Q&A with Ed Breault, Chief Marketing Officer at Aprimo

MEDIA 7 | November 28, 2019

Ed Breault, Chief Marketing Officer at Aprimo is a marketer with over 18 years of industry experience. At Aprimo, Ed is responsible for the global brand and growth which includes all Paid/Owned/Earned media, Brand Experience, Product Marketing, Industry Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Strategic Communications, Content Marketing, Analyst Relations, Alliance Marketing, Public Relations, Events, Demand Generation and Account-Based Marketing.

MEDIA 7: What’s your superpower?
ED BREAULT:
 I would say it’s applying the full spectrum of art and science that is required in marketing today. Not just left or right brained, but whole-brained strategy. Being human yet data-driven and really understanding numbers and (the right) metrics to make connections to business drivers. Add storytelling to that, so I can effectively communicate to my team, the CEO and CFO as well as my Board of Directors on those metrics, and connecting all that we are doing in marketing to the mission of the business. Then quickly shifting gears to the art and creative aspects of marketing that are required to engage an audience and tell great commercial stories that take complex concepts and craft them in a way that is interesting for people to pay attention to. I have to be the ultimate point of truth for the brand.

M7: At Aprimo, how have marketing leadership roles and responsibilities evolved over the past few years?
EB:
There are so many dimensions needed by marketing leaders today. There are several elements driving this evolution, it’s the new experience battlefront that is emerging and also marketers themselves driving changes. From a market perspective, there is a clear appetite for disruption and consumers are wanting more experiential elements to their buying experience and interactions with brands. Take a few direct to consumer disruptions like trialing products in-home, purchasing directly from a brand or even wanting to ensure that the producer’s trade practices are in line with the buyer’s or even a regulator’s for that matter. Then we want to try before we buy, and we emotionally care about the supply chain of products. Do we TRUST this brand to do business with them? Behind all of this is a story that needs to be told, and it is those marketers who know their audience well and make connections that will win the commercial game.

Back to the marketer, there are so many diverse backgrounds that marketers bring now and I’m really intrigued by those who have unconventional backgrounds because they contribute something uniquely new to the field. I love hearing about the marketer’s journey.


"Content is a massive investment for brands and Aprimo Digital Asset Management acts as a true hub of an organization's content management and experience lifecycle."

M7: Could you tell us about Aprimo’s creative ideation tool ‘Idea Lab’? How does it help marketers to move through the creative process from ideation to distribution of higher quality content?
EB:
 Aprimo Idea Lab is a place for early-stage ideation and there just haven’t been pure systems for ideas mixed with strategic planning so we filled in that whitespace for the market. This includes ideas from a strategic and tactical standpoint that is a bit of “safe” place to brainstorm in a highly collaborative workplace. Output is a new experience building block, a full campaign concept or brief, allowing the marketer and experience leader to think backwards from a great customer or content experience and purposefully architect it. This is all before you make financial commitments or commercial agreements with agencies or suppliers, and it feeds directly into financial scenario planning, so you can build the financial lens to your new breakthrough idea. It’s literally brainstorming brought to life and then connected to marketing production activities. So, if marketing is a ten-step process, this is step zero, and steps one and two. I’m in it every day. For me, the majority of my ideas hit me when I least expect it, so I immediately put them in Idea Lab and it functions as a “backlog” for thought-starters, then my team can collaboratively go run with it.

M7: What are some of the ways you optimize AI for your client base, when it comes to content development?
EB: 
We actually have artificial intelligence powering not just the production of content but the content creation process itself. We have machines creating content today, and one of the very specific use cases on that is what’s called a learnable AI. So basically, we have an artificial intelligence that can learn the context of a brand’s business. And, what it can then do is learn over time and it would know things like the proper focal points within an image.

Let’s say for example, there are three focal points in a piece of content or an image. Let’s say there is a model and she is sipping a coffee, she’s on her phone and she’s wearing a scarf. If you are in the business of selling and marketing scarfs, it would know that’s the focal point. If you’re in the business of marketing and selling coffee, it would know that’s the focal point. So, then it can make recommendations of what the right type of images, the form factor of the image, and knowing what creative resources would potentially do with that, the machine does for you. Since it’s able to learn your business, and let’s say you’re in the business of shoes, it would know the difference between a high-top and a high-heel learning over time with great accuracy.

Some of our early tests were showing 98% recognition and accuracy once it’s learned. Truly powerful. Also from a productivity standpoint, there are just some things AI handles better than humans like monitoring patterns, observing and making educated predictions about the future of projects. AI picks up on overlooked habits of team members and frees up a new era of project management to focus more on the complex processes behind a management strategy. Oh yeah, and unlike humans, doesn’t lose focus, fatigue, go on vacation or lose productivity while entertaining themselves with funny cat memes at work.


