Getting Big Data to Actually Work

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Most marketers I talk with today say they are drowning in data. But in reality data they really want sits in disparate systems throughout the organization. Or if their company has invested big money in a traditional data warehouse, the results have fallen short of expectations. This is because traditional data warehouses were never designed to handle the volume, variety and velocity of today’s data-centric applications. So, while most marketers and most companies “talk” about big data they just go on with “business as usual” taking little or no action.

This is not just my opinion. Recently, my UK colleague, Richard Petley, director of PwC Risk and Assurance, conducted a survey of 1,800 senior business leaders in North America and Europe. And only a small percentage reported effective data management practices. 43 percent of companies surveyed “obtain little tangible benefit from their information,” while 23 percent “derive no benefit whatsoever,” according to the study. That means three quarters of organizations surveyed lack the skills and technology to use their data to gain an edge on competitors.

The problem is not access to data. It’s the management of it. What companies really need is the ability to manage large amounts of data in a safe, agile and adaptable fashion. And that means they need a more modern data warehouse.

The overall purpose of a data warehouse is to integrate corporate data from various internal and external sources. Implementing a data warehouse is traditionally a long, costly and risky process. When the solution is ready, it’s often slow, outdated and hard to update as business changes. A modern data warehouse is different – employing new technologies, products, and approaches. Approaches that allow for both speed and agility.

With a modern data warehouse, you only have to query one source to get the data you need. When you add automation to the mix, you can load, clean, integrate, and format the data in record time.

POSSIBLE is a creative agency that brings results-driven digital solutions to some of the world’s most dynamic brands. Every two weeks, analysts faced the herculean task of reporting campaign results based on 10 different data sources, applying 20 different measures on 70+ products delivered by 100+ media partners. They would spend on average 35 hours just processing data before they could begin analysis.

When I spoke to the POSSIBLE team they reported this free demo introduced them to a data warehouse automation tool from TimeXtender. After a surprisingly fast implementation period, the “data munging” performed by POSSIBLE’s analysts has now been reduced 68%. “This has really turned out to be a big win for us. The fact that we can now get actionable data to analysts so much faster allows us to spend more time providing valuable insights to clients,” says Harmony Crawford, Associate Director of Marketing Sciences.

As my colleague Richard Petley likes to say, “Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy.” It can provide insight, inform decisions and deepen relationships, and drive competitive advantage, but only if it’s managed in an agile and adaptable way.

So the next time you find yourself complaining about the problem with big data, stop talking and start researching the modern data warehouse and data warehouse automation.

Storytelling Gone Wild: The Key to Creating Viral Content

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Storytelling Gone Wild: The Key to Creating Viral Content. This webinar featured James Hilliard (@hillyprods) President & Executive Webcast Producer for Hilly Productions, Bree Baich (@BreeBaich) Transmedia Mastermind “The Storyteller“for SAS Institute and Jamie Turner (@AskJamieTurner) CEO of SIXTY. This webinar was sponsored by Citrix GoToWebinar. We discussed how to make your storytelling more viral by connecting with emotion.

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. What is viral content? – Anything that is liked by thousands and shared by millions
  2. Connect with Emotion – This is the key to being memorable and getting that story to go viral!
  3. Know your Audience – everyone loves kittens and puppies but you would never leverage them if your audience was B2B Execs!

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Social Listening: Harness Marketing Insights from Consumer Conversations

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Social Listening: Harness Marketing Insights from Consumer Conversations. This webinar featured Kevin Hack (@kevinhack) head of Social Intelligence in Global Digital Marketing Advancement at The Hershey Company, Kendra Simpson (@Kfoley) Director of Communications at Kohler Company, Drew Neisser (@DrewNeisser) founder and CEO of Renegade and Will McInnes (@willmcinnes) Integrated Marketing Analyst at Union+Webster. This webinar was sponsored by Brandwatch. We discussed tips and tricks for finding and utilizing Social Listening in your organization!

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Customer Centric? – How can you declare that you are customer centric if you don’t do Social Listening!
  2. ROI of Social Listening – what’s the ROI of not listening to your customers – most likely it more than the cost of Social Listening
  3. Social to predict what’s next – more and more social is being used to find opportunities in product development or innovation

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled Storytelling Gone Wild: The Key to Creating Viral Content be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

Omni-Channel Marketing: Creating the Right Mix for Your Brand

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Omni-Channel Marketing: Creating the Right Mix for Your Brand. This webinar featured Martin Jones (@martinjonesaz) Senior Marketing Manager & Social Media at Cox Communications, Jahvita Rastafari (@Jrastafari) Social Media Manager at Act-On and Matt Hannaford (@mhannaford) Integrated Marketing Analyst at Union+Webster. This webinar was sponsored by Act-On. We discussed ideas and tips for cracking the code on Omni-Channel marketing!

