Ask The CMO: Jason Heller On How Data And Creativity Must Work In Lockstep To Drive Business Growth

Jason Heller

Jason Heller

March 3, 2019 - Billee Howard, Contributor at Forbes, writes: We live in an age of digital transformation. Many look at transformation through two distinct lenses: marketing and technology. Few however, have the vision to understand the critical intersection of the two that is required for true success. Even fewer understand that the path to future growth will come by placing creativity and data shoulder to shoulder at the front lines of business.

For my most recent column, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Heller [pictured], Partner and global lead, Digital Marketing Operations and Technology, at McKinsey & Company. Jason is a renowned authority on successfully joining creativity and data to drive growth. In fact, Jason has regularly presented his thinking on this topic, along with many other innovative ideas, such as “the economics of creativity,” at esteemed venues such as the Cannes Lion Festival of Creativity.

We discussed a wide range of topics, from the changes in organizational structures in response to digital and data-led transformation to the nuanced difference between “creativity and technology” and “creativity and data.” The following is a recap of our conversation:

Billee Howard: There’s so much chaos and disruption taking place in the world of digital transformation. Traditionally, I look at this from the point of view of the CMO, but this year, because of shifts I’ve seen taking place in C-Suites around marketing and technology, I’m interested in hearing from senior leaders with a different perspective, like yourself. What do you think are the most pressing changes driving those areas?

Jason Heller: I think it’s important to note that even though everybody talks about transformation like it’s the Holy Grail thing that’s happening right now, we’ve been in a state of disruption and reaction to that disruption for the past five to ten years. Some companies have responded to the disruption earlier than others and have been on a transformation journey for some time, and other companies tend to react either when things become painful, or when they see everybody else around them changing and realize that they are missing the boat on being able to reap the benefit of consumer centricity, data driven value creation, or efficiencies from technology. More...