Understanding and Influencing the Customer Journey

Last week in Downtown LA, eSage Group and Microsoft hosted an Executive Learning Lounge focused on understanding and influencing the customer journey.


The concept is a complex one. I came across this great article in the November issue of Harvard Business Review.  I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

If you are in Seattle, we are having a Customer Journey panel at the DAA Seattle Symposium on November 12th.  Shish Shirdhar will once again get in the panelist chair along with Michael Lisin of Disney and Duane Bedard of eSage Group will moderate!


Competing on the Customer Journey – HBR, November 2015 – Executive Summary

As digital technology has enabled shoppers to easily research and buy products online, sellers have been scrambling after them, trying to understand and satisfy their wants. Savvy companies, however, are using new tools, processes, and organizational structures to proactively lead digital customers from consideration to purchase and beyond. They are creating compelling customer journeys and managing them like any other product—and gaining a source of competitive advantage.

Building successful journeys requires four key capabilities: automation, to smoothly carry customers through each step of their online path; personalization, to create a customized experience for each individual; contextual interaction, to engage customers and appropriately sequence the steps they take; and journey innovation, to add improvements that enhance and extend the journey and foster customer loyalty.

In addition, the most successful companies have a particular organizational structure, with a chief experience officer overseeing a journey-focused strategist and a “journey product manager.” This latter role is critical—the journey product manager leads a team of designers, developers, data analysts, marketers, and others to create and sustain superior journeys, and he or she is accountable for the journey’s ROI and general business performance.

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Immediate Job Opening – Mexico Based Microsoft BI Stack Engineer

Microsoft BIThe eSage Group is a Marketing Data Analytics firm established in 1998, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, USA. We have Fortune 500 clients including Disney, the LA Times, and Microsoft.

 Our company is always on the lookout for talented developers at all levels in both Mexico and the US. We have worked hard to create a company culture of sharp, quick learning, hardworking professionals who enjoy being part of a winning team with high expectations. As such, we hire self-motivated people with excellent technical abilities who also exhibit keen business acumen and a drive for customer satisfaction and solving our client’s business challenges.

 We have a strong remote team in various locations in Mexico, including Monterrey, Aguascalientes, Mexico City, and Guadalajara. All employees work from home. All employees are full-time employees, not contractors.

We need  Mid-Level Software Engineers (3+ years of experience) with the Microsoft BI stack.esage 2logo

All candidates must have a strong interested in business intelligence and marketing analytics. They must be willing to work with other companies at the same time. They must have a strong desire to understand business problems and look to disparate data sources to integration to gain insights to help solve the business problems.

• Advanced English Skills both written and spoken
• Advanced Excel and SQL skills
• Strong past data analysis experience
• Good oral and written communication skills
• A keen eye for detail is required. This person must be extremely detail oriented
• Ability to produce high quality, accurate, deliverables
• Proven ability to work under pressure with deadlines
• Ability to learn quickly, follow direction, and execute tasks independently

Technical Skills
• SQL Server
Knowledge of databases, stored procedures, and writing T-SQL script. Should know about primary and foreign keys, indexes and why they are important. Should know how to use temporary tables and know something about the use of cursors within a script. Basic error handling within a script would also be nice.

• OLAP / Analysis Services
Ability to design and build an OLAP database within Visual Studio. Understand the following concepts: Data Source View, calculated measures, named set, referenced dimension, Measure Group. Able to deploy and process an OLAP database. Understanding of basic MDX and how it is different from SQL. Knows the difference between a set, a tuple, and a value.

• SSIS (Integration Services)
Experience designing SSIS packages that can extract, transform, and load data. Use of Data Flow and Script Task components. Able to use C# and variables within SSIS. Able to package and deploy SSIS components.

• C# / .NET Framework
This includes the ability to create custom classes, interfaces, and events. Understands concepts like inheritance, polymorphism, referenced assemblies, and delegates. Should be comfortable working with lists (.NET or custom) and familiar with the standard .NET types arrays, dictionaries, lists, structs. Knowledge of Generics is a plus.

Please email your resume to tinam (at) esagegroup (.) com and/or complete form below.


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Seeking 4 mid/senior level engineers to work on a Cloud-based Big Data project

eSage Group is always on the lookout for talented developers at all levels.  We have worked hard to create a company culture of sharp, quick learning, hardworking professionals who enjoy being part of a winning team with high expectations.   As such, we hire self-motivated people with excellent technical abilities who also exhibit keen business acumen and a drive for customer satisfaction and solving our client’s business challenges.   We have quarterly profit sharing based on companywide goals, allowing everyone on the team to participate in and enjoy the rewards of our careful but consistently strong growth. We are currently looking to fill 4 openings to complete a team that will be working together on a large-scale “big data” deployment on AWS.

