Treat Data Like a Team Member in Order to Succeed

Treat Data Like a Team Member in Order to Succeed

The concept of treating data like a team member was developed to humanize data and our relationship with it. The methodology takes proven methods of existing within a team and leading teams and applies it to working with data.

Mark Avnet, Chief Learning Officer - Converging Arts LLC

“I love the idea of mapping an interpersonal relationship schema to the business relationship with data. Definitely gives access to different types of questions to ask. Coolio!” Mark Avnet, Chief Learning Officer – Converging Arts LLC

The data methodology was initially developed for data-driven marketers, but its concepts can be applied to anyone working with data as part of their job and it covers the following:

  1. What should a marketer’s relationship with data look like?
  2. What are the top two points marketers and others mostly struggle with? How can they improve in these areas?
  3. Beyond developing their relationships, what other areas should marketers focus to improve their use of data?
  4. Will marketers relationship with data change based on new advancements in AI, machine learning, and so on?
  5. What’s an area you would tell everyone in data that they need to focus on starting today?

Treat Data Like a Team Member in Order to Succeed Video Overview:

Treat Data Like a Team Member in order to Succeed Video Overview Transcription:

Paul: [00:00:06] Welcome back. Time for another episode of WVU marketing communications today live from the campus of West Virginia University. WVU Marketing Communications Today is a syndicated show. Sits squarely at the intersection of data driven decision making and marketing practice. From one of the faculty members at the Masters of Science DMC program Matt Cummings to tell us all about it.

Paul: [00:00:34] Hey Matt. Hi Paul.

Matthew Cummings: [00:00:36] Thank you and thank you all for tuning in today. This series is certainly growing in popularity and we appreciate your continued interest in WVU marketing communications today and especially today’s data related topic treat data like a team member.

Matthew Cummings: [00:00:55] I’m excited about this week’s episode because here today to share insights with us is Leo Morejon an award winning marketer sales leader and podcast there and a Guinness Book of World Record holder. More on that in in just a bit. Leo began his career as a marketer who pioneered real time marketing and as a sales leader at leading SaaS tech companies. His work includes the world famous Oreos Super Bowl blackout tweet. Some call that the marketing Super Bowl winning strategy and he’s holder of the first Guinness Book of World Records in social media and over his career. He’s used data driven marketing communications to drive millions in sales across top companies such as Mondelez and the Estee Lauder Companies. Today Leo combines his marketing expertise and sales knowledge to support both marketers and salespeople in reaching their potential via consulting his blog BuildAndInspire.com and his sales consultancy I love this name DogAndPony.io. It’s my pleasure to welcome Leo to the show. Hi Leo

Leo Morejon: [00:02:07] Hey Matthew how are you? It’s an honor to be here.

Matthew Cummings: [00:02:10] Well thanks for taking the time today. So I have to start out by asking about the Oreo Blackout Tweet. You know it’s one that’s often cited in in my graduate class by students as an example of of a brand empowering its marketing team an agency to really act quickly and take advantage of an opportunity. So tell us how that happened. What did that process look like and how did your 360i and Oreo brand team get together and really get that thing out in minutes.

Leo Morejon: [00:02:41] Oh man it was such a magical moment but really I always like to tell everyone it started over 100 years ago. It was one hundred years in the making. Right around that time Oreo was just turning 100. So we had so many different activities that were going on so many different campaigns like the Guinness world record that you mentioned or even the Daily Twist which was one hundred years of real time culture-jacking. Where we had literally a newsroom we get it in the morning. We look at what’s happening in the news and by the end of the day we work with the clients different agencies different partners and that’s what is going to resonate the most today and let us get it out as fast as we possibly could.

Matthew Cummings: [00:03:25] You’re not planning years in advance you’re talking about your meeting in the morning and you’re saying here’s what’s going on and how do we take advantage of it.

Leo Morejon: [00:03:33] You got it. So I always say it came down to practice hard work. And last but not least really loving the brand to this day, I could still talk about Oreo cookies for hours the first one was sold in Hoboken New Jersey. It was actually sold in tins based in New York. Right. We say Oreo cookies. We don’t say Oreos because it degrades the trademark like. Things like that are really the foundational elements that allowed us to to that.

Matthew Cummings: [00:04:07] So take us to that Super Bowl day and you’re together I assume with the Oreo brand team and what happens.

