Digital Marketing Confidential with Vision Critical's Tyler Douglas: Research and demand |

Digital Marketing Confidential with Vision Critical’s Tyler Douglas: Research and demand


Back for another year, the 2016 Canadian Internet Marketing Conference (CIMC) will feature a powerhouse line-up of more than 30 of the world’s top minds and movers of the digital marketing industry. got the awesome opportunity to have a pre-conference brain-picking sesh with each of the keynote speakers and panelists. Today’s Q & A is with Tyler Douglas, CMO for Vision Critical.

What place does analog research have in the technological marketing landscape?

If you define research as simply, “the process of understanding your customers and your market,” it has a more important place in the tech marketing landscape than ever before. The drive to personalization and greater focus on customer experience and the desire to ‘measure’ marketing effectiveness have resulted in an exponential increase in marketing tech. At the heart of these trends and technologies, however, is the need to understand customers; not just what they buy, where, and how… but who are they and why they do what they do.

And just like software has done to virtually every other area of our lives and businesses, traditional research is being quickly transformed into a more effective, valuable, on-demand function for use across the enterprise, including and especially marketing. Old and tired ways of research that treat customers like a transaction are being replaced by methods that treat customers as a key competitive advantage.

What’s one of the most rewarding things about of your job? (What aspect of marketing do you enjoy the most?)

First of all, I love to see people succeed, and my job gives me that satisfaction, both in terms of enabling our own marketing and sales teams to achieve their goals, and also in terms of collaborating with our customers in making their own organizations more successful by engaging in more meaningful ways with their customers. Secondly, over the last few years at Vision Critical, I’ve been excited to be part of the transformation to a modern measurable marketing function that is now a key component of our revenue generation engine, which has been extremely rewarding.

What aspect of research have today’s marketers overlooked that you would like to see explored, and why [what benefits does it have]?

Traditional market research has mostly been based on a series of one-off and one-way transactions with customers or potential customers, and what we’ve learned is that these transactions not only offer limited value, but that value is degrading quite quickly over time – often by the time the results are tallied, they’re already dated. In addition, business moves more quickly than ever before, and decision makers quite simply don’t have time to research the impact of their choices in the timeframes available to them.

Building a secure, engaged community of customers that you can go to quickly and repeatedly for insight effectively addresses both of these issues, and we have found that our customers are gaining richer, more timely, and more actionable information as a result of working with us to do so. This means they are able to consult their customers on things they were never able to research before and be more confident in business decisions as far reaching as new product development, marketing campaigns, and even corporate acquisitions.

The drive to personalization and greater focus on customer experience and the desire to ‘measure’ marketing effectiveness more than ever before have resulted in an exponential increase in marketing tech.

Is there a particular trend in Marketing that has had/is having a notable impact [positive or negative] on your industry?

There have been a couple of interrelated trends in Marketing over the last few years. First, the ability, through new technologies and tools, to measure marketing effectiveness at a level we have never been able to do before. As we have seen this become more widespread, the result has been the second trend – that Marketing is now being viewed as a valued, strategic function within the enterprise that makes a direct contribution to revenues. This is great news for us, because it’s now easier than ever before for our own customers, many of whom are in marketing organizations, to directly demonstrate the value of their investment in customer engagement and customer insight to their companies.

Tyler is a seasoned leader and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience. As the CMO of Vision Critical, Tyler heads up the global marketing team to grow the Vision Critical brand within target markets. He co-founded IronPoint Technology, a market leader in web content and collaboration software, through to its acquisition to the Active Network within a few years. Staying on at the Active Network, he helped drive the company from a $30M to $300M organization after a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2011. Tyler also serves as an advisor for several technology start-ups across North America.

The CIMC runs April 14-15, 2016 at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish BC, Canada. For more conference and ticket info, click here.

  • Kent Chin

    Along the spectrum of Awareness-Interest-Desire-Action, I remember the earlier days of digital marketing focused on “eyeballs” and more or less stopped there (i.e. at the Awareness) stage. It is amazing how in one decade, technology has enabled both a richer customer engagement to break past the awareness stage as well as provide marketers with more powerful and precise tools to understand consumer behaviours. Customer profiling and modelling assignments were a lot more painstaking when I was doing it in the 20th century. The discussions we had 10-15 years ago, however, continue to be the same…

    • Everything old is new again, as they say!