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Leadership & Culture
“Who’s Who at CommerceIQ”
August 13, 2021

Sumi Mukoyama, Director of Partnerships

Q. What brought you to CommerceIQ?

Hands-down, the culture and people at CommerceIQ were a huge draw for me. Secondly, it was the technology. Having been in the industry a number of years, I’ve seen a lot of advertising technology but nothing that’s optimized for e-commerce like CommerceIQ because it’s a relatively new problem we are solving. Not only does the platform connect the dots between important retail and advertising metrics that affect e-commerce sales, but it activates automations that immediately begin making a difference in ad performance. On top of that, the use of machine learning solves issues that would otherwise eat up a lot of time for our clients where human judgement is required. This allows our clients to focus on important issues that will move their e-commerce business forward in a meaningful way.

Q.  As Director of Partnerships, what does your role entail? 

My role is to represent CommerceIQ and create business-to-business relationships with partners in the e-commerce and advertising ecosystem that are mutually beneficial for both companies. All from the lens of doing what’s best for our customers. For example, right now my main focus is on advertising. So, I’m talking to omnichannel retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Kroger, Home Depot, Wayfair) and omnichannel ad networks (Criteo, CitrusAd, Quotient) about API connections/integrations and go-to-market initiatives. 

Q. How does the work you do with partnerships help brands succeed? 

The biggest challenge right now for brands is the fact that the omnichannel retail media industry is very young and fragmented but growing rapidly. There are changes happening at lightning speed. it’s difficult enough to keep up with Amazon Advertising updates, much less keep up with all of the other retailer updates. My job is to build alliances across the entire retail and e-commerce ecosystem so brands have one less thing to worry about. More importantly, it’s to provide them with one place to manage all of their omnichannel retail media campaigns and understand the lift that advertising has on online sales. Whether it’s Amazon, Walmart, Instacart or Target – we provide a single holistic view into performance across these various marketplaces.

Q. There seems to be a lot of buzz about omnichannel, how do you define it and what are some of the biggest challenges or struggles you see brands having? 

In my opinion, omnichannel retail media represents any retailer-specific media campaign that is tied to sales at that particular retailer. Keep in mind that in advertising, especially omnichannel, measuring a sale isn’t (nor should it be) always all about sales or ROAS (return on ad spend). There are other KPIs like awareness and consideration that lead to a sale down the road, which must be factored into the equation. In this case, knowing how well a product shows up on search, a concept known as share of voice or SOV, might be a more accurate metric.

Learn more about SOV in our The Dollars and Sense Behind Share of Voice blog.

Q. What are the most requested capabilities partners are looking for that ultimately leads them to partnering with CIQ, which no other vendor can provide?

Our retail-aware advertising philosophy combined with SOV insights make CommerceIQ stand out against our competitors. There are fundamental differences between shopping online and shopping in-store which is why it’s so important to evaluate SOV as a leading indicator of future sales. Consumers are too busy to scroll through multiple pages of results, it’s all about being present on Page 1 when people are in that shopping mindset. CommerceIQ considers SOV as the great equalizer. A lot of brands think that you should compare ROAS numbers from one retailer to another, but what they don’t realize is that each retailer has different attribution models so what is the one thing you can measure across the board? Share of Voice.

Q. What does a typical day at work look like for you?

That’s hard to say because every day can be so different. Generally speaking, I’m on a lot of Zoom calls but hoping that business travel will start up again so I can begin meeting with folks in-person. I interface with all parts of the organization, from sales to marketing to customer success, so I am usually putting on many different hats from one call to another. I’m a nerd and I like to be organized so I like spreadsheets. They keep me sane.

Q. On a personal note, what was your career path and inspiration to being where you are today?

I would categorize it into 3 main factors:

  • My personal interest is to be in a role where I can be analytical and creative at the same time while working in a start-up environment with fun people
  • My family’s influence to work hard and maintain integrity
  • My mentor’s influence to value EQ as much as IQ