TechBytes with John Donlon, Senior Research Director, SiriusDecisions

John Donlon

John Donlon
Senior Research Director, SiriusDecisions

In the run up to Full Circle Insights’ Circulate 2017, we spoke to John Donlon, Senior Research Director, Sirius Decisions who is scheduled to speak on data-driven marketing, at the event. In this interview, John shares his insights on increasing sales maturity.

MTS: What brings you to Circulate 2017? Could you share the key takeaways from the event?
John Donlon: I’m giving a keynote on how marketing organizations can become more data-driven. We’ll review the attributes of a data-driven marketing organization, how to assess your current level of proficiency and a process for improving your capabilities. I’m also sitting on a couple of panel discussions—one on the emerging role of the CRO, the other on growing marketing and sales maturity.

MTS: How do modern event intelligence and analytics help businesses to precisely execute digital transformation?
John: Marketing teams are using all sorts of intelligence to better inform their actions better than ever before. This includes major shifts like digital transformation, but also things like product-to-audience-centricity. Pick any closed-loop business process, and high-performing organizations are injecting data into every step—strategy, execution, and analysis.

MTS: How should organizations leverage their sales data to choose their content and enablement tools?
John: Sales data can inform what content is working and what isn’t and where in the buyer’s journey it’s most effective. It can look at things like training completed on enablement tools but then also the usage of the various pieces of content by reps and consumption of outward-facing content by the target audience. We’ve found that roughly 2/3 of all content goes unused, so insight into what to keep and what to toss is highly valuable.

MTS: What are the key tenets of modern data science and intelligence tools that help drive alignment between sales, marketing, and product teams?
John: The biggest factor is knowing what questions to ask—“What information do I need to run the business?” If sales, marketing, and product are aligned on the corporate goals, they can then start to dive into the insights they’ll need to drive their contribution back to the business. It may be different for each team, but if they stay focused on the business goals rather than vanity or curiosity metrics, then data science and intelligence tools can help uncover the answers.

MTS: What is the next frontier for MarTech when it comes to engaging partnership community and event collaborations?
John: While new technologies and platforms continue to emerge to enable forward-facing marketing (cloud, social, mobile, etc.), the next frontier to be conquered is data unification. The ability to bring disparate data sets together will be critical to gleaning insights from the aggregate information, and it’s an area that heretofore has largely been owned by IT. As marketing continues to manage more and more of the tech stack however, they’ll soon need to get more adept at joining those technologies in a way that facilitates analytics and bolstering marketing activities.

MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, John.
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