Movers & Shakers: Merkle, Sprinklr, Blend Media and Resonate

Tim Maytom

The mobile marketing industry is ever-changing, and that applies to the people as much as the technology. Movers & Shakers is our regular feature following the hottest hires in the industry, so you can keep track of who’s joined which company, and what they’re doing there.

(Left to right) Stefan van der Wielen, Grad Conn, Noyonika Bhaduri, Ray Faust, Ed Choi, Ericka Podesta McCoy

Stefan van der Wielen comes on board at Merkle
Data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle has hired Stefan van der Wielen to lead the further expansion of its EMEA Pega alliance, with van der Wielen taking on the newly-created role of leader for its EMEA decisioning practice. Van der Wielen joins from Pegasystems, where he was regional delivery director, responsible for leading a group of expert consultants throughout EMEA and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Pegasystems and Merkle united back in 2016 to deliver real-time personalisation between digital advertising, customer service and marketing channels. Last year, the two companies launched a marketing technology integration capability to unify adtech and martech to enable more effective and relevant digital ad campaigns and omni-channel experiences.

In his new role, van der Wielen will help clients adopt and integrate Pega, which provides automated customer engagement and next-best-action decisioning, into their technology stack. He will report to Sam Taverner, executive vice president of marketing solutions for Merkle EMEA, who has praised van der Wielen’s experience in developing tech capabilities and growing talent.

“I am proud to be joining such a talented team at Merkle, whilst being able to continue working with Pegasystems,” said van der Wielen. “In a time where many of our customers and partners are changing their customer approach to personalised, one-to-one relationships, it is great to be able to contribute to the changes they need to make.”

Sprinklr gets a chief experience and marketing chief
Grad Conn, former general manager and chief marketing officer of Microsoft USA, has joined customer experience management (CXM) platform Sprinklr as chief experience and marketing officer. Conn joins Sprinklr after 11 years at Microsoft, the last seven as chief marketing officer for the Microsoft US commercial business.

Prior to his time at Microsoft, Conn worked as CEO or chief marketing officer at a number of startups, and began his career at Procter & Gamble. He brings to Sprinklr extensive expertise in ABM, marketing automation, social selling, social engagement, event marketing, content marketing, and scale programs for commercial selling motions.

Valued at $1.8bn (£1.3bn) in July 2016, Sprinklr has continued to grow rapidly since. In April 2017, Sprinklr unveiled its CXM platform, and in the months following, former Cisco executive chairman John Chambers joined the Sprinklr Board, Luca Lazzaron was hired as Sprinklr’s first chief revenue officer, and Diane Adams was appointed chief talent & culture officer.

“We’re in the midst of a marketing revolution - the ‘Third Era’ of marketing – where marketers are combining mass reach with bi-directional communications,” said Conn. “Customers are now truly in control, and experience has become the new brand. While I was at Microsoft, I had the opportunity to build the largest customer experience centre in the world with Sprinklr, and I’m looking forward to sharing the insights I gained to help the world’s most loved brands create happy customers.”

New CMO announced for Blend Media
Noyonika Bhaduri has been named as the new chief marketing officer at Blend Media, a specialist in licensing, customising and publishing 360° and VR content. Bhaduri will take on responsibility for growing Blend Media’s global profile amongst its core audiences including advertisers, publishers and brands, as well as helping to build new marketing campaigns for Blend Media’s recently launched 360 Stories web-editing tool.

Bhaduri is the former global marketing director for analytics technology company Media iQ Digital, and in her role, built out the global marketing team as their first marketing hire. She has also held senior sales and marketing roles with Experian, Network 18 and The Times Group, where she played an instrumental role in ensuring the success of strategic roadmaps across Europe, North America and APAC.

“In just two years since it was founded, Blend Media has built the largest, market-leading library of 360° video content, and the largest network of global creators,” said Bhaduri. “I am excited to join Blend Media to lead the existing marketing team, and help take the business to the next level through broader brand awareness and by communicating the benefits of user-controlled content to our global audiences.”

Resonate strengthens executive bench with three new hires
Consumer intelligence and marketing insight firm Resonate has revealed three new additions to its executive team, designed to strengthen the company’s growth and generate broad awareness for its data-driven solutions. Veteran publishing executive Ray Faust has joined the company as general manager of Resonate’s publisher and entertainment vertical; Ed Choi has joined as senior vice president of customer success, and Ericka Podesta McCoy has joined as senior vice president of marketing.

Faust most recently spent eight years at Star Tribune Media Co, and will lead solutions and sales efforts for Resonate within the publishing community. Choi, who has spent the past 20 years driving strategic growth initiatives with companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Verizon, Accenture and VeriSigh, is charged with fostering client success with Resonate’s SaaS business. Meanwhile, McCoy, whose previous roles include leading marketing strategy, acquisition and retention for Marriott and Sprint, will bring a unique depth of insights into the marketing of Resonate’s platforms.

“We’re excited to be adding three respected industry veterans to the Resonate team at the time of unprecedented demand for our unique consumer intelligence insights and engagement platform,” said Bryan Gernert, CEO of Resonate. “Marketers’ need for deeper real-time insights into their customers and prospective customers have never been greater. Today’s CMO is tasked with redefining the customer experience around their brands, and that requires an understanding that goes much deeper than your standard consumer profile.”