Customer Equity Accelerator Podcast

Ep. 26 | Secrets of Today’s Marketing Leaders

How do marketing leaders unlock value?  Laura Beaudin has nearly 20 years of experience interviewing marketers to determine the statistically significant things that leaders do differently. A partner at Bain & Company, she leads Marketing Excellence globally. She explains how marketing leaders reorient their entire mindset to truly put the customer first. They break down silos to access data sources and earn a seat at the table. And CMOs no longer focus on funnel filling but instead curating lifetime customer conversations. Laura outlines three steps anyone can follow to transform their marketing and strike a balance between the math and the magic of marketing. See the full transcriptView all episodes.


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Ep. 27 | Customer-Centric Product Development Ep. 25 | Transformation of Marketing Around CLV


Show Transcript

Allison Hartsoe - 00:06 - This is the Customer Equity Accelerator, a weekly show for marketing executives who need to accelerate customer-centric thinking and digital maturity. I'm your host, Allison Hartsoe of Ambition Data. This show features innovative guests who share quick wins on how to improve your bottom line while creating happier, more valuable customers. Ready to accelerate. Let's go.

Allison Hartsoe - 00:32 - Welcome everyone. Today's show is about this Secret of Today's Marketing Leaders. To help me discuss this topic is Laura Beaudin. Laura is a partner at Bain & Company who leads the marketing excellence department globally, and a recent speaker at our customer centricity event. Laura, welcome to the show.

Laura Beaudin - 00:51 - Thanks so much, Allison. I'm excited to be here.

Allison Hartsoe - 00:54 - Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you were drawn to marketing research?

Laura Beaudin - 01:00 - I have been working in the marketing space for quite some time now, but I have been a consultant with Bain & Company for most of my career, but I have been drawn to marketing over the course of the last decade or so because of the ability to be able to bring together two things that I really love. As a consultant I've had plenty of exposure to analytics and data, and it's exciting to me that there's much more of that being applied in the marketing space, but the other thing that I love about marketing is the emphasis on creativity and being able to bring those two things together in my work to be able to help both marketing organizations understand what they can leverage in the digital and data-driven world as well as actually I also work with a lot of media companies to help them think about how they can be better partners to marketers without losing all of the creativity element has been a really exciting journey for me.

Allison Hartsoe - 01:59 - That's such an interesting pairing. I have seen this marketoon comic that I think his name is Tom Fishburne draws and it basically shows the madmen being thrown out the window by the math men and it illustrates that sometimes we tilt too heavily to one side, just the quantitative side instead of the creative and the quantitative, and I love what you said, that you really need both

Laura Beaudin - 02:29 - Yes. I have also seen those headlines in a cartoon that you talk about the rise of the math men and marketing, but actually fundamentally believe that great marketing has to be the combination of both the math and the magic. You can have a perfectly timed, perfectly targeted, perfectly programmatic delivered advertisement, but if it's not great copy or if it doesn't resonate with the customer that you're trying to connect with, then nothing's going to happen. So I'm really excited about the opportunities that exist in marketing today. What marketers are embracing, which are ways to be able to have a much more targeted conversation with customers. But there's also a push to ensure that we don't let that pendulum swinging too far and that we're also continuing to embrace the creativity and the emotional connection that marketing should happen.

Allison Hartsoe - 03:18 - Perfect. Now, is that what your team does at Bain and is that what you specifically do is help those clients become smarter about these targeted conversations?

Laura Beaudin - 03:28 - Yes. That and other topics. I mean, one of the things that we have found is that most marketers today are on some version of a transformation journey. Yeah. The kinds of things that we used to work in the mad men era have not always been as successful. Now that we're in a very digitally powered fast-paced world, and so the work that we do at Bain with our marketing clients is to be able to help them leverage the data, the digital channels, the technology, you know, the analytics, all of the science part of the equation to ensure they're putting their best foot forward in their marketing efforts to be good stewards of the dollars that they're spending and creating great outcomes with the work that they're doing. And to do that, what we are trying to impart is some lessons that we've learned from marketing leaders and a lot of the work that we've done.

