We published more than 50 episodes of the Marketer + Machine podcast in 2019. And, a little insider insight: because of you, we’ve seen continuous growth of the show, including:

After an unbelievable jump start to the show in 2018, I wanted to take a little time to reflect on what made 2019 so great, too.

Here’s my top 10 favorite moments from the podcast over the past year.

10. Vivek Sharma, CEO at Movable Ink on visual content

Vivek and his team at Movable Ink are spearheading a movement to help marketers marry data and creative.

As he explained to us back in February, you have more data than you think — in different places and from different channels. Unifying this giant ocean of mostly unstructured data, and coupling it with wonderful creative and technology can help you tell personalized, visual stories. Up until now, why have these two aspects of marketing existed in disparate realms? Why haven’t we completely and fully brought them together?


“Visuals haven’t kept up with the way content needs to be produced. The modern digital marketer has to contend with more channels popping up every day! This profusion of new channels, more devices, more moments people pass through in a given day, and the burden of more campaigns, moments, and channels has made those old content production processes crumble, and it hasn’t scaled or kept pace with all the other innovation happening in digital marketing.”

Episode: Uniting Data & Creative to Bring Personalization Into the Visual Era: Vivek Sharma

9. Sandra Wroe, Head of CRM at WorldRemit on customer centricity

As Head of CRM, Sandra Wroe of WorldRemit understands the challenges of information overload, personalization, and technology. Customer centricity is a nice platitude that a lot of us boast about, but how do we actually do it? As Sandra shared back in April, the easiest way is to start with email at the center — and then to take on those auxiliary channels like push messaging and social media ads.

Episode: How to Adapt to the Digital, Omnichannel World (In 12 Minutes): Sandra Wroe

8. Shane Lenton of Cue Clothing Co. actually did omnichannel

Cue Clothing Co. uses their customer data to provide a frictionless experience for customers regardless of touchpoint. Any team member can see who the customer is, purchase history, frequency of shopping, and preferences — whether in-store, online, via customer care, live chat, or any other channel.

Back in May, CIO Shane Lenton shared how the 51-year-old brand stitches together the entire digital customer journey to epitomize true omnichannel.

Episode: How Cue Clothing Co. Offers a Truly Omnichannel CX: Shane Lenton [Podcast]

7. Jim Sterne demystifies artificial intelligence

Just after the turn of the year, we had AI industry expert, keynote speaker, and author Jim Sterne on the program. Jim’s 12th book called Artificial Intelligence for Marketing: Practical Applications had came out in 2017, and he discussed some of the key principles included.

My favorite part of his interview centered around Jim emphasizing how marketers can get past misconceptions about AI. As he explained, there are 3 main fears about AI: that it’ll become sentient and take over the world, it’ll steal our jobs, and that bias and privacy issues are inherent. Only the final point has merit, says Jim.

Episode: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Marketing: Jim Sterne

6. Chris Pirrotta on authenticity

Chris Pirrotta, VP of Marketing at Sideshow offered some of the best advice we’ve heard on the show: make authentic connections — whatever that means for you. Don’t get so lost in the technology that you forget why you’re using it! Chris shared a couple really great “mic-drop-moments” as well… which is why his episode is one of my favorite from the past year. Chris told us:

“The most effective marketing is marketing in which you really touch someone’s heart.”


“You can’t fake authenticity when it comes to specificity… Marketing is marketing, it’s just using tools to do it correctly. We look at technology to help us reach and discover new people. We have a large website which is something like 15,000th on Alexa — it gets a lot of traffic, but obviously all of those people don’t become customers. We look to the technology to help us [decide if] those people that got to us would be interested in a physical mailer or a postcard — those types of opportunities are what we’re pursuing at this point.”

Episode: [Revolution Series] How Authentic is Your Marketing? Touch Customers’ Hearts: Chris Pirrotta

5. Caren Carrasco gets in the weeds with RFM modeling

RFM modeling allows marketers to gain visibility and understanding of the influence that their marketing efforts have on driving repeat revenue, preventing churn and winning back dormant clients. Using this innovative methodology, you can better understand the true health, activeness, and engagement of the various segments of your database. You can also define opportunities within repeat segments to fill revenue gaps.

Caren Carrasco of our partner Benjamin David Group joined the show back in April to break things down.

