Meet 22 of the most important executives shaping the future of marketing technology
- From cloud giants to small startups, tech firms are capitalizing on marketing technology — a market pegged to make $100 billion this year.
- Business Insider has rounded up 22 top executives leading “martech” companies.
- Our list reflects the array of companies that specialize in measurement, e-commerce, and data.
- Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Cloud giants are making billion-dollar bets to build out marketing-tech stacks that crunch reams of data and promise marketers the ability to measure everything from how many people bought something after looking at an email promotion to the exact time that website traffic spiked.
And they can tell advertisers whether any of the paid media they’re running worked in getting people to shop.
At the same time, a new crop of smaller startups and established firms are trying to fend off the cloud giants with tools that help marketers measure data and prepare for privacy laws like Europe’s GDPR and the coming California Consumer Privacy Act.
The opportunity for “martech” companies is lucrative. According to research firm Warc, marketers will spend $100 billion on marketing technology this year.
Business Insider recognizes 22 of the executives leading the charge at marketing-tech firms. Each year we publish a list of the hottest adtech and martech companies. This time we’re separating the two categories to reflect the growing number of companies that marketers work with. (We’ll publish the adtech list later this year.)
To pick the finalists, we used a mix of our reporting and some 60 nominations from readers. We included established companies as well as startups.
We also aimed to put together a diverse group of people, both in the range of titles and responsibilities and in the challenges they’re facing. They include measuring marketing spend and preparing for privacy regulation.
The rise of Amazon is reflected in this list too. Retailers are increasingly balancing selling their products on Amazon and their own e-commerce sites, and several companies highlighted help retailers navigate issues like fake reviews, logistics, and advertising.
Here are the 22 martech executives to know, listed alphabetically.
Keith Anderson, SVP of strategy and insights at Profitero, wants to take on Amazon’s “black box” of data.
Total funding to date: $28.7 million
Retailers rely on Amazon and e-commerce sites to sell products, but as they complain that Amazon is secretive about how it prices and ranks their products. Profitero says it can give them data that Amazon doesn’t.
Companies such as Adidas, General Mills, and L’Oreal use Profitero to track granular metrics like product ratings, reviews, stock rates, and competitor sales. Earlier this year, the firm launched a tool that spits out daily traffic and conversion data for Amazon sellers.
Anderson leads Profitero’s product innovation and partnership team. This year, the company made a deal with Kantar that lets retailers layer Kantar’s consulting and analytic services on top of Profitero’s data to better understand how people shop.
Profitero also supplies retailers’ Amazon data to Nielsen, which feeds that data into its reporting tools for clients.
Oded Benyo, president of email at Epsilon, wants to make email cool for brands.
Revenue: $2.1 billion (Publicis Group’s 2018 revenue)
In April, ad holding giant Publicis Group bought Epsilon for $4.4 billion in its largest acquisition to bring its data capabilities to ad clients.
One of the biggest data brokers, 40-year-old Epsilon helps marketers collect and sort first-party data such as email addresses and loyalty programs. Benyo leads Epsilon’s email practice, helping clients like Sephora and Dunkin’ use first- and third-party data in campaigns. He also leads the international growth team for Epsilon’s digital-media business Conversant.
His team has built machine-learning tools that help brands sync up email, text message, and push notifications that collectively reach 200 million consumers. According to Epsilon, this use of machine learning increased its clients’ email revenue by more than $750 million.
Tom Coburn, cofounder and CEO of Jebbit, wants to help marketers collect first-party data.
Total funding to date: $22.2 million
As privacy regulations make it harder for marketers to use third-party data — which is often collected and sold to advertisers without people’s knowledge — Jebbit is promising to help marketers collect first-party data that people knowingly share with marketers.
The startup helps marketers run promotions, contests, and quizzes that require consumers to enter information such email address, phone number, or ZIP code. For Monster.com, for example, Jebbit created an interactive quiz that emailed job seekers openings that met their qualifications.
Coburn oversees Jebbit’s product, relationships with clients including Sheseido, Live Nation, and Express, and company-culture initiatives. Eight-year-old Jebbit wouldn’t disclose its revenue but said that Coburn helped double it last year.
Grad Conn, chief experience and marketing officer at Sprinklr, wants to be a one-stop-shop for companies’ social-media needs.
Revenue: $239 million
In 2016, Sprinklr raised $105 million to grow a software juggernaut on the backs of social-media companies, valuing the company at an eye-popping $1.8 billion.
The company pulls Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter data to monitor trends, customer service, and manage crises for brands like Amazon, Coca-Cola and Burger King. Now it’s trying to get clients to expand their use of Sprinklr to things like messaging, news, reviews, and blog data.
