This post is part of our new Future of Marketing series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with Falon Fatemi, CEO of Node.
1. What’s the history of Node? Where and how did you begin?
FF: I joined Google when I was just 19 and then worked at the company for six years. At that time, I became very aware of the limitations of search engines in delivering relevant information to users. Search is great when you know what you are looking for. But when you don’t know what to type into the search box, you can miss a ton of relevant info.
After Google, I spent five years as a consultant helping technology startups connect with new investors, partners, and customers. That experience was the genesis for Node as I set out to understand how to more efficiently engineer introductions to the people and businesses that mattered to her clients. We call that engineering serendipity and it’s exactly what Node, as a discovery engine, was built to do.
2. What specific problem does Node solve? How do you solve it?
FF: There is more information created online in a single day than any one person could absorb in an entire lifetime. That means that we need to create new ways to find information relevant to us without essentially becoming human crawled endlessly searching the web for opportunities. With Node, we enable proactive and instant discovery without having to search.
Through proprietary patent-pending artificial intelligence technology, including natural language processing and machine learning, Node is able to anticipate and deliver the information a user will need before they even know they need it. It is the future of the internet beyond search.
Node seamlessly integrates into the regular workflow of sales and marketing teams by providing actionable and personalized insights directly within Salesforce, including a company’s total addressable market and valuable intelligence to engage with the right customer targets, at the right time and with the right message.
3. What’s the future of marketing?
Prediction #1: More organizations will embrace enterprise AI solutions for sales & marketing. This will allow sales and marketing teams to spend more time doing what they do best – thinking creatively, closing business deals, for example. We’re already seeing AI technologies being adopted by cross-industry enterprises, a trend that will only continue and increase when it comes to core business sales & marketing models.
Prediction #2: Companies will get better at targeting their customers with relevant and timely info that they can act on in real time. Consumers today have become so used to highly targeted messages delivered to them through social and the web and that trend is only going to continue – think geo-targeted mobile ads, for example.
Prediction #3: Brands are going to demand even more accurate and transparent ad measurements from platforms. 2017 showed that the big players have some real issues with accurately measuring audience sizes and this year I think you’ll see brands continue to demand more transparency.
4. What are the top 3 technologies trends you’re seeing in marketing?
Trend #1: AI and machine learning are becoming an increasingly integral component of marketing, with the possibility of tapping into the thousands of opportunities and valuable business connections that are currently missed each day. At Node, we’re seeing companies that have integrated our AI platform into their sales & marketing practices already optimizing $4 billion in revenue and generating over $100 million in customer revenue.
Trend #2: Big data. It’s the “buzzword” everyone knows, but might not always understand its full impact on marketing as we know it. Beyond AI and machine learning technologies, new techniques for aggregating data are enabling more conclusive market testing, acute personalization and so much more. Big data is becoming the backbone of marketing and will continue to define the industry.
Trend #3: It’s no secret that with the adoption of marketing technologies, we’ll have to rethink the marketing team and skills needed. Most people think technology will replace humans in the workplace, but really it’s about a shift in skills needed. Creativity and communication skills will be more important than ever and marketers will also have to evolve to meet this new demand.
5. Why is the marketing industry ripe for disruption?
FF: Marketing departments and CMOS are increasingly being assigned more profit & loss responsibilities. That new accountability is now becoming the accepted practice within marketing departments and it's requiring marketing executives to think differently about the tech they use to do their jobs as effectively as possible. They need proven tools that offer ROI quickly and are no longer satisfied with legacy tech or the old way of thinking. What’s more, the industry’s gradual shift to a comprehensive data-first approach is already spurring major innovations. The combination of these two trends sets the stage for an industry transformation.
About Falon Fatemi
Falon Fatemi is the Founder and CEO of Node, the first people-based artificial intelligence platform revolutionizing how people and businesses discover new opportunities. At age 19, Falon was the youngest employee at Google and has since spent over a decade focused on go-to-market strategy, global expansion, and strategic partnerships at Google, YouTube, and in the startup world.