Digital Transformation: What it is and Why It Matters

Digital Transformation: What it is and Why It Matters

Digital technologies play an ever-increasing role in our daily lives. Companies must follow suite to provide consumers with the digitally-connected experiences they expect. Digital transformation takes commitment but it is no longer an option for brands who want to stay competitive.  Consumers will simply turn away from companies that aren’t keeping pace in favor of a brand that can provide a connected experience across digital channels.

More brands are renewing their commitment to digital strategies.  According to Forrester, “A Digital Strategy allows you to understand the who, what, when and where of listening and responding to consumers, bridging brand experiences, iterating offerings, and collecting and activating consumer relationships in order to accomplish an actionable and measurable objective.�

Digital Transformation Objectives

Through investments in technology, the essence of digital strategy is about enhancing your customers experience and increasing your organization’s competitive advantage. According to a survey conducted by Altimeter, 54% of time digital transformation is led by a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), 42% by CEO, 29% by CIO/CTO and 20% by others (including CDO).

Based on the research, survey respondents rated the following as Very Important:


80% – Improving process that expedite changes to digital properties such as website updates, new social platforms and new mobile platforms.
71% ...


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How to Use Data to Fuel More Conversions

How to Use Data to Fuel More Conversions

People are living their lives online more so than ever before.  From shopping, researching, dating, socializing, reading news, and staying connected to the world around them, online interconnectivity is now the new norm.  With so much activity taking place in the digital sphere, the goal of every ecommerce site is to capitalize on opportunities and convert online shoppers.  However, what many fail to realize is that consumers don’t always head to an ecommerce site to purchase.  It may be the end goal, but the first time they visit, they are browsing, researching, and comparing prices. In fact, according to recent research by Episerver, ninety-two percent of consumers visit a brand’s website for the first time to do something other than make a purchase.

Other key findings from the report include:


Even when visiting a brand’s website or mobile app with the intent of purchasing, a third (32 percent) of consumers rarely or never make a purchase.
Online shoppers list desktop computer(s) as their outright digital channel of choice, followed by smartphone(s) and tablet(s).
Two-thirds of shoppers expect to make more online purchases in 2017 than they did in 2016. This will be more pronounced among shoppers who purchase every time they visit a brand’s website ...


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Data-Driven Marketing 2017: 80% of Marketers Agree that Data is More Critical Than Ever

Data-Driven Marketing 2017: 80% of Marketers Agree that Data is More Critical Than Ever

Data is an integral component to any successful marketing or advertising strategy.  Once a novel concept, data-driven marketing is now essential for establishing meaningful connections and personalized experiences with today’s consumers.

In research by the Winterberry Group in partnership with the Global Direct Marketing Association (GDMA), almost 80% of respondents said that they see customer data as critical to their marketing and advertising assets. More than half (53.4 percent) increased their year-on-year spend on data-driven marketing and advertising in 2016.

Additional findings from the report include:


Almost 90% maintain databases to host information on customers and prospects to improve how they manage and use data
88% are actively segmenting information to better target and engage customers for activities and offers
64% of respondents are purchasing third-party data to support targeted marketing campaigns


Marketers are also spending more on data strategies. In another report conducted in 2016 by Winterberry in conjunction with the DMA, over 40% of respondents in the survey said they expected their use of data-driven marketing to “increase somewhat� or “increase significantly� in Q4 2016. More than 40% of executives also said that they expected their Q4 2016 revenues generated by data-driven marketing efforts to “increase significantly� or “increase somewhat.�



How Reliable is Your Data?

While ...


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The State of Social Media Marketing – Key Trends, Strategies, and Statistics to Power Your Marketing

The State of Social Media Marketing – Key Trends, Strategies, and Statistics to Power Your Marketing

Social media has reshaped our daily lives – how we socialize, shop, stay informed, work, research, and spend our leisure time. The number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020, which is approximately around a third of the Earth’s entire population. As of 2016, 78% of the United States population had a social networking profile.

Businesses are now fully on board with using social channels in their marketing strategies. Nine out of 10 U.S. companies are active on social networks, with the same percentage reporting increased brand exposure. More than half of businesses report an increase in sales due to their social media outreach.  



Companies Are Increasing Their Social Media Budgets

According to the Advertiser Perceptions' first Social Media Advertising Report, recently published by Media Post, 24% of major advertisers’ digital ad budgets now go toward social media. 47% of advertisers intend on increasing that figure over the next six months. While 38% are using social media in an attempt to generate sales with many marketers instead using it to boost brand recognition.

In another report by Strongview and Selligent, the estimates were even higher for channels in which marketers plan to increase spend.  56.3% of respondents reported that they would ...


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Data-Driven Strategies to Optimize You Customer Experiences and Increase Conversions

Data-Driven Strategies to Optimize You Customer Experiences and Increase Conversions

Data-driven marketing, once a novel concept, has become the critical foundation for marketing success. Marketers no longer have the luxury of viewing data as an extra ingredient to integrate into marketing strategies.  Data is now the fuel that drives the entire marketing engine. Data tells us who our best customers and prospects are, what messaging they will be most apt to respond to, who is indicating in-market purchase intent, which channels they prefer, and overall, how to drive conversions and increase revenue.

In a recent survey by Econsultancy and Adobe, marketers indicated their top goals for using data in marketing. According to the research, the top three goals among company respondents included:


Better customer experiences – 38%
Identifying new audiences & customers – 37%
Retaining and upselling existing customers – 37%




However, many marketers continue to be challenged in achieving a single customer view in order to meet these objectives.  Data must be integrated, cleansed, and enhanced in order to fully understand a customer’s behaviors and in turn, personalize customer experiences to increase conversion rates. Of those surveyed, only 20% of company marketers surveyed said that they have created an actionable single customer view. According to the research:

Among those who have achieved a single customer ...


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Three Ways to Successfully Manage Your Marketing Data

Three Ways to Successfully Manage Your Marketing Data

Data is at the center of today’s marketing strategies –essential to driving the right connections with the right people and across the right channels. With the fluidity of data moving in and out of channel systems and consumers interacting with brands through any number of touchpoints, data is constantly changing. Marketers must be extra diligent to proactively manage customer and prospect data to maintain the integrity of such a valuable business asset.

