GE's Andy Markowitz Discusses the Race for Accountability in a Time of Uncertainty

July 27, 2015

Ask Andy Markowitz to compare business-to-business marketing with business-to-consumer marketing, and he'll tell you that there's not a lot of difference. Today he is the General Manager of GE's Performance Marketing Labs and the former Director of GE's Global Digital Strategy. However, his background includes a key marketing position at food-giant Kraft where he led a Center of Excellence for digital activities, thought leadership and best practices, as well as participation in a startup and a variety of ad agency roles at the beginning of his career.

While speaking this July about driving commercial success and ROI at the ANA's Digital and Social Media Conference, he admitted: "There's really not a lot of difference between B-to-B and B-to-C any more--both claim they don't have enough marketing dollars or resources, but still have to deliver results. B-to-B has certainly learned a lot from B-to-C, but increasingly, we'll see how B-to-C will learn from B-to-B--especially in regard to accountability."

Andy believes we are currently operating in the Age of Transformation and Accountability, rather than The Golden Age of Marketing. "I see marketing as being accountable, and through accountability, you build relevance and value-- internally and externally. Technologies are evolving so fast and we are now moving beyond the 'test and learn' phases to a place where digital is creating opportunities to reach true accountability with marketing spend."

Andy broadly describes Digital Marking as "a quest to connect people, ideas, places, and machines to personalize and customize user experience." He adds that "the yield is micro relevance for macro impact." He's also quick to note that we often think that marketing has gone digital, while, in fact, it is business as a whole that's gone digital. He cites how Uber, Facebook, Alibaba and Airbnb carry no inventory, but are simply about value creation.

The mission of the GE Performance Marketing Labs is to focus on marketing opportunities that drive stakeholder connection, as well as commercial relevance and acceleration, or as Andy clarifies, "we make it easier for GE Customers to buy or for GE Sales teams to sell products." The Marketing Labs concentrate on strategy, lead generation, channel disruption, insights and analytics, content, social media, and customer engagement. "We're all about the commercial component of marketing; we are not necessary about the top-line storytelling."

Andy leads the group with the goal of providing new value to GE's overall businesses, while re-thinking the corporation's organizational development in an effort to work with more people and skills. "At GE," he says, "we are constantly trying to break down silos and encourage people to work more holistically."

Andy Markowitz also shared his Five North Stars for Performance Marketing:

  1. Connect Everything. "If you're going to drive cultural change, you have to connect islands and bring people together."
  2. Mass Race for Global Permissions. "Every marketer needs first-party data to be smarter about their customers. Think about behavior and permissions from a customer perspective. We ask--'How do we drive our customer success to solve their problems?'"
  3. Know Your Audience. "You simply have to know everything about what your customers want."
  4. Great Content Finds Its Audience. "We have found through several significant global media partnerships how thought-leadership marketing can be made hyper-relevant for our customers."
  5. Innovation. You have to be a disruptor, which means being smart and fearless while often embracing the new.

Andy Markowitz also had a few words about the shiny, new objects that digital marketers often embrace quickly. He said, "If shiny changes culture, they are valuable. However, keep in mind that shiny alone is not a strategy--only when they drive change can shiny new objects be strategic."

He adds that to deal with disruption today, you've got to get external. "You cannot solve every problem within your own four walls. We sleep with a lot of people. We want to know where the good ideas are."


"GE's Andy Markowitz Discusses the Race for Accountability in a Time of Uncertainty." The Internationalist Trendsetters, 7/27/15.

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