In the summer of 2012 the Fournaise Group released a study that found that “80% of CEOs do not have confidence in the work of marketers.” Piotr Golczyk of Luxoft recently resurfaced this report to say, “I humbly submit it’s time to change that.” We couldn’t agree more. It is past time that marketers develop the ability to collect and analyze data to connect their campaigns and tactics with concrete returns in a language the C-Suite can understand.

Do You Know What Your Marketing Is Doing?

Today marketers tend to be treated as an expense with dubious impact and murky reporting. Consider these stats from the Fournaise Group:

  • Only 42% of CEOs and 22% of CFOs see the impact of marketing on the organization;
  • 78% of CEOs think marketers too often lose sight of what their real job is: to generate more customer demand for their products/services in a quantifiable and measurable way.

These sentiments are a reality even though marketing innovation is often the business engine that drives competitive advantage for stand-out companies. To change this perception, marketing decision-making and reporting will have to be data-driven, revenue-focused and able to speak a language understood by business leaders outside the marketing org.

Getting to a New State of Marketing

The path to a marketing operation that thinks, acts and speaks the language of business is one that will have to cover the conceptual, technical and business facets of the modern enterprise. To accomplish this, marketing leaders will need to include IT, data analytics, marketing and sales in a cross-operational planning and execution strategy.

We believe this approach needs to touch on 4 major areas to be successful:

  1. Concept and culture – a hunger and commitment within the organization to build a data-driven marketing engine that is closely aligned with the business priorities and obligations of the company.
  2. Technology – the implementation and integration of a sales and marketing stack that follows a customer’s journey from prospect to evangelist, and a team that can manage and leverage that technology.
  3. Data – a standardized process for collecting and analyzing data that allows analysts to distill actionable insights from customer behavior.
  4. Data-driven, customer-centric marketing – the courage to have your marketing strategy and tactics defined by the feedback and responses collected from your prospects and customers in steps 2 and 3.

Though the route is long, the destination is a reality in which, as Piotr says, “all strategic and tactical decisions are consulted or initiated by marketing.”

The Role of Predictive Intelligence

Predictive intelligence is the key tool enabling the data processing and implementation of this transformation. It helps marketers make sense of their data, uncover actionable insights about their prospects, inform campaigns and empower sales with in-market leads.

The goal is to not only power your business by driving pipeline and revenue, but to directly connect marketing efforts with key business outcomes. Making the ROI of marketing visible will help tie campaigns to revenue and allow marketers to speak the executive language of forecasting, P&L and risk analysis.

As you embark on this path, take a look at our Comprehensive Guide to Predictive Intelligence and how it can help drive a data-driven, customer-centric culture in your company.