I am data. You are data. We are all data…and that’s why we have to zone in on our processes of data analytics and science as people because that is what the data is, people.

I am not alone here. I have had conversations with many of my peers and competitors who are all fully aware of how we must take an emotional approach to our work. This is because there are emotions and at times, very important life events that we are affecting through enablement and change, hopefully with the best of intentions.

What college should I attend and why?
Predicting intent to move, the changing of home caretakers, purchasing expensive items that will have a big impact budgets, choosing your next job – all these decisions affect so much more than a click or a day of someone’s life. We are mapping the flow of this traffic, its direction and the related content. Our research data, when brought to action, becomes the behavioral data about the people who make these types of decisions.

I feel the pressure of the people, not the CPM! 

Marketing, advertising and research through audience science, development, management and optimization, are all very important. However, without an emotional understanding of the people and the goals, we can easily fail.

Even understanding and creating the right content might not be enough to accomplish goals focused on the people – not just a CPM or CPC. The IP models get loaded into the DSPs for programmatic media buys and we can often forget they are actually people. We can no longer run those buys the same way we have watched display advertising become a commoditized market of price and reach, not quality and relevancy. We need to bring favorable and tolerable marketing for the people!

But here is why advertising has the opportunity to really harness the power of the people – by really listening to the that data, analyzing it, finding stages in the buyer’s journey and making it speak to us. However, if you don’t engage with the proper content that says “I hear what you want and we are giving it to you through incentives that increase our life time value through a data/people relationship”, then we are not committed to a greater outcome and relationship.

We can bring the horse to the water from audience analytics but will they have a drink?

We need to emphasize:

  • Creative solutions
  • Relevant content
  • Offers and meaningful CTAs
  • Lead and prospect nurturing through real-world CRM solutions

The ‘Relationship’

It must be a fair relationship between your data partners, ad agencies and company processes. This how we get to a win-win situation, for both the business side and the consumer satisfaction side. This is also why it never matters who the smartest guy in the room is it’s the contribution of each individual – their skills and experience independently based upon the goals we are all there together to achieve. The lions need to form Voltron.

As for us data, audience, people profiling folks – we can help by doing our part. However, it’s rare to be able to have an audience scientist who is skilled in UI, UX, design and content. This is an illusive mash up and usually is only found in the old school direct marketers that have evolved with data for over 15 years plus of experience. This is because back then, it had to be done this way. The creative in DM/DR was responsible for processing the data and then communicating the meaning of these analytics back to the creative – much more than A/B testing.

Insights are only relevant in advertising and marketing if action can be tied to them. Data can be extrapolated from most of the insights, especially from research data and not old survey panels. Keep in mind, I don’t just mean for media planning and buying. This applies to making actionable decisions based on locations, banners, landing page optimization, customer programs, sales times, seasonality, AdWords, competitive analysis, consumer experience and much more.

Intent, from cookies to IP addresses, started and has been evolving since about 2012.

Nowadays, the cookie is basically irrelevant in intent modeling and audience development for so many reasons, mobile being of course the big one. There are no cookies in this terrain and all around the cookie…well it’s just not clean data in! So now, we need to uncover real predictive intent and this comes from research analytics and modeling that can be tied to indexing page consumption at the UA/Device level. Actions can then be taken from all aspects of communications and engagement, creating many important triggers.

Data is becoming more and more useful for practices such as Venture/Private Equity, PR, Product Development, Market Analysis (sizing, opportunity, competition, etc.). I cannot stress enough how we can no longer just load IP addresses into a DSP and start programmatic buying with old methods. While this is an important use, it needs proper recency and frequency models attached to it for optimal performance, in brand as well as direct. Many are busy in their labs as we feel, with so much data these days, there is limitless work to be done.

The bottom line

While it’s really fun to see what comes out of an audience profile in the early part of the build and then, how many segmentation and utilization doors get opened, I often find that it’s very easy to get lost in the data.

So how do we maintain a clear focus?

First off, if we are tasked with a project that has a defined end result, this helps a great deal. Additionally, being focused on improving campaigns, strategies and ideas all of which are based on the who, the what, the where and the when, provides you with a clear road map to follow.

