January 29, 2020
Augurs On The Town | Episode 3 with Kevin Bauer

Augurs On The Town | Episode 3 with Kevin Bauer

All right. Hello, everybody. This is Josh from Augurian. I’m here with Kevin Bauer. Super excited to have Kevin with me. We’re going to be talking about data. Excited because Kevin is a guy who’s a big
thinker about data, how brands and agencies should be using it today and what it might
look like in the future. Let me give you a little background on Kevin
quick and then we’ll get started. You were at Yahoo, Europe, then you came back
to the US and worked for over a decade on the client side, Big Box retail stuff, e-commerce. Now, you got your own consultancy, right? That’s Kessel Digital. Kevin: That’s right. Josh: All right. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being here. Kevin: Thanks for having me. It’s good to be here. Josh: Yes. Like I said, data, that’s what we’re here
to talk about. One of the things that I spoke about in my
Episode 2 with Jen Swanson was this idea of speed of change. When you and I were talking prior to filming
the video, you mentioned that as well. CMOs, they’re brought in to do a specific
job or they have a specific formula. Change happens and innovation happens so that
shakes their world. How do you see CMOs dealing with that? Kevin: Nowadays, it is about trying to create
as much agility for themselves in the organizations they’re working. What I mean by agility is the ability for
them to adapt to change no matter how rapidly it comes, or whether it zigs to the left or
it zags to the right, that they’re in the position to be able to handle that fact. A lot of executives are now really starting
to look at what is the core source of value in my organization? How do I nurture that in such a way that I
can leverage that no matter what happens across the industry? For most brands, that’s going to start with
their data. In particular, their customer data. There’s a lot of time and energy that are
being put into understanding that right now. How do brands get their arms wrapped around
their data size? Do they have a complete set of data? Do they have a true 360 degree, a single source
of truth and how do they leverage that across the organization so that no matter what technology
gets plugged in, tomorrow, no matter what change happens tomorrow, they have the data
to be able to integrate and power whatever technology or methodology comes in? Josh: You talked about data as a product where
you’re almost saying it should be like a grocery store, right? Kevin: Yes. Josh: You should be able to go to the shelf
and find what personas and what else? Kevin: Yes. It is a pretty apt analogy. Imagine going into a grocery store. Today, they have aisles like bread, condiments,
and soda pop, or whatever, right? In a business world or a data world, those
aisles might look like things like preference models. Another aisle might be targeting models. Another aisle might be attributions. Imagine creating a situation where your various
employees, your various teams can go down to the appropriate aisle for them and pull
off a box off the shelf. It has branding, it has a wrapper, it has
a set of ingredients telling them- Josh: Know what it is. Kevin: – What the data is, where it came from,
et cetera, and then be able to go off and use that product. That means that they don’t have to continually
go back to IT, or engineering, or sciences to hardcode, to build something that can be
heavy and laborious. They can just plug and play into whatever
technology or whatever system for other partner they’re working with, and take the product
and then go execute and focus more on the strategy side of things rather than data construction. Josh: Can you give us an example of an industry
where you see this data layer really unfolding, maybe area where they’re either really focused
on accelerating towards this or their challenged because they’re getting disrupted? Kevin: Yes. It’s a really good point. It’s happening all over the place, to be fair,
I would say at the macro level. There isn’t an industry that isn’t being touched
by this. Whether it is due to trying to deal with privacy
regulations, like GDPR, and CCP, et cetera, or just a need to personalize experiences,
do a better job of getting more performance out of them, et cetera. There are a couple of industries that, in
particular, have some really unique dynamics happening, putting even more focus on this. One of my favorites, if you will, is the energy
utility sector. It’s one that a lot of us don’t think about
on a day-to-day basis. Josh: Just get my monthly bill and that’s
all I need. Kevin: Correct. Get my bill, turn my light switch on. These days, of course, tell Amazon or Google
to turn on my lights for me and that’s all that I ever really think about but within
that very experience that you just described is a really interesting challenge happening
in the market. It’s making customer data be so important
and so powerful. That is, today’s utilities have found themselves
being abstracted from the customer relationship by the Googles, the Amazons, and the Apples
of it. Kevin: Yes, everybody who have the smart home
products are taking over that place. Kevin: Correct. In the old days, it used to be that you would
look up your utility, whether that was with paper bill or however you did that, give an
idea of the energy consumption. With the dominance and the growth in smartphone
gadgets, all that information is now happening at the door. You get it through your Google app, not through
your utility. That’s rendered them – Josh: Even the Next gives you the little green leafs
and things when you’re doing a good job. Kevin: Correct. And while this may seem innocuous, it shifted the value
from the utility into the Internet company – the technology company. The irony there, though, is that utilities
have more data about the customers than the Googles and the Apples ever could when it
comes to their energy consumption. Josh: But they don’t know how to get it off
the shelf, right? Kevin: Correct. Metaphorically speaking, they’re trying to
figure out how to create a good nest. In some cases, we’re even doing physically
speaking, but there’s metaphorically speaking, how do they reap, how do they get back in
front of Google, et cetera, to be that source of value to the customer. That’s all rooted on how they leverage the
customer data that they have that Google doesn’t have. Josh: Right. Well, I want to thank Kevin for your time
today. We’re talking data again and it’s always a
pleasure. So cheers. Kevin: Cheers. Josh: Thanks to The Stray Dog. That concludes Episode 3, Augurs On The Town. See you. Kevin: Thanks, everybody.

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