  1. Cloud-operations specialist who can design a distributed platform for analyzing terabytes of data using MapReduce, Hive, and Spark.
  2. Cloud-database engineer who can construct an enterprise caliber database architecture and schema for a high-performance Cloud-based platform that stores terabytes of data from several heterogeneous data sources.
  3. Mid/senior-level software developer with extensive experience in Java, who can write and deploy a variety of data processing algorithms using Hadoop.
  4. A technical business analyst who can translate business requirements into user stories and envision them through Tableau charts/reports.

1) Cloud-operations specialist: • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field; or, 4 years of IT work experience • Familiarity with open-source programming environments and tools (e.g., ant, maven, Eclipse) • Comfortable using the Linux operating system, and familiarity with command-line tools (e.g., awk, sed, grep, scp, ssh). • Experience working with Web/Cloud-based systems (e.g., AWS, REST) • Knowledge of database concepts, specifically, SQL syntax • Data warehouse architecture, modeling, profiling and integration experience • Comfortable using the command line (e.g., Bash), experience with systems deployment and maintenance (e.g., cron job scheduling, iptables) • Practical work experience designing and deploying large-scale Cloud-based solutions on AWS using EC2, EBS, and S3 • Working knowledge of one or more scripting languages (e.g., Perl, Python) • Experience using systems management infrastructure (e.g., LDAP, Kerberos, Active Directory) and deployment software (e.g., Puppet, Chef) • Programming ability in an OOP language (e.g., Java, C#, C++) is a plus 2) Cloud-database engineer: • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field; or, 4 years of IT work experience • Familiarity with open-source programming environments and tools (e.g., ant, maven, Eclipse) • Comfortable using the Linux operating system, and familiarity with command-line tools (e.g., awk, sed, grep, scp, ssh). • Experience working with Web/Cloud-based systems (e.g., AWS, REST) • Knowledge of database concepts, specifically, SQL syntax • Firm grasp of databases and distributed systems; expert knowledge of SQL (i.e., indexes, stored procedures, views, joins, SISS) • Extensive experience envisioning, designing, and deploying large-scale database systems both in traditional computational environments and in the Cloud • Ability to design complex data ETLs and database schemas • Desire to work with many heterogeneous terabyte-scale datasets to identify and extract Business Intelligence • Experience using multiple DBMS (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server) • Work experience using Hive and NOSQL databases is a plus 3) Mid/senior-level software developer: • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field; or, 4 years of IT work experience • Familiarity with open-source programming environments and tools (e.g., ant, maven, Eclipse) • Comfortable using the Linux operating system, and familiarity with command-line tools (e.g., awk, sed, grep, scp, ssh). • Experience working with Web/Cloud-based systems (e.g., AWS, REST) • Knowledge of database concepts, specifically, SQL syntax • Excellent Java developer with knowledge of software design practices (e.g., OOP, design patterns) who writes sustainable programs and employs coding best practices • Ability to program, build, troubleshoot, and optimize new or existing Java programs • Several years development experience using both version control (e.g., SVN, Git) and build management systems (e.g., Ant, Maven) • Able to create and debug programs both within IDE environments and also on the command line • Working knowledge of Web development frameworks and distributed systems (e.g., Spring, REST APIs) • Experience using Hadoop ecosystem (e.g., MapReduce, Hive, Pig, Shark, Spark, Tez) to program, build, and deploy distributed data processing jobs • Programming ability in Scala is a plus 4) Technical Business Analyst: • Strong background in business intelligence • Minimum of 1 year using Tableau and Tableau server. • Able to work closely with cross-functional business groups to define reporting requirements and use-cases • Extensive experience manipulating data (e.g., data cubes, pivot tables, SSIS) • Passion for creating insight out of data and data investigation • Experience using R, Mahout, or Matlab is a plus Please send resumes to tinam (at) esagegroup (dot) com

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Immediate Need for 2 Technical Business Analysts

eSage Group has an immediate need for 2 solid Technical Data Analysts.  Both positions are in Bellevue, WA.  No remote.

The successful candidate is someone who enjoys diving into our client’s business issues, understanding needs, evaluating the data available and then doing the analysis and creating reports that provide our clients with meaningful insights.  Candidate should have great communication skills, a keen curiosity about business challenges, and possess the intermediate SQL and Data Schema skills required to be able to evaluate and then query available date sources to create reports.


  • Work directly with business users to understand information needs
  • Inspect data sources and conduct data audits to verify data accuracy and ensure quality
  • Analyze data for trends and outliers
  • Create report and charts that highlight meaningful insights about their business, customers, etc.


