MIT SMR Connections
MIT SMR Connections is the custom content creation unit within MIT Sloan Management Review.
Customers are using technology to engage with brands on their own terms — across an array of devices and channels — before, during and after they buy. On those journeys, they are generating a vast amount of data that creates both challenge and opportunity for marketers. The challenge is to effectively access and understand all that data. The opportunity is to deliver information that is precisely relevant and adds value to the customer experience.
“What will clearly differentiate brands going forward is how effectively they use data to be more relevant or deliver more value to customers,” says Gerald Murray, research director for marketing and sales technology at IDC. “It is the competitive advantage.”
Data and analytics tools are key to helping brands quickly identify the right audiences and their intent, deliver relevant messages, and refine tactics. But marketing organizations face challenges, according to Matt Gay, head of advertising and marketing solutions at Accenture. “Siloed organizations, disparate and disaggregated data sources, and lack of tool optimization are keeping them from changing strategy and plans,” he says.
In order to build a foundation that will enable their own data-driven transformations, marketers must tackle three challenges that encompass technology, culture and the workforce:
• Establishing a unified view of customer data
• Assembling teams with the analytics skills to mine actionable insights
• Fostering connections: collaboration between disparate groups, and technology integration.
How are forward-looking brands taking on these issues, and what have they learned? Marketing leaders at Sprint, Bayer and Tapestry shared their perspectives with us on their own journeys — where they started, how they’ve navigated or adapted organizational and technology structures, what they’ve tried and what they are aiming to achieve. Download the full report, The Data-Driven Transformation: How Marketers Are Using Data to Rethink and Improve the Customer Journey, to read their stories.