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Podcast: What is Data-Driven Marketing?

NetWise May 5, 2021 5:34:45 PM

Listen to the episode:


Welcome to the first episode of our new podcast, "The Data Driven Marketer". On this one our Director of Communications, Adam, and our CTO, Brian say "hi", introduce the podcast, and then spend a bit of time talking about what it means to be a "data-driven" marketer.

This means they go into what we mean by "data" and why it's a whole new and exciting playing field when it comes to the world of modern digital advertising. And, of course, the conversation that got us to the chart below. Want to know exactly what it means? You'll have to listen to the episode!


Data Driven Marketing Graph


Maslov's hierarchy of needs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslov


Brian Jones: 00:03 When you're on video chat, they flip the video, flip your video. -It's very counter-intuitive, but if you're seeing yourself differently than everyone else is seeing it because they want you to see yourself the way you see yourself in a mirror. Think about it. Just think about it next time - You open it back. -Mirrors, man.

Adam: 00:26 Okay. Let's do it. Hey, it's the Data-Driven Marketer. I'm Adam.

Brian Jones: 00:36 I'm Brian.

Adam: 00:38 Welcome back for another hang in. Whatever we're going to call it, The workshop? The lab? I don't know. This is the fun thing about starting a new project -The database? It'll turn into something. The database, welcome back to the database, the data down, something like that. I don't know. At this point, I feel like it's worth acknowledging that this is the first episode of the podcast. And anyone here either probably works with us or friends with someone who works with us, friends, with somebody who works with us, I suppose, has had contact with the company.

Brian Jones: 01:14 I would hope a bunch of partners, customers-

Adam: 01:19 Or, you listen to us on our old podcast, which is a different thing, but thank you for joining us.So what this really is, is the official podcast for NETWise. So we're really here to talk about that realm, ultimately B2B, audience data and things like that. Really it's going to be about digital marketing, I think.

Brian Jones: 01:41 And, and I think broadly, probably the technology surrounding it. I find some of the most interesting conversations we have with customers and partners are around innovation in our marketplace, right? Business innovation and tech innovation. It's not just how we sell things, what people do with the things they buy from us. Right? That's a little bit of the conversation, but honestly, my favorite customer calls, the ones that go over an hour, because we're deep in discussion about what's going on behind the scenes of their business. So I'm hoping to bring some of that here too.

Adam: 02:18 Yeah. I think the reality is that's what's going to happen because that's what excites you and me who are the hosts of this show, but really it's a thing where increasingly we have conversations about marketing and the short version of my background is creative marketing. There it is. I'm pretty sure CTO...I'm director of communication at NETWise, you're CTO, but we've worked together on things like podcasts for a long time talking about this kind of stuff. And it's exactly this kind of stuff, because what we're excited about is the engineering side, the place where gets weird and it's computer code hitting the thing that is out there happening in the world. And so, we keep using the phrase marketing engineer.

I think the other side of that is what we ended up naming the podcast, which is the Data-Driven Marketer, which is really like, there's a new approach emerging to marketing strategy, that looks way more like how we treat code and machines, the processes are way more-and research scientific, than where I spent the last 15 years, which was like in a room with a bunch of jokers, thrown a rock at a ball around going, "what if the horse's tail is purple?" And everyone goes, "Oh yeah, put it in the script." We just made a TV ad. Right?

Brian Jones: 03:52 That's the fun thing about modern marketing is you get to do both, right? I don't get to throw it to me, purple horse tails into our database structural design. But when you get out to the creative part where the user interface is right. Which is where marketing kind of lives, you get to do all that fun stuff.

Adam: 04:12 And so I think right now, there's a Venn diagram of data science and then marketing department. And they kind of clash sometimes because marketing's like, "I just want to run a bunch of ads," and the data science departments like, "we need to test this ad, this data set before you use it for anything strategy, targeting. That's a weird new thing. The fact that people are out there getting data science degrees. And I think, data-driven marketing or marketing engineering, whatever you want to call it lives right in the middle of those two overlapping things.

Brian Jones: 04:48 It's an interesting time because data science, is a part of every department in a business these days, but marketing in particular, has these streams of information that have been digitized, right? It's the promise of digital advertising. It is data now. And marketing has always been data-driven to some degree. There are classic formats for doing research, reports and top two box scores on how do you feel from one to five?

Marketing is rooted in data, but the promise is very different now, right? You have information at a scale that you can do real, really aggressive research, right? When your company and your business and your brand and your marketing reaches a certain scale, all of a sudden the decisions you make can be really, honestly, 80% driven by numbers. And I say 80% because it's, the numbers are never, never a hundred percent truth. Everyone knows that even the scientific nerd is wrestling with that these days on research papers, but it's a really, really fun time, especially coming at it from the engineering side, because I'm a hobby, created person and professionally I'm like a data person.

