Unlocking the Secret to Effective Data-Driven Marketing

Earlier this year, our Strategic Partner Teradata published the results of a global research survey relating to data-driven marketing. The 2013 Teradata Data-Driven Marketing Survey, Global included responses from more than 2,200 marketers in companies with annual revenues of more than $100 million. Given the size and depth of this survey (it consisted of 58 questions), the results merit serious consideration.

Here are a few of the significant survey findings:

  • 78% of respondents said they feel pressure to become more data driven.
  • Almost half (49%) of respondents believe that using data to make decisions results in better business outcomes such as increased revenues, higher profits, and lower costs, but less than 10% said they use the data they currently have access to in a systematic, strategic way.
  • 45% of respondents said that data is the most underutilized asset in the marketing department.
  • 42% of respondents identified lack of process as the primary obstacle to using data-driven marketing (only 22% cited lack of data as a significant obstacle).

Most marketers would agree that data has become critical for improving the performance of marketing, but it’s important to remember that data alone won’t produce effective marketing. Today, marketers are challenged to create meaningful engagement with individual customers and prospects, and to create such engagement, you need three distinct capabilities.

  • Data The first key requirement is to capture accurate and relevant data at the individual prospect/customer level. For most large enterprises, having enough data is no longer the main issue. If anything, the volume of data available in most large companies can be overwhelming. Integrating data from multiple sources, however, is still a big challenge. According to the Teradata survey, only 18% of companies have a single comprehensive view of the customer, and this is one of the top priorities for future improvement.
  • Insight – The second critical requirement is the ability to extract useful insights from the available data. Marketers now recognize that data alone has little value. The Teradata survey found that within the next two years, 71% of marketers plan to implement a big data analytics solution to help them extract useful insights from the ever-increasing mountain of data available to them.
  • Action – The final requirement is the ability to translate insights into action. Even if your company develops important customer insights from the available data, those insights will have little value until you act on them. When respondents to the Teradata survey identified lack of process as the #1 obstacle to implementing data-driven marketing, they were referring to the processes needed to “operationalize” the insights extracted from data.

Effective data-driven marketing obviously requires sound business processes, but it also requires the right technology tools. Insights regarding customers and prospects often have a limited shelf-life, and their value can be lost if a response is not executed quickly. To deliver effective insight-driven marketing, enterprises need a marketing execution technology platform that can convert insights into action on a near real-time basis.

Eager to find out more? Teradata will be speaking at the upcoming ADAM Sync! events

More Evidence Regarding the Growth of Video Advertising/Marketing

Some time ago, CMO.com published an article by Senior & Strategic Editor Giselle Abramovich titled “The State of Online Video Advertising.” The article provides an excellent summary of current developments regarding the use of video content for advertising and marketing purposes.

The article contains several eye-opening statistics from recognized industry sources.

  • Seventy-five percent of US senior business executives plan to shift their budgeting from television to digital video ads. (Internet Advertising Bureau)
  • Consumers watched 48 billion online videos in July of this year. (comScore)
  • Videos are a social form of content. In terms of daily average engagement (defined as likes, shares, and comments), video content produces twice as much as non-video content. (Adobe’s U.S. Digital Video Benchmark Report)

Abramovich noted that enterprises are not using video content only for pure advertising purposes. As an example, she described three videos created by McDonald’s that were designed to introduce consumers to its suppliers of lettuce, potatoes, and beef. Collectively, those three videos have received over 4.4 million views on YouTube.

The article also notes that consumers’ growing use of mobile devices means that more video content will be consumed on those devices. Today, mobile devices already account for 10% of global online video plays.

It’s now clear that video content is a highly effective marketing tool. Research by Forbes Insights found that 75% of C-level executives watch work-related videos at least weekly, and 65% of survey executives said they had visited a vendor’s website after viewing a video. In 2012, research by Brightcove found that video has 10 times more impact on the intention to buy than static information.

To reap the full potential benefits of video content, enterprises need an effective way to manage, localize, and publish videos. Most enterprises have traditionally used specialized personnel or outsourced services and stand-alone software applications to manage video content. Therefore, video content is typically managed separately from other marketing/communications content assets. As video content becomes an integral component of an organization’s marketing processes and programs, the lack of an integrated approach to management can create significant issues.

ADAM recognizes the growing importance of video content in the marketing mix, and earlier this summer, we released a new application studio for the ADAM Platform that is specifically designed to streamline the management of video content. ADAM Videos enables enterprises to manage video content with the same ease, flexibility, and control that the ADAM Platform provides for other types of digital content assets.

In September, ADAM hosted a webinar that explored how enterprises can use video content to amplify their marketing efforts. The webinar was presented by Shiri Friedman, Director of Marketing at Brightcove. This webinar was very well received, and you can view a recording of this presentation here.

