The Future of Measurement Requires Bold Leadership
The Future of Measurement, according to executives from Citi, Walmart, Foursquare, and Campbell Soup Company, in conversation with Neustar VP of Marketing, Julie Fleischer, is about bold leadership, asking the right questions, understanding complex customers, and being nimble enough to make necessary changes, one provable step at a time. These industry leaders, representing brands with a whopping $448B in aggregate market cap, provided candid insights and guidance about what to do to effectively collect and measure data for optimal growth.
- Tony Michelini, Director and Global Head of Brand Insights & Strategy and Head of Brand Advertising at Citi
- Foursquare’s Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation, Gayle Fuguitt
- Matt Pritchard, VP, Digital Acceleration at Campbell Soup Company; and
- Vadim Tsemekhman, Walmart’s Director of Product Management
The Secret to Setting Your Business Up For Success: Adapt to a Culture of Change
There was consensus among these powerhouse business leaders that marketers’ should address the complexity of their customers’ journeys by collecting and leveraging available (hopefully correct) data to make more informed business decisions. Which, all the panelists agreed, could only be achieved in a business culture that empowers its leaders to take action on and measure learned insights.
The good news for us, (and Elon Musk), is that none of the panelists believe that robots are ready to replace us just yet. A foundational building block for improving measurement is having the right – most innovative and forward-thinking – talent in place and training them to understand the right questions to ask of and about the data. Matt Pritchard emphasized the importance of marketing leaders providing a safety net for their teams to try new approaches in small, nimble tests that “celebrate and activate learnings for a culture that fosters growth.”
Internal Collaboration and External Partnerships Lead to Better Customer Understanding
No one brand holds the magic bullet answer about how data can help us understand our customers and improve their experience. But look at the four companies represented on this panel: Imagine if Citi had Foursquare’s geo-location data or Campbell’s Soup had the purchase data from Walmart. The secret sauce to fully understand customers and improve their experiences is in internal collaboration and external partnerships. Companies have reached the point where having a lack of data isn’t a good excuse or an acceptable barrier to improving measurement capabilities.
Tony Michelini nailed the way to advance measurement when he said that it requires “simple, clear actionable terms to inform judgment on business decisions.”
Start with ‘So What?’
We have all been in meetings where the So What? comes on page 50 of the PowerPoint in the last five minutes of the meeting. Try this in your next meeting…Start with one page that answers So What? This will establish potential value of the approach and aid in the hard choice of deciding if it is worth the team’s time and investment. Walmart’s Tsemekhman stressed the importance of knowing the most important metrics, data and insights before you invest the team’s time to move forward. If it doesn’t lead to growing acquisition and retention with a measurable ROI, it needs to be challenged.
The customer journey will continue to become more complex. Available channels for messaging will grow by multiples, data will continue to grow exponentially, and companies will continue to be challenged to adapt and evolve with the consumer.
To be a leader who rises above the challenges to improve measurement for acquisition and retention growth, you have to put the right team in place, train them to ask the right questions, understand your customers, collaborate and partner for the best data insights and create a culture that supports testing for a better way. As Gayle Fuguitt said, ‘Take a Personal Stand’ to ‘Create, Learn & Scale’. Be brave and bold.