Few senior-executive positions will be subject to as much change over the next few years as that of the chief marketing officer, reports McKinsey. This is due to developments in digital marketing, the rise of social, mobile and cloud applications, and the changes in buyer behavior that are happening across the marketing spectrum. The influx of data from numerous digital marketing channels presents senior marketers and their teams with a great challenge that conceals even greater opportunities.

Senior marketers increasingly understand that success is achieved when content, distribution and insight work together to drive marketing and demand generation efforts. “Integrating multichannel campaign execution, content management, and analytics into a single platform is crucial,” says Anoop Sahgal, a senior marketer at Adobe. Access to and understanding of data enables marketers to optimize cost and processes at every level, measure and communicate success to the executive team, and stay relevant to customers.

Using data for optimization and growth

Access to and understanding of data makes it possible to translate customer insights into both savings and growth. Backed by solid data, marketers are empowered to act on precision, as opposed to hunches or imagination. They can evaluate lead quality, compare the effectiveness of marketing channels and shift dollars towards the ones that create the best prospects. As prospects self-educate online significantly before contacting a sales rep, marketers can use insight into digital behavior to provide the right messaging and stay relevant throughout the buying journey, ultimately using a data driven approach to increase revenue.

Measuring and communicating success

As marketing campaigns gain complexity, it becomes increasingly important to measure correctly the effectiveness of each investment, evaluate success and communicate it succinctly to senior management. Among the large amounts of data available, it is crucial to understand and focus on the marketing metrics that matter, such as leads and opportunities created, conversions to content and meaningful engagement in the form of comments, questions and other user-generated content. Being able to turn number soup into brain food empowers marketers and helps them remain credible in the organization.

Improving customer experience

Insights about customer behavior, satisfaction, purchasing habits and larger market trends help companies optimize customer experience, and develop products that respond to and anticipate customer needs. Data driven marketing enables marketers to reach targeted audiences with the right personalized messages at the right times and stay relevant to their customers beyond the buying journey, thus creating repeat business and customer loyalty.

With a surge of social, mobile and cloud apps, marketers are challenged to extract insight from all data sources. This challenge brings significant opportunities to use big data to drive revenues and propel business forward. Are your marketing efforts driven by data?