  • Strong past Data Analysis Experience working directly with end users
  • Intermediate Data Base and SQL Skills – Ability to use MS SQL to assess data quality and availability, and then write queries to assemble the data to build reports.
  • Advanced Excel Skills, ability to do advanced charting, Pivot Tables and ad hoc analysis
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Mathematical mind with great analysis skills
  • Highly organized, detail oriented and produces quality work that has been fully checked and can be trusted by decision makers who will rely on it

 Nice to have:

  • Experience working with OLAP data cubes
  • Advanced MS SQL/Database skills
  • Experience with MS Power BI Tools

Please email your resume to tinam (@) esagegroup (.) com.

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Internet of Things Learning Lounge Los Angeles A Huge Success

IoT Logo

Last night at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, CA the Internet of Things Learning Lounge program played to a sold out venue. The presentations and panel discussion were a hit with the more than 150 marketing professionals, data scientists, executives and students alike. Not only was this great event educational, but with the Cuban themed decor, Cuban food and Mojitos it was a really good time!

Master of ceremonies, and Strategic Relationship Manager for eSage Group, Rob Lawrence, kicked the night off by introducing the three organizing partners who worked so hard to make this event such a success: eSage Group, USC Institute for Communication Technology Management and American Marketing Association Los Angeles. Next it was our three sponsor speakers which included Kim Schlimme from Datameer who presented a short video which showed the value of Datameer and eSage Group working together to make Home Security and Home Automation company Vivint so successful with their volumes of customer data. Next it was Rob Ryan, Account Executive at Cloudera on stage describing the opportunity represented by the Internet of Things and the benefits of the Cloudera tools that help companies manage the volumes of data being generated by IoT. To set the evening’s stage, Doug Webster, VP of Service Provider Marketing at Cisco presented his take on the Internet of Everything. Doug provided a vast overview of the possibility and promise represented by a world of connected devices. He talked about turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

Next it was onto the panel discussion moderated by our own eSage Group President, Duane Bedard. The panelists included Nate Williams, CMO and EVP Business Development at Greenwave and an Adviser at The Internet of Things Consortium, Ohad Zeira, Director of Product Management and Growth Platforms for WeMo at Belkin, Richard Vander Meer, VP of Program Management for frog, and Doug Webster VP of Service Provider Marketing at Cisco. The conversation was exceptional. The panel discussed what IoT means for marketers; the opportunity, the challenges and the promise of true one-to-one marketing. They also talked about the concerns with privacy, the concerns around having so much data to deal with, and how to potentially extract insights from so many varied data sets. The discussion was inspiring, educational and thought provoking and so relevant to the marketing space, this was not to be missed.

Duane on StageDougCrowd View

What is the Internet of Things? Why should marketers care? RSVP Now to find out!

Internet of ThingsPlease join us in this lively evening event sponsored and organized by eSage Group with co-sponsors Pointmarc and Cloudera. Hear a panel of industry experts from the areas of Wearables, Home Security/Automation, and Automotive:

Duane Bedard from eSage Group, a thought leader in the marketing analytics space, will moderate a discussion delving into the Internet of Things, where are we today, what the future holds and how marketers can best be prepared to take advantage of it to improve effectiveness of marketing campaigns and develop new revenue streams.

The Learning Lounge is presented with PSAMA and DAA.


When: May 15, 2014 Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Club Sur 2109 First Avenue South SODO, just south of the Starbucks Center
Cost: $25 includes beverages (alcoholic and non) and appetizers Parking is free and readily available after 6pm on First and side streets.


 Check out the cool digs!

SUR Montage



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Just announced! eSage Group’s Internet of Things Learning Lounge – May 15th

iot3A First-Hand Conversation on the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things will profoundly re-shape marketing. As objects in all corners of our lives become connected to the web what does it mean for brands and customers? To help provide insight, and a lively discussion, eSage Group and PSAMA has arranged a premium collection of senior-level thinkers from some of the area’s strongest brands, all together on one panel.

See first-hand how Alaska Airlines is evolving air travel, how Vivint is revolutionizing digital homes and how Nike continues to be an innovator in wearables all through understanding the opportunities from the Internet of Things.

Learning Lounge: An All-New Event Format

At the Learning Lounge, Seattle Marketing Analytics Group, PSAMA members, and non-members alike are invited to join together for an evening at SUR, one of Seattle’s most talked-about venues. Enjoy food and drink (ticket prices includes cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres) while learning from some of the Northwest’s most innovative brands how the Internet of Things is starting to re-shape marketing.

Expert Panel:


Date: May 15th, 21014

Location: Club SUR, SODO, 2901 1st Avenue S

Time: 6pm

Tickets are $25 for all Seattle Marketing Analytics Group members!



Register here!

Special Thanks to our co-sponsors!



The Learning Lounge is replacing the normal monthly MeetUp at Fado’s for the month of May. We will return to normal in June. 

