Accomplished SaaS product leader with deep experience in digital marketing transformation.
Author: Bridget Bidlack
Bridget Bidlackhttps://bridgetbidlack.wordpress.comThanks for stopping by! I’m passionate about programmatic marketing and happy to share my views with you. I started working in online advertising back in the very early days. I experienced the evolution of rich media, 3rd party ad servers, ad networks, audience based buying, real-time bidding, data management platforms, mobile, video, private marketplaces and programmatic marketing. In some ways the industry has made dramatic leaps forward. In other ways, the best practices I learned back in 2000 still hold true today.
I’m a product gal with a customer centric view on solving complex problems. I relish in roles where I interact with a variety of internal stakeholders and customers. Getting into the weeds with end users and discussing strategic long term vision with executives are equally fun for me. I’m extremely process oriented but not in a way that slows me down. I’m agile and love collaborative, iterative approaches.
I look forward to sharing some of the things I’ve learned along the way and look forward to hearing from you.
Movable Ink, the visual experience platform provider for digital marketing leaders, today announced at its third annual Think Summit, a major platform expansion that enables the creation of unique and relevant visual experiences across email, web, and display ads. This move into new channels builds upon Movable Ink’s market-proven email marketing solutions that are relied upon by 600+ innovative global brands to drive revenue through enhanced performance, increase marketing team productivity through automation, and differentiate through compelling consumer experiences.
With the power of Movable Ink, digital marketers can free their data from silos to generate intelligent creative with millions of unique variations based on consumer context and behavior, third-party insights, and business logic. This intelligent creative is automatically generated in real-time to provide consumers with the most consistent, relevant, and on-brand experience at the moment of engagement across email, web, and display.
By automating the creation of unique visuals for every consumer, Movable Ink removes the creative production bottleneck that has historically prevented marketers from creating personalized images at scale. The Movable Ink platform also ensures campaign creative adheres to brand guidelines and is optimized to maximize performance.
Movable Ink’s intuitive and easy-to-use visual experience platform empowers digital marketers with the following capabilities:
Cross-Channel Visual Experiences: Orchestrate real-time, data-driven experiences that advance the conversation with consistent visuals as consumers move across email, web, and display
Progressive Profiles: Build known and unknown consumer profiles from interactions and poll results to continue the story as consumers re-engage across email and web
Behavioral Targeting: Leverage consumer profiles to target visual experiences based on past behavior
Creative Optimization: Determine the top-performing creative and automatically select the winning visual experience to maximize engagement
Reporting and Analytics: Achieve faster time-to-insight with intuitive analytics and dashboards
Extending Intelligent Creative from Email to Web and Display Movable Ink pioneered the technology for generating personalized email experiences for every consumer at the moment of open. With Movable Ink, email marketers have been able to automate the production of personalized creative based on any type of data, including CRM (name, loyalty, account history), contextual (location, device, weather) and behavioral (browsing, purchases). Now, for the first time, the power of Movable Ink’s enterprise platform is available for web and display to ensure experiences carry over from channel to channel, giving brands better control over the entire consumer experience.
Movable Ink’s platform complements and amplifies existing martech platforms such as ESPs, marketing clouds, CRM, and more. Instead of requiring brands to rip and replace existing systems, Movable Ink works seamlessly into any tech stack without disrupting current tools and workflows. Movable Ink’s visual experience platform improves the ROI of existing martech solutions by bringing them into the visual era.
Movable Ink has always prided itself on providing marketers with a way to deliver highly customized emails, but today the company decided to take that one step further. It announced an SDK that enables developers to build custom applets to add their own unique information to any email.
The company has always seen itself as a platform on which marketers can build these highly customized email marketing campaigns, says Bridget Bidlack SVP of product at Movable Ink .
“We built our business on making it easier for marketers to add intelligent content into any email campaign through a library of hundreds of apps. With our [latest] launch, we’re really opening up our development framework to agencies and system integrators so that they can create those apps on their own,” Bidlack explained.
This means companies are free to create any type of data integration they wish and not simply rely on Movable Ink to supply it for them. Bidlack says that could be anything from the current weather to accurate inventory levels, loyalty point scores and recent purchase activity.
What’s more, Movable Ink doesn’t really care about the source of the data. It could come from the company CRM system, internal database or offer management tool. Bidlack says Movable Ink can incorporate that data into an email regardless of where it’s stored.
