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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 third (and final) installment of their conversation (part one can be found here, and part two can be found here):

Steven Wastie (SW): 
When you think of companies who do a great job at applying data to effect their marketing, who do you think of? Who is leading the charge from a best practices standpoint?

Mayur Gupta (MG): 
There are a few I think of…

Marriott: I have been impressed with the work I have seen at Marriott. They have come a long ways, especially in terms of leveraging data across multiple channels, across offline and online. And I think it’s not just in marketing. There’s also the experience you get when you walk inside some of the Marriott properties. It is so relevant and personalized for the consumer. I think they’ve come a long way in doing that. (Full disclosure – Mayur is on a Marriott advisory board.)

Netflix and LinkedIn: 
Netflix does a great job at leveraging all of your behaviors in all sorts of recommendation models they’ve created. Similarly, the work that LinkedIn is doing is pretty innovative in terms of taking advantage of all of the data they collect, leveraging your behaviors, what your interests are, to effect the recommended content you see. I think these are all elements of data signals that consumers give every day and that brands can leverage to drive more relevant, more contextual experiences.

Most Companies Don’t Leverage Data

Unfortunately, all companies don’t leverage data like the companies I just mentioned. Here’s a real life example…I moved to Chicago around 3 years ago and just around the corner from where I live, there is a multi-billion dollar retail store, a global chain. We had our second daughter just around that time and almost every other day, I would go to this store to buy diapers, or to buy something or the other. When I first visited, they gave me a card with a plastic barcode to put in my wallet. Every time I would go buy something, since they wanted to track my purchases, they would encourage me to use the barcode so I could take advantage of discounts and I would also get a long paper receipt with coupons on it. I would then go home and put the receipt in a drawer in the kitchen. The problem is that every time I would go back to that store to buy something, I would always forget to take the printed coupon.

The Problem with Fragmented Systems

You would imagine, and you would assume, that because I had the card, which identifies me, I would still be able to redeem my coupons. But the answer was no. I could never redeem those coupons unless I brought the printed receipt. The simple reason is because behind the scenes, there was fragmentation at multiple levels. At the most macro level, the organization was fragmented because the team that owned the retail behavior probably was different than the team that owned shopper marketing. I’m assuming this, I’m making an assumption. Because of that, the systems and the data were fragmented and as a result, the experience I had was broken.

SW: A final question…When you think about the effect data has in making better marketing decisions, are you seeing the business impact of that either on the cost side or on the revenue side? Are you seeing things float to the top in terms of impact?

MG: In my current role at HealthGrades, we are using data-driven communications to help the healthcare industry go through their digital transformation. We basically help 600 hospitals across the country drive ROI through data-based communications. If I take the data away, there is no business. I’ll give you a very tangible example, which doesn’t just have to apply to healthcare…

Data-based Communications to Change Lives

For our hospitals’ consumer base, we leverage data and predictive models to predict health conditions and propensity factors across 160, 165 different conditions. We are able to use that data to drive segmentation strategies. We are able to use that data to build the context on what sort of messaging should go to what person at what time. That not only is driving ROI and behavior. It is actually changing lives. Every now and then, we have an instance where a consumer thanks us, saying that “I’m so glad I saw that notification,” whether that was an email or a display ad or a direct mail, where they were asked to get an EKG done, or asked to watch a video about oncology.

Using Marketing Data to Support Shifting Business Models

From a hospital standpoint, whether or not that type of situation is driving revenue, it is driving better health outcomes and in the world of healthcare, that is very relevant as their business model shifts from volume to value. Health systems are now being incentivized based on health and wellness as opposed to the number of deaths, or for treating more patients more often for more money. I think that’s a game changer. Leveraging data in a model where doctors and physicians and hospitals will be incentivized based on what you do outside the hospital is the only way for you to be successful. How else would you influence a certain behavior for somebody who only sees you for ten minutes in a whole year? It’s only through data-driven communication. In many industries and verticals, moving forward, the business model and success of the business models will need to be centered around the application of data insight.

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