"AI picks up on overlooked habits of team members and frees up a new era of project management to focus more on the complex processes behind a management strategy."

M7: Could you elaborate on Aprimo’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution that helps deliver personalized experiences at scale and as a service?
EB: 
Yes! Content is a massive investment for brands and Aprimo Digital Asset Management acts as a true hub of an organization's content management and experience lifecycle. As I discussed earlier with Idea Lab, you eventually need content to action those ideas to deliver great experiences. And then workflows, to move along to create the content whether that’s AR, VR or even text and other types of multimedia or images. Regardless of the content type, the digital asset management system can store that content and make it highly searchable, it can make sure that once the ingestion process happens, it conforms to the metadata and taxonomy standards across an enterprise.

They can capture things like licensing agreements on that content when that content needs to expire. It can trigger approvals or re-approvals if the content is bound by any certain dates of when you can use the content. And what we want to make sure is that content does not get wasted or is created and parked somewhere.

Content truly powers experience channels like an ecommerce platform, a website, a great experience through a mobile device, and the delivery and distribution of content for downstream channels whether that is your reseller network or the content needs to be taken from a web to a print stage of its lifecycle. Generally, it is about having full management of a piece of content whether that’s the full digital asset or the components that make up the digital asset. This also manages the individual units of content that make up the asset we like to call “experience building blocks”. It’s all about finding, reusing and remixing content, staying compliant and delivering the best personalized experience possible.


"Content truly powers experience channels like an ecommerce platform, a website, a great experience through a mobile device, and the delivery and distribution of content for downstream channels."

M7: How does the Digital Asset Management help in maximizing content ROI?
EB:
 Definitely, it has to do with number one, the findability of the content so that the content can be used and it’s not wasted and then the enrichment processes that are built-in add data to the digital asset. From there, you can see a piece of content and metrics like consumption of that content, where that content piece was used in terms of different campaigns, geographies, etc. If that content was localized, if that content was used to drive whatever the marketing outcome or experience outcome is, which could be conversions on digital properties or transactions on an ecommerce platform, and all that rich data then comes back to the asset, and you are able to see how well it performed. This data is then served up very beautifully in a dashboard connected to the business outcomes you were driving. There are so many questions now we can answer about our content if this strategic approach is taken.

M7: What marketing channels do you use and which ones do you see as the most promising given your target customers?
EB:
 I think the magic is using all the channels in a very well-coordinated way. My primary channel strategies involve a mix of inbound and outbound in a very targeted fashion hence content marketing is core to my strategy. Content drives the pull-through in Aprimo’s digital properties, all of our owned digital properties, this includes the web channel as well as when we syndicate content to third-parties. That’s really important for us to create great content that is helpful, useful and then drives traffic back to aprimo.com. That’s where our inbound strategy balances the outbound efforts in a very targeted way. I use predictive demand capabilities showing me where and who is in market, so then I can go out and reach them and find them in what we like to call the “dark funnel”. I like to think of this strategy as there is someone lost out there looking for solutions to their challenges and it is my job to go find them, meet them and help them along their path. From there email for us has completely been reimagined. We are using video and conversational marketing from an outbound standpoint to connect. We are “humanizing” communications as much as possible, over the phone for voice, broadcast, media buying within different properties like LinkedIn, you name it. I think it’s a drive to strike a balance to create the complete experience for my audience.

M7: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
EB:
 As a child, I wanted to be an athlete. I was very much involved in sports so I looked at my heroes, those I aspired to be like were athletes at that time.

ABOUT APRIMO

Aprimo provides technology solutions for content, operations, and performance that enable enterprises to optimize their brand experiences and the resources they use to deliver them. Our platform gives enterprises the advantage by streamlining and governing all the behind-the-scenes activities – from ideation to distribution – involved in delivering exceptional brand experiences.

