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Data Driven Marketer vs Data Driven Organization



In this installment of our charting series we’re featuring recent surveys on the topic of data driven marketing. Chris Herbert CMO of MI6 a Greater Toronto-based Marketing Agency raises some interesting questions from the charts and reports he has selected for this article. 

I’ll pull out some stats from these charts and reports that I think are the most important, confusing, weird and head scratching!  I’ll then attempt to challenge us all to think about what they mean and what we can do about them; if anything. The goal? To provide you with good information that can help you build a foundation and ask questions within your organization and of your peers. The hope is that it provides actionable information that you can do something with.

Some key points and stats to consider on the topic of “data-driven” marketing:

  • CMOs are big thinkers so tactical data needs to roll up into metrics that measure customer acquisition, customer retention and brand value.

  • On average more than half of B2B digital marketers are “generally dissatisfied” with their data-driven tactics.

  • Only 58% of senior executives at companies with $500M in revenue or higher regularly calculate customer lifetime value.

  • The percentage of projects using marketing analytics has remained below 40% since 2012.

  • Digital Marketers generally don’t rank customer acquisition and retention as their first priority.

Where to Start?

To use the old and often overused adage you should start with the end in mind, the data you care about should be the data that will help you measure the most important strategic outcomes for your business. The tasks, activities and tactics you implement need to be measured and linked against those outcomes. Let’s take a look at a couple of charts.

What Are Digital Marketers Priorities?

Our first chart gives you a glimpse into the goals of some digital marketers involved in personalization. While the survey sample is small the priorities and their rankings are similar to other charts I’ve seen and reports I’ve read in the past.

Some key observations and take away questions:
  • How is it that only 50% of these digital marketers ranked “acquire new customers” as a priority?

  • Are these marketers aware of the key tactics required to get and keep customers? Do they know how their customers buy and rebuy?

  • How is it that these digital marketers rank relevant offers, customer insights and service so low on the priority scale?

The C-Suite Perspective

CMOs and other members of the C-suite are measured, or should be, on three key things: customer acquisition, customer retention and brand value. Key outcomes like awareness, engagement, insights, personalization, leads, revenue, gross margin, retention etc must feed into these three key measures of success.

The C-suite and the functional teams all need to design, implement and measure programs that tie back to customer acquisition, customer retention and brand value. The C-suite in turn needs to define what their growth strategies are! The functional teams need to know where to focus and why. Seems obvious but in many organizations it is not.

The chart below from the 2014 CMO Survey shows you the growth strategies being planned by CMOs in the coming years.

Make sure the data being gathered, systems being used and people executing your growth programs all work together… and measure, monitor and refine.


Some key observations and take away questions:

  • Functional teams need to ensure that tactical programs and campaigns align with the growth strategies of CMOs. For example: if a key strategy is Product/Service Development within existing markets than generate customer insights and intelligence, this then should be a program priority.

  • When executing a growth strategy (e.g. setting up a B2B web store for example) it’s important to think about the role data plays in the overall customer experience. From the initial web site visit through to ordering a product or service online. Avoid creating service gaps, manual processes and data silos.

  • How will CMOs know if their growth strategies are successful? What data are they gathering now so they can establish a baseline and measure? Are the various touchpoints with customers (pre and post sale) seamlessly working together?

How We Can Help

At Virtual Logistics, we ensure that all data-centric processes are automated so that data flows from system to system with little to no manual intervention. What does that mean?

  • It means, for example, that an organization getting 200 (or more) e-commerce orders per month do not manually enter the order information in their accounting system and then re-enter the same information again into other systems.

  • It means that the order automatically is entered into their logistics providers systems so the product is not just picked, packed and shipped but your production staff also know to replenish inventory.

  • It means that your marketing/email automation system knows to thank the customer for the sale and inform them that they’ve received 150 loyalty points.

So ask yourself the questions we have outlined. Are you getting the most out of your data, do all your systems talk to each other? All of this is possible today!

Check out our EDI integration services and integration connectors to learn more. Contact us if you’d like to see why we can help you. We always love feedback positive or negative so fire away.

Chris Herbert is the founder of Mi6. Mi6 is a B2B (Business to Business) marketing and business development agency dedicated to helping companies build their brands and develop commercial relationships. He is the founder of ProductCamp Toronto and the Hi-tech community Silicon Halton. He tweets under the handle @B2Bspecialist. Chris was recently named by CEOWorld Magazine as one of the top 100 CMOs on Twitter that you should be following.

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