Be Your Own Best Customer

Guest: Tom Libretto CMO, Pegasystems

When Tom Libretto came to Pegasystems as Chief Marketing Officer in 2016, he recognized that the tech company was in the midst of a big change. Leadership was challenging many of their preconceived notions, and Libretto jumped right in to propel the changes. His first step was to get the lay of the land, so to speak, and understand what was working and what wasn’t, who were the star performers, and where the opportunities were for growth. Having worked at Lotus, Nokia, and Chase, Libretto brought with him an understanding of the discipline it took to effect change in a company. (To listen now, click here.)

For the smaller, more agile Pegasystems, Libretto knew he wanted to embrace real-time adaptive learning analytics. In this week’s podcast, he shares three takeaways for marketers to keep in mind as martech takes a hold on modern marketing.

The first takeaway is that if you’re selling a product to your consumers, you’d better be your product’s best user. One advantage Libretto had at Pegasystems is that their platform was one of the star performers. In fact, it was such an amazing product that they used PEGA to market, well, PEGA! Libretto described this as “drinking their own champagne,” but it helped convey a serious level of authenticity to customers. His team was also able to gain a unique perspective on their users’ issues and needs. And if the team ever created an update for the software they used in-house, it was automatically shared with their customers.

The second takeaway Libretto stressed is that the future of marketing is now. Some of us fear that the rise in cognitive artificial intelligence will put them out of our jobs, but the reality is that AI allows us to create a more personalized, seamless experience for customers. For example, with real-time adaptive learning analytics, Pegasystems is engaging in constant A/B testing. The time of “one-size fits all” marketing is in the past, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for storytelling. Marketers will likely always need human stories to engage with consumers on a deeper level. Technology simply makes it easier.

The final takeaway Libretto shared was actually one of the hardest lessons he had to learn in marketing, and that was, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” It’s in our nature to want to please our clients and sell products, but sometimes you must fail in order to learn. The most important part of failing, however, is learning from it. Libretto made sure his team knew to diagnose their failures, because then at least they wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. So, while Libretto wouldn’t tolerate all mistakes, per se, he made sure his team remembered: “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.”

Meet the Guest

Tom Libretto is Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, responsible for global marketing initiatives and functions, including brand, advertising, digital marketing, product marketing, industry marketing, demand generation, corporate communications, customer engagement, social media, events, and marketing operations.

Mr. Libretto has more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience in global technology organizations including Lotus, IBM, Nokia, and most recently as managing director, global head of digital experience at JPMorgan Chase (JPMC), the largest bank in the US. His multi-disciplinary background includes B2B and B2C marketing and sales experience as well as product management, corporate strategy, and business development roles.

 While at JPMC, Mr. Libretto was responsible for defining and executing digital transformation initiatives for the firm, directing digital marketing, social media, brand activation, email marketing, marketing automation, CRM/Business Intelligence, web, mobile, sales enablement, and marketing operations. Previously, as Global VP, digital marketing and CRM at Nokia, Mr. Libretto drove worldwide digital, CRM, social, and “always-on” marketing activities. Earlier in his career, Mr. Libretto held several marketing and sales positions at IBM and Lotus.

Mr. Libretto is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, where he earned his undergraduate degree in economics. He is a frequent presenter at industry conferences and events such as the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Web Marketing Association (WMA), Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and SXSW.

What You'll Learn

  • Tips for getting the “lay of the land” that will propel change at your new company.
  • How to convey authenticity to your customers.
  • Why you should embrace martech.
  • The “right” way to fail.

Quotes from Tom Libretto

  • We are very much drinking our own champagne.
  • We do not do anything from a perspective of advancing the product’s capabilities for our own use without that stuff being checked into the main line codebase of the product, so that our customers take advantage of the advancements we're making for ourselves.
  • With true real-time analytics and the adaptation of the models that happens on a machine-learning basis…those experiences that you're delivering to every single customer or prospect can be delivered on a one-to-one basis at all moments of the day and across any channel.
  • I think from a pure marketer’s point of view, there's a lot you can do with either your own in-house technology or simply applying these approaches or ambitions to do one-to-one, real-time marketing without a heck of a lot of investment.

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