This all matters because the company’s whole raison d’etre is about providing a customized email experience for every user. Instead of getting a generic email marketing campaign, you would get something that pulls in details from a variety of sources inside the company to build a custom email aimed directly at the individual recipient.
Company co-founder and CEO Vivek Sharma says that when they launched in 2010, service providers at the time were focused on how many people they could reach and open rate, but nobody was really thinking about the content. His company wanted to fill that gap by focusing specifically on building emails with customized content.
As Sharma said, they didn’t try to take on the email service providers. Instead they wanted to build this intelligent customization layer on top. They have grown increasingly sophisticated with their approach in the last 8 years and count companies like Dunkin’ Donuts, Bloomingdale’s, Comcast and Delta among their 500+ customers. They also have strategic partnerships with companies in the space like Salesforce, Oracle, IBM, Cheetah Digital, Epsilon and many others.
The approach seems to be working. The company has raised a modest $14 million since it launched in 2010, but today it boasts $40 million in annual recurring revenue, according to Sharma.
Intelligent Content remains the final frontier for content marketers in 2018. According to the recent Forrester Research report, titled, “Vendor Landscape: Personalization Solution Providers, Q3 2017”, 78 percent of US online adults have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that has personalized an experience or service. To enable marketers with intelligent content, Movable Ink provides personalized email content solution that drives performance, increases productivity and deliver compelling consumer experiences. Bridget Bidlack, Movable Ink’s SVP of Product, speaks to us about her company’s role in pioneering a cutting-edge martech product for intelligent content.
Tell us about your role in Movable Ink and the team you handle.
Movable Ink’s product team is focused on understanding larger digital marketing trends and our clients’ specific needs. We integrate these insights into products that enable marketers to generate engaging and powerful consumer experiences that drive revenue and loyalty. Movable Ink is a very product-focused organization. While brand image and company culture are important, we believe the value of our products is what ultimately attracts clients and partners.
Being involved in enterprise product leadership with leading martech and adtech companies my entire career has kept me attuned to the true needs and challenges of digital marketers based on rapid technology advancements, customer needs, and market shifts. As SVP of Product, it’s my role to drive Movable Ink’s product vision, as well as define and develop a clear roadmap for products capabilities that transform and promote innovation in email marketing.
The product team, including product management, UX and design, and data science, partner with engineers and product marketing to execute our product vision and ensure that the products we develop make it as easy as possible for marketers to innovate creative experiences. Movable Ink pioneered the application of intelligent content into email and provides the world’s first platform that automatically activates data within content to generate personalized experiences in real-time.
Our product strategy has been very successful. We’ve created a strong, yet flexible roadmap and also regularly conduct user research, test our ideas, and communicate transparently both internally and externally. Today, 500+ of the world’s most iconic brands are using our products to personalize content with data at the moment of open. We have revealed many new product capabilities over the past year and have lots of exciting developments planned for the rest of 2018 and beyond.
What are your predictions for marketing technology for the rest of 2018?
With recent data breaches at big enterprises and new regulations coming like GDPR in May, there’s going to continue to be a heightened awareness this year in the industry around data privacy and security. At the same time, there’s more desire than ever amongst brands to use available consumer data to inform their marketing decisions.
This is the big challenge that Movable Ink is helping brands solve. We built our platform with an eye towards marketers from the very start. When building a product, we always first ask what problem are we trying to solve and for whom are we trying to solve it for. Based on that, our goal is to always use technology to make innovation easier for marketers, not more complex.
Our platform has a very lightweight integration framework – meaning it’s easy for marketers to use data in real time to personalize content – all without having to store the data. Today, it’s great that we can do this with business rules, but another marketing technology trend I see that will continue this year is a further push into machine learning and AI. In email specifically, machine learning will increasingly be used to figure out the best way to construct and present content for more meaningful experiences.
Why? Modern marketing communication – in email or really any channel – is the end result of hundreds or thousands of decisions. Which audience, what frequency, timing, channel, offer, layout, image, colors, fonts, etc. Today we think of machine learning as primarily applicable to distribution (whether and when) and message (which product and offer). We don’t think of it as playing much of a role in marketing content production. But the creative experience is the end result and how the consumer interacts with the brand. If the creative isn’t compelling, the rest doesn’t matter.
