Ep 67: Eboni Mack: Always Forward-Thinking

Diva Tech Talk was delighted to interview Eboni Mack, Senior Manager, Analytics, at GTB (www.gtb.com). In high school, Eboni originally had her eye on a thespian career, but instead decided to specialize in communication studies in college (“the way people think and how they consume media.”).  The firstborn in her family, she feels lucky because “I had two amazing parents who encouraged me to be what I wanted to be, do what I wanted to do and figure out what my passion was. The sky’s the limit.”

During her college years at the University of Michigan (www.umich.edu), Eboni benefited from a public relations internship at Lapides Publicity Giragosian, a media internship at Fox 2 News (http://www.fox2detroit.com/), a writing stint at the Michigan Daily (https://www.michigandaily.com/)  and an internship at Radio One (https://urban1.com/radio-one/).  “I accrued a lot of experience with the media field,” said Eboni.

Post-graduation, her first job was working as an account executive for the advertising and publishing division of AT&T (www.att.com). Simultaneously she went back to school for her MBA, with a dual concentration in marketing and management, from Wayne State University (https://wayne.edu/ ).  Two years into her tenure at AT&T, Eboni moved into a market analyst position, a role she held for four years.  She then shifted to MRM McCann (https://mrm-mccann.com/), a large advertising agency (part of the global MRM Worldwide Group) that specializes in helping large companies effectively convey their brand value and deeply connect with customers.  That agency focuses on six interrelated specialties:  marketing technology and its use, relationship marketing, data and analytics, e-commerce implementation, search engine optimization and website development.  Eboni’s first MRM McCann assignment was as senior data analyst for behemoth General Motors (www.gm.com).  Initially she dove into CRM (customer relationship management) analytics, dissecting email campaigns for Buick and GMC.  Then Eboni moved to a senior site analyst role, evaluating consumer behavior across all GM brands, including interactions with their individual brand websites, and GM’s owner center website (for instance, www.chevy.com, www.cadillac.com etc.) “I spent a lot of time on GM’s owner center website, since that was the time of the recall crisis,” she said.

Eboni migrated to Team Detroit, for an analytics opportunity, working on the Ford Motor Company (www.ford.com) account. Team Detroit subsequently went through a brand change to GTB (which stands for Global Team Blue) and is proud of their heritage as a full-service agency.  “We have creative, project management, strategy and a huge marketing science unit, that has different analytics disciplines from media to online search to attitudinal and survey.” Eboni exclaimed.  “Bringing all those disciplines together to serve our singular client,” is GTB’s key differentiator in the competitive advertising world.  Eboni’s current role is concentrated on website optimization. “My team executes all of the personalization, audience targeting, and A/B testing across the communications around Ford.com” (the Ford Motor Company global website).  “As an example, if you were to come to Ford.com as a first-time visitor, you would typically would get a very generic experience. But let’s say you decided to shop for a specific vehicle, the next time you would visit the site, you would get a very vehicle-specific experience,” explained Eboni, describing outcomes of her current work.

In evaluating her career success to date, Eboni catalogues key strengths as diligence, drive, and inquisitiveness. “I am always looking to learn,” she said. “Technology is an industry that is always changing. You need to constantly be feeding your brain with knowledge and information just to keep up!”  She recommends brainstorming, reading white papers and publications, to keep the brain sharp, and information current.  Eboni also admitted that “I like process and structure. The fact that I have been very organized has helped me in my career.” She said that “being a woman of color has definitely shaped my experience.  Throughout my career, there have been many times when I have been ‘the only’ in a room! But it has shaped my experience in a positive way and has allowed me to bring a different perspective to the table.”

Eboni is ambitious.  “Within a few years, I see myself moving into a director role, where I am leading a division or department. Long-term, I see myself exploring entrepreneurship.”  She understands that the technology-oriented skillset she is continuously developing has value to a wide range of customers, aiming to grow their businesses.  She also plans to get her PhD, at some point in the future, with the aim to teach at the university level, later in her career.

For Eboni, “happiness is about being fulfilled in whatever it is I am doing.”  Her current sources of happiness include her stimulating career, strong relationships with friends and family, and traveling the world.  “That criteria may change as I enter different parts of my life.”  Eboni acknowledged, matter-of-factly, that “I have a fear of failure. In life, there will be adversity; there will be disappointments; there will be challenges. It’s really about how you deal with those things and learn from them,” she said. “But my greatest fear is allowing my fear of failure to hold me back. When I leave this earth, I want to know that I’ve accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. I don’t want to miss out on anything because I was afraid to take a risk.”

As an aspirational leader, Eboni’s advice to women destined to lead includes:

  1. “Always be in a constant state of learning.”

  2. “Don’t be afraid to ‘think outside the box.’  Some of the craziest ideas turned out to be the most successful for me.”

  3. “Give back along the way.”

In terms of her own giving back, Eboni said “I have been very fortunate to work with leaders who supported me over the course of my career.  So, for me, I want to be able to provide that support for someone or a group of people” mirroring the mentoring she has received. Eboni has served as an advisor to the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated (http://www.deltasigmatheta.org/educational.html).  “I also studied abroad, in South Africa, so I did a lot of volunteering with youth, including the St. Philomena’s Children’s Home, an orphanage.  And I volunteered for an organization called LoveLife, a health awareness organization geared toward youth in South Africa.”

Reflectively she said, “What I would tell the ‘younger Eboni’ is that you don’t have to have it all figured out. I literally thought I was going to be ruling the world by 25. When that didn’t happen, it was a little disappointing. I had held myself to this unrealistic standard of perfection. Now I would tell myself to ‘allow yourself to be human.’  You don’t have to have all the answers. And that’s ok, because life is really about the journey, and not the destination.”

Eboni’s axiom for living, from her dad, is to “keep your eyes on the prize. Always be forward-thinking.”  The best way to contact Eboni J. Mack is through her Linked In Account.  

 

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