As Chief Marketing Officer for San Francisco-based SparkPost, Josh Aberant is an advocate for adoption of the company’s cloud email infrastructure. 

SparkPost is a cloud-based transactional email solutions, with a customer base that includes Salesforce, Twitter, Comcast and Oracle. The company reports, its software moves more than 3 trillion messages a year — representing more than 25 percent of the world’s legitimate email campaigns to hit your inbox.

Aberant is also an industry advisor to the board for Agari, which offers a cybersecurity platform that prevents targeted phishing attacks and other email security breaches.

Before joining SparkPost, Aberant spent four years as the postmaster at Twitter, where he was tasked with ensuring users received just the right amount of company communications ... enough to stay informed, not enough to be annoying.

Aberant also co-founded and served as CEO of RestEngine, a company Twitter acquired in 2012. At RestEngine, he led the launch of a social data, outbound marketing automation platform.

Earlier in his career he focused on privacy and standards at companies including Marketo, Lyris and Topica. 

In all, Aberant has over 18 years of experience in startups, which includes work with Collab.Net and Intershop.

Collectively, his experience gives him a key understanding of today's data driven cultures and knowledge of how organizations can optimize the use of data to create actionable insights and impactful strategies. 

He'll share his insights on why and how organizations should be data driven at CMSWire's DX Summit this Nov. 14 through 16 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago. CMSWire talked with his recently to learn more about his perspective and the concept of #GrowthHacking that he plans to discuss at the DX Summit.

Understanding the #GrowthHacking Framework

Walter: What's the key message you plan to share at the DX Summit?

Aberant: I’m really excited to be talking about the #GrowthHacking framework. While #Growth is a well defined practice within Silicon Valley, it's not as well know outside of that community. Sometimes that results in some perceptions of the #Growth practice as just being a set of buzzwords, which is emphatically not the case. Growth is the rigorous application of data to learn about and affect user behaviors and interactions with an app or service. That’s a very specific definition, but many of the lessons and best practices learned by Growth Hackers are broadly applicable to understanding today’s data-driven marketing and digital experiences. #Growth practices are very relevant to all of today’s marketers.

Walter: Everyone loves to hate email, but it doesn't seem like it's going to die anytime soon. What are your thoughts on this?

Aberant: The demise of email has been predicted by the pundits for literally decades. Yet each year, the number of email users globally continues to grow. There are estimates of approximately 4.5 billion active email accounts currently in use today and that will continue to grow to nearly 6 billion in the next five years. And there’s a good reason for email’s continued growth — it is the only widely used mass-internet communication platform that isn’t owned by one organization like texts or instant messaging, for example. In fact, often the pundits calling for the death of email are those associated with one of these proprietary communications platforms so their positions are comprised of wishful thinking more than true futuristic predictions.

Learning Opportunities

Walter: Why do you think MarTech is such a hot topic these days?

Aberant: The marketing industry has had huge success with technology in the past 20 plus years. Advances in MarTech have enabled the marketing organization to move from being what was often siloed — not really touching other parts of the enterprise — into the keepers of the overall customer experience. When marketer’s review all of the success they’ve had with technology and yet also recognize the potential that’s still unrealized, it’s makes sense to double down and invest more.

Walter: But marketers are inundated with data from their software stack. What are some strategies to rein this in?

Aberant: This is something I’ll be covering quite a bit during my DX Summit talk, where I will focus on the user state model. The user state model is an extremely useful way to evaluate copious amounts of statistics concurrently, while minimizing noise. User state models by definition aggregate a variety of metrics into a single state that can be used to make actionable decisions.

Walter: What have you learned from your time at SparkPost that may help those attending the DX Summit?

Aberant: At SparkPost, we are laser focused on being data driven. While I believe a lot of the attendees of the DX Summit are already sold on the benefits of being data driven, I imagine many of them are also dealing with the challenges that arise along the way. I look forward to sharing the multitude of lessons that we’ve learned ourselves at SparkPost on our journey so far.

Walter: What have you been doing lately to unwind and recharge?

Aberant: You mean beyond reading about MarTech tools or #GrowthHacking techniques? While I love the work I’m lucky enough to do, I make it a priority to spend time with my family and also read the New Yorker every week. Yoga is another important way I stay both mindful and healthy.