In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, where the fusion of technology and creativity shapes the future of marketing, few professionals navigate these waters as adeptly as Joya Scarlata. With an impressive journey that transitioned from international relations to the forefront of digital marketing in the tech sector, Joya’s nearly 12-year tenure at Interra Information Technologies (InterraIT) stands as a testament to her dynamic adaptability and innovative spirit.

In this edition of our Marketing Expert Series, Joya shares the rich tapestry of her experiences, shedding light on the transformative power of AI in marketing, the evolution of digital strategies in the tech industry, and the personal passions that fuel her success.

Join us as we explore the insights and milestones of a remarkable career that seamlessly blends the analytical with the artistic, the strategic with the spontaneous.

Embracing Change and Innovation: How AI Shapes Marketing Strategies in Tech with Joya Scarlata

Hi Joya, it’s a privilege to have you join us in our Marketing Expert Series. Your nearly 12-year tenure at Interra Information Technologies (InterraIT) is quite remarkable, spanning various marketing roles that have undoubtedly shaped the company’s digital presence. To get warmed up, tell us a bit about yourself – what makes you tick? And how did you get to where you are today?

Hello! Thank you for having me! Let’s see – well funny enough, I did not start my career in marketing. Actually, far from it! I got both my Bachelors and Master’s in international relations from Boston University, so I started my career working for a prominent think tank followed by a government contractor. I also had a passion for marketing and eventually I decided to switch careers and jump right in. I haven’t looked back since! A few years ago, I obtained my MBA as I wanted to further strengthen my leadership skills.

I also enjoy writing and speaking about AI, especially how it impacts marketing. I have had the privilege to speak at different conferences and webinars and last year, I managed to achieve one of my lifelong goals – that is, to speak at a TEDx event!! I cannot wait to see where the rest of this year takes me!

InterraIT operates at the cutting edge of technology services, where innovation is key. Over the years, how have digital marketing strategies shifted within InterraIT to keep pace with technological advancements and market demands, especially considering your long-standing experience with the company?

As you know, the IT industry moves at a rapid rate, so it is important that our digital marketing strategies evolve just as fast to meet the market demands. I would say that we started off with what is considered probably more “traditional” methods of marketing but has transformed since then. By leveraging AI and data analysis, my team and I have shifted towards more personalized and data-driven marketing approaches.

Could you give us a snapshot of how your roles and strategies at InterraIT have evolved alongside the company’s growth?

As you can see, I have been with InterraIT for quite some time, thus my role and strategies have evolved significantly which mirror the company’s growth. I would say that my role at the beginning was more tactical. However as the company grew, I transitioned into more strategic roles which involved the planning and implementation of broader digital marketing initiatives. This shift required a deeper understanding of the market, our target audience, and the technology landscape.

From a strategic perspective, I transitioned from a one-size-fits-all marketing approach to more targeted and personalized strategies. In addition, my team and I have also embraced new technologies and platforms to enhance our marketing efforts. It has been quite the journey so far!

Moving on to more personal insights, your journey to becoming the Director of Digital Marketing at InterraIT is both inspiring and impressive. Could you share more about your path and what has shaped your career in digital marketing, particularly within the tech and B2B sectors?

Ah, thank you for the kind words! I feel that I get the best of both worlds by working in both tech and in marketing. The tech industry is inherently captivating due to its dynamic nature and its relentless innovation. It compels one to stay on the cutting edge of advancements. Simultaneously, working in marketing challenges me to distill complex services and solutions into messages that not only resonate but also engage with our target audience effectively.

I also try to push myself – I think I have become comfortable with being uncomfortable and challenging myself. As a result, I was able to get leadership opportunities – I took on more responsibilities, oversee projects, and have the honor to lead a dynamic team.

Reflecting on my journey, I believe what has truly shaped my career is a combination of continuous learning, adaptability, and a genuine passion for all things marketing especially in the tech sector. These elements have been especially instrumental in my career progression at InterraIT.

Digital marketing is ever-evolving, and staying ahead requires constant learning and adaptation. What have been some of the key lessons you’ve learned in your career, particularly in the realms of AI and B2B marketing?

