MASS Recap

Recently, I attended MASS (Marketing Analytics Strategy Summit) conference.  A large number of marketers gathered to discuss analytics, data-driven marketing and all the techniques associated with the topic.  The all-day event left me with plenty of useful information. Between the nine sessions on various topics, here are the highlights.

Data-Driven Basics

Analytics Maturity Level

CEO and Co-Founder, Matt Hertig from Alight Analytics led the discussion on Solving the Marketing Analytics.  The groundwork was set about the maturity model of data-driven maturity level. Stage one (data apathetic) means data is still managed manually and it doesn’t impact business decisions. Stage two (data-aware) means key decision-makers are somewhat connected to data but the data is only used for awareness. Stage three (data critical) refers to the shift towards more predictable analytics. Stage four (data-driven) means your organization is thinking with data first.  Where’s your business on the maturity level?

Statistics state that only 1/3 of businesses look to data to make financial decisions. Also, according to a CMO Survey, marketers have more money to spend.  Marketing can be measured in four ways. The four ways include activity (Clicks, impressions), conversions (downloads, website actions), leads and sales. Understanding those four ways will lead to understanding what you spend on marketing and how much it actually makes you.

When we focus on being data-driven it impacts the entire marketing experience.  It allows you to make concrete decisions based on data. With data-driven marketing, you can focus on personalizing your marketing content. (More about that later.) And it bridges the gap between sales and marketing.


Manager of Digital Content Strategy, Iveta Karapetian from the NBA discussed how the NBA uses data to improve their social content. During the presentation, we learned the NBA’s main goal is to focus on growing organic media. As you can imagine, their audience spans globally, so this was a lot of ground to cover in order to collect data. When Karapetian started at the NBA about two years ago, the organization was still collecting and analyzing data via Excel. Soon after her arrival and lots of time wasted the organization switched to a company called Tableau to create comprehensive and easy to digest dashboards.

Beyond just comments, likes and shares, Karapetian helped attendees take a deep dive into other data collection. Unique viewers, 30-second views, view duration, video completion, daily view breakdowns, sound on/sound off were some of the social data the NBA has been collecting. But it really depends on what problems you are facing within your organization.

For example, one of the NBA’s video campaign called Mic’D Up captures NBA players on the court during the game. Sound on/sound off data showed viewers were watching with the sound off. With audio being the highlight of this campaign, data helped the NBA realize captions were needed to offer a better experience to the viewers.

Personalization Enhances Customer Experience

Throughout the conference, personalization was highlighted several times across presenters. Casey Copeland, Marketing Products Directors of Cox Automotive, summarized the topic best in his presentation. When you think of ways data and technology are currently intermingling in stores perhaps self-checkout or coupon/loyalty card programs come to mind.  Brands such as Sephora and Lowe’s are taking AI and data to the next level. Sephora offers a foundation color match and product selector device in stores to enhance the shopping experience.  Lowe’s LoweBot serves as a personal shopping assistant for customers in-store. These clever devices match the needs of the customer, offer a personalized experience and are the result of data-driven research.

The Takeaway

How can you apply technology and data to your store? Focus on connecting those offline shoppers to your online content and communication. Consider ways to improve the overall shopping experience by utilizing data to base your decision. Perhaps that means reviewing shopping trends from online/offline shopping.  Or using information from your loyalty program members to shape your marketing strategy.  Evaluate the best solutions with the customer in mind.  

The greatest takeaway from the presentation was this statement from Reese McGillie of Tinuiti,“ Data is all about solving a problem. Start with the objectives. Then determine what metrics do you need and what technology do you need to solve the problem.”

Why do I work at AWG? “I’ve always wanted to work for a company where I can mix my skills in marketing with my love for food.” -Morgane