‘Speeding up time-to-market is critical’ Says Visa Senior Director

The following is a guest blog post from Ernan Roman, President of ERDM Corp., DMA Hall of Famer and author of “Voice of the Customer Marketing”

Jessica Williams is the Senior Director of Global Brand and Digital Products Marketing at Visa. Jessica is focused on the Visa brand at point of payment both in today’s world and with an eye toward the future. Prior to her current role, Jessica spent most of her career in digital marketing, designing innovative marketing programs in order to enhance brand equity, differentiate products, and achieve revenue initiatives. Jessica lives in San Diego but loves her Chicago sports teams (go Blackhawks!). Find her on Twitter @mediametricsgal.

Speeding up time-to-market is a key priority for Williams, as she explains in this edition of “4 Questions for Digital Innovators.”

1. What is one marketing topic that is most important to you as an innovator?

Speeding up time-to-market. The rapid pace of innovation has led to shorter product and marketing lifecycles, more audiences and markets to address and more data to analyze and act upon. This results in a lot of spinning wheels and if we’re slow to harness the data, make sense of it and get our marketing campaigns and concepts into market – it’s quite possible to find that the next big thing is on the horizon and our marketing plans are out of date.

2. Why is this so important?

Process optimization is necessary for achieving time-to-market goals and for staying relevant during this time of immense, fast paced change. Agility is paramount and it’s our job as marketing leaders to improve our team’s ability to get to market faster and then use real-time data to react to new market conditions.

Roadblocks to real-time optimization can include things like lack of quality analytics platforms, poor workflow management, analysis paralysis, and the “too many cooks in the kitchen” scenario. Given the rapidly increasing rate at which data is being generated – these roadblocks are seen all too often when attempting to get clarity from massive amounts of data. Having a solid marketing analytics and tech stack, clear KPI definitions, talented data storytellers and small teams with full decision making power will help break through the data noise and allow for greater optimizations while in market.

3. How will this improve the customer experience?

We must embrace agility to respond to customers’ dynamic needs and behavior changes. The marketing program, message or channel that worked last week or last quarter may no longer be the best for the consumer or the most effective go-to-market approach.

Quality data and the ability it allows for speed and precision with which we can adapt to changing needs of our consumers and makes a big difference in winning their hearts and wallets. Consumers are beating down our doors for more innovative products in the marketplace, more unique marketing experiences and differentiation in how they interact with brands. Consumers want to be on this “test and learn” journey with us – but to do that we must speed up our time to market. It’s why Visa has brought payment innovations such as the payment glove, pins and stickers to market during the Olympics to test the commercial viability. It’s why we brought multi-sensory brandingto the marketplace – ahead of IOT payments being mainstream. Our “why” as a brand is steeped in looking for new and innovative ways to bring seamless commerce experiences to fans and being quick to market with new technologies.

4. How will this improve the effectiveness of marketing?

It’s natural for large brands to want to get it right, 100 percent of the time before we launch. The reality is — with speed being so critical — it’s much better to get to market on a timely basis. The trend of increased data from new marketing channels, platforms, apps, devices and data is not going to slow down anytime soon so we must learn how to harness this data effectively with a marketing tech stack that centralizes the data, standardizes it and visualizes it to enable us to use that data to improve in real-time. Not only does first-to-market mean better PR and innovation association, it also allows marketers to develop baselines they can build on. This will allow for quicker, more reliable data in a real-environment – which in turn can lead to more efficient and effective marketing plans.

3 “How-to” tips:

  • Invest the time and money into measurement automation. Doing things manually is not an option when you want to get to market quickly and optimize in real-time.
  • Ensure results are in context of your business objectives, and yields specific enough insights to be directly actionable – this will allow for real-time improvement
  • Package up your results and successes and share them with cross-functional teams. Showcasing the benefits in speeding up time to market and real-time learnings will encourage others to follow suit.

And…What is your favorite activity outside of work?
I live in San Diego so inevitably my favorite activities include running on the beach with my dogs or relaxing on the beach with my husband and daughter. And eating fish tacos.