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“How to reduce marketing expenditures by 20% while attracting new customers at the same time?,” a conversation with Omer Artun, CEO of AgilOne


Omer Artun, CEO of AgilOne and Jack Voileau, Partner of Crescendo Consulting
Omer Artun, CEO of AgilOne and Jack Voileau, Partner of Crescendo Consulting

How to reduce marketing expenditures while at the same time acquiring new customers? This is a question I touched upon during my trip to the Silicon Valley with Jack Voileau when we met with Omer Artun.

I/ Presentation of Omer Artun and Jack Voileau

Omer holds a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience and Physics from Brown University where he studied under Nobel Laureate Physicist Leon Cooper on pattern recognition, data mining and complex systems modeling at the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems. Between 1999 and 2002 he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, consulting for high-tech and retail companies on strategy development. He specialized in analytical areas such as pricing, direct marketing and customer segmentation. Between 2002 and 2004, he was VP of Strategic Marketing at CDW/Micro Warehouse, a $6B direct reseller of technology products. Between 2004 and 2006, he was Sr. Director of B2B Marketing at Best Buy at its newly founded Best Buy For Business division. Omer was an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business, teaching graduate-level relationship marketing and analytical marketing courses. Omer is CEO of AgilOne.

 

Jack Voileau has been working with leading consulting firms, including Accenture and Capgemini. He’s also worked at software companies such as SAS Institute and Medasys. He has held both operational management and business development responsibilities. As an operational executive, he has managed multi-functional and multi-sites teams of managers and consultants with full Sales, HR and P&L responsibilities in multicultural international environments. In terms of B2B business development, he has grown software and services sales of complex solutions through direct and alliance/partners channels. Today, Jack is a Partner of Cresendo Consulting. He helps software companies with their :

  • overall strategy (Saas,open source,…) and Go-To-Market
  • market and competitive intelligence
  • strategic and operational marketing, including partners and alliances
  • professional services alignment (scope of services, resources,…)
  • R&D organization and processes (development, testing,…)
  • human resources (recruiting, evaluation and development)

 

II/ AgilOne wants to improve customer knowledge

 

If we walked into a butcher in 1960, butchers knew their clients by their names, knew their client’s consumption habits and would suggest relevant goods accordingly. But now, the world has changed. Today, consumers turn to supermarkets and get their meat in a styrofoam plastic box and pay. The relationship with consumers has been lost for the sake of efficiency. However, knowing consumer preferences remains critical to maximize up-selling. So how do we keep an efficient purchasing process while at the same time tapping to into consumer data in order to maximize up-selling?

 

Today, Big Data technologies provide a chance to replicate the 1960 butcher client relationship and do it at scale. Where a butcher can understand and anticipate the needs of several dozens of consumers, Big Data offers the possibility of understanding and anticipating of several million consumers. A butcher can understand 40 customers but can’t understand 2 million customers.

 

III/ How to reduce marketing expenditures by 20% while attracting new customers at the same time?

In other words, Big Data provides human decision-makers with the ability to understand all individual consumers needs at the regional and even at the country level.  Big Data powered by machine learning technology helps to understand a much larger number of customers.  In other words, humans AND machines are superior to machines alone. And the output that’s provided to marketers must read something like: “If I have this many customers doing this kind of stuff. How do I build intelligence so that the marketer, rather than dealing with a million customers, can deal with 15 personas?” Instead of  hand-coding emails, customized emails go out to each persona.

 

In a follow-up conversation, Omer talked about how he proceeded in more detail.