Recap: CMAinsights – the science of data and the art of marketing, Part 3

By Linda Forrest of CMA's Digital Marketing Council

On Thursday, March 23, the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) presented its first morning event of the 2017-2018 season: CMAinsights. Held at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, a full house of marketers – more marketers than you’d expect to see at 8 in the morning – gathered to hear speakers share insights about the challenge faced by today’s modern marketers: striking a careful balance between the science of data and the art of marketing. Senior marketing leaders from each of the event’s presenting sponsors Kantar Millward Brown, Kantar TNS, Microsoft Canada and Environics Analytics were on deck to speak. In our first installment of the event recap, we learned how to put the human back into marketing. In our second installment, we explored the impact of digital transformation on modern marketing. If you missed those posts, they can be found here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3 - “It’s not what analytics tells you, but what it can lead you to go and do.”

In her presentation, Tried, True and New: Making the Most of Customer Insights, Jan Kestle, President  & CEO of Environics Analytics, presented three case studies that proved the hypothesis that analytics and data are the competitive advantage in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Bottom line: companies that use customer insights make more money.

Many of us will be familiar with the geographic profiles of Environics Analytics PRIZM5 descriptions, and the application of these profiles in different sectors highlighted both the similarities in the applications of these data and the differences.

The goal of using data – and lots of it, from myriad sources – is to gain one view of the customer. With the abundance of data available (as highlighted in the previous presentation) this should be an easy feat, right?  Unfortunately, we’re still in the early days of data-driven marketing and Ms. Kestle highlighted two issues that modern marketers need to take up in order to build this discipline and get the budget approved to invest in it. The first issue is to bridge the gap between the “geeks” and the marketers, have these groups work together to prove value and demonstrate that this kind of work is making a difference on sales. The second issue is the pervasiveness of silos in the corporate environment: there is work to be done in order to bring data together and if you truly want to be a data-driven organization, you have to be a missionary for it.

Three unique case studies were presented on how a realtor (Royal LePage), a media company (Clear Channel Canada) and a non-traditional CPG company (Carlton Cards) each engaged Environics Analytics to better understand their markets, the opportunities and to provide their customers with more targeted, appropriate and engaging marketing.

Insightful event with actionable takeaways for the modern marketer

Based on the overflow crowd, the engaged audience who asked questions of each of the speakers and the applause that the CMA VP of Marketing & Member Engagement received when he asked for the room’s feedback on the event format and content, it’s safe to say that CMAinsights 2017 was a great success. If you missed this event, be sure to check out a full listing of upcoming CMA events and register to attend at

Thanks to the sponsors who made the event possible

CMAinsights was made possible thanks to the support of presenting sponsors Kantar Millward Brown, Kantar TNS, Microsoft and Environics Analytics. Additional support was provided by TD (wi-fi sponsor), Brightworks (creative partner), The ABER Group (digital media and search partner), ariad Communications (email engagement partner) and CNW, a Cision company (content connections partner).

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Tags: environics analytics, data, customer. insights, cmainsights, jan kestle