Research firm Ascend2 recently conducted a survey examining the state of marketing data management. 

Study findings included:

Measuring ROI to attribute sales resulting from the marketing data management investment is a top priority. Improving the quality and accessibility of marketing data are also top goals.



Companies fail or thrive based in large part on the quality of their business decisions. Making more accurate decisions is the most valuable benefit of using marketing data for 54% of companies.



Poor access to marketing data will limit its use. And if the marketing data is of poor quality, it will have limited usefulness. Combined, these are the most significant barriers to success.



Tactically, the most effective use of marketing data is for campaign targeting. Getting the right message to the right person at the right time requires ...


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5 Ways to Use Geo-Location Data to Transform Your Retail Marketing Strategy

5 Ways to Use Geo-Location Data to Transform Your Retail Marketing Strategy

Mobile has completely transformed the retail landscape. According to Pew’s October 2015 research, 68% of Americans have smartphones and 45% have tablet computers.  Mobile ownership is growing at record speeds, giving retailers unprecedented opportunities to target consumers by their geolocation data. The ability for mobile devices to track and report a person’s location in real time with a reliable degree of accuracy continues to evolve as new technologies continue to revolutionize the mobile landscape.

Here’s a look at 5 ways retailers to boost customer acquisition and retention by tapping into a consumer’s geolocation data.

Location-Based Marketing

Beacon technology allows brands to pinpoint where a customer is at any given moment, and then send them push notifications with coupons, promotions or other targeted offers. The use of beacons is further transforming the shift to mobile commerce by providing immediate relevancy and value to customers. For example, a clothing retailer store may send a promotion to a consumer near their location or while the individual is visiting a competitor.

A study conducted by beacon platform Swirl found that 73 percent of shoppers who received a beacon-triggered message on their smartphone said it increased their likelihood of making a purchase during a store visit, while 61 percent said the message ...


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How Retailers Can Use Right Time Marketing

How Retailers Can Use Right Time Marketing

With consumers more connected than ever, retailers must constantly shift strategies to keep up with consumer’s ever changing needs and preferences. Mobile seems to be the holy grail of marketing this year, social is more imperative than ever, and multi-channel and omni-channel strategies are expected of every retailer who wants to keep up with today’s consumers.

Just as notable, where real-time and instantaneous messaging were once considered to be the answer to every marketing situation, retailers must now strive to take personalization a step further and implement strategies to market to a consumer at the RIGHT time with the right message and through the right channels – which is the concept behind Right Time Marketing. So while you may not have a crystal ball to always determine the best strategy for each customer and prospect that interacts with your brand, the right blend of marketing data, technology and analytical solutions can get you close to just the right answers.

What is Right Time Marketing?

Right Time Marketing is about identifying the right audience (those who are in-market and most likely to convert) and using marketing data and technology processes to drive optimally timed contact for the best ROI. Right Time Marketing begins with ...


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Digital Transformation – the Key to Customer Loyalty in the Insurance Industry

Digital Transformation – the Key to Customer Loyalty in the Insurance Industry

According to consumers, insurers are not keeping up with their expectations - and customers are not sticking around long enough to give them the opportunity to prove otherwise. Those in the insurance industry are well aware of the poor rankings in customer experience satisfaction scores and know that customer loyalty is at an all-time low.

Customer churn due to declining loyalty and poor customer experiences represents as much as $470 billion in life and P&C premiums globally. This is according to Accenture’s 2015 Global Consumer Pulse Research which analyzed responses from more than 13,000 P&C and life insurance customers in 33 countries. Other notable findings indicated that only 29% of insurance customers are satisfied with their current provider and that fewer than one in six respondents (16%) said that they would definitely buy more products from their current insurance provider.

What Are Insurance Customers Looking For?

Like most industries today, a good digital experience rates is appreciated by insurance customers. In the Accenture report, consumers rated digital and cross-channel engagement as being very important and an area in which they seek improvement from insurers. Nearly half (47%) of the survey’s respondents said they want more online interactions with their insurers. In the past ...


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How Poor Data Prevents Retailers to Deliver Omni-Channel Experiences

How Poor Data Prevents Retailers to Deliver Omni-Channel Experiences

In the digital era where consumers are just as likely to purchase online as in a brick-and-mortar location, delivering a seamless channel experience has become the new competitive imperative. Retailers are ramping up their investments in omnichannel and multichannel strategies to deliver exceptional experiences, wherever and whenever today’s consumers choose to interact with brands.

What is Omni-Channel Retail?

Omnichannel is an approach to marketing and retail that utilizes multiple communication channels to reach customers. The key is that all platforms need to be aware of the other to facilitate a seamless experience. The customer is the focus, and they need to be able to switch between channels quickly and efficiently, getting the same information and experience wherever they go. Unlike multi-channel marketing approaches, each channel in an omni-channel strategy intuitively knows how a customer interacted with another channel, which is used to help guide and continue the customer experience.

As new technologies emerge and more consumers demand it, it is becoming increasingly important for retailers to extend the brick-and-mortar experience to their online channels. Having a presence online and offline has practically become a requirement for some shoppers to even consider buying or using your product. In fact, Forrester Research projects that online retail sales ...


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The Data-Driven Advantage for the Insurance Industry

The Data-Driven Advantage for the Insurance Industry

Advancements in technologies, bigger data sets and predictive analytics have changed the game for the insurance industry. For those who want to compete, data-driven marketing approaches must drive every customer engagement strategy.

According to research by Applied systems, insurers understand the huge advantage data and technology bring to the table with 50% of insurance executives prioritizing technology investments to capture new client insights over the next 3 years. IDC analyst Tomasz Sloniewski said it best with his statement, “Information is money. The ability to extract the right information at the right time holds an immense value and should be the goal of every executive, manager and employee.”

Analyzing customer data allows insurers to gain new insights into how to better serve clients and attract new ones. These enhanced data-driven insights result in increased revenue and policy retention and ultimately more profitable client relationships. According to McKinsey & Company, companies that use data analytics extensively are more than twice as likely to generate above average profits.

"Analyzing customer data allows insurers to gain new insights into how to better serve and attract clients."

While few insurers lack some kind of analytical capabilities, many are still challenged to make the transition into becoming a data-driven enterprise. ...


