As Chief Analytics Officer, Andy Hasselwander leads the marketing data and analytics functions at MarketBridge, joining the firm (for the second time) in 2018. Andy brings 20+ years of marketing strategy, data science, and software development experience to the firm.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- The measurement paradox
- How marketers can best prove marketing effectiveness to the C-Suite
- The history of marketing measurement
- The current standings of marketing measurement and what data is available to marketers
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:03] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Richmond, Virginia. It’s time for Richmond Business Radio. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:14] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Richmond Business Radio. And this is going to be a good one. Today on the show we have Andy Hasselwander and he is with Market Bridge. Welcome.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:00:25] Thank you very much. It’s good to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:27] Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us a little bit about Mark Bridge. How are you serving folks?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:00:32] So Market Bridge is a marketing analytics consultancy. We’re based in Bethesda, Maryland. So just an hour, hour and a half, North Richmond. We work with Fortune 500 companies in the US and internationally to help them understand how effective or ineffective marketing and promotions are to their acquisition efforts. They’re just in customer efforts. Taking a look at that buy channel, for example, how upper funnel advertising is contributing versus demand generation or digital marketing type type things. And we do we do that in a very scientific way. We’re open codes, so our clients get all the code that we that we write to analyze their data. And we’re we’re extremely scientific. So basically everything we’re doing is is provable and reproducible. That’s that’s sort of what we do in a nutshell.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:29] Well, how do you help the clients that are maybe overwhelmed by the amount of data that, first of all, that exists and how to prioritize that just because something can be measured? Is it worth measuring? How do you help them kind of navigate those waters to identify the priorities in terms of the metrics that matter?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:01:51] Yeah, well, I think for the last 20 years, marketers have been there’s there’s certainly been an imperative to measure effectiveness marketing. I think before maybe 2000 got a bit of a pass in terms of measurement. The, the accounting functions of financial functions might not have been as is worried about what marketing specifically was doing. And then I think in the last 20 years as direct marketing and digital data just got bigger and, and more, more easy to, to gather, you know, it became really important for CMO’s chief marketing officers to say, hey, this is what we’re driving. The unintended consequence of that has been for channels that don’t have as much data or for channels that take longer to work, like upper funnel television advertising or now over the top video advertising. Those channels might get short shrift because it’s just easier to say, Hey, we have these digital channels, these direct channels where I can actually measure a click and I can say, Hey, that click cost me $30 or $40, whereas advertising might might not be. So what we try to do is we try to help clients put some of those tougher to measure channels on an equal footing because they actually do work differently. And it’s really important to understand the value that that they drive. That’s I think that’s one of the most important things that we help with, if that makes any sense.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:21] Now, what about kind of the the saying that maybe there’s some art and science when it comes to these creative arts and, you know, like just because you want to measure or you can measure something like it’s difficult to measure creativity or or that. Why is that one ad outperforming this other ad? Can you scientifically tell me the 14 reasons why this ad is a successful ad and an ad that looks it looks similar to me or it sounds similar, but it is underperforming.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:03:57] So Daniel Kahneman is a very famous economist and psychologist. He wrote a book Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow. And in that book, he posited that the human brain kind of works in two ways. The first way is it thinks slowly and through rational decisions, which he called system to thinking. And then and then the system one the quick decision making is more primitive. What’s interesting about the system one thinking that we find that is the more emotional thinking. That’s really what advertising good creative advertising does. It’s memorable. It activates emotions. It’s not necessarily pushing the viewer or the the clicker to sort of do math in their head. You’re really trying to build an attitude and that good, creative, good upper funnel, creative or creative that’s designed to change minds over time does a really good job on that system, one mechanism and aspects of that. I mean, there’s all kinds of ways I. Advertising can be effective. I mean, it can be memorable. Memorability is really important. You know, this is why, you know, for years and years and years, jingles have been so important. Visual and visual cues are really important. Mnemonics are really important.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:05:26] The reason celebrities or spokes animals like you’re seeing a lot of in property and casualty insurance, whether those be geckos or emus or whatever, those sort of create those those memorable pieces. So, yeah, there’s ways to to sort of scientifically understand how that mechanisms working, but you’re never going to be able to take away just sort of scientifically create perfect advertising. You know, there’s always going to be the role for that for creatives. And what you can do is you can certainly say some of these upper funnel ads are more memorable. They do a better job activating the system one side. And we can see that that mechanism work against measured attitudes over the course of months or years. And you see brands that understand this do it very effectively. Consumer packaged good companies like Coca Cola have been doing this for four decades. I think property and casualty insurance companies that I mentioned earlier have figured this out now for a couple of decades. Retail banks, I think, are doing a good job. And you’re seeing those scientific pieces, I think, come through in some of the creative that you see up for funnel.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:40] But does that? I don’t know. I think luckily if you take a Coca-Cola, they don’t really create brands. They buy existing brands that are out there. There’s a million brands going out there, doing what they do, taking shots, being crazy. Coca-cola waits for some of them to be successful, then buys a stake in them and then eventually takes them over. And then in a lot of cases, they fail once they’ve got in the hands. I mean, that’s their R&D program.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:07:13] Coke is I mean, that’s their certainly their line extension strategy. I’m more talking about the core brand, right. Which is which is the brands that are successful and how you make sure that when you walk into a when a consumer walks into a grocery store or walks into a convenience store, that they they don’t think about it. They just they just choose. And that is that is a huge piece of what they’re doing. And so when they’re running their media mix modeling, they’re very intentional on making sure that their share of voice and their core attitudes are doing what they need to do to drive all the way down to retail. I think for the line extension piece, you’re right. I mean, they’re definitely buying brands and not all those brands are going to succeed and they’re only going to invest marketing against those brands where they think they have a decent shot of, you know, of getting shelf space and of activating the shopper marketing side.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:08] But are they are they succeeding because of their marketing or are they succeeding because of their distribution?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:08:13] Well, both. I mean, distribution is a part of marketing. I mean, upper funnel advertising is probably the beginning of the funnel and distribution is the end. You know, you have to have ultimately, if if a consumer has an attitude, that attitude is only going to be activated. If when they get to all the points of distribution they can activate, that’s going to be there. So, I mean, if you had if you had to say to a coach, you know, what’s more important, shopper marketing, distribution or advertising, they would just say both because they’re both absolutely critical, you know, but one one sort of top of funnel and the other’s bottom of funnel. But the key is understanding how those are valued ultimately now.
