Talk to The Data to Become a Data Driven Organization: Interview with Lisa Joy Rosner

Glenn: Hi, everyone. I’m Glenn Gow, Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Welcome to Moneyball for Marketing where we talk about the incredible changes happening in marketing organizations around big data and marketing technology. We feature marketing technology insights from the top marketers in the world. The reference to Moneyball is from the story of how the Oakland A’s baseball team were able to win and win and win because they figured out how to use data and technology to their advantage. If you’d like to learn about how to use big data and marketing technology and marketing to help you win visit us at or email us at And now on to our podcast.
Today I am very pleased to welcome Lisa Joy Rosner. The CMO of Neustar. Lisa Joy is responsible for leading corporate and brand marketing across Neustar’s entire product and services portfolio. She has more than two decades of experience in building and transforming enterprise software brands creating rapid revenue growth and initiating high value partnerships in the data analytics, e-commerce, personalization, social business and cloud markets. Those are pretty hot markets. So, how does Neustar describe themselves? Neustar is the pioneer and the industry leader of real time cloud based information services and analytics. Neustar helps marketers promote their businesses and IT security professionals protect them. So Lisa Joy it’s a pleasure to have you here.

Lisa Joy: Glenn thank you so much for having me here, I’m excited.

Glenn: Well good let’s have some fun today. You were telling me a story earlier about a massive transformation that Neustar’s going through moving from qualitative to quantitative. Let’s start and talk a little bit about that.

Lisa Joy: Right well let me start by telling you just a little bit about Neustar because this company really is quite a gem and has a really interesting transformation story. And we’re right in the middle, right in the thick of it. The people who know me know that I love to take on big challenges.

Glenn: Oh good.

Lisa Joy: So if there’s one word that I would want anyone to associate with Neustar, just one word that they could remember, that word would be identity.

Glenn: Okay.

Lisa Joy: And then I would preface it with the word that does not roll off the tongue and that word is authoritative. Authoritative identity. And the transformation that we’re in the middle of right now: Neustar’s heritage is a telecommunications company that manages the number portability for all the carriers across the United States and Canada. So that means Glenn if you’ve decided that you’ve had it with pick a carrier, ATT, Verizon, Sprint, and you want to switch from them to any other, within seven seconds of being at the store, that number comes with you.

Glenn: That’s amazing.

Lisa Joy: So that’s our heritage, that’s where we came from. And we have this amazing CEO, her name is Lisa Hock, and when she started she said how can we grow and expand this business. We have a company that handles 10 billion different data elements in real time. And has expertise in managing very large complex data sets. What can we build on top of that? And over the last seven to eight years, we have acquired a series of companies who we’ve built a stack in both marketing and security. So to the point of your opening words, so that we can help both protect their brand and make sure they have high availability in performance, a performance website, and also be highly relevant in the way that they promote their brand with every customer interaction. So where does the transformation come in? We have successfully transformed the business from being one hundred percent tel-co focused to now being about 48049 percent tel-co focused. And the rest of our business is in what we call information services.

Glenn: Ah and that’s where we get into the quantitative.

Lisa Joy: Yes, and you see the expression that we’re transforming from like a crocodile to a flamingo. These are two really very different things. The thing that these two creatures have in common are eggs. And if you think about the word identity, that egg is thing that unites our history to our future.

Glenn: Okay good.

Lisa Joy: And the Neustar business used to be just for marketing and the whole approach for marketing comes in. In early days when it was a system portability company, there wasn’t a strong need for brand because there wasn’t competition, and some marketing believe it or not was part of the legal department which is new and interesting. And there wasn’t ever even a corporate CMO. The company was organized as a portfolio company with a series of PNLs. At the beginning of 2014 the company decided to move into a matrix functional based organization. And so when I took over May of ‘14 I had this highly fragmented group and the first thing I said was how do we measure ourselves? And everyone sent me their to do lists. I wrote 5 white papers, we did twelve of them. It was highly qualitative, it was literally just the to do lists. There just was not the discipline of having ROI based metrics and measurements.

Glenn: Very interesting and that was only a little over a year ago.

Lisa Joy: Yeah. And so task number was to turn our reporting from qualitative to quantitative and setting metrics and measurements that really helped us figure out what’s working and what’s not working in the business. And the very first insight I got from building the dashboard, I brought in a brilliant partner of mine of the name Angela Culver to help get branded ops under control. And the first thing we found when we built the rev one of the dashboard was that our events were not delivering our line.

