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As a part of a continuing series of interviews with industry opinion leaders, Origami Logic’s CMO, Steven Wastie, recently had a chance to talk with Mayur Gupta, the Senior Vice President of Digital at HealthGrades (Edit: Mayur is VP Growth & Marketing at Spotify as of Oct. 2016). This is the second installment of their conversation (part one can be found here):

image2_Steven_Wastie_marketing data blogSteven Wastie (SW): I think everybody’s hearing a lot about the value of data and how we need to interpret it more effectively and take action on it, but it can be a little overwhelming. For instance, in a recent interview with The Drum, VP of Proctor & Gamble, Sophie Blum, said “measurement is the challenge ahead”. As digital is exploding, measuring the effectiveness of campaigns is more crucial than ever. What would be your advice to a CMO who’s thinking about re architecting how they operationalize all this data?

Start With Your Own Data

image3_Mayur-Gupta_marketing data blogMayur Gupta (MG): 
That’s a great question because there is so much that we hear each day. There’s so much content out there. We are talking about DMPs, we’re talking about attribution models, we’re talking about third party data, we’re talking about second party data. There is so much complexity. If somebody were to start today, you need to have a belief and understanding that this is a journey that will perhaps never end and you need to establish a roadmap and  a framework where you first crawl, walk and then run. Don’t start to run right away.

A very simple formula I’ve always used, which I learned from one of my mentors, was before you go out and start to think about more complexity – third party data and DMPs and whatnot – think about, “are you leveraging something as basic as the data and the insight you have in your own backyard?” For example, if you’re literally just starting and you don’t even have a CRM strategy but you have a .com presence, are you even capturing and looking at your website analytics to begin with, at the most basic level? Forget about getting third party data and bringing in the Epsilons and the Acxioms. Are you capturing the consumer who is your direct consumer, who is coming to you and demonstrating behavior? Are you creating and using the basic understanding of your consumer?

Get a Model In Place Before Scaling

Once you have a model in place, which means…you know what sort of segments you need to create, you know how you want to create lookalike models, you measure the performance of different communications, you have a very basic, agile setup where you are measuring, reporting, and then optimizing…Then you can start to scale across channels, across data sources. You gradually evolve from being reactive to being more proactive.

As the role of marketing changes, where there is increasing dependence on data and convergence really starts to take hold, there’s a significant change in how the organization needs to behave and structure itself. Can you comment a little bit on the organizational changes that you think are required to execute against this new set of dimensions?

Two Keys to Scaling Smart

MG: I think changes are needed at multiple levels. It’s not just the organization, it’s not just the brand, but it’s the agency model, the technology partnership model. It’s the entire ecosystem. Everything is currently organized by channels. Within a marketing org, you have a social marketing team, you may have an e-commerce team, you have a paid media team, and others. And it is the same when it comes to agencies. You often have multiple agencies responsible for data-driven experiences. You may also have a separate agency that may be managing all your media. And then other partnerships that’s focused on your digital and creative strategies or your brand strategy.

1) Think Horizontally Across Channels

The bottom line is, fundamentally, we are operating in a fundamentally fragmented ecosystem, but our goal is to deliver a connected, significant experience using data. It’s almost like an oxymoron. It’s just impossible. The changes that need to happen is at all those levels. We have to start thinking about reorganizing ourselves horizontally across the channels, across touch points, yet we still need people to go deep in each channel because each one has its own nuance. That’s number one.

2) Evolve Planning Processes Away from Channel Framework

How do we then evolve our experience planning processes, which for the most part today are by channel? We do content marketing, we do research marketing, we do email marketing. But how do we do consumer marketing? How do we manage experiences across the board, horizontally, with our planning, with one set of consumer data in one place, and one set of measurement across all channels? Truly cross-channel marketing and optimization. I think it’s repivoting ourselves horizontally as opposed to the vertical channel silos, both on the brand side and on the agency side.

SW: I think that totally makes sense. I think people for a long time have been talking about segments and solutions and integrated marketing. I think it’s had a lot of lip service.

It’s a Big Mindset Shift

MG: Think about it this way. It’s easy for us to come up with a search campaign or an email campaign or a mobile marketing campaign. It’s very difficult, or it’s relatively difficult to think about how do you drive a behavioral change around trust? If there is a lack of trust in a certain product or a brand, how do you fix that? How do you address an issue of stigma that may be associated with a brand or a product? How do you think about driving experiences and communication that are driven by data across all channels and touchpoints to fix that, to address that problem, to drive your behavioral change. That’s a very different way of thinking, which is a lot more work, a different way of leveraging data, and the operating model is more work as well. Or it’s different.

About Mayur Gupta
Vice President of Growth & Marketing, Spotify
A self starter, digital evangelist, marketing technologist and innovation thought leader, Mayur has more than 15 years of experience in leading digital transformation on both the agency side and the Fortune 100s. In October 2016, Mayur transitioned from his role as Senior VP of Digital at HealthGrades to VP of Growth & Marketing at Spotify. Before HealthGrades, Mayur was global head of marketing technology and innovation for Kimberly Clark, where he created and managed the global marketing technology group.

He was responsible for building global digital capabilities and the marketing technology vision, strategy and roadmap. He successfully lead a number of breakthrough initiatives at Kimberly Clark, fundamentally transforming the culture and mindset towards the role that data and technology plays in driving consumer engagement and experiences; adopting cloud based technologies to gain agility and speed, introduced the notion of agile marketing as a fundamental model to go to market, the need for disruptive innovation across product, channel and promise as well as bringing concepts of data convergence, killing data silos and fragmentation, principles of big testing and big learning needed to drive connected, personalized and omni channel experiences.

Earlier in his career, Mayur spent almost 13 years at SapientNitro and lead the largest production studio for the company for a number of years before becoming the marketing technology thought leader for one of the North American business units.In 2014, Mayur was recognized as one of the “40 under 40” leading marketers in the industry by BrandInnovators and also received the CMO Programmatic Award by the CMOClub. Harvard Business Review (HBR) and the Economist profiled him as the model Chief Marketing Technologist in 2014.

He sits on various Advisory Boards including the IBM’s CMO Council, BrandInnovators and Global MarTech Conferences besides being a mentor for a number of start-ups. He frequently writes for AdExchanger, The Economist and the CMOClub in addition to CMSWire; and has co-authored a number of e-books besides publishing on his own blog