With so much research and work being done to avoid digital ads all together for consumers, it’s clear we’re not performing optimally.

As Marketers, we have the power to do better! And therefore…we must accept the responsibility.

Originally written & published @bluelinerny

1st Party Data – The Key to Opportunity Is Already In Your “Hands”


You may not realize it, but you may be growing your business by harnessing the power of the data that you already have in your CRM.  This is what we call 1st Party Data.

While we hear a lot about 2nd and 3rd party data nowadays, what about 1st party data? What is it? Well, it’s the data that belongs to you. The more of it you have –  and the more you know about each individual – the more powerful the rest of the process will be.

You can utilize your preexisting 1st party data even more effectively from referrals, upsells, and new customers to increase your profits. Here are some helpful terms to keep in mind:

1)    Onboarding – a new term that refers to exporting your data and then importing it into a data management platform that can model your best customers, enabling you to learn more about them by appending 2nd and 3rd party data.

2) Look-A-Likes – this means using data modeling to create the closest, unique look-a-likes of your best customers…the top 20%! This is a sensitive process for many reasons. First, it is paramount to target and then omit the data that’s not relevant to your goals or business services/products. Second, you must know what data to retrieve.  Third, locating sources to retrieve that data is essential. Web behavior, demographics, lifestyle, and household and transactional data that is appended to your file will enable you to determine consumer intent, demand, desire and the reasons consumers share positive reviews.  As a benefit, this process will also directly and indirectly refer you new customers.

3) Actionable Data – that’s what look-a-likes and onboarding create when you’re 1st party data is in the right hands, with the right minds and aligned with the right tools.

The goal is always twofold: to know more about your customer than you could have ever imagined and to use your  data effectively.

Whether you’re attempting to harness 1st party data, 2nd party data, or 3rd party data, the goal is always business growth. Here are some great ways to achieve that growth:

1. Referral Program – This straightforward method can start by creating one-off incentives and to see what quick and varied results that fluctuate in relation to different types of customers.

2. Upsell/Cross-Sell – Finding the correlations between customer data and the other products/services your company provides (or other products/services that your company can partner with other companies to provide).  This improves your customers’ access to your products/services.

3. Prospecting – what methods are working the best: PPC, SEO, Email, Mobile, Direct Mail, TV, Radio, etc all need to be examined.

4. Mobile  – I will not put stats here; we all know the smartphone has changed how we communicate with and market to our customers. The more value we can deliver via mobile devices, the better.

5. Retention – This is a reverse model at first, looking at lost customers and opportunities and analyzing what went wrong and how we can fix it. The important question to always keep in mind, ”What can I do for you to make you happier?”

6. Loyalty – This comes from first addressing any retention issues, as noted in #5, and using analysis from the most loyal customers to determine what needs to be consistently provided via communications, content, offers, and customer service.

7. Personalized content – Content is exceedingly important, and the more personalized it is, the better. I remember when PURLS (Personalized URLS) were introduced to direct mail. The result: an instant lift in response by a minimum of a 0.50%.

8. Alerts  – Alerts allow you to inform your customers about improvements in your products and services. It’s important to find the best method to communicate your message, as an alert is helpful in re-targeting consumers who have not yet transacted.

9. Incentives – everyone likes a bonus, look at the cosmetics business for example whether via  web or in-store purchases samples are provided…leads to new purchases and data on what samples are performing better than others to convert into  sales of new products or sale items.    As mention in #1 this will also over time show what incentives/offers  customers like the best and can now be consistent via a Referral Program .

10. Birthday Wishes and Gifts  – A birthday wish is always appreciated especially when it comes from a non-expected source, a birthday gift…well who doesn’t want one of those.

These are the options. Now it’s time to decide what first steps are the best for your business.This process works most smoothly if it involves the right people and the right teams, depending on the size of your organization.

For example let’s say you own two local pizzerias, the counter staff, waiting staff, and delivery staff are the key to the customer experiences and what may be missing from making your customers happier!

Now let’s say you are the CMO of Domino’s with more staff in the three areas…the difference is that you have a lot more staff to communicate and as a result, it would be optimal to set up a simple survey system that lets the employees choose whether or not they want to be anonymous in the system. This garners the most honest data possible.

