Joaquim Vilella Gallart leads an award-winning team with precision and passion

Building a digital marketing team from scratch is hard. But delivering quantifiable success in under three years? Amazing. Scoring the 2022 Adobe Experience Maker Award for Team of the Year in the Americas? Now that’s bold.

But for Joaquim Vilella Gallart, senior vice president of marketing technology at City National Bank, it was an award-winning team of marketing technologists that made it possible.

“We want to be the best at what we do,” said Vilella Gallart, a finalist in a previous awards season, who now proudly holds the winning trophy.

I sat down with him to find out more about how he’s made marketing technology transformation happen at the helm of a talented group of experience makers.

Congratulations on winning the Experience Maker Team of the Year award. Tell me more about your team.

They’re superstars. I’m really proud of my team, assembled when I joined the company to lead the marketing technology transformation. Each of us wants to be the best at what we do, which is always delivering the best experiences for our clients.

What has it meant for your team to be recognized on this global stage?

We are competitive and very hard working, so this award means a lot to each of our team members. In fact, we joked about circulating the trophy around to everyone!

The award first means that we’re doing the right thing by our clients and prospects, giving them the best experience when they interact with our brand digitally. It’s also validation of this path we chose as a team a few years ago.

Personally, I was a finalist in the Adobe Experience Maker Awards at a previous company. When I changed organizations, I made a promise to myself that, this time around, I would win. So it feels great.

Well deserved. You seem to love what you do.

I do love what I do. I could talk all day long about marketing technology. What I do doesn’t feel like going to work.

When I come into a company that wants to digitally transform, deliver good experiences, and grow, I want to make sure I’m part of that transformation. Implementing marketing technology against that vision is so fulfilling to me.

You make a very difficult gig sound easy. What keeps you going on the hard days?

I love to learn. Which is good, because technology keeps changing all the time.

For example, this year, we’re bringing together new solutions from Adobe, including Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform, Adobe Journey Orchestration, and Adobe Customer Journey Analytics.

We’ve been using Adobe solutions for many years, but in many ways, it’s like starting from scratch because there’s so much to learn. It’s great for us since my whole team loves to be constantly learning.

It sounds like you’re someone who’s always on a learning journey.

Yes. In 2012, I was living in Barcelona, but my dream was to live in the United States. One day, I said, “You know what, I’m going to quit my consulting job and move to the States.” So I moved as an English student, got an internship in San Francisco, and received my work visa from the CEO of the company where I was working as an intern.

That’s actually why I’m here today. I owe him everything I have now.

You’ve certainly run with that opportunity. And you pay it forward with your team.

In Barcelona, we’re passionate about what we do. I think my team would say I expect the same level of commitment, passion, and dedication about marketing technology as I have.

They would also say I invest a lot in growing their careers and helping them become the best at what they do. This award is proof of that.

I’m proud that many members of my team are seen as experts too, often giving presentations about solutions like Adobe Target or Adobe Experience Manager. When I put the team together at the start of this journey, I explained that we exist to help marketers achieve their goal. It’s our job to know this technology and deeply understand how every feature can help the business.

It’s so fulfilling, as a manager, to see the growth of my team. It’s amazing, and I love it.

It’s proof of your investment paying off. What advice can you share about leading an award-winning team?

We embrace thinking from the agile startup methodology. Every couple of weeks, we come together and brainstorm about an idea. We test it and learn from the results.

My team always knows they can try and fail. The only question I’ll ask is “why?” And we’ll work together to learn something new.

What are you passionate about outside of the world of marketing technology?

I love to cook pizza in my outdoor pizza oven. Imagine a pizza with tomato, cheese, Spanish ham, with an egg in the center.

Sounds delicious. I want to come over!

I also love skiing. I used to compete when I was younger in Spain. When you go downhill, there are no problems, you release all the stress. I love it.

What’s a lesson in skiing that applies to marketing tech?

It’s all about precision. You’re moving really fast going downhill, right? If you lose control, you’re going to fall. Marketing technology is the same. You create campaigns that may reach thousands of clients. You have to be precise, and you can’t make a mistake — especially in financial services.

Winning this award is even more impressive in such a regulated industry.

I’ve been lucky enough to implement Adobe Experience Cloud in a few different industries now. The results have been better each time. We have proven that digital can be a growth engine.

Any final advice for all experience makers?

Put together a team that is passionate about truly understanding the technology and give them the time to learn. Look for quick wins to help everybody buy in, then work to deliver the best experience long-term.

And once you do, share it with the community and apply for this award. I love to see what other companies are doing. I always get ideas.

Congratulations to you and the entire team.

This has been an amazing team to work with. Congratulations to each of them for this award.