Conn led a rebrand of Sprinklr this year and created customized dashboards to show clients how Sprinklr works — efforts that helped double lead-generation growth in the past year, according to the company.
Keith Eadie, VP and GM at Adobe Advertising Cloud, is trying to help clients plan and measure their campaigns.
Revenue: About $11.2 billion for fiscal year 2019, according to third-quarter guidance
Adobe wants to be marketers’ top platform for planning and measuring digital campaigns.
Under Eadie, Adobe pitches agencies, brands, and publishers data-based software to buy, measure, and tweak creative in ad campaigns. His team also helps marketers identify the fees that adtech companies are known to sometimes siphon off from programmatic ad campaigns.
As ad dollars move from linear TV to OTT, Eadie has spearheaded Adobe’s TV business. In March, Adobe inked a deal with Roku to help marketers target OTT ads. Under Eadie’s leadership, TV has grown from zero to 40% of Adobe Advertising Cloud’s revenue.
Gadi Eliashiv, cofounder and CEO of Singular, claims to show advertisers which campaigns actually work.
Total funding to date: $50 million
Every marketer wants to know how much of its advertising leads to a sale, and Singular says it has answers.
The firm tracks $10 billion in ad spend on platforms such as Facebook, Apple, Google, and Snap to measure stats like attribution and lifetime value for performance-obsessed advertisers such as Lyft, Yelp, and Match. The firm also helps marketers prepare for regulation like GDPR and detect ad fraud in apps that run shady campaigns for its clients.
When he’s not running Singular, Eliashiv leads a working group called Mobile Attribution Privacy Coalition that aims to help marketers measure advertising in the age of privacy. The group includes organizations like the Mobile Marketing Association as well as Singular competitors such as Branch.
Gil Elbaz, CEO of Factual, is trying to do location-based targeting in the age of privacy.
Total funding to date: $104 million
As privacy laws clamp down on advertisers’ use of people’s smartphone data, location-data firm Factual is a rare company that survived by reworking its business to stay compliant.
After GDPR hit Europe, Factual shut down several of its biggest location-based products and cut more than half of the data companies it worked with.
The firm’s business is split into a licensing arm that powers Apple, Uber, and Snap’s products, as well as products that help marketers measure location data. Factual also plugs into adtech firms like Google and The Trade Desk to help advertisers target ads.
Toby Gabriner, CEO of NextRoll, wants to go beyond ad retargeting.
Total funding to date: $90 million
NextRoll is pushing hard to move beyond adtech. The firm is best known for technology that follows people around the web with ads for products they’ve looked at, but NextRoll wants to be known for marketing tech.
Formerly known as AdRoll, the firm has added business-to-business tools for lead generation and measurement. For instance, its RollWorks arm helps B2B companies mesh marketing and sales teams. NextRoll wouldn’t give revenue numbers but said its software as a service (SaaS) business generates $1 million a month.
Under Gabriner, NextRoll has become profitable and shifted into new products. He also helped the firm ink deals with martech firms Salesforce, BigCommerce, and Yotpo. Gabriner had previously held executive roles at AOL-owned Adap.tv and adtech firm [x+1].
Jeff Glueck, CEO of Foursquare, seeks to be the world’s biggest location player.
Estimated revenue: $100 million
Even as privacy laws threaten to squash location-based advertising, Foursquare had a big year.
Once a check-in app, Foursquare evolved into a martech firm whose location-technology powers analytics, ad targeting, measurement, developer tools, and research and development for 1,000 clients. As marketers try to understand how well their ads work, Foursquare has moved further into measurement and attribution.
The company claims to reach 100 million monthly devices and says that it expects to become the first location firm to be accredited by industry watchdog Media Rating Council.
Under Glueck, Foursquare acquired long-time rival Placed and raised $150 million this year, bringing the company’s total amount raised to more than $390 million. Glueck has hinted at ambitions to acquire other location companies and take the firm public.
Anneka Gupta, president and head of products and platforms at LiveRamp, wants to be the Switzerland of marketing.
Revenue: $286 million for fiscal year 2019
As more marketers get their data and targeting in line with privacy regulations, LiveRamp is increasingly viewed as the rare neutral player capable of working across tech firms, marketers, and publishers.
Gupta has helped advertisers get ready for regulation laws like Europe’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. This year, LiveRamp rolled out a tool for publishers and marketers that uses a privacy-friendly ID to traffic display, mobile, and connected-TV ad space.
