Lunchtime Reading, Part 2—Turning your Marketing Data into a Strategic Asset

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This is a continuation of my last post, Lunchtime Reading—4 Steps to Getting Started with a Lead Nurturing System.

SAS’ recently implemented Lead Nurturing System is a calculated means to better serve our prospects and customers, while moving us along a continuum of turning our marketing data into more of a strategic asset.

We determined there are three distinct phases to a leads nurturing system; follow me from bottom to top of this chart:

Phase 1 (Black): Identify, build requirements for, and integrate disparate data from across your organization.

You cannot skip this part of the process! Account for all of the data you will need up front. This will be the longest phase of your project, but trust me, if you avoid the urge to hurry up and just get something running on top of one operational data source, you will be in a more agile position to evolve in the future.

Our CMO, Jim Davis, wrote a great post on the importance of data integration in Customer Intelligence initiatives. Don’t put yourself in a position where you need to circle back on missing data elements or requirements. Circle back on things like, improving customer/prospect communications, analytics, behavior modeling, and process improvements. The point is to be forward thinking and agile.

Phase 2 (Blue): Automation and Insight/Analysis.

After your data is in order, the next thing you need to do is figure out how to work with it. This is where Marketing Automation software comes into the picture. Once here, you should be in official ‘pilot’ phase and using software to automate, track, test, enhance, and report on your inbound and outbound marketing efforts.

Phase 3 (Brown): Optimization and Analytics.

Every B2B marketer should be working toward this stage of marketing maturity. With more and more consumers and business buyers making purchasing decisions online, capturing and understanding online behavior via web analytics is a key component to building and strengthening relationships with future customers. Once you understand all of the offline and online channels in which a customer can interact with your company, you can then perform more advanced analytics on your data and begin optimizing future communications.

Many things have changed in the digital world we live in today, and how we interact with our customers, but at the end of the day, Marketing 101 still applies—It’s all about delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

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About Author

Matthew Fulk

Senior Manager, Database Marketing

Matt Fulk is the Senior Manager of Database Marketing at SAS. He is responsible for driving the marketing automation, lead management, lead nurturing, list optimization, reporting and marketing analytics strategies for all US Marketing. For the past 10 years, Fulk has led the database marketing efforts at SAS. Fulk holds a BA from Purdue University. matthew.fulk@sas.com, and on Twitter: @mattdfulk.

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