As AI continues to evolve, it will also grow to support layout, language, visual identity, voice, and tone. This doesn’t mean AI will replace human creativity. Instead, it will augment and multiply the capabilities of marketers.
What are the core tenets of delivering personalized customer experience via email?
The core tenets of delivering personalized consumer experiences are speed, scale, automation, and relevance (all related to content). Marketers need to get campaigns out faster than ever, need to personalize content at scale and make sure that the content is the most relevant to each individual consumer based on multiple factors. This creates big challenges for email marketers because it’s extremely time-consuming and resource intensive to generate personalized content at scale.
Traditionally, the challenge with email is that content is created at send time. Once you send it, that’s it. The value of Movable Ink is that marketers can look at things like the most recent touchpoint with the customer and tailor the content to what that customer is most interested in at that specific moment. This allows our clients to provide their customers with the most relevant content when it matters (when the customer is actually looking at content vs. when it’s sent). By automating this process, marketers can execute this kind of personalization at mass scale – something impossible to do manually.
How do you see contemporary data intelligence platforms impacting the performance of personalized content for email marketing?
Today, brands have many disparate data sets, and data intelligence platforms are helping to unify data and allow marketers to analyze and use data sets to create audience segments for targeting and personalization. It is also beneficial when marketers have access to raw, unstructured data, and apply data science and machine learning to tease out hidden customer signals and identify common attributes that are most meaningful to the customer.
This allows marketers to target customers in a given industry based on what’s most relevant. For example, for a customer very loyal to an airline, marketers can see what their normal preferences are (do they always buy coach or first class? What destination did they most recently search for?) and use this data to drive the content. In fact, one of our products called Signals addresses this. Customers reveal their buying intentions on websites everyday, yet email marketers still struggle to personalize messages using behavioral data. Signals enables marketers to activate and engage customers based on their website and mobile app behaviors and create relevant and persuasive content for each customer automatically.
How does Movable Ink enable email marketers to deliver real-time content and optimization? What’s the principal driving the content experience technology?
Movable Ink’s intelligent content platform is the first comprehensive enterprise solution that automates the creation, deployment, and measurement of personalized email content. The principal driving force behind our technology is the serious challenge marketers face today. It’s very difficult to produce highly personalized, on-brand content for their email programs. Email technologies have historically helped marketers send more emails, send emails to targeted customer segments, and send more emails based on triggers or customer journeys. Yet in most cases, marketers are stuck sending the same, few pieces of static content with very little personalization.
How have we tackled this? In the beginning, our content apps enabled marketers to integrate things like countdown clocks, local maps, social media feeds, and website content via APIs into their emails, as well as target consumers based on location and device. Automating the process of bringing in content from other channels – most popular content on social channels, favorited tweets, real-time pricing and inventory, and much more – was a formidable advancement for email content at that time, but the sophisticated marketers using Movable Ink had even great visions of where to take their marketing programs, we listened, collaborated and built the capabilities to enable their dreams.
Fast forward to today, Movable Ink ’s technology powers sophisticated personalization and targeting based on behavioral data and machine learning. With our easy to use platform, marketers can pull scattered content from websites, social media, CRM data, CSV files, APIs and other sources right into an email. They can then repurpose and reformat that content to drive the best possible experience. We’ve also taken big steps in empowering our clients to leverage our product themselves in an easy drag and drop graphics editor without the need for coding or access to developer resources.
How critical is it for modern email marketing platforms to leverage AI and machine learning capabilities for better performance and engagement?
As previously mentioned, AI and machine learning capabilities are becoming more important for better email performance and engagement. There’s been a lot of concern in the industry about the compatibility of AI and content. We believe that they can not only co-exist, but must work together to engage customers and help brands grow. At Movable Ink, we’re bullish on the long-term potential for machine learning in marketing, both within our platform and in conjunction with other technology providers.
Our intelligent content platform is helping bridge the gap between creative professionals and email marketers. It enables brands to automatically version campaign creative, using data to create millions of uniquely personalized images. It allows marketers to use contextual, behavioral, and customer information to adapt and and transform graphics, increasing engagement and conversions. Calls to action, product information, images, ratings, reviews, social content and more can all be combined to create optimized content at the moment of interaction with a customer.
Now, imagine how machine learning can be applied to email marketing. Since personalized content can now be automated, they can also be optimized in real time. Machine learning will help creative teams become more persuasive and personalized, more responsive and more relevant. It will help them respond to real-time events, and develop new brand experiences through graphic design. Machine learning will be the essential capability in generating optimized content for every customer at any moment.
