Data-Driven Marketers: 5 Trends to Keep Top of Mind
As the growing emergence of data analytics and multiplying channels transform marketing, there is an increasing opportunity to develop more creative, strategic and effective data-driven marketing strategies. But as new trends emerge, marketing teams will be challenged to decipher which ones they should chase and which ones they should watch with caution. For modern marketers looking to formulate forward-thinking strategies, here are the top five marketing trends you should keep tabs on over the coming months.
- Marketing and Sales Will Co-own the Revenue Production
Marketers are embracing the fact that sales and marketing are two aspects of a single revenue production process. In a B-to-B landscape where buyers self select their way through two thirds of the revenue process generating impressions, clicks and leads and establishing service level agreements (SLAs) with sales to pursue those leads is no longer good enough.To earn and maintain their seats at the revenue table, modern marketers will instead measure success in terms of successfully sourcing revenue opportunities through co-ownership, collaboration and use of marketing intelligence to drive sales and marketing hiring decisions.
- First Touch, Last Touch and Everything In Between Will Matter.
With the rise of paid placement over organic and free reach, CMOs need to not only create great content that promotes readership, but also measure paid placement and other channels more closely. However, it has become harder to measure the return on marketing spend without understanding how your customer journey started and came to full fruition.Marketers must look at attribution more dynamically, whether that is looking at each channel individually or assessing the impact of multiple channels collectively across different customer cohorts. The flexibility in measuring attribution helps marketers identify best revenue levers and forecast on the channels that will ultimately translate to real pipeline.
- Big Data Will Become Bigger In Marketing.
The ability to capture and analyze massive amounts of non-traditional data—web visits, ad click through and social interactions—is helping digital advertisers discover new customers. However, with the proliferation of mobile devices and social channels, the majority of digital advertisers are under pressure to deliver ads that are specific to the right people at the right time and in the right context.While capturing and storing location, social and web data has become easier with the emergence of mobile and wearable devices and big data platforms such as Hadoop and NoSQL databases, realizing the value is still a challenge as these platforms have a ways to go in turning raw data into real-time intelligence. We will start to see new big data applications that will make it easier and faster for modern marketers to embrace their digital ecosystems to better attract, engage and retain new and existing customers.
- The Emergence of the Marketing Technologist Will Come to Full Glory.
The market demand for talented analysts and data-savvy marketers has been in place for a long enough, but in the coming months data-driven marketing will finally come of age. An ever-expanding mix of channels (social, web, mobile, etc.) and close to a 1000 marketing applications is creating greater pressures for marketers to choose their platforms wisely. The MVPs (most valuable players) of the marketing teams will be the marketing technologists: people with data and analytic acumen who can integrate marketing with the rest of the organization by driving lead to cash process improvements. These individuals will play an important role for their CMOs in how marketing strategies are developed and applied across the organization.
- Marketing Will Take Big Steps Toward Customer Intelligence.
Traditionally, the marketing function has focused on branding, awareness and net new customer acquisition. Going forward, we will see more and more CMOs beginning to think holistically about the company's overall customer interactions, value proposition and communication. By integrating marketing across all business units, geographies, and functional groups such as sales, products, finance, customer success and service teams, marketers will become instrumental in creating upsell and cross-sell opportunities, elevating net promoter scores, increasing customer lifetime value and boosting the financial trajectory of their companies.
Ultimately, we will continue to see cloud-based analytics empower marketers. With the availability of intelligent BI solutions, marketers will be able to use data to align sales, marketing, product and customer services teams to collaborate and align around the same shared goals and metrics to reach the right market, drive revenue and delight customers. By knowing these emerging trends, you'll be able to adjust your marketing team's tactics accordingly and ensure your marketing efforts flourish.
Farnaz Erfan is the Director of Product Strategy at San Francisco-based business intelligence platform provider Birst. Connect with her on Twitter at @farnazerfan.