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A Marketer’s Guide to Using Data

A Marketer’s Guide to Using Data

Data is one of the most important assets in the marketing mix. Data-driven marketing delivers results in terms of customer loyalty, customer engagement and market growth.  According to a report by Forbes Insights and Turn, Data Driven and Digitally Savvy: The Rise of the New Marketing Organization, “Organizations that are ‘leaders’ in data-driven marketing report far higher levels of customer engagement and market growth than their ‘laggard’ counterparts. In fact, leaders are three times more likely than laggards to say they have achieved competitive advantage in customer engagement/loyalty (74% vs. 24%) and almost three times more likely to have increased revenues (55% vs. 20%).”

The Three Types of Data

You may have heard the terms 1st party, 2nd part and 3rd party data. If you aren’t entirely familiar with what each type of data entails, here’s a brief overview.

1st Party Data

This is data you have captured based on the actions someone makes when interacting with your business. For example, this may be data collected when a user fills out a form on your website (i.e. name, address, phone number); it could be purchases and other transactions, both offline and online, that  your customers make (i.e. what types of products or services they ...


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Let Your Data Guide Your Marketing – 5 Ways to Transform Your Business with Better Data

Let Your Data Guide Your Marketing – 5 Ways to Transform Your Business with Better Data

Marketing data lies at the foundation of every successful marketing strategy. Data tells us who are best customers and prospects are, how to target them with the right offers and through the right channels, which messages will drive the most conversions, how to improve customer retention, and numerous other marketing initiatives. With the right mix of data, you can ensure that you are delivering the most optimal results for your business.

In order to create the perfect marketing strategy, you first need to fully understand who your customers and prospects are. This type of insight needs to go beyond data such as name, address, phone and email. Consumers expect you to know who they are, what they want, which channels they like to shop through, and the best time to communicate with them. This type of insight can only be achieved by utilizing your internal 1st party data and combining it with rich 3rd party data sets, both offline and online.

Here’s a look at 5 ways you can transform your business with better marketing data.

Pay Attention to Data Quality

Marketers talk about the importance of good data, but in reality, records often contain incomplete or wrong data. Records may be missing basic ...


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What is Poor Data Quality Costing You?

What is Poor Data Quality Costing You?

Your data is a valuable asset. Especially in today’s world of faster consumers, your data needs to be in tip-top shape to target, engage and convert prospects. If not properly maintained, you risk any number of lost opportunities, decreased efficiency, and a negative impact to your bottom line.

Marketing data has become so important that 97% of companies feel driven to turn their data into insights, according to the 2015 Data Quality Benchmark report by Experian. According to the research, the top three drivers include:


53% - Wanting to understand customer needs
51% - Wanting to find new customers
49% - Wanting to increase the value of each customer




Companies are clearly motivated by the opportunities that data represents – especially as it relates to improving interactions with customers and prospects. We have all heard that today’s consumers are more informed and have more choices than ever. Data has become the crucial driver when it comes to acquisition, retention, identifying cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and improving customer experiences. However, the correct insights to accomplish these goals can only be derived if the underlying data is accurate.

Although companies understand the need for high-quality data, 92% of organizations believe their customer and prospect data is inaccurate in some ...


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How Data-Driven Marketing Will Chang Your Business

How Data-Driven Marketing Will Chang Your Business




Almost two-thirds of senior marketers strongly agree that data-driven marketing is crucial to success within a hyper-competitive global economy, according to a study released by Forbes Insights in association with Turn. The right data forms the foundation for strategies such as lead generation, customer acquisition and retention, up-sell and cross-sell, customer experiences, and more.  However, while many marketers are still trying to grapple with the marketing data they already have, along comes bigger and faster and real-time data and new obstacles to overcome.

According to the “Data-Driven Marketing Benchmarks for Success” report by Ascend2 and ZoomInfo, only a minority of professionals have been able to achieve a “very successful” level of success with data-driven marketing.



According to the study, the most important objectives when it comes to data-driven marketing is to be able to personalize the customer experience. Survey respondents also stated the importance of being able to measure data-driven marketing ROI and target individual marketing segments as high priorities.



However, data-driven success is dependent on having high quality, integrated data. Sixty-four percent of the “very successful” say that improving data quality is the most challenging obstacle, and integrating data is the second biggest challenge for 49% of respondents.



When it comes to the ...


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How to Personalize the Retail Experience with Data

How to Personalize the Retail Experience with Data

Leading retailers have made great strides in becoming omnichannel, multichannel marketing experts. Reaching consumers across multiple channels, having a strong digital presence, engaging on social platforms, and embracing mobile continue to be key themes in targeting today’s shopper. However, being present across a myriad of channels is no longer enough to entice consumers who expect more from brands. Consumers want and demand personalized communications if they are to give up their hard-earned dollars.

Consumers expect retailers to know their preferences and interests. A recent Infosys survey reported that 78% of consumers are more likely to be a repeat customer if a retailer provides them with targeted, personalized offers. And if a consumer does not receive a personalized experience, the CMO Council reported that more than half of consumers will end their loyalties to retailers who do not give tailored, relevant offers. Consumers are also willing to pay more when retailers deliver. According to a RightNow Customer Impact Report, 86% of consumers will pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience.

Driving this level of personalization requires data – and lots of it. Retailers must understand who their customers and prospects are beyond just name and email address. What do they ...


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The Power of Third-Party Data

The Power of Third-Party Data

The first thing to sort out when considering a data strategy is what types of data you have, what types you need, and how you can use both. The two main segments of data are first-party and third-party.

First-party is the foundation of your marketing strategy. This is the internal data that is collected about your customers from customer-facing systems, such as websites, email, mobile applications, and other first-party channels. When a customer enters his or her contact information into a web form and clicks 'submit' that information automatically becomes a part of your first-party data. It’s the most valuable because it’s the only data that’s free of cost, and since it’s provided voluntarily by the individual it makes it the safest data also. But, while very important, first-party data is only truly powerful when it’s combined with its data cousin: third-party data.

Third-Party Data to Append

Third-party is external data available for purchase by data providers who source and aggregate the data into applicable sets that can be applied to your first party data bases. This data is integral to deploying targeted marketing campaigns, because they provide hundreds of data elements that no consumer would fill out in a single form. With ...


