Data Touches Everything at the Marketo User Summit #MKTGNATION14

I’m almost done with the first day here at the Marketo Marketing Nation Summit, and I have noticed a trend, and it centers on data. Be it big data or customer data, behavioral data or firmographic data, people are talking about it — and for good reason. Data touches everything that we do as marketers, especially now as the marketing technology stack has grown so large, so quickly and we have more data than we know what to do with.

Summit-logo-2014The first session I attended was called Marketo & Salesforce: Helpful Audits, Alerts, & Workflow for Rapidly Growing Companies and featured our newest team member Jenny Robertson sharing her experiences from Navicure, building out both Marketo and SFDC workflows and rules to help solve some very common data quality issues. An interesting problem that most B2Bs likely have (but do not think about) is the state of the marketing database when you are doing bi-directional synchronization with your CRM system. If the CRM system is designated as the system of record, and changes to data are dictated by the CRM, then human error can have a small but significant impact on data quality.

Jenny shared some interesting workflow and data validation scenarios that were laser-focused on addressing the data relationship between records in CRM and Marketo. If, for example, salespeople are making changes that they shouldn’t, then the prospects and customers that are actively engaged with your brand might suddenly be excluded from the programs you want them to interact with. Typos, spelling errors and honest mistakes aside, there could also be situations where a salesperson marks a prospect as unsubscribed or removes them from a program that (unknowingly) impacts other ones that shouldn’t have been adjusted.

The second session was Real-Time Personalization 101, sharing some interesting and exciting scenarios demonstrating the impact of moving personalization beyond the inbox. Leveraging the expertise of recently acquired Insightera and applying it to native landing pages (as well as pages built and hosted in the most common content management systems), Marketo has creating an exciting opportunity to:

1) Engage more of the prospects that are likely to buy

2) Compel them to convert earlier in the buying cycle

3) Accelerate engaged buyers through their journey by serving them better

It comes back to data, however — the elephant in the room for personalization. You can only personalize based on what you know, and if what you know is wrong then it hurts you.

The third session I attended today was Turbo-Charge Your Lead Engine with Predictive Lead Scoring. Brian Kardon, CMO of Marketo Summit sponsor Lattice Engines illustrated the differences between innovative industry leaders and declining past giants. What has driven rise of Amazon? Netflix? It is, of course, data. They know a lot about you, what you like, and what you might need. Then they show it to you.

Leveraging the data you have collected about your prospects in your own disparate systems, merging it and combining it with other publicly available (and relevant) information about the accounts that you want to sell to, and then using it to predict which ones might actually be in a buying cycle is the key to predictive lead scoring.

Sounds data-driven to me.

Poor data quality is, quite possibly, the single most disruptive influence on Demand Generation program performance, brand reputation and accurate performance measurement. It’s not surprising that data was the driving force behind so many of the sessions I attended this morning. It was likely the theme of many other sessions at the summit, because marketing’s job doesn’t stop when a name is captured.

The marketing database is the foundation of all the strategic Demand Generation initiatives, aimed at those individuals that have been identified as being likely to buy from you. The time, resources and money necessary to grow a B2B marketing database can be staggering. Which is why it is shocking how it is so routinely allowed to degrade over time. Natural contact attrition, poor data standards at the point of collection, neglect with regard to unsubscribe and email maintenance, and user-entered errors all contribute to the decline. This is a shame because the evolution of the marketing technology stack is creating opportunities to leverage that data in some really exciting ways.

Author: Jason Stewart @jstewart_1 VP Demand Generation, ANNUITAS

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