Most marketers grapple with data in all its forms every day.
It’s flooding in from multiple sources in every organisation and it’s not getting easier to work with – in spite of the rise of marketing automation, salesforce automation, customer relationship management and financial management software. AI and machine learning will add to the noise, generating more data and insights which need to be assessed and used or discarded depending on the context.
If anything, the reliance on these platforms has made data a master rather than a slave – and not a particularly benevolent one.
The ability to damage brand, disenfranchise customers and lose prospects can be performed at a scale and velocity previously unimagined. The wrong email to a customer database can be delivered in seconds.
Not that long ago, in many industries, marketers didn’t need to know more than the basics when it came to data collection, management and use. Arguably, FMCG has always been the exception where deep diving data streams from retail outlets was critical for carving out categories, driving sales, maintaining profit and informing product development.
Today, as a marketer if you really can’t pull datasets apart and apply at least rudimentary analysis and management tools, it can be difficult to make a lasting difference in an organisation.
Yet, in our experience, many marketers do struggle with data. Keeping it clean and useable, the basic hygiene factors needed to make it useful, can seem unsurmountable when it simply floods into databases unchecked.
So what’s the answer?
Our short paper, Are you in data denial?, offers some practical pointers to get you heading in the right direction or at least baseline your own organisation’s approach to data control and management, particularly in relation to the marketing function.
In 2013 and 2014 Outsource Channel Consulting Director, Kit Craig, lead the channel marketing team for IBM’s software business in Australia and New Zealand; a team with an annual MDF budget of around $1M supporting an overall channel business of just over $50M. Kit’s team was one of only three in IBM worldwide to fully utilise its MDF budget every quarter for those two years. While doing so, his team grew IBM’s software channel revenue derived from MDF by 85% in 2013 and 120% in 2014, and was recognised by IBM for leading two of the top three MDF campaigns worldwide.
In this blog he discusses the thorny problems many vendors and channel partners face in utilising vendor marketing development funds.
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Many vendors offer marketing funds to their channel to pay for marketing and lead generation campaigns. Unfortunately, too often these funds go unclaimed.
This is a missed opportunity for the channel who would benefit from the additional funding to grow their business.