Allison Hartsoe: 00:01 This is the Customer Equity Accelerator. If you are a marketing executive who wants to deliver bottom-line impact by identifying and connecting with revenue-generating customers, then this is the show for you. I'm your host, Allison Hartsoe, CEO of Ambition Data. Each week I bring you the leaders behind the customer-centric revolution who share their expert advice. Are you ready to accelerate? Then let's go! Welcome everybody. Today's show is the 2019 show directory. This is the one time of the year when I summarize the themes we've covered and the guests who I've been privileged to interview. If you are new to the customer equity accelerator podcast, then this is a great place to start. And special note there is also a 2018 show directory. So yes, we've been doing this for two years now. Yay. 2019 I think was the year that CLV finally took off as a logical measurement for marketing performance and more, and that's just great news. Hooray!
Allison Hartsoe: 01:15 So we stayed true to the theme of customer equity but also addressed major themes around loyalty, privacy, innovation, and even customer data platforms and Amazon. I personally learned a lot through these shows, and I sincerely hope you did too. I'm going to run through a recap of the episodes, see if there's anything you missed that you really want to go back and catch. We started the year with predictions for the year, which I will be circling back to in the first episode of 2020. I always think it's great to go back and see exactly how accurate those predictions were, but it wasn't just my predictions. We also got predictions from Dan McCarthy, who talked about it from the financial equity perspective. One of the things I really enjoyed with that show is we came across this concept of could you measure the love of the customers through equity, and that was kind of a neat idea.
Allison Hartsoe: 02:17 We also have predictions from Scott Brinker. He tended to tilt more toward the technical side in terms of what technologies would be up and coming for the year, and then finally at the end of January, we had Steven Sashen who had a lot of great insight about marketing myths, things that were true and not true that people should really pay attention, notably around social media marketing and where acquisition was working and not working. Then we went into a book review, one of my favorites, John Doerr measure what matters, followed by a great episode with Jose Murillo who talked about budgeting for a data science projects. Then Michelle Rovner came in also with an operational perspective, and she talked about managing up. Michelle has a very interesting perspective. She has a military background but also a corporate background, so her perspective on managing up is very good. One of our more popular shows. Thank you, Michelle, for being on the podcast.
Allison Hartsoe: 03:21 Then we got into the e-tail show. I have to admit there were two shows that I recorded about e-tail. One was a vendor review, and the other one was the show summary. I think the e-tail show summary is good. It really captures a lot of some of the innovative thinking, the people who were on stage, and some of those people became guests on the show later on in the year. But the E-tail vendor review, I wasn't that happy with, there are 7,000 different vendors out there. So to really do justification to the more than a hundred vendors at the show was difficult. I picked out a couple that I thought were outstanding for a variety of reasons, but it was really tough to do justice to all the vendors there — still an interesting highlight. Then we moved on to the academic world with Elea Feit, who talked about cultivating customers.
Allison Hartsoe: 04:17 Elea had a contrary perspective to customer lifetime value. And through her research, she really highlights the fact that it's not necessarily CLV, but it's the engagement prior to the CLV that drives the love of the customer base. And I think that makes a very good point. After that, we talked to Jeremy from Hari Mari, and he had a great perspective about building community. Uh, they are one of those new D to C retailers that really have dialed in their tribe. They knew who they're talking to, they know how to build community around that group and I think they do it very, very well. After Jeremy, we went into a series of discussions about customer data platforms. It started with an excellent review from Jimi Li at valence who talked about the landscape of CDPs, and then we had Michael Greenberg who talked about customer information platforms, which I think of as an innovation on top of a CDP.
