Our SVP of Marketing Dayle Hall was recently interviewed by MarTech Advisor on where the industry is headed, the importance of data-driven marketing, and how businesses can speed up digital transformation. Read on, and let us know your thoughts in the comments...
1. How have you seen marketers evolve in their understanding of martech in these last five years? The biggest change I’ve seen in martech adoption, and in adoption of digital technologies in general, is that brands have moved from the why to the how. Everyone now knows they need to become more sophisticated in what technologies they use when marketing to customers, but the actual implementation itself is proving to be challenging. It’s complex as new digital channels proliferate, it’s tough to scale and get all the different technologies talking to each other the right way.
2. At what stage would you say is the ‘ad tech meets martech’ state of affairs at present? For businesses to adequately mix adtech and martech, they must come to consensus on what they hope to gain from integrating these technologies and develop a comprehensive, standardized set of KPIs to align departments. That’s step one.
Next, businesses need to develop a marketing tech stack that enables them to view all ad and marketing analytics within a single pane of glass and have an all-up view of the customer – linking their transactional history with their behavioral characteristics and social activity. That’s when the integration will really begin to bear fruit.
3. 2016 was the year of data-driven marketing. Where do organizations lack in proficiency the most? The last several years have been the years of data-driven marketing actually. And brands have gotten really good at amassing data, but the real challenge becomes figuring out what’s actually useful, and taking action on it.
According to Gartner, only 1% of brands are combining the legacy customer data with data gleaned from social and digital channels. That’s a big opportunity missed, as
"The only way you’re going to really unlock the power of your data to truly understand your customers is by breaking down the siloes that divide it."
4.What are areas you commonly see where businesses are getting stuck from transforming themselves to optimal customer-centricity? How much can data help this transformation? Brands don’t know their customers like they should. They rely on a one-dimensional view that is largely transactional – what have they bought from me in the past, when did they buy, and how much did they buy?
"To truly become customer-centric, brands must leverage customer data across all channels."
They need to pull in data from social channels, from their owned digital properties, and transactional data to get at a much more complete understanding of their customers. This will drive more engagement, less churn, and higher revenue.
5. How can marketers get a buy-in from their organizations to invest in digital transformation of their businesses? Simple. If you want buy-in from the business you have to speak the language of the business. Outline how digital transformation will directly impact revenue, upsell, reduce churn. Don’t talk in marketing-specific terms about increases in web traffic or use social metrics like engagement rates or follower numbers. Talk in dollars and cents, and the business will listen.
6. How can digital transformation become a strategic thought process for a business rather than just being a mere means to an end to enhance customer experience? Digital absolutely should not be a separate department – digital must be infused across the entire business – from sales to marketing to product development.
"Develop an agile planning process – Understand that digital moves too fast to set 12 month plans in stone. New platforms rise, old platforms fall, consumer behavior evolves. With this in mind, make sure your plans have enough leeway to shift over time, to refocus and reorient if necessary."
Establish a framework for change – outline how your customers’ behavior has changed over the last 2 years, figure out how you can better engage with them to build advocacy, and determine how this would impact your top/bottom line. Then go do it!
7. Could you share for our readers a sneak peek on the topic of your presentation? We’ll be speaking with our customer Spotify about how they formed an integrated systems of social media tools. Don’t miss it – it’ll be a great session.