John Balla

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Bio

I am Principal Marketing Strategist for customer intelligence solutions at SAS, as well as Editor of the SAS Customer Analytics blog.

My background in marketing spans from my own start-ups to Fortune 100 global operators. I’ve lived and worked on 3 continents and have a fluent command of Portuguese, Spanish, Hungarian and (sometimes) English.

I appreciate logical thinking and try to remember “Occam’s Razor,” that the simplest answer is the correct one. Outside of work, I’m a husband, dad to 2 great kids; I love the beach and snow skiing. It’s been said that I am a decent cook and posess a green thumb. I try to handle stress with humor, and I put the “X” in extrovert.

Follow me on Twitter: @JohnBalla
Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnballa/

All Content

How Marketing Turns Data Magically Into Profits

Marketing has evolved - thankfully - from the days when everyone just thought of us as the brochures and tradeshows people. Nowadays, we're as likely to be focused on…Read More

Consumers Confirmed - Retail Loyalty is All About the Experience

It seems like every retailer nowadays has a loyalty program. From the local coffee house to “big box” national retailers to almost any online merchant, everyone has…Read More

The Magic Johnson Way to Marketing Success

Magic Johnson working the crowd. Earvin “Magic” Johnson  is very large in stature and even larger in personality. He is often remembered as a professional basketball…Read More

Exploring How to Get in Sync with Mobile Customers

Customers on a Mobile Journey Mobile technology and the advent of tablets and smartphones have transformed whole industries and are changing customer behavior in ways that impact marketers around the…Read More

Want to predict your customer’s next move?

People are funny. They’re often fickle, choosy, demanding and impatient. At times, they’ll say one thing and then do another. So when they become customers, how…Read More

Leading Marketing Excellence with Analytics

There is no shortage of technology buzzwords today - digitization, big data, the internet of things, mobile, social, cloud computing, and so on. For marketers, all these buzzwords can…Read More

Digital Marketing - It’s Really About People.

We live in the age of big data - just about everything is evolving and the pace of technological change is accelerating. More and more parts of our lives…Read More

Seven Benefits from Using Marketing Analytics

"Give the lady what she wants" and "The customer is always right" are quotes attributed to the venerable Chicago retailing pioneer Marshall Field. That customer-centered approach to doing business was…Read More

Are you Craving Ice Cream? Blame the Humidity.

Knowing what your customers want and when they want it is valuable insight for any business. The key is to know how to find out. At Oberweis Dairy, one of…Read More

Five Lessons from Effective Customer Loyalty Programs

Tags on keychain = loyalty? Maybe not. How many loyalty tags do you have on your keychain?  Five? Six? Ten? Would you say those tags make you more loyal, or…Read More

How Blogging Helps Me as a Marketer

I started this blog over 4 years ago as a way to give our customers a dynamic source of useful information, and also to help connect the dots for…Read More

5 Tips to Personalize Digital Customer Experiences

At the online “flash sale” retailer Gilt, success comes from breaking through the clutter, and from ensuring that their offers matter in the grand scheme…Read More

3 Steps to Better Marketing Emails

As mentioned in a previous post about how we try not to annoy our customers, we really make sure we're not just going through the motions…Read More

Facebook vs. Orkut – Three Lessons for Marketers

Me:          Hey! Orkut is going away. You:         Oh, bummer! I didn't realize…Read More

The Health Care Customer Emerges Amid Industry Upheaval

One interesting outcome of regulatory reform in health care is seeing the use of the word "customer" filter into the dialogue in the industry. Someday letters from health plans and…Read More

Health Analytics Affects Every Industry

The health and life sciences industries affect all other industries on two levels – our employers and governments are heavily involved as influencers in payment systems, and as individuals we…Read More

Exploit Chaos to Compete Effectively

We live in a world where chaos is increasingly the norm. And human nature when faced with chaos normally triggers a protective reaction - it could be a retreat, "circling…Read More

Seeing Context Helps Internally and Externally

It’s hard to overstate the important of context. It provides clues when you are looking for answers, it provides texture and nuance to a story you might be…Read More

Seeing Opportunity in the Internet of Things

There are many reasons for marketers to see opportunity in the Internet of Things, most especially because it entails the interconnection of objects and devices and the data that's…Read More

People Skills Realize the Innovative Power of Technology

It’s never been more important for marketing to speak the language of technology (IT) and for IT to speak the language of marketing. Why? Because technology is radically…Read More

Want to Snag Attention? Mention Cat Videos.

