CONSULTING | 6 MIN READ
From data-averse to data-first
Danielle Guzman understands marketers who fear data. She used to be one. Looking at her resume, though, it’s a little hard to believe. Before she joined Mercer, Danielle founded AIG’s customer insights program. There, she managed a team whose sole purpose was to mine qualitative and quantitative customer data and provide strategic intelligence to every function of the business. Now, in her role as Global Head of Social Media and Distributed Content at Mercer, she uses data to maximize the impact of social media campaigns and predict the future of digital content consumption.
Her dramatic turn towards insights-driven marketing would make anyone wonder: how did Danielle get from data-averse to data-first?
Danielle explains how she tackled her fear at its source: “People often fear data because they don’t understand it, and they don’t want to admit they don’t understand it. So I first had to get comfortable with not knowing everything I needed to know about data, and then I had to get comfortable asking questions of people who knew more about it than me.”
Reliance on true experts and an understanding that we can never know everything sits at the very core of Danielle’s belief system. “Given the pace of innovation, there will always be more for marketers to know about data. If we wait until we know everything to start using data in our day-to-day, we will spend our entire careers waiting.”
As a marketing leader, Danielle seeks to help marketers fill gaps in their understanding of data. She does this by pairing creative marketers with more data-savvy ones, so they can learn from each other. “When we work with people whose skills complement ours, it maximizes our impact. I know marketers who have seen a massive payoff by acting with data, even if they don’t start out with much technical expertise.”
Since diving head first into the world of insights-driven marketing and leadership, Danielle has seen data transform the careers of dozens of marketers—including her own. Here are three positive impacts marketers can expect to see when they take the leap of faith to grow their familiarity and comfort with data.