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Data Quality and Integration Key to the Customer Experience

Data Quality and Integration Key to the Customer Experience

Customer experience has been and will continue to be top of mind for marketers these days. And for good reason. Positive experiences generate more revenue, brand loyalty, and repeat purchases. On the other hand, a poor experience can have extremely negative ramifications, damaging brand reputation and causing customers to quickly flock to the competition.  

Econsultancy and Ensighten surveyed more than 600 companies worldwide, finding that “Nearly all (96 percent) surveyed companies deem customer experience optimization important, with more than two in five companies (41 percent) claiming that this is now a high priority for their organization.”

The top 3 benefits of a superior customer experience included:


Higher engagement and  conversion rates
Better brand perception and loyalty
Renewal, cross-sell and upsell




According to a study released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU):

“Overall, 71% of respondents said their typical response to a bad experience is to stop doing business with the company. A slight majority (55%) typically tell friends and family about it in person or by email, while 42% said they complain to the company and 26% post a comment on social media.

Meanwhile, consumers typically respond to an outstanding experience by making a mental note to buy from the company again (69%), telling friends and family (51%) ...


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The Shift from Real-Time to Right Time Marketing – How to Drive Real-Time Connections with Today’s Consumers

The Shift from Real-Time to Right Time Marketing – How to Drive Real-Time Connections with Today’s Consumers

The definition of real-time marketing is evolving. The buzz around Big Data and the age of the “multi-channel, empowered consumer” has made marketers believe that a real-time and instantaneous interaction with consumers is the answer to all marketing situations. Yes, real-time is important, but there has been a subtle shift from a purely real-time mode of thought to that of Right Time Marketing.

Right Time Marketing is a sophisticated way to boost customer acquisition and retention, provide seamless customer experiences, and create revenue lift by understanding a customer’s characteristics, channel preferences and in-market purchase signals. Right Time Marketing is built on a foundation of rich customer data and taking the massive opportunity that marketing data presents and getting it right.



The 4 R’s of Right Time Marketing

Right Time Marketing matches offline and online data sets to drive right real-time connections with today’s consumers. Traditional marketing discusses the 4 P’s – Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Big Data is based on the 4 V’s – Volume, Variety, Velocity, and Veracity. And Right Time Marketing has evolved to embrace the 4 R’s –Right Person, Right Channel, Right Moment and Right Answer.


The Right Person: Identifying the right person through a combination of internal customer and ...


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How to Drive 5 Times More Revenue with Data-Driven Content

How to Drive 5 Times More Revenue with Data-Driven Content

Data-driven content marketing strategies generates five times more marketing revenue than standard content marketing strategies, according to new research by Aberdeen Group. Those companies driving the most revenue have a focused strategy, aligning content to their target personas across the entire buyer’s journey.

As content marketers, we strive to not only create really great content, but content that will appeal to the right people at the right time and through the right channels. Because today’s consumers are doing more research across channels before they make a purchase decision, content is key to targeting prospective customers and convincing them that your brand is one to consider.


The average buyer guides themselves through 60% to 90% of the traditional sales funnel before ever contacting a brand or salesperson (Forrester).
81% of shoppers research online before setting foot in a store (GE Capital Retail Bank).
Consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before a major purchase (GE Capital Retail Bank).


And when content is targeted and customized to unique buyer personas, consumers pay attention and are more likely to purchase as indicated in the Aberdeen study.


82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content. (Demand Metric)
90% of consumers find custom content useful. (Demand Metric)
61% of consumers say ...


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How to Enhance Your Web Forms With Real-Time Data

How to Enhance Your Web Forms With Real-Time Data

As an online marketer you collect as much information as your website visitors are willing to give you via online forms. But what happens if your visitors won’t provide what you are asking for, or worse, they provide inaccurate information? How does that affect your interactions with them?

People will share information via web forms, but the more you ask for, the less likely they are to fill it out. Unfortunately people intentionally or inadvertently provide inaccurate information.

Organizations experience data errors when information is manually entered, at a rate of 2% and 8%. In one example, news was made when 17,000 men appeared to be pregnant. Due to incorrectly entered medical codes at British hospitals, thousands of men apparently required obstetric and prenatal exams. These seemingly simple errors caused disastrous results in billing, claims, and regulatory compliance. Even one wrong number entered incorrectly can cause a payment to fail, a wrong part number to be shipped, or apparently a man to become pregnant.

According to research by Experian, human error is reported to be the biggest cause for data inaccuracy.



So, how can you overcome this situation and correct errors or obtain additional information? The answer lies in real-time data validation web services. Take a look ...


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Why 96% of Companies Fail With Marketing Data Insights

Why 96% of Companies Fail With Marketing Data Insights




At a time in our history when there is more data than ever before, the overwhelming majority of companies have yet to see the full potential of better data insights. PwC and Iron Mountain recently released a survey on how well companies are gaining value from information. The results showed a huge disconnect in the information that is available to companies and the actual insights being derived from it.

According to survey findings:


Only 4% of businesses can extract full value from the information they hold
43% obtain very little benefit from their data
23% derive no benefit whatsoever
22% don’t apply any type of data analytics to the information they have


The potential of utilizing data can equate intro very big wins and even greater revenue. Take a look at this statistic based on research by McKinsey:



A 15-20% increase is huge! So why aren’t companies taking advantage of this and implementing the necessary solutions to derive value from information?

A Marketing Analytics Report from the Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn conducted a study to determine what the biggest challenges were to turn their data into usable insights. The study revealed that the biggest problems centered around a lack of systems integration, poor data quality, and the ...


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How Big Data Drives Digital Marketing Success

How Big Data Drives Digital Marketing Success

It’s the age of digital and we are all wired in. Smart phones, tablets, hundreds of television channels, thousands of apps, social media, and online shopping are part of our everyday culture.

Before the digital revolution, in the not so distant past, marketers focused on creating compelling ads for the Sunday circulars, producing television commercials, and perhaps come up with some killer creative for a billboard or two. The job of the marketer has quickly evolved to keep up with technology and marketers are now crunching statistics, targeting individuals versus the masses, and trying to navigate through thousands of channels to reach their target audience.

While this sounds more than a little overwhelming, the digital revolution has produced tons of data, and from this data-driven marketers are gaining better insights and more clarity into today’s consumers than ever before.