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Tetra Tech | September 26, 2022

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The combination of the RPS Group and Tetra Tech also advances both companies’ strategies to provide high-end consulting with an emphasis on advanced data analytics and unique software applications, such as those in water management, ocean analytics and contaminant modeling. “The RPS Group advances our long-term strategy to enhance our position as the premier global high-end consulting and engineering firm focused on water, environment, sustainable infrastructure, and energy transformation. We welcome the RPS Group’s associates to join us and collectively leverage our long-term client relationships and project experience. As a global consultancy with a commitment to high-end solutions, we can offer our expanded team of associates even greater professional opportunities.” -Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO. Ken Lever, Non-Executive Chairman of RPS commented, The Board of RPS is pleased to recommend Tetra Tech’s offer, which provides our shareholders with even greater value for their shares. Our combination with Tetra Tech will provide attractive opportunities and long-term benefits to our associates and global clients. “Joining Tetra Tech represents a highly attractive combination of two leading companies in the industry for our clients and provides an ideal opportunity for our people to realize RPS’ goals to meaningfully contribute to the world’s most challenging problems in energy transformation and water management around the world. I am very excited about the future of our combined company and the benefits for our people and clients. By joining together, Tetra Tech provides RPS and its employees with a strong and culturally aligned platform that creates a pre-eminent consulting and engineering firm addressing climate change and all its effects.” -John Douglas, Chief Executive of RPS. About RPS Group: RPS Group is a public limited company registered in England and Wales. RPS Group’s shares are listed on the Official List of the London Stock Exchange. Founded in 1970 and built on a legacy of environmental and social engagement, RPS Group is a diversified and well recognized global professional services firm of approximately 5,000 talented employees. As an established technology enabled consultancy that operates across a range of sectors, RPS Group provides specialist services to government and private sector clients with a focus on front-end consulting. RPS Group creates shared value for all stakeholders by solving problems that matter in a complex, urbanizing, resource-scarce world and concentrates its expertise on the parts of project lifecycles that have the biggest impact on project outcomes with a strong sustainability agenda. RPS Group has been widely recognized in this respect, having been ranked number one in the UK for climate change and energy consulting by the Environment Analysis for 2019/2020, a top 200 environmental firm by Engineering News-Record in 2021 and recognized in 2021 as one of the first “carbon champions” by the Institution of Civil Engineers. RPS Group operates across approximately 100 offices in 12 countries, with more than 99% of its net revenue during the 2021 financial year generated from its operations in OECD countries. The majority of its net revenue during the 2021 financial year was generated from its operations in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. About Tetra Tech: Tetra Tech is a leading provider of high-end consulting and engineering services for projects worldwide. With 21,000 associates working together, Tetra Tech provides clear solutions to complex problems in water, environment, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, and international development. We are Leading with Science® to provide sustainable and resilient solutions for our clients.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION,ENGINEERING TECH,CONSTRUCTION

MODULAR AND ROBOTICS PIONEERS UNVEIL SYSTEM P4--PREDESIGNED HOUSING FACTORY SOLUTION

KUKA | September 23, 2022

Pioneers in modular construction and car factory automation have teamed up to advance the construction industry. U.S. modular housing pioneer, Waypaver International and German automation leader KUKA are today unveiling a predesigned automation solution to produce modular housing. The solution, System P4, provides everything a factory owner needs for an automated modular housing operation, off the shelf. System P4 is designed by Waypaver, powered by KUKA automation technology, and backed by the P4 Housing Collective. The P4 Housing Collective includes four separate companies: Waypaver, Prefab Logic, Modular Maven, and Effektiv House. The team collectively offers a construction ecosystem of plant design, people development, preconstruction design/engineering, and products ready to be built—designed together to work together with System P4. System P4 began with a collaboration between Rick Murdock, CEO and Founder of Waypaver, and Timo Heil, one of the CEO's of the KUKA System Group. Murdock and his business partner Curtis Fletcher pioneered the use of automation in construction in what is now the highest volume automated modular factory in the western U.S. Following this success, Murdock and Fletcher were sought out by developers, factory owners, and municipalities seeking new solutions to the global housing crisis. "Developing the world's first automated plant of its kind forced us to make big advancements in construction engineering and manufacturing, "The goal has always been to learn and share better ways to build, advance modular construction, and make housing more attainable worldwide. Collaborating with KUKA on System P4 is a major next step because it gives future factory owners a turnkey solution based on real-world lessons learned by pioneers in both construction and automation." -Rick Murdock, CEO and Founder of Waypaver. Heil—who has extensive experience in the conceptual design, planning and implementation of complex systems—adds, KUKA has played a decisive and global role in shaping the automation of the automotive industry in its more than 100-year history. Together with the strong team around the P4 system, we will put all our know-how into a paradigm shift in the way we build homes. Because nothing less than that is needed to meet the global challenge of housing shortages. Automation closes the wide gap between construction capacity and demand, while also making construction more efficient—both in terms of cost and sustainability. KUKA, a leader in automation for car-manufacturing, had a vision for how their technology and automation expertise could be used to build housing. Murdock, Heil, and Fletcher teamed up to envision a factory design that could combine KUKA technology and innovation with the proven best practices of automated modular construction to give modular factory startups a predesigned solution. The result, System P4, is a complete solution including Waypaver plant floor layout and logistics combined with KUKA robotics automation, hardware, and integration services. System P4 is a response to the worldwide housing crisis due in part to labor shortages and inefficiencies in construction. According to McKinsey & Co, construction is the world's largest industry, yet it has been one of last and slowest to advance technologically. Between 1900 and today, car manufacturing has made staggering advancements. In the 1920s, it took Ford 12 hours to produce a car; today a car is produced in less than a minute. With System P4, Murdock, Heil, and Fletcher see similar opportunities to reduce the time it takes to build housing—while relieving workers in the construction trades of physical stress. Our constant focus is making homes attainable, and making construction more precise, more productive, and easier, Fletcher said. The P4 Housing Collective is a team of separate companies united around this shared passion. We've made huge progress with data-driven methods for smarter construction and standard products plus automation to take the back-breaking work off of people. System P4 is powered by KUKA, and backed by data-driven preconstruction, off-the-shelf products, and people development programs—all designed to work together with System P4. This is great news for developers, municipalities, and modular builders looking to establish their own steady stream of quality housing. KUKA: KUKA is a global automation corporation with sales of around 3.3 billion euro and roughly 14,000 employees. The company is headquartered in Ausburg, Germany. As one of the world's leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions, KUKA offers customers everything they need from a single source: from robots and cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, metal and plastic, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail and healthcare. Waypaver International: Waypaver International is a small and mighty team of modular manufacturing experts with proven expertise helping design numerous modular plants. The team's members average more than 30 years in modular construction each. Waypaver's founder led the development of the first automated modular plant of its kind, and acted as the factory's most senior manager as it became the highest-volume modular factory in the western U.S. in less than three years. Collectively, the team has led the design of more than a dozen modular plants. Waypaver is committed to helping potential plant owners and operators understand risks, avoid costly mistakes, and enjoy the adventure of paving the way for a smarter, faster, more efficient construction industry worldwide.