Laura Beaudin - 04:24 - We've been able to collect some powerful stories about the things that have really been able to unlock value for marketers, you know, either allowing them to do more with less or to really amplify some of the things that they're doing and turn a corner to be able to add new channels or new practices into what they're doing. But we've also spent a good deal of time researching what marketing leaders do, and I define marketing leaders as marketers who are in companies who are growing sales and growing share. And we've been studying marketers around the world for most of the last decade or so. To be able to really try to determine the statistically significant things are the capabilities and the activity is that marketing leaders do better statistically significantly different than everybody else. And so we go through a process of surveying global marketers, asking them some questions about what they do and what they've adopted and what they're thinking about doing next.

Laura Beaudin - 05:24 - And then compare those answers for the leaders versus the rest of the population. And over time we actually have found some really interesting things that have popped regarding what the leaders do differently and have now created our advisory products and our consulting engagements around trying to help the average marketer be able to adopt the practices of leaders.

Allison Hartsoe - 05:47 - Oh, that's perfect. So that's the subject of this marketing leaders report that you've built, right? It's the outcome of that.

Laura Beaudin - 05:53 - That's right. Yes. The last version that we did was at the end of 2017. We interviewed around 1600 marketers around the world, but 600 of them were in the US, and we went through that process again of trying to tease out what are the things that the leaders have really gotten out ahead on that as clearly driving results with their businesses because they are the ones who are performing the best on growing sales and growing share.

Allison Hartsoe - 06:19 - Got It. Now there's a lot of marketing reports out there. I mean, every time I turn around, there's another one from Adobe and another one from IBM. Why should people care about this report and why is it important now?

Laura Beaudin - 06:33 - Well, that's a really good question. I mean, I find and just as a follower of marketing topics that there is no shortage of data. There's no shortage of headlines out there around how all of the things that are part of marketing today, whether it's data, whether it's technology, whether it's machine learning, you know, hold the secret regarding being able to unlock a lot of potential for marketing organizations. But I think what we found with the work that we've done is that those are all important tools to have in the tool kit, but if you actually want to be able to ensure that you're getting the most from those tools, there has to be a sea change in terms of how the people within the organization come together to be able to use those tools and put them to great use for that year. Winning more business from your customers and you're bringing more customers into the funnel. I think those kinds of practices that we've found from this research; we hope to be very action-oriented so that we're not just talking about what it is that marketers should be doing these days, but also how they've been able to adopt those practices into their organization.

Allison Hartsoe - 07:44 - Got It. Got It. I do want to get to your stories because I know those are going to be good, but does the market research have particular applications for customer centricity or CLV?

Laura Beaudin - 07:56 - Absolutely, Yes, and that's one of the things that I think is one of the most foundational shifts that it's happening in marketing right now. Over the course of the time that we've been doing with marketing leaders research, which it's been about a decade or so, one of the things that has consistently showed up as being statistically significant difference in practice that a marketing leader has versus the rest of the population, is that they truly put the customer first in their marketing efforts and what that means. Because obviously, it's easy to say that in many, many organizations say that they put the customer first.

Laura Beaudin - 08:32 - But what that means for a marketing leader is that they've actually changed the philosophy of what marketing is responsible for and shifted away from thinking that marketing is about top of the funnel of awareness building or acquisition or you know, just getting the message out there and instead have started to think about the role of marketing and the role of the as being a curator or a custodian of customer conversations over the lifetime. That you are interacting with that customer. And so rather than them being measured by the top of the funnel type metrics. These marketers are asking to be measured by customer lifetime value. As a way of showing that they are having a positive impact, not only in this next moment when I'm delivering an ad to you but throughout their lifetime because they're trying to build loyal customers over the longterm.

Allison Hartsoe - 09:29 - That's music to my ears. Every time I hear somebody is driving by CLV. That's fantastic. I'm pleased to hear that you're seeing that as a shift in the market because that's not always the case and I can't tell you how many times I see the term customer-centric used in the wrong context.

Laura audin - 09:46 - Yeah. It actually does have pretty meaningful implications for them, the activity, but those marketing leaders are doing. I mean these are organizations that are two or three times more likely to actually dedicate people to mapping out customer journeys and aligning what they're doing in marketing with customer priority. They're incorporating that knowledge about customers into what they're doing and framing campaigns around that. Instead of working around a campaign calendar or an existing set of brand goals, it really is a reorientation of the mindset in the organization to be customer first.

Allison Hartsoe - 10:25 - Are there other things that have a particular impact, like are they more likely to optimize? Maybe.

