Profile: Olga Yurovski, Founder & CEO, Shopperations

A classically trained CPG marketer, Olga Yurovski started her career 19 years ago as an associate brand manager at Procter & Gamble in Ukraine. She then held multiple brand marketing roles in various companies before landing at Conagra Brands in 2007. There she rose through the ranks to become a director of shopper marketing, calling on Kroger. Frustrations in the daily workings of her job fueled her entrepreneurial spirit to found Shopperations, an online platform for plan management. She is one of three Women of Excellence honorees in the “Innovation” category.

How did the concept of Shopperations come about?

Yurovski: As a shopper marketer, I never felt like I “knew my numbers” and could clearly articulate what was happening with my promotional plans, budgets and all the other moving pieces we manage as part of our daily job. I saw the sales teams use trade promotion management systems to report and quickly uncover data to make decisions. But there was no solution to fit that need in shopper marketing. So in 2014, I decided to take charge, step out of the corporate world and build it myself.

What are your current responsibilities?

Yurovski: I am the CEO of Shopperations, a B2B software company that helps shopper marketers manage their budgets, promotional calendars and artwork files, and track results in a cloud-based, real-time interface. I’m in charge of setting our product roadmap, managing our team of developers and prioritizing their work. I also take care of our existing clients and investors, and direct our marketing and sales teams’ efforts.

Have you always been an innovator?

Yurovski: I’ve liked science fiction and anything futuristic since I was a kid, but I don’t think it’s enough to claim the title of innovator. Innovators are not just curious and imaginative; they take a lot of risks. The idea for Shopperations didn’t appear radical or risky to me. I always thought the world was moving in this direction (workflow automation, real-time, collaborative systems); I simply wanted the shopper marketing industry to get there faster and for me to be the one leading the change.

What excites you most about where shopper marketing is heading?

Yurovski: Marketers will see their jobs become more technical, with lots of tools and data at their disposal to communicate with shoppers more intimately and efficiently. Shopper marketing will evolve from being a “soft,” relationship- and big idea-driven discipline to a more scientific, precise and analytical capability. It will go mainstream within CPG enterprises since every marketing dollar, no matter what channel it’s spent in, will be possible to link to conversion, or sales outcomes. That will change how shopper marketing is perceived – we will go from an obscure, tactical marketing stepchild to a crucial competency that will set the winner brands apart from the losers.