Christelle Flahaux, Vice President, Customer and Field Marketing, Domo, described how marketers can collect customer data and optimize the value of this information in her presentation to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2016 Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Forum: Spotlight on B2B Marketing in Atlanta on Oct. 27. In her presentation, "Turning on the Lights: How to Turn Data into Engagement," Flahaux explained how marketers can leverage customer data to help a company gain a long-lasting competitive advantage.
Customer data is everywhere, yet many marketers are unable to collect and evaluate this information. And even though marketing technologies are available to help business professionals make the most of customer data, these tools sometimes fail to deliver immediate and long-lasting results.
According to Flahaux, there are over 3,500 marketing technologies available to businesses today. An average company may use 60 to 80 marketing tools designed to help marketers learn about a customer – making it exceedingly difficult for marketers to leverage these tools in conjunction with one another to understand the true value of the data at their disposal.
At the same time, the sheer volume of data that is available can be overwhelming. And if marketers fail to collect and analyze data, they may be missing out on opportunities to help a company achieve its short- and long-term goals.
Today's marketers commonly operate as data "conductors" who are forced to find the right technologies to collect and evaluate data. However, many marketers struggle to do just that due to the wide range of marketing technologies and massive array of customer data that are available.
"There are really simple questions, [but answers] are really, really hard to get," Flahaux said. "As a marketer, you've become a conductor who is focused on how to get [technologies] to work together."
Marketers must be able to identify customer behaviors and trends, and failure to do so could put a company in a difficult position.
"The idea of a linear funnel doesn't exist anymore."
A business that lacks the technology or know-how needed to perform extensive data analyses may struggle to understand why customers may choose one company over another. Thus, this company could encounter problems as it searches for ways to foster long-lasting partnerships with customers.
Ultimately, marketers are responsible for retrieving data and mining it effectively, and having the ability to perform these tasks could help marketers drive a company's growth.
With the right data at their disposal, marketers are better equipped to make informed business decisions, along with maximize the resources that are available. As a result, data can deliver immense value if marketers understand how to use it to their advantage.
"Everything that you can do from a channel perspective, that information is going to get consumed by a consumer, and you don't know what it's going to be (consumed)," she noted. "The idea of a linear funnel doesn't exist anymore."
New marketing technologies are available that are designed to streamline data collection and analysis. These technologies may prove to be valuable for marketers at companies of all sizes and ensure marketers can take a proactive approach to data management.
"You don't have to sit and wait for an analyst to give you information. You don't have to look at outdated data," Flauhaux stated. "[You'll] be able to level the playing field."
Although data may seem overwhelming at times, marketers must realize that having the ability to assess this information and gain actionable insights from it can deliver long-lasting benefits.
"Don't be afraid of data. There's a lot out there. … For us, it really starts simple: connecting two systems together and then adding stuff in there. What you'll start to figure out is that you'll ask better questions," Flauhaux said.
Also, data can drive marketing improvements over an extended period of time.
"Don't be afraid of data. There's a lot out there. … For us, it really starts simple: connecting two systems together and then adding stuff in there. What you'll start to figure out is that you'll ask better questions."
If marketers understand customer behaviors and trends, they will be able to find new ways to connect with customers. Plus, marketers may be able to help a company become an industry leader, as they can use data to revamp customer messaging, business processes and more.
Having the ability to evaluate data can help marketers improve their relationships with multiple departments within a company as well.
"As marketers, if we're going to improve our jobs and do it in real-time, use data as an advantage," Flauhaux noted. "[Data is] definitely one of those things that puts you in the power seat with sales and finance."
Data can be powerful for marketers who understand how to mine it properly. And with first-rate marketing technologies that work in combination with one another, marketers can optimize the value of data both now and in the future.
Christelle Flahaux, Domo’s Vice President, Customer and Field Marketing, has over 15 years of experience in marketing leadership, with roles at some of the tech industry’s most recognized and fastest-growing B2B companies, including Jive, Marketo, MapR, Taleo and Ariba. Christelle’s experience expands across all areas of marketing, including marketing operations, sales forecasting, market analysis, and lead generation. Sales and marketing alignment for enterprise software teams is Christelle’s particular area of passion and expertise, combining her experience in management, demand creation, and marketing operations to lead cross-functional teams that drive conversions beyond inquiry creation to pipeline and revenue.