Why Marketers Need to Think More Like CIOs

By Simon Whittick | Small Business

Why Marketers Need to Think More Like CIOs image blog data CMOsWhy Marketers Need to Think More Like CIOsIt’s no secret that, due to the measurability of online advertising, marketers now have to face an avalanche of marketing data. To turn all this rich data into valuable insights which can then drive revenue, you have two options:

  1. Hire a small army of analysts to manually analyse this high volume of data, and turn it into actions which optimise revenue outcomes.
  2. Use technology to analyse the data, and turn it into actions which optimise revenue outcomes.

Hiring an army of analysts to manually digest data is an expensive and resource intensive approach, so unsurprisingly most marketers are choosing to go down the technology route. This way they can use technology to digest their data and analysts to think more strategically, adding an important layer of human insight.

This shift towards technology is evidenced by a recent Gartner statistic which claims that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on technology than the CIO. This highlights that marketers are now beginning to build out technology architectures to cope with their avalanche of marketing data. However, most CMOs and marketers in general have very little experience with technology implementations. We thought we’d share a few best practices to help marketers who are building out their technology architecture, based on our experience of hundreds of marketing technology implementations for enterprise class advertisers around the world:

1) Don’t hoard data, do something with it. I spoke a lot about this in my previous post “How to Avoid Being a Data Squirrel.” The key is to get the correct analytics, attribution and optimisation layers in your technology architecture and distribute the results across the enterprise. This way you can ensure you’re turning your analytics and attribution data into actions that optimise revenue outcomes.

2) Your technology layers don’t all need the same logo. Just because you wear Nike trainers, doesn’t mean you drink Nike beer, use Nike cleaning products or use a Nike tablet. Focus on finding best of breed technologies in each area of analytics, attribution and optimisation, then integrate them. The enterprise technology space is increasingly open, and pioneered this by bossing the CRM space, whilst integrating data from best-of-breed technologies in other areas through the App Exchange.

3) Ensure technology saves your team time. Ultimately, if technology doesn’t save you time then you may as well just hire an army of analysts. Look for technology which integrates data that would otherwise be done manually, creates more efficient workflows, and makes the management and optimisation of campaigns more efficient.

4) Look for third-party technology. When it comes to the layer of technology responsible for attributing media spend, it’s important to look for third-party technologies independent from media owners. If you allow a media owner’s technology to attribute spend then there are potential issues of bias involved towards their own media channels. In essence, it’s a bit like letting an estate agent decide how much you’re going to pay to buy a house.

5) Optimise to revenue, not just leads. Revenue is what drives your business and increasingly marketers are becoming accountable for revenue. When building your architecture ensure that your technologies are optimising towards bottom-line revenue for your business, not just form fills, quotes or other softer lead targets. This can be achieved by integrating marketing programs with CRM or ERP data, offline conversions over the phone and in-store or integration with proprietary data in other areas of your business. This bottom-line marketing optimisation is what will satisfy your CEO and CFO that the marketing technology investment is worthwhile.

We will be talking in more depth about these tips and best practices to help marketers build effective technology architectures at a number of events across Europe before the end of this year. So if you’re going to be at Ecommerce Paris, iStrategy London, Search Congress Amsterdam, Ecounsultancy JUMP, SMX Stockholm or our own Marin Masters conference in London at the beginning of November then be sure to join the conversation in person. Otherwise, feel free to join the conversation below.

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