The Customer Experience Imperative

In a recent newspaper interview, Sir Richard Broadbent, the Chairman of Tesco, echoed the feelings of many business leaders when he said, “The company that provides the best relationship with the customer will win – not through product, but through the best experience.” The reality is that delivering outstanding customer experiences has become a vital source of competitive advantage for most types of companies.

Recent research has demonstrated the important role that customer experience plays in driving business success. For example, Accenture has estimated that up to $5.9 trillion in revenue was “at play” globally in 2013 as consumers switched product and service providers, due largely to unsatisfactory customer experiences.

In 2012, Watermark Consulting compared the performance of companies that excel at delivering great customer experiences with that of customer experience laggards. Over the preceding five years, the portfolio of customer experience leaders produced a cumulative total return of just over 22%, while the portfolio of laggards returned -46% over the same period.

For marketers, delivering outstanding customer experiences is primarily about providing content that is useful, informative, or entertaining. More specifically, the key requirement is to provide information the customer (or potential customer) wants or needs, when he or she wants or needs it, via the touchpoint he or she prefers to use for each interaction.

Delivering great customer experiences has become more complex and demanding because brands must be prepared to provide content via multiple customer touchpoints. Today, customers and prospects are accessing information via conventional websites, social networking sites, “content sharing” sites such as YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest, mobile websites, and mobile shopping apps.

Today’s empowered and always-connected customers and prospects have four expectations that enterprise marketers must be prepared to meet.

  • They expect to have access to rich and detailed information about a company’s products or services, as well as more general educational and entertaining content.
  • They expect to be able to access rich and detailed content via the touchpoints of their choice.
  • They expect information and content that is current, accurate, and consistent across all interaction channels.
  • They expect information and content to be presented in their primary language and to reflect their cultural preferences. Increasingly, they also expect to be provided information and content that reflect their individual interests, needs, and preferences.

Obviously, product-related content plays a critical role in delivering outstanding customer experiences. We recently published a white paper that discusses the challenges most companies face in managing product content and describes the key requirements for an effective product content management system.

You can get a copy of our new white paper here.

Technology and Customer Experience Dominate the C-Suite Agenda

IBM recently published the highlights of its 2013 global C-suite study, The Customer-activated Enterprise.This is the 17th in the ongoing series of CxO studies conducted by IBM. It is based on face-to-face conversations with more than 4,000 C-suite executives worldwide.

For me, two things dominate the findings of the IBM study. The first is the immense importance of the customer and the customer experience. For example:

  • CEOs said that customers exert a bigger influence on their organization’s business strategy than all stakeholders other than the C-suite itself.
  • No matter what their specific role, every CxO wants to become more involved in managing the customer experience.

The second major theme in the IBM study is the huge and growing importance of digital technologies. For the second straight year, CEOs identified technology as the single most important external force shaping their organization. What’s more, all CxOs included technology in their list of the top three most important forces.

Other study findings also demonstrate the undeniable importance of digital technologies. For example:

  • 87% of CMOs said that it will be critical to integrate customer touchpoints across channels within the next 3 to 5 years, and 83% said that it will be critical to implement analytics to capture customer insights in the same time frame.
  • 52% of CxOs said that digital channels are one of their company’s key means of interacting with customers today, and 88% believe that digital interactions with customers will become critical over the next 3 to 5 years.

Looking specifically at CMOs, the study shows that data, mobile marketing, and social media are among the top concerns of marketing executives. While CMOs recognize the importance of data-driven marketing, 82% of CMOs feel underprepared to deal with the explosion of data regarding customer behavior that’s becoming available. Likewise, CMOs understand the growing importance of social networks in communicating with customers, but 67% feel underprepared to cope with social media.

When CMOs were asked to identify their top marketing priorities, here’s what they selected:

  • Designing customer experiences for mobile applications
  • Using social media to engage customers
  • Using integrated technology suites to manage customers


Why Product Content Management is Difficult

Business leaders in all kinds of enterprises now recognize that delivering outstanding customer experiences is paramount to competitive success. It’s also now clear that accurate, detailed, and rich product-related content is essential for delivering great customer experiences. The catch is, managing this kind of product content effectively is not easy.

Product content management used to be a simple task, at least by today’s standards. In the pre-Internet world, the amount of product content made available to customers and prospects was relatively limited. For example, a printed catalog typically included a single image and a short description of each product. In addition, customer expectations were lower, which meant that most enterprises could publish product content on their schedule.

Over the past two decades, product content management has become more complex and challenging, first because the volume of product content that enterprises make available to customers and prospects has increased significantly, and second because product content cycle times have become shorter and shorter.