Laura Beaudin - 10:32 - Yes, so there are three other big themes that have come out of our most recent research. The first one being this continued view of putting the customer first. The second thing that marketing leaders are out ahead on is that they have started to bring more talent and capabilities in-house in order to be able to, I like to say own their own digital destiny and that doesn't mean that they've severed ties with all of their agency and they're doing everything on their own, but I think what they found is that by having people who can really command the data and use that as a strategic asset to understand new opportunities and really understand those customers that they're trying to serve has served them very well. And so that does mean like a shift regarding the types of people that you're looking for to bring into the organization.

Allison Hartsoe - 11:19 - Does that also mean that the agencies are seeing more accountability for performance?

Laura Beaudin - 11:25 - Yeah. The contracts I think are still written in much of the same way, and I think agencies still can play an important role in being able to bring new ideas to the table and bring another perspective on new strategies that a marketer can take. What I think one of the things that should be shifting if marketers are becoming more customer lifetime value oriented is how you define performance needs to change and what we've seen from the marketing leaders is that yes, you know they're going to track customer acquisition costs. They're going to track cost per action. They're going to track ROI. They're going to track all of the usual brand metrics, but they're also going to add CLV metrics to the mix, and I haven't seen as much that the agencies have been tied to that as well. But I think that is one of the things that you'd want your partners to be aligned with as a marketer. That kinds of things that you're doing are not always to produce the highest next ROI in the short term but actually are meant to create a nice. To have a longterm relationship with a customer that would show up in some of the brand equity and lifetime value metrics.

Allison Hartsoe - 12:35 - Perfect. Okay, so you hit on the first two themes and then you were just about to give us a third theme.

Laura Beaudin - 12:39 - Yeah, it's tied to optimization. Again, this is something that every organization will say that they do regarding testing and learning and having a cycle to be able to do testing in the marketing that they're doing, but marketing leaders have really turned that into a strategic capability, and they are constantly testing, constantly optimizing. You know, they set up a whole culture of experimentation to be able to learn continuously what it is that works, how they can continue to improve, how to be able to take the results of small tests and scale them quickly and do that on an ongoing and very frequent basis. What we like to indicate to, to our clients is that you know, it used to be that a couple of Ab tests throughout a year was what good looks like and you know now with the likes of Amazon and Netflix and others who are leading the way around optimization. This is about a thousand tests a week, so the speed and capability that is being built around experimentation are driving a lot of results for the leaders.

Allison Hartsoe - 13:45 - That's fantastic. You know what I think that speaks to is the 80/20 rule. You know, you could do a few Ab tests a year, maybe knocked down some of the big low hanging fruit, but once that's done then you've got maybe incremental changes that are more niche based and it takes a lot of experimentation to find out what is the actual driver and what is a confounding factor and is that actually a change that sticks and you should scale much bigger questions. Start to roll out that. And I love it. I. Is that what you see too?

Laura Beaudin - 14:15 - Yes. Through the proliferation of touchpoints that any marketer has with their customers now, yeah, there's just that many more things to be optimized and to be coordinated and to think about what is the outcome that we're looking for and how do we get creative around not just what we say or when we say it or how we say it, but how do we put all those things together in order to create the best outcome that builds not only a short-term burst of activity or sales conversion, but also helps to build the affinity that a customer will have for the brand,

Allison Hartsoe - 14:53 - which is really back to that relationship building you were talking about. Do I feel like the brand is an almost choosing a brand like I choose a friend?

Laura Beaudin - 15:01 - One of the things that we've spent a lot of time thinking about with many of our clients are so many companies out there these days that have gotten a lot of the foundational things that you could look for from a brand. Right? You know, in a world where Amazon beats a lot of other retailers in terms of the ability to be inexpensive and convenient and anticipatory of what your needs may be, it's hard to compete with that on just that basis and so to be able to find ways that you can create more of that relationship to create other things that drive value in understanding that brand and being a customer of that brand are ways that you can combat the fact that there are big companies out there that will always be able to do the foundational stuff better.

Allison Hartsoe - 15:47 - Okay. Well, this sounds fantastic. Imagine you have some examples. Can you give us a couple of examples of the kind of impact people are getting?

