Turning Data into Dollars
As an IT professional that has spent time in technical, sales and marketing roles on both the vendor and agency side I perhaps have a unique view of the world when it comes to understanding the power of data, or should I say untapped power of really good data.
It also occurred to me that as technology vendors quite often differentiate themselves on their ability to help their customers handle, store, access, protect and/or leverage data better than anyone else [based on their solutions] that perhaps they themselves should be ‘getting it right’ when it comes to managing their own marketing and customer databases. Yet do they? Having worked directly for several of the world’s leading brands I feel I can safely say that most don’t.
And yet…make a statement such as ‘Data is the #1 most important lever on marketing success’ and it is nearly always met with noises of agreement and firm nods of approval.
My question is why is data still an afterthought for most marketing campaigns? And why do sales people see data updates as pesky admin and not a fundamental part of their role?
Answer - a good data strategy is quite often complicated, time consuming and expensive to get right. It requires careful thought upfront, quite a large investment upfront and additional on-going investment to avoid data rusting later on. Add to that the fact there are a bunch of myths, grey areas, and complex regulations that vary by country of origin and suddenly you have a hot potato no one really wants to own. Data requests on sales people are quite often greedy, asking for too much data back in, or duplicated points of entry into multiple systems. Quite rightly sales people want to spend their time selling, not on what’s commonly known as ‘buffer time’.
Still it’s worth persevering. Companies know and understand that data management is critical to their success, as they try to deliver increased market share within a tough. competitive environment. Product innovation on its own isn’t enough.
And for those that get it right the opportunity is huge!
Over the coming months EIMS will be releasing a 3 part white paper on how to ‘Build a winning marketing database’- it’s not a short read but for those considering tackling a data issue in their business or that want to ‘get it right first time’ then it’s a must read. It will take you step by step through how to turn data into dollars!