Alyson Griffin, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing at Intel, discussed what it takes to build a data-driven marketing strategy during her keynote address to Argyle's CMO membership at the 2017 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco on November 29. In her presentation, "The Digital Future of B2B Marketing," Griffin explored digital marketing's impact on organizations around the globe.
According to Griffin, Intel is a data-driven organization. Intel provides businesses and consumers with state-of-the-art technologies that make it easy to analyze massive collections of data. Yet Intel's marketing department initially failed to maximize the value of the data at its disposal.
Ultimately, Intel understood it needed to collect and analyze data to learn about its target audience. The company decided to rework its marketing efforts to ensure it could deploy a data-driven approach to marketing.
"We wanted to usher in the new era of responsiveness for brands and their audiences," Griffin stated.
Intel implemented a data-driven approach to revamp its marketing efforts. This approach required the business to determine the best ways to analyze large, complex customer data sets.
"We could have focus groups and people will tell us what they'll do. But [customers'] behaviors on the web may be totally different."
The company wanted to generate meaningful insights, and as a result it learned about its customers and connect with them consistently. That way, Intel could foster long-lasting customer partnerships, and built on trust and collaboration.
"Any decision that we make has to be supported by data," Griffin said. "We want to make wise decisions and know they have to be rooted in data."
Furthermore, Intel wanted to simplify the process of retrieving large data collections and transforming this information into actionable insights. To accomplish this goal, Intel decided to use its own technology.
"We want to limit our guesswork and get things right," Griffin stated. "We started thinking about whether we could do this by using the technology that we were building and selling to our customers."
A combination of data collection and analysis technologies proved crucial for Intel's marketing team. Together, these technologies enabled Intel to tailor its day-to-day efforts accordingly.
"Technology, big data and artificial intelligence would be our secret weapon, even for the marketing department," Griffin noted. "We wanted to be grounded in lots of data so that we could make [accurate decisions]."
Thanks to predictive analytics, Intel's marketing team was able to make more accurate projections than ever before. The team was able to take a data-driven approach to decision-making. And gained comprehensive insights into its target audience. Then, Intel's marketing team used these insights to engage with consumers and businesses across a broad array of platforms.
"We knew if we employed the promise of the insights that we were getting, we knew that we could be more available to our target audience and we could be more engaged in conversations with our target audience," Griffin indicated.
The global marketplace changes rapidly. Fortunately, with a data-driven approach to marketing, Intel can quickly fulfill customer requests.
"We wanted to usher in the new era of responsiveness for brands and their audiences."
Data collection and analysis tools empower Intel's marketing teams to keep pace with its target audience. Thus, Intel's marketing team can instantly ensure its target audience is fully supported at all times.
"We knew we could be ready to respond to anything that our [target audience] needed," Griffin said. "We also knew that we could tailor information from our campaigns immediately and globally based on what we were seeing in the market."
Deploying data collection and analysis tools exposed a flaw in Intel's use of focus groups as well.
Oftentimes, Intel used focus groups to learn about a target audience. On the other hand, data analysis tools showed there was a significant gap between what a target audience says and does.
"What people say is almost never what people do," Griffin pointed out. "We could have focus groups and people will tell us what they'll do. But [customers'] behaviors on the web may be totally different."
Predictive analytics may play a major role in the way that Intel and other companies connect with customers.
With predictive analytics, marketers can closely examine data and use this information to analyze customers' behaviors. Therefore, predictive analytics drive informed decision-making for marketers. And going forward, marketers may use predictive analytics to discover innovative ways to help their respective businesses partner with customers.
"We used predictive analytics to give us a crystal ball … to find out what might happen next," Griffin stated. "We were able to test sentiment, response rates and the success of our narrative."
Alyson N. Griffin is vice president of business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategy in the Global Marketing and Communications organization at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for global B2B marketing strategy, a role that includes support for Intel’s Data Center Group, Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group and Programmable Solutions Group. Griffin also manages integrated marketing campaigns tailored to Intel business customers in various market segments, with a focus on cloud and analytics as well as key vertical industries, including retail, healthcare, manufacturing and communication service providers.
A veteran of marketing and communications in the technology sector, Griffin joined Intel in 2016 after more than 15 years at Hewlett-Packard Company, culminating in her role as vice president of Americas Marketing. She spearheaded numerous B2B and consumer marketing initiatives during her HP tenure, accruing extensive global and regional experience in the cloud, data center and networking environments. Griffin’s achievements include serving on the management team that pioneered the company’s “Going Epic” campaign for HP’s Personal Systems organization. Forbes acknowledged the successful effort as one of the top social media campaigns of 2015. Earlier in her HP career, Griffin spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland, where she restructured the marketing team to align with worldwide business strategy to fuel sales in the 80-plus countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Before joining HP in 2000, Griffin spent five years at public relations agencies Porter Novelli and Wilson McHenry Company, where she managed teams and accounts focused on the internet and technology sectors.
Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications from San Jose State University.