Be a Leader in Data-Driven Marketing

February 25, 2016
Contributor: Chris Pemberton

Learn how the best marketers focus their time, tools and teams.

When it comes to data-driven marketing, leading companies are making more money, hiring more skilled teams, outsourcing more, buying and selling more data, and having more influence across the organization, according to the 2015 Gartner Data-Driven Marketing Survey results.

In particular, the savviest marketers have graduated from hiring and building to scaling, activating and optimizing, noted Christi Eubanks, research director, Gartner for Marketing Leaders.

Leader organizations are twice as likely to outperform competitors that aren’t leaders in terms of overall business results.

Here are three key takeaways from the survey analysis:

Leaders are getting down to business

Leaders aren’t on a hiring spree and raising budgets. They’ve built their teams and are focused on optimizing those teams and their impact on the business. Hiring managers wondering where all the good analytics talent is hiding can look no further than the largest media and manufacturing companies — the two industries most represented among leaders.

Leaders think outside (their team)

Leaders rely on outside expertise more than learners and laggards. As Ms. Eubanks noted, “Most leaders plan to increase their spending on outsiders and they get more of their data from third-party providers.” As marketers’ relationships with data mature, they become increasingly able to unlock its value.

Leaders invest more in data

Leaders put more strategic emphasis on data that helps them achieve two key goals: building more complete, contextually relevant customer profiles, and more effectively targeting their media. For example, data-driven leaders are 4.5 times as likely as laggards to supplement their email lists with data from other sources.

Follow three next steps to move toward data-driven marketing leadership:

  1. Pursue smart growth and recognize that your analytics team doesn’t need to grow bigger to grow better. The role of the analyst has evolved from data export jockey to data steward and strategist.
  2. Build capable in-house teams but resist the insularity that comes with “owning” or home-growing everything. Explore augmenting the in-house team with external providers for complex projects.
  3. Revisit data acquisition efforts to emphasize industry-specific media and customer-focused sources that deliver business value.
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