What mistakes should email marketers avoid in 2018?
A big one is not taking advantage of data. CMOs at the biggest brands have spent years and massive budgets on compiling customer data across all channels and touchpoints. Unfortunately, much of this valuable data goes unused, and in fact is not even readily available to the email marketers in these organizations.
Obviously, not personalizing content is a big mistake, as personalized content is now table stakes for brand communications.
Not taking the time to experiment is also something email marketers should avoid. Part of optimizing is trying and testing different things. Email marketers shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with content and find new ways to push the boundaries of innovation. Trying something completely new could be the ticket to a campaign that performs better than anything in the past and opens doors to a whole line of future campaigns.
As a marketer, you can miss key customer moments, or even worse ignore them. Or you can embrace those moments and be your customer’s hero. Check out the innovation encounter to see how you can enhance your customer experience.
Originally presented at the Cheetah Digital Client Summit on June 8, 2017 at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, NV.
Every organization has first-party data — and first-party data is every organization’s golden goose. But not all organizations understand how to capitalize on its potential. Part of the challenge: With data growing at such an exponential rate, many marketers struggle to sift through the attributes that can inform their next customer interaction. While the abundance of available data can have tremendous value, it can be rendered useless without the know-how to activate it properly.
I recently participated in a panel at the AdExchanger Programmatic I/O Conference, where we discussed the nuances of first-party data, as well as how we’ve seen it evolve over the years. One of the many discussion points we came to a consensus on: All marketers need to develop a true data-driven marketing approach.
Take stock of all available data
Too many marketers lack sufficient knowledge about all the data housed by their organizations. With the sheer volume of data available, marketers need to determine which data points are most useful to their campaigns. Unfortunately, many organizations have decentralized first-party data sets — causing marketers to ask, “Who owns the data?”
By breaking down departmental silos, marketers can connect the “data dots” and gain a true view of their evolving customer base. This single customer view leads to more thoughtful customer interactions.
Make first-party data scalable
The drawback to first-party data is that it is only representative of a brand’s current customer base. But how can brands expand their reach? One trend that has picked up momentum is more marketers are pooling their resources. By engaging in cooperative programs or leveraging third-party data sources, marketers are able to augment what they know about their customers with what other brands and publishers have on file. Now marketers can interact with their customers with relevant messages across more channels and devices.
Track the return on investment
Marketers leverage their first-party data to inform customer interactions across all channels, including websites, email, customer care centers, mobile apps, etc. But marketers have been challenged in quantifying the return on investment in their marketing efforts. Sure, marketers can rely on low-hanging fruit, such as clicks and impressions, but they need to think beyond these metrics. If marketers can properly activate their first-party data and create personalized communications, they will be able to measure the sales impact — both offline and online — for all campaigns.
The power of first-party data knows no bounds. It truly is the gold standard of assets that most organizations carry. It just needs to be developed. If marketers can refine their approach and develop a true data-driven marketing strategy, they can realize the potential of first-party data. And that realization is the first step in the process to marketing success.
BB: The collision of ad tech and mar tech, or what is now being coined “mad-tech,” is revolutionizing the brand experience for both marketers and consumers. We’re now able to move beyond the relevant ad and the personalized email to create experiences that transcend the channels.
Traditionally, advertising and marketing have been separated, with a small degree of connectivity at the cookie level. Advertisers can use their own first-party data, but without a true persistent match, they have to supplement that data with third party data, at the cookie level, without ever being really sure about the data’s precision.
Conversely, in owned channels such as email marketing — where first-party data is primarily used — marketers can enhance their customer contact data with behaviors and preferences. The challenge is that they often only use this data within a single channel, resulting in a different view of the customer between paid media and owned channels.
Q: How can marketers surpass these limitations?
BB: When you can break down the wall between paid and owned channels, as well as match cookie data to behavior data, you can reach your audiences across channels with messages that will create the best customer experiences. As the ad tech world continues to become more addressable, it is important for marketers to work with a third-party that has a persistent view of customers across all channels.
You shouldn’t have to log in to different platforms — which may tell you different things — and try to manually distill that information to understand your customers and their behaviors. What’s exciting about the Experian Marketing Suite is that we can host all of your first-party data in our platform, easily validate that data, then enhance it with our powerful third-party data. You can get to the source of that data for a full picture of those users, all in a single platform.
