COVER STORY SMARTER B2B MARKETING DATA
“There’s no question B2B marketers are interested in digital but we’re not pushing them in that direction right at the moment.” Daryl Jay, Business Development Director, Marketscan
quality of data available that marketers are after. All the same, Marketscan is working hard at making its existing offering easier to acces for its clients and is also bolstering the added value elements of its offering. “We’ve been working hard for the last year on getting a lot of our internal processes a bit slicker and we’ve made some huge advances with that.”
Among those advances is a relaunch of the company’s online engine with new functionality. “We’ve been compiling a wishlist from our clients and it was at the stage where we had enough requests for meaningful improvements that we decided to do them all in one go and give the engine a significant upgrade: we added cross tabs to export by employee size, job title and so on, and we added a lot of statistical functionality to help out clients with their pre- campaign planning.”
As part of this, Marketscan offers a pre-order option where clients can buy ‘credits’ then download data as they require it. Additionally, the company is implementing a CRM system itself to tighten up its own operation and the benefits are already being evidenced, according to Jay. It’s never a bad thing to see data vendors investing in their own operation, especially in tough times.
But which elements of the data market are performing best these days? “In terms of absolute numbers across client campaign volumes, telemarketing has remained
Opinion: Dealing with the data explosion
Lisa Arthur, Chief Marketing Officer at Aprimo, gives an insight into how companies should adjust their marketing strategies to harness the tidal wave of data – and use it in an insightful way.
Many B2B marketers are already skilled in mapping buying personas to content but how many actually have the data skills to take it to the next level? Savvy CMOs are now sharpening their data skills, or surrounding themselves with those who have a solid knowledge and understanding of data in order to do just this.
DATA ELEVATES OUR FUNCTION
Never before has there been such a great time to be a marketer. We get to elevate our function away from just marketing and communications into a true growth driving function for our business, through the use of data.
A CHANGE IN DATA STRATEGY
We see leading marketing firms changing from a creative strategy to a data strategy. The focus is now firmly placed upon understanding customers and buyers and gathering all the information available from services, sales, and finance for example, in order to have a true view of the customer.
ADJUSTING YOUR DATA STRATEGY IS A JOURNEY The marketing world has been talking about the importance of data and understanding the customer for a decade now, but we are finally in the right
18 May 2012
place at the right time to be able to consolidate data and use it to understand trends, segments and to take action. Adjusting your strategy in this way is a journey and at the moment not all of us have the necessary tools to do what we need or want to, because of the very complexity of the data that’s out there. CMOS LEADING FROM THE TOP At Aprimo we’ve seen that CMOs are leading from the top by adopting a multi- pronged approach. They are considering all the available data internally and the huge tsunami of data available in the market place. Marketers are using the
thorough insight and analysis gained to create and test theories in ways unlike ever before. And as we work with data we learn even more, by interacting and capturing information as we go.
It’s a challenging time, but it’s exciting. A world of data is at your fingertips so adjust your strategy to be data led and maximise its potential.
static, email volumes are on the increase and direct mail has decreased slightly, the large players aside,” says Skinner. Of course, direct mail has another challenge to deal with thanks to the frankly astonishing increase in postal charges and it certainly will be interesting to review this situation again in 12 months’ time.
The single most significant factor that IDS has
faced recently, however, says Skinner, is the strict requirement for the data to be of the highest quality.
“I have to say that prospect data has never been viewed and tested so rigorously,” he explains. “However I believe this has had a positive impact on the market place with fewer players being able to compete and fewer sub standard data sets in play.”
The general raising of the quality tide seems to be the single silver lining to the economic disaster cloud. The thinning out of low quality operators and datasets will ultimately result in a better marketplace for everyone. And as we move forward, data continues to take its rightful place at the top table, as Aprimo Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Arthur says: “Never before has it been such a great time to be a marketer. We see leading marketing firms changing from a creative strategy to a data strategy. “We are finally in the right place at the right time to be able to consolidate data and use it to understand trends and segments and take action.”
One area that has helped force this shift is
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