Laura Beaudin - 15:57 - I also realized, I never said things before. Things very quickly are that the leaders are also very good at not just working within their own marketing department. We have seen this for some years as well. Marketing leaders have broken down the silos beyond marketing in their organization, and this actually has led to a lot more access to different data sources. It's lead to new ideas that you can infuse into the optimization and the ongoing testing. It's led to really marketing having a bigger seat at the table to be the voice of the customer and another decision making as well. But this idea that you can't just operate independently as a marketing organization against it predetermined calendar and just go out and do what you need to do, that you actually are sort of working with the things that are happening within the company.

Laura Beaudin - 16:49 - You need to stay on top of what's happening in other groups, and that other groups can be very helpful in providing more insight into new topics that you could bring to the customer conversations. It is the last thing that we see consistently that marketing leaders are doing. And that one I think leads to a really good example of a company that has brought all the pieces together in my mind. So this is a hospitality company that has a global footprint. Um, we spent a lot of time talking to their North American teams and their North American team had realized that the kind of longterm relationship that they wanted to have with their customers wasn't just about being able to close the next trip that somebody was going to take to be able to stay in their hotels. You know, that there was a huge amount of value that they could be able to create if they indicated to those customers that they understood that they were on a journey that at one point in their life they might be interested in a vacation that looks like this and that another point in their life.

Laura Beaudin - 17:50 - You may look, we're looking for something different. And I think they brought together a lot of the capabilities in principle. We've seen the marketing leaders embrace to do that. So first off they started orienting things not around, you know, what, what are the big events that were going to be having or what are the big campaigns that we're going to run? But started thinking about what are those journeys that customers are on and how do we start finding the signal not only within the data that we have in marketing, but also with some of the data that we have outside of marketing and other parts of the company to really have a somewhat customized conversation with people at different points in that lifecycle. And so they had to bring some additional capabilities onto the team to be able to really leverage the data that was coming out of their programmatic buying efforts.

Laura Beaudin - 18:41 - They changed some of the contracts that they had with their agencies to ensure that they could access the data that otherwise the agencies would have been going through and analyzing for them. So they could marry that with internal data sources that they couldn't make available to outside party. And they started a program of constant and consistent testing to be able to understand when I have somebody who is at a particular stage in the journey, what is the next best thing that I could be offering up to them to be able to, you know, in some cases, closed the deal and in other cases just help them continue on the journey because they might not be in the right moment to make a purchase at that particular point in time. But knowing that we would want them to come back when that moment was right and owning that whole piece actually has given them more control over how they're telling the brand's story to those customers and has had some, some very good financial benefits as well.

Allison Hartsoe - 19:40 - How long did it take them to imagine it being a 30-day process? But I imagine this took some time.

Laura Beaudin - 19:48 - Oh yes. I mean none of these are stories that have a short timeframe or you know, or a quick read. I think we often find that there are a lot of benefits from starting the testing process in the immediate term. There's just a lot of improvement that can come from identifying champions in some of the tests that get laid out but then can be scaled. That creates a lot of momentum and a lot of additional funding to keep going, but this idea of being on the transformation journey takes time and to some extent the transformation is not always over because your customers continue to change, their preferences continue to change, the competition continues to change and so what we're hoping and hoping to build with the marketing clients that we're working with is that ability to continue to adapt with that change over time.

Allison Hartsoe - 20:39 - So would you say that the transformation takes six months, six years,

Laura Beaudin - 20:45 - not yours, and a little bit of it depends on how readily accessible data. In the most recent study, we did fully understanding our customers' data is by far the number one priority for every market around the world. We look to see if there were differences in different geographies and nope. You know, every, every marketer wants to be able to get a better handle on the data that they already have. So it's kind of funny when sometimes you care, or you see other publications talking about, you know, the need for additional data. I mean, there's no shortage of data out there at this point. What a, uh, what we, what we find is actually more the gating factor is just the willingness to start embracing that data, keys out some hypotheses around things that could be tested. And then the willingness to do something different.

