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Welcome to the second in a series of guest posts, where we have invited industry opinion leaders to share their thoughts on a variety of topics facing the rapidly evolving marketing function. This Q&A session is with Mark Schwartz, leader of the Digital Analytics, Business Insights team at Chase.

Q1: How would you describe the current state of the Marketing Analytics market?

It’s an exciting time in the Marketing Analytics space! The ability to track behavior across all levels of the funnel has improved tremendously over the last 3-5 years. The data we’ve always wanted is now largely available, and the ability to do closed loop measurement is within reach on a grand scale.

It’s also a challenging time – having the data available is great – but it can be overwhelming. There’s really an explosion of data across platforms, channels, campaigns and customers. It is difficult to contain and so it can be hard to realize the benefits of the data explosion.

Q2: Who or what do you see as the most disruptive force in Marketing Analytics today?

As mentioned, the explosion of data is disruptive and it’s forcing Marketing measurement and analysis to try and keep up. Even if you have the sharpest Marketing Analysts at your disposal, it can be tough for them to be effective. We always say that Analytics is 90% data collection and 10% analysis, but the velocity at which Marketing data is available means that you can’t get to the ten percent in a timely fashion.

The firms addressing this data avalanche and helping Marketers to collect, structure, enhance, and access the data in near real-time are going to become the backbone of effective Marketing Analysis.  

Q3: What do you consider as the key criteria when determining a build vs buy strategy for Marketing Analytics?

We’ve had great success partnering with internal tech teams and delivered impactful solutions. Although the internal path is generally slower than using a vendor, it can often bring meaningful benefits. When considering both paths, key determinants for ‘build vs buy’ start with capex, opex and timing, but also should consider expertise with acquiring and interpreting the huge variety of Marketing data and the flexibility to adapt quickly in a very dynamic landscape. We are also strong believers in making Analysts self-sufficient and removing dependencies on teams outside of marketing for day-to-day query and reporting requests and changes.

Ultimately, we don’t see a strong case for building in-house. The expertise for managing ever-changing API feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Doubleclick or Youtube is not going to be sitting with your internal technology team. Instead, think about the aggregate feeds from a vendor solution that would make sense to incorporate into an internal cross-functional platform.

Q5: In your view, how well do you think large brands are (People, Process, Technology) ready to consume, understand and take action on the massive deluge of data they are now faced with?

There are some success stories, but still lots of progress to be made. Overall, we’re still in an evolutionary state and there is room for growth in how people, process and tech come together to drive meaningful Marketing insights and decisions. We believe that brands actively addressing the data explosion with Marketing-oriented platform solutions will be poised to outpace competitors as the “data deluge” is only growing. At the end of the day, if you don’t master the data collection platform it won’t matter how strong your people and processes are.

Q6: Big-Data or Small-Data. Which is it?

We firmly believe that to succeed in the sea of big data you must clearly define KPIs that allow you to chart a course. If you have key metrics defined and monitored it’s easier to navigate through the waves of data and reach meaningful insights.

Q7: What is your advice for any CMO who is reviewing their strategy for Marketing analytics and performance measurement?

Where is your measurement and analysis coming from? Is it coming from multiple teams, agency partners and vendors? Establishing a centralized team to coordinate with and across regions, brands and agencies is an important first step.

Assessing your technology needs and partnerships is also key. What is your CIO relationship like? Is there a dedicated Marketing Technology partner who appreciates the specialized nature of Marketing needs? Ensuring a strong technology partnership is foundational, and it’s important that Marketing & Technology are jointly assessing the MarTech solution offerings marketplace. 

Finally, having clear and well-communicated set of global Marketing goals is an essential catalyst. Not only will this drive the broader team, it will provide structure and guidance to help focus analysts on the right data and insights.

About Mark:
Mark Schwartz is an accomplished measurement and analytics leader with a 15-year track record of driving business improvements. He has successfully developed KPI frameworks, designed data strategy and implemented BI solutions across a number of industries. Mark is currently at Chase where he leads the Digital Analytics, Business Insights team. The team is responsible for measuring, reporting and analyzing performance for the Chase mobile and web channels and delivering insights to product and business partners.

Before arriving at Chase, Mark spend 7 years at Visa where he built out Visa’s global social/digital media measurement program. His Marketing Analytics leadership at Visa also covered Marketing Return on Investment (MROI), Brand & Ad Tracking, and Customer Segmentation & Targeting.

Prior to Visa, Mark spent time leading measurement initiatives in Retail and Financial Services. Throughout his career, he has combined his passion for data with his natural leadership ability to develop an enthusiastic network of analysts who have shared in his many successes.