Top Uses for Big Data in Digital Marketing

According to a recent survey by 2nd Watch, 86% of survey respondents said their organization is either using or planning to use Big Data to support their digital marketing efforts. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of those using big data to support digital marketing said their efforts have either been “quite” or “extremely” effective, and 83% said it’s likely that ...


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How Big Data Drives Digital Marketing Success

How Big Data Drives Digital Marketing Success

It’s the age of digital and we are all wired in. Smart phones, tablets, hundreds of television channels, thousands of apps, social media, and online shopping are part of our everyday culture.

Before the digital revolution, in the not so distant past, marketers focused on creating compelling ads for the Sunday circulars, producing television commercials, and perhaps come up with some killer creative for a billboard or two. The job of the marketer has quickly evolved to keep up with technology and marketers are now crunching statistics, targeting individuals versus the masses, and trying to navigate through thousands of channels to reach their target audience.

While this sounds more than a little overwhelming, the digital revolution has produced tons of data, and from this data-driven marketers are gaining better insights and more clarity into today’s consumers than ever before.

Top Uses for Big Data in Digital Marketing

According to a recent survey by 2nd Watch, 86% of survey respondents said their organization is either using or planning to use Big Data to support their digital marketing efforts. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of those using big data to support digital marketing said their efforts have either been “quite” or “extremely” effective, and 83% said it’s likely that ...


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How to Retain Your Existing Customers with the Right Data

How to Retain Your Existing Customers with the Right Data

Customer acquisition strategies get huge attention – after all, new customers are the lifeblood of any business. However, you have probably heard the stats before -  it costs six to seven times more for an organization to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. So while you should never lose focus on acquiring new customers, don’t forget about the ones you currently have.

According to Bain & Company, just a slight increase of 5% in customer retention can result in a profit increase of 25% to 95%, and Gartner reports an increase of up to 125%. Now these are numbers worth paying attention to!



To Retain Your Existing Customers, You Need to Know Them

This goes without saying, but although many marketers understand this in theory, gaining that elusive 360-degree customer view can be somewhat elusive. Time and time again I hear from companies, “I have all this customer data, I just don’t know what to do with it!” The first step is to tackle this problem head-on by getting your data in order.

You may have any number of data sources sitting in spreadsheets, billing systems, customer service centers, email programs, and so on. One spreadsheet may contain names and ...


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How to Retain Your Existing Customers with the Right Data

How to Retain Your Existing Customers with the Right Data

Customer acquisition strategies get huge attention – after all, new customers are the lifeblood of any business. However, you have probably heard the stats before -  it costs six to seven times more for an organization to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. So while you should never lose focus on acquiring new customers, don’t forget about the ones you currently have.

According to Bain & Company, just a slight increase of 5% in customer retention can result in a profit increase of 25% to 95%, and Gartner reports an increase of up to 125%. Now these are numbers worth paying attention to!



To Retain Your Existing Customers, You Need to Know Them

This goes without saying, but although many marketers understand this in theory, gaining that elusive 360-degree customer view can be somewhat elusive. Time and time again I hear from companies, “I have all this customer data, I just don’t know what to do with it!” The first step is to tackle this problem head-on by getting your data in order.

You may have any number of data sources sitting in spreadsheets, billing systems, customer service centers, email programs, and so on. One spreadsheet may contain names and ...


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The Ultimate Guide to Data Quality and Business Intelligence

The Ultimate Guide to Data Quality and Business Intelligence

Today’s marketers are becoming technically savvier. They understand the need to improve customer experiences or implement digital marketing strategies to engage consumers across channels. Customer retention and acquisition, Big Data, social media marketing, and content marketing are just a few of the goals and strategies in today’s marketing toolbox.

However, perhaps not so widely discussed are some important fundamentals – high quality marketing data.

As marketers we understand that without data, there are no insights. But managing the quality of the data and applying analytics are key to successfully implementing all these other great marketing goals.

When data goes bad, even the best laid out strategies are doomed to fail. After all, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”, right?

So let’s take a step back from the world of Big Data, Digital Marketing, and Customer Experience Management to focus on the basics – the data.

Data Quality by the Numbers

Let’s first check out some of these great stats by Halo Business Intelligence:


Nearly 40% of all company data is found to be inaccurate.
92% of businesses admit their contact data is not accurate.
66% of organizations believe they’re negatively affected by inaccurate data.


The implementation of a data quality initiative can lead to reductions of:


10-20% corporate budget
40-50% IT budget
40% operating costs


And ...


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How to Increase Your ROI with Data-Driven Content

How to Increase Your ROI with Data-Driven Content

Most businesses know that content is a must-have in marketing. And not just any content. Good content.

While creating compelling content takes times, the pay-offs can be huge. When you add data-driven insights into your content marketing strategy, the rewards are even bigger.

Based on a 2015 Content Marketing Trends survey, check out these ways B2B and B2C marketers are using content to ultimately drive ROI.



Develop Content that Cuts Through the Clutter

Today’s marketers are rapidly producing content by the masses. The trick then becomes learning how to cut through the clutter with really great content that resonates with your customers and prospects.

Good content starts conversations, answers questions, provides tips, how-to’s, offers suggestions, and ultimately, will drive your audience to learn more or buy more from your company.

Some of the most successful companies are using customer information and data-driven insights to optimize their content strategies.

Integrate Your Data to Get to Know Your Audience

You know all those great pieces of customer information and data you have been collecting? They hold the secret to what your customers and prospects are looking for, what channels they use, what will motivate them to buy, and which messages and offers will most likely drive them to act.

However, many ...


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3 Ways Data-Driven Marketing Improves Your ROI

3 Ways Data-Driven Marketing Improves Your ROI

At the heart of good marketing is data. And when data drives your marketing, the average return on investment (ROI) is a whopping 224%! (VB Insight)

VB Insight surveyed over 3,000 marketers and looked at tools used on over 3 million websites. Even small improvements have the potential to drive higher ROI. According to the research, if your business has a 4-phase customer acquisition funnel, and you improve each phase of the customer acquisition funnel by as little as 5%, the overall improvement is 22% at the bottom of the funnel. 

