The Mac. The Mosaic. And the Matrix. Why I Joined Metadata.

September 21, 2020, Bolaji Oyejide

Why did I join Metadata?

The Mac. The Mosaic. And the Matrix.

It all started with a Mac.

Growing up as an 80s kid in Nigeria, the only real tech I got to interact with (apart from my VCR), was the occasional Atari or Commodore 64 gaming system. So in 1986, when my Mom brought home an Apple IIe, my mind was blown. It inspired me to learn the programming language BASIC. 

I spent three weeks coding my very first program, a dot-by-dot drawing of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. (I honestly can’t remember which one. Then again, the screen was black, and the monochromatic lines were green. It could have been any of them.) Even then, it wasn’t the technology that most fascinated me. It was what I could do WITH the technology. The human problems I could solve. 

(In this case, self-expression. I was a short, shy, angsty kid who looked up to sewer turtles. Cut me some slack.)

My first few years as a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta, I really didn’t know what I wanted to be. My major changed each semester

  • from Math
  • to Physics (that didn’t last long), 
  • to Engineering.
 

Marc Andressen’s Mosaic.

One late night sophomore year, in the computer lab, I discovered the Mosaic browser and the World Wide Web. It was a wrap, Marc Andressen. Computer Science it is.

Being a Computer Scientist can be an awkward thing. People assume you know everything about computers – hardware, software, the lot. I suppose it’s like having a doctorate of some sort–relatives asking to show you the bunion on their big toe when you go home for Thanksgiving. 

While I was enamored by the Internet, I was more excited about the applications of the World Wide Web. I was less Computer Engineer, more Marketing Software Strategist.

(Shout out to anyone who still has their Hotmail account from the late 90s, by the way.)

The Matrix.

After carrying a pager as a Sysadmin at Procter & Gamble for a few years (tech for a marketing company), I felt something was missing. I was surrounded by some of the best marketing brand minds the world had ever known, and yet I felt like a technical cog in the wheel.

Where were you when you first saw the Matrix movie? For me, seeing Keanu Reeves play Neo, and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus was a game-changer. I came out of that movie knowing there had to be more than simply being a cog in the wheel of a technology system.

I flipped the balance.

I saw the “code” within the system.

In the end, we’re all human. Even in B2B.

Instead of serving the technology, I resolved to learn how to get the technology to serve humanity. I decided to learn marketing for B2B technology companies. I became set on finding innovative ways to use technology to solve human problems.

My 15+ years of leading marketing initiatives at IBM, Red Hat, Alfresco Software, and my own Marketing agency, allowed me to grow up through the entire first generation of B2B MarTech. But in recent years, I started to notice that the Marketing Automation tech was taxing, not serving, Marketing professionals.

We were becoming more TECHNOLOGISTS, than MARKETERS.

(Remember the Mac. Remember the Mosaic. Remember the Matrix.)

I knew it was time for another shift.

With the rise of Account-Based Marketing software in recent years, I got excited about the potential of Marketing Tech to solve the right problems for Marketers again. But one small outfit – Metadata – stood out to me. For three reasons:

1. Matching the ICP.

“Half of My Advertising is Wasted. I Just Don’t Know What Half…” – John Wanamaker, late 1800s

Even with the advent of all kinds of fancy AdTech, reaching the right person with your messaging has remained an endlessly difficult challenge. I found Metadata’s approach to identifying the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) of each client, then building lookalike audiences with multiple levels of targeting possible, intriguing.

(As I type this – there’s a spam call coming in on my phone. I do not want to hear from these folks! There’s nothing more annoying than unwanted advertising.)

Not only is money wasted when we advertise to people not in our ICP, but there is a cost to our brand as well. What if we could get LinkedIn level targeting – identifying the entire buying committee and their influencers – on Facebook as well?

2. Enriching Customer Data: Less Friction, More Insight.

I’ve long railed against technology design, whether in code, or web layout, or physical function, that favors the creator’s comfort over the end user’s. Much of the tech world unfortunately has gone in this direction.

Metadata’s data enrichment not only allows marketers to ask for less data in their forms (goodbye, 20-field Spanish Inquisition forms) by enriching the lead data on the back-end, but it also allows the Marketer to build a rich lookalike audience based on the initially created ICP, going as far as to unify customer data across locations, devices, and browsers. So the Marketing and Sales teams still end up with ample insight into whom they are serving.

What kind of virtuous cycle could we build if we iteratively reduced customer friction and increased customer insight?

3. Testing Multivariates: A Scientist’s Approach to Marketing.

For many years now, Marketers have had to deal with the fact that almost everyone in the organization feels that they can do Marketing better than those trained to do it. Everyone has an opinion. And often the loudest (or most senior) voice in the room wins the war of opinions. Even with the more recent introduction of A/B testing in the past decade, testing is still pretty limited. With the challenge of “The CXO is always right”, plus the amount of time it took to build and execute a single campaign, there was little time for testing and validating anything but the most minute of tweaks. The best ideas often never saw the light of day.

But the ability to create 100 iterations of a campaign in 10 minutes, is infinitely fascinating. What if we could test our best guess hypothesis for the next campaign, against the CEOs, the CFOs, the VP of Sale’s, and even the mailman’s ideas, with a focus on which campaign variants brought in the most MQLs, Opportunities, and Closed-Won ROI, versus focusing on vanity metrics like impressions, clicks, and raw leads?

What if you could focus on the human part of Marketing?

…and automate much of the rest?

What if we could measure what matters,

Put the HUMAN back in Branding,

And the HUMANE back in Demand Generation?

I’m excited to help B2B marketers rediscover that deep, genuine curiosity about the customer that got us all into Marketing in the first place. The team and technology at Metadata give me the best opportunity to do so.

 

Bolaji Oyejide (Oh-yay-gee-day)

Metadata Director of Demand Generation

Marketing Technologist.

Atari Expert.

#Morpheus.

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