In this month’s Minute with a Marketer, we speak with Jason Owen, Credit.com’s senior vice president and general manager. His company, Credit.com, helps consumers understand and master the often confusing world of credit and improve their financial standing through education, free access to credit data, and recommendations around products and actions.
Jason shares his thoughts on industry trends and the biggest challenges and opportunities for today’s marketers in the Q&A below.
Q. Please share a bit about your role and your company.
A. As senior vice president and general manager for Credit.com, I’m responsible for leading, developing, and implementing the strategy for the overall business.
Q. What do you think is the biggest area of opportunity for today’s marketers?
A. I see marketing as being two disciplines: acquisition and brand marketing. While both are unique, they are both necessary for a well-run organization. In the past, these areas may have had some internal tension, but they are beginning to sit closer. As a marketer, “reaching across the aisle” to work more closely with counterparts will help those in each discipline to better understand the effectiveness of campaigns across environments.
Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge marketers currently face?
A. The MarTech industry has done a very poor job of data connectivity across products and platforms. There are many SaaS companies today that promise to help grow parts of your business in a very focused way, but understanding how those companies impact the broader organization across all data points is becoming a more complex problem. I believe that we have failed to help solutions providers understand that their products are only one part of the solution. They have to make it easier for marketers over time. The hidden operational costs of developing home grown solutions here is staggering.
Q. What do you think will emerge as the biggest marketing trend of 2017?
A. Accountability. This could be taken in many ways (which was intentional). Whether this means brands holding publishers accountable for things like ad viewability or holding Facebook accountable for video views, as data has become more commoditized and consumable, it is allowing organizations to have more information than ever before. This amount of information should create additional accountability across all aspects of marketing.
Q. If you had unlimited marketing budget, what would you do?
A. Everything we do starts with people, so continuous investment in top talent is where I would start. Spending money is easy; but effectively spending money is what separates great teams and talent from everyone else.
Q. What business advice would you give to your younger self?
A. I have been very fortunate along the way to get great business/career advice that has been very beneficial. Three things I would tell my younger self are based on the advice I have received:
1. Avoid bad habits like eating poorly, staying up late, and not exercising to allow for peak performance. Taking care of your body will help you better prepare for the days and weeks ahead when you have to push yourself.
2. Mark Suster, a prominent venture capitalist in Los Angeles and blogger, authored a post saying that each role you have should be seen as time to learn or time to earn. Some roles are financially rewarding. Others might be learning experiences to prepare you for your next role. Similar to Suster, I coach people to always think about how they are preparing to grow into their next role.
3. I learned too late that being a workaholic can have detrimental affects on your family. The CEO of a former employer for told me that he puts his phone in the closet each night when he gets home and doesn’t look at it again until everyone is asleep. If something breaks that can’t be figured out by others during that time, it is his fault for not having the right team in place. This level of presence resonated with me.
Check out previous Minute with a Marketer posts featuring marketing experts from Atkins Nutritionals, GE, and more.