As more and more print providers seek to meet their customers’ needs for a broader range of marketing services, knowing what’s on the mind of marketers is evermore important. So, as the Vice President of Marketing Communications for Xerox’s Graphic Communications Business, you may be asking yourself…what keeps me up at night?
My top three list, in order of importance, is: data, data and data.
Data is the currency of the Information Age, and increasingly, it is the currency of marketing. Its influence is rising because today’s consumers tend to research information on the Web and mobile devices that leads to purchasing decisions, waiting to contact a sales representative until later in the process when their decision is already made.
The result is a growing obsession with data that is changing the marketing landscape in three fundamental ways, creating opportunities for data-savvy marketing services providers:
- Customer data helps tailor marketing messages to be relevant to each recipient:
Collecting data on customers is now the norm. Three quarters of U.S. digital media and marketing professionals (76 percent) now collect data on customers and prospects, and about the same amount (77 percent) say they increased their data collection in the last year, according to a June 2014 study by Digiday and Neustar. The motivation is to use that data to generate better business results.An interesting finding, however: half of the respondents say they are unable to link the data they collect to create individual customer profiles, meaning they aren’t achieving their goals. And very likely, even those who do create individual customer profiles aren’t making optimal use of all the data available to them.
- Audience data helps track the impact of programs:
Sophisticated tools for marketing automation and demand generation, along with disciplined audience segmentation, are helping marketers to precisely track and measure consumer activity. Marketers who apply these tools can constantly check the temperature of their customers and prospects to inform and fine-tune campaign messaging, distribution platforms and timing. The data also can provide clues about new features, products and services, which, when provided in a timely manner, can build strong, lasting customer loyalty.
- Performance data helps track business results:
Data on program impact can also show the path to a sales outcome, enabling marketers to track business results and return on investment. Marketers use these results to justify their programs and prove their value to senior leadership.
What are you doing with data that can help marketers like me give shining performances by day and sleep well at night?