621: How to Make Decisions in the Age of the Algorithm w/ Peter Horst

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Peter Horst, Former CMO of The Hershey Company and Founder of CMO Inc.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterhorst/

Wouldn't it be nice to have severalthaught leaders in your industry no and love your brand start a podcast inviteyour industrys thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reapingthe benefits of having a network full of industry influences, learn more atsweetfish media dotcomyou're. Listening to the B TB grote show podcastdedicated to helping B to B executives, achief explosive grown whenher you'relooking for techniques and strategies, tools and resources. You've come to theright place. I'm Jonathan Green, I'm James Carburry. Let's get t into theshow. Welcome back to the BAUTBY growth showwe're here today with Peter Horse is a former CMO at td. Amera trade he's alsothe former CMO of the Hershey Company and now he's the founder of CMO IncPeter Howe. You doing today doing great thanks o much for happing. I am excitedto Chow. Today, Peter we met through our mutual friend Jos Stinley, and I amincredibly excited to chat with you, we're going to be talking aboutdecision making in the age of the Algorithm, but before we dived intothat I'd love for you to just give our listeners a little bit more contextabout what you're doing with CMO ink sure. Well, I um stepped out of thecorporate world when I left her. She, you know little over a year ago, andI've been doing really kind of a fun mix of some consulting bunch of writingand writing for forbs I've got a book coming out in the FA in the springdoing some speaking, I'm on a few advisory boards. So you know afterthirty years you know Walkin the halls of Corporate America, sort of thevariety of the flexibility and the the flexing of old and new muscles has beenreally fun. So that's Kindof what I've been up to yeah! I love it Peter Amea.I T to have someone with you or...

...background and your experience. I can'timagine the dynamic nature of what what you bring to a stage or a a consultingengagement so per I want a transition into t. You know what the rest of thisconversation is going to be about which I'm I'm really excited about, and II'll start by and of referencing back to an article that you wrote was aboutthree years ago for Harbard business review around the idea of not lettingbig data kill your brand. Can you talk to or listeners a little bit about whatyou know, what that article was about and then not a launch us into t theconversation today sure so this was Um. Gosh give me amount of time it took tokind of finalize and publish the article. We probably started thinkingabout this about four years ago, as we saw the growth of of big data, and youknow massive analytics playing a bigger biger role in the marketing equation.Um a colleague and I went and spoke with a bunch of reallysmart, leading CMOS across a variety of industries from quickser restaurant tohospitality, to kids games to get their perspectives on. How do you manage thisincredible new capability in a way that doesn't squeeze out allthat is sort of about human creativity, judgment insight? All of those thingsthat that really, at the end of the day, are at the heart of great inspiredmarketing and innovation, because the reality is you know, certainly at thetime the vast majority of the capabilitiesand the applications of of the big date analytics wer around kind of that nextaction, the short term sales, the optimization? U That could bedemonstrated in ar relatively near term and was not nearly as well tunedtowards those longer term, slightly hard to kind o get your hands aroundissues around brands around longer term...

...equities. So we saw a risk that thatthat part of the equation and that sort of that always had to be balanced. Youknow short termers in long term, product versus brand that that thatwould sort of get lost. So you no. We went deep on that and we heard a rangeof perspectives on on how different CMOS dealt with it. Everything from Itrust where the data takes me to. I would never abdicate a decision tothe machine and I will always insist on intuitively understanding, whateverrecommendation it is so published, the article got some good response, andthat was that you know Fast Ford, a few years and Um. I think that issue has only increasedis as capabilities an technology have continued to develop. So so that beingobviously, you know three years ago now how much more so do you think that thatthat piece is relevant today, based on by the advances that have been made intechnology since then yeah, I think Um, I think only more so in n in moredifferent ways. You know you look at these sort of eyechart brain numbing,loomescapes of thousands and thousands of vendors in technologies and MartechADTEC analytics providers Ai. Now, increasingly, you know playing a roleand and sure to play a much, much bigger role of marketing going forward,and there are, you know, infinitely more Um tools and capabilities that arecertainly powerful and important and, and you know, can unlock all kinds ofopportunities, but at the same time they they create even more temptation.Even more gravitational pull, I think, towards the sort of abdication of thethought, process and decision making and even more ways in which you candemphasize and place less value on that which is driven by judgment driven by holistic, human, creative intuition andexperience driven perspective. So I...

