We are undeniably in an era of digital transformation. With the penetration of channels and data management tools accelerating rapidly, marketers need to start thinking entrepreneurially as well as adopting a data-driven strategy, if they are going to maintain and develop a credible international footprint.
It’s all about thinking and acting smarter. Marketers therefore need to evaluate whether they are targeting consumers personally with valuable content, but also ensure it is enriching their experience in a meaningful way.
There’s no offline world anymore; everything is becoming increasingly more connected. This, by default, is opening up a wealth of opportunities for marketers to capitalise on, but many are yet to do so to their full potential.
This can only be powered by insight, which can only stem from using data intelligently. What signals are your customers sending to you? Are you listening? More importantly, are you responding? Can you respond? These are all critical questions which we will see debated far more in the months ahead.
At our annual conference, Teradata Connect, last month, it was clear that investment in skills and technology were of fundamental importance to marketers who want to make better use of the data they are collecting and a realisation of how doing so can significantly impact the bottom line.
However, there was also a realisation that as an industry we still have a long way to go. As Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president of Facebook EMEA, raised, Facebook hasn’t even entered its teenage years and yet is transforming the way we interact on a level no one would have predicted.
The core issue is that marketing departments need to identify what tools and resources they need to develop, in order to help them evolve both their internal marketing operations, but also the approach to campaign and data management too. Both are becoming far more intrinsically linked.
But how do you innovate in the big data arena?
Cloud technology may be opening up a wealth of opportunities to brands, but unless you use it to; integrate all your disparate data-sets together, identify your customers through anonymised data matching, and understand why they are behaving in that way, you won’t be able to respond to them accordingly or see a significant increase in the volume of interactions consumers have with your brand. With chief marketing officers expected to spend more on technology than chief information officers by 2017, I suspect we will see this grow in importance.
Marketers need to focus on integration and content. Google’s predicitive search tool, for instance, is changing the way users interact both with Google, and the content they interact with online. That’s all based on preferences and behaviours being observed by Google.
If you combine that with Google’s own search data it becomes a valuable proposition. Brands that recognise how they can use their data more effectively and creatively to benefit both their organisation and the overall customer experience will be able to recognise key customer signals, enhance their experience and continue to disrupt the marketing sphere in a positive way.
A truly exciting prospect for those brands that invest in the right areas and reap the financial rewards as a result.
Volker Wiewer is international vice-president of marketing applications at Teradata