Pandora came as a package deal with my wife when we got married. People love to joke about "watching cat videos" as the epitome of wasting time. Or they…Read More

Need to Solve a Big Data Marketing Problem? Visualize it.

Developments in advanced analytics, data visualization and processing power are opening new doors to solve big data marketing problems. Most notably, the time horizon on our…Read More

Customer Love - It’s All About the Connection

  Happy Valentine's Day! Today is the international day for celebrating love, or at least the day for love offerings. Naturally, I'm inspired to write about ways marketers…Read More

Winter Olympic Inspiration for Marketers

I have always loved watching the Olympic games for so many reasons. To begin with, the Opening Ceremonies with the pageantry of the parade of nations is unparalleled. For me,…Read More

How to Hire a Portfolio of Modern Marketing Assets

I have never liked referring to people as a “resource,” or as an “asset” in the impersonal sense. Even with people reporting in to me, doing…Read More

Why was your Marketing Campaign Successful?

Knowing if your campaign is successful and why is not as easy as it seems. Even in ideal conditions, there are plenty of factors beyond your control, such as competitive…Read More

Kicking Up Customer Loyalty at Major League Soccer

Fan loyalty is everything in the sports business. So when Major League Soccer (MLS), the top flight pro soccer league in the US and Canada, wanted to deepen…Read More

Video: 3 Keys to Getting Digital Marketing Right

The amazing digital world we live in provides consumers with information whenever, wherever and however they want it. It can be both dazzling and dizzying at the same time, so…Read More

2013 Marketing Round Up in Five Hot Topics

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to take stock of some of the topics that captured our attention this year in the context of five “hot…Read More

NCDM Panel: Analytics Talent is Elusive, but Essential in Marketing

The following post originally appeared on the DMA Advance blog, republished here with permission and gratitude. It was written by Stephanie Miller, VP at DMA and Chair of…Read More

The Impact of Negative Reviews on Purchase Decisions

The Castle may have the best views in Budapest, but how are the reviews? My colleague Kelly McGuire recently teamed with Associate Professor Breffni Noone at The Pennsylvania State University…Read More

Do You Know Which of Your Customers Have the Most Clout?

It’s an interesting question, right? We all know our customers talk among themselves about our products and our brands. They do it in person, on the phone and…Read More

Turning Book Lovers and Sports Fans into Brand Evangelists

Picture your "typical" sports fan - body paint, tailgating, banners on the car, and so on. You can easily imagine that person as a brand evangelist. Now think of someone…Read More

Why Marketing Should Speak Data - The Language of Business

Sir Terry Leahy is former CEO of global retail giant Tesco. Sir Terry Leahy speaks with the clarity and purpose of someone used to speaking the language of data. When…Read More

Strategy shift: How CMOs are Leading Data-driven Marketing (part 2)

As technology has changed the way people communicate, do business and generally lead their lives, CMOs have shifted their strategies to lead data-driven marketing in ways that maximize new opportunities…Read More

Strategy Shift: How CMOs are Leading Data-driven Marketing (part 1)

Technology has dramatically changed the way people communicate, do business and generally lead their lives. It’s increasingly online, and it’s increasingly mobile. In turn, those technologies…Read More

What’s an Acceptable Excuse for Sloppy Marketing?

I have a challenge for you - guess which of these three email offers below are what I consider "sloppy marketing." Base your decision on these demographics- the…Read More

Four Marketing Lessons from Microsoft’s Bing it On Campaign

The results of my test don't matter. Yes - those are actual recent searches of mine. Who doesn't love a side-by-side taste test?  You get to choose…Read More

Market like Walmart for Marketing Growth and Innovation

It’s very telling that every Walmart greeter has an inviting phrase emblazoned across the back:  “How may I help you?” That simple question and the…Read More

10 Tips to Avoid Talking at Your Audience

How do you feel when someone is talking at you? It's not quite the same as someone talking to you, is it? When someone talks to…Read More

Why Marketers Need Data Visualization

Have you ever tried to find something quickly in a book? Say it's a book you've never read before - how do you approach it? You look first…Read More

Why Marketers Should Care About Data Privacy

  The issue of data privacy has gotten a lot of attention lately, thanks in part to revelations by Edward Snowden and his kiss-and-tell with the press about…Read More

Five Tips to Align Your Marketing and Their IT

My wife often jokes about the early years of our marriage, when her perspective was "what's mine is mine and what's your's is mine."  And my…Read More

Measure to Manage, but Optimize to Manage Well

One of the most often repeated quotes in business is, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." It's attributed to the late management consultant…Read More

Want to be Leading Edge? Lead Your Edge.