Leo Morejon: [00:04:16] So basically we’re there for a totally different campaign that gets overshadowed. But I absolutely love it. So basically if you wanted to have someone sculpt something for you an Oreo cream you just Instagram the photo a real artist would sculpt it which was amazing. We set up the newsroom, just in case anybody said anything related to that program or you know if something did happen and we’re tweeting we’re going through all the different posts that are being created from the cream and all that and all of a sudden the lights go out. I mean this it was it was magical. We all just looked around at each other and we’re like yeah because we are just ready. We had the hundred days of posting in real time culture-jacking, we had the Guinness World Record. We knew what to do. We were ready. So we all just looked at each other and it was just basically like no one said anything it was just like nodding heads and saying, “yep yep yep ok yep yep.” It’s just I don’t even know words came out to be honest I just that’s how I remember it was just like we just knew what to do. We’re that ready.

Matthew Cummings: [00:05:23] And it happened and it was magic and really it it changed the industry in real time marketing and brought that to the fore.

Leo Morejon: [00:05:31] Yes it changed the industry. It changed my life. It changed the life of all the wonderful people that worked on that. All the talented people that worked on there were lots of people that worked on that so I can’t take credit for that solely. It was really just really hundreds of people that even came before me. It really made an impact and I’ve been fortunate to be part of a lot of really amazing campaigns after that as well because of that and yeah real time marketing is the thing I was just in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the real time marketing summit and really was able to show off and talk a lot about that and see how the impact you made it. It’s just been magical and I’ve been so fortunate.

Matthew Cummings: [00:06:09] Awesome. Continues years later. So I want to shift gears and talk a little bit more about about data here for the rest of the rest of the show and when you and I started chatting about today’s podcast you kept mentioning the word relationship and a relationship that marketers need to have with data. Ideally what should that relationship look like?

Leo Morejon: [00:06:31] Really. Just like any other team member. Consider data as any other team member that you have in your organization. And the reason I go back to relationships and humans and team members is because really behind every business behind every marketing campaign behind any brand design behind anything really they’re human right. So I was thinking there’s a lot of data out there how can we make sure that we focus on making it a human piece from the very beginning so then the output is based on humans as well. So it’s really focused on seven key elements respect mentorship or education, challenging, listening, promoting, sharing and last but not least firing. Same kind of elements that you would interact with, your team is how you should look at data.

Matthew Cummings: [00:07:21] Right. A lot of leadership lessons in there in managing people and working with people. I think we need to unpack some of these or actually let’s unpack all of these. If you don’t mind in explaining. Let’s start with respect and can you talk a little bit more about how marketers need to respect that team member in data.

Leo Morejon: [00:07:42] Of course so respect. The first thing people think about when it comes to respect is caring for and making sure that it’s an important but one important element of respect in the team member or your data is not pertinent, making sure that it’s growing, making sure that you’re facilitating the growth of it, making sure that you’re there so that is getting better. So it’s not just I have this data and this is what we’re using for the rest of the world. This isn’t for the rest of the campaign or the rest of the brand project. It’s really making sure that we’re taking care of the data and feeding the right information in so we’re getting the right information out.

Matthew Cummings: [00:08:20] Sure. The other one you mentioned mentoring or mentorship and educating. Can you expand on that.

Leo Morejon: [00:08:29] Yeah. And one begets the other kind of. So basically making sure that we’re adding and growing that data set right because just because we thought we’d look say Facebook and sites Facebook is always going to be adding new data. We want to make sure that it’s the right data we add it, if it’s not the right data we don’t add it. So we want to make sure that we’re growing the data set that we start with today or that we started with yesterday should not look the same tomorrow. It should grow. If you think about the different areas right, like we’ve seen different brands using even like weather data to understand when perhaps their delivery service business is actually going to grow. So that’s what I mean by mentoring and educator. Like what else can we add to this and things that are unconventional like I mentioned that’s, that’s a real example. Even though brands that work in the pharmaceutical industry that listen using social media listening tools to see when people are going to say they’re coughing or that they’re not feeling well. Right. So they think they actually know faster than than the government know when people are getting sick because of Twitter. It’s that mentorship and that’s educating to the dataset.

Matthew Cummings: [00:09:35] You also mentioned challenging and I know data is a topic that we we dissect here on this program all the time and it’s a challenge for marketers but that’s not really what you mean here right.

Leo Morejon: [00:09:47] No. I mean basically question it in this right. Right. Is this what we should be doing. It’s not following that. Blindly. You want to make sure that your questioning it. Should we be doing this does this make sense. Do we have the right data set. And that’s something you do your team too. It’s not always you know what you say is how you say when it comes to a human being. But it is a lot easier than have emotions. So you always want to create that friction. Saying: Is this what needs to be happening.

Matthew Cummings: [00:10:20] What about listening.