The volume of product content has grown because customers are demanding richer and more detailed product information and because new digital communications channels and new media formats have greatly expanded the types of content that enterprises can provide. One image and a brief description are no longer sufficient. Today, many high-performing enterprises routinely provide multiple product images (including 3D images), product videos, detailed product descriptions, and user-generated content such as product reviews.

The volume of product content is also growing because many enterprises are increasing the number of unique products they offer in order to appeal to more granular niche markets, and they are also updating and improving products more frequently. These product management decisions are increasing both the overall volume of product content that enterprises must develop and manage, and the frequency with which product content must be revised and updated.

Product content management has also become more challenging because content cycle times have dramatically decreased. As noted earlier, many enterprises used to be able to schedule the development and flow of product content based on their internal operating needs and capabilities. Today, customers expect product content to be current and accurate, and they expect the current content to be immediately available on the interaction channels of their choice. Content cycle times are therefore measured in hours or days rather than weeks, and this places additional demands on the processes and workflows used to develop, manage, and publish product content.

We recently published a white paper that discusses these challenges and describes the key requirements for a capable product content management system.

You can access this informative white paper here.

The Role of Product Content Management in Supporting Omni-Channel Customer Journeys

Last week, ADAM hosted an online panel discussion regarding the role that product content management plays in enabling enterprises to support and deliver engaging, omni-channel customer journeys. We were excited to have two expert panelists provide their views on this important topic – Dan Kjaergaard with EPAM, and Yvo Boolsma with Capgemini.

Customers and prospects now expect to have easy access to rich and detailed information about a company’s products. In addition, they expect comprehensive product information to be available via multiple interaction channels and to be consistent across all customer touchpoints. To meet the expectations of increasingly demanding customers and prospects, enterprises need an effective product content management (PCM) system that is enabled and supported by a capable PCM technology platform.

During last week’s panel discussion, we asked our expert panelists to address three questions:

  1. What are the emerging requirements for effective product content management, particularly requirements relating to customer engagement and interaction?
  2. What are the major differences between master data management (MDM), product information management (PIM), and product content management (PCM)?
  3. What role does a PCM solution play in enabling enterprises to create and deliver engaging customer journeys?

Our panelists agreed that the need to deliver outstanding, omni-channel customer experiences is the primary driving force behind current PCM requirements. More specifically, enterprises face a range of challenges that require a robust product content management system, including:

  • The need to deliver rich and detailed product content via multiple interaction channels, each of which may have unique formatting requirements
  • The need to deliver current, accurate, and consistent product content across all customer touchpoints
  • The need to deliver more relevant and personalized product-related content at the right time in the customer journey
  • The need to maximize the productivity of marketing operations, particularly the workflows and processes involved in the production, management, and distribution of product-related content

Last week’s panel discussion was well attended, and our experts provided insights that are valuable for marketers in all kinds of enterprises that sell tangible products.

The panel discussion lasts about 30 minutes, and you can access a recorded version of the presentation here.

ADAM to Discuss Rich Media Content and Customer Engagement at Teradata Summit

Teradata will be hosting its 2014 marketing summit March 10-13 in Los Angeles, California. The Teradata summit draws a variety of attendees, from business directors of customer-facing departments such as marketing, sales, and customer service, to IT professionals, to C-level executives.

The theme of the 2014 summit is “Architects of Engagement,” and the educational sessions at this year’s event are designed to help attendees learn how companies are transforming the way they do business through the power of big data analytics and more effective and efficient marketing operations.

This is an important and valuable conference, and you can view a complete agenda and register for the conference here.

ADAM Software and Teradata recently formed a strategic sales and technology partnership to demonstrate the benefits that large enterprises can obtain by combining the rich media and product content management capabilities of ADAM’s enterprise platform and Teradata’s world-class marketing resource management/marketing operations solution.

ADAM is a silver sponsor of Teradata’s 2014 marketing summit, and we will be actively participating in the conference activities. ADAM’s CEO, Pieter Casneuf, will be leading a break-out session at the summit on Tuesday, March 11, titled Creating Rich Media-Based Customer Engagement:  A Key Role of DAM in Marketing Operations.

It’s now clear that delivering outstanding customer experiences is paramount to success. In fact, many business and marketing thought leaders contend that providing exceptional experiences has become the primary source of competitive advantage for many types of enterprises.

Rich content plays a vital role in creating and maintaining meaningful engagement with customers and prospects and in delivering outstanding customer experiences. Creating meaningful and relevant customer experiences and preserving brand integrity across multiple touchpoints is increasingly the key differentiating factor for high-performing enterprises, but this task can be very complex from an operational perspective.

In his break-out session at the Teradata marketing summit, Pieter will share how leading companies such as Philips, Viacom, and Lego are leveraging the right combination of technology tools to deliver rich media-based customer experiences, while improving the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing operations.

If you’re a marketing leader or practitioner, join us in Los Angeles next week for a valuable learning experience.