Episode: RFM Modeling 101: Predict Churn, Purchase, & Retention with Simple Segmentation: Caren Carrasco

4. Chelsea Mueller makes data understandable

With more than half a million active SKUs on the website, and many product variations and verticals, it’s pretty darn important for Cheaper Than Dirt to have both a birds-eye and bullseye view of each customer. They’re leveraging data to achieve that proverbial “right time, right place, right message” status all of us strive for. How? Chelsea Mueller, CMO, explained:

“Historical data makes a big difference. Understanding where your customers were and where they’re going is important… I don’t want to know just the last thing you purchased… if [you bought] a high-end price-point item… you’re not buying another one of those immediately! You need everything in the periphery. If we don’t understand that journey, we can’t serve first-time customers. That comes back to the data — price points, average order value, where they’re from, how they entered our site, etc. All of those components together give us a much better picture.”

Big thanks to Chelsea for taking some time at our Revolution conference to share CTD’s story.

Episode: [Revolution Series] How Cheaper Than Dirt Uses Customer Behavior Data for Personalization: Chelsea Mueller

3. Brian Solis on the link between happiness and creativity

Industry mogul Brian Solis gets the grind — and how digital distraction is making a lot of us (if even subconsciously) unhappy. He generously joined the show in May to share how to stay sane amidst the continuous influx of tech overload, the ads, emails, calls, beeps, bells, dings, pings, popups, players, notifications, texts, and more.

Brian’s new book, Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life, is all about this topic. As Brian told us:

“I think it was Kristen Harris who said, ‘We were given the power of Gods, and not the wisdom,’ and we absolutely got drunk on it. We tasted what it was like to have followers and to be adored and liked on demand. We got a dose of what it’s like to be famous, even if it’s just micro fame… that’s lifescale. It’s a human journey to reset all of your core pillars in life for a modern generation.”

Episode: Stop Working for Your Tech, & Make It Work for You: Brian Solis [Podcast]

2. Ashwin Ram updates us on where AI stands today

Anytime you can learn from a tech leader the likes of, say, the Director of AI at Google, you want to take advantage of it.

Prior to joining Google, Ashwin Ram led AI development and R&D for Amazon Alexa, the intelligent agent that powers Amazon Echo and other devices. He has been pushing the envelope in artificial intelligence, natural language understanding, machine learning, and conversational dialog for years and is widely considered the leading expert at the intersection of cognitive AI and social computing.

He joined the show to talk about how to get computers to simulate human thought, blending ethical implications of AI with innovation and creating a great CX, and how humans work with machines and AI.

“We’re moving from a channel-first mindset in marketing to a consumer-first mindset. Marketing used to be about one-to-many conversations — you’d take a bunch of messages and find a way to broadcast them out to your audience. Now, marketing is shifting to be [about] one-to-one conversations. We want highly personalized, individual interactions with people when they want them, where they want them, about what they want. You need AI to help make sense of this complex world we live in to be able to interact with people where they are without being intrusive. That’s the big win for marketing!”

Episode: [Revolution Series] The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing: Ashwin Ram, Technical Director of AI, Google

1. Chris Pearce gets at the heart of it

In one of my favorite episodes on the show, Chris Pearce, CEO of TMW Unlimited, shared his passion and unique understanding of behavioral science and neuroscience — and how to dig into consumers’ subconscious mind to ultimately create more emotive experiences.

What would you do if you could dig into the mind of your customer? How would your placement and context of the content you’re including in your communications change if you knew what your buyers desired — based on neuroscience and behavioral marketing? How would you rethink your creative if you knew that a beautiful picture with a price tag (vs. one without) triggered the same pain receptors in the brain which light up when you cut yourself?

Episode: [Revolution Series] Using Behavioral Marketing to Understand Context, Content, & Deep-Seated Customer Needs: Chris Pearce

Final Thoughts

These 10 episodes are some of the best we’ve put out not only this year, but over the course of the last two since the birth of Marketer + Machine. Cheers to you for helping make the show such a success, and a BIG thanks to all of our amazing guests who made the show possible. If you haven’t yet subscribed… what are you waiting for? Sign up on your favorite podcast platform and don’t miss anything:

Here’s to a new year — stay tuned, because you won’t want to miss the content we’ve got planned. Please feel free to reach out to me and let me know your favorite episodes of the past year, and what you’d like to see in 2020.

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