Customer data has clearly become a valuable currency for marketers of all sizes and across all industries. However, if you feel as if you are downing in a sea of data, here are some key ways to drive more revenue with better marketing and better data.

Break Down the Silos

You may have loads of data, but if it’s sitting in different systems and in various formats, your data is doing you no good. For example, your billing records may be stored in one system with certain customer details, and your customer service logs may be stored in another database with an entirely different set of customer information.

Each of these sources contain important ...


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Marketers: Is Big Data REALLY Worth It?

Marketers: Is Big Data REALLY Worth It?

Are you ready to let data drive your marketing strategies? Here’s what you need to know.

Data is a must-have for marketing today. Most marketers understand this at this point in the game. We’ve all heard the warnings about Big Data – “Use Big Data or You Will Lose to Your Competition,” and Big Data this and Big Data that.

But what does it really mean? Is it truly that important or is it just another fad, more hype, and another buzzword?

Here’s a story I recently ran across in a report by McKinsey & Company that puts the idea of using marketing data into better perspective.

As all good stories start…



Data Drives Insight

Once upon a time, a marketing executive at a large US retailer found that her company was losing market share to one of their competitors. Despite the marketing department’s efforts to ramp up online promotions and make merchandising improvements, sales were going down. After digging into the problem, the executive discovered that her competitor had invested in technologies to collect, integrate, and analyze customer data from each of their stores and e-commerce site. The technologies allowed the company to personalize offers, adjust prices in real-time, automatically shift merchandize from store to ...


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4 Tips to Whip Your Marketing Data into Shape

4 Tips to Whip Your Marketing Data into Shape

Did you know that 84% of marketing databases are barely functional? NetProspex analyzed hundreds of companies, thousands of files, and over 61 million records for their Annual Marketing Data Benchmark Report. The findings were an eye-opener:


64% of records did not include a phone number.
Only 35% of emails were classified as functional.
88% of business records analyzed were lacking basic firmographic data (industry, company revenue, number of employees).


Additional Findings at a Glance:



The net result? The average database scored a 3.2 out of 5 according to the NetProspex scale:



Marketers who establish good techniques to get their data in shape will see huge benefits. According to a report by SiriusDecisions, companies who have implemented on-going data management techniques experience 66% higher conversions to revenue than those who do not have a solution in place.

 

Here are 4 Tips to Whip Your Marketing Data into Shape:

1. Begin with a Data Assessment

If you aren’t sure where the quality of your data ranks, many vendors offer free data assessments. An assessment will identify areas where data quality can be improved, what types of data may be missing, and other problems that may be affecting optimal data performance. 

2. Establish Business Processes to Ensure Data Quality

Business processes should be established ...


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Drive Growth with Better Data – Tips for Small Businesses

Drive Growth with Better Data – Tips for Small Businesses

It’s the age of Big Data, digital shopping, social media, and mobile marketing. Companies of all sizes are diving into the online world to find new data, new opportunities and new ways to grow business.

At the heart of good marketing is data. And when data drives your marketing, the average return on investment (ROI) is a whopping 224%! (VB Insight)

Unfortunately, many small businesses are intimidated when it comes to the concept of using data in creative ways. They feel as if they don’t have the times or resources, or are overwhelmed by the sheer size of so much data or simply, are not sure where to even begin.

However, data is not limited to the big guys. More small and mid-market companies are turning to data-driven marketing to drive business growth.

Here are some great ways to get started:

Link Your Data Together

Most companies have a ton of data at their fingertips and are sitting on a goldmine of opportunities. However, this data is often stored in separate systems. Email, customer service logs, billing and shipping – each of these systems contain important information about your customers.

Your customers are rich sources of information – and by better understanding who they are, you can discover ...


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Are You A Data Hoarder? Learn How to Manage the Clutter

Are You A Data Hoarder? Learn How to Manage the Clutter




Are you a data hoarder? If your data looks a bit like the above, read on. Many businesses are feeling the pressures of data overload.

Businesses are stockpiling more data than ever before. From machine-generated data, social sentiment, transactional data, and emails, many companies feel as if they are drowning in data. According to a report by the Economist, 7 in 10 companies are collecting syndicated third party data such as weather information (72%) or government data (70%), while many gather data such as staff data (66%) and location-based information (41%).

For many companies, this data is often siloed or is in a format that can’t be used – making strategic decision-making from so much data almost impossible. The Economist reported that 40% of executives are struggling to understand which data actually matters, while another 34% believe that their decision-making is being affected by this data overload.

Data can be one of the most powerful tools to improve customer experiences and increase customer acquisition and retention. In the report by The Economist, the top 3 areas where data has made a positive impact for CMOs are:


Increasing customer understanding and segmentation (50%)
Increasing sales (40%)
Helping assess potential demand for new products and services (37%)




Determining which data to ...


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Top 3 Challenges Retailers Overcome With Business Analytics

Top 3 Challenges Retailers Overcome With Business Analytics

It is clearly the age of the consumer – and has been for some time now. As more consumers turn to digital channels, relationships with customers and prospects have become more virtual than physical. Understanding how to target today’s on-the-go consumers requires using more data analytics than ever before.

In a survey by RSR Research, retailers were asked to name their top 3 challenges leading to expanded use of analytics. Top-performing retailers cited the following:


Consumers expect to have instantaneous access to information about products and services everywhere (60%).
We need to understand consumers’ “path to purchase” (56%).
Information-empowered consumers are more demanding (56%).




Retailers clearly understand that as consumers shop across multiple channels and expect seamless interactions, analytics will play a vital role in customer acquisition and retention strategies. Here is how analytics can be used to address the top 3 challenges:

Challenge #1: Consumers expect to have access to information about your products and services at any given time

You obviously can’t be everywhere at once. By understanding which channels your customers use and where they consume information, you can better allocate resources. For example, by analyzing your customer database, you may discover that a large percentage of your high-value customers have expressed an interest ...


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4 Breakthrough Technologies That Can Fuel Your Marketing Strategies

4 Breakthrough Technologies That Can Fuel Your Marketing Strategies

In 2013, Gartner predicted that by 2017, CMOs would spend more on technology than CIOs. At the time, marketers scoffed at the idea. After all, marketing at the time was about gut instinct and creativity. However, as Gartner predicted, CMOs are influencing IT spending in bigger ways and technology has come to age in marketing.

