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More Than MarTech: How Being Data-Driven Goes Beyond Technology

Scott East Posted by Scott East on November 5, 2019 at 9:39 AM



Data. As a marketing executive, you have plenty of it. You track, collect, organize, and report it. But does that mean you’re an effective data-driven marketing organization?


Data alone won’t give you the information you need. And neither will a MarTech purchase. Many companies look to technology as the way to become data-driven, but success requires thinking through processes, people, and products to develop a productive solution.

When marketing data translates into insights that can impact the marketing ROI, that’s when you’ve become a data-driven organization. To do so, you must have:

  • quality data in one place,
  • a clear plan for integration and transformation, and
  • teams that operate effectively to implement a data-driven strategy.

When all of those pieces and people are in place, then you can activate the data, using it effectively and efficiently to empower marketing decisions.

We developed a data implementation roadmap to take our clients from square-one to fully operational data-driven organizations in a way that meets their specific, strategic goals. Rather than buying technology, and then trying to learn and understand how to use it, this roadmap ensures you have the right organization and operations mindset in place first.

Step one of the process is understanding these three truths:

1) The work to become more marketing data driven is not a project; it’s a way of doing business every day.

2) Great marketing results start with having great data.

3) Developing a data strategy takes time, budget, and internal equity.


The next step is to plan your data implementation strategy, which means preparing to do the following:

Play the long game.

Before beginning the process, understand that a quick-fix mentality won’t get you far. Many organizations know they need to solve a problem with their data, so they jump in and get excited about a quick solution (in other words, the latest technology). In truth, technology should take a back seat because a well-defined, overall data management strategy takes the front seat.

Being an effective data-driven organization goes beyond adopting a project. It’s a major change in how marketing is organized, how it operates and how it is executed. It will require a clear plan for integration and transformation, a shift in mindset moving forward, and the patience to play the long game to see the results.


Ask the questions.

The process requires time, attention and careful planning. Because of that, your team must focus on the key decisions you want to make, including defining:

  • WHY is having great data and reporting important to you, your team, and your company?
  • WHAT do you need for positive tech ROI?
  • WHO will be the budget owner, initiator, implementer, and on-going champion?
  • WHEN will you get started and make this a go-forward mindset and operating model?
  • WHERE will your data be housed and managed: internal, external, or hybrid approach?
  • HOW will you get to great data?

Get buy-in.

Having internal and external stakeholders on board, aligned, engaged, and empowered is vital to successfully operationalizing data management. If you’re going to invest the time, budget, and internal equity, then you must get the stakeholders on board and aligned to the shared vision.

You will need to establish buy-in, not only from your IT team, but also from your internal product, sales, marketing, and finance groups, along with external agencies, consultants, and technology partners.

Getting buy-in will require expending the internal equity you have built as a leader. This will be a time to judiciously use your stock to drive change and rally people behind the initiative. It will require asking people to have faith in you and the process.

Even some veteran data-driven marketing organizations stop short of fully operationalizing their data management. Why? Because this is a high-risk initiative. It involves creating teams and aligning personnel to operate effectively to implement the strategy. A lot of companies maintain the status quo and don’t take on this complex transformation. But for those who do this high-risk work, it has a high payoff and ROI.

Ready to learn more about being an effective data-driven organization? Download our full MSIGHTS Data Implementation Guide.Data Implementation Button


Topics: Marketing Technology

Scott East

Written by Scott East

Scott founded MSIGHTS Inc. in 2004 with the purpose of transforming marketing measurement, performance and accountability. His 20+ year background includes experience from the agency, client, and media sides. As CEO, Scott oversees business and product strategy, partnerships and client engagement teams.

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