If folks like it, The Learning Lounge will hopefully become a quarterly (or so) event.

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The Shish List – Big Data at MarketMix

This article was posted by Shish Shirhar, Global Director of Big Data, Retail. He was one of our Making Big Data Smart Data panelists for last week’s PSAMA MarketMix.


Thanks to Duane Bedard & Tina Munro of eSageGroup, I participated in a panel discussion at MarketMix with the brilliant Data Scientists: Jason Gowans of Nordstrom and Jon Francis of Nike. Duane Bedard did an excellent job of moderating the conversation.  I love his skill of condensing everything we said to short soundbytes that were ready to go on twitter :) , and they did with hashtag #MarketMix.

Jon Francis shared interesting insights on the work he does on the ecommerce business at Nike. Jason Gowans runs the Nordstrom Data Lab and shared his perspectives on what it takes to walk the thin line between providing great customer experience through personalization and becoming “creepy”. We discussed where Big Data has proven value and where it has disappointed; talked about how Marketers can benefit from Big Data Analytics and what kind of data is useful for enhancing insights.

I spoke with several people in the audience after the session and one of the questions that stood out was: “How can we start small, working with multiple data sources?” My recommendation is to have a look at a tool that you most likely already have: Excel. Excel 2013 has some interesting new capabilities with PowerBI. The democratization of data and the democratization of tools is empowering everyone to get started working with multiple datasets, combine them and create great visualizations to derive insights. Check out some of the examples from my previous blog posts:

  1. Analyzing Seattle 911 Data using PowerBI
  2. Using Power Map to Analyze Public Retailer Data
  3. Visualizing Wal-mart
  4. Lets visualize Beer because it’s 5 pm somewhere
  5. How To: Visualize Real Time Flight Data & Correlate with Local Airport Weather
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Happy Hour with the Moon Man

Last night I had Happy Hour with “The Moon Elevator Guy” or as I, one of the 80’s generation, like to call him…The Moon Man…(Think MTV for all of you that don’t get the reference).Micheal Laine LiftPort

Actually, his name is Michael Laine and he is working not only on the lunar elevator, but also some other really cool space related technologies!!! His company is LiftPort. Fascinating story! Good, not so good, ugly, and excellent, all in one!!!

He is truly a visionary! A man with incredible goals and the courage to pursue them while bringing along an amazing worldwide team of brilliant scientists, designers, etc.  Seriously cool!! If you want to hear him speak, he is going to be the Lunch Keynote at this year’s PSAMA MarketMix on Market 26th! Check it out! www.marketmix.org  #SpaceElevator

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This Just In….LA Marketing Analytics Group Teaches Attendees About Using Data Science to Inform Values Based Marketing Campaigns

Thank You!
…to everyone who joined us last Tuesday night for Ravi Iyer’s presentation on Using Data Science to Inform Values Based Marketing Campaigns. The slide deck from his presentation is now posted in our “Files” library at the LA Marketing Analytics Group home page: Group Homepage. Ravi Iyer is the Chief Data Scientist for Ranker and a consultant on Zenzi’s Social Values project.  He combines years of technical expertise with a PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California.  He publishes regularly in top scholarly journals and his research on moral psychology has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, and at South by Southwest Interactive.

Here’s what Ravi covered on Tuesday night:
Many companies are seeking to align their brands with the values of their consumers.  However, values can mean many things to many people.  Successfully micro-targeting the right people with the right message is essential for forward thinking marketers in the age of “big data”.  In his talk, Ravi blended case studies, academic research, and techniques from data science to show practical ideas on how your next marketing campaign can leverage data to inform a more meaningful, value-based connection with customers. We explored concepts like “Why do people buy things?”, “Big Data applied to values”, and “Predicting things that matter.” Ravi’s presentation was a wonderful mix of psychology and marketing data analytics tenets, all of which he spoke about from real world experience using his psychology and data sciences background.

eSage Group and American Marketing Association Los Angeles are excited to bring you this monthly speaker series every first Tuesday of the month. We always enjoy an evening of light appetizers, beer and wine provided by eSage Group: a systems integration and analytics consultancy combining heavy lifting technical chops with front end analytics. We help organizations rapidly integrate and transform customer data across disparate sources and perform powerful cross-channel analytics to derive deeper insight and extract maximum value from marketing and sales data.

Thanks again to all who attended, and sorry we missed those of you who couldn’t make it.
We hope to see you all next month at our Making Big Data Smart Data: The Actionable Insight Journey panel discussion with panelists from Beats by Dre, PR Newswire, and Live Analytics.

Author: Rob Lawrence is Business Development Representative in Southern California for eSage Group, President Elect 2014-15 for The American Marketing Association and Organizer of the monthly first Tuesday LA Marketing and Analytics Group.

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