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Successful marketing in the last five years has moved to a strategic point where IT and marketing converge. As a leader in the marketing operations world, I now play a critical important role in transforming our marketing department to fully leverage technologies to create a digital experience that is highly personalized and delivers desired business outcomes at a faster speed.
How can we deliver a highly personalized experience? By leveraging data to define a more predictable buyers journey that will achieve a more efficient and effective ROI for marketing resources. Being able to present the right content to the right person at the right time becomes the panacea.
"As data-driven marketers, we need both tools and strategies to capitalize on that change"
90 percent of today’s data has been created in the last two years and 64 percent of marketers believe that personalized digital experience on the Web is essential to current and future growth. With emergence of new devices and technologies, the data growth rate will continue to accelerate as we enter the IoT era. As data-driven marketers, we need both tools and strategies to capitalize on that change.
Connecting data in a meaningful way for business is both critical and challenging. This challenge is amplified in today’s rapidly changing marketing world, where a months-long waterfall project can be obsolete by the time of delivery. I’m responsible to deliver technology projects in an agile and outcome-based approach to make our data clear and actionable.
Once data sets are connected and supporting technologies are in place, marketers need to embrace data in previously unseen ways to better understand customer expectations, preferences, interactions, and buying behavior. With this insight, marketers can reach new frontiers in how they: (1) generate qualified leads, (2) create new sales opportunities, and (3) increase lead-to-revenue velocity.
Why Am I So Excited About Predictive Analytics?
In order to deliver a highly personalized and interactive digital experience, we need to have tools that help identify the probability of future outcomes based upon historical data and statistical algorithms. From the marketing perspective, predictive techniques can provide insight into the likely effectiveness of a marketing campaign.
The right approach will allow me to deliver typical marketing uses cases such as:
• Targeting the Right Customer with the Right Content: According to Aberdeen Group, predictive analytics driven marketing campaigns are twice as likely to identify high-value customers and market the right offer.
• Qualify and Prioritize Leads: According to Forrester: (1) predictive scoring, (2) prospect acquisition with attributes similar to existing customers, and (3) lead segmentation for personalized messaging use cases reflect early predictive analytics success and lay the ground work for future complex marketing analytics.
• Driving Marketing Strategies: Predictive analytics insight can help to determine the appropriate marketing strategies for marketing campaigns to deliver greater impact.
What Is Required for Leaders to Be Successful?
The operationalization of the marketing activities in conjunction with a systematic cadence of evaluation becomes an extremely important ingredient in predicting the winning marketing formula. Analytics work should be aligned with real and important business goals and measurements. Successful marketing leaders should be driven by the impact of predictive analytics on business outcomes and not just technology. The following are extremely important items to consider in order to be successful:
• Outline Predictive Analytics agenda for the organization to drive growth and revenue using a structured approach and answer key questions like: How is business doing today and what drives my business? who are my customers and what do they need? etc.
• Spearhead with other executives cross-functionally to build a “data driven culture” by influencing, mentoring and training stakeholders and consumers of this information.
• Identifying KPIs to be used as part of defining key success criteria for the transformation.
My Biggest Challenge
My biggest challenge is to drive my organization to understand that the goal is not to select a tool or platform per se, but it is all about business outcomes and ‘fit’. Whether I use the existing predictive analytics tools in the market, or leverage our own machine learning capabilities to garner insights, the technology alone will not yield any business impact or desired digital experience if it does not match a business’s particular challenges and competence level. So, for companies to be successful in this journey, business goals, objectives and desired outcomes should be considered when evaluating technology gaps and when making tool selections to fill those gaps. This will ensure that technology is aligned with business expectations, and that the marketing technology stack will serve as an enterprise platform that will fuel growth and provide business insights.
Some key takeaways for projects to be successful and deliver business benefits:
• Technology tools are not something that can transform a business by themselves. They are necessitated by a business need and accompanied by a corresponding change to help the business solve their needs.
• A well thought out post-launch plan for clear communication. To drive cultural change within the organization, market your success internally. Find your champions and give them a voice!