Good morning, happy Monday.

There’s a fine line between delivering personalized experiences that positively affect consumers and experiences that, quite frankly, creep them out. The onslaught of AI and machine learning entering the martech space has increased the risk of brands crossing customer boundaries when it comes to using data.

“We want machine learning to be more human, but then we’re freaked out when it is,” said Katrina Taylor, head of user experience and product design at Armoire, during her presentation on machine learning and empathy at DX Summit in Chicago. Taylor said her brand doesn’t always use every piece of data it might know about a customer. “It’s better to start off with a light touch and fill in the details as we go,” said Taylor.

Armoire follows six rules that incorporate empathy to create digital experiences built on machine learning. The two most crucial rules are determining the ongoing value you’re creating and making sure your machine learning systems are integrated into your user design process. 

There’s more to read below, including your Pro Tip on building leadership early-on to prioritize projects and a look at who’s on the move in the martech industry.

Jennifer Cannon,
Senior Editor

Pro Tip

Bringing in leadership early helps prioritize projects

“Before a request makes its way to IT, it’s vetted and prioritized by marketing leadership. Bringing in the leadership team early has been integral to our success prioritizing projects,” explains Jorge Garcia of Akamai Technologies. “Making strategic decisions about our investments at the most senior level ensures everyone across the organization is aligned with our initiatives and understands why they were prioritized. Once those decisions are made, we bring in IT and share marketing’s business requirements. Our team works with the requestor to understand the what and why of their request: What is the problem they’re trying to solve and why do they think technology will solve it. We use these requirements as our foundation for working with IT to develop an initial scope, phasing design, systems impact analysis, and prioritization plan. The outcome of these discussions, our Security review, and the Procurement process help us narrow down the best vendor to solve our what and meet our why.”

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MarTech Today's Guide to Identity Resolution Platforms

MarTech Today’s brand new guide examines the market for Identity Resolution tools and what you should expect when implementing this software into your business. Included in this 42-page report are profiles of 12 leading Identity Resolution vendors, pricing information, capabilities comparisons and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

Read more »

On the Move

Extreme Networks appoints new SVP of sales, Sterling names a new CEO

Extreme Networks has appointed Pete Doolittle to the position of senior vice president of Americas sales. Doolittle, an industry veteran with 25 years in enterprise sales, joins the cloud-driven networking company from Cisco Systems where he most recently led the global SD-WAN sales team. “We are excited to welcome Pete to our team. As Extreme doubles-down on our cloud-driven go-to-market model, we are investing in organizational talent with top-graded sales leadership hires in key regions and vertical markets. The hiring of Pete demonstrates this commitment. He has a strong pedigree in enterprise technology sales, having recently led the SD-WAN sales team at Cisco and having served as a key player in driving the company’s transition to software-driven solutions and cloud delivery models. We look forward to leveraging his experience to help us grow our cloud-driven enterprise business and take share from larger competitors,” said Bob Gault, chief revenue and services officer at Extreme Networks.

Omnicom Group-owned brand design consultancy Sterling has announced the appointment of Susan Cantor as chief executive officer. Cantor’s nearly 30-year career has included leadership positions across marketing functions, including advertising agencies, marketing strategy consultancies and design firms. She joins from branding firm RedPeak where she served as CEO, and also spent 11 years at Lowe New York, including two years serving as president and CEO. “I am proud to join and lead the new Sterling team,” said Susan Cantor, CEO of Sterling. “The newly launched Sterling will have the capabilities to evolve how brands show up in today’s world and to design with a holistic view—from strategy to design to implementation and innovation.”

Brand and retail consultancy FITCH has named six-year company veteran Matt Michaluk its new creative director for its New York studio. Michaluk will be taking over the position which he previously held in FITCH London for the past two years. “We’re thrilled to welcome Matt to our New York Studio,” says Alasdair Lennox, executive creative director of FITCH North America. “Matt has an extremely strategic mind which is well balanced by his creative flair. His experience in building global brands will help with the next stage of growth in the FITCH New York Studio.” Prior to joining FITCH, Michaluk worked for Prophet Brand Strategy, OPX London and Myton Williams Ltd. 

D2C lifecycle management company Applicaster announced the appointment of Bennett Theimann as chief financial officer. The announcement comes on the heels of Applicaster’s $20 million funding round this year. Theimann will be based in the company’s New York City office where he will report to Applicaster’s CEO and co-founder, Jonathan Laor. “Accomplished leaders such as Bennett are a propelling force to our rapid growth and company culture,” said Laor. “Bennett brings a diverse background and a rich experience of scaling growth that aligns with many of the areas we are focused on. He has a deep understanding of content and tech businesses of all sizes, and I’m excited to see all the ways he will strengthen Applicaster’s value proposition as a category leader in the app platform market.”


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Content Silos: The Right Technology Is Half the Battle – CMS Wire

What’s the Best B2B Ecommerce Platform? – Practical Ecommerce

Niantic aims to create the ‘anti-Amazon’ with more location-based AR for small businesses – Mobile Marketer

Why CTV Is The Trade Desk’s Biggest Focus Of 2020 – AdExchanger

Advertisers emerge as buyers for ad tech – Digiday – Digiday

LG open-sources Auptimizer, a tool for optimizing AI models – VentureBeat

How the Google walkout transformed tech workers into activists – LA Times