Here are three requirements for Omni-Channel from the webinar:

  1. Seamless – Trusted, unified consumer experience across multiple channel, platforms and devices
  2. Convenient – Consumer expectations are fundamentally changing. Convenience is no longer a benefit – it is an expectation
  3. Relevant – Interactions are personalized and tailored to the consumers need, interests, behavior and preferences

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled Social Listening: Harness Marketing Insights from Consumer Conversations be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

The ROI of Influencer Marketing

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of The ROI of Influencer Marketing. This webinar featured Eric T. Tung (@EricTTung) Brand Ambassador for companies like Ford, Microsoft, Verizon and MasterCard, Kathleen Hessert (@KathleenHessert) CEO of Sports Media Challenge and Eric Berkowitz (@tracx) SVP of Global Services at Tracx. This webinar was sponsored by Tracx. We discussed ideas and tips from finding influencers for your brand to calculating ROI on your program.

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Not all influencers are created equal – Brands should look beyond social metrics into psychographics and contextual intelligence to determine the ideal candidates
  2. Bigger doesn’t mean better – A large following or readership does not inherently make a person influential
  3. The ROI of Influence – True influence drives action, not just awareness

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled Omni-Channel Marketing: Creating the Right Mix for Your Brand be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

How Does Social Listening Change the Way You Do Business (and Create ROI)?

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of How Does Social Listening Change the Way You Do Business (and Create ROI)? This webinar featured Mikael Lemberg (@Lemberg) Director of Product Management at Falcon Social, Andrew Ashton (@AndrewLAshton) Digital Marketing Specialist, Pizza Hut and Greg Gerik (@ggerik) CEO at Gerik & Company. We discussed a ton of ideas on how to capture ROI or create impact using social media!

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. The longer it takes you to collect your social media data, the less it will be worth to you
  2. Don’t just listen to social media for listening sake, listen to social media with purpose!
  3. Can’t get to ROI? Then at least be thinking strategically and always be looking for how you can use social data to show impact

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled The ROI of Influencer Marketing; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

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2016 Marketing Predictions from 10 Top Influencers

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The year 2016 is gearing up to be a game-changer in the realm of marketing and across several categories, and if one wants to survive in this ever-evolving landscape, it’s vital to take a close look at what’s coming. From content promotion experimentation by content marketers of all kinds to video ads driving engagement, personalization, relevancy and more, there are a number of marketing “influencers” – the “movers and shakers” of this industry – that have made their predictions regarding the burgeoning world of marketing communications and what they feel should be focused on in 2016.

We queried several of these marketing influences for their thoughts and predictions on the direction of marketing in 2016. Their responses concentrated on ve important perspectives:

    • Content Continues to Evolve
    • Focus on Personalization
    • Gathering Good Data is More Important Than Ever
    • Knowing Your Audience is Key
    • Look Outside the Marketing Box

Take a closer look at each one here 2016-predictions-from-10-top-influencers

From Community to Commerce: Making the ROI Connection

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This week I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of From Community to Commerce: Making the ROI Connection. This webinar featured Meagan Fish (@iRobot) Global Social Media Manager, iRobot, Andrew Ashton (@@AndrewLAshton) Digital Marketing Specialist, Pizza Hut and Jordan Slabaugh (@jordanv) Vice President of Marketing, Wayin. We discussed a ton of ideas on how to capture ROI in social media!

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Social Media has gone mainstream ow so you should be measuring social media in the same way that you measure any other marketing investment
  2. Match your CRM data with social data to start building out a clearer picture of your audience and be more relevant to them
  3. There is no ROI in social without the “I” – so that means you have to make in investment to get in ROI

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled Making the Case for Employee Advocacy At Your Firm; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.

 

Interview with Gregg Thaler from RingLead

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Here is a recent interview with my new friend, Gregg Thaler, is a self-professed data quality junkie and the Chief Revenue Officer of RingLead. We discussed some best practices in data. I hope you enjoy!

PD:     How often is poor data the downfall of a marketing campaign?

GT:     Well, if I said every time, that would be a bit of hyperbole, but only a bit. Typically what I find with lists – especially trade show lists – is that they are the Typhoid Mary of duplicate creation in your database. Very often if you think about trade shows, who attends your booth? Many times it’s your customers or existing prospects. And booth staff will scan them indiscriminately. If you import that list without taking preventative measures, then it creates a duplicates horror show.