Allison Hartsoe: 05:24 So if you think about CDPs as knitting the data together, a CIP might be adding more intelligence about what to do with that information. And then we had Joe Stanhope from Forrester give us the landscape the way that he sees it. At that time, he was tracking about a hundred different CDPs. Joe was a little bit hesitant to talk about the downsides of some of the CDPs and some of the things that were being said specifically out in the market. But he did throw a red flag, which I think was very important that there was a lot of over-promising in the CDP space because it was so competitive. And even though we didn't mention specific companies, I think that was a really good flood to point out. Next, we moved back into the retail space with Diane Le from coffee bean and tea leaf. And Diane talked about the mobile marketing they do and particularly how they deepen the customer experience with special loyalty programs they're doing.
Allison Hartsoe: 06:25 I thought Diane had a really interesting perspective using mobile to drive more of that loyalty and engagement. And she also intuitively understood the need to not just augment transactional loyalty, but to really touch on the heart of what encourages a customer to be loyal over time. After Diane, we had Megan Kohout from Kendra Scott, and she talked about being a data ambassador. Megan works on the technical side, and she's often in the position where she needs to get insights adopted by the company. So her perspective was really about how do you take that information and grounded into the business and help them understand how to use it, how to bring it through, um, really data storytelling. After Megan, we brought on Lauren Hadley from ambition, and this is one of my favorite episodes because Lauren talks a lot about things you don't always think about with testing.
Allison Hartsoe: 07:25 Lauren got into a lot of depth and detail about what makes a testing program fly. And after Lauren, we had Mark Mahaney from RBC. Mark represents the first of several people that I brought onto the show to talk about Amazon. Mark brought an investor perspective, and he talked a lot about the quality of customers from Amazon. In particular, he made some speculations about the prime program. I always think Amazon's interesting because they're at the top of the customer-centricity curve, but simultaneously they kind of drive me crazy as a marketplace because perhaps for legal reasons, they don't share the customer information back with the sellers. So we had several episodes after Mark's episode to really dig into where could you get that data, how can you use that data and other perspectives around it. And I'll touch on that in just a minute. But right after Mark, we had Pete Fader talking about loyalty, and just like Amazon, I was really curious about loyalty programs because, as a result of the Diane Le episode, I wasn't getting a sense that people really had figured out loyalty.
Allison Hartsoe: 08:38 So I went back to Pete and said, you know what's really going on in the loyalty space? And he said, Allison, you're right. Basically, there's a lot of garbage out there talking about loyalty, and true loyalty is not transactional loyalty. And I think Pete even went so far as to say, if you really want to test your loyalty program, then shut off the transactional pieces and see who still buys. Now not recommending that because so many companies really rely on transactional loyalty, but he makes an excellent point, which was echoed throughout the shows and the rest of the year. That loyalty is about heart and bringing that customer through to buy again and again, not because you're constantly spiffing them with deals, but because you're offering value. And that's where the show drove to toward the end of the year as we got to talk more about innovation and growth.
Allison Hartsoe: 09:31 Then we had Jim Sterne talk about his marketing analytics event followed by a Kathleen Maley from key bank. Kathleen had an excellent episode about how to successfully communicate insights. And I particularly remember one thing that she said, which was all about five minutes of communicating the insight and the rest of the time you spend discussing how you're going to take action on that insight. Isn't that interesting because so often, particularly as analysts, we get all caught up in the data, and we're like, look at this, you know, data data data, yay! But people really don't care about that. They care about the bottom line, and ultimately it's the uptake inside the organization that really matters. So I thought her strategy, which you can also see in the episode, there's a link to her YouTube presentation about her strategy was very good and, and a really great piece of insight for most analysts out there.
Allison Hartsoe: 10:32 After Kathleen, we had Steve Dennis, Steve writes for Forbes, and he gave us a taste of his presentation on the reinvention of retail. Steve is right on the money when it comes to the transformation that the retail industry is going through. And that's why I think he and I hit it off when I said, Hey Steve, you've got to be on the show. And he was a fantastic person who validated that retail isn't dying. It's just going through a major transformation and customer equity and cluing into your customer base, and a much stronger way than ever before is really what's driving that. After Steve, we were in the summertime, and I put out a couple of episodes related to just kind of summertime stuff, um, book reviews, and a technical foundation kind of things you ought to know. The book review was on naked statistics, which has a great summary of different statistical techniques, and the technical foundation was all on stuff that, as a marketer, you should be able to answer just baseline information.