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ENGINEERING TECH

IBM Acquires Dialexa to Speed Digital Innovation

IBM | September 26, 2022

IBM ( NYSE:IBM) today announced plans to acquire Dialexa, a leading U.S. digital product engineering services firm, to help companies drive innovation and achieve their digital growth agendas. The acquisition is expected to deepen IBM's product engineering expertise and provide end-to-end digital transformation services for clients. Dialexa will be the sixth acquisition IBM has made in 2022, further bolstering the company's hybrid cloud and AI skills and capabilities. Since Arvind Krishna became CEO in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies. Thirteen of those acquisitions, including Dialexa, have been in IBM Consulting. Today's news builds upon IBM Consulting's prior acquisitions, including Neudesic, Sentaca, Nordcloud and Taos. The acquisition of Dialexa will be IBM Consulting's first in the fast-growing digital product engineering services market, which is estimated to reach $700 billion by 20261. Upon close, Dialexa will join IBM Consulting, spearheading IBM's digital product engineering services presence in the Americas. "In this digital era, clients are looking for the right mix of high-quality products to build new revenue streams and improve topline growth, Dialexa's product engineering expertise, combined with IBM's hybrid cloud and business transformation offerings, will help our clients turn concepts into differentiated product portfolios that accelerate growth." -John Granger, Senior Vice President, IBM Consulting. Founded in 2010, Dialexa delivers a suite of digital product engineering services, helping organizations create transformative products to drive business outcomes. Its multi-disciplinary and highly skilled team of 300 product managers, designers, full-stack engineers and data scientists, based in Dallas and Chicago, advise and create custom, commercial-grade digital products for clients such as Deere & Company, Pizza Hut US, and Toyota Motor North America. Dialexa has deep experience delivering end-to-end digital product engineering services consisting of strategy, design, build, launch, and optimization services across cloud platforms including AWS and Microsoft Azure. "Digital product engineering represents the tip of the spear for competitive advantage, IBM and Dialexa's shared vision for delivering industry-defining digital products could be a game changer. We are thrilled to become part of one of the world's most iconic companies to continue to scale and grow our global client relationships in this rapidly growing market." -Scott Harper, CEO and Co-Founder, Dialexa. The Dialexa team has been an outstanding partner for us in deepening our product thinking and assisting in our design practice on some of our key digital initiatives. It is rare to find a partner with such a strong combination of great thought partnership and deep execution capabilities, said Chuck Rhoades, Chief Technology Officer, Pizza Hut US. We're excited about the possibilities of bringing these two companies together. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. Financial details were not disclosed. About IBM: IBM is a leading provider of global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting expertise. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. More than 4,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM's hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM's breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and consulting deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM's legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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