So many companies today describe themselves as "leading edge," or they strive to achieve excellence or market leadership. And we all have our own ideas of companies that are leading…Read More

Let Customers Show You How to Improve Your Marketing

Marketing success in today's digital world requires a mix of art and science that involves both data-driven decision making and intuitive creativity to show how to improve…Read More

Everything’s Going Mobile – Including Your Wallet

With the rise of mobile devices, marketers have perhaps the most robust source of customer insight and consumer access that they’ve ever had. Handled properly, they will also…Read More

Where Do Devices Fit in Your Marketing Plan?

How are you factoring devices into your marketing plan and approaches? As I think about what I am trying to accomplish and how that might change in the coming year,…Read More

Marketers Can Take a Better Approach to Big Data

  In my quest to address the opportunity of big data for marketers, I've had a chance to collaborate recently with Tamara Dull, a colleague who's an expert…Read More

How Marketing Operations Management Supports Strategic Alignment

Every once in a while I stop for a moment and consider just how radically different marketing is today compared with just 3 years ago. Looking no further than my desk,…Read More

My Impersonal Beverage Customer Experience in Europe

We found Andre and Marcel chillin' in a grocery store in Switzerland. While traveling in Europe last month, I noticed that Coca-cola bottles were being sold with different peoples' names…Read More

8 Times You Need Marketing Optimization

Marketing optimization has never been more critical because it's never been more important for marketers to know the decisions we make are the best ones. The need is…Read More

Brian Solis’ vision of the future: big opportunities

There are big opportunities in store for business in Brian Solis’ vision of the future, just as there are equally big opportunities for customers. They emanate from the importance…Read More

Brian Solis’ vision of the future: success metrics

The future of business will require new success metrics. Since the future of business has been established by Brian Solis as being about shared experiences with connected customers enabled by…Read More

Brian Solis’ vision of the future: shared experiences

Brian Solis has a vision of the future that involves shared experiences - many, many shared experiences. And his message for marketers is pretty clear - focus on…Read More

Brian Solis’ vision of the future: connected customers

Brian Solis of the Altimeter Group envisions a future brimming with potential, and a key part of his vision of the future are connected customers. These…Read More

Should pharma companies try to delight customers?

Pharmaceutical companies (“Pharma”) operate in a very complex environment – to begin with, their customer is usually referred to as “the patient” and it gets…Read More

Why You Should Be Careful with LinkedIn Connection Requests

Let me begin by saying that I am a huge fan of Linkedin. To folks who do not know LinkedIn, I always describe it as a "serious social network." …Read More

Happy Mother’s Day: Advice for Marketers from Moms

Lauren and Lilly Balla, circa 1999. Today is the day we celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to…Read More

Shifting Marketing to Meet Mobile Customers

Mobile customers have the potential to change our business in profound ways. Advanced mobile communications is coming of age at a time when other technologies and societal shifts are…Read More

Loyalty Today Posts

Page of 8
prev    next

How Marketing Turns Data Magically Into Profits

SAS

Marketing has evolved - thankfully - from the days when everyone just thought of us as the brochures and tradeshows people. Nowadays, we're as likely to be focused on... Read More

Consumers Confirmed - Retail Loyalty is All About the Experience

SAS

It seems like every retailer nowadays has a loyalty program. From the local coffee house to “big box” national retailers to almost any online merchant, everyone has... Read More

The Magic Johnson Way to Marketing Success

SAS

Magic Johnson working the crowd. Earvin “Magic” Johnson  is very large in stature and even larger in personality. He is often remembered as a professional basketball... Read More

Exploring How to Get in Sync with Mobile Customers

SAS

Customers on a Mobile Journey Mobile technology and the advent of tablets and smartphones have transformed whole industries and are changing customer behavior in ways that impact marketers around the... Read More

Want to predict your customer’s next move?

SAS

People are funny. They’re often fickle, choosy, demanding and impatient. At times, they’ll say one thing and then do another. So when they become customers, how... Read More

Leading Marketing Excellence with Analytics

SAS

There is no shortage of technology buzzwords today - digitization, big data, the internet of things, mobile, social, cloud computing, and so on. For marketers, all these buzzwords can... Read More

Digital Marketing - It’s Really About People.

SAS

We live in the age of big data - just about everything is evolving and the pace of technological change is accelerating. More and more parts of our lives... Read More

Seven Benefits from Using Marketing Analytics

SAS

"Give the lady what she wants" and "The customer is always right" are quotes attributed to the venerable Chicago retailing pioneer Marshall Field. That customer-centered approach to doing business was... Read More

Page of 8
prev    next

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