We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Preston Fay, Founder & Chief Data Officer, at TKXS. 14:31 was the time allotted, and also a reference to our Charlotte street address — 1431 West Morehead Street.
Describe your role at TKXS.
While I’m a marketer by trade, my primary responsibility is to oversee and grow our data science practice. Data and data science is core to everything at TKXS! I discovered long ago that analytic-driven targeting, segmentation, and program performance analyses are what drives ROI. So being the geek that I am, I learned how to manipulate data and identify statistically relevant patterns — realizing that a data-driven approach is the single most effective way to improve client outcomes.
The importance of analytics in sales and marketing success hasn’t always been appreciated. Julia Goebel, (CMO of benefitexpress) recently shared this compliment: I first met Preston and Jack in the early 2000s and was amazed at their data science expertise, well before it was smart and sexy. Now we all recognize how valuable business intelligence can be — and as a marketer, I’m passionate about data-driven decision-making.
In addition to data science, I also have responsibility for our marketing team. Marketing will always be in my DNA, and our client work will be hugely successful when we come at it from a data science and analytics perspective.
What drew you to this business?
What other career would allow me to be both a creative, marketing guy and a data-driven wonk at the same time?
If you’re asking why I was drawn to (merging with) XSInc, I’d point out that they were the biggest collector of ag data in the industry. They had raw material (data) and tons of talent to put it to work. Then, when I walked in their offices — well, it was the most like Technekes of any place I’d ever seen. The way the office looked, the way people interacted, the way they worked together, the way their many long-standing clients knew them to be trustworthy and decent, it just felt right. Their culture was our culture, and that was unbelievably important.
What would you want clients and prospects to know about TKXS?
That our business is truly end-to-end — from data collection to execution to measuring and effectively leveraging data to maximize sales.
What would you want teammates to understand about TKXS?
I can’t imagine a more ideal scenario for everyone involved. TKXS will provide for real growth opportunities and career paths. We have a real opportunity to fundamentally change the businesses we serve. Our approach and philosophy remain the same — only more enabled.
What about the merger has surprised you most?
Even before the merger — when Technekes and XSInc were pitching clients jointly — I was surprised at the speed at which prospects came rushing to engage us. Together, our capabilities offered up a true alternative in the marketplace.
If you could go back and start your career all over again, what advice would you give yourself?
You’ve got to love what you do. Don’t chase the buck; chase what is inspiring and motivating. You tend to be good at the things you enjoy. The money will take care of itself, if you’re passionate and are remotely good at what you do.
Lucky enough for me, these guiding principles have worked out pretty well.
Where do you see TKXS five years from now?
No question — I see TKXS as the market leader in data-driven services and solutions in our verticals.
If we had a billboard outside our offices, what would it say?
We’ve got this. Whatever it is, you can count on us. Trust us, we’ll get it done.