In an Eloqua-sponsored study released this month called “Defining the Modern Marketer,” marketers scored themselves only 65 out of 100 in their performance in five critical areas—among them analytics and technology. The 556 marketers surveyed exhibited a keen understanding of the competencies they and their companies will need to survive in a digital world, said the report, but they admitted they fell short in all of them. They said that,on average, they could only attribute 8% of their success to analytics even though they thought the practice should comprise 13% of their capabilities.They thought that real-time, personalized customer engagement should be 24% of their efforts,but rated themselves at 16%.
We asked experts in analytics, marketing automation, and customer experience to tell us what they think should be the priorities of those who would be modern marketers. Their Top 10:
1. Start by being a model marketer. “Develop lead-scoring predictive models that rank leads according to the likelihood they can be converted. The power to more effectively prioritize and triage by way of such predictive scores lets you target your resources much more effectively, thus improving conversion rates,” says Eric Siegel, computer scientist and author of Predictive Analytics.
2. Automate as much as possible, but no more. “It”s easy to get marketing automation wrong, but some automation is a good start,” counsels Jim Sterne, chairman of the Digital Analytics Association and author of Social Media Metrics. “There are so many ways that integrated data streams can be leveraged for dynamic offer delivery, retargeting, and instant response.”
3. Strategize with IT. “You must share marketing strategy with IT or they won’t know what objectives their systems must be designed to meet,” says Forrester analyst Cory Munchbach. “Businesses will be far more streamlined and efficient when both sides of the house work together to achieve customer-first experiences across the life cycle.”
4. Keep on targeting! “Think of your targeting strategy as the foundation to your modern marketing house. Without it, your other operations cannot be structurally sound,” advises Oracle Senior Director Dave Michaud. “It’s critical to implement strategic plans and leverage technology to optimize your data collection and management. Modern marketing hinges on relevant, meaningful interactions, which are impossible to create without the proper targeting strategy.”
5. Make your data come together. Right now. “The more information about each customer brought together into a central system, the more precisely each interaction can be guided. Bridging the gaps between data sources and tying analytical results into operational systems provides a qualitatively new level of tactical agility,” Siegel says.
6. Work backwards to cultivate advocates. “Understanding the evolution from prospect to customer advocate is crucial to developing the appropriate processes for repeatable success,” Michaud says. “Use a ‘work backwards’ approach to determine how your customers perceive the value of your partnership and leverage this data to refine your programs across demand generation, marketing, sales, and beyond.”
7. Participate in social media. “It is because you’re not sure how to manage social media that you should jump in and participate,” urges Sterne. “Fortunately, you can learn from the many who have made mistakes before you. But do not shy away just because it’s new and scary. Jump in. Get involved. Learn.”
8. Don’t forsake the right side of your brain. “As marketers adopt more left-brain activities, they shouldn’t shut down the other side,” says Bruce Temkin, managing partner of Temkin Group, a customer experience company. “Marketers need to embrace the right sides of their brains and spend more time understanding how to make emotional connections with customers. Customers’ emotional responses have the influence on them making recommendations.”
9. Get personal with Big Data. “Big Data’s greatest potential lies in leveraging it with predictive analytics to maximize individual customer interactions. Predictive models are generated from data by algorithmically learning from it how to predict, one customer at a time,” Siegel says.
10. Never plan on finishing. “You will not accomplish anything overnight and you will never, ever finish,” Sterne says. “New data streams will pop up all the time. Modern marketers should create an ongoing process for data integration.”