Laura Beaudin - 21:38 - A really good example of that comes from a global sports brand that we've spent a good amount of time with who is in their journey, um, realized that they could have a much more powerful conversation if they would start to combine the efforts of various of the teams that they had within their own marketing group. And so instead of having the team that was charged with being able to drive performance marketing, operates independently from the teams that were creating more brand messaging, they started to coordinate those efforts to be able to create more of a story over time for each of the customers that they were trying to talk to. But you know, there was some risk involved in in doing that because you may see a short-term decline in some of the performance metrics if we're actually going to start putting some more of the branding messages first, but over time you'd want to be able to see that created a better overall customer lifetime value because you were not only putting messages in front of people that were promotional, you were also being able to invest in building some of the brand affinity and reminding people why they love that brand in the, in the first place.

Laura Beaudin - 22:52 - And you know, funnily enough, in many instances, not just in this one where we've done tests that put brand messaging against promotional messaging, you know, and in many instances, the brand messaging performs just as well as the promotional messaging. So you end up with better economic outcome both in the short term and longterm

Allison Hartsoe - 23:14 - Do you think that's because the brand messaging is picking up people who already love the brand.

Laura Beaudin - 23:18 - Yes. Giving people a reason to continue to believe in the brand I think can often be just as powerful as an immediate reason to buy. But I think we often forget that when we're looking for things that are going to optimize ROI metrics, which at its core is an average and so you know, it doesn't necessarily take into consideration that you may be willing to spend a little bit more for somebody who actually has that brand affinity. Or on the flip side, you wouldn't necessarily need to spend as much from a promotional standpoint with someone who already had that affinity and that willingness to buy.

Allison Hartsoe - 23:18 - Perfect. Good. What other examples do you have?

Laura Beaudin - 23:59 - The other thing that I think we found was quite interesting, and the most recent research that we did on marketing leaders is that there has been a change shifts in how marketing leaders are thinking about optimizing some of their digital activities to broaden the aperture for the kinds of people that they're looking for. Aligned with this idea of being able to match to a customer journey. Which means that marketing leaders are not only looking for the right customers and the right audience that they want to be able to target, but they're also starting to experiment with time so that they are finding the right moment or the right timing. And the customer journey that they could find customers that are going to be receptive to the messaging. And so a really good example of that came from the head of the digital at a consumer products company that makes cold medications, and I thought this was just a perfect example of to put this into perspective and they have a very clear idea of who it is that is typically the buyer of cold medication in a family, and they could spend a lot of time trying to find that particular audience, but they knew very well that you know, not all the time are those people going to be sick or have family members who are sick, who are going to be really receptive to the message.

Laura Beaudin - 25:20 - So instead they started experimenting with what are some of the ways we might be able to identify the right moment when people who are part of that target audience but also who may not be part of that target audience are telling us that they are interested in this cold medication. And so by using Google analytics, Search Data and web MD information on what people were searching for, they were able to kick off a program that would start to target people who were basically indicating that they were feeling sick, you know, when they started searching for remedies for colds or they had symptoms that sounded like a cool and by thinking about the moment of time when you're sick as the predominant factor as opposed to just who the typical buyer is, they were able to get far greater results than just kind of continuing to talk to their target audience. And so this idea of being able to incorporate more signals than just the demographics or the behavioral characteristics of a target audience. We've found marketers have really embraced and it's helping them be able to get additional value out of a lot of their digital and traditional marketing efforts.

Allison Hartsoe - 26:32 - What I loved about what you just said, there is the importance of behavior over demographics because it is often the case that particularly in medical needs areas, they go to the moms as the area for the household CEO, but that's not a demographic play. That's a search play that they're hitting in it. They're not saying, give me all moms who are searching for sickness. Instead, they're saying, give me people who are feeling sick.

Laura Beaudin - 27:06 - A lot of marketers by using demographic targeting and audience targeting alone, you start to hit a point of diminishing returns. You're preaching to the choir. Finding some creative ways that can still be efficient, but identifying people then that is signaling that they shouldn't be part of that target population. It allows you to be able to continue to grow the brand.

Allison Hartsoe - 27:28 - Got It. Do you think this is easier for some industries than others? I mean, you know, what you just talked about was a DTC cold brand and the hospitality examples also DTC. I think the sports example was to, do I have to be DTC to direct to consumer DTC to take advantage of these principles?

Laura Beaudin - 27:49 - No, I don't think that's necessarily the case today. I think there are many brands are trying to create some direct to consumer relationship and so finding a way to start thinking about what are the right messages that will make that a meaningful relationship is not a bad thing to do, but I think there are other touch points beyond just digital advertising or beyond just the advertising that and found marketing leaders thinking about as well and in order to be able to ensure that people are having the right experiences. So maybe that's in store, maybe that's through the merchandising that they have on other sites that they're available on, but a lot of these principles I think can be applied no matter which types of customers you are and whether you're one step removed or direct.

