Nikki Mendonça, Accenture Interactive Operations | Adobe Summit 2019

Nikki Mendonça, Accenture Interactive Operations | Adobe Summit 2019

October 7, 2019 1 By Bernardo Ryan


>>Live from Las Vegas, it’s theCUBE, covering Adobe Summit 2019, brought to you by Accenture Interactive.>>Hey, welcome back everyone, CUBE’s live coverage here in Las Vegas for Adobe Summit 2019. I’m John Furrier and Jeff Frick, my cohost, next guest is Nikki Mendonca, who’s the global president of Accenture Interactive Operations. Welcome to the cube, thanks for joining us.>>Thank you, thanks for having me.>>So, learning a lot about Accenture Interactive, what is Accenture Interactive Operations, what does that do, what’s the function?>>Accenture Interactive Operations is the managed service arm of Accenture Interactive and together we design, build and activate, scale the best experiences on the planet for our clients. What we were finding is a lot of clients were very happy with our design-led creation of experiences but they really wanted more help to activate, operate and scale those experiences across the world. I think scalability is now becoming the crux of many of our CMO conversations and so it was very important for us to build out Accenture Interactive Operations to scale those experiences for our clients.>>Can you give an example of what it entails? I’m just trying to follow it through, so operations, meaning the interactive team sets up everything, they hand it off to you and you guys wire it together, is it in the Cloud, is it analytics, take us through how the operations workflow is.>>Yeah, well, Accenture Interactive, very much, design and build the solution for clients and, absolutely, we then come in to play to make sure that we develop a man and machine operating model, so, basically, bespoke marketing engines for clients that are data-powered and also we design hub and spoke models for clients across the world to give them the speed, scale and agility that they now need in their comms. So, very much, we architect the right org model that is needed for the client, that’s the marketing operating model as well as the content operating model so that we can effectively take an experience and scale it across multiple touch points, seamlessly, with huge brand consistency across every single consumer touchpoint.>>So they stand it up very quickly, then, so their goal is get it into market quickly, stand it up, get it going.>>Absolutely, and rapid standup is really so important because there’s a speed in, sort of, compression of go to market and now clients can’t have weeks and months of lag time between a creation of a product and the deployment of the product. And so, that’s why we critically have come to the party with a very man and machine and data-driven model to give them that speed. So it really is from idea, ideation, proof of concept, out to market, we’ve truncated that whole supply chain and marketing supply chain quite significantly.>>So, Nikki, you talked about scale and global reach but, at the same time, everyone wants personalization so the challenge of personalization at scale is very different than just scale for scale’s sake, so how are you helping clients address that part of the equation?>>Well, first and foremost, with any approach to hyper personalization, the way that we actually consume and segment the data is critical. So at Accenture Interactive Operations we’ll play a key role in dealing with first, second and third party data of a client’s to be able to devise the right cohort groups that they need to effectively target in a world of hyper personalization that’s directly related to their growth ambitions. Then we will make sure that the data actually feeds the content creation and customization so that the right message, conversation, experience is going out to the right client, at the right time, in the right way and I think we’ve really honed that for a lot of clients, BMW, Disney, Mellier Hotels, GSK, etc, etc, and it’s proving unbelievably successful.>>You guys are a huge partner of Adobe and partner of the year pretty much every year, obviously a great presence globally, you got to be excited, when you look at the charts on yesterday’s key note, when they lay out the platform because they’re setting up exactly the kinds of mechanisms around data pipe lining, semantic translations, and then real time person, I mean they’re building everything into a platform to make it data-driven and that’s the hard part of all this. What you just laid out is a hugely complex story and to do that quickly is huge task.>>Oh, absolutely.>>So you got to like what Adobe’s doing now with their platform.>>I am loving what Adobe’s doing and they are making it easier, they are almost accelerating what we’re now referring to as the platformization of marketing and marketing technology is now circa 30% of the marketing budget, that’s a lot, I mean, that’s obviously the highest it’s ever been and it’s only going to go one way. So now, to be able to actually set up, design the right marketing technology, leverage it fully and also, once you’ve got foundational tech like Adobe, to also build additional vertical bespoke technology onto that really starts to give clients a competitive advantage.>>So lets start with the challenges marketers have because we’ve seen the evolution of the Internet infrastructure since their Web 1.0 to whatever version you call it now but, in my mind, I just see this montage of this martech stack, the logo slides that comes out every year–>>The LUMAcape.