An interview with our CEO, Craig Scribner

SONY DSCWe are proud of our team here at Claravine! Between us, we have decades of experience in digital media and digital analytics — and we’re having a ton of fun trying to build a world of better data collection, for everyone.
I got a chance to sit down this week with our CEO, Craig Scribner, to ask him about founding the company. It’s an interesting story.
JR: Can you tell me a bit about what motivated you to start Claravine?

CS: The problem that motivated me to create Claravine was the same one that motivated me to leave my analyst roles and become a consultant. I spent time early in my career as an analyst and account manager at Ominiture, but instead of providing the analytics insights I was ostensibly hired for, I constantly found myself in the position of offering grief counseling to clients who weren’t getting what they expected and needed from their campaign tracking. I remember a call with a marketing contact at Tiffany, in which I found myself explaining the technical reasons for what she’d done wrong in setting up her campaign — and why none of her resulting data was usable. I could feel her despair through the phone, and I felt terrible. She’d spent all this money, and had no data, because she hadn’t known to set the campaign up properly for data capture. I kept thinking, this really shouldn’t be her job; she did the important things right. The system her company used for campaign tracking is what failed her.
I left my analyst role to become a consultant, hoping to help clients avoid the problems of data capture by doing work for them at the front end of a campaign.
As a consultant, I found that most companies lack the resources and infrastructure to create their own systems for making data capture reliable. And the larger the company, the less confidence they had in the data. Rightfully so: there were so many people touching each campaign and its tracking data, that the result was almost impossible to trust. When data is handled manually in an environment without strict normalization, it’s very hard to get accurate attributions.
There are a few companies — Salesforce is one — that have built in-house systems to ensure accurate data capture, but that kind of consistency is rare. And because it’s outside their core product, it can put a strain on the business, and is one more system that needs to be maintained. At most companies, when a campaign goes live, analysts spend two or three days trying to figure out if  A) data is being captured, and B) it really means what it says. With a tool like Claravine, all of the work of classifying and verifying is done before launch. Analysts who use a tool like ours can instead spend those first critical days of a campaign on optimizing and lead nurture.
Overall, the general lack of governance in this space leads to constant underutilization of Adobe’s capability. It’s an amazing tool, but most clients are not getting full value. If we can help them get full value, we will have done them a great service.
Check back next week for Part 2: “How the Analyst role is changing”

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