CA Technologies Uses Crowd-Sourced Data to Improve Marketing Efforts
In an opening session at the Digital Marketing Days Conference & Expo in New York City this week, Adam Mincham, senior director of relationship marketing at CA Technologies, a B-to-B IT management software company, discussed how his company's global marketing efforts rely on crowd-sourced data.
With customers in more than 45 countries, CA Technologies’ customer database was a loose collection of spreadsheets and local databases around the globe, said Mincham. Realizing the inefficiency of this system — the databases gave CA little insight into the quality of the names, past contact interactions, among other things — the brand opted for a different approach to maintaining its data. Its solution involved working with business intelligence and data services provider Jigsaw (Kevin Akeroyd, Jigsaw's COO, joined Mincham on the panel), which offers user-generated content contributed by a global B-to-B community of 1.2 million members.
The path to CA Technologies’ solution involved several steps, Mincham noted, which other marketers should consider when evaluating their data:
- Identify the problem. In CA Technologies’ case, it was disparate databases spread around the globe.
- Get executive buy in. Demonstrate to senior management why it needs to spend the money — and data maintenance isn't cheap, Mincham noted — on an integrated, updated data system.
- Identify a partner. While many companies are hesitant to spend the money up front on a data management provider's services, it often proves worth the investment in the long run. Few companies are equipped with staff in-house to handle all the complexities of data management, costing them more money over time than an initial investment with a partner would.
- Identify sources of data. What data is important for your business to capture? For CA Technologies, it's the contact information of IT professionals.
- Global collection of data. As a global marketer, it's critical for CA Technologies to have data from around the world. Jigsaw's B-to-B community of members offers them this.
- Implement global best practices. Once you have your data, use it ethically. Different countries have different rules, particularly around email marketing, so make sure you're compliant in every marketplace. It takes a long a time to get off a spam list, Mincham said, comparing it to trying to reach a single boat in the middle of the ocean with a communication.