One of LiveRamp’s original employees, Gupta leads product development and launches and played a role in LiveRamp’s acquisitions that included Dutch consent-management platform Faktor and TV-tech firm Data Plus Math this year.
Jay Henderson, SVP of people management at Acoustic, seeks to take on the cloud giants.
Revenue: Between $250 million and $500 million
Marketers often grumble about wanting to be able to work with more than one marketing cloud. Enter Acoustic.
It formed in July when IBM sold its IBM Watson Marketing arm to private-equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP with the goal of creating the biggest independent marketing cloud that can compete with Adobe, Salesforce, and SAP.
Acoustic focuses on artificial intelligence, analytics, and content-management systems and works with 3,500 clients including American Eagle, PayPal, and Nationwide. The company claims that its tools are flexible enough to work with other vendors.
Henderson is SVP of product development and was part of the management team that spun out Acoustic from IBM. He was previously IBM Watson Marketing’s director of product management and spearheads Acoustic’s roadmap of products, including creating features and services.
Sameer Kazi, CEO of Cheetah Digital, wants to bet big on first-party data.
Revenue: $300 million
As privacy regulation pressures marketers to get consumer consent for their data and get consumers to opt in to share their email addresses, Cheetah Digital is trying to help companies beef up their first-party data.
Under Kazi, Cheetah Digital rebranded from email company Experian Marketing Services two years ago to include mobile and digital data. He also led two acquisitions in the past year aimed at helping marketers use more first-party data: Stellar Loyalty, which runs loyalty programs for brands, and Wayin, which helps brands collect first-party data from contests and promotions.
Cheetah Digital sells brands such as Walgreens, American Express, and Hilton software to help organize data and run campaigns that collect first-party data.
Daniel Kravtsov, founder and CEO of Improvado, wants to put marketers on a data-vendor diet.
Total funding to date: $8 million
Improvado says marketers, on average, spend between 10 and 40 hours a week sifting through data. Improvado says it can slash that number.
The firm consolidates data from 180 companies like Facebook, Google, Shopify, and Amazon into one dashboard for clients including Coca-Cola and Philips and ad agencies such as WPP and Havas. The dashboard analyzes ads at campaign and geographic levels and then tracks stats like conversions and attribution.
Improvado has a handful of notable advertising and marketing execs as investors, including MediaMath’s CEO Joe Zawadski, BlueKai founder Omar Tawakol, and Pubmatic CEO Rajeev Goel.
Darcy Kurtz, VP of marketing at Mailchimp, wants to win small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Revenue: $700 million
Employees: More than 1,000
Mailchimp is best known for handling companies’ email newsletters, but under Kurtz it’s trying to becoming a full-blown martech company for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
This year it launched a CRM platform that businesses can use to track open rates and clicks and target customers most likely to interact with marketing. The company also rolled out tools to build websites and retarget ads to Facebook and Instagram users.
Mailchimp has also been pitching brands on a feature that plugs into payment company Square that lets people buy items from landing pages.
Michael Perry, director of product at Shopify, wants to take on Amazon.
Revenue: $1.1 billion in 2018
Amazon is obviously the e-commerce behemoth, but Shopify is quickly becoming a major contender in its own right.
Shopify is capitalizing on the glut of direct-to-consumer brands like Allbirds, Unilever, and Kylie Cosmetics that complain about Amazon’s ability to change prices and search rankings.
In this way, Shopify has gotten 800,000 merchants — including hemp and CBD product sellers — using it for everything from analytics, fulfillment, and ad buying.
Perry developed tools like a dashboard to manage marketing campaigns and an Apple Business Chat product that merchants use to talk with customers. He also led a product that connects Shopify’s platform with Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Microsoft ad-buying tools.
Leah Pope, VP of product marketing for Salesforce Marketing Cloud and CMO at Datorama, wants to help marketers with measurement.
Revenue: $16 billion for fiscal year 2020, according to its second-quarter guidance
Salesforce bought Datorama for a reported $800 million last year in a big bet to help marketers figure out which of their ads were most effective.
Since the acquisition, Pope spearheaded several big product launches like a marketplace for apps that can help marketers measure their email and lead-generation marketing as well as advertising. She’s working to roll out Salesforce’s first customer data platform this fall.
Before Datorama, Pope worked in tech-marketing roles at IBM and Synthesio. She is a member of Forrester’s Marketing Leadership board.
Peter Reinhardt, cofounder and CEO of Segment, wants to battle marketing giants over data.
Total funding to date: $284 million
Segment provides a dashboard where marketers can see all their customer data in one place.
