Here are the industry’s Martech Heroes

The Top Ten Martech Heroes Revealed

The Drum has joined forces with Stein IAS to recognise the very best people in martech; the Top 10 Martech Heroes who are blazing a trail in helping their companies get real ROI from their tech stacks.

The individuals were judged by our martech experts: Andy Nester, global head of marketing, Nuix; James Abbate, director of interactions at Stein IAS and Rebecca Allen, global head of branded content for The Drum. Out of the Top Ten, the ultimate Martech Hero were announced at The Drum's B2B Awards in New York, with the help of Chief of Martech himself, Scott Brinker.

Here are the Top Ten Martech Heroes below:

Ric Elert, president, Conversant

In 2017, Elert's role was expanded to include leading the engineering team at Epsilon (Epsilon and Conversant are both Alliance Data companies). The goal in assuming these dual roles was to complete the interoperability and interaction of all Epsilon and Conversant technologies within the companies' martech stacks.

Ric has spent the last two years focused on innovating and optimizing Conversant's products and capabilities, such as Core (Customer One-to-One Relationship Engine).

Virginie Goupilleau, head of marketing technology, Hearts & Science

2016 marked the birth of Hearts & Science in the UK. Within the last 15 months Virginie Goupilleau and her team extended their offering from 10 auditing products to 38 products across tech strategy, data planning, training, auditing, consultancy and deployment across web analytics, DMP, tag management, CRO and reporting solutions . She tripled their revenue year on year generating a viable additional revenue stream to the business. Her approach is now fully integrated to the agency offering and therefore included in all RFPs. She also extended digital team conversation, elevated and drove innovation in tehir activation approach and ways of working. She became a trusted contributor at group level influencing and advancing Martech with their innovative ways of working.

Derek Kovach, marketing manager, HSBC Commercial Banking

Kovach worked with Eloqua since its initial adoption by HSBC. He led the HSBC Commercial Bank from the very start of its marketing automation journey.

Kovach’s big challenge to operationalize martech required to develop a fully functioning demand generation engine for HSBC's U.S. commercial banking. Derek has elevated marketing to the position of generating new-to-bank leads and connecting brand to demand. HSBC Commercial Banking Marketing is no longer focused on "above the line" or "below the line', but rather "through the line".

Derek has also been a key player in bringing on board HSBC's first through-the-line demand generation agency partner, Stein IAS, to develop more comprehensive, integrated demand gen programs involving digital and video content. Stein IAS and Derek are also driving impact by orchestrating a more structured and collaborative partnership among all HSBC agencies.

Greg Sobiech, founder and managing director, Delve

Over the past two years, Sobiech has made a very conscious effort towards three strategic initiatives, based on his strategic vision for Delve. Delve are evolving their capabilities in step with how Google is evolving their ad tech stack. Sobiech has launched a Data Science and Cloud Infrastructure department to include and store CRM and 3rd party data in an effort to uncover "higher level" insights. He has also evolved engagement models to be consultative and educational, while shedding any resemblance to an 'agency'. This helps Delve provide partners with truly agnostic, objective, and strategic POV and advice on how to grow their sales.

Marc Keating, chief innovation officer, Stein IAS

Several years ago, Stein IAS recognized Marc Keating, to mastermind their future direction of travel. Following multiple years of record revenues and profitability, he has made a pretty good fist of it. Serial innovator and member of the Oracle Marketing Cloud Global Partner Advisory Council, Marc Keating is the man with marketing in his name. He is blessed with an innate understanding of how and why people buy 'stuff', and has consistently redefined the template for B2B marketing, finding and implementing new technology to realize his ever-evolving vision for more effective and efficient practice. Key to this has been the long-standing partnership he has formed with Oracle, which started when he identified Eloqua as a way of driving better targeted, more efficient campaigns. And he's already onto the next big thing. He's building a Cognitive Marketing Machine. We don't know exactly what it is. Only he does. But give him another year or two and we'll be reading (and learning) all about it.

