The Truth Behind The Hype Of Data-Driven Marketing

July 19, 2021 | Blog, Podcast, Resources

MRP’s Pierre Custeau details the most common obstacles to ABM success – and how they can be avoided 

The concept of data-driven marketing is grabbing more headlines than ever — but it’s a rare company that can live up to the hype. That’s the plain-spoken truth MRP’s Pierre Custeau recently shared on the CMO Confessions podcast, where he detailed how rarely companies achieve the holy grail of truly data-driven, customer centric marketing. 

Even as more companies adopt account-based marketing (ABM) strategies that use sophisticated technologies to deliver one-to-one experiences at scale, efforts continue to fall short: recent research has found that three-quarters of B2B buyers describe their purchasing journey as very complex or challenging, and two-thirds say the process is disappointing. 

In a wide-ranging conversation with Cheri Keith, Head of Strategy and Research at ON24, Custeau described how the COVID-19 pandemic has been transformational for companies — giving marketers an opportunity to re-focus on the digital customer experience and leverage new technologies powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to derive insights the entire organization can embrace. 

To become a truly data-driven marketing organization, Custeau says, companies must:

Make full use of their existing martech tools.

With marketers being asked to take on ever more responsibilities, it’s essential to optimize  technology for maximum efficiency. But often, confidence is low that investments are being used to their full potential. Gartner reported that marketers are using only 58% of the capabilities in their martech stack, and that percentage is probably low. Team members often don’t know about all the capabilities they can unlock. It’s crucial that marketing executives support building technical expertise, and vendors should offer the resources for ongoing training and facilitate access to new features.

Use AI to derive insights from data. 

While companies today are leveraging AI through predictive analytics, these tools are ultimately unsatisfying. Much as a doctor is expected to not only make a diagnosis, but also offer a treatment plan, marketers should expect their intelligent technology to not only feed them data, but offer the insights that drive action. That way, marketers focus their creative energies on the strategies and tactics that help drive sales, rather than on interpreting data. Real-time performance data can provide feedback to help them adjust and fine-tune their activities. With this solid foundation of data and intelligence, marketers can be nudged into innovating with their technology and finding new ways to reach customers.

Align data, marketing, sales … and beyond.

Too often, companies’ efforts to embrace data-driven marketing have resulted in establishing another siloed team — frequently reporting not into marketing, but to the CIO —  that complicates long-existing struggles to unite marketing and sales. Data scientists and analysts should be integrated within the marketing department and should help use data insights to align not only sales activities, but also push organizations to make top-to-bottom changes to focus on customer priorities, from customer success to billing to tech support. 

Listen to the podcast to hear more of Custeau’s insights, and request a demo with MRP to learn how the Prelytix platform can simplify the complexity of marketing operations, enabling account-based programs that coordinate with existing initiatives. 

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