Place Your Bets | Ep. 193

Today, Sima joins Mike Delaney, the Managing Partner of Court Square Capital Partners, and Gary Laben, the Former CEO of Dynata, on a panel discussion to discuss various issues related to the insights and marketing industry.

What is the biggest obstacle and gaps you see for the insights and marketing industry moving forward?

Sima thinks that the biggest challenges are getting used to all the change and managing all the available data.

One of the biggest changes Gary has seen is how talent has been disrupted over the last few years. That has created an entirely different environment for acquisition, retention, growth, and development. 

How are best practice companies dealing with how to work from home and culture?

Gary believes that the values of a company define its culture.

Mike believes that culture is singularly the most important thing that defines who will win in the marketplace. He has dealt with many leaders who feel that being in the office is essential for building a culture. However, many workers prefer to work from home. So the companies that tried to mandate going back into the office had to back off and opt for a more virtual environment because they had very high resignation rates.

What should industry leaders focus on to ensure their success and help move the industry forward?

Mike has seen marketing come a long way in terms of its importance to value creation within the enterprise. He feels that marketing has become a differentiator in how businesses can grow. However, there is so much data available now that typical marketing executives get overwhelmed by it, making it hard for them to take full advantage of it and consume it in a way that adds value to their businesses. So, industry leaders need to focus on making data more easily consumable for marketing executives and more tangible for them in terms of how it translates into actions. 

Gary thinks leaders must determine the most important KPIs and use them in a disciplined way.

How should leaders use various data sources to help them make better decisions?

Sima thinks that all the data within an organization should exist culturally as part of that organization. She also thinks leaders need to consider the decisions they need to make and be disciplined in pulling in the right data sets to inform their decisions.

What is Dynata doing to transform itself by connecting the insights and marketing industry to grow its addressable market?

Dynata is on a journey to use its data in more places than originally intended. In creating more products and services, they have had to retool many technologies to make them fit for a broader application. They have to secure additional permissions to use that application and offer additional training to ensure their people understand where the business is going. They must also create an ecosystem that acknowledges where they are headed and extend their value proposition.

Which skill sets are most critical for our industry?

People need to take risks, be willing to fail, and be prepared to learn from failing. They also need to learn how to be comfortable outside their comfort zones and be prepared to do things that are data-driven and informed, even when those things are done in an entirely different way from how they were programmed to think about them.

Coping with the current economic turbulence

Everyone is always looking for higher rates of return. Many marketing departments and people running businesses are thinking about paying off some debts and ways to drive more earnings. Mike thinks we will see a re-rating of how much risk will cost, and people will be more willing to put capital into those investments. He believes that that will impact marketing. Fortunately, marketing budgets are getting more respect than they used to because the return on capital can now be proven. 

Top predictions for the industry

Gary thinks the industry will continue to expand and extend data throughout the marketing suite and ecosystem. He also believes that the term ‘insights’ will be used beyond marketing to drive outcomes, and the data marketplace will expand.

Sima believes we will have more data literacy in companies as we build the knowledge and tools to make that happen.

Mike thinks people will come up with ways to use data more effectively. 


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