Ad Tech

25th - 26th SEPTEMBER 2019  |  OLYMPIA

Speaker Q&A with Bryan Rhoads, Director of Strategy, Opal

Speaker Q&A with Bryan Rhoads, Director of Strategy, Opal

Bryan Rhoads

Bryan Rhoads, Director of Strategy for Opal, talks to John Bensalhia about his forthcoming talk at TFM 2018, his background, and his interesting connection with the company that he joined in 2016...

1. What is your background?

I have enjoyed a long career in digital since the early days of the web. My career includes a period at Intel, which ran global social marketing and was awarded Content Marketer of the Year in 2014.

As the Internet grew, I managed to move and grow along with it. I managed web research with the MIT Sloan School, built the social practice that eventually became the social marketing capability at Intel and ran the Creators Project partnership w/ VICE Media.

I left Intel in 2016 and joined Opal.

2. What can we expect from your presentation at this year's Technology For Marketing event?

I'm talking about marketing practices. That is, what are those daily behaviours and routines that we all do as marketers? And specifically to my talk, how our practices need to catch up with marketing technology.

As Director of Strategy for Opal, I get to work with some high-performing teams and agencies. I've been documenting practices and marketing processes. Our practices make up the overall process. Adapting and adopting new practices improves the overall process.

Some examples - AirBNB leverages a practice called "Scenario Planning" that allows them to be more responsive to the market, offers up real-time opportunities for events and improves overall orchestration of messages across channels.

Other examples include Starbucks, which uses an impressive six-week work back plan, and the Bank of America, which effectively leverages a 'news room' model.

These are practices that improve their overall process. Practices help you go beyond process and focus on specific behaviours, tactics and even mindsets.

We've started to catalogue these modern practices at along with insights and analysis from marketing leaders. Central to the site is the Marketing Collaboration Index. A self-assessment that measures key drivers of marketing collaboration. Opal’s MCI scores marketing collaboration across three key drivers of collaboration: Visibility, Alignment and Efficiency. This technology is the same process they provide their high-profile customers and brands.

I really encourage all your readers to measure their skills at: - Take the self-assessment and see how they measure up.

3. What is the background to Opal and what are its key aims and accomplishments?

Opal is a collaboration platform purpose-built for marketing and agency teams. I was a customer of Opal before I joined in 2016. I

I ran global social marketing and my organisation ran on Opal. My agencies, my publishing partners like VICE, my global teams all used Opal as a central “source of truth” of our overall process.

Overall, Opal removes the virtual silos between teams, providing new levels of visibility and alignment. Its a highly visual solution for planning, creative production, reviews and facilitation. Opal is the platform of choice for high-performing teams at Amazon, Nestlé and NASA.

Omni-channel orchestration is key to the customer journey. Opal is a collaborative space for building, viewing and sharing your marketing process.

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