Leo Morejon: [00:10:22] Listening really comes down to making sure you actually use it. I always talk about things like confirmation bias and other things like that and a lot of times people will have data, hey millions of dollars for their tools get the best data scientists and then just say you know what we are not going to use it now. It could be it’s also based on time and resources. But if you invest that much listen to it it sounds obvious but you see it more often than you would imagine.

Matthew Cummings: [00:10:52] Now this one really jumped out at me promoting.

Leo Morejon: [00:10:57] So promoting, we could kind of combine it even with sharing making sure that you’re sharing information with the rest of the teams and that could be marketing sharing it with PR sharing it with corporate comms or sharing it with the product development team and vice versa. A lot of times I see information being siloed and I’m like if sales has this information market I would absolutely love this. And especially sales and marketing right. They should be sharing information every single day. In fact I think a lot of the information that’s been developed and being used should actually come from both teams as just one piece of data. So it’s really making sure that it’s important and it becomes ever so more important within the organization or within the team.

Matthew Cummings: [00:11:47] One definitely informs the other. What firing you took promoting and sharing together there but firing and that’s that’s an interesting one.

Leo Morejon: [00:11:57] Yeah. No one wants to ignore it too and when that data set is incorrect. That is sometimes hard to do and it could be because of an investment we invested so much in gathering this data. We need to use it. That’s bad business you collected the information it was bad. If you realize that bad move on. So it’s almost like when it comes to human even like hire slow fire fast you know you learn from your mistakes and move forward.

Matthew Cummings: [00:12:27] Right.

Leo Morejon: [00:12:27] And a lot of people don’t do that.

Matthew Cummings: [00:12:30] So of these keys to that relationship what are the top two that you feel marketers and others struggle with the most. And how can we improve in those areas.

Leo Morejon: [00:12:40] Sure it definitely. Has to be listening and firing. And because of two human fallacies that every human being has one is confirmation bias which is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs.

Matthew Cummings: [00:12:59] Right.

Leo Morejon: [00:12:59] So I’m always looking for something that proves what I believe. If I believe that, open workspaces are the best. I’m only going to look for articles and I’m only going to look for data that shows that workplaces are the best. But still we do that in life. Right. If I say that’s food in the world I’m always going to be like this is why.

Matthew Cummings: [00:13:19] I come from a PR background. So you know made a career out of that.

Leo Morejon: [00:13:24] That’s true. And then this confirming of evidence right, which is the evidence that refutes when ones almost the opposite of it it’s like just can’t ignore it. You got to look for this. And what marketers need to do and this is just again just going back to human relationships we will always have this as human. It’s recognizing it and doing something about it. Say you know what, let’s look for something else that’s even you know I mentioned challenging like we have this but is it right.

Matthew Cummings: [00:13:54] Crashing or crushing it.

Leo Morejon: [00:13:56] And that’s how you change that. No I don’t think anybody like I mentioned anybody will ever not do this. I do this all the time. It’s about recognizing that you’re doing it and then correct inaction.

Matthew Cummings: [00:14:07] That’s great advice great advice for data. Great advice for working with people as well. We are going to take a quick break now. We’re going to come back and talk a little bit more about this relationship with data and why it’s so important and also how advances in technology may change that dynamic over time.

Matthew Cummings: [00:14:25] So hang tight there Leo and we’re going to be right back.

Paul: [00:14:33] And yes we will have to remind you all about West Virginia University’s online data marketing communications program. It’s the first graduate program of its kind in the country focusing on strategic thinking, critical problem solving, and informed decision making using data. The data marketing communications program prepares you for your career by learning these innovative important tactics and skills from award winning faculty like our host here today.

Paul: [00:15:04] It’s easy to find out more simply go to the Web site DMC.WVU.edu 9 little letters that can change your life for data marketing communications at West Virginia University DMC.WVU.edu

Paul: [00:15:26] And now back to Matthew who understands how to interpret all this code that I’m always throwing out here all these letters and acronyms here there’s IMC integrated marketing communications there’s DMC data marketing communications and underneath each of those hundreds and hundreds of other acronyms. And what is the difference, real simply between the IMC program at your school and the DMC program the data marketing and the integrated marketing really just the focus. So the focus of one is IMC the other is marketing communications with just more of a data focus. Both are master of science programs.

Matthew Cummings: [00:16:05] So that’s really, it really just depends on.

Paul: [00:16:07] Are they on campus or online or how do people take those classes.

Paul: [00:16:12] Both both are exclusively online so students from around the country and around the world.

