Last week, along with our partner Integrate, we headed to the 38th floor of London’s Gherkin to discuss all things data, attribution and reporting in the WTF Factor– What’s The Future? What’re the Facts?

With technological developments gaining pace and organisations facing an avalanche of new products and technology platforms, business today can be somewhat overwhelming. As the C-Suite is looking for ever-smarter business insight, marketers are feeling the pressure to go beyond the traditional ‘vanity metrics’ that just don’t cut the mustard anymore. When planning for the future, we should be utilising technology and its data intelligence—showing what really makes marketing matter.

Our CEO and Co-Founder, Adam Sharp, opened proceedings with the lamentable fact that the biggest driver for innovation in marketing last year was an EU regulation. The four letters that marketers are tired of hearing (GDPR!), may have been a headache for the industry, but they are driving better marketing practices in business today.

As Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, rightly suggested recently, data privacy should be a human right today – it will always be high up on a CEO’s agenda and data validity and management should be second nature if marketing is to prove its ROI. A survey of attendees conducted at our event encouragingly shows that marketing is increasingly seen as an agent of change within the organisation, rather than simply a source of lead generation.

In order for that to continue, marketing should be looking at their sales funnel to plan for the future. CleverTouch’s Head of Insight & Analytics, David Irvine, outlined the sales funnel questions that you should be asking when looking for that WTF! Factor. Sales and marketing work best when closely aligned, and to ensure that the relationship is working at its best, you should be asking how performance can be improved and how marketing can plan for the future to achieve their revenue goals.

The answers can be found within the data in the funnel and David highlighted the crucial insights that can inform successful marketing operations. For example, when breaking down the data, it’s possible to analyse the stages of the sales funnel so marketing can plan when each stage of the process should be implemented for future leads and campaigns. Phil Ball, joint Managing Director at CleverTouch, highlighted how data and knowledge from the past has become a future part of how we predict the future at CleverTouch – with it, marketing can only become more valuable to the business.

We were also joined by Leslie Alore, Director of Regional Marketing at Iron Mountain, who explored how marketing can move away from ‘WTF?’ to ‘WTF!’. For Iron Mountain, measuring marketing contribution is crucial to ensuring ROI. After running an initial internal campaign to educate stakeholders on marketing measurement, empowered by data, they focused on ensuring that marketing engagement resulted in revenue for the business. All marketing campaign responses within 12 months of opportunity creation will be measured as total marketing contribution.

Today, marketing contributes 20% of new sales in mature markets for Iron Mountain and, rather than asking ‘WTF?’, sales and leadership understand and believe how marketing drives and measures business impact and are looking to the future. But this isn’t the end of the journey as the marketing department is constantly looking to the future and mapping out the areas in which they want to improve operations.

Finally, we heard how international recruitment firm, Robert Walters, have built a robust MarTech spine at the centre of its operations to tackle the human engagement challenge. Data and integration can be problematic for some organisations, and MarTech tools on their own cannot solve this, but with a successful spine of technology, Robert Walters opened up their long-term data vision to power their operations. For recruiters, data is the lifeblood of the firm, and for marketing the possibilities it can open up can de-risk operations in the wake of GDPR, supply the groundwork for data empowered AI opportunities, and drive digital transformation across the business. The benefits are not just limited to the marketing department!

Thanks to our speakers and all who came along: it was a great event worthy of the spectacular views from the top of the Gherkin. We’ve got plenty more planned for 2019 – we’ll see you at our next event!