The Marketing Strategist:

Moving to Insight-Led Marketing: Four Essential Steps

September 6, 2017

  • Marketing Strategy & Operations

With more than 30 years experience at Accenture, a long-term leader in B2B marketing, Brian Harvey has a great vantage point when he says that companies that make a true commitment to insight-led marketing approach are much more likely to succeed. Harvey, President, HarVeritas Consulting LLC, and former Managing Director at Accenture, spoke recently with ITSMA about why and how marketing leaders need to reskill their organizations for today’s data-driven world.

In this excerpt from a new ITSMA Viewpoint, Harvey highlights four essential steps that marketing organizations need to take as the move toward an insight-led marketing approach.

ITSMA: Change is hard and we see some marketing organizations are completely overwhelmed. Where should they begin?

Harvey: The first thing marketing needs to work on is tying marketing to business outcomes. At the end of the day, are your efforts and the money that you’re spending having the impact against the outcome that you’re really trying to drive? In most cases, it’s increased sales, penetration, and market share. If you’re not measuring those things and directly tying your marketing efforts to them, then you’re missing the opportunity.

ITSMA: How else did Accenture use the data and insights function to improve marketing?

Harvey: There are three other areas that come to mind beyond measuring marketing outcomes.

Prioritizing marketing initiatives. Many marketers find themselves in the trap of never being able to say no. This is especially a problem in a matrixed organization with many product and service lines. Marketers can get spread very thin and end up doing a thousand little things as opposed to 10 or 15 big things. The little things are necessary to some degree, but you must accomplish the big things to get noticed.

So, marketers must pick and choose. If you have good insight, you know what is working and what isn’t. You know what is important to your buyers. You know what is going to generate the most revenue for your organization, even though it might not be what you expected. Without insight, you’re listening to the loudest person in the room.

Targeting with customer intelligence. Organizations today can have such rich data about their customers at both the account and individual levels to do both person-based and account-based marketing.

About 10−15 years ago, Accenture had a vision for what we called client-centric marketing. This has evolved into account-based marketing (ABM). We used email and our website to very quickly and efficiently target customers and communicate specific messages on a regular basis.

With today’s technology, ABM has evolved dramatically. Now we can see our customers not only when they are visiting our website or interacting with us directly, but wherever they are. With retargeting, we can surround them with the messages that matter most to them. This can be a very powerful mechanism for driving results.

Benefiting from an awesome SEO strategy. When a customer raises their hand, what Google calls the Zero Moment of Truth, you want to be there. You don’t want somebody else answering their question. In fact, you want to know what that question is going to be and have the answer ready before they even ask it! You do that by monitoring and understanding what’s going on in the marketplace, and anticipating how to talk about your products and services in terms relevant to the customer.

For the complete conversation, check out Reskilling Marketing to Drive Business Results, an ITSMA Viewpoint available at no charge to ITSMA members (password required) and for sale to everyone else.

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