Here are some of the key lessons that I have picked up during the course of my career, especially when it comes to AI and B2B marketing:

  1. Adaptability is key. Continuous learning and stay agile is incredibly important, not only in marketing, but also in the IT industry. Fostering that culture of innovation and adaptability in a team setting can help differentiate your organization in a crowded and competitive B2B market.
  2. The importance of data integrity cannot be overstated. In my opinion, the quality of data really sets the foundation for your success, especially when factoring in AI tools and methodologies.
  3. I have also learned that transparency and ethical considerations have become increasingly when it comes to AI-driven marketing. As we continue to leverage AI in our marketing strategies, maintaining ethical standards and ensuring privacy and transparency with our client base becomes that much more important.

AI is transforming marketing strategies and operations across industries. From your experience, how has AI impacted digital marketing practices at a strategic level, and what benefits has it brought to your campaigns or strategies?

In my opinion, AI has transformed our digital marketing practices at a strategic level in several ways. First of all, it has allowed us to gain deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences. As a result, we can develop more targeted and personalized marketing strategies.

AI has also improved our productivity and efficiency. By automating certain processes, my team can focus on more creative and strategic tasks, thereby increasing our overall output without comprising quality.

Finally, it has help enhance our measurement and optimization capabilities. Thanks to AI-powered analytical tools, my team can track the performance of our campaigns in real-time, make data-driven decisions, and continuously refine our strategies for better results.

The B2B marketing landscape presents unique challenges and opportunities. Could you discuss a particularly successful B2B marketing campaign you’ve led or been a part of? What made it successful, and how did you measure its impact?

One marketing campaign that I look back fondly on is one where my team and I focused on rebranding the company to align with our updated business vision and market demands.

We started with a thorough brand audit, and then developed a new brand strategy by updating our visual identity and refining our messaging to better reflect our values and solutions. The rollout was multi-channel, which involved a refresh of digital assets, and a robust content strategy to highlight our industry expertise. In addition, employee advocacy was a key element.

The result was success! There as a marked increase in brand visibility and alignment with our target audience, reinforcing our position as industry leaders and enhancing brand equity.

In your role, how do you balance the technical aspects of digital marketing, like data analysis and AI integration, with the creative side, such as content creation and brand storytelling?

I view the creative and technical sides of digital marketing as complementary elements that, when balanced correctly, (which is not always an easy feat!) can significantly enhance our marketing efforts.

The technical aspects of digital marketing, such as data analysis, are important when it comes to creating and informing our strategies. By leveraging and analyzing data, my team and I can gain insights into our target audience and their respective behavior and preferences. By bringing AI into the mix, it helps with automating repetitive tasks and personalizing customer experiences, thus allowing us to be more proactive and efficient.

I firmly believe, however, that AI and data are tools used to enhance, and not replace, the creative aspects of marketing. The insights gained from data analysis are help us with our creative strategies, ensuring that our content is relevant, engaging, and tailored to our audience’s preferences and needs.

Alongside your role at InterraIT, you co-host ‘The Marketer’s Guide to the Galaxy’ with Mara Dettman, focusing on the latest developments in the AI world and their implications for marketers. Could you tell us more about the inception of this podcast and how it serves as a bridge between cutting-edge AI insights and practical marketing strategies?

Yes! My co-host, Mara Dettmann and I do indeed have a podcast called, “The Marketer’s Guide to the AI Galaxy!” In fact, we are about to wrap about season 2 and start recording season 3 shortly! It has been a wonderful journey so far! The idea of the podcast really came about after a few discussions that Mara and I had – we wanted to have a platform where we could talk about important topics surrounding AI in marketing (i.e. prompting or ethics), make it accessible and understandable to marketers, and talk about them from both a B2B and B2C marketer perspective. If we can help even one marketer, then we know that we are headed in the right direction!

Looking towards the future, how do you see AI continuing to evolve in the marketing sector? Are there specific trends or innovations in AI that you believe will significantly impact B2B marketing strategies?

As an AI enthusiast, I am excited to see how AI continues to transform marketing, especially when it comes to B2B.

