Marketers, turn your data knowledge into a data superpower

July 11, 2021

6 min read

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The concept of data literacy did not exist when I started my career in marketing in the mid-1990s. We had few marketing channels, all of which were offline, and we had to manually track them in spreadsheets. We distribute the leads to our sales team on a floppy disk. We sent coupons to prospects and every day I had to go to the mailbox to see which coupons came back full. As scarce as it was, data was still extremely important back then.

Today, marketers have access to a wealth of data through multiple channels, both online and offline. New channels are constantly emerging, each becoming its own data track. However, all of that data goes to different applications and systems, making it very difficult to get a complete picture of what is really going on. We all strive for a real-time, 360-degree view of customers. This is the foundation for personalization, timing and relevance – how do you deliver the right offer to the right potential customer at the right time?

The more you can master timing and relevance, the more impact it will have on your marketing investments. With inaccurate or incomplete data, you get a skewed picture of potential consumers. If you create the wrong offers at the wrong time, all your marketing will go to waste. Researchers Rex Briggs and Greg Stuart analyzed more than $ 1 billion in marketing spending from 30 large corporations and found that 47% of ad campaigns didn’t work. That’s 53% of wasted marketing spend.

So how do you reduce waste and increase performance? It all comes down to data literacy – how well you can read, work, scrutinize, and communicate with data. If you have access to all the data and the ability to analyze and make smart decisions based on it, your marketing efforts are likely to be successful.

Related: How to Use Real-Time Data to Adjust Your Business Decisions

The challenge of fragmented data

In a recent survey, 36% of company leaders said that of all their departments, sales / marketing performed the best in using data-driven information for strategic purposes.

But for the past two decades, marketers have faced an uphill battle trying to rely on data. Today, a proliferation of marketing tools is used to engage customers in complex customer journeys. Customers expect a seamless experience across an ever-expanding set of channels. And organizations are facing an explosion of data, all stored in silos, which must be integrated for intelligent information and decisions.

All of these trends have created fragmented data, which is a major barrier to data-driven information. In a 2020 report, 47% of executives surveyed said their top digital customer experience challenge was “siled systems and / or fragmented customer data.”

Thanks to recent developments in the cloud and advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, we are finally entering an era of embedded data. We can now access and analyze all relevant data available to get a complete view of customers and link our marketing investments to business results. This represents the biggest transformational moment for marketers since the birth of digital marketing in the 1990s. It’s a bigger sea change than social media.

While technology tools in 2021 allow marketers to connect with customers and prospects with 10 times more precision and business impact, the art of applying these new tools is what separates good companies from great companies. For the past five years, I’ve been able to use data to do things that I couldn’t imagine before. I also had the opportunity to advise CMOs of client organizations on how to use data to transform their marketing organizations and businesses. This is my advice to others:

Set clear marketing goals and metrics.

It is important to create a solid foundation for all stakeholders to build on. In marketing, that means setting goals and tracking progress. One of our key goals at Snowflake is to become the most knowledge-driven marketing team in the industry. We developed two key metrics to measure our results: predictable pipeline generation and growth efficiency. Our goal is to create scalable tools and models to drive efficient growth and proactive actions. To support this, we work hard to predict ROI in real time to optimize our marketing programs and disrupt legacy B2B marketing analytics practices.

Develop a complete picture of your customer

Break down your data silos to understand the full range of your customer data. Take DoorDash, which broke down data silos to generate a 360-degree view of all of your customers, empowering your marketing analytics and allowing them to deliver a more personalized experience. Prioritize access to the most strategic data sets available to your business. With real-time insights into product sales and customer demographics, marketers can go from weeks old out-of-date reports to instant customer intelligence.

Related: The Incredible Amount of Data We Use Every Minute (Infographic)

Make Your Love / Hate Relationship With You A Winning Partnership

To align goals and priorities around being data-driven, marketing must establish close relationships with IT and business stakeholders. This should be a strategic objective, like a mandate. Otherwise it won’t work. All teams must follow a clear roadmap to drive execution and communicate regularly. At PepsiCo, IT took the time to understand the marketing goals and then created an advertising ROI engine that converted more than 60 data from marketing, sales, and third-party entities into market insights and predictive models that could be shared frequently, internally. and externally.

Become a data master

Marketers must also know how to gain control of the data to expand their own efforts. Marketing is a big investment, and marketers need to be able to demonstrate how that investment is turning into business benefits. Success is based on how effectively you support your business growth, and the only way to prove it is through data. Therefore, having data mastery in your skill set is vital for marketers.

Once you set and track your goals, eliminate data silos, gather all of your data, and develop the skills to access, analyze, and gain insights, you can achieve a holistic view of customers and deliver a personalized experience. 360 degree. . You can develop a clear picture of the ROI of attribution and marketing spend. You can trigger real-time data to create highly targeted and effective campaigns. And finally, you can unleash the power of data science products by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to optimize your campaigns. At that point, your data savvy will become a data superpower.

Related: Why Data Is The Most Valuable Resource In The World Today

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