May 2012
Core. BtoB marketing essentials
from Arketi Group
Big Data: Big Opportunity or Big Headache?
 

Marketers have long dreamed of having accurate information about customers and prospects. Be careful what you wish for! With today’s social media, CRM, ERP and new tools for data collection, what was once a hard-to-find trickle of customer data has become a torrent. So has the dream become a nightmare?

A new survey from Columbia Business School and the New York AMA finds 36 percent of marketers say they have “lots of customer data, but don’t know what to do with it.” The study also found two in five marketers admit they cannot turn their data into actionable insight.

Companies are asking themselves how they can effectively manage the increasing volume and complexity of the data stream. They ask themselves:

  • What are the most efficient tools to collect and analyze the data coming in?
  • How do we store customer information so that it’s readily accessible but still secure?
  • How can we use the data to advance our marketing efforts while still protecting customers’ rights to privacy?

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BtoB Benchmark Take-Away

The majority of BtoB marketers are not into marketing automation. Do you use a marketing automation software solution?

Source: 2011 MarketingSherpa B2B Marketing Benchmark Survey

Automated lead nurturing is a must. Based on our experiences helping BtoB clients navigate marketing automation initiatives, we have come up with five things to do before jumping in. The words you need to know to ensure success are: list, content, count, agreement and commitment. Read more

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These questions point to the need for a company-wide strategy for handling customer data. Here are some straightforward steps to help navigate the information stream:

1   Don’t be overwhelmed by the volume of data and the need to answer tough questions. Embrace big data and it will become clearer. Attack it in small, manageable chunks rather than all at once.

2   Find senior leadership to champion and support your big data mission across all affected business units and functional areas. And create a cross-functional team – including marketing, product development, service and support, and finance – to help develop an enterprise-wide data management plan.

3   Develop the plan based on the company’s well-defined, overall objectives and goals. Include marketing metrics to ensure marketing is linked back to these business objectives.

4   Build a strong infrastructure to house your big data. Consider using a SaaS solution and keeping data in the cloud. The more efficient your storage is, the more data you can afford to keep for your analysis. The faster that storage performs, the more often you can make decisions grounded in fresher data.

5   Review and analyze data thoroughly and regularly to understand what buyers care about, how they make their decisions and how they want to receive information

6   Revisit the objectives and goals regularly to ensure they are still relevant and metrics are being hit. If they are not, adjust as necessary.

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Arketi Insights In the News

BtoB marketers must move past their procrastination and give mobile marketing a serious look – because buyers are. Learn more about how to make mobile a part of your BtoB marketing mix.


Download now


B2B Tech Execs Should Stop Selling

Small Biz Twitter Tips to Get Started

One for the Grey Hairs

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Finally, ask questions and seek the opinions of others – including those outside the company – throughout the process. Learn from others benefitting from big data in a big way!

Thanks for reading Core. If you liked Big Data: Big Opportunity or Big Headache? please share it! And please send your comments, compliments or criticisms to us at core@arketi.com.

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