Lee Kantor: [00:08:55] But can any of those things that these mega enterprises can can use, can they trickle down to a small to midsize firm that doesn’t have the resources or the distribution?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:09:09] I think I think what you’re seeing with right now with with on the consumer side, if we’re talking about consumers and there’s all these other industries as well, because I think it’s become much easier for upstart to to enter. And that’s for two reasons. Going back to marketing and distribution, from a marketing perspective, it’s much easier to put together long tail marketing strategies. I think Instagram and a lot of digital media, a lot of digital video has made that far more easy to do and actually has made it actually more difficult for large, large firms to compete. Because you can no longer just buy huge pieces of viewership on broadcast. You have to actually play a little bit of small ball, which can be hard for for larger firms. So that’s made it easier. And then I think the other thing from a distribution perspective obviously is, you know, e-commerce has made things much, much easier, but that gets back to for small firms, you know, they need they need to think the same way big firms do about segmentation, targeting and positioning. And the four P’s, just like marketing 101. And segmentation is if I’m going to compete and I’m going to win as a small firm, I need to pick a very specific segment. I need to be able to target them very effectively, which I can now do with digital media. And then I need to position myself in a way that is really differentiated from the larger firms that are out there. And then maybe going back to your previous point, maybe Coca-Cola will pick me up, right? Maybe they’ll maybe their business development team will go out and sort of put an offer out there. But I mean, it’s much easier, I think, now for small firms to compete because those barriers to entry on the upper funnel side, on the advertising side and on the distribution side have come down so much, but they still have to do it right.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:01] So so the fundamentals are still the same.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:11:04] Oh, yeah. And the models are still the same.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:07] So nothing has changed from that standpoint. Now you can measure better and more effectively. So you can invest your dollars wiser.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:11:15] Yeah, absolutely. And I think. Marketing has become marketing and distribution generally has become a much more scientific discipline because it can be instrumented. I mean, all the money that’s gone to marketing technology. If you just look at all the multiples of software as a service, martech firms, Salesforce was kind of the pioneer there before that was was Siebel. But all the money that’s gone in there, the reason that’s going there is it’s for everything from a small 50 person firm or a 25 person firm to do content marketing all the way up to a gigantic firm trying to create digital CRM, sort of customer management pathways that are really measurable and delight customers. So and you know, and that’s hard to do, but, but the technology now makes it certainly much, much more measurable than it ever was.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:07] Now, what about kind of the ever there’s always friction between sales and marketing. Has that has this influx of data helped hurt made it grayer?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:12:22] Well, you know, my my marketing professor a long time ago used to say that marketing was was. You defined it simply as the entirety of all of the customer facing or outside facing functions of the firm. And I’ve always I’ve always believed that. And I think sales was simply the most the highest cost per transaction, most personalized piece of that. And I think that holds together logically. But but obviously, that being said, sales has a very the sales function generally is a very, very different culture than than marketing sit in person sales selling is in COVID accelerated this with digital transformation is becoming harder. And what you’re seeing we used to actually say telesales was different or inside sales was different than field sales. Now it’s it’s really not I mean, most if you look, for example, at Medicare Medicare selling Medicare Advantage, most of these agents now are a lot of these agents are selling digitally over the phone, whereas even three years ago they would have been across the kitchen table. So it’s in a way it’s made selling more digital, more measurable, more data driven. I think sales is always going to be the toughest thing to measure because it ultimately depends on an individual keying in an activity or an individual keying in a disposition.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:13:46] And that’s hard to do. I mean, this is if you talk to anyone who has Salesforce, a Salesforce.com, and they say what’s what’s the base challenge, the challenge is data cleanliness. And it’s just getting people, for example, to pick the right thing out of a pick list or enter the date a call happened. I don’t know if that’s going to get better. Honestly, I, I think I think it might, but, you know, that that’s been a that’s been a tough one for a long time. The tension used to be the tension between sales and marketing. You know, the ultimately what sales wants for marketing is they weren’t really high quality leads and what marketing wants for from sales is they want good data and that tension is always going to be there. And I think in organizations that have integrated sales and marketing organizations, those tend to those tensions tend to to work at work themselves out. But where you have executives running each department who are very different and sort of run them in silos that can be that can be tough.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:46] So now what is your ideal client look like?