Allison Hartsoe - 28:39 - Got It. Alright. So let's say that I am totally convinced I love this idea, be taking action. What's the best way for me to start and how should I take advantage of the information that Bains research has put together?

Laura Beaudin - 28:55 - Yeah, great question and definitely what we want to be. The takeaway here is that this is not just another opportunity to talk about what to do, but also how to do it and our advice is plenty of things that allow you to start small and testing and then developing some new hypotheses for either the types of moments or new types of customers that would be useful to try to build engagement around and so we are big advocates for trying to identify a small scale test that can help to bring together a lot of the capabilities that marketing leaders have built as prototypes or pilots to show what a different way of working could look like. To show what can be unlocked from new sources of data to be able to just really build the business case around. You're doing more customer oriented hypothesis oriented testing with marketing activities, and we found that that has been a very valuable way for a lot of companies.

Laura Beaudin - 30:02 - To then get some momentum, creates some pretty strong results that get attention within the organization as well as then some of the top-down support that is usually necessary to stay the course on some of these things. So that you have the opportunity to keep experimenting, knowing full well that some of those experiments are going to be breakout successes and some of them may not be quite so powerful. Um, but the opportunity to be able to continue to drive a hypothesis learned from it and scale is table stakes regarding, you know, capabilities that marketers need to have today.

Allison Hartsoe - 30:37 - That makes perfect sense. But if I'm going to start sometimes testing the basis of that test, what am I, am I looking for an engagement score? Am I looking for lifetime value? Where do people typically start when they measure whether a test has an impact?

Laura Beaudin - 30:55 - Yes. That's a great observation I think because we've found that marketing leaders are looking at a suite of metrics, some of the things that may not always be top of mind to measure a set of tests around a should be part of the, of the mix as well because there's learning to come from that. So what I mean specifically is it's useful to make sure that we're looking at the short term, our ally and sales conversion, immediate impacts kind of metrics. But we often also guide our clients to be looking at things like your net promoter scores or you know, changes in brand metrics over time so that you could get a better sense of whether or not the, uh, the activities that we're doing have both a sales impact but also a brand-building impact and it does take a little bit of experimentation to determine what's the right timeframe to look at some of those metrics, how quickly can you affect some of them with, with the marketing activities that you're doing. But the goal is to be able to keep all of that in balance because we can build more promoters of a brand as measured by NPS or if we're able to build additional brand equity. Those are both incredibly important additions to ROI because we're looking then at the longterm customer value.

Allison Hartsoe - 32:15 - I love that because that inherently anchors you in being customer first. But I'm not sure everybody on the show has had exposure to NPS. I mean we talk about it all the time internally, but. And I know you do too. Could you just give us a quick spin on NPS economics?

Laura Beaudin - 32:33 - Yes, absolutely. NPS economics I think are one of the ways that we've companies actually start to build the business case around doing some of the testings in an attempt to be able to create more promoters for their brand and justify some of the differential expense that it might take to be able to reach those people and ensure that they're being activated as promoters. So taking a step back, what NPS economics attempts to do is to take the overall lifetime value that you can estimate for a given customer and understand what the differences and that lifetime value could be if someone is a promoter versus a passive versus a detractor. And this is something that can be determined through surveys, through some of the data and NPS collection that many companies already have. But it helps to put a finer point on the fact that not all customers that we're trying to talk to are created equal and to be able to convert somebody either from a detractive to a passive or a passive to a promoter can have exponential economic benefits.

Laura Beaudin - 33:46 - Because those who are promoters are not only more likely to actually buy more of that brand products over time and be more receptive to cross-sell and upsell messages, they also are by definition, much more likely to actively refer other customers to that brand and being able to harness that power and you turn more of our passives into promoters so that you get that amplification benefit can actually be quite powerful from an economic standpoint and help to give you the backing and the and the confidence that testing around marketing messages or different engagements are different moments to be able to reach these people so that they can continue to be advocates for the brand can be far worth it as they create more advocates themselves.

Allison Hartsoe - 34:35 - Got It. Got It. And wasn't this invented at Bain?