This helps marketers execute some advanced techniques like creating models that find customers (or look-alikes) in other channels. For example, you may have a subset of email subscribers who don’t open emails, but they do go on Facebook. They are on other sites and in other channels. Now you can extend your reach to them in those display channels and continue the conversation with them even if they’re not opening your emails. For those who do respond to your emails, you can engage them with relevant information based on their behaviors.
Q: What can marketing leaders do to propel the ad tech/mar tech convergence in their organization?
BB: When information is siloed as I just described, teams are often rewarded based on key performance indicators (KPIs) within their individual programs. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are in the best position to set the stage for how the team operates and reward collaboration. CMOs need to work with their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to set up a customer-first overall strategy. That way, every touch-point with the customer follows that model, not just the touch-points managed by the marketing team in traditional marketing roles.
CMOs also have to team up with their Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to ensure data is working in one centralized platform where it can come in and out effortlessly — and in a secure and compliant manner — and be surfaced for stakeholders in an easy-to-use way.
A single platform can help marketing leaders drive organizational change and transform company culture. It enables teams for paid media, email and other channels to share data and insights to understand the full scope of how their customers are behaving. They can then work together to launch the kinds of programs that create connected experiences for the customer, whether it’s through email, mobile, direct mail or paid channels. When the CEO buys in, this extends to sales and customer service functions as well. Every engagement with a customer is a marketing opportunity that must be informed by a holistic strategy.
Q: What is the biggest benefit organizations can see from this convergence?
BB: The biggest benefit is meeting customers’ demands for relevant experiences and providing more value in each interaction. In conjunction, there’s less waste. If someone purchases a product, you’re not wasting dollars by continuing to advertise that product. Instead you can offer related products or user guides. If someone signs up for a program, you can advertise or market to them about an upgrade.
Marketers and advertisers who do that really have an edge over competitors. You can meet the consumer where she is and build on what you know about her to deliver the right message.
“Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media. Today’s column is written by Bridget Bidlack, vice president of global product management at Experian Marketing Services.
First-party data is one of an organization’s most important marketing assets yet many struggle to activate it effectively.
Standing in the way are two fundamental factors: the siloed way in which the data exists within organizations and how that data is governed.
Since different silos collect and use the data differently, organizations essentially have a fractured governance approach that can create issues for customers. Ultimately, organizations must have a clear governance strategy that dictates how data is stored, permissions for accessing the data and, perhaps most important, consumer preferences.
In order to apply true governance standards to first-party data, organizations must address the fact that it is stored in a wide variety of formats that are often not connected or accessible among groups. The sources include CRM, customer service calls, websites, ecommerce sites, marketing campaigns, events and loyalty programs, among others.
Combined, these data sets create the most accurate picture of the customer and their preferences. When separate, departments often miss information that could be crucial to their efforts. So the goal for many organizations is to have a fully integrated central data repository that would provide the correct permissions depending on the team that needs the information.
Getting to this integration usually requires a strong advocate, preferably in the C-suite, to encourage siloed functions to work together. The teams first need to get talking so they can better understand what data is actually available in other departments. The most effective way is to give team members a chance to physically work together, perhaps doing rotations where people sit in different departments, which will allow for more interaction and hopefully a better understanding of all the data that is available, as well as what is important to the customer in each context.
Once there is some move toward integration, or if an organization is able to develop a centralized data repository, a governance strategy for the data should be implemented. There are several key components.
The right resources and budget should be assigned to developing the best governance infrastructure possible.
In each silo, someone should be assigned responsibility of first-party data. Early involvement with the IT teams is crucial since an organization’s technology team must understand the ultimate usage of the data and how it should be organized.
Agree to naming conventions to apply across all first-party data collection, regardless of the source to ensure that data is accurately tracked.
Ensure that service-level agreements for data inputs and outputs account for any extra processing or steps required to enforce the governance policy and that it is done so at scale.
Permissions And Consumer Preferences
Develop well-considered permissioning that allows departments to get the information they need without violating confidentiality.
Ensure that customer activity is incorporated into the data. Have a strategy in place to address top customers so they receive a premier experience in line with their expectations.
Organizations must honor customer preferences across departments and marketing teams, such as whether they wish to receive promotions. Include a multibrand strategy if needed; organizations with multiple brands must develop an approach that properly shares information across those brands.