Domino’s showed the power of analyzing and making data actionable with their revamped online ordering system that allowed customers to watch their orders from start to delivery online.  This is the quintessential system with all the bells and whistles you could think of that creates internal efficiency via transparency.

So to summarize, we hear the following terms quite often these days:


2nd Party Data

3rd Party Data

However, it all starts with 1st Party Data and the Data in your CRM, your web logs, your POS, etc. but as mentioned above in the two examples of a local pizzeria to a major chain your employees that are the stakeholders in deploying your customer service strategy can provide amazing “hands on” experiential data.

Lazlo took forever to Graduate and win the grand prizes he sought after and hacked  in life!

Lazlo 2

So I sort of made it past high school but have been very lucky to have owned and partnered with smart companies…the technical term for people. Please keep this in mind as some of this post might not even be using the right academic terminology but you will get the gist!

Also keep in mind when you’re an entrepreneur real life support is needed and very hard to find I’ve been blessed with that as well along the way friends and family. We do lose some of them along the way, I have! It can be a painful journey even when you are at the top of your game.

Yes yes we read books, we go to seminars, we google away we can find anything we want to learn about and for those in the data class we use tools and many of them quite expensive to research humanly the analytics with machine…but I hear college is very expensive too!

So I have little experience in the college part but will say that my right friends that are also mentors (my homies and they know who they are) most of them are super educated…together we worked and I studied my ass off enough to be able to keep up with them, learn from them and even hire people like them.

Then it was game on I worked with my professors everyday to win and build business.  These are real friends they never judged my background rather they appreciated and respected my “street experience.”  Thank you all!

I’ve definitely taken quite a few finance classes, thank goodness for QuickBooks (really not to many other options over the years although  there are more start ups coming in this space) but for about 20 years that software has been a part of my finance class. Every time they make a change or enhancement a meeting to research whether or not we should upgrade or use it is needed etc…I’m learning, getting a credit or something like that in finance here.

This happens across so many parts of my life and work as I am sure in yours as well.
So I just switched my Masters to Listening! 40 years old and still in school and now adding a new Masters Degree.

After all these years of slicing and dicing and mixing and matching and breaking and building of data and my career…new data keeps coming and I need to keep learning.

Now we have this amazing social listening ability so I’m adding this Masters to the data analytics Masters program I’ve been in all 20 years of my work life.

Recently I needed to add new and unique services for companies, increase tech and data partners create new collateral, nail some case studies from the sampling and staging and sampling and staging then go to market because I added a Masters that will enhance my products/services.

So at this rate from a work perspective and especially life I feel like I am never going to GRADUATE, this is AWESOME I will get to hang out with new students and teachers of all ages and backgrounds with so many perspectives and plans and passion and we can learn from each other.

So I get to be Lazlo, my favorite character in Real Genius, the only character in the cast with a character name playing the actor himself.

Jon Gries  – Lazlo Hollyfield (as Jonathan Gries) Real Genius Cast IMDB

What I’ve Done Wrong Along the Way…

Posted: September 4, 2015 in Posts

This post is like sharing parts of my daily anxiety but yet as well and more importantly how I omit these errors to get the next one right!

First off just the title of this blog post makes it seem like it’s going to be a long read, but I would need days of your time reading about really stupid, boring irrelevant stuff.
But there are some things I think about that I realize recently are what have made me pretty good at what I do (which at times is even complicated to explain) but if you read anything about me or that I’ve posted or even care to know it’s all around data.

19 years of data, I remember in 1998 telling my business partner they don’t even get what they’re buying and building, companies will be able to to to banks and borrow money on data audiences and segments and the goals they create.

Anyway so what I’ve done wrong…I don’t even know all the things there could have been one day alone I did over 100 things wrong, but there is this handful or maybe 10 handfuls of things that just pop into my mind sometimes.

You know the ones that give you the chill up your spine and what feels like an electrical shock, they make me wish I had that time machine, or the worse the ones that it’s like you’re right there in that moment again embarrassed maybe, foot in your mouth, in fear of the outcome, etc.