Adam: 06:12 We both build things in the garage on the weekend for fun and sometimes profit. So yeah. Stick around, subscribe like, and subscribe to all the podcasts things if you want to keep listening. But the intent ultimately is to have conversations in that Venn diagram space, sometimes about how to do marketing, sometimes about what's coming in the future, but all kinds of living in that same interesting space of, software hitting our market and just completely changing how everything works.

Brian Jones: 06:46 And we will be bringing in awesome guests from our network. One of my favorite things about working here, because I'm relatively new to the marketing space from an engineering perspective, but most of the company is just really experienced veterans in the space. We've got a lot of decades working in data at large companies, small companies, startups, public companies, it's really fun. So then the network of people we're going to be able to bring to conversations is going to be fantastic. We'll get our feet wet- with ourselves and then internally first.

Adam: 07:26 So, I think what makes sense is before we jump in to what do we mean by data-driven and, that aspect of it. First the other thing I wanted to say while you were saying that is, they just used to call it the accounting department. It just used to be spreadsheets,and here's our P&L statement for the year. And let's try to make some strategic decisions based on that.

Now there's insane incoming signal and it makes it more like baseball, which will get us to the thing where it's when stats hit the real world, things completely behave differently. But I think the thing that hit real quick first is, what's the NETWise story? Because you just talked about all the people that we can bring on just within the team, which I think is super exciting and a reason that people should subscribe and stick around, but also, why should they care about these people? And part of it has to do with, we're doing this podcast on behalf of a company that's existed for 10 years as a background player in the space, which is super interesting. It means, we have relationships inside of the ecosystem with all kinds of cool.

Brian Jones: 08:28 Yeah, NETWise is a neat company. It got its start providing business data into the programmatic advertising space. So anyone who's familiar with that, it's running ads across the internet, across digital media that let you reach specific demographics and firmographics for your ad campaigns. And so, specifically got started in that space and we have some specific technological innovations that we'll get to in later episodes that enabled that and then enable where we are today, which is where we've really expanded. We're provider of business data, information about businesses and the people that work there for anyone doing B2B advertising. Business to business, we don't do consumer advertising. And again, a lot of really interesting innovations along the way that kind of helped us move through different areas, and now we really specialize in business data that let you advertise across any channel, on any platform, true multichannel, which you hear that concept of a lot.

As marketing teams become more sophisticated as technologies become more advanced, more companies are able to do advertising across channels. You can call your customers, your sales team can reach out and call. You can send emails, you can run digital ads, you can run ads on search and Google. You can send things through the mail. That's multichannel, and one of our real innovations is enabling the data set that crosses all those channels and then building great tools and great services that let our customers access that data and implement it in their systems and use our website to build audiences and activate them and, just run really great campaigns in a really complex environment.

Adam: 10:15 Yeah, exactly, it's 10 years of experience in a complex space. We're going to have stuff to talk about for the duration of a podcast season, a year at least, so stick around. Let's kind of jump into this one. So, how did we get to the data-driven marketing concept from, where we stand? How would you define data-driven marketing?

Brian Jones: 10:44 Really interesting question, because it's pretty broad, but I would say any marketing, teams, people, individuals, companies that are trying to reach customers with a message that's marketing. You're trying to share information with them or teach them about something, get them to come to your brand, get them to buy something. And so anytime you're doing analysis of that information. Even just strategically thinking about things, even the stuff we joke about, that's more of the creative side, that's, data-driven. You're thinking through your experience in the world, you're thinking through how you respond to things, how you've reacted to ads you've seen, how your purchasing behavior is in the real world and that is touching on it. And that's, where I think people initially go with marketing because their exposure is typically through consumer advertising and through branding, big companies... that the psychology of consumer advertising is very different.

So when you move to business, B2B advertising that psychology still there at a big scale, but there's often a more functional approach to it. And we can get into the subtlety of this, because it actually comes down to market size and the money you can spend, and there's some interesting reasons why consumer advertising goes into this psychological space, but often the average business is just trying to reach customers. They're just trying to get people to reach out to their sales team and they're trying to sell something.