>>Oh my God, it’s huge, so the question is has martech failed to live up to its expectations with all these point solutions or is it just natural evolution that these things are kind of consolidating into pillars of technologies with more business conversations over the topic cause that’s the question that we hear a lot from practitioners, it’s like, “Look, I don’t need another platform, “I don’t need another tool, I got tons of tools, “I got tons of platform options, I just want this stuff to work.”>>Absolutely.>>So how do you see those key challenges for marketers?>>I think it’s incredibly challenging and to your reference to the LUMAcape, the LUMAscape has over 6,000 martech and adtech companies in it and we are going to see an acceleration of that consolidation in that landscape. You’re absolutely right, the point solutions are going to quickly accelerate to an end to end solution. So there’s a bit of musical chairs going on at the moment with regards to the M&A landscape and it’s getting more acute, actually, by the week. So marketers are very, very challenged, still, to be able to procure the right technology, to be able to also make sure that they’re getting maximum utilization from that technology. Some of that technology is very, very expensive so they have bought the licenses but, actually, they don’t necessarily have the skills, the talent, the capabilities to drive the technology effectively. It’s almost like having a Ferrari but not having a driving license, so we’re helping clients to be able to properly drive the technology and to be able to also ascertain if they have the right technology in the first place because the landscape is moving so quickly but really–>>Or they bought the wrong technology and they got to repurpose it and re-skill, it’s a huge operational challenge hence your operations comes in and this comes up a lot in our conversations, “I love the new capability, “I just wish I knew how to implement it,” and then operationalize it and staff around it so that everything’s, in my marketing mix, an agility way, not a waterfall kind of process.>>Completely, and that’s what we do in terms of our human and machine model, we look at the adtech, martech stacks that we’re building for clients, make sure that they’re truly proprietary, bespoke, doing the job that they’re intended to do in terms of marketing for growth and then, literally, we help clients maximize everything that they can get out of that technology and making sure that, really, data and analytics is driving the content creation, driving the content customization cause you’re now in a world of algorithmic optimization when it comes to atomic content, lots and lots of little pieces of content that are needed to fire at loads and loads of different cohort groups. We can take that all on and actually make it pretty painless for a client to do that across multiple countries.>>Nikki, what about from the other side of the equation, the receiver of all this micro targeted atomic information?>>The consumer.>>This is so much stuff, I was thinking it’s like driving through a snowstorm with your headlights at night, you know, it’s just like (snow hitting windscreen), how do you get people’s attention, how are you helping people get attention in this increasingly cluttered, busy and just over sensitized, in-bound world in which we live, as consumers and it’s one thing for B to C, I think of the poor B to B marketers, oh my goodness, what a crazy challenge they have now.>>Yeah, I think it’s a great question and I think that now it’s less about attention, necessarily, it’s more about relevance because if you manage to achieve hyper relevance in your communication, customer-first communication, then, by default, you are going to get the right attention and you’re going to get the right result from that experience, conversation, communication, etc, etc. So, I think, being able to really excel at hyper personalization is really what we’re focused on now and data is the answer to that and data, hand in hand with artificial intelligence and machine learning, really gives us an unbelievable combination and puts hyper personalization on steroids.>>I got to ask you, on that point, cause content becomes a key part of the marketing mix, at all, at levels, earned, owned and ALT web paid, all that good stuff but content is about data too because being relevant is also contextually aligned with the targeted distribution of those audiences. So the question is, we’re seeing, with our videos, content drives a lot of community engagement, how are customers thinking about the role of community because, as the users become part of their brand engine, this is now part of a new closed loop that’s developing. How do you guys see that connecting? Because if you get the content right and you get the targeting through your operations you then will be able to put certain content and certain channels with the right data, that means the programming has to be relevant, which is another task, but if they get that right the community engagement goes off the charts. How do you see the community part of that developing? What does the brand marketers do after that?