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Head of Client Brand Safety
With a degree in economics and on the road to a career in politics, Rachel Miller-Garcia discovered her passion in marketing and has never looked back. Starting out on the publishing side of advertising and media, she then made her way to the agency side of the playing field, finding her chops in digital and experimenting with programmatic advertising before making her way to NetLine, where she heads up Brand Safety and Customer Success for the B2B content syndication and lead generation network.
Leveraging experience in both content creation and content syndication on the agency side, NetLine’s 24-plus year history in B2B content syndication drew Rachel Miller-Garcia in — not to mention their strong data security and privacy posture.
“The conversation around data security is really coming to the forefront, and it is my responsibility to ensure our clients are caught up,” she says.
With significant data privacy breaches making headlines globally, Rachel highlights the need for companies to take necessary steps in order to remain protected. “CMOs already have thousands of things on their plates and mounting responsibilities, so we want to take the guesswork out of their data policies,” she says.
Data is collected at unprecedented rates, and the need to protect that information is quickly become a new mandate for today’s CMO Trust Champion.
“The CMO's job is really a kitchen sink full of responsibilities now,” says Rachel. “They need to be responsible for how to build and grow their brand and for how their organization stands out against the competition. A new and evolving challenge is having the confidence to pick vendors that are ultimately going to perform and make them look good at the same time. This is especially true as brand trust, big data, privacy and transparency are mounting concerns.”
In the past five years, the pace of change has accelerated; there are incredible new technologies out there to capture data and lead sources. At the same time, though, customers are becoming more educated. The rules of engagement have changed. Customer experience is now inextricably linked to issues around compliance and privacy and safety.
“There are so many quick opportunities for short-term wins, and, yet, there's an increased need for CMOs to balance those with projects that are going to ensure them long-term success,” she says. “The old days of brand building without accountability are over.”
The most important considerations for brands looking to build trust in their demand generation strategies: working with vendors that are following clean practices and making sure that email databases are opted in.
“Even if brands aren’t doing the mailing, if the brand is featured in an email, it is just as liable as the beneficiary,” Miller-Garcia says. “Spam complaints could get your corporate IP addresses blacklisted and a truly legitimate email could end up being blocked. If a vendor can’t show you a sign-up page, steer clear. Data driven marketing presents a huge opportunity, but CMOs that seek data privacy will secure the brand’s trust.”
Getting the “golden goose” of leads on time and under budget is an intoxicating promise. But what’s the hidden cost of that exchange? Many problems around lead generation today stem from those “quick gets” that are usually not legitimate.
“It comes down to providing a contact versus a lead,” she says. “Leadership needs to evaluate their vendors in terms of their practices and not just their price. Brand safety demands that marketers require transparency and data security from their vendor partners. If it smells bad, it probably is bad.”
There are a number of thoughtful questions to ask vendors (See 10 questions to as your vendors in the newly released CMO Council report “Are Garbage Leads Trashing Your Brand?”) but the most important step marketers need to take is to ensure a close relationship with vendors, high levels of information sharing and that there are well-structured marketing automation platforms in place.
Looking over her career, Miller-Garcia says there is one thing that has been most fundamental to her success: the ability to admit that she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know.
“If I don’t know the answer, I want to be nimble and responsive to go out and find that answer,” she says. “The ability to truly listen and engage, rather than jump to conclusions, is instrumental. As marketers, we cannot be afraid of the things out there that might make our job harder, especially if it means making changes that will improve the overall customer experience and brand trust dynamic.”