As a data analytics company focused on consumer insights, we love talking to marketing and research professionals all around the world. Our latest interview is with Ashley Bruzas, a Sr. Digital Strategist at Mason Interactive. She's a Human Swiss Army, worked in different verticals in marketing and she is very much into data. We also discussed how social listening and understanding the consumer is important for every marketing action. Check our interview below for more and see here how we use social listening to uncover consumer insights if you're interested!
Hi Ashley, welcome! Can you share a little bit about your background for us? I know that you’re Canadian, but you have never worked in Canada, right?
Over the past 8 years, I’ve spent my professional career wearing many hats and working closely alongside emerging brands and industries. What began with content development and brand strategy for brands like Nike, Converse, and Moose Knuckles in Canada, I moved to the US in 2018 to shift my focus to digital and content strategy across a portfolio of direct-to-consumer brands. I have been working with Mason Interactive since 2019, and I would say that my experience working closely on all consumer touch points makes me a unique expert in the performance marketing space.
What does Mason Interactive do?
Mason Interactive is an award-winning Performance Marketing Agency, headquartered in New York City. Since 2009, we have helped businesses grow - from global CPG brands to online fashion retailers and lifestyle startups. Whether your goal is to drive conversions, grow leads, boost brand awareness, or generate revenue - Mason’s client-specific digital strategy will take you there.
I know that you are kind of a Human Swiss Army since you have done a lot of your career! Did writing, managing social media teams. Did your experience in SEO prepare you for your job at Mason?
1000%. Every role and opportunity has helped prepare and guide me in the direction of where I am today. If there’s anything that the past few years has taught us, digital is constantly changing, and being able to adapt and stay ahead of the curve is critical to professional growth and success. Every day is different, and I am fortunate to be working alongside a team - and industry - that challenges me and keeps me on my toes.
Since you’re a strategist, I know that data is very important to you. How do you use data for performance marketing? On which stages is it important at most?
Our position: Data drives the decision. Performance marketing is unique in the sense that every client or business has a different product, approach to growth targets, and ultimately, different goals. We can analyze market insights and trends, seasonality, historical data, and other factors that influence our strategy, but ultimately, performance is rooted in goals, and we have to adjust according to every client. Goals can change, so we use data from start to finish to create meaningful and long-lasting partnerships.
So let’s go deep on consumer insights! How does a performance marketer use conversations of consumers? Why does social listening matter to you?
Simply put, social listening helps to inform our strategy or support our recommendations. As industry-wide changes/disruptions continue to impact performance, first-party data, measurement, and attribution have never been more important. The more brands know about their existing customers, whether through social listening, reviews, and surveys, the better equipped they will be to apply these insights to holistic strategies across the digital ecosystem (paid, earned, owned).
What about your case studies? Can you mention a case-study of Mason Interactive that shows the importance of data?
While case studies are a great way to illustrate big wins, they are also subjective, and oftentimes client specific. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to any channel or strategy, and we have to be transparent about the underlying factors that should be taken into consideration when taking a similar approach to a different brand, product, or service.
Here are a few Case Study examples from across our portfolio:
Let’s give a hand to juniors in performance marketing.
I’d like to ask some questions to help juniors become better at what they do.
What is the best way to analyze the data in performance marketing?
Start with a single source of truth. For some, it’s platform data, like Google Analytics or Shopify, but in reality, every platform is going to report a little bit different. Once you have mastered data analytics across the platform of your choosing, only then can you begin to introduce layers of complexity to feed the system quality signals to improve processes and generate insights.
Could you name 5 favorite SaaS tools of yours?
So, this one is a little bit sad. I know that you’ve missed events, just like me :) What were your favorite events in marketing before COVID-19?
Before the pandemic, our biggest sources of new business were in-person events that we would host alongside our partners at Google and Meta (formerly Facebook). Not only were they a great opportunity to get in front of new prospective clients, but they also provided a great environment to share industry insights, hear from clients, and network with like-minded leaders in the industry.
Since the start of the pandemic, I have only attended one in-person marketing event, a DTC conference hosted by GROW. Their in-person conferences are attended by thousands of high-growth retail brands, and the New York event last summer (2021) was incredible.
We have explained the importance of Capterra for SaaS companies from a consumer insights point of view.
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