...think t e t e the need for CMO's andmarketers and CEOS to be very intentional and very conscious in termsof how ar decisions being made. How are they waiting the different factors thatthat go into major decisions? It is even more important that makes completesense, Peter based on your background, being a K, ow Hershey capital, one t,the Amero trade. There are any examples or stories that you could share. Thatwould illustrate the the power of really being conscious about how muchweight you're, giving you know the Arborithm or or the big data in kind ofh, the human centr decisions that need to be made yeah sure well, I'll. Giveyou a couple of different M instances. You know, capital ine is certainlyviewed, and I think you know justifiably so is one of the mostsophisticated and an analytically sharp marketers out there, and I say that Wwith with zero pride, because you know the people who ere the true deep,analytic geniuses o did not reside in my team. But but, as I sort of workedwith them and sought to understand, you know what is the magic in how all thatworks so well, and how they're able to amaze even the people at Google on thekind of results they get out of you kno their investment. In that platform. Youknow. I consistently heard back that there was this notion of always be skeptical of the data alwaysbe willing to stare at it and decide whether you think it'smaking sense whether you think there's some sort of you know, fly in theapointment somewhere, but but never just follow the data out the window,even as you're you're being incredibly sophisticated in leading age in termsof how you're leveraging it there's also sort of a openness and humilitythat needs to go along with all that...

...prowess, because as much as you know,the company had been absolutely at. The leading edge of you know, go back anumber of yeers direct mail and he the analytics andotimization around that aseach year would go by. You know we discover new things about what's reallygoing on the interaction of channels, and you know as much as we thought wehad unlocked. You know the secrets of the universe at one point in time, we'drealize. Well, we had that wrong and and needed to really refresh that thatthat assumption another insince in a very, verydifferent environment of Hershey, as we were, you know going through theprocess of Um, modernizing the marketing model and bringing 'em moredata an analytics and and technology enabled marketing model yeah. We hadone particular brand. We were working with. That was an absolutely superb,just addictively delicious product, but really not that well known and occupiedsort of an interesting. You know niche in the realm of chocolate confectionand we got N I'll admit. I got VER entrigued with a technology solutionthat would allow us to get very, very targeted in terms of people who youknow Kindo like dark chocolate, but we're a little suspicious of it and hadtried this competitor, but not done that and you red haired left handedliving in Ohio. So we could absolutely just put our the exact right message infront of the exact right people and we did a little pilot and then came backto really step back and examined our thinking about it and said you know, Or. A problem is not a super clever targeting problem it' say you know, wehave a great product, no e knows about problem, and that calls her a verydifferent solution. So you know you often have to beware of the sort ofsubductive sophistication of some of these technologies n in in analytics Um, because you're, you know wrong tool forthe wrong problem,...

...two very different situations, but, butboth that really called for you know the willingness to step back and thinklike a curious, marketer and and not simply sort of turn over the key to thecar to the to the machines. It makes Perfect Sen spear you ad Mentione,Otline, that there are a couple of books that that talk about this idea. Could youshare those with us yeah you t to to? I think, really speak to this issue of how do you just bring theright kind of thinking in this sort of world of the Algorithm?Ane Is called the apposable mind by Roger Martin and the otheris calledsense, making by Christian Masburg and Um Sense, making is sort of the t, the counterpart to the of analyticsworld, and by that I mean not, it's anti, you know analytics an data, butmore it's you know you need to have the right complement, certainly leveragethe data, but it's in that book. Masberd makes her of a call for a aliberal arts, um humanistic, almost anthropological way of approachingunderstanding a market. So you know, rather than Um, consuming clinical dataon a spreadsheet, get out and get a mersive. You know it's one thing tolook at data about how Parisians you know: eat breakfast, butit's another thing to sit in a cafe in Paris and Soak up the environment andunderstand the context and what are they talking about? And you know justwhat's the whole cultural social environmental surround that gives youthis sore of three sixty insights that can really unlock something interestingverses. This very sterile sort of data yeah gess it talks about you, know, Um, messy problem solving and and thewillingness to in the midst of all the data. You know,leverage a sort of a feel for the...