>>I think the community aspect is critically important and it’s hand in hand with the importance of first-party data and we really are gravitating towards a world of first-party marketing activation. The first-party data that clients hold is unbelievably potent and therein lies the secrets of success to creating a highly engaged community and, yes, we are taking a leadership role now in producing long and short form content when it comes to making sure that it’s laser focused to that particular cohort group. It has to be hyper relevant and, absolutely to your point, some of the community members want to create that content themselves, so we also play a part in, whether it’s the finer points of influencer marketing, making sure that we’re helping these stakeholders create the right content and then helping them distribute it effectively and efficiently.>>And then scoring users and relevant reputation comes in.>>Completely, yes, because they become key influencers in B to C and B to B, are so important as it pertains to the virality of the communication. So they’re almost like channels, you know, the influencers are almost like channels in and of themselves and they can actually put the communication on steroids if they are effective at their influencing role.>>So, if I get what you’re saying, then the new formula is a collection of niches, is the new reach number, so rather than a blast to the reaches, it’s a collection of niches that are programmable and addressable.>>Absolutely, it’s almost like a collection of cohort groups together gives you that mass communication.>>I’m curious, the take on some of the softer types of communications and content around mission and we heard Satya in the keynote earlier today talking about mission and a lot of people are really, not so much concerned, but they care, they care about what the mission of the company is and some of these social, not necessarily direct attributes of the product or direct benefits of using the product but more of a by-the-company, not necessarily the product that they sell, how do you see that evolving in the marketers tool kit and the rising importance of that type of engagement with the community?>>Yeah, when we talk to clients, CMOs and CDOs specifically, we talk about purpose as well as the product differentiation. I think in today’s world you have to have both, and by purpose, you don’t necessarily have to have a lofty purpose because not everyone can, I mean, look at a lot of CPG clients, they can’t have a lofty purpose but they can be purposeful, they can be hyper relevant in your life and that’s what we try and attain and achieve. So, I think it’s very, very important, we’re doing a lot of work at the moment with clients almost stepping back and saying, “Well, what business are you actually in, “what is your raison d’être, what is your purpose in life “and how do we amplify that, then, “through all forms of communication?” Because then, once you’ve got that sussed, you really do have the critical ingredients of designing, creating the best experiences on the planet and activating them brilliantly.>>And transparency becomes a big part of the user trust equation, as well as user experience and relevance because, if you’re transparent, they want to see the data. This becomes a whole new dynamic.>>The transparency is critical because anyone can find anything in two minutes on the inter web so you have to, transparency is not–>>It’s the new normal.>>Trust and transparency is not an option.>>Alright, so I got to ask you about the conflict between innovation and regulation and market dynamics because we’ve seen innovation always run hard and fast and then regulation tries to catch up and, kind of, fit in. First-party data is super important, as this new shift to digital is happening, where it’s moving from the old email blast to the old communication static channels to more dynamic, you’re starting to see the rise of distribution platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, among zillion other third-party API-driven platforms. They’re all having third-party data so how does your customer brands balance the need for first-party information that they have and, or are now putting their content out in these channels is a huge thing because not everyone has open data. So how do you guys view that trend and how early is it, what needs to be done, is it okay making progress?>>Yeah, first and foremost, the clients that do have very rich first-party data, particularly financial clients, telco clients, etc, we really help them amplify that first-party data to help them activate. With clients that don’t necessarily have rich first-party data, like a lot of CPG clients, we help them build that first-party data and that’s also sometimes where the purpose comes in and the community-building comes in because when you get those two things, when you hone those two things you can actually start to build a community and then you start to build richer first-party data, so then we can help clients activate off of that. Third-party data, we’re getting a little bit more forensic with regards to whether or not that third-party data is truly additive and sometimes it’s the smaller third-party verticals, specific to travel, etc, farmer, etc, etc, where the third-party data is actually most potent. So it’s important to almost look at depth more than breadth when it comes to–>>And then blending the data together in an alchemy-rich kind of way.>>Exactly, but it has to be additive because there are some third-party data sources which aren’t truly additive to activation therefore we can discard them.>>Nikki, great content, you’re amazing.>>Thank you.>>Your insights are broad and great, really relevant, thank you for sharing the data here on theCUBE, appreciate it.>>Thanks for having me, it’s been fun, thank you.>>Live coverage here at Adobe Summit 2019, I’m John Furrier with Jeff Frick, stay tuned for more day two coverage after this short break. (upbeat music)