A CMO to Know: John Boynton, Aimia

As a new feature on ITBusiness.ca for our special CMO Digital section, we’re featuring profiles of Canadian chief marketing officers and marketing executives. If you’re a CMO and you’d like to be included, get in touch by tweeting at @CMODigital

Name: John Boynton

Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Company: Aimia


How long have you been in your role?

I joined Aimia in October 2014 after a number of motivating conversations with the senior executive leadership team. Aimia marries loyalty marketing and data analytics extremely well. Virtually every company now has access to a much richer accumulation data set than ever before – but what specific data you choose to put in your customer database and how you collect this information in order to start to be super-relevant in multiple ways to your customer is what is very exciting. I was excited to be a part of an organization that is thriving in this space.


How do you think the marketing field will change in the next five years?

This is truly a time of reinvention for the marketing field. The marketing industry is past the tipping point.  The industry as a whole has been discussing data and one to one marketing for years but we’ve finally moved into an era where the marketing platforms and the technology exist and are fully integrated and readily available, making one to one marketing possible for virtually every organization.

The data is also now readily available, and extraction capabilities and storing costs have also been greatly reduced. The customer is also gaining firsthand experience of the value in sharing their data as they receive meaningful and relevant communications and rewards in return.

All the reasons ‘not to build one to one relationships with your customers’ have completely gone away and it is now possible to be ultra-relevant at each digital impression and provide a multi-dimensional execution of all marketing disciplines. But CMO’s need a trusted partner who has done it many times.

I think in the next five years, digital will become much more emotive, which is a huge deal for the marketing industry. CMOs will also evolve and will become more sophisticated and better at understanding value, brand, and customer experience. I believe CMOs and CIOs will also work alongside one another a lot more, each bringing their own expertise to bear, in the areas of data automation and the architectural ecosystem.

What’s your favourite smartphone app right now?

Given we run the Aeroplan coalition loyalty program in Canada, it would behoove me to say the Aeroplan App which allows our members to view their account history and Distinction status, and set travel goals. But my favourite app, and probably my most used right now, is Teamsnap. It is this brilliant team management tool that my children’s sports teams use. It lets me know who will and won’t be at a specific game, who is bringing snack, who wants to carpool, map the location, and in general makes life a little easier for players, kids, and coaches.  It’s extremely well done too with a great presentation and attention to detail.

What do you think is keeping CMOs up at night?

I think most CMOs like me are concerned about similar things such as improving the customer experience, customer retention, and trying to manage big data and create a single view of the customer. I think there are also a lot of solutions out there to address these concerns. For example, relevance can be increased through communications, segmentation, and CRM analytics. One could also build a ‘datamart’ that aggregates data from disparate client systems, layers in customer value and behavioral segmentation, and include the development of an automated, measurable CRM program to address the customers at an individual level. With flat or declining budgets and tough ROI questions, ultimately, every CMO will need a series of executions or channels that are fully integrated with one another and programmatic so that they perform at optimum levels and provide the best possible ROI – that’s where Aimia usually comes into the picture.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Julie Litchen
Julie Litchen
Julie is an Editorial & Video Assistant at IT World Canada. Loves: tech, baking, and cats. In her spare time she writes music and takes night classes at George Brown.

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