How do you define success for data-driven marketing programs?

I often have been wondering off-late how does one define success for data-driven marketing programs - the reason being tons of hours are spent in understanding data, organizing data, cleansing the data make it ready for analysis and then time taken for building insights by analysts, getting organization-wide buy-in into the insights and developing a roll-out plan, measuring them etc.

The opportunity I see with all this, is a need to clearly define how is a company benefitting with all of this is increasingly becoming critical. No amount of insights & discovery is worth its weight in gold till it becomes actionable and value is returned in dollars for them. Also, another important question is how do such programs get more investments to provide more value year after year? I also don't see this being driven from one corner or department while participation from senior management teams and other departments is critical for its success, adoption and growing investments.

Interestingly as I got thinking about it, I got something from my archives which had an interesting reference to how to define success by Pat LaPointe.

He has got a lovely definition of defining success. Here's the forumula according to him which may be worth looking at:

MNPV Formula for Success

It is a simple summation of all experiences of transforming insights into action and the value it created divided by the number of resources consumed to get this value and this is raised to the power of perception!

From my experience, I agree with him that the hard part is transforming the insights into action in any company. Also, perception of quality plays a critical role as enterprise-wide buy-in is critical for such programs as they need collaboration from other departments like sales, customer service, IT, channels etc. So, continued success of such programs must be exponentially raised to the perception and alignment of metrics & hence the value each of them get from such initiatives.

Would love to hear any other method of measuring sucess of data-driven marketing programs.

It's time for companies to think of a Chief Marketing Technology officer!

When I talk and work with people and clients on many assignments, the challenge I find for enterprises to be customer-centric is, how to bring marketing & technology together. Increasingly, technology is getting adopted in many customer-centric channels like never before and marketing is getting more & more real time & thefore technology is becoming a nerve-centre for marketing. The future , I have always thought is the changing( or can I call it merging) role of marketing & technology folks and the need for them to work together.

I read an interesting article today, if there is a need for a CMTO ( Chief Marketing Technology Officer)! I thought this was quite interesting. Who  is a CMTO and what does he or she do?

" A chief marketing technology officer (CTMO) — use whatever label you prefer — is simply the lead marketing technologist, organizing and managing that team. He or she reports to the CMO, not the CIO. Again, this is ultimately a marketing responsibility. There should be collaboration with IT, of course, assuring that marketing fully leverages its infrastructure and complies with technical governance standards. But collaborating is better than being solely dependent."

I find this very thought provoking and I do feel this is doable. The role of the CMTO is to ensure the right technology - either already invested is leveraged across the enterprise or if to be invested is partnered and led by this role - to collaboratively ensure this is adopted enterprise-wide.

Finally, customers must see the benefit of technology in their interaction experience with any company. The role of the CMTO is to make this happen.

Marketing automation software - What do buyers look for?

I have been blogging a lot on marketing automation and the need for enterprises to make it a part of their marketing arsenal. Today, there is an increasing need for real-time marketing and only marketing automation software can provide them this agility. 

I came across a very interesting research by Lauren Carlson, a leading CRM Market Analyst on what do buyers look for, when they want to buy a marketing automation software. I liked her classifcation of content into market-level content & product-specific content.

Take a look at what buyers look for:

  1. The most important market-level content that they look for is pricing information & product comparison. Many a times, software vendors don't do a comparison w.r.t competitors and it makes sense to have it benchmarked against top competitiors and use it effectively for buyers to take a decision.
  2. The importance of online software demonstration is also extremely critical for these buyers.
  3. In the product-specific content, buyers look for user ratings and I think this is an extremely important point which many buyers look for. Publishing user ratings can help the vendors gain the trust of the buyers.
  4. User Reviews - is another facet that buyers want and getting business user reviews can certainly tilt the buying decision in their favour.

Before buyers take a decision on marketing software, the study shows what are the various content and information that must be addressed by marketing automation vendors. Read the full study here.