Laura Beaudin - 34:39 - Yes. Net promoter score and the net promoter system are both created by some of my fellow Bain partners, Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey, so we have definitely thought about the topic quite a bit and have seen in many of our clients some of the great opportunities that can be unlocked and really understanding what are the statements, the experiences, and actually the moment tying back to some of the themes that came out of our most recent research that can drive differential delight for customers and being able to find those and share those with other customers. From a marketing standpoint, we've also found to be a pretty powerful opportunity.

Allison Hartsoe - 35:18 - Love it. Okay, so we were talking about what you can do next, and we took this detour down the NPS economics route, and you first talked about building engagement, putting that pilot together to get combined data and the business case. What is the second thing people should be thinking about? Let's say that they build that pilot and they get some a test off the ground or a good hypothesis. They get through the through the gate, and it shows a good example. What next?

Laura Beaudin - 35:44 - Next. I recommend that you actually take that message on the road. One of the things that we've found to be really powerful about having some of these case examples internally and test results to share is that there's a good amount of education required in other parts of your own organization that will help to identify other data sources or other opportunities or other ideas that can be built into the next series of tests. And so thinking back to that hospitality example that I shared earlier. Once there were a few successful tests that the marketing team had gotten off the ground. They went to start talking to some of the operational teams. Are some of the technology teams within the company to see if there were just other things that would be interesting to know so that they had more information that they were using to build their view of-of a customer's journey and more data that could help to predict what the next best message or the next best offer could be for those particular customers.

Laura Beaudin - 36:46 - And that was all unlocked. By getting outside of marketing and having some powerful conversations with their colleagues in other parts of the company. Beyond that, I think there's also some interesting things that we've seen with marketers who have started to automate some of the reporting and analysis of the tests that they're doing, which has then allowed them to be able to spend more time thinking about what are the other hypotheses or what are the other big ideas that they can start to pursue. So step number three in the journey I would recommend is once the engine is running, start to look for opportunities to be able to automate some of the reporting and analytics around what's happening so that time can be freed up to be able to be more creative. Get back to that.

Laura Beaudin - 37:36 - The magic part of marketing and media company that we've worked with found that that was actually incredibly valuable to them because by automating a lot of the metrics that they were looking at for engagement around the campaigns that they were running, gave them the time to actually dig into the profile of the audiences that were most receptive to a recent show launch that they had and lo and behold, they found that the audience that was really engaging with the campaigns was completely different than the audience that they had originally intended and so that insight allowed them to adjust the rest of the campaign in order to target those who are showing a real interest in the show and allowed it to be a much stronger opening for that shows the first episode,

Allison Hartsoe - 38:25 - Perfect. Having the time to take a breath and not just go from meeting to meeting to meeting, but to actually think about what drives the business. Sounds incredibly important for these leaders.

Laura Beaudin - 38:34 - Yes, and it's, you know, the enabler that's required if we are going to be able to strike a balance between the math and the magic and all in service of the customer.

Allison Hartsoe - 38:44 - I love that phrase, the magic connection between the two as I said that earlier in the show, but I'm going to say it again. All right, so let's start wrapping up a little bit. If people want to get in touch with you, is there a way that they can reach out to you?

Laura Beaudin - 39:02 - Absolutely, yes. I would love to hear from folks I'm on LinkedIn at Laura Beaudin at Bain, and my email address is also, so we look forward to any comments and conversations on this topic, and I think you'll also provide a link to the most recent report that came out of the research and my contact information as well.

Allison Hartsoe - 39:27 - We will. We will provide that link. We always provide links to everything that we have mentioned on the show, and I just want to call out that Laura's last name is spelled B-E-A-U-D-I-N, not any other version of Beaudin that you might have thought of. That's the correct way to find her. Now let's summarize a little bit. In the beginning, we talked about why should I care about this research? Why is it significant and that's I think where we first started to use that phrase about the magic and the math and it's yes, data science, yes, analytics, but don't forget the creative. It's not just the research that tells you the what, but also the how. How could I approach a different way to approach the customer and that led us into four different themes from the research one, which was to truly put the customer first, you will actually change what marketing is responsible for. So if your marketing department is not going through a giant transformation, then you're probably not putting the customer first because in order to put those customer conversations together, which are obviously measured by CLV because we're looking long term, not just short-term, you have to reach out across the organization, right?