So, there’s another category of bad lists and those are the lists that are purchased from vendors. And there’s a very fundamental reason why lists purchased from data vendors have data quality challenges. The challenge with contact data is that it ages like fish and not like fine wine. It gets worse as it gets older, not better. Data is foundational. CRM and marketing automation are merely vessels, it is the data they contain that is the true treasure. It’s the single most critical element when it comes to determining revenue success of failure. Everything else you do further down the order of operations, its’ outcome depends completely on the input. What do you get from an automated process when you put garbage in? Garbage out.

 

PD:     What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you see B2B marketers making when it comes to data?

GT:     Well, the mistake that I’m going to describe isn’t really limited to marketers. If you want to really truly recognize the strategic benefits of having optimized data, you have to have a mindset to prevent errors at the source. There’s a simple reason for that. Generally speaking, whatever the cost is in the enterprise to get the data right at the point of creation it’s going to cost you ten times that later to fix it. But then, of course, if you do nothing, the damage caused by inferior data could be much worse, 100x worse is possible.

So often marketers come to us, and their hair is on fire they’ve got to dedupe their database right now. Yes, they’re right. You do have to remediate the situation since almost every single contact database is riddled with duplicate and non-standard data. Often, however, I hear brilliant marketers say something incredibly dumb, they’ll say “…we’ll worry about the prevention later.” Are you kidding me?

 

PD:     Who ultimately owns the data? It is really sales who owns it, or is it really marketing?

GT:     That’s a terrific question. Where should data governance reside? Who is the data steward? Traditionally it has been IT. Increasingly we are seeing the data steward role reside in marketing and sales which is where I rightly believe it should belong. Now, what we see in the market, most often the actual people who perform these data janitor-like tasks, are usually in marketing operations, followed very closely by their colleagues in sales ops. Really the best practice is, I believe that organizations should have a data quality center of excellence typically reporting into sales and marketing operations. Even if the COE is one person.

 

PD:     Let’s talk about the best way to boost productivity in marketing.

GT:     This has, of late, become a favorite topic of mine. I think it’s something that’s very under-focused on as it relates to peak performance not just for marketers, but throughout the organization. What I’m talking about is first the batch normalization of an org’s data and then the automated enforcement of data standards with technology.

I spoke to two very well-known technology companies. I asked them “how many technologies do you have in your marketing stack?” One responded 35 and another said 22. When you think about the performance efficiencies of all of those applications operating on, what for most people, is a completely non-standard set of data. That contributes to very poor application performance which would then translate into poor performance across the entire marketing stack. It’s a silent killer of revenue and application performance. People probably aren’t aware of how well those applications could perform on a standardized data set. They’ve never seen one. In the benchmarking we’ve done, we’ve seen eye-popping performance gains of up to 600% in duplicate detection in a standardized vs. non-standardized data set. Compound that kind of application performance improvement across the 35 apps that modify that data set and the gains in application performance can be off the charts.

I am completely convinced that data standardization is the single most impactful action, a unique foundation-level enabler that marketers and sales professionals can take to optimize their data for revenue performance and their applications for speed, accuracy and efficient operation.

Leading Companies for Customer Service, On and Off Social

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Recently I moderated another Social Media Today webinar as part of their Best Thinker webinar series, this time on the topic of Leading Companies for Customer Service, On and Off Social. This webinar featured Jason Kapler (@jasonkapler) Vice President of Marketing at LiveWorld, Dan Gingiss (@dgingiss) Head of Digital Customer Experience and Social for Discover Card and Kristina Libby (@KristinaLibby) Head of Consumer Communications at Microsoft. We discussed a ton of ideas on how customer services on and off of social need to scale.

Here are three key takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Customer Service on Social needs to Scale – with all the tools out there is pretty easy to get started in customer service via social media the real trick is knowing how to scale a program to include a tool that can do routing and tracking so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.
  2. Social customer service won’t fix a bad customer service program – while social customer service sounds great if your underlying program for customer service isn’t great – social won’t fix that. Focus on the core program and get that right before scaling to social media.
  3. Reporting success of your customer service program – be sure to frame your results in a way that is meaningful to the business and not just focused on how you won over a unhappy client.

To get a copy of the slides or to listen to the replay, please click here. You can also scan the highlights of this webinar on Twitter by reading the Storify below.

Our next webinar is titled How Social Data Powers Customer Experience; be sure to sign up for it or view the schedule of other upcoming webinars here.