Properly governed first-party data has tremendous potential to generate revenue. Ideally, customers would experience seamless navigation across platforms and their interactions would be serviced properly by teams who have instant and accurate access to needed information.
With a well-governed system, users will be able to access data without violating any of the customer’s preferences.
Since first-party data is often the most sensitive information an organization has, an ideal scenario would be one in which that data is centralized and can be regulated, protected and used to maximum effect.
Gartner recently released its latest Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, and we’re proud that Experian Marketing Services was named a Challenger. The report evaluates marketing platforms and their ability to provide access to audience profiles, work flow and collaboration, intelligent orchestration, unified measurement and optimization. It rates vendors based on their ability to execute and their vision for the future of digital marketing hubs. We believe that Experian Marketing Services position as a Challenger validates our strong market presence and our perception of the value digital marketing hubs provide the market.
In the report, Gartner recognizes Experian Marketing Services for our consumer data expertise, flexible multichannel execution platform and professional services and support team. We believe that these attributes perfectly demonstrate what sets us apart and why more than 10,000 brands around the world choose Experian Marketing Services. To give you more insight, I thought I’d break down some of these key areas of distinction:
Data – Relevance, timing and context are what drive marketing and customer engagement in today’s world, and none can be executed effectively without data. No one understands consumers better than Experian; therefore, no one is better positioned to help you identify and understand your customers or prospects, based on your own data as well as ours.
Technology – The Experian Marketing Suite was built on our history and expertise in data – particularly with data ingestion and integration. It was also architected with the flexibility for new channels in mind. As new channels emerge and marketing programs become more advanced, the need to easily coordinate engagement across a number of touch points is crucial.
Service – We pride ourselves on our obsession with our clients’ success and our history of leadership in marketing services. Many technology companies drop technology in your lap and walk away, leaving you on your own or relying solely on service partners to provide support and strategic advice. We take the opposite approach. We strongly believe that in today’s marketing world, service is more important than ever. Outstanding service and expertise should always accompany strong technology.
Nomination for the San Francisco Business Times Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business 2015
Submitted by Kristi Essick
Bridget Bidlack is VP, enterprise products at Rocket Fuel, where she oversees product management for Rocket Fuel’s platform business. Bidlack joined Rocket Fuel through the acquisition of [x+1] where she was SVP, product management. In this role, Bidlack strengthened product positioning and defined and executed an aggressive product roadmap. Under her leadership, the Origin platform was identified as a leader in the 2013 Forrester DMP Wave, and as a visionary in the Gartner 2014 Digital Marketing Hub Magic Quadrant.
Prior to [x+1], Bidlack served as VP, product management at Traffiq, where she delivered a self-service media-buying and planning platform. Before Traffiq, Bidlack held numerous leadership positions, including director of solutions engineering at Turn and lead product manager at Microsoft. Bidlack first cut her teeth in digital advertising at Bluestreak, an early pioneer in the industry. Bidlack started her career at IBM working within the IBM Global Services division supporting fortune 500 customers using IBM’s CRM, call center and middleware products. Known for her industry savvy and insight, in 2014 AdWeek named Bidlack as one of the “12 Stars of Ad Tech Who Are Building the Future of the Industry Right Now.”
Bidlack holds an MS in information systems science from Salve Regina University and a BBA in business computer information systems from Hofstra University.
What makes this woman an outstanding leader?
Bridget Bidlack has worked in the advertising technology (ad tech) industry for over 15 years, since its earliest days. She has been successful in a largely male-dominated world, attaining executive level roles managing product teams. What’s really unique about Bridget is her ability to combine deep tech knowhow – she has an MS in information systems science and a BA in business computer information systems – with sharp business acumen. She has the technical chops to interface with engineering teams, and the business expertise to understand what customers need. This skillset has enabled Bridget to thrive in both ad tech startups and large organizations, bringing innovation to both cutting-edge, emerging products and mature technology systems.
As a mother of two sons ages 10 and 11, Bridget has also successfully navigated work-life balance issues. Working for a Silicon Valley company, Bridget now spends a significant amount of time in the Bay Area, while her family continues to reside in the New York area. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of her husband, a stay-at-home parent who gave up his own career to support Bridget’s rise into executive management.
