities.

Tell us how hiring trends in the Cloud industry would further evolve in the innovation sector? Which domains are you most excited about?

There is a huge demand for technology skills and analytics skills across all aspects of business. These positions will not just sit inside an IT organization but will be pervasive throughout an organization. This demand will only grow as organizations increasingly rely on data-driven insights to make intelligent business decisions.

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Any advice for young technology professionals looking at digital experiences market with eagerness:

For anyone coming into the tech space, I always recommend going back to the basics. You don’t have to be great at everything. There is something to be said about who you are targeting and what you are trying to accomplish when looking at the digital experience.

A massive portion of technology and marketing is learning by experience. Marketing is becoming a data-driven science approach. The more you can further yourself there, the further you will go in your career.

Tag a person from the industry whose answers you would like to see here:

Meagen Eisenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at TripActions

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

Lauren joins Talend with a lengthy track record of accelerating revenue growth at some of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing SaaS companies through modern digital marketing, branding, and demand generation programs. Previously, she served as Vice President of Marketing at Box and has also held executive roles at AdRoll and Salesforce.

Talend Logo

Talend, a leader in data integration and data integrity, is changing the way the world makes decisions. 

Talend Data Fabric is the only platform that brings together all the data integration and governance capabilities, to simplify every aspect of working with data. Talend delivers complete, clean, and uncompromised data in real-time to all. This unified approach to data has made it possible to create the Talend Trust Score, an industry-first innovation that instantly assesses the reliability of any data set to bring clarity and confidence to every decision. 

Over 6,000 customers across the globe have chosen Talend to run their businesses on trusted data. Talend is recognized as a leader in its field by leading analyst firms and industry media. 

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