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The Many Benefits of Data Transparency

16 Aug 2022

Steve McGowan, Head of Shopper Activation and Strategic Partnerships at Mondelez International, outlines the multiple benefits his organization has gained by aligning all their commerce marketing planning and post-analytics activity into one advanced, intuitive technology platform.

His comments were originally presented during a workshop conducted at Adweek’s 2022 CommerceWeek event in New York. There, McGowan joined with Bahigh Acuna, EVP/GM of The Mars Agency’s Marilyn MarTech Platform, to more broadly discuss how data and technology can help organizations transform their commerce marketing practice.

Watch the video, or read the transcribed version below.

The Benefits of Data Transparency
Technology allows us to distill information at a much faster rate. We’ve been able to partner with The Mars Agency, leveraging their suite of tools, to help improve our planning process as well as our post-analytics process.

For planning, we previously were using an Excel spreadsheet, different people were inputting information, and there were some inconsistencies. And on the post-analytics side, we partnered with another company and built a great tool with great information, but we only ran analyses every 12 to 18 months on select programs and retailers, because of the costs involved.

That’s not nearly enough. Where were we all 18 months ago? The world changes in 18 months, so you have to be much more flexible, much faster. Our partnership with The Mars Agency has made that happen.

First, it’s improved our planning process. Everything is now in one central repository. That took away any inconsistencies in the information and how we look at it. Secondly, we have learned a ton through the post-analytics work, which has enabled us to do things in a much faster way.

The amount of programming that we’re measuring is five times greater than it was before, and we’re measuring in probably one-third the amount of time we were doing before. For reference, our marketers do MMMs or MMAs on our brands once a year, and then do quarterly updates.

Through our partnership with The Mars Agency, we’re looking to follow the same cadence of time — quarterly is a bit much, so we’re probably landing on every six months right now. But again, we’re measuring five times the amount of programming and data than before. That allows so much more information to be fed through the system, and it gives us so much more confidence in the data because it’s all measured consistently in the same way.

Our shopper insights team both in the U.S. and globally sat with the Marilyn team to work through the analytics and test drive the model to make sure they were comfortable. The partnership has really worked out from that standpoint.

It’s also helped us get adoption across the organization, which has been super-important. Our marketing leaders want to know where they should put the next dollar. If they don’t have confidence in the data that you’re putting in front of them, they’re going to put the dollar wherever they do have the confidence. So having things that are measured similarly now, that have been aligned and blessed by your key stakeholders, to put in front of your marketing leaders so they can confidently make the decision to invest, has been a really big step.

We’ve also been able to influence the rest of the organization. I’ve been able to leverage some of these learnings and push them upstream with our brand partners in the IMC [Integrated Marketing Campaign] process to align the insights with where we’re trying to go from an objective and strategy standpoint.

For example, if a brand is trying to drive household penetration, I can show them that the best way to achieve that is through trial, and then I can show them the best way to drive trial at different retailers. By providing that information, when the brand is developing their big idea, they know that to achieve their objectives, they’ll need to leverage a particular suite of assets downstream through our shopper marketers and our customers.

And all of this is intended to lead to better decision making, drive incremental growth for our brands, incremental category growth at our customers, and incremental ROI for Mondelez.

Steve McGowan, July 30, 2022


About Marilyn
The industry’s first agile marketing platform, Marilyn lets marketers manage, understand, predict, shape and enhance the shopper experience in ways previously unimaginable. The Marilyn platform helps clients optimize performance by providing a single source of truth for all omnichannel marketing activity, ROI analysis and attribution, and scenario planning. To learn more, visit and email [email protected] for a demo.

About The Mars Agency
The Mars Agency is an award-winning, independently owned, global commerce marketing practice. With talent around the world, we connect people, technology, and intelligence to create demand and drive profitable, sustainable growth.

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