Laura Beaudin - 40:40 - Yes. That's well said.

Allison Hartsoe - 40:41 - Then second we talked about a theme that the talent comes in the house and people start owning their own digital destiny, and I've heard this issue before about agencies have certain ways of calculating the data, and it's held outside the organization, and it's true. It has to come into the organization to use as a strategic asset. So that is another critical theme from the research as well as the fact that leaders are constantly optimizing and a lot of people say they do that, but it's really about taking those, those small tests and scaling them quickly and moving them up. So that the culture of forming a hypothesis and experimenting to see if it's true and using that as different ways to relate to the customer starts to become the new normal, not just, Oh, I think we'll test the red button or the blue button. And then finally we had the last theme of that. The leaders are really good at working not just within the department but across the department, driven by the things that we talked about up above. Just earlier in the other themes. Did I miss anything on those? Why should I care about the research?

Laura Beaudin - 41:53 - No. I hope that the research has proven to be rather than sort of just aspirational. I think one of the things that excites me most about the work that I get to get involved in this world of marketing and advertising and media is that we live in a world now where there is no shortage of opportunities to be able to test new ideas and so you know, we're no longer in a culture of just a lot of big bats. There's a way to be able to try lots of things and see what works and have that constant experimentation be a source of inspiration to a lot of folks in the marketing department.

Allison Hartsoe - 42:33 - I like that phrase, you know, testing as a source of inspiration. Then we talked through a couple of different examples. We talked through hospitality. We talked through a sports brand, so the hospitality was closing the next trip, but looking at the longterm moment and what would be the right positioning of for the customer, what would be the next best offer and how the transformation within the marketing department took place and then we also talked about a sports brand where it was the sequencing of the messages that you could start out with some brand oriented messages, and you didn't need so much heavy promotional discounting or promotional messaging. If you could pull people off with the brand message first and then later on perhaps use the promotional message and then we talked about another one with the over the counter cold brand and what I love that you said here was to broaden the aperture.

Allison Hartsoe - 43:25 - Not just the journey, but at the time when people might be receptive and the key ingredient here really being time and using behavioral signals to figure out that right time, so all really great examples and then finally we moved into what should you do, so step one, start small with testing step to test and learn to educate beyond the marketing and mine more opportunities and then step three, automate the reporting and get that test analysis just humming so that you can continue to unlock hypothesis over time. That combined the beauty of the math and the magic. Anything else you'd like to add?

Laura Beaudin - 44:06 - No, I think that summarizes it very well. That's also what's exciting about marketing. A lot of new capabilities that have come into marketing, but at the end of the day we are trying to create an emotional connection with customers over the long term and finding ways to do that with all the new tools at our disposal means an exciting adventure for all of us.

Allison Hartsoe - 44:27 - That's perfect. I love that too. That's one of the big things that motivates me in this industry. Laura, it's been such a pleasure having you today. I thank you for joining us.

Laura Beaudin - 44:36 - My pleasure. A great conversation. Thank you for inviting me.

Allison Hartsoe - 44:39 - Remember everyone, when you use your data effectively, you can build customer equity. It's not magic; it's math plus the magic. It's just a very specific journey that you can follow to get results.

Allison Hartsoe - 45:02 - Thank you for joining today's show. This is Allison. Just a few things before you head out. Every Friday I put together a short bulleted 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. I actually call this email The Signal things I include could be smart tools I've run across, articles I've shared, cool statistics or people and companies I think are doing amazing work, building customer equity. If you'd like to receive this nugget of goodness each week, you can sign up at, and you'll get the very next one. I hope you enjoy The Signal. See you next week on the Customer Equity Accelerator.


Articles mentioned in the podcast include:

Bain Insights: What Separates Marketing Leaders Infographic

Marketoonist Mad Men Math

It’s About Time: Why Your Marketing May be Falling Short, by Laura Beaudin and Francine Gierak


Connect with Laura by email or on LinkedIn.

Key Concepts:  Customer Lifetime Value, Marketing, Digital Data, Customer Centricity, Long-Term Customer Value, Marketing Automation, Marketing Leaders, Analytics, Creativity, Marketing Excellence, NPS, NPS economics

Who Should Listen:  CAOs, CCOs, CSOs, 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

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