When everything has gone crazy it can sometimes be easy to forget that life will return to normal soon enough. With that in mind I wanted to take a moment to recognize a recent promotion to CMO for one of my favorite people in the industry, Kathy Bryan of DMS (also referenced above). We spoke two weeks ago – it seems a lifetime now, of course – about her promotion and the role of women in the performance marketing industry:
Blue Book: Congratulations on the promotion.
Kathy Bryan: Thank you! I’m very excited to be Chief Marketing Officer at Digital Media Solutions. In truth I’ve been leading the corporate marketing efforts at DMS since late 2017. During that time, we’ve successfully raised awareness of who we are and what we do while positioning DMS as the clear thought leader of the performance marketing industry. I want that to continue.
BB: What changes do you hope to effect in your new role?
KB: I plan to leverage my title to help shape the performance marketing industry as a whole, working with executives at peer organizations and industry associations, like the LeadsCouncil, to elevate awareness of performance marketing in general. While the performance marketing share of digital marketing continues to grow, there are still many verticals just getting their toes wet in the performance world. And there is a long list of companies still unsure of how performance marketing works. Working together across the performance marketing industry, we can educate marketers and help them transition more of their budgets toward marketing with truly measurable ROI.
I will also be launching the Women of Martech later this month. Women of Martech will promote and amplify the experiences, contributions, successes, achievements and innovations of women in the martech industry, including actions tied to revenue, process & efficiency, diversity & inclusion and social responsibility. Women of Martech aims to increase the recognition of the power of women in the martech industry and their contributions to innovate and move the industry forward. We will encourage women in the martech industry to work together instead of compete with each other and ultimately help increase the percentage of women in martech, especially in leadership roles.
BB: Performance marketing seems to be a field in which many amazing, strong women have come to the forefront. Is there something about this industry that is more open than others?
KB: Marketing, in general, is very open to women. I believe it’s because it requires professionals to tap into their creative and their analytic powers. Most women are very strong multi-taskers. We juggle long lists of priorities and get them done. We also know that words alone will not move us forward. We need to take action and take charge. Unfortunately, leadership roles – even in marketing – are less likely to go to women. There are many theories regarding why this happens, and we’re seeing change. But the change is not fast enough. That’s one of the reasons why I believe now is the right time for Women of Martech. By amplifying the power of women in our industry, Women of Martech will make it easier to visualize more women in leadership roles.
BB: People focused primarily on affiliate marketing may not be as familiar with DMS as they could be. Can you explain what the company does, over and above just being a network?
KB: Digital Media Solutions is much more than an affiliate network. We are the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance driven brand and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. At DMS, we are focused on supporting the marketing goals of our clients, with our campaigns offering visibility into the customer experience and providing accountability for every media dollar spent. When marketers come to DMS, they’re typically looking to scale something: sales, inquiry volume, inbound calls, contacts in their CRM.
We work with brands to understand exactly what they need to grow, and how they’ll measure marketing success. We then build custom performance marketing campaigns, leveraging our marketplace solutions, which provide optionality to consumers based on their specific needs, and branded, multi-channel marketing efforts. Our campaigns leverage a long list of owned-and-operated websites and publisher partners to help us go big while staying narrowly focused on the right target audience. Also important, when we launch campaigns, we do it with DMS media dollars. Our clients only pay for consumer actions taken: clicks, leads, calls or sales.
BB: What does “Precision Performance Marketing” mean exactly?
KB: Precision performance marketing refers to our ability to be supremely targeted and focused on what matters for our clients. Yes, we can go bigger. Yes, we can get you more. But, we will never cast a net so wide that we scoop up more than the target. Precision performance marketing is about diligence and restraint. Campaigns must always have objectives and predefined KPIs. Best practices must always be leveraged, but also always be questioned, because nothing is static.
Precision performance marketing highlights the scrupulous care with which we build and optimize campaigns on behalf of our clients, leveraging our team of experts, our robust database of consumer intelligence and our industry-leading digital media distribution to launch, refine and scale with power. Precision performance marketing is a recognition of what matters to our clients: acquiring precisely the right customers to achieve the targeted campaign and lifetime value metrics.
BB: Congratulations on the promotion again, Kathy. We couldn’t be happier to see yet another strong, smart woman join the C-suites of the performance marketing industry. Long may the trend continue.