The data, technology and tools that mean strategic marketing is ready for launch.

Author:Godfrey, Vicki

It's a prospect that has tantalised Marketing for a generation: the potential for customer data, intelligence and insight to combine in ways that allow us to predict revenue and growth opportunities. While limitations in technology and access to data have prevented marketers from realising this achievement, new advances are enabling marketers to be more strategic than ever before.

The results from our recent survey revealed that over half of B2B marketers believe that making data strategic was a priority for their company. We at Avention think there are 2 primary factors driving this move towards more strategic market planning: easier access to data and more advanced technology, both of which allow a more informed, focused approach to decision making.

The data and technology mix

While I hesitate to introduce the often over-hyped topic of Big Data here, it's clear that the promise of harnessing near real-time information, combined with more traditional sources, can revolutionise marketers' ability to drive strategy.

But this data is only useful if it can be accessed, visualised and interpreted to deliver insight that's immediately actionable in the real world. The technologies, tools and applications to do this, and do it easily, are now a reality.

Today, online tools can combine internal and external data with a vast array of predictive insights, such as whether a business is entering new markets, opening new facilities, hiring new executives or experiencing rapid growth. All of this puts power in marketers' hand to use the right data to develop the right strategies.

One example is Avention's OneSource DataVision platform, which combines global data from over 100 sources to give marketers the ability to access greater insight about existing accounts, identify look-alike prospects, target key decision makers, and act on triggers and predictive business signals.

Putting it into practice

So what does this convergence of data sources and technology mean for a strategic marketing approach? One of the most significant developments we're seeing is the rise of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) as a core element of organisations' marketing strategies. ABM is nothing new, but with data and technology having finally caught up the concept is gaining traction.

In a separate survey of over 100 global marketers, 90 per cent said they see ABM as relevant to their businesses and 86 per cent are confident it will drive growth. This confidence is well placed...

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