Read the full article on MarTechSeries.com (by Studipto Ghosh)
Q: What was the most impactful event in technology for you in 2018? How did the event/moment change the way you think about business?
Without a doubt, GDPR going into effect in May had massive repercussions for the tech space. We knew it was coming, of course, but now that it’s a reality, we’re operating in an entirely new landscape. There’s now a substantial regulatory focus on privacy and security, and GDPR is just the beginning — the start of a larger evolution. We’re going to see regulators continue to step forward to protect consumer privacy, as they’re already doing in California. Executives are going to have to be deeply focused on privacy and security in the coming years.
Q: What is MarSec and how does it fit into the CMO’s tech stack?
Marketing Security (MarSec) is the real-time control and management of enterprise and customers’ data on websites and other digital properties to prevent leakage of data and personal identification information (PII). This isn’t just an optional piece of the tech stack. It’s an essential component that needs to sit at the center of a marketing organization’s consumer data systems.
Q: What opportunities and challenges did you and/or Ensighten identify at the start of the 2018 and manage to conquer?
Ensighten identified emerging and growing needs in the privacy and security realm back in 2017. With a regulation as weighty as GDPR, you need to be a few steps ahead. In 2018, we were focused on tackling these privacy and security issues head-on. Our phones were ringing off the hook in the lead-up to GDPR, and that continues.
Our preparedness for GDPR paid off, both for our own company and our clients. Going into 2019, the awareness of new Marketing Security needs — especially in light of all of the ongoing data breach news — will continue to grow, and we’re going to be heavily focused on educating the market on vulnerabilities and solutions.
Q: What do you think about AI-as-a-service gaining more traction from sales-focused companies? How do you prepare for this phase of digital transformation?
AI-as-a-service — and AI in general — is still very much in the early adopter state. In a few years, AI will be a transformational force in our industry, but it’s not quite there yet. The products are still taking shape, and companies are still figuring out where AI can deliver real value. It’s an area to be tracked, for sure, but if companies race to implement solutions right now, they’re going to find that the products on the market aren’t quite where they need to be.
Q: What are your predictions in Marketing Automation and Sales Intelligence for 2019?
Marketing Automation is a fast-developing field, and AI applications in this space are in their infancy. Given all of the news around data breaches in 2018, I think 2019 is going to be a year where companies take a step back and look to really get a handle on their data infrastructures.
They’ve spent years cobbling together solutions and data flows, and the result has been sieve-like systems that have left them vulnerable to data leakage and malicious attacks. Marketers in, particular, have a great deal of access to data — too much data, in some cases — and the need to secure it has become real. That’s where they’ll be focusing in 2019.
Q: Any advice to the CEOs and CMOs of tech companies.
Executives cannot take Marketing Security for granted. I once had a conversation with the CEO of a major company that had just experienced a massive marketing data breach, and he told me, “I had no idea when I woke up this morning that this was even a possibility.” Executives can’t be caught off guard like that. The effects of a breach are massive and long-lasting. From an innovation standpoint, they can bring you to an absolute standstill, and no company today can afford to lose competitive ground that way.
Data security is an executive matter. It’s not something you throw over the fence to IT and assume it’s been handled. CEOs and CMOs need to roll up their sleeves and understand how their systems interact and, most importantly, where vulnerabilities exist. And they need to create a culture of prevention in which vulnerabilities are addressed before they ever become a problem.