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Marketing in the Digital Age: How Powerful Analytics and a Robust CRM Strategy Provide the Data You Need to Stand Out

By August 18, 2015February 5th, 2018No Comments

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In 2012, Gartner Research predicted that by 2017, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) technology spend would eclipse that of even the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and recently confirmed that we’re right on track to meet this forecast. While marketing and IT have long worked together in some capacity to track campaign analytics and distribute digital collateral among other activities, today’s marketer is tethered to technology at a level never before seen in the field.

The impetus for this change? An empowered and discerning customer base that expects—demands—personalization at every brand touchpoint. Tasked not only with creating and disseminating brand materials—marketers are also expected to ensure those materials are relevant, personal, and appropriate for each recipient—an requirement that can only be met by leveraging technology to extract insights from the enormous amount of Big Data afforded across the Internet of Things (IoT).

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And enormous it is—Salesforce reveals that 95 percent of the planet’s data was created in the last five years alone. Content is king these days, and the endeavor to get your company’s content into the hands of your target audience is more competitive now than ever, as digital innovation enables just about anyone to create and share information to the masses. Advertising platform Flurry reports that the average American spends 162 minutes per day on their mobile device, and 49 percent of that time is devoted to gaming or Facebook. How can you make sure your message is seen and absorbed during the remaining, critical 51 percent? Salesforce predicts the following changes will take place as marketers seek to stay ahead and boost campaign ROI in today’s digital environment:

Customization Will Proliferate

Dynamic ads will enable teams to craft content tailored to each specific visitor, so instead of a handful of landing pages swapped among targeted groups of people, thousand of landing pages will be designed and implemented to provide each person a unique and memorable brand experience. A study by MindFire illustrates the importance of this endeavor, finding that in a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, dynamic and personalized campaigns beat out static campaigns by an overwhelming ratio, and generated a consistently high response rate from participants.

Customer Data Will Become a Driving Force

Staying relevant and encouraging brand loyalty requires appealing to what your target audience wants and adjusting your approach to meet their specific tastes and behaviors, however those may change. Looking forward, customer data gleaned from interactions across the enterprise will be the chief guiding factor in company decisionmaking. A prime example of this type of thinking? Netflix, which greenlights movies and television series based on what customers like and don’t like, determined by an enormous amount of captured data on viewer preference.

Data Organization and Analytics Will be Essential

Gartner notes that 80 percent of data is unstructured or semi-structured, often arriving in such forms as IMs, tweets, and network graphs rather than neat rows and charts of consolidated information. Customer data must be actionable and accessible to tell an accurate story, not hidden inside disparate legacy systems. To this end, a centralized CRM database is essential to organizing and tracking contact information and updates throughout the enterprise and reporting it in ways that make sense to each organization.

Once data is organized, powerful analytics tools can be empowered by teams across departments to extract valuable insights—an investment and initiative already planned or supported by many CMOs. In fact, the recent 2015 CMO Survey reveals that spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 83 percent over the next three years.

These days, data is king, and the movement to capture, analyze, and use it to create more compelling and engaging marketing campaigns shows no sign of slowing. Moving forward, it won’t be the marketer with the flashiest ad or zingiest slogan that captures viewer attention—it will be the one who appeals to each person on the individual level—a granular vision that leads to widespread success.


Brow, Dr. Marnie, “The Response Rates of Personalized Cross-Media Marketing Campaigns,” MindFire, SlideShare, September 2009, http://www.slideshare.net/MarketPathAC/the-response-rates-of-personalized-crossmedia-marketing-campaigns.

Hussain, Anum “33 Stats That Paint a Picture of the Future of Marketing,” HubSpot, August 27, 2012, http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33529/33-Stats-That-Paint-a-Picture-of-the-Future-of-Marketing.aspx.

Soper, Taylor, “Study: Americans Spend 162 Minutes on their Mobile Device Per Day, Mostly with Apps,” GeekWire, April 1, 2014, http://www.geekwire.com/2014/flurry-report-mobile-phones-162-minutes/.

“The CMO Survey: Highlights and Insights Report,” The CMO Survey, p. 62, http://www.cmosurvey.org/results/.

Young, Heike, “10 Things We Know about the Future of Data-Driven Marketing,” Salesforce, July 15, 2015, https://medium.com/salesforce-on-marketing/10-things-we-know-about-the-future-of-data-driven-marketing-10746286e4bd?d=70130000000tP4G.

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