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Don’t Let Data Distract You: Staying Focused on Key Initiatives

Posted on Categories BrandonomicsTags

When you have large volumes of data rolling in, how do you filter out what's irrelevant and stay focused on key initiatives? Jack Whalen, Manager Brand Value at Phillips 66, talks about how they stay the course on their core initiatives.

Robin: Hello, and welcome to this edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brands and their marketing strategies. I am Robin Tooms, VP of Strategy at Savage Brands, and my guest again today is Jack Whalen, Manager Brand Value at Phillips 66. So Jack, you have a really interesting job. I love the fact that you kind of get to balance all of this strategy and research and marketing all in one area, but I’m curious: part of this is about knowing what the consumers need, and part of it is knowing about what your customers need. How are you balancing all that as part of the brand revitalization effort going on right now?

Jack: We’re very fortunate. You know, I have a great group of folks that I work with, so they keep most of it straight for me, but the other thing that we’ve done is management has really put us in a good position where we fine-tuned our strategy this year. As I’ve talked about on one of my recent visits around brand revitalization, it’s really just two things for us: it’s around operational excellence at the service station level, and it’s around the asset quality that our customers are portraying to consumers. And as we introduce new things or we learn new things, we always run them through that funnel to see, how do they relate to this? And if we find things that don’t relate to those specific areas, you know, we really put that aside until a later time when that’s our focus. So right now we’ve really been able to get people focused and homed in on what we feel is important from what we learned about the consumer last year.

Robin: Well one of the things you said was key to that before was the new demand generation group, so how is that fitting into the picture?

Jack: What they’ve done is really given us an opportunity to communicate pretty clearly with our own customers around new things that we introduce as a program or a promotion that we’d like them to run. And obviously the software that they use allows us to track how people are reading and what their comprehension of what we’re trying to convey is, so that points us to areas that we may need to refocus. And then, just as importantly, it’s opened an avenue for potential new customers for us that allows them to come in and learn a little bit about some of the things that we’re learning is important in the business, and hopefully that attracts them to us as a supplier.

Robin: Great, well then you’re really closing the loop on all that data then?

Jack: Yeah, that’s really the challenge. As we get more and more access to data from different areas, I think it’ll be really critical to keep that disciplined focus to the two or three things that you think are important at that time and putting all the other things aside for a later – you know, for use later that’ll help our customers. Because really it’s about what can we execute well at the sight level, and thus far I think we’re off to a really good start doing that.

Robin: Well thank you, thank you so much for sharing that. This has been another edition of Brandonomics, an inside look at top brand and their marketing strategies.


Phillips 66, created through the repositioning of ConocoPhillips, is one of the world’s largest independent downstream companies. The company operates three segment-leading businesses: refining & marketing, midstream and chemicals. The team of more than 13,500 employees are providing energy and improving lives daily.

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