I have made many mistakes that I’m really proud of too, they changed and saved my lives and the lives of the people that have relied on me. I’m combining my business and personal life into this post.

I’m sure today alone I will make some good mistakes and some bad ones and I may not know for an hour to who knows when which are which but they are both going to be made with the intention of learning, becoming, better, stronger, faster and more honest with myself.

Look at history alone and we can find tremendous world changing examples of mistakes being both really bad at times and as well really really good.
Well I’m going to go make some mistakes and I see how I and others benefit from them because that’s the goal.

In time I will elaborate on certain ones that I feel may help others make less of the bad ones and more of the good ones, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 19 years I got a lot of both thank God!

So maybe my next post is “Here is what I did wrong this time…”

Have a great day and go make some mistakes…that way you can accomplish some goals.

Here is the technical description used by HR in the recruiting and hiring process:

Chief Data Officer (CDO) is a corporate officer responsible for enterprise wide governance and utilization of information as an asset, via data processing, analysis, data mining, information trading and other means.

I think there is so much more to it, phase one is a holistic relationship between data partnerships, the team that sells the data and the client goals as well as past results to deliver the best audience experience for the people and the client.

Recently for an opportunity I am very excited about I have been analyzing what other titles around, under and partnership of this role are and my findings are new and old based upon experience internally and externally with clients and companies.

Yes there is no doubt the term “big data” is being used and abused from PR, to HR, to Start Ups and investments.

It does remind me of years ago when it was so difficult for a company in need of data analytics for research, marketing and efficiency but was confused as to who really was the true source, whose data was truly valid, updated properly and timely, easily accessible and built into products versus large files and tons of filters.

In all my data discussions (pitches, advice and conversation) I lead with well what data can you omit from your current environment and partnerships versus constantly adding and then what data should be coupled together to make the buying, implementing and usage of that data easier for the end user.

This was very difficult in the days of direct mail and telemarketing data without a true partnership between us and the client so we could take the input data and then the result data and go back to work to create better models (now called audiences), achieve the right reach and market at the right time.

We have evolved from all forms of data traditional to cookies to IP data to social data and now there is so much more to take in and build goals from…reverse the goal into the data!

Being done already…yes parts of it in the programmatic space on messengers, apps, DSPs and social networks but has exciting room for growth and dare I say optimization.

The model I personally feel needs to and will change as the data becomes more actionable, smaller and more result driven based upon actual company results is PRICING.

This is not easy and takes a lot of “proof” to start deploying, but paying more for a smaller audience should be the goal. The right audience based upon demand, past transactions, intent, search, consumption and sharing.

Robert Scoble posted something on Facebook the other day and I am paraphrasing here but it was like look even Mark Zuckerberg has reach issues out of all is fans on Facebook only 1.5 million liked the post announcing that he will be having a child, look at the posts of Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn and you will see some interesting numbers there as well as to who is interested in his posts and comments about LinkedIn…

Anyway so my point is those 1.5 million people are really paying attention and maybe about 15,000 of them would even like to send Mark and his wife a gift or congratulatory message beyond a like that would be a lot of gifts from people connected to someone just via Facebook and have never met.

This is another window to look into when you look at People they are the data and if you only crunch numbers, files, selects, etc then you will lose touch immediately in your data build process with making sure the People come first.Here is a small part of my data process beginning that starts with the people:

First analyze the people, their desires, goals, their research, timing and the level of market they’re in.

Next we take this data and combine it with the goals of an advertiser. Start the process with a brand, product or service, or even the ROI. Just start with the people!

I hope this helps anyone else that is tasked with multi-compiling and cross compiling data to merge into one file and create audience driven products…it helps me.

There is the very final and for awhile controversial scene at the end of Dark Night Rises, when Alfred sees Bruce at the cafe discussed from the beginning of the film that Alfred vacations to.There is the “nod” the nod that was a lifetime for them of going their separate ways but knowing they are alright.



As I hit my 20 year mark of 100% entrepreneur life I have a lot to reflect on, many scars and now I see the picture is bigger than I thought and it’s one thing to grow revenue and put together rounds there is that down and dirty work especially when your company is really good at working but not effective in raising money which now I see is not as negative as I thought. But now you can help, when there is more to the idea that a bigger team can help with can enhance goals with and even work to change the world.



