Interviews

Interview with CEO and Co-Founder, Splash – Ben Hindman

“It’s not about automating entire processes to a place where experiences become sterile or irrelevant. Rather, it’s about gathering the intelligence needed to make them delightful, unforgettable, and meaningful.”

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here. (what inspired you to start a martech company)
At first, I didn’t set out to create a marketing company. What I was really interested in promoting was the importance of human relationships and how to leverage technology to creatively foster the kinds of environments where those relationships would thrive. I wanted to give marketers a tool that would not only help them leverage data to run smarter events, but that would also inspire them to be more creative in their executions.

Given the massive proliferation of marketing technology, how do you see the martech market evolving over the next few years?
Technology is going to come off the screen. As consolidation increases, marketing technology is going to become more integrated. When all of your technology platforms and apps are able to seamlessly communicate, event marketers will have access to deeper, even more personalized data. This hyper-personalized interest data will enable marketers to tap into their creative sides and execute more memorable human experiences for their guests off the screen. One of the worst things an event marketer can see is everyone looking down at their phones, not paying attention to or engaging with their environment. Martech, ironically, is going help marketers avoid that.

What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
We’re moving toward a kind of an apps 2.0 world. Advances in deep linking are going to provide marketers with a slew of really tight-knit experiences that will allow people to go between utilities very quickly. That will be a very interesting opportunity for marketers.

What’s the biggest challenge that CMOs need to tackle to make marketing technology work?
CMOs need to have a firm grip internally on the organization’s goals and whether they have the right people in place. The biggest challenge for them is ensuring the technology is working across their organizations so that everyone has access to that personalized data.

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Being able to delegate the right amount of work to the right people.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a marketing leader?
I see the biggest opportunity for automation and AI in scaling and strengthening human-driven experiences. It’s not about automating entire processes to a place where experiences become sterile or irrelevant. Rather, it’s about gathering the intelligence needed to make them delightful, unforgettable, and meaningful. Even better is that we can to do it at scale, which will enable us to, for example, better leverage programmatic experience design, and even programmatic spending. If we consider the data needed to surprise someone with their favorite cocktail the moment they arrive at an event or to seat them next to someone they greatly admire at a special dinner, we can craft smart registration and data collection processes that enable us to create memorable human experiences that drive deep engagement.

What is the core marketing technology capability of your firm that you bring to a marketer? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
Splash, which is based in New York City, makes it unbelievably easy for hosts to throw extraordinary events. It provides businesses with a platform for creating beautiful on-brand digital invitations, collecting RSVPs and deploying effortless check-in at events. The platform enables marketers to follow attendees through the event and create a personalized experience at every touchpoint (pre-, during and post-event), while seamlessly integrating deeply into existing infrastructure and CRM tools.

Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
We’re really spending a lot of time on boosting the personalization capabilities of our platform.

What is your take on the massive explosion of MarTech across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
Yes, I do, on both fronts. We will definitely consider meaningful opportunities as they present themselves.

Could you share for our readers, an infographic or description depicting your marketing stack (various marketing software products or platforms your team uses or subscribes to)?
Our core technologies include Splash (events, landing pages, email promotions), ON24 (webinars), Marketo (marketing automation), Salesforce (CRM), Google Analytics (website metrics) and we’ve recently added BrightFunnel (multi-touch attribution) and Guru (knowledge management/sales enablement).

Can you share a screenshot of the homepage of your smartphone (iOS/Android/other)? It would be interesting to see some of the apps you personally use on a daily basis to get things done and stay on top of your day.

Ben Hindman is co-founder and CEO of Splash, the fastest-growing end-to-end event marketing technology used by over half of the Fortune 500. An event planner turned tech entrepreneur, events are in Ben’s DNA. Prior to starting Splash, Ben was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where he produced large-scale events from concerts to mystery fly-aways. He is also a co-founder of the Summit Series, the renowned invite-only destination event for the greatest minds in tech.

From simplifying event asset creation to capturing attendee insights and measuring event impact, Splash enables marketers to reach and connect with target audiences in-person, efficiently scale event programs and connect event-driven engagement to business results.
For more information please visit our Website

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