An award-winning CMO and CCO, Mark Stouse is one of the first leaders to connect all types of marketing investment to revenue, margin, and cash flow impact in complex, long-cycle companies. In 2014, he was named Innovator of the Year in Business Wire magazine. Mark is also the CEO of Proof Analytics, a marketing analytics platform that helps CMOs and CFOs bridge the ROI gap by providing cause-and-effect analytics that show marketing and sales true business impact and financial worth.
Touching on a range of topics from marketing mix modeling, to marketing resource management, to Top Gun, our interview with Mark Stouse weaves polymathic insights and advice from his many years in both the C-Suite and marketing departments, and takes the listeners on an informative journey into data and effectiveness.
“The math behind multi-variate marketing analytics,” says Mark, “has been around for years. But the big challenge with integrating marketing mix modeling (MMM) into the process, is that recalculations are expensive, demand a lot of teams, and happen infrequently, typically every 6 or 12 months.”
Mark goes on to outline the problems with MMM, and how assembling all the data (KPIs, Business Intelligence, performance data, asset management) can create a very high-dollar problem that’s even more expensive to implement.
“With marketing data modeling,” explains Mark, “the risk you are trying to deal with is dependent on the size of the business and the budget. If the marketing budget is significant, and you get the MMM wrong, you lose twice because you’ve wasted time and you’ve inhibited future cash flow.”
The conversation then pivots to innovation, and how technology can both help, and hinder, a marketing team's ability to be strategically creative.
Mark believes that innovation, like creativity, in a traditional marketing framework, is nothing more than problem solving.
“Both innovation and creativity are problem solving outside the box,” says Mark. “To the extent that someone who is innovative can see patterns that don’t appear obvious to most. Polymaths know a lot about a lot of different things, and all of those disparate areas of knowledge goes into their thinking.”
“As a martech stack gets more complicated, it inhibits people operating within that stack. What we’ll see in marketing, like we have with stock traders, is that there will be a point at which those interfacing with the tech will decide to turn over the thinking to the machines, or they cap the technology. The cap is not about the tech, it’s about the human ability to engage with the tech.”
The interview wraps up with a simple formula from Mark on how businesses can approach marketing: Accountability + Predictability = Success
“What the business wants is evidence from marketers that the data and strategy are in order,” says Mark. “Marketing resource management is how you gather all those data points, and MMM is about impact, provability, and learning how to call the shots in a dynamic environment, not a static one. You need to keep triangulating the strategy and use data to bring context to the table.”