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What I Want Marketers to Know: Wacarra Yeomans of Shaw + Scott

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

Wacarra Yeomans is an accomplished marketer and businesswoman – as evidenced by her 2013 “40 Under 40 in Direct Marketing” recognition from Direct Marketing News.

In February of 2016, Wacarra founded her own customer experience agency, Loxley CX. Two years later, her Seattle-based baby was acquired by Shaw + Scott, a well-known and global digital marketing agency.

Now as SVP of Agency Services at Shaw + Scott, Wacarra leads direction and management of all client-facing marketing initiatives, helping Shaw + Scott’s clients create ecosystems within which their customer interactions work together across apps, websites, social, and direct marketing channels.

Location: Seattle, WA

Current Role: As SVP, Agency Services, Wacarra is an expert in creative strategy and user experience in digital direct marketing channels. She spends her days supporting top brands across a range of industries as they navigate today’s dynamic communication landscape. Wacarra’s work consistently boosts marketing program performance through cutting-edge multi-channel strategy and innovative design, with an emphasis on strengthening brand-consumer relationships.

One word that best describes how you view the state of marketing today:

Evolution

Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I started as a traditional graphic designer at a traditional agency, then transitioned to an agency that focused on email. I thought I would leave after a year (how interesting can email be?), but we were acquired by Responsys and I got to work with a variety of brands in myriad ways, ranging from data migrations to content strategy and demystifying creative production at scale. I led an internal national creative service group that supported clients of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, before leaving to form my own Customer Experience Design agency. We were recently acquired by Shaw +Scott, where I now lead Agency Services.

What do you wish marketers knew (but you’re pretty sure they don’t)?

Quantitative data is great for understanding what happened, but qualitative data is necessary to understand “why.”

“Quantitative #data is great for understanding what happened, but qualitative data is necessary to understand why,” says @wac_intosh      CLICK TO TWEET

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by marketers today?

Organizational change – as the industry evolves and the role of the marketer transforms, I see a lot of forward-thinking marketers struggling to enact change on their teams and in their companies.

How can they overcome this challenge?

There’s probably a whole topic we can dive into around change management. If I had all the answers, I’d be retired by now. This is a conversation I believe our industry needs to spend more time discussing and sharing experiences. The technology is changing faster than companies can keep up.

If you could tell all marketers just one thing, what would it be?

While it’s challenging to anticipate the outcomes of our decisions, I often see us sacrificing longer-term outcomes to meet short-term goals. Prioritize the customer’s experience over your short-term marketing gains.

Technology has already transformed marketing in so many ways. How do you see tech continuing to revolutionize the marketer’s role?

As we move toward more automation and machine learning, the role of the marketer is becoming more technical. But, I see the role of the marketer as keeping the humanity in all of it. Intuition and ethics aren’t things we can automate. The marketer will need to represent the voice of the customer.

“As we move toward more automation and machine learning, the role of the marketer is becoming more technical. But… intuition and ethics aren’t things we can automate. The marketer will need to represent the voice of the customer.”

“Though the role of the #marketer IS becoming more technical, intuition and ethics aren’t things we can #automate – marketers have to represent the voice of the #customer,” says @wac_intosh      CLICK TO TWEET

What are you currently reading, or what would you recommend for marketers?

I just started reading “Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor.” – Virginia Eubanks Also, “Frame Innovation: Create New Thinking by Design” by Kees Dorst and “Design in Technology” by John Maeda.

Big thanks to Wacarra for her time, energy, and insight. You can connect with Wacarra on Twitter @wac_intosh and on LinkedIn.

Know someone who would be a great fit for this series? Let us know!

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