So the data-driven approach is saying, I only have a fixed budget. I have a fixed amount of time. I have a fixed amount of manpower and I have a fixed number of products. And you have to juggle that stuff and to do it efficiently, you have to look at what's available and you have to analyze it. You have to take in your numbers, your budget, the performance of things, who you're trying to reach, what you're trying to reach them with and any amount of analysis there. Any area of that, that you're analyzing, you're starting to be a data-driven marketer. So business-to-business is really an interesting place. And I think probably where it's the most initially relevant and where it's probably the most functional to be thinking of and being acting as a data-driven marketer.

Adam: 12:54 Yeah. I think it's certainly the clearest pasture in terms of the place where undeniably, you can use the stuff that we're talking about. I think we're living during interesting times and there's the conversation around consumer privacy and things like that. That I think a lot of stuff's got to be figured out there, which we also have opinions on, that we'll talk about here, but ultimately staying in the business space, like nobody argues with the idea that, I want a tool that will help me be better at my job and I will use any tool that will help me be better at that job because that's how I feed my family.

Brian Jones: 13:33 Totally, it's a very Practical place to work, because you go to your job and you're there to do work. You're there to knock off your to-do list. You're there to sell more product. You're there to support the team that's selling the product, whatever. There's emotion and we can get into another episode's really interesting time right now where personal lives and business lives are mixing and that's especially relevant for our company as a 75% remote company. But When you're marketing in a business space, when you're marketing to other businesses, it can be very matter of fact. And data-driven marketing actually allows that to happen. And I think one of the themes that I'm sure is going to come up a lot on this podcast is what is the end goal? What are we working towards because we're in the infancy of all this stuff. The internet relatively, still new, 25 years old that people are aware of it and using it probably only 10 years for most people.

Adam: 14:33 [crosstalk 00:14:33] human history,

Brian Jones: 14:35 Even in terms of modern marketing, starting in the early 20th century.

Adam: 14:40 I really would say Smartphones we're 15, which is a perfect segue kind of, to the next thing to hit, I think, which is why are we at a point where we're talking in such grandiose terms about these crazy paradigm shifts and it comes down to, it's not about the definition of marketing. The point of marketing is to reach people. Potential customers, people that might consume your idea, whatever, and do that via forms of media, whether that's like a book, or a newspaper, or a magazine, or a radio show, or a TV show, or a blog or

Brian Jones: 15:15 A phone call, [crosstalk 00:15:16]

Adam: 15:17 Phone call, text message. Until smartphones, we didn't have at scale, a form of media that requested of its viewer, that it talk back to us. I mean, you call a radio Show, but how many people a year actually call a radio show and, shout at Rush Limbaugh? The real shift here that you've already alluded to, that makes it so we can behave this way in this data-driven way, is that all of the platforms, Facebook, Google, Apple even, because they're digital communication systems, I can send a message out to see if it resonates with the people that I'm trying to reach. And I can get signal back on whether or not they're buying it. Consuming, converting, whatever it is. Is it working to reach the people that I think will benefit from my product? That's crazy, because even cable TV was literally the reporting system was you got volunteers for fun to fill out [crosstalk 00:16:17] while they watched TV. So you could get a reporting on who is actually watching, what was the Dukes of hazard.

Brian Jones: 16:26 It's unavoidable to discuss right now what the ideal situation is because it's what you're trying to do with modern data-driven marketing. And there's a lot of stuff going on right now that is represents us. But the end goal, as a B2B advertiser, a B2B marketer, you're selling your business product, your business, you're selling your product to another business. Your goal is to find a person who wants to buy your thing right now. That's it. That's hard to do. But you know, there are people out there who want to buy it, then you kind of stray from that a little bit. Then it's like, "okay, I found a few of them. I can't find them all. So now I'm going to look for people who want to buy my product, but maybe not until next month."

And then you're like, "all right, I found a big batch of them. Let me expand it again. People who may want to buy my product to, it's probably relevant to who maybe want to buy it in the next three months."So you're trying to get to a very specific thing. You're trying to drive purchase behavior and this is true of all marketing. But again, it's very specific for the average company doing digital marketing. You don't have all these other complex high level marketing stuff going on. So what enables you to do that in the modern world? They are all these channels. They're all these digital channels now where it's, one-to-one, that's kind of what you were alluding to earlier with like Nielsen ratings. When it was people filling out books, that data was taken in as an aggregate, and then it's like this TV show tends to have these demographics watching it.

But now with the promise of digital, and this is not always quite this case, but you're going after the individuals, you're going after the company, you can, you can really reach out and be very specific and explicit and target very small groups that are relevant to what you're selling. And ultimately, all of the squishiness around marketing, a lot of people like to complain about it. "Too many ads, but I don't need extra emails. I don't need extra phone calls." Whatever, the end goal here is for data-driven marketers, data-driven marketing digital channels to be so good that you ultimately, you see an ad when you need a thing and you go buy the thing everyone's happy. That's, the blissful perfect space that someday maybe we'll get to that. That's kind of where we're heading. You can see that in a lot of digital places. So if you have that in mind, that's what you're working towards as a digital marketer, these days.

