What does big data really mean for the pragmatic B2B marketer?

Big data is very trend and in vogue, but on its own it means nothing to the b2b marketer and is therefore of little use.

However, the discipline of data management in the various technologies organisations deploy are fundamental especially as it, along with privacy and governance, is becoming the domain of the marketer and not the IT function.

So for marketers to benefit from big data they need to break it down into two simplistic structures:

  1. Pre-campaign analysis – this involves the total addressable market, segmentation and targeting. On the basis that marketing strategy is as much about segmentation and targeting and campaigns and content, it is pretty fundamental to have a handle on this.
  2. Post-campaign analysis – This is about campaign effectiveness, contributing to the funnel and relevancy to the business. Without this discipline the marketer is about as accountable as the training function or the staff canteen.

What does big data really mean for the pragmatic B2B marketer

Of the two strategies, the one that is likely to be most familiar is the post campaign analysis’ as it provides the ROI. However, its use is still pretty lamentable, as Adobe’s CMO study highlighted only 20 per cent of CMOs even try and measure the ROI.

This stat may come as a shock for some, but we think ROI is a pretty underwhelming metric of measurement, because whatever figure is generated is likely to be made up. The reality is that if you focus on ROI then you are and will be seen as a cost centre. Put bluntly marketing ROI is a cover your arse metric and as useful as rear-view driving. Is it any wonder then that according to Forrester only eight per cent of CEOs listen to marketing for insight and data intelligence?

To change this marketers need to realise the importance of pre-campaign analysis, or to be more precise the pre-campaign analysis based on post-campaign analysis. Let me explain…

Post-campaign analysis, no matter what you may have been led to believe, is not about open rates and click throughs. Post-campaign analysis is about marketing qualified leads. Using this data, it is then possible to predict future activities into the pre-campaign TAM analysis based on past activities. At this point, all other things being equal, marketing is then able to commit or predict future outcomes based on past activities.

Do this and marketing will earn a right at the exec table as you’ll be delivering real value back to the business. In fact, this will push marketing way up the agenda from a cost centre to a profit centre and a genuine driver of future revenues. Maybe then more than eight per cent of CEOs will sit up and listen.

To discuss how you can use data to your advantage contact us.