The Marketing Director and the Rise of Technology and Data
Posted by Julian Diaz
February 01, 2016
The aim of a marketing director is simple: 1) to get your brand noticed by the right people and 2) to get the right people to choose it over your competitors’. As we all know, that task is becoming both more difficult and easier every day. With the rise of social media and mobile marketing it has become increasingly easy and cost-effective to reach a large audience. And the time required to do so has been cut dramatically. As a result, however, it has also become more difficult to compete for attention as the traditional barriers to building a brand, such as budget and geography, dissipate.
Today’s Marketing Director needs to wear many hats to compete in a playing field saturated with brands, large and small, and a multitude of low-cost channels at their disposal. Two of those hats are Technologist and Data Scientist.
From Technophobes to Technophiles
Marketing departments are have begun embracing technology to help them cope with the “Data Explosion” brought on by Big Data and the increasing number of channels of engagement with customers (think Social Media and Mobile). As a result, Marketing is investing more of their budget in technology and owning more of the technology budget overall within an organisation. According to Gartner, Inc. 50% of tech spending outside of IT budgets is coming from Marketing departments and approximately 20% of the Marketing budget will be dedicated to IT spend to support Marketing initiatives. That’s a huge shift in where money is being invested by Marketing. Furthermore, that investment in technology is expected to grow: Gartner has predicted that by 2017, a CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.
Three Ways Technology is being used in Marketing
Again, to cite Gartner, Marketers are relying increasingly on technology to:
create and maintain a consistent, positive customer experience across various channels such as social, mobile and website,
integrate data from an increasing number of channels, including internal data (such as transactions or customer behaviour) and external data (such as estimated household income, credit history and demographics), and
support a growing number of marketing campaigns and programs running simultaneously across identified channels, such as paid search marketing and social marketing
From Binge Consumers to Selective Consumers of Data
Up until recently, most Marketers used data for cold calling a list of contacts they purchased from a list provider. “The more contacts, the better,” was the thinking, especially when it came to email marketing. Today, as the amount of customer data being generated via various sources grows, marketers can now be more selective – or smarter – about whom they choose to target. By incorporating additional data, such as credit history and purchase behavior, marketers can now whittle down a list using more than just demographics to determine who their most attractive targets are and how to customise their message or offering to improve response rates. You see, in a time where data is coming at us in large quantities, smart marketing focuses on curating quality insights that yield meaningful results.
Data analytics can help marketers reduce marketing costs while improving response rates to acquisition and retention campaigns. So, instead of targeting 100,000 contacts based simply on demographics and geography, marketers are now wising up and using data science to reduce that list to the 10,000 contacts with the most appealing profile who are most likely to respond to their campaign.
The Next Phase in Marketing is both Technology- and Data-Driven
Soon, the ability to “out-market” our competition will no longer come down to how often we tweet or how high we rank for our chosen keywords, but how well we leverage technology and data to understand, reach and engage with our target audience in a consistent and relevant manner. Marketers must now go above and beyond today’s buzzwords of social media, SEO and mobile marketing. The next phase in marketing is technology- and data-driven. Will you be able to compete?
For a great example of how data is improving conversion rates in marketing, read my blog post on Conversion Data.
Julian Diaz is Head of Marketing for Principa. American born and raised, Julian has worked in the IT industry for over 20 years. Having begun his career at a major software company in Germany, Julian made the move to South Africa in 1998 when he joined Dimension Data and later MWEB (leading South African ISP). Since then, Julian has helped launch various South African technology brands into international markets.