Technology is a huge part of marketing in today’s age. Consumers expect personalized experiences and 1:1 relationships – gut instinct alone is not going to get the job done. Marketers must leverage their data in new and innovative ways to reach consumers with the right messages across multiple channels.

For those marketers who fail to deliver these personalized interactions, not only will opportunities be lost, but consumers will flock to those businesses who can deliver.

A recent Infosys survey reported that 78 percent of consumers are more likely to be a repeat customer when a company provides them with targeted, personalized offers. And when consumers don’t get these personalized experiences, the CMO Council reported that more than half of U.S. and Canadian consumers consider ending their loyalties to retailers who do not give tailored, relevant offers.

Consumers are willing to pay for these experiences. 86% of consumers will pay up to 25% more ...


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Using Big Data to Target In-Market Shoppers

Using Big Data to Target In-Market Shoppers

Retailers know they need Big Data and are charging forward to get in the game.  But many retailers continue to face challenges. What type of data should be collected? How should the data be used to generate insights? How do I measure ROI?

Why Retailers Use Big Data

101data recently surveyed US retailers, across a range of sizes. When asked about which processes would be most impacted by Big Data technology, 50% stated that targeted offers and promotions would have the biggest impact. Responses included:


50% - Targeted offers and benefits
49% - Demand forecasting and supply chain modeling
43% - Customer-centric merchandising
35% - Loyalty program management


The Big Data Obstacles for Retailers

However, while retailers see the potential, many are holding back on implementing Big Data inititiatives. The biggest reasons cited were that retailers need to better understand how Big Data can solve their business problems (46%) and the cost of complexity of implementing Big Data solutions needs to come down (42%).



Big Data is Important to Retailers

Nevertheless, retailers still believe Big Data is important for staying competitive. Most of the respondents categorized Big Data initiatives as “important” (38%), followed by “very important” (35%), or “moderately important” (23%), with just 4% stating that Big Data initiatives are ...


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Why You Need to Get Personal with Your Customers – The Massive Shift to 1:1 Marketing

Why You Need to Get Personal with Your Customers – The Massive Shift to 1:1 Marketing




As marketers, we understand that the days of “Spray and Pray” messaging and mass campaign blasts are well behind us. The focus is all about the customer – their needs, their preferences, and their preferred channels. Relying on gut instinct to reach our customers and prospects is a thing of the past. Data-driven marketing is the new currency that will enable marketers to reach consumers on more personal levels.

Providing these personalized experiences begins with understanding the customer’s path to purchase. The customer journey is more critical to business success than ever before. According to the “2015 State of Marketing report” by Salesforce.com, 86 percent of senior-level marketers agree that it is critical to create a cohesive customer journey across all touch points and channels.

What Solutions are Marketers using to Create this Personalized Journey?

The top tools marketers cited as being the most crucial are mobile apps, marketing analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM). 68% have integrated mobile into their marketing strategy. That’s up from 48% last year. Marketers also plan to invest more in social marketing – 64% view social as critical as compared to 39% in 2014. Email also rounds up the list as a core strategy for marketers. In ...


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Real-Life Examples of Companies Using Data-as-a-Service to Boost Revenue

Real-Life Examples of Companies Using Data-as-a-Service to Boost Revenue

We’ve talked at length recently about the benefits of using Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) to target in-market consumers. DaaS is a process that leverages the modern data ecosystem and real-time data analytics to create a customized “always on” dataset. It is completely changing the game for today’s marketers, fueling customer acquisition and retention strategies for marketers across all industries.

DaaS combines a company’s first-party CRM (customer relationship management) data with real-time triggers and Hard-to-Find-Data (HTFD) sources to deliver better targeting and a stream of in-market consumers.

DaaS has the potential to really bring new competencies and competitive advantage to marketers in new and exciting ways. But don’t take our word for it – check out these real-life examples of how companies are using DaaS to boost revenue and ROI:

Example One – Financial Services

A national banking client was seeking ways to boost customer acquisition. They used the following data sets to identify in-market targets:

1. Mortgages: First Time Home Buyers:


Identified a list of the bank’s customers and targeted prospects.
Suppressed those that are current homeowners, leaving non-homeowners with specific traits (age, head of household, HHI, etc.).
Monitored the resulting file for mortgage activity with a specific FICO level indicator – e.g. 680.  When a “hit” is identified, bank ...


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Using Big Data to Target In-Market Shoppers

Using Big Data to Target In-Market Shoppers




Using Big Data to Target In-Market Shoppers

Finding and converting quality leads tops the list as one of the top goals for marketers. We all love that great feeling of finding the ideal prospect who is looking for our services or products at the moment and converting them to a sale.



Of course, finding those prospects with purchase intent before they make the purchase is not a perfect science.

What Will My Customer or Prospect Do Next?

Marketers are armed with data, business intelligence tools, and profiling models to analyze the data and understand their customers – but how many can really say they know which consumers or businesses are in market for their products and services? And, how many companies have an idea of what they think a prospect or customer may do versus having real-time insights into their actual behaviors?



Some companies are switching gears and analyzing Big Data in new and innovative ways to determine purchase intent as it occurs – without relying solely on complicated purchase intent models. Take Toyota for instance. They are sending real-time offers to consumers who are in their dealer region and who have indicated purchase intent to purchase a new vehicle.

Using an audience-management platform to determine ...


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Are You Ignoring Your Data? You Should not – You Are Sitting on a Goldmine!

Are You Ignoring Your Data? You Should not – You Are Sitting on a Goldmine!




Have you heard the saying, data is the new oil? Here’s a great quote by Davis Buckingham: “Data is the new oil. We need to find it, extract it, refine it, distribute it and monetize it.”

In fact, this comparison has been made before in 2006 by marketing commentator Michael Palmer: “Data is just like crude. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc., to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analyzed for it to have value.”

These statements could not be more accurate. Data is the new currency for those companies that take advantage of this valuable resource. And this mentality is not simply a result of the world of bigger and faster data. The real potential is in the insights that can be derived through effective data management. So if you are ignoring your data, read on. There is a goldmine of opportunity you may be missing out on:


Businesses can leverage their data goldmine to improve sales, increase efficiency, enhance customer satisfaction, enable more informed decision making, and identify new marketing opportunities.
Processes can be more easily automated and placed into ...