Allison Hartsoe: 11:37 Then we had rich from apex and rich is one of the people I would consider a leader in the space. He talked about how it's relevant to learn from other industries. Uh, he has a background in the restaurant industry, but Ampex is amusement parks. So his perspective was really powerful when it comes to thinking about offline information and marrying that offline data stream into online data streams, particularly around customer lifetime value. Rich definitely has drunk the Koolaid on using CLV, and he's a big fan of it. So thank you, Rich, for being on the show. After rich, we rerun one of our most popular episodes last year, which was Alberto Cairo talking about the interpretation of visuals. And what was so funny was our own president talked about the path of the hurricane and how it was going to hit a particular state. And Cairo had actually used this as an example of how people can't read data very easily.
Allison Hartsoe: 12:47 So it was like a prediction from Cairo happening in real life. I couldn't believe it. And if you haven't seen his work, by all means, check out his site. It's called visual Trumpery, yes, that is the real name. And he has many examples from both sides of the political spectrum as well as weather and other things about how to interpret data. So moving on from our visual recap, we started to push more into privacy. Aurelie Pols was the guest, and she talked about privacy from the GDPR perspective. We also had a few episodes later. Uh, we had Judy Daniels talk about privacy. Both of those really great episodes that dug into the PII issues that are now plaguing analysts as they try to work with customer data within the boundaries of the law. Doug Laney also emphasized customer data as an asset, followed by Michael Allenson, who looked at quantifying the customer experience, and then we picked up Alessandra Bruni, who is actually with a Chinese publication.
Allison Hartsoe: 14:00 Alessandra was one of the international folks I had on the show, and her perspective about Amazon versus Alibaba was really interesting. She shared a lot of data and a lot of statistics that brought a perspective that we don't often see within the United States. I coupled her with Kiri Masters, who talked about Amazon as a customer-centric sales channel, and the purpose of having Kiri on the show is really to say what kind of data can we get out of Amazon? Are there any Wells of information that we should be picking up versus Alessandra's perspective on Alibaba and the information that Alibaba makes available. I think the marketplace perspective between Alibaba and Amazon, these two giants is very interesting when it comes to not just customer data, but the ability to drive sales and get valuable customer data back. We followed that up with Amanda Whyte from HubSpot, and she talked about the value of voice of customer.
Allison Hartsoe: 15:01 I cannot emphasize this enough. We had this last year with Jody from electronic arts, where she was talking about the surveys and the market research they do. I continue to see businesses that do not marry the quantitative and the qualitative data together. Amanda's story was a great example of how they really used that voice of customer to figure out where the sharp edges were for their own customers and how to make the world better for them as they interacted with HubSpot as a tool. After Amanda, we had some breaking news with the business round table that I covered, and then I did a short episode on the protected classes in data science. Both of those were news episodes, the business round table, talking about the value of customer data across the board, and how stakeholders in a business shouldn't be just worried about shareholder equity. That really was very big news.
Allison Hartsoe: 16:03 And then in the protected classes on data science, I talked about the big fish lawsuit that was big news last summer and how you can drive customers almost over the edge of adoption. And what happens when you do that with certain protected classes. Then we took a little bit of a turn. We went to Claudia Imhoff, and we talked about really the modern data stack. How do you get data to run faster and better? And that was followed up with Jen Stirrup, who talked about the AI perspective. Um, human-centered AI. So from Claudia, we went to Jen Stirrup and then into Bob Page from Datameer, all modern AI-driven tools. And finally, we followed that up with Gary Penn from Nixon, who was kind of on the receiving end. And he's saying, yeah, there's all these tools out there, but how do I know what's really going to move my business?