Glenn: Ah this is a theme I hear. Continue please.

Lisa Joy: There’s two pieces to it actually. So it highlighted number that we were doing too many. And that we weren’t getting the ROI, and that also that we had a systems and a process problem because there some of them that actually were working but we weren’t capturing. A: we had a process problem where reps weren’t putting the data in, and also we had a last touch attribution model while we may have been generated or nurtured or influenced by an event, whatever was the last touch. In fact we were showing in Q1 that a lot of the Q1 deals were attributed to the holiday card because that was the last touch.

Glenn: That’s a great story.

Lisa Joy: Being a data driven organization fundamentally changed the way that we approach our marketing planning and execution.
Glenn: That’s great, you know that’s one of my favorite themes in the whole world so I love to hear this. So tell us more about what you’re actually doing in marketing to become more data and systems oriented.

Lisa Joy: So for starters, everyone in the marketing department has highly quantifiable goals. And it’s not about activity its about results. It’s across the board even in something like analyst relations, where we’re connecting the dots between network tests with an analyst and referrals that we get them that then go into the system and tracking the efficacy of the reports that they create, and tracking those down to associations within the sales process.

Glenn: Now I’m actually impressed by that because I would argue that analyst relations is one of the hardest things to measure and you’ve found a way to do that so I congratulate you.

Lisa Joy: We’re not there yet truth be told, but we definitely are building in the discipline. And right now you’ve caught me in an interesting time, we’re right in the thick of 2016 planning. And we’re having a series of very intense interlocks between marketing. And I just got off a call this morning where everyone was getting a line. OK so I’m gonna do this whitepaper it’s going to feed into these three programs and whose gonna pay for what and how are we gonna measure the results. And so all of us as marketers whether you are b2b or b2c strive for true integrated marketing so that an event is not just an event, it’s a social experience, and a thought experience. And that all the pieces are woven together and tell a bigger a story. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and every piece of it comes together and we win. And honestly. the number one thing to make that happen is communication. Inside within marketing there’s any number of technologies that can come and help facilitate that. But the only way to rally drive true integration is for people to just talk. And coordinate and as a leader the goal is really to create the vision for each major marketing initiative so that the team can see: where do we want to go and then as a conductor pull all the pieces together so that we can make these effect.

Glenn: And you had told me a story about some of the things you were starting to do and your vision for marketing relating to becoming more digitally oriented. Do you want to share your story there?

Lisa Joy: Well absolutely, so after that initial dashboard told us a few things that we’re doing too many events. That we were paying too much for everything. There was very little on the PR front and any kind of content marketing was just paid. And so we built a whole nominal content marketing team and two big mantras: one of them is less is more, and the other one is that we strive for earned versus paid. And so the whole marketing plan that we’re executing on in sort of the last few months of ‘15 and going into ‘16 planning is based on establishing a very unique thought provoking voice for the company. And so we moved a lot of our marketing, we put out phenomenal whitepapers and ebooks, and pamphlets, and info-graphics. And the quality of the content was really about sitting back and figuring out how can I make it different in my target customer’s day. What kind of deliverables can I create that will help them get budget and an idea for planning; help them build their organization or their model or whatever it is. So the content we’re creating is just absolutely delicious content that people can’t help but consume and then share. And even from a press perspective, we did this one really interesting infographic that got picked up by Forbes and they wrote a whole article about it, we were so excited. The infographic was based on our data so it really was almost surreptitious. The promotion showed just how rich and vibrant our data is. And so with our buzz metrics we measure everything, our goal was to increase them by 25 percent, and increase the quality of our content by 25 percent for the year. And at the halfway mark we were ready for 35 percent.

Glenn: Congratulations.

Lisa Joy: So it just goes to show that if you take the time to understand your consumer if you are a b2c, and figure out what makes them tick, and add value to their day, they’re going to engage with your brand. That engagement even if it’s coming out of content and PR, ultimately then brings them back to the website and leads a level of engagement which you can then capture and then put into a funnel.

Glenn: I’m a big believer of adding value to the potential buyer’s day. I really believe that’s the ultimate way to sell. You also told me a story about one of your customers, and what they’re doing to take advantage of some of the tools that you offer.