...environment, deep understanding, D and sort of gutin a sort of along similaizes, but from a different perspective. In theopposable mind the central idea there is the importance of you know, holdingtoo seemingly contradictory ideas in your mind at once, and that you know,especially, I think in this world of data andtack and so forth. You can muchtoo quickly go to very simple either or it's tisorts that aversus B and itmight be both a nd B or it might be. You Know Abcnd, and you don't want torush too quickly to to narrowing in on one or another. So you know Martintalks about. You know a few ways in which you cansort of get out of that trap of overly simplistic, overly sort of followingthe numbers to a quick conclusion- and one is, you know, start with a lot ofconsiderations on the table. Don't too quickly rule out possibilities, especially if they seem contradictorand you need to start brooming them off the table, but make sure you take anexpansive view of the possibilities. Another so critical for marketers isthis issue of causality okaand? You know in a world where we all struggleso much with marketing accountability, ind, Rli and what's working and is thisyou know, content marketing program delivering versus this conference sponsorship versus thatdirect male. You know Um such a complex issue with the avent of all thistechnology. It gets very tempting to say, ah a CAUSEB, you know the lastclick was over here. Therefore, you know, let's put more money into thiswhatever display ad, but causality is rarely that simple. So you knowapproach causality with. You know an assumption that there are probably manydifferent complex into relationships going on and don't work too quickly toto oversimplify it. Another really important one is really looking at thewhole problem all at once, and you know,...

...especially in the world of technologywhere we've moved from. You know these giant waterfall technology projectsthat take on this massive three year thing all at once. We say: No, no! It'sabout agile, you know breaking it down into pods and peace parts that worksfor many things, but for solving complex problems. You really want tolook at it as a whole, big messy problem and not try to sort of reduceit to its tidy little parts, because you need to sort of think of corralingthe whole herd in its entirety on the way to Omaha and not you know, breakingit down into lots of individual caws, because that's not solving the wholeproblem, and then you know. Finally, it's sort of as you're working towardsa solution. You know continue to keep multiple possibilities in your head atonce: 'cause, sometimes it's both sometimes the magic is in that inherentcontradiction. You know it's not I'm with you or against you, it's I'm withyou generally, but I differ with you here and therefore the creativesolution is something as yet undefined. So I think you know between those twosort of books, N in ways of thinking. It's about. You know bringing in aricher, more human, cultural set of insights and perspectives, along withall the hardcore data and Atalytics, and it's about taking a more holisticand multifacated and less tidy thought process in terms of how you sort it allout and get to a good solution, and I think both of those are reallyimportant things to keep in mind in a world where we have so many greatcapabilities, but that really at this moment have a tendencyto oversimplify Um overemphasize, the short term- and you know, Miss thatsort of magical. catalest. Of of you know: Human Curiosity and Cretivecreativity nopeter. This is this- has been fantastic. I really appreventeusuring this with with our listeners. If, if there'se somebody listening andthey want to stay connected with you...

Peter or they wanna, they want to learnmore about the the work you're doing with CMO inc. What is the best way forthem to go by doing that? Well, you can come by CMO INC DOT COM. I can sign upFoor my newsletter and I'm easy to find on Linton at Peter Horse and twitterPeter Horse. So stop e share your thoughts and um I' d love to hear any reactions orbuilds or different points of view you have to this or anything else, I'vespoken or written on and UH. That's a great way to find me wonderful! Thankyou so much again, Peter for your time today. This has been fantastic, so reaappreciate it. You Bet thanxchames to ensure that you never miss anepisode of the Bubi Growth Show subscribe to the show in Itunes or yourfavorite pot cast player. This guarantees that every episode will getdelivered directly to your device. If you ar someone, you know, would be anincredible guess for the B to be Groshel email me at Jonathan thatsweetfish media Dotcom, let us know we love connecting, would be to beexecutives nd. We love sharing their wisdom and perspective with ouraudience. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (1621)