Data-Driven Marketing: It Takes a Village

At a recent agency conference, my ears perked up when I heard John Osborn, President and CEO of BBDO NY say, “Data is the new sexy.” After decades of being thought of as marketing data geeks, we’ve never thought of including the word “sexy” in our agency positioning statement.

Speaking with Judy Neer, President and CEO of Pile and Company a year or so ago, we learned that 80% of agency RFPs now include data analytics and measurement requirements. Around the same time, I spotted a Forbes article by another consultant, Avi Dan, who wrote that agencies are literally being fired if they can’t figure out how to put analytics and data-driven marketing into action.

As a boutique marketing analytics firm, we have been partnering more and more with independent, mid-sized and in-house agencies who don’t have the resident skillsets to deliver on the analytics and measurement needs of today’s modern marketers. While some corporate marketers are starting to build analytics capabilities, for many creative-oriented teams, the cost of marketing technology and data management is far too great of an investment.

Another barrier to entry is that the skills needed to work with big data vary greatly from the skills required of a creative team—and that the best creative and analytics players don’t naturally collaborate. That’s ironic and a shame because data-driven marketers and creative teams can build dramatically better messaging strategies when they work together.

At SIGMA, we've been partnering with in-house agencies for years—mining customer data to enable more micro-targeted, segmented creative for enhanced consumer experiences. The insights gleaned from clients data are not only used to inform smarter strategies and spend, they are used to drive more measurable, tangible results.

If you’re managing an in-house agency, make sure your analytics and creative teams are comfortable collaborating. And if you don’t have an internal analytics and measurement function, try partnering with a data specialist to find out how you might refine your targeting and testing to improve consumer response. Partner to leverage marketing technologies and measure results across channels.

Neither analytics nor creative teams can deliver everything today’s marketers need on their own—they need to work together to turn insights into action. It really does take a village to make data-driven marketing deliver results.

For more on how to leverage your customer data, be sure to download SIGMA Marketing Insight's new eBook 100 Ways To Do More With Your Data and register for IHAF’s upcoming webinar with Martha Bush of SIGMA Marketing Insights.  

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