Lisa Joy: This is one of my favorite stories. What we bring to the table in one of our business units within the marketing services has 172 segments that help our customers figure out how to be highly relevant in their interactions. So Lenovo, in fact I’m talking to you from a Lenovo machine, shame on me that I haven’t yet adopted Apple technology as a marketer. So Lenovo is a big customer of ours and they’re really trying to move beyond the enterprise and really get adoption in the consumer market. And like everyone who has the consumer product, they want their share of the millennial wallet. And so they created this really gorgeous product called the yoga, and so of course it flips around and moves in all these cool different ways, and separates. It’s this burnt orange color, they got their product and packaging down pat. And then they hired Ashton Kutcher for their promotion doing everything right. They start putting it out there and sales were just kind of okay. So what we did was tuck their consumer data and we put it on top of our data and the insight that we delivered to them was that the millennial who were buying their product are parents. So there’s no time for yoga, they’re new parents. There’s time for yoga when you’ve got a newborn. And Ashton Kutcher wasn’t really connecting with them. And so they took this data and I met with their creative team and saw some cases of the hero image on the website. They just took the image and photoshopped in a diaper bag and a baby and they include more family oriented imagery. And here’s the numbers it’s going to blow your mind: their sales on that particular product went up 40 percent immediately.

Glenn: That’s amazing. Just by understanding really who is interested in that product, you can communicate with them in a way that’s meaningful to them.

Lisa Joy: Absolutely, and then I have a parallel story that’s actually interesting with the results for Neustar. Again one of the many tings back to authoritative identity: we help a lot of companies with what’s called risk and compliance. There has been a new SEC ruling around making sure that your consumer data is accurate so that you don’t contact people that are on the do not contact list. The frequency with which people move and change numbers and change names, they are big big numbers and it’s truly hard to keep accurate content. So there is a new ruling that imposed really large fines and some really big retailers had to pay some hefty sums. So now we need what’s called the TCPA solution. And so we jumped on that, we’re the number one provider for solving that problem. As soon as the ruling came out we weren’t sure how it was going to go. What we did was cut this bright yellow ribbon across the top of our web page. Kind of a blinky rotating banner in blight yellow TCPA your solution here. And the promotions team for TCPA said no we want a hero image. The hero image is the big image across the center. And the banner had been up for three days and there was this almost emotion that the hero image is important and centered and colorful and has pictures, and we want that. Well I said well let’s just look at the data since the ribbon has been up for a couple of days. And here’s what the data told us: the ribbon was converting 40 percent higher than the hero image.

Glenn: I love it right? It’s no longer about the opinion of whether or not we want a hero image or ribbon, it’s how is it performing.
Lisa Joy: Let’s look at the data and it will tell us what to do. And I see this emotion and passion around “We can’t have the hero image” but the data said no leave the ribbon where it is. And I was just looking up the numbers last night in anticipation of this call: 79 percent of the funnel for out TCPA deals are attributed to marketing.

Glenn: I imagine that’s higher than average.

Lisa Joy: Anyone that’s in marketing is going what? Who can ever show 79 percent of it is coming from the website? If you’re really stuck, and this has been a practice for marketers, this is why we do testing, but if you’re ever stuck just talk to the data. It will tell you what to do.
Glenn: Well that’s a great way for us to wrap up our time together. We’re actually out of time. I love what you just said. Just ask the data. Because if you have it and it can answer your question, then I agree with you, that’s the place to go first. Any last thoughts Lisa Joy before we sign off?

Lisa Joy: You know I just think that it’s important to understand what metrics will drive behaviour in your organization. Because the metrics and goals drive behaviour. And if you’re trying to get to a certain action, for example looking back to the events, I just told the team if I can’t show value, I’m taking every single event away. And guess what, the discipline has come in already. Now I know, suddenly I am getting all kinds of leads registration from the sales force assigned to them. It’s really important to be mindful of the metrics, because metrics matter and they drive behaviour can keep everyone in check. But also the flip-side with marketers is that it’s about making an emotional connection with your customer. So that piece is important too, but the data can help you get to that as well.

Glenn: Absolutely. Alright Lisa Joy thank you so much. I’ve learned a great deal, and I appreciate your time.

Lisa Joy: Thank you this was really fun, and I very much appreciate you having me on the show, and I hope that your listeners are enjoying this and have a great day.

Glenn: Alright thank you talk to you soon.

Lisa Joy: Be well bye bye.

Glenn: If you like this podcast please subscribe and rate us on iTunes and tell your friends about us. You can also go to our website,, and sign up for our free monthly newsletter featuring the very best of our marketing insights, featured Moneyball for Marketing podcasts, and one of our favorite features called, “Bad Marketing,” or email me at Thanks for listening to Moneyball for Marketing from Crimson Marketing. Have a great week and let us know if we can help you in any way.