MakeBuzz Blog


Close The Gap Between Data and Action

By Christopher Skinner


So many data-driven business solutions out there today are too complex and too mired in the details -- they don’t speak to the c-level mindset. There’s a layer missing in between the analyst and the executive that turns detailed insights into a basis for strategy. Executives aren't interested in small tweaks, they want compelling reasons to do big things.  

I remember reading that digital marketers were more likely to rely on data to make decisions than traditional because they didn’t have that “gut” feeling about it, it was more of an unknown.
A majority of marketers agree that to embrace the current marketing “revolution” you have to take a risk to succeed.  But people are most comfortable taking risks when they can predict a likely outcome, remove the uncertainty.
This survey shows that senior executives rely on their own intuition as much as data analysis when making big decisions.  Sometimes they don’t trust the data, more often they don’t understand the data.

Don’t let data analysis “undermine the credibility of intuition or experience,” leverage it.  Make sure you close the gap between your analysts and your executives. Then you offer a predictable and profitable way to grow your business.     

Posted September 16th, 2014 in Uncategorized,


Unleashing the value of advanced analytics in insurance

By Christopher Skinner


McKinley reports that advances in computing technology and the explosion of new digital data sources have expanded and reinvented the core disciplines of insurers.  Advanced analytics can transform how insurers do business, but realizing it's potential requires complex, large-scale organizational changes.  

Take personal auto insurance, underwriting changed when insurers incorporated outside data, like credit scores, instead of the old way of relying only on internal data sources such as claims histories, demos, etc.  If the experts can keep up with the technology and utilize the tools creatively and consistently, this should equate to greater value to the customer in all types of insurance product lines. 

Read more about the next wave of innovation and building a framework for success.  

Posted August 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized,


Can Agencies Get into the Boardroom?

By Christopher Skinner


I’ve said before that IBM and other consultancies control the future of digital media because they can get access to both client and media data. Some disagree - they think that agencies could evolve beyond operational execution to become a bigger part of a marketer’s core value set. But unless agencies can offer a predictable path to reating net new customers, impact overall profitability, and get a seat at the boardroom table, the consultancies will win the day.

One agency executive told me that although the fees his agency received to manage several billion dollars in auto advertising for a major manufacturer numbered in the millions, it amounted to only 2% of ad spend. Grocers make better margins. Agencies are becoming commodity businesses where they merely execute strategies that come from the marketer and are therefore paid commensurate with their strategic contribution.

In order to make an impact on a company, and be truly valued, you must talk about how you can grow their business. You must offer a compelling marketing framework for drilling into new markets and uncovering areas with the greatest potential for profit.

A mentor once told me that unless I was responsible for 20% or more of a company’s revenue I would never get a seat at the boardroom table. Eventually, I got there with a few clients. And guess what? The conversations we had in the boardroom were all about marketing frameworks — and never about smarter media execution.

If agencies don’t want to be disintermediated by consultants like IBM and McKinsey, they'd better start figuring out how to get new customers and have the types of conversations that take place at the boardroom table.

Posted April 10th, 2014 in Uncategorized,

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