Paul: [00:16:18] If you were going to learn how to do online communications why would you sit in a classroom to do it right.

Matthew Cummings: [00:16:22] Exactly exactly. Leo and I aren’t sitting next to each other now but we’re having a great conversation.

Paul: [00:16:28] That’s the point of the whole story here. Well I look forward to carry on.

Matthew Cummings: [00:16:32] Sounds good. Thank you Paul. Again you’re listening to WVU marketing communications today. Our guest today is Leo Morejon hon award winning marketer consultant blogger and owner of DogAndPony.io. Let’s jump right back into it before the break Leo, we talked about the keys to a solid marketer and data relationship beyond developing that relationship with data, what other areas should marketers focus on to improve their use of data and the information that it provides.

Leo Morejon: [00:17:04] Have the right tools for the right situation and the right vertical. Having the right tools, ss number one right, from everything being able to collect data to be able to analyze that data to be able to go ahead and share and visualize that data, that is number one with the technology that exists today we can do things we couldn’t even do five years ago. Humans can’t process the amount of information that we have or analyze them out information that we have. And one of the things I as someone who used to sell marketing and data technology is why we focus on even just using the right words. Internally we are team and externally or even when you’re sourcing, a tool for instance a lot of times people like to say analytics but there’s a big difference between analytics and data. Data being just the raw numbers and analytics being that processing and information and understanding of what that data means. And a lot of tools will say they have analytics but they really just have data. So it really having the tools and using them correctly.

Matthew Cummings: [00:18:11] So you mentioned that technology in our industry as you know and as everyone listening knows is constantly changing. So will marketers relationship with data also change then based on these new advancements in talking about things like A.I. and machine learning and so on.

Leo Morejon: [00:18:29] One hundred percent of it is changing today. It’s been changing. It’s going to change. A.I. I still get a question if A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a buzz term. It is absolutely not. It will make an impact on every single aspect of our lives and especially as marketers being able, like I mentioned before being able to collect data understand data analyze that data and in the past we had algorithms where we’d ask questions to the data and really just get those answers with A.I., A.I. will generate its own questions, its own aspects, in its own way to look at things. And that is changing everything.

Matthew Cummings: [00:19:13] We often say we don’t know what we don’t know. But with A.I. it knows what it doesn’t know and then ask the right questions right.

Leo Morejon: [00:19:21] You got it. That’s a really good way to put it. It knows what we don’t know. And then it presents it to us.

Matthew Cummings: [00:19:27] It’s fascinating. And so you you feel that that changes the relationship for the better.

Leo Morejon: [00:19:33] Yeah. One hundred percent. And not even feel I know based on studies and everything where data that would take years upon years, hundreds of years really A.I. machine learning and other pieces of technology related to artificial intelligence could crunch that data within weeks, dayrs, hours that humans would just be impossible to do. And that’s happening today.

Matthew Cummings: [00:19:57] So there’s a lot here. What’s an area that you would tell everyone in data or in marketing that they need to focus on. What’s the priority here, starting today.

Leo Morejon: [00:20:09] The artificial intelligence and machine learning in every aspect of artificial intelligence so machine learning not just.

Matthew Cummings: [00:20:15] How did I know you’d say that.

Leo Morejon: [00:20:19] It’s changing the future. Sure it’s making an impact everywhere right. So yeah it’s. If you could understand that and here’s the thing right now A.I. is not intelligent enough to replace a human. A lot of what we call knowledge workers are like data scientists marketers and such like that. But it is there to provide suggestions right. So humans need to understand why, this piece of information was shared by the A.I. and then make a judgment on it. We need to understand how it works, how to feed it correctly and essentially have a good relationship with the A.I. and machine learning and machine learning, that’s something that’s been around for over 20-30 years too. So, in many ways, this isn’t new technology that is now finally coming to the forefront.

Matthew Cummings: [00:21:10] So something that we like to do in our master’s courses is really look at case studies and look at brands that are doing this well, there’s a lot to learn from that. So who is doing this well? Treating data as as that valued and trusted team member in a powerful way.

Leo Morejon: [00:21:28] Netflix hands down. Netflix is my favorite. It’s the darling when it comes to data and you see it. Look at all the fantastic shows. Look at how fast they are growing. They look at everything from ratings to what people are searching, to the dates and times things are being watched, for the length. I even heard rumors that they would look at illegal downloads of websites BitTorrent and such and that is one of the ways that they decided what to produce. So this is an example I don’t know if they did this for Full House but perhaps they looked at BitTorrent and saw it while people were downloading Full House a lot. Let’s go ahead and reproduce.