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How Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) is Revolutionizing Marketing

How Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) is Revolutionizing Marketing




Marketers analyze the data and crunch the numbers – but how many can really say they know which consumers or businesses are in market for their products and services? Or how many companies are overly dependent on modeling what they think a prospect or customer may do versus having real-time insights into their actual behaviors?

Primed to make a huge entrance in 2015, Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) empowers companies with real-time data to overcome these tough marketing challenges. In fact, DaaS is completely revolutionizing marketing - generating real-time insights and revenue from Big Data has become a reality, no longer a process that takes months.

What is DaaS?

Most marketing and risk systems still source data like it was pre 2003. Yet, the opportunity to refine strategic and operational decision making by taking full advantage of Big Data is compelling.

Within this vast amount of information is valuable and available data. This is the new world of Big Data and the information being created can be used in real-time to generate previously unimagined opportunities.

Many organizations still struggle internally with connecting all the dots within this myriad of data. This is where the thinking behind DaaS comes into play – an emerging category that is taking the ...


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10 Really Cool Data Cartoons You Have to See!

10 Really Cool Data Cartoons You Have to See!




There are so many blogs about data do’s and data don’ts, Big Data, Small Data, and Hard-to-Find Data. We are living in a world where data is the new currency and businesses are trying to collect it is as fast as consumers are producing it.

But we aren’t going to talk about data today – we are going to show you. Here’s a great collection of 10 cartoons that describe the new world of data.  Enjoy!

1) Big Data and Small Data

What more is there to say??
 



2) The Big Data Dashboard

I’m sure more than one marketer has probably felt like this.





 

3) Customer Data

Customers expect personalized offers – but there’s definitely a line that shouldn’t be crossed when collecting this information.


4) Big Data Analytics

Oh, the information you can find by analyzing your customer data.


(By Thierry Gregorius, Cartoon: Big Data)
 

5) Is Big Data Scary?

Big Data certainty can be overwhelming, but we’re hoping not this scary.


 

6) Social Media Data

Social media has certainly changed the way marketers must think. And the new generation of consumers is living and breathing social media on a daily basis – and they start young!


7) Big Data – How Big is it?

Maybe bigger than you think.


8) Data Privacy

Just how much data are ...


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What Do I Do With All This Data?

What Do I Do With All This Data?

“What do I do with all this data?!?” Time and again, we hear this from marketers across all industries. While there is plenty of content and “How-To Guides” published about Big Data, digital marketing, and social media, just grappling with the data you already have at hand continues to be a challenge for many companies.

Before you can even begin thinking about implementing a Big Data solution – what do you do with the data you already have? Or maybe you are dabbling in digital marketing and social media on some level, but meanwhile, your data continues to pile up without any real insights into what it is telling you. If any of this sounds familiar, read on as we share some practical tips on how to better manage “all that data”.

1. Getting Started - Establish an ROI

Establishing a strong return on investment (ROI) will help get new data projects off the ground.  Begin by outlining problems caused by dirty data, documenting the costs, and showing the benefits that can be achieved by improving data. By directly aligning data improvement projects with business goals, data management solutions can more quickly be justified.

In the following two examples, each company establishes a strong ...


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Three Steps You May be Overlooking on the Road to Omni-Channel Retailing

Three Steps You May be Overlooking on the Road to Omni-Channel Retailing




If you are a retailer, then you are well aware that consumers interact with your company through any number of channels, such as email, customer service departments, call centers, social media, in-store visits, and on-line shopping. As your customers place orders on your website, call your customer service department, or use their loyalty card in your brick-and-mortar location, are you able to track each of these interactions and tie them to your individual customers?

Omni-channel is all about delivering personalized experiences and targeted offers throughout the customer journey – across any one of these touch points. Which means you need to know your customers better than ever. As your company moves forward on the road to omni-channel retailing, be sure to consider these three important steps for better success. (Hint – it all begins with the data!)



1. Begin with a Data Assessment

A good first step to better understanding your customers is to evaluate the quality of your data. A data assessment will help identify areas where data quality can be improved, what types of customer information may be missing, and other data problems that must be corrected.

For example, an assessment can show you:


Duplicate records at both the individual and household ...


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Three Ways to Get Your Customers to Share More Data

Three Ways to Get Your Customers to Share More Data




Consumers want personalized experiences, recommendations, and offers. And while there are certain types of personal information that consumers will share to get this, many consumers are wary of sharing too much or certain types of information. 

According to a recent report by SDL:


Consumers are fairly open to sharing information about gender, age, and income with marketers.
Respondents say they are much less willing to share the name of their spouse, lists of family and friends, and their Social Security number.
49% of consumers are willing to share personal information with brands in order to join a loyalty program.
41% would share personal data in exchange for free products and services.
79% are more likely to share with a brand they have purchased from before.


So how do you get your customers to share their personal information without coming across as a creepy marketer?

1. Be Transparent

Establishing trust between a brand and a consumer means being upfront about the type of data being collected and what the data is being used for. Too many brands do not take the time to do this. As consumes become more empowered and informed, companies that aren’t completely transparent risk losing customers – and valuable information. Chances are that when a consumer ...


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5 Must-Have Marketing Technologies to Drive New Business

5 Must-Have Marketing Technologies to Drive New Business




Which marketing technologies really drive results? Vendors tell us to use this technology or that one to “increase your sales by 25% in 30 days or less.” And if you buy their technology in the next 30 minutes, you get the second solution for free. Okay, so maybe not to this extreme, but with so many promises and technologies to choose from, which ones actually deliver? Let’s cut through the hype and examine five of the top marketing strategies that are producing measurable benefits for today’s companies.  We’re not promising an increase in sales by 25% in 30 days, but the statistics are quite compelling.

1) It All Begins with the Data

As often as we may have heard this, it’s worth repeating. Your marketing insights are only as good as the marketing data feeding them. A house isn’t stable without a strong foundation. The same as true of your data – high quality data is the foundation of every marketing effort. And with faster and bigger data sets, the chance that something can go awry is very real.

Did you know that companies that put data at the center of the marketing decisions improve their marketing return on investment (MROI) by 20%? ...


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