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:14:51] Well, for Market Bridge, you know, we we as I mentioned, we’re primarily focused on Fortune 500 space. We typically put together we work over multiple years with clients building out data science and data infrastructures with them and delivering and delivering long run solutions. Eventually, our goal is to is to leave, right? Our bench our goal is to teach clients how to build these systems and operate these systems so we don’t have to be there anymore. I would say our our ideal client inside of of that kind of company is a company who wants to take a scientific approach towards sales and marketing, who wants to have reproducible data stack and reproducible technology stack. In other words, one that we know exactly why things happen and one that wants to have their data science team and their data engineering team bring bring these things in-house. We’re not a software reseller, so we work with all the MarTech stack, but we’re not we sort of intentionally don’t choose one or the other or partner with one or the other. We’re very agnostic in that respect. So I think we can fit into, you know, whether somebody has an Adobe stack or a Salesforce stack or Oracle or whatever we can we can fit in. It’s more the ethos of the executives and making sure that they really want to be very scientific in how they do marketing and sales.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:19] Now, what are some symptoms that they’ve got a problem like? What are some of the things going on? What are some of the things that they’re dealing with where they’re like, Hey, maybe we should be calling these Market Ridge folks?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:16:28] Yeah, you know, I mean, basically anyone who says, you know, I’m pretty sure that my marketing is half my marketing is working, but I’m not sure which half that would be a classic one.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:39] People are still saying that because they were saying that 50 years ago.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:16:42] Yeah, they’re saying it probably more. And but I think going back to the most classic one we get is I know upper funnel or brand is is important, but I can’t prove it. And you know, or somebody that might say something like, geez, I really we’re spending all this money on promotion, on promotional paid search, and my CPAs look good. But I think I think I’m overspending because I think I might be just doing demand capture that would be happening anyway. Those would be the kinds of questions we would get most often from CMO’s. Another one might be, Hey, we’re sort of launching a new we’re in a we’re in new product launch mode and I don’t. I don’t know how much of my new product launch is is being driven by marketing and how much would have happened anyway. Those kind of hypotheticals tend to get asked. Another one on the data side would be would be, hey, I, I, I don’t really have a good sense of my marketing pal. So really, what the p now being what I’m getting and what I’m spending for it, I don’t, I don’t have a good data stack getting from my source, my source data systems up to that sort of almost accounting or financial reporting view of marketing’s effectiveness. Those would be some of the things.
Lee Kantor: [00:18:13] Can you share a story? Don’t name the name of the client, but maybe the problem that they were having, that you came in and were able to take their business to a new level, maybe get a result that maybe they didn’t even dream possible.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:18:24] Yeah, sure. So one of one that’s that’s fairly recent, I’d say is we had a client who, you know, had a good business. The business was, was from a market share perspective, stagnant or declining, direct response marketing looked effective. In other words, the cost per acquisition was was lower than the customer lifetime value. And yet they were declining and they had a strong slowly but but still they had a strong hypothesis that, that, that they weren’t spending enough upper funnel and that they were losing mindshare. And what we were able to do for them is we were able to build a two stage model where we proved that advertising was driving affinity and comprehension and awareness of the products where those system one. Attitudes. I mentioned earlier, we and we showed mathematically what that relationship looked like. And then secondly, we showed that those those attitudes, those core attitudes were over the course of months and even even a year plus were driving customer acquisition at rates that they were basically refilling the top of the funnel. And we were able to instrument all that, put that together, and then they were able to change their advertising strategy and sort of turn that decline around. And I’m not saying it’s not like we’re talking about you go from -10% to plus ten, it’s more like minus two to plus two. But that understanding that and understanding that relative market share is, you know, the mechanistic link of that to share voice or the basically the percent of messaging, upper funnel marketing. And that we’re doing and proving that mathematically, I think is really important in this case, help the client a ton. I mean, this was a major impact on their ability to sort of tell a compelling story to investors. So that would be a pretty good one.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:33] Well, if somebody wants to learn more, have a more substantive conversation with you or somebody on your team, what’s a website?
Andy Hasselwander: [00:20:39] Yeah, it’s w-w-what market dashboard edgecomb. We have a dash in the middle. Apologize for that. That’s just somebody sat on the URL when we bought it but WW web slash dash market bridge dot com and hit contact us and we’d be happy to to reach out and have a conversation.
Lee Kantor: [00:20:56] Well, Andy, thank you so much for sharing your story today. You’re doing important work. We appreciate you.
Andy Hasselwander: [00:21:01] Thanks, Lee. Appreciate it.
Lee Kantor: [00:21:02] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you all next time on Richmond Business Radio.