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In a world of buzzwords, perhaps the most over-used and under-explained term that marketers will be coming up against this year is “Big Data”.

Big data, as we’ve learned from actually working with the stuff is realistically only the first part of the jigsaw when it comes to upping your game and marketing in a more agile manner that’s responsive to the market you’re serving.

We believe that it takes Big Marketers to unlock big data. People who are willing and able to look beyond the now bygone era of a “campaign” that has a start and end point and realise that digital marketing has become about responding to the fast pace of the internet itself, with equally fast and relevant decision-making.

In this piece, we discuss the kind of attributes a marketer needs to take themselves to the next level and employ a big marketing strategy that will not only set them apart from their peers, but help them to build knowledgeof how to take the rough diamond that is rawdata, and transform it to work best for your brand.

1. Embrace data

Rather than be afraid of the ‘what should I do with all of this data’ question, marketers should take comfort from the fact that we have never had access to so much intelligence on our customers, and potential customers, before.

Data is now providing real-time, usable and actionable insights into customer behaviours, channel performance and driving better results.

This ‘intelligence’ and the data behind it has historically been the preserve of engineering teams, but now all areas of a business, including sales and marketing, can benefit due to the fact that access to all kinds of data pools has been widened.

Also, it has been made much more digestible for your everyday marketer through marketing data platforms.

The revenue boosting reality of empowering the marketing department to analyse their own data and make the leap from planning ‘static’ campaigns to reacting to real-time market intelligence should not be underestimated.

2. Market with confidence

Marketers are now in a unique position to be able to change the face of their company through their digital activity, by making a significant difference to revenue and customer conversion rate. It’s not about just knowing your worth, it’s about proving the value of every single piece of marketing activity.

That requires data to give you the insight to really drive business and become a powerful department that actually makes business changing decisions.

It’s not about sending direct mail anymore or putting up pretty banners and hoping it’s working; it's about making your business marketing savvy and agile. You need to make decisions quickly and efficiently.

It’s a shameful fact that a recent study by Fournaise Marketing Group found that 73% of executives don’t see marketing as a revenue and demand driver.

Big marketers need to be the ones making themselves heard across all levels, up to and includingthe C-suite, to educate on how marketing is becoming one of the more data-driven, accountable and agile activities within their business.

3. Obsess over revenue

To become a big marketer, someone who can prove that they’re an indispensible cornerstone of their organisational structure, revenue “obsession” has to take a front seat.

To be able to figure out the profitability of any particular activity gives marketers a clearer objective and barometer of how they’re performing. Evolved Marketing Data Platforms now make identifying revenue-generating channels across your marketing mix easier.

Gaining immediate ROI savings, eliminating redundant commission payments to underperforming channels, and attributing conversions across multiple areas all mean that we’re now working in an era of “survival of the fittest” when it comes to conversion channels.

Thankfully marketers do not need to incentivise their channels based on the “last click wins” model any more.

4. Personalise your customer journeys

By taking notice of the best performing channels in the marketing ecosystem, marketers can focus on implementing data to personalise their customers' journeys and, by doing so, ensure that they’re closing the loop by helping to convert visitors to sales.

If display is something that influences most converted customer journeys, then building a campaign in real-time which reflects this feedback is one of the most intelligent, and relatively simple, ways to replicate the previously captive audience.

5. Embrace marketing technology

Putting the time in to understand what tools are needed to become a big marketer and utilise the big data available to you in a constructive manner, will eventually drive the positive, revenue-generating results that should be afforded to the marketing department.

Put simply, a marketing data platform should be able to integrate audience, contextual and geographic data from multiple touch points, and make it easy for the user to transform this data into actionable insights.

A platform needs to connect the dots, both online and offline, with the most robust and cleanest data out there.

With integration across platforms providing a real-time view of data across multiple channels including mobile and tablet, marketers need to embrace marketing technology if they are to make the biggest and best decisions for their business on the front line.

Jon Baron

Published 8 March, 2013 by Jon Baron

Jon Baron is Co-Founder and CEO at TagMan and a contributor to Econsultancy.

7 more posts from this author

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