Bridget is not afraid to take risks. When her children were just 1 and 2, Bridget uprooted her family from the east coast and moved to Washington to work for Microsoft. A colleague calls Bridget “the mountain mover” because she actually relishes tackling big problems to come up with creative solutions, and has the tenacity to make things happen.
For example, Bridget has helped multiple companies move from service models to enterprise software/SaaS models. This always involved building a product with the right features and growing the supporting teams, from development and engineering, to customer success and sales teams. As the ad tech market continues to shift from full-service to in-house, Bridget is extremely well placed to help brands and agencies adopt the tools they need to dramatically improve their digital marketing programs. In addition to building successful products, Bridget builds the right teams, tools, and processes to ensure successful product adoption and client satisfaction.
Describe career success & leadership style.
Bridget grew up in Rhode Island helping her family run a successful clambake catering business. She always pitched in to help the family business, from prepping clams and ears of corn as a young girl, to serving clambakes under green and white striped tents, to business management as a teen. Living with entrepreneur parents gave Bridget a strong work ethic and an unparalleled view into how businesses grow. She realized early on that a successful business is built on vision, people, and execution. Without those three pillars, a business will never achieve true success.
Bridget served on the management advisory group to help [x+1] complete its acquisition by Rocket Fuel. After the successful completion of the merger, Bridget immediately became responsible for all platforms at Rocket Fuel. In addition to leading teams based in NYC and Norwalk, Connecticut, she inherited and further grew a product team in Redwood City, California. Bridget was responsible for converging [x+1]’s and Rocket Fuel’s two platforms within 30 days, undertaking meaty infrastructure integrations over the next six months, and devising a clear 12-month path to a fully unified platform.
One of her direct reports said of her management style: “Bridget inspires by example. She holds no one to a standard higher than those she sets for herself. When we are solving tough problems and have ambitious initiatives, Bridget is at the front of the charge leading the pack.” In other words, she loves giving direction to her team, but will also roll up her sleeves to get things done. Bridget’s leadership style is especially important when building and rolling out new products. She believes you can’t just delegate a vision; you have to execute on your ideas and inspire others to help.
Bridget has a keen interest in helping her team members develop and achieve their personal career goals. She sets expectations for each team member, and then empowers them to create their own goals, take initiative to achieve them, and learn from their mistakes. Her team members appreciate this balance of getting support when needed, but having free rein to try new things, make mistakes, and learn as they go. She has helped countless young people create career goals and take the right steps to achieve them over the years.
Included in the San Francisco Business Times class of 2015 “Most influential women in Bay Area business.”
Marketers will see lift in ROI by focusing on people’s lifestyles.
By Bridget Bidlack, VP, Enterprise Products, Rocket Fuel
Marketers want to focus on targeting audiences without using siloed tactics. With the recent evolution of cross-device targeting, many vendors now offer the ability to reach audiences across desktops, laptops, tablets, phones, game consoles, and more. This holistic approach will continue to evolve and soon marketers won’t think about whether they reach audiences through a device ID or a cookie. Instead, they’ll focus on the ideal audience and the appropriate creative treatment to reach them. To do this, they’ll factor in several elements, including real-time context, time of day, and location.
“Real-time context’ includes delivering the appropriate ad size and interactive elements to match the device type and screen size. “Time of day” ensures that the right message is delivered depending on whether it’s business hours or non-business hours, since most people have different behaviors during these timeframes. And “location” means the offer is different depending on whether a person is at home, work, commuting, shopping, or on vacation.
Why is it important that marketers start thinking beyond singular devices? According to eMarketer’s U.S. Programmatic Ad Spending Report published in October 2014, mobile programmatic spending is projected to surpass desktop as early as 2015, taking 56.2% of all programmatic ad expenditure. Those thinking in terms of cross-device optimization will not only keep up as programmatic ad spend diversifies across channels, they will thrive as early adopters begin separating from the pack. The ability to trace a consumer’s path to purchase across each of their devices also strengthens the case for the true impact of each channel as an intent driver and touch point for brands.
As marketing becomes more and more about the consumer in 2015, it will become crucial to identify and leverage behavior patterns that develop as consumers flit across devices to create more relevant messaging—and understand exactly what motivates audiences and drives them to conversion. Not only will advertisers be one step closer to the holy grail of 1:1 personalization and relevance, they will be able to better prove their business outcomes. When marketers start thinking about the customer, they start thinking about how to be competitive in the next 20 years of marketing and advertising.