Matthew Cummings: [00:22:09] Yeah.

Leo Morejon: [00:22:10] Yeah. Yeah. So and like I said I don’t know if that was done with Full House specifically but I’ve heard that’s what they.

Matthew Cummings: [00:22:16] Cut it out right.

Leo Morejon: [00:22:18] Yeah. Cut it out. Uncle Jesse over there. It is. I mean just looking at that, right so what excites me is those kind of things like looking at the weather for the delivery looking at people copying on Twitter things that you would never ever think about but is data that is out there that excites me. And Netflix is doing that.

Matthew Cummings: [00:22:40] Anybody else?

Leo Morejon: [00:22:44] Amazon. Has to be Amazon. Yeah. Everything from logistics I mean they’ve revolutionized the way logistics works to virtual assistants. I can’t say her name because you’ll hear her in the background talk to me but.

Matthew Cummings: [00:22:58] She’ll order something.

Leo Morejon: [00:23:00] Exactly.

Matthew Cummings: [00:23:01] Do you have your speakers up? Maybe I’ll order something for you.

Leo Morejon: [00:23:04] Yeah right. Something funny. But it is about revolutionizing as in everything that the data they’re collecting the way that similar to even Netflix. The recommendation engine like as soon as I was actually buying new microphones for my podcast and they’re already like hey you also need this specific stand and you also need these specific mic covers and I’m like all right cool. This is fantastic where if it wasn’t recommended to me I would just skip them or not found them or not even thought about. I’m sure though the way that they’re using data is just fantastic.

Matthew Cummings: [00:23:40] They know us better than we know ourselves. So yeah marketing marketing though is still a mix of an art and a science and we focused a lot today on the data side but often marketers find themselves trying to find that balance between data and analysis and also gut instinct and heart. So what advice do you have for marketers who might be struggling with this or hearing different areas of emphasis from the leaders that they are reporting to.

Leo Morejon: [00:24:10] Yes it’s knowing your brand, knowing the vertical that you’re in, knowing the exact environment that you’re in. That is what will allow you to have the ability to make a gut decision. I’ve been in this situation before on Oreo where there was infographics that were going around and everyone was saying infographics are the best thing in the world with everyone’s posting them and they’re doing really well. In fact we looked at a lot of other brands and they were doing really well but my team and I because we worked on Oreo for three years feel like you know what they are cool and we see what’s being produced. That’s just not going to work for us. And we actually ended up going regardless because the data set it had no the data around CPG’s and other brands as infographics are fantastic.

Matthew Cummings: [00:24:58] He’s amazing.

Leo Morejon: [00:25:00] A lot of resources to make it happen and it’s probably one of our worst performing posts ever relatively speaking to you, you know data changes and metric changes and all that. But yeah we went with our gut because I just I knew the brand, I knew the community. My tenure the brand and knew the community so so well that we knew this is a time to ignore the data.

Matthew Cummings: [00:25:19] Yeah.

Matthew Cummings: [00:25:20] Last question Leo. You know we’ve talked tools, terminology what that relationship should look like. What do you like to read on this topic? Where should students or emerging professionals interested in this space go. Obviously other than buildandinspire.com, of course, for thought leadership in this area.

Leo Morejon: [00:25:39] Definitely. Two of my favorite blogs are smartdatacollected.com. A lot of really good information. In fact I think they have really good infographic on what’s happening with Netflix and how they’re using it. All the big data and then data economy as well as its data economy without the e dot com two of the best resources, even inside BigData.com I actually think that’s who has the Netflix info graphic and how they’re using data. And I’ve spent hours upon hours reading that and learning and applying that.

Matthew Cummings: [00:26:17] Awesome. I gotta go check that out. Anything else to add Leo before we wrap things up today?

Leo Morejon: [00:26:24] I think we are in the most exciting time when it comes to being analytics people, when it comes to being marketers. We should be absolutely excited to be living where we’re living. I always show and talk about billboards or magazines and ask how much data did we get there. What was the share rate and the engagement rate on a print ad on a billboard. So, we should be excited. I’m inspired every single day and anytime someone has a question that I think that, I just get excited, everyone should b excited.

Matthew Cummings: [00:27:02] This was awesome great advice great insights here Leo. Thank you for spending some time with us today to share those. And thank you for listening. WVU Marketing Xommunications today from all of us here at West Virginia University. I hope you found today’s episode as informative and exciting as I have until next time. Take care. You’ve been listening to another episode of WVU marketing communications today.

Paul: [00:27:32] Brought to you from the good folks at West Virginia University and the funnel radio network rattler work listeners like you.

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