Allison Hartsoe: 17:01 Is it just a small move? Is it a big move? Is it, is the juice worth the squeeze? If I have to put that budget down? So a nice package of technology in that group between Claudia, Jen, Bob Page, and Gary Penn. Then we took another turn into data outcomes with Brian O'Neill, who talked about designing for analytics. This has become a really hot topic. How do you bring design principles into the adoption of analytics? It's not just about how pretty is your dashboard. It's really about solving problems, and this is something that designers have known for ages when they design offline products that we interact with every day or processes. It's not new, but it's new to the data world, and Brian does a really good job of bridging that perspective. I followed up Brian with Sumo Das, who is from a heritage company that has stayed sharp with growth and innovation, and that kicked off our series of growth and innovation.
Allison Hartsoe: 18:09 So not only 1-800-FLOWERS who is a legacy company using data again and again and again to innovate. But we also talked about other ways that companies, particularly in the banking and retail spaces, we're innovating around customer lifetime value. So with Sumo, we moved to Ahmer Inam. And he talked about the many ways that you could use customer lifetime value to operationalize different activities within the company for better bottom-line results. Finally, we moved into our last two guests about growth and innovation. We talked with Zack Anderson, who was one of the original innovators on customer lifetime value. And Zack talked about what they've learned across the journey at electronic arts. And that was followed up with Greg from Nakedwines and how they touch on not just growth and innovation, but use the data to connect with the heart of the customer. And that episode also has a charitable link included where you can support firefighters who are defending these independent winemakers in California and helping them maintain their livelihoods.
Allison Hartsoe: 19:30 So overall, a great series of discussions from growth and innovation to privacy, technology, data stacks, ethics, all sorts of things around customer lifetime value. I've really enjoyed all of the discussions this year. You may know that I actually have a journalism background and that is part of what makes me just insatiably curious about this topic, and I continue to believe that as our use of data becomes more sophisticated that we have the power to not just drive business with data but to really connect to the customer to make their lives better, to make the world better. As we understand more about who people are and what they need through the data trails they leave behind. So thank you for tuning into the customer equity accelerator in 2019 we will be coming back in 2020 with the predictions episode and kicking off a brand new year. Now, if there are any episodes that you missed and you want to check out, they are on ambition data.com/podcast. You can just type in the person's name, and you will find the episode. Or if for some reason you can't find it, just drop me a note. Remember when you use your data effectively, you candle customer equity. It's not magic. It's just a very specific journey that you can follow to get results.
Allison Hartsoe: 21:07 Thank you for joining today's show. This is your host Allison Hartsoe, and I have two gifts for you. First, I've written a guide for the Customer-Centric CMO, which contains some of the best ideas from this podcast, and you can receive it right now. Simply text, ambitiondata, one word, to three, one, nine, nine, six, (31996), and after you get that white paper, you'll have the option for the second gift, which is to receive the Signal once a month. I put together a list of three to five things I've seen that represent customer equity signal, not noise. And believe me, there's a lot of noise out there. Things I include could be smart tools. I've run across articles, I've shared cool statistics, or people and companies I think are making amazing progress as they build customer equity. I hope you enjoy the CMO guide and the Signal. See you next week on the Customer Equity Accelerator.
Key Concepts: Customer Lifetime Value, Marketing, Digital Data, Customer Centricity, Long-Term Customer Value, Marketing Leaders, Analytics, Creativity, Product Development, Audience Research
Who Should Listen: CAOs, CCOs, CSOs, CDOs, Digital Marketers, Business Analysts, C-suite professionals, Entrepreneurs, eCommerce, Data Scientists, Analysts, CMOs, Customer Insights Leaders, CX Analysts, Data Services Leaders, Data Insights Leaders, SVPs or VPs of Marketing or Digital Marketing, SVPs or VPs of Customer Success, Customer Advocates, Product Managers, Product Developers