Greg Satell wrote a great article in Forbes Magazine earlier this week called What can we Expect from the Next Decade of Marketing. The piece that resonated the most with The Future of Marketing?me from this article was how marketers will leverage technology and big data to go from being more tactical to being strategic in real time.
Marketing has come a long way in the last decade, let alone the last few years. We have the ability to track every single digital interaction with customers and prospects and truly understand how our programs work in different geographies, industry verticals, market segments, etc. However, to maximize the value of this information marketers have to make sure that it is being accurately captured, measured, and analyzed. Just as critically marketers still have to make sure what they are reporting on lines up with what their counterparts in Sales and the executive team are looking for.
If Marketing doesn’t (or can’t) accurately capture the massive amounts of information marketing automation and other technologies provide and then leverage that data to provide actionable insights into driving more revenue or streamlining the entire demand generation process then the future looks a little bleak. To truly be relevant now and in the future Marketing must be able to completely move away from the old adage from John Wanamaker about knowing that half of your marketing efforts are working, but not having any idea which half that is – and this starts with accurately capturing your marketing data.
We have the power to understand exactly how Marketing contributes to the bottom line, which campaigns influence revenue, and how the Marketing-Sales handoff works by leveraging the data in CRM solutions like salesforce.com, marketing automation solutions like Marketo and Eloqua, and all the other great technologies out there. However, if the underlying data is wrong then we will never be able to fully realize this value.
So while you are thinking about the future of marketing make sure to remember that while it is built on big data, you must have the right foundation in place capturing and analyzing that information to come away with any meaningful insights to usher in that bright future for marketing.
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