Adam: 19:02 That gets to kind of the broader question, which is, what do we mean in these conversations we'll be having on this podcast when we say data. Because I think that's a word that's going to get thrown around a lot in the next few years, as we try to figure this stuff out. Some of it is about what companies have in a database regarding you and your behavior and their system and stuff like that. But the way we think of that from a marketing standpoint is whatever sort of regime emerges out of that system. The way that I can refine that what you just described is by looking at that signal that is coming back, whatever that data is. So when I say data-driven, it's not like identity data-driven, it's just, what is the incoming signal? And how do you respond to that? Ultimately in a way that is more mathematical than just some ad director coming in and going, "I've got a gut feeling that just do it is going to kill," When it comes to selling tennis shoes.

Brian Jones: 20:08 There's so much interesting stuff to say here, because I'm focusing on what I just said a minute ago is the end goal. It's the perfect scenario, but right away you run into issues. There's a scale concept in marketing and it, and it tears up so many places. There are only so many people who are actively in market to spend money on your product today. So if you want to be nurturing your leads, classic common in digital marketing, especially these days with content marketing, you need to all of a sudden expand that scale out. And you get into the squishier area where I need to be advertising to maybe a thousand different companies. I need to be informing them about my product. I need to be having them thinking about me as they're reviewing other potential options.

I want them coming to my website. I want them seeing my brand name and just do it, is a great example of the highest level of psychological marketing on a consumer product. It's a brand that's so big, and so prolific that everyone in the world knows Nike and they spend so much money on advertising that they've accomplished all the lower level stuff. They're in front of everyone all the time. So now they're literally, I'm trying to think of a word that doesn't sound have a negative connotation like brainwashing, but they're literally programming you to think that slogan all the time. It's because of their size and their scope and their scale and their volume. So you have all these really interesting layers and you can play off all these, scales. Like, Maths love, what's that dude's name?

Adam: 21:40 Maslow.

Brian Jones: 21:41 Maslow right? It always feels like the wrong name.

Adam: 21:44 Maslow's hierarchy of needs, yeah.

Brian Jones: 21:46 Hugely important in marketing. All your different steps line up with that if you're at the right scale. But again, the average company data-driven marketing, there's a really fun place to get started there. It's very analytic. It's very straightforward.

Adam: 22:00 The cool thing is used to not be able to get incoming signal, except at a certain scale we're selling shoes or selling millions of them. It doesn't matter what our ads say as long as they're cooL. That's a function of scale. Now that we have that feedback coming in, it gets to the interesting, what it looks like when software eats a space, like this is everything that can become Moneyball, including the most sacred of statistician's hobbies. Baseball can become data-driven and it can work. Which means that, now you're talking on a small business scale. You can sincerely optimize your marketing, spend to get your idea out there and do stuff, Just, you kind of have to think about them getting world differently.

Brian Jones: 22:51 You make a great point here and, there's an awesome diagram that I need to sketch up after this, to go along with this episode. But as, as the granularity of the analysis as the data-driven component here, digital provides more and more information at a smaller and smaller scale marketing in terms of proactively reaching out with broad-based messaging to a market, as opposed to talking to individuals and selling something or selling something through a store, marketing becomes available to more businesses because you're right, 50 years ago, you just, as a small business, it was very, very difficult for me to invest in marketing and like a regional newspaper and know that I was having any effect, because to really know you had to go do complex analysis and there are all kinds of ways that this was done.

You'd send people out in the field, you interview people before you run an ad in a newspaper, you interview the population afterwards, you can't do that as a small business. But now what's different, and what I don't think people always appreciate is that smaller and smaller businesses all the way down to individuals. An individual person now can run ads in a digital capacity and get real signal that helps them make intelligent decisions for their business. And now marketing, which kind of always has that joke of what's the classic line. I've I know 50% of my marketing works. I just don't know which 50% more and more and more companies now can justify that and really be productive as a business. And it's the data-driven part. It's the granular analytics that's enabled by the modern digital channels.

Adam: 24:20 So that's what we're here to talk about. If that was interesting, stick around for more like, and subscribe, all that kind of stuff. I'll put links in the description for anything cool. Like if Brian does that little illustration. Otherwise thanks for hanging out for the first episode of the Data-Driven Marketer. I'm Adam,

Brian Jones: 24:40 Brian, take it easy, everybody.