It used to be a holy grail everyone was after: the right message to the right customer at exactly the right time — every time. But with real-time, actionable data wedded to programmatic CRM, that formidable chalice can be grabbed right now. Join master marketers in our latest VB Live executive event, where you’ll learn how to turn martech innovation into marcomm magic.

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Digital marketers have always carried one essential, burning desire in their hearts: Get the right message to the right person at the right time. And Brian Monahan, co-founder of NewCo and former CMO, says that with programmatic CRM done right, you’re about to get lucky.

“I think we’re closer than ever to having this promise be made real, because you’ve got the raw data, you’ve got the ability to process it, and now you’ve got something relevant to say to a customer on an ongoing basis,” Monahan says. It’s part of how, over his three-year tenure at Walmart, his team grew their average monthly comScore uniques from 55 million to 85 million — using data-driven marketing to match relevant items to a customer’s intent.

“With perpetually connected consumers always on their phones, always consuming digital content, they’re producing a massive data footprint of what they’re doing and what they’re interested in at any given time,” says Monahan.

We’ve moved far away from the world where customers were identified by slow-moving data — info such as address, or number of kids in the household, or type of product purchased in the past 12 months, and his colleague, Blueshift CEO Vijay Chittoor, breaks down the distinction vividly, Monahan says.

“Static traditional attributes you can think of as nouns,” he explains. “But now you have ways of describing people through the fluid things that they’re doing every day — and you can think of these data points and attributes as verbs.”

But there are hurdles to plan for, Monahan warns — and surprisingly, they’re not just technological. The first fundamental barrier, he says, is the underlying data structure.

“Most brands really only capture the nouns,” he says. “And they’re not really updating these profiles in real time. And then connecting that canonical customer data to your email system or your content management system or your ad server is another development leap.”

An even higher developmental leap could be that in the wake of programmatic CRM, marketers have to fundamentally change their message strategy.

“It’s just a new way of approaching the craft of marketing and of storytelling,” Monahan says. “You really need to parse through and think about meaningful attributes, which nouns and verbs actually tell me something useful. And then how do I capture it and connect it to my system so I can actually do something with it. And then how do I think of something relevant to say?”

He likens this relevancy to Mad Libs, where the blanks filled in with customized messages tailored to the individual. “That’s kind of the way programmatic CRM and narrative templates need to be designed,” says Monahan. “Finding ways you can accommodate all this personalization while presenting the brand as a consistent narrative is a new skill in marketing.”

“And people who learn how to think that way and tell stories that way have a bright future ahead of them,” he adds.

For more on wielding the power of targeting and personalization tools whether you’re all the way down the programmatic CRM path or you’re just starting out — and how to keep hyper-personalization from obscuring the larger picture — join our latest VB Live event.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this VB Live event, you’ll:

  • Target precise messages and optimize user retention across all of your marketing channels
  • Learn how your first-party data, including user behavior, transactions, and your catalog of content/products drives scalable individualized user experiences
  • Prevent or eliminate the potential of fraud


  • Brian Monahan, co-founder, NewCo, former CMO, Walmart
  • Jeff Pash, Director of CRM, The Muse


  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Blueshift.