The firm is one of a handful of consumer data platforms trying to compete with cloud giants like Salesforce and Adobe. According to data from the Customer Data Platform Institute, CDPs are expected to make $1 billion in revenue this year.
Brands like Glossier and Intuit use Segment to amass all their data from places like stores, email, and the web. Segment also sells tools that allow marketers to edit privacy preferences and delete a user’s data or block data from being shared with specific tech firms.
After two unsuccessful starts, Reinhardt landed on the idea of an open-source data tool and has secured $284 million in funding, giving the startup a valuation of $1.5 billion as of April.
Mollie Spilman, SVP of sales, revenue, and customer operations at Oracle Data Cloud, wants to see whether ads drive sales.
Revenue: $39.5 billion for fiscal year 2019
Over the past couple of years, Oracle has acquired a handful of companies, including Moat, Grapeshot, and Maximizer, to become a one-stop solution for marketers’ measurement and targeting challenges.
Spilman, who overseas all of Oracle Data Cloud’s sales operations, is charged with helping advertisers answer big questions like how their ads compare across platforms and whether ads drove sales. Oracle has signed deals with companies like Giphy and Samsung Ads to analyze ad viewability and ad fraud in the past few months.
Spilman also helps clients comply with privacy laws like Europe’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act. Such work includes meshing up first- and third-party data into Oracle’s data-management platform, and pushing European marketers to use contextual targeting that doesn’t rely on cookies or identifiable information.
Sara Spivey, CMO of Braze, wants to bring personalization to marketing.
Total funding to date: $175 million
Braze is one of a handful of startups that have raised millions to rival big marketing clouds that are known for charging high costs and cookie-cutter deals.
Braze helps brands including Domino’s, HBO, and Citi analyze gobs of email, mobile, and web data to create personalized emails, push notifications, and in-app notifications. For example, someone who recently looked at a product in a retailer’s app could be sent a push notification or email afterward with their name in the copy.
Spivey joined Braze in May to spearhead the company’s marketing and previously worked at Bazaarvoice. She has consolidated Braze’s customer experience and community teams to better handle clients’ needs and hired leaders with expertise in software-as-a-service businesses.
David Steinberg, cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Zeta Global, wants to become a big martech player.
Revenue: $400 million
Zeta Global positions itself as an independent marketing cloud with loads of first-party data and artificial intelligence that makes marketing work better.
The cloud uses first-party data from 750 million people for clients like American Airlines and Ralph Lauren. It also creates audience segments and customizes creative and sells a data cloud that marketers use to measure campaigns.
Under Steinberg, Zeta Global has been on an acquisition tear this year, snapping up AI firm Tenmos and Sizmek’s demand-side platform and data-management platform. Zeta Global has also struck deals with PlaceIQ and IgntionOne to grow its advertising business.
The firm has raised more than $150 million in equity and is valued at $1.3 billion.
Tomer Tagrin, CEO and cofounder of Yotpo, wants to fight fake product reviews.
Total funding to date: $101 million
As retailers seek to reduce their reliance on Amazon and fight fake reviews on e-commerce sites, Yotpo’s pitch is that it can help retailers make money from their own sites.
Togrin founded the company in 2011 to fight the growing number of fake reviews that plague retailers’ sites after being duped by a fake review himself. Since then, the company has raised $101 million and added other products to make e-commerce sites more interactive.
Yotpo sells software to big retailers like Glossier, Patagonia, and Stila Cosmetics that helps collect legitimate reviews by, say, giving consumers a coupon if they write a product review. Retailers can then design loyalty programs that encourage consumers to write reviews and run ads that promote products with the highest reviews. Retailers also can run social-media posts featuring shoppable products on their landing pages.
Alicia Tillman, global chief marketing officer at SAP, wants to make the cloud giant a consumer name.
Revenue: $28.6 billion for fiscal year 2020, according to second-quarter 2019 guidance
Marketers may know exactly what SAP does, but most people likely do not.
Tillman leads SAP’s marketing team of more than 1,800 employees that focus on positioning the company as a consumer-facing brand. Her team ran a cheeky print campaigns about SAP’s hefty acquisition of Qualtrics in February. This week, her team set up a pop-up in New York to promote a product that collects consumer sentiment.
SAP has acquired a handful of software firms like Qualtrics, Gigya, and CallidusCloud over the years to build out a marketing and tech practice to rival its cloud competitors.
Companies like Hershey and Avocados from Mexico pay to use SAP’s CRM, e-commerce, sales, and marketing tools to collect and manage their data. SAP’s marketing cloud, for example, keeps track of privacy preferences and stores audience profiles used to create campaigns.