Andy Nester, founder, Nuix

Andy Nester oversees an integrated marketing team focused on demand generation, content creation, sales and channel partner enablement, event coordination and public relations.

Over the past two years, Nester has completely evolved Nuix's marketing approach, team and technology, transforming from a predominantly tactical and physical event driven approach to a sophisticated, segmented, digitally-led comprehensive demand generation strategy that is proven, predictable and scalable. Under Nester's leadership, Nuix developed and deployed this marketing strategy to enable pipeline growth in each of its three selling regions (North America, EMEA and APAC).

Scott Davies, chief executive officer, never.no

At never.no, Davies bridges the gap between brands TV and digital marketing consumer conversations. Pioneering marketing communication tools for this dominant ad space by providing unique and innovative solutions for broadcasters, marketeers, agencies and brands to engage with audiences in real-time. Davies’ integration with ad delivery company Group IMD enables us to deliver multiple ad variations to broadcast stations within minutes. In today's connected world he has a strong belief that it's important to blend creative and technology and integrate platforms with a shared vision for strategy.

Christine Aletras, associate marketing manager, Weight Watchers Health Solutions

Christine Aletras' passion is to dramatically improve the health of WWHS' demand generation efforts by leveraging marketing technology as a powerful enabler. And, in just two years, Aletras has led the digital transformation of WWHS' marketing practice. Over such a short period of time, Christine has done no less than help marketing become a revenue generating function of the business by building a bonafide martech stack and delivering funnel visibility, sales alignment, enhanced customer experience and performance attribution that was never before possible.

Aletras made this break-through by partnering with the consumer business to use the ActionIQ (segmentation software) to identify individual WW Health Solutions members at client enterprises, and to launch a continually optimized communications stream to drive them to sign up for the program; drive usage of the WW app; reward success to support program continuation; and to intervene to prevent drop-out.

Umberto Torrielli, co-founder and managing director, SBDS

Since July 2016, Umberto Torrielli has launched a new consultancy and implementation business called SBDS, built to empower marketers martech ecosystems, and realise the full potential of their customer data assets. After being a vital part of the data management platform evolution during his time at BlueKai/Oracle, Umberto saw first-hand just how important marketing data was becoming for marketers, yet how complex the technology systems were to implement and drive. He realised the need for skilled expertise, both vertically (industry sector) and horizontally (platform and software solutions). Together with his co-founder, Simon Theakston, Torielli has built a team of industry veterans from the major marketing clouds, such as Adobe, Deloitte, Oracle and Freewheel.

Since launch, the company has an impressive client portfolio including the likes of Maserati, Ladbrokes Coral Group, D&G, FCA, and The Economist. In addition, the company has a network of trusted partners throughout the marketing cloud and DMP marketing mix, including the likes of Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, Deloitte, Relay42, Lotame and mPartical

Marco Maccio, head of digital marketing, Marshalls plc

Marco Maccio has taken a traditional supplier of hard-landscaping products with a standard offline GTM approach, and in just two years, created a seamless integrated digital marketing and sales experience, miles ahead of anything else in the sector.

Two years ago, Marco took on the brief of turning the business into the Amazon of hard landscaping products. In an arena where concrete and rock are the base materials, product lines change surprisingly fast. And Marshalls' customer base is now reflective of the world at large as everyone from builder merchants to driveway installers and local authority procurement officials are suddenly millennials and smartphone addicts who expect to complete their whole buyer journey without lifting their eyes from the screen. Marshalls now has a website and a suite of auxiliary applications that give users everything they need, when they need it, easily, to simply make the company much easier to buy from. This has doubled traffic to the Marshalls website, generated 6m video views, won awards, and helped the business grow revenue, margins and profits. Having the right people, using the right Martech, in the right way has been the key and Marco managed to make this happen with extraordinary speed and efficiency.

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