Anyway this nod comes from before my time in the Wild West it was a tip of the hat. But over the years working with different people in companies as well as other entrepreneurs and in the data business since I have been in it, the client can be the vendor and the vendor can be the client so it truly is a partner based business model…my point you become friends with your relationship contacts to better your companies goals and for me make friends over the years with many as your work really is your life.

That nod in NYC was always a kind of “it’s all good” to even a stranger on the street as you passed each other, respect of gentleman or understanding in some way.

jay z


We have to value this holistic approach at least I have to because when I look around so many of my friends, mentors, advisers etc have become my best friends and they have helped me over the years make partnerships and learn to create them as well. Thank you. It’s not always been easy nor will it be. It’s those challenges we need.

I have become a “Sunday Sauce” of these relationships because I have been able to mix them together with who I have been becoming in business and overall life and be this combination of styles, personalities, understanding and architecture.

Some friends are only friends for so long and some much longer and some become like they were a childhood friend. That’s life though a lot of it is in passing just a nod, even if maybe things didn’t go so great or just as planned a nod.

Most of us have shared ups and downs within business markets and needed to support each other to keep the partnerships and the data flowing things are not always so Peachy!



I am not sure where this post came from I was working on trying to get Iphoto to stop deleting my old photos and was thinking I need the Perfect Laptop a little bit of a Chrome Book meets some Mac with some Windows 7 of course complete office native working like it does so much better on PC.

I guess since everything is more digital now there must be a digital nod that says I know where you are at and no matter what I Am Glad To See You Are Alright! 
The nod of understanding needs to be global so that  borders can be crossed and lives can together grow, to be global is truly that then a World Undivided with a simple core belief, a respect a nod! 

Keep in mind it really says, hey all good but I hear you dude and you are not alone.

So back to my laptop I would like it if someone could build this idea I have…really needs to be exact to  my specifications…

Do You Want To Transform Yourself?

Posted: July 16, 2015 in Posts

There is a great book I was given by a member of the analytics team of one of my clients that has 64 short stories, parable like if you will titled:

“How full is your cup?” by JM Sampath. Best Seller List 2012 – Malaysia


It is written and illustrated like that of a children’s book but yet delivers content that inspired me to think about how I handle both personal and business problems, solutions, tactics, accomplishments and failures as well and just as important if not more how I react to it all.

A story that I felt should be shared is page 47 “The Transformation,” which is the story of an Eagle’s transformation process…which I was not aware of.

In the book this story is being told by two people remembering it from when there Grandmother had told it to them.”Eagles enjoy a life of nearly 70 years. But this gift of a long life has not been bestowed upon them; it is a choice they have to make!”

So when an Eagle turns about 40 years old their beaks have grown old and curved, their claws have hardened and their feathers heavy and bulky. If they continue this way they cannot catch prey and will soon DIE!

However if they want to extend their lives, Eagles have a CHOICE to make, by making this CHOICE they will undergo great pain to complete a TRANSFORMATION that will make them live longer…another 30 years or even more.

So the transformation process is (for those that don’t know) is:The Eagles have to fly to the top of a mountain, a mountain that will be their home for the next 5 months.

  • The most painful part of these months is when they have to hit their beaks against the hard rocks until they fall and a new one appears.
  • Now with their new beak they will pull out their old nails and wait for new ones to grow…Patience!
  • The new nails now help them weed out their old feathers.
  • They have TRANSFORMED with a renewed strength and they get to live again.

    We all go through periods in life where we need a “Fresh Start,” the feeling of being recharged and having new found super powers from our experiences, mistakes, successes and heart breaks.

    If this was the option for us to receive that “Fresh Start”…would we climb to that mountain top and start such a process, one that will teach us greater endurance, patience, gratitude and overall strength like that of the Eagle?

    Me well I would have to get over my fear of heights first, ah now I have just realized part of my transformation is eliminating a fear I have.

    Each day is a new day yes but each day is a part in some way, shape or form of the last and the next so we can take a step towards our own Personalized Transformation…maybe a bit less painful as well.

Let’s keep transforming ourselves and flying!