Data and Analytics Empower Modern Marketers

March 16, 2017
Contributor: Amy Forni

Marketing leaders are delivering business growth through data and analytics and a customer-centric mindset.

Marketers have always led brand growth by focusing on reach, relevance and awareness. They are now tasked with driving business growth in terms of customer acquisition, conversion, retention, loyalty and lifetime value. Their role has expanded to include leadership in areas like digital commercecustomer experience, sales and business development. Data collection, analysis integration and activation are mission-critical for marketers to succeed at their core responsibilities and to fulfill these new areas of accountability.

Jennifer Polk, research director, Gartner for Marketers and conference chair for the Gartner Digital Marketing Conference, discussed how data and analytics are empowering marketers and fueling customer-centric marketing programs that deliver business results.

How can marketing leaders use data and analytics to drive business results?

“Data enables marketing leaders to measure and optimize their programs in real time, and design and improve customer experience.”

Marketers do not need to be data scientists. However, they should know how to use data to plan, execute and measure marketing efforts, build an analytics team and foster a data-driven culture. Successful marketing leaders democratize access to data and advance analytics from a siloed skill set to a teamwide capability. They also recognize the need to select and use data and analytics technology from data management platforms (DMPs) and advanced analytics tools, whether they are independently building the martech stack or hiring a chief marketing technologist to lead these efforts.

Why should marketing leaders execute more customer-centric marketing campaigns?

The demand for customer centricity is not new, but it has come to the forefront as marketers face greater competition from digital disrupters. This competitive threat is rooted in something even more powerful than digital technology — data-driven customer insights that deliver a better understanding of target audiences, key segments and personas.

“Marketers who embrace customer-centricity have a competitive edge.”

Marketers who embrace customer-centricity have a competitive edge. They are harvesting and harnessing the power of data and analytics. They aggregate data by connecting customer interactions across channels and touchpoints to uncover and map the customer journey. They analyze the data and then design, orchestrate and deliver tailored customer experiences along the buy, own and advocate phases of that journey.

How are marketing leaders reorganizing their teams?

Marketers are rethinking their organizational structures and where and how they source internal and external talent. We are seeing marketing leaders restructure for cross-functional collaboration and to drive organizational efficiencies. This unites individuals who may have been aligned to specific business units or brands, but who should be working together to take advantage of synergies, coordinate efforts and share assets.

Marketing leaders are recruiting and retaining hard-to-find talent in areas like marketing analytics and digital commerce. They are thinking strategically about talent, with the goal of filling capability gaps on their teams. Marketers are making sure new hires bring a combination of leadership and technical skills. That is why they are not just thinking about full-time hires but also outsourcing to agencies, consultancies, contractors and talent communities.

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