@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Automic Blog, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, @DXWorldExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Data Analytics For Rebranding By @Sisense | @CloudExpo [#BigData]

The Data that Drives the Marketing Funnel

Any CEO will tell you that marketing is an essential part of running a successful business. After all, without demand and lead generation there will be no sales; if the product isn't selling, all the brilliant innovative technology in the world won't make even the slightest difference and the company will eventually go under.

However, it won't be too much of a stretch to say that marketers are generally an underappreciated, often misunderstood species within technological organizations. I will claim that current analytics tools might allow marketers to "rebrand" themselves, and prove their true value to the organization in a clear and undisputable way.

Remind me what you do around here...?

Unfortunately, the marketing department is still frequently seen as a mysterious, somewhat foreign element, particularly in technology companies. It seems that employees from other departments, especially those who are not in management positions, are unsure what it is that Marketing does, and how it fits in with the organization's goals and overall strategy.

As someone who has been working in senior marketing positions in tech startups for more than a decade, I am more than a bit familiar with this issue and was not at all surprised to read the results of this studywhich found that 80% of CEOs don't trust their CMOs. I believe the problem lies in some basic differences between the way typical marketers work, and mostly how they communicate, compared to their developer counterparts. However I believe this bridge can be gapped, and that recent developments in data analytics technology hold the key to this.

Words People vs. Numbers People

Most people who work in technological companies are decidedly ‘numbers people' - both by nature and by training. They're used to thinking in figures: how long does this code take to compile? What is the measurable improvement in performance? Amorphous concepts such as "brand awareness", which are difficult to measure and difficult to translate to actual numeric value.

Marketers, on the other hand, typically don't come from a background in engineering or exact sciences, but from a variety of other fields. They are usually what you might call ‘words people' - who feel a stronger connection to creative verbal communication than to Excel spreadsheets. There are many who don't shy away from crunching some figures, but more often than not it has yet to become a second nature for them.

This is why, right off the bat, there's a communication problem: marketers and developers simply don't speak the same language. This is not to say marketing professionals are less results-driven; it simply means they might have different ways of envisioning and expressing the results they want to reach.

Are Digital Marketers Any Different?

Perhaps you're reading this and thinking this kind of presentation is outdated: after all, in the world of digital marketing, "data" is a revered concept. Everyone's talking conversion rates, bounce rates, ROIs - and almost every marketing effort is measured and quantified. So is this new age of marketers actually more akin to tech developers?

I'm not so sure that's the case. Ask any marketing manager or CMO if they're data-driven, and odds are they will answer with a resounding yes. Then ask them: well, how many decisions have you made today, based on data analysis? My guess is you'll get some much vaguer responses.

More Data, Less Data-Driven

While today's digital marketing professional is absolutely entrenched in data - from Google services (Analytics and Adwords), Salesforce, automation software and many other possible sources. But a lot of the times, this data is examined only in retrospect, or used as a "decision support-tool" to support decisions that have already been made on a completely different basis; very few times it is actually used for decisionmaking on a daily basis in the tactical and operational levels.

The reasons for this can be quite diverse. However, one of the crucial factors impeding marketing professionals' adoption of a truly data-driven approach is the fact that they do not see themselves as technical, and often shy away from complex calculations, coding or scripting.

So while they can generate basic reports using their existing platforms' reporting interface, they have no real ability to combine data from different sources, to get a centralized view of data coming from different marketing channels or examine the data in real-time, as different marketing efforts take place. The amount of insights they can glean from all their disparate data is accordingly low.

Using Technology to Adopt the Analytical Mindset

So how can this conundrum be solved? How can we get marketers to start talking in numbers, to use data to justify and communicate their decisions?

One option would be to hire a more technical marketing department, i.e. staff it with people who have the technical know-how needed to crunch all this data themselves. However I believe the non-technical crowd has much to offer in terms of creativity and a fresh perspective which would be a shame for any company to miss out on.

Luckily, advancements in business analytics software can provide similar results, without having to replace your marketers with dedicated data analysts. These software tools allow business users to skip the messy spreadsheets and formulas and view their data in one central, graphical and non-threatening dashboard using visualizations and graphical widgets.

While I myself come from a technical background, I've found that today's analytics tools have made my life much easier - I no longer rely on endless Excel files and hand-generated Salesforce reports. Instead, I simply need to log in to by business intelligence platform and can examine and explore data from all my different marketing channels, in one place and with minimal effort.

Hence it is my opinion that modern business intelligence software presents an opportunity for marketers: it makes being data-driven that much simpler and even, dare I say, fun. This is a chance for marketers to start making sense of all the data they're surrounded in, and to actually start using it to show their true worth to their organization. This is the only way marketers can conquer the hearts of the tech companies they work for - in essence, to rebrand themselves as essential.

Want to learn more about data-driven marketing? Join Saar for his upcoming webinar:The Data that Drives the Marketing Funnel to discover:
  • How to access data from multiple sources to get immediate insights
  • The most effective reports and dashboards for marketing executives
  • Practical KPIs to determine strategic strengths and weakness
  • And more...
  • Join now!

    This article was written on January 12, 2015, and originally appeared here.

More Stories By Saar Bitner

Saar Bitner is the VP of Marketing at SiSense, the award-winning business analytics software that lets non-techies easily analyze and visualize big data sets from multiple sources.

@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to close th...
"Digital transformation - what we knew about it in the past has been redefined. Automation is going to play such a huge role in that because the culture, the technology, and the business operations are being shifted now," stated Brian Boeggeman, VP of Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
"WineSOFT is a software company making proxy server software, which is widely used in the telecommunication industry or the content delivery networks or e-commerce," explained Jonathan Ahn, COO of WineSOFT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Sanjeev Sharma Joins June 5-7, 2018 @DevOpsSummit at @Cloud Expo New York Faculty. Sanjeev Sharma is an internationally known DevOps and Cloud Transformation thought leader, technology executive, and author. Sanjeev's industry experience includes tenures as CTO, Technical Sales leader, and Cloud Architect leader. As an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Sanjeev is recognized at the highest levels of IBM's core of technical leaders.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
You know you need the cloud, but you're hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You're looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you're concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies. What do you do?