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  • AliGMartin

It's All About the Data

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Big data illustration
Big data illustration

In a recent article on Marketing Profs about 2023 marketing trends, author Vin Turk makes three key predictions:

  1. Organizations that rely on data-driven approaches will attain long-term success. Why? Because up to 90% of a buyer's journey is complete before a prospect even reaches out to a salesperson, according to a LinkedIn study. He also predicts that marketers will look for martech solutions that help them with their data problems.

  2. B2B marketers will return to tried-and-true tactics, optimizing media spend and focusing on high-performing channels. Additionally, he predicts an increase in account-based marketing (ABM) strategies this year.

  3. Persistence will be key. Turk says marketers who focus on personalized experiences that drives engagement will be more important than ever as budgets tighten.

Meaning no disrespect, but the first point is a big 'no duh' for me. I think it's always been all about the data (cue 'All About That Bass' by Meghan Trainor) when it comes to successful marketing. One of the problems many companies face is that they don't really know where to begin when it comes to data, and, more importantly, marketing operations. In my humble opinion, marketing operations is, sadly, one of the most underfunded and undervalued functions in marketing. Ironically, it can yield incredible ROI when leveraged because a company's data is it's lifeblood. It's a veritable goldmine. I often hear executive and marketing leadership mandates for 'more leads!' when in reality, it isn't more leads they need but better data and a better process for managing the leads they have in hand. This gets into sales enablement, which will be a topic for another post.

The second point about account-based marketing is also all about data. Without clean, well-organized data, ABM isn't possible. This is a very common problem with the life sciences because of the nature of the complexity of our customer base. Universities with Schools of Medicine, within which are specialty departments, within which are labs led by key researchers. And then there are satellite locations, hospitals, clinics with multiple practitioners, and the layers of the onion can continue to be peeled back. So creating a logical account hierarchy has very practical challenges. When you pile on data continuity and naming conventions (think University of California, San Diego, UCSD, UC San Diego, U.C.S.D., and on and on ad infinitum) you begin to understand the magnitude of the problem.

So, many companies choose to continue to ignore the issue because it's just too big to deal with this year. Or next year. However, as they continue to delay cleaning up their data, they are also delaying the incredible ROI they could be seeing by getting their data house in order. But the key is to just get started. Find a starting point and start chipping away at the issue. But start today.

The third know what I'm going to say. It's also all about the data. How can you drive successful personalized experiences or know what is driving engagement without good data?

So as you contemplate your 2023 budgets, please, pretty please, don't cut your marketing operations. Don't cut your analytics tools. If anything, double down. Because if you don't know how your marketing dollars are performing for you, you're driving blind. You're totally wasting your money. Or maybe you're not. Who knows? The data. That's who.

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