Should you “beware of the cloud, beware of vendors”?
Data is in fashion – but barriers exist to deliver retail customer engagement strategies

Data-influenced Marketing Decisions Weighing on Today’s CMOs

by Len Dubois, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Trillium Software

CMO Data This is part 1 of a 4 part series of blogs on trends that focus on how data management is impacting the role of the CMO and marketing. Check out the next in the series.

I believe that there's never been a better time to be in the data quality market. Despite all the market consolidation, the evolution toward self-service, Cloud, and big data is an exciting development that offers huge business opportunities – especially for marketers.

It's often thought that the fundamentals of marketing are always going to be the same. Tap into a previously unmet need, present your idea in a clever way at the right price, and you can sit back and count your money. Simple adjustments to the marketing mix here and there could accelerate the velocity of growth in your pipeline and sales. That is, of course, if you clearly understand the consumers' path to purchase.

As a CMO myself, I daily see the impact of poor data quality on organizations. Recent trends in the management of data and continuous introduction of smart technologies have resulted in significant changes to how marketers attract, obtain and keep loyal customers. These trends have forever-altered how marketers must anticipate and react to the specific moment a customer touches a client's brand.

As a result, today CMOs are more often asked to join the conversation when it comes to selecting technology to assist them in automating complex business processes. In many instances, my fellow line-of-business manager and I have jumped in with both feet. As stakeholders we not only want a say in the decision making process, but for some time now we've seen a trend toward the gravity of the decision falling on the shoulders of the business leaders.

Solutions and applications that give CMOs, Directors of Marketing Operations and Demand Creation direct visibility into campaign outcomes, closed loop reporting and digital interactions with consumers, are becoming extremely business friendly and intuitive. As a result, CMOs have a better understanding of the intent of data usage, how results will be measured, rules governing the meaning and ownership of the data, subject matter-specific compliance requirements (suppression) and the lifecycle of the data, which puts them in a much better position to make buying decisions.

CMOs are, in a way, stating that if they are going to be accountable for the marketing strategy, they want responsibility for how the strategy is executed. This is much the same sentiment as when New York Giants head football coach Bill Parcels once lamented, "If I am going to do the cooking, I want to shop for the groceries."

Providing CMOs with the ability to select the right data-centric business tools (Data Management is a business responsibility) empowers analysts, content specialists and program managers with direct access to the information they need to effectively manage campaigns. It also relieves IT managers of the burden of making decisions on data they are ill-equipped to manage – enabling them to concentrate on data security, integration and network availability.

The results often can be quantified in differentiating lead identification from lead recognition, buying signals versus response rates, and touches that lead to marketing qualified lead (MQL) conversions. Access and analysis in the right hands also leads to the ability to measure leading indicators and create impactful customer interactions that will bolster your business through an improved customer experience.

This is part 1 of a 4 part series of blogs on trends that focus on how data management is impacting the role of the CMO and marketing. Check out the next in the series.

Len Dubois Len Dubois
SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Trillium Software

Len has been with Harte-Hanks for thirteen years and has more than fifteen years experience selling and marketing high-technology solutions. He is responsible for the strategic development and execution of worldwide marketing initiatives for Trillium Software. He created the Trillium Software System® brand that has been recognized as one of the top enterprise solutions in the data quality industry. Prior to coming to Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, Mr. Dubois was a Marketing Manager for Epsilon Data Management, Inc. He has spoken at Data Quality conferences in both the U.S. and UK. In addition, he has authored many articles on Data Quality and CRM.

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