Not only must they worry over technical implementation details, but data-driven marketing practices also depend on the effective leadership of people and processes to deliver value.
As a career marketing leader and the current CMO of Teradata Applications -- the division created by data solutions provider Teradata after its 2010 acquisition of marketing automation firm Aprimo -- Lisa Arthur regularly meets with her chief marketer clients. While these executives understand the importance of using data to automate marketing processes, they still struggled with developing a road map to get there. Many even struggled to understand what big data is, exactly.
Once she understood common client questions and observed some of Teradata Applications’s success stories, Arthur wrote a primer: Big Data Marketing: Engage Your Customers More Effectively and Drive Value.
Arthur spoke with AdExchanger about how marketers can begin to implement a data-driven strategy.
AdExchanger: What exactly does Teradata Applications do?
LISA ARTHUR: We are working with marketers to simplify the complex world of marketing by integrating it together, through spend, projects, campaigns and channels. We help them bring data and insights from all those elements so they can refine their strategies for better marketing.
How does that work?
When you put all of our solutions together, that is where we really enable data-driven marketing. We evolved our solutions from pure campaign management into customer interaction, so it can act as a hub for the marketer. We integrate with the Teradata data warehouse so that you can store all that customer data, you can access it and you can use it for informed customer interactions.
Now you add in big data discovery platforms like what we have with Aster and we're able to do everything from sentiment analysis to golden path analysis and path to purchase.
We can integrate that into the data warehousing environment and give marketers a much broader view of that path. Then they're able to take action on that through the software. If you take something like master data management, which can help a company take all of its assets across the enterprise and put them in one place, we integrate in with that customer master data manager for that true golden record across the whole organization.
And because our applications are open, you can also use other databases and still use our customer-interaction solutions. We certainly optimized for Teradata data warehouse, but we're not built only for Teradata.
It sounds like the Teradata team has been busy after the acquisition of Aprimo. What did it take to get all of these integrations together?
We've been really focused on being a leader in the world of data-driven marketing. Everything I just walked you through, from big data analytics to the data warehouse, are foundational elements for that. We continue to maintain that focus, [from] helping clients refining marketing operations and improving the way they manage spend and assets, to the way we're helping them engage customers holistically online and offline. We've continued to help them with the application of data to that process.
How did you acquire that expertise?
Part of that focus has been achieved through collective talent. We grew as a firm as we pulled together the Teradata Applications. We started with the Aprimo applications team and we acquired (email marketing solutions provider) eCircle in May of 2012. We pulled all these together and the collective knowledge is far bigger than what it was when we were separate.
Innovation has also been important. The Gartner Magic Quadrant just came out for integrated marketing management, and this year we are in the leaders' quadrant with a few other firms. Whether through integrated digital messaging or the way we are applying segmentation anywhere to work with other databases, I think innovation has been key.
Your recent book outlines five steps around data-driven marketing. How should marketers develop such a program?
Throughout my career, I've found that people need practical advice vs. academic advice about how to become data-driven. The five steps are based on interviews and research we've done here at Teradata.
The first step is "Get smart, get strategic." It's really important to put the customer in the center of the strategy instead of a technology. It sounds like common sense, but surprisingly enough not all marketers are starting strategic thinking by understanding who the customer is, what that customer journey or life cycle or experience looks like. You need to think of that vision and that experience and strategize how to build a data-collection, analytics and technology strategy around it.
Step two is "Tear down the silos." In today's marketing organization there's often highly specialized roles so that the digital marketer has much more insight than the marketing communications folks. It is important to tear down the silos within marketing and also those with the IT organization to create a much more collaborative partnership. Similarly, organizations should be looking to tear down silos of data and systems.
The third step is "Untangle the data hairball." Only 18% of marketers have a holistic view of their customer, and that is not a good stat. That means that we have not gotten a good view of our customer from CRM systems. We've got to untangle the data hairball that is already created from the traditional data that lies within the enterprise so we can bring that back for the marketer to use in a value-added way and to also get them ready for big data analysis.
So for businesses, big data is already there, whether they’re ready for it or not.
In some respects, big data is already within our companies. One firm that I've worked very closely with, the American Red Cross, had one of its VPs tell me that it's not that they don't have data, it's that its data is everywhere
If we haven't even fixed our traditional data, we're just going to pile more and more on that hairball. So it's really an imperative to untangle what we have before we learn to augment it.
The fourth step is "Make metrics your mantra." This tackles a lot of the cultural issues of marketing and how we're measured in the past. One CMO I met with in the spring of this year said, "I'm having a hard time getting my team to adopt metrics because they're all afraid they're going to be fired."
I think it's just an example of the cultural work we have to do as well as then the calculus work to figure it out.
The last step is "Process is the new black." Process can, indeed, be sexy to a marketer. Through process the modern marketing organization can become truly agile and in the book I give a couple of examples of firms that are very agile and able to seize opportunity and get out to market quickly.
What’s a real-world example of these steps in action?
A great one is International Speedway Corp. (ISC). Just over the last year, it won a marketing innovation award from Ventana Research and, a year and a half ago, it won the Gartner Gold Award for innovative marketing management.
ISC was an Aprimo customer and still continues today to be a great showcase for Teradata Applications in integrated marketing. We're helping ISC manage all its data in one place and to be able to execute over 1,100 different customer microsegments with our software to improve their fan engagement. And that higher engagement drives revenue. It's been able to do all of that without adding a lot of overhead to the business and I think it's a great example of a brand that has invested in integrated marketing with a lot of success.
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