One area where I believe AI will continue to have a significant impact when it comes to B2B marketing strategies is the customer experience and personalization. AI is already making substantial inroads as marketers can predict customer needs, personalize communication at scale, and also enhance the customer journey. As a result, this improves conversation rates and customer retention.

Secondly, AI is revolutionizing content creation and curation. With the number of AI tools out there in the market, marketers can create highly relevant and personalized content. This is particularly impactful in B2B marketing, where content has to be highly specialized. AI can help with identifying trending topics, producing insightful content, and reaching to the right audience at the right time.

Finally, AI can enhance the lead generation and nurturing processes by identifying high-quality leads and provide insights in the most effective engagement strategies. This enables more efficient lead management and at a higher conversation rate, which is especially crucial in the B2B industry where naturally each lead holds significant value.

Networking and continuous learning are vital in the fast-paced field of digital marketing. Can you share how you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies? Are there particular resources or communities you find invaluable?

I am all for continuous learning! I know this is stating the obvious, but this is worth emphasizing – it is essential for marketers to stay up to date when it comes to the latest trends and technologies. Over the course of my marketing career, I would say that I have developed a multifaceted approach to learning and networking. I try to allocate time each week to read and/or learn something new, whether it’s a new marketing tool or taking a quick marketing course.

I try to attend webinars, join professional online communities and forums (such as specific LinkedIn groups), and read industry publications (like AdWeek) and newsletters. In addition, I try to cultivate an environment and culture of learning within my team which helps contribute to an innovative work environment.

Mentorship can play a crucial role in career development. Have you had any mentors throughout your career? How have they influenced your professional journey, and do you mentor others in the field of digital marketing?

I absolutely agree with the role that mentorship plays in one’s career development. In fact, one regret that I have is not leaning on mentors early on in my career. Currently, I have built what I call a “board of mentors,” where I have mentors from different industries and backgrounds. At least for me, I find this helpful as I can get a variety of perspectives and guidance on a certain area. The mentors I have had helped me immensely become the leader that I am today and yes, I do mentor others in digital marketing! I am always willing to give my time to help others☺

It’s clear that your passion and expertise have driven your success in digital marketing. What inspires you or contributes to your personal growth and professional resilience?

I would say that there are several factors that contribute to my personal growth and professional resilience. Firstly, my inspiration often comes from the ever-evolving nature of the digital marketing landscape itself. The challenge of adapting to new technologies, trends, and strategies as well as the constant innovation keeps me engaged and motivated.

I also draw inspiration from the people around me – this includes my co-workers, my incredibly talented and creative team, and also my mentors, who have provided invaluable guidance and support throughout my career. Furthermore, hearing or reading about success stories within the industry greatly inspire me. They remind me of the potential and impact of our work in digital marketing and fuels my desire and passion to continue contributing to meaningful and innovative work.

Finally, I am thankful that I have a strong support system outside of work in both my family and friends. They help me stay focused, maintain perspective, and return to my work with renewed energy and focus!

Joya, it’s been enlightening to delve into your experiences and insights. For our readers interested in learning more about your work or connecting with you, what’s the best way to reach out?

Once again, thank you so much for having me! I would say that the best way to reach out to me is to connect with me on LinkedIn. To learn a bit more about me, you can also visit my website (note, it is still under construction!). You can also listen to the podcast, “The Marketer’s Guide to the AI Galaxy”.

Our conversation with Joya Scarlata leaves us not just informed, but truly inspired. Her journey is a vibrant reminder that the path to success is not linear, but a rich mosaic of experiences, choices, and transformative moments.

From international relations to the cutting edge of digital marketing in tech, Joya’s story unfolds as a testament to the power of following one’s passion, the courage to leap into the unknown, and the relentless pursuit of growth. She embodies the spirit of innovation, illustrating how the fusion of technology like AI with marketing can create not just strategies, but stories that resonate and inspire.

As we conclude this chapter of our Marketing Expert Series, we are reminded that in the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, it is the learners, the dreamers, and the doers who pave the way forward, turning challenges into stepping stones for success.

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