To better understand how a data-centric approach to business is impacting the marketing organization, I turned to Jennifer Zeszut, the CEO of Beckon, an enterprise-class marketing intelligence platform. The following is the conclusion of a two-part series. (See part one here.)
Kimberly Whitler: As marketers move toward a data-centric world view, what will change?
Jennifer Zeszut: In addition to the skills required of leaders and organizational design/structure (see part 1 for more detail), marketing culture and technology use will change.
Our marketing culture and risk profile will change.
While I guess you could be data-driven once every three years, the point of data-driven marketing is agility. Try something, look at the data quickly, rev it and try something new, then look at the data again. Rapid test and learn.
Marketing organizations that have been used to “big bang” marketing—noodling for months on one big idea, prepping all the creative, then launching everything and praying for big impact—will need to reorient. Instead of measuring once at the end of a campaign, we should be measuring every day or every week of the campaign, and constantly tuning and optimizing.
Instead of putting $1 million down on one ad, many brands, like Coca-Cola and Dunkin’ Brands, now put $50k into 10 marketing experiments, launch them all, and measure closely to see which ones pop. When they see customer engagement around a few clear winners, they double down on the media investment behind those winners.
Data-driven marketing goes hand in hand with a marketing culture that celebrates bite-sized, controlled risk-taking, follow-up analysis and rapid iteration. Because in today’s fragmented media landscape, big bangs are harder and harder to pull off. The successful marketing leaders will be the ones who can build a marketing machine that tests and learns quickly, increasing the upside potential and decreasing the downside risk.
The technology we use will change.
Marketers have long outsourced data analysis. We pay mix modelers huge sums to deliver the year-end binder stuffed with analysis. Finance runs our ROI calculations. We ask IT to generate reports—although because IT doesn’t understand marketing those reports are usually of extremely limited marketing value.