Marketing is no longer a matter of launching a campaign, monitoring engagement and waiting to review the results over a set period of time. Today, everything happens in real-time and, anything that brings marketing teams closer to the customer enables more meaningful and timely engagements. The key to doing that strategically? Data.
The data revolution has turned marketing on its head, meaning many marketing professionals must do away with emotion-driven “big campaign” reveals and, instead, take a more incremental, data-driven approach to content.
Across all facets of business, data has unlocked more visibility, agility and insights than ever before. It’s also created new dynamics across organizational functions. Some areas of business are further along in this evolution than others, with marketing being a primary convert to taking a technology-driven approach to innovating.
Today, reliance on data has brought marketing and technology teams closer together, as each side of the business heavily informs the strategy of the other.
So, why the sudden uptick in synergy? For one thing, they can talk more.
The CMO and CTO within an organization need to collaborate more consistently to determine the opportunities for new IT, as well as the solutions needed to make both sides of the business stronger. To be more nimble and agile, marketing has become more reliant on the cloud. Similarly, IT teams are becoming more in-tune with marketing, which often generates its own treasure trove of data through content and digital platforms.
With this open communication and collaboration, should come a commitment to experimentation from both marketing and technology leads. This is why I advocate for cloud and technology teams using their marketing counterparts as an internal focus group.
The marketing team is well-suited to help pressure-test new solutions for a number of reasons: they are at the forefront of the data revolution and need analytics now more than ever to become smarter, they have a basic understanding of the technology options available to them, and they, too, have experienced rapid evolution in their roles over the last few years that requires new skillsets.
Marketing and cloud technology teams are a match made in business and technologists should consider partnering with their marketing peers for a number of reasons, including:
Data is the foundation of nearly every business function today. We are creating more, using more and storing more of it than in any other time in human history and this is not going to change anytime soon.
So, what does data mean to marketers? It is the lifeblood of connecting to the right people at the right time and ensuring that our efforts don’t go to waste. The cloud has become an aggregator of data collection and amassed information from every demographic. Marketers must toe the line between intrusive and effective usage of this data, but there is no question that cloud has given the opportunity to reach more relevant audiences with ease.
Testing and re-testing
Let’s face it —marketers may misfire on occasion. But, the beauty of the cloud is the ability to recalibrate and adjust on the fly. If we go back to the dark ages of marketing, misplaced resources were going to cost you. The time, effort, assets and materials needed to create compelling marketing content made it difficult and costly to adjust with agility.
The new marketing stack, powered by cloud technologies, is always available and provides a platform to learn from trial and error. Once the right metrics are hitting, we know we have found our secret sauce and can duplicate, manipulate and produce results from every opportunity.
Start here, go everywhere
Data is not just about marketing. The truth is, it has become an asset to every person in the organization. By starting a cloud focus group within the marketing department, your organization can get a first-hand look into the agility and speed of conversions, ROI from marketing metrics and the ability to transform data into action.
We’re living in the Digital Age and data is important to all facets of the business. Sales typically uses customer data to nurture relationships and turn them from leads to customers. Customer care representatives can access customer data from the sales and marketing departments to better understand the problems a customer may have and provide a timely solution — and this is all done through data, allocated by the cloud and made accessible to everyone by the cloud.
The time to innovate within the business is now and organizations need to look within for opportunities to experiment and learn from the latest technology innovations. The cloud is the great enabler of data in 2018 and the ability to access and use it effectively will set your organization up for the future. But don’t wait, this “future” is already here and some of us are already doing it!