Integrating Data Analytics Into Company Culture: A Roundtable Recap

Increasing customer retention, decreasing costs and finding new outlets for business growth that will help build and sustain a 21st Century enterprise will always be top priorities for your board and CEO – and thus, should be yours as well (if your ambitions are to be a CMO).

“These items verbalize marketing issues in a business and financial world. I have these conversations every day with my CEO. This is what marketers are expected to tackle when they are brought on. Think in terms of financials first and then figure out how to get there via marketing and data analytics,” said Matt Preschern, CMO, HCL Technologies, while leading a recent Future CMO Club Digital Roundtable on the topic.

Overall, analytics can get hyped up, but when talking about numbers, your board is really looking how to monetize it. So, that leaves the task up to marketers to lead a culture of analytics in a way that manages long and short-term business expectations via new partnerships, strengthened customer experiences, demand gen and the - at times - overlooked reactivation rates.

Most Future CMOs agreed that the first hurdle in their way was getting out of the spreadsheets of disparate data in order to have better conversations and focused, real relationships with the customers. That’s what leads to a customer’s infinity for your brand – retention and reactivation driven by a customer-centric approach to marketing strategies.

“We don’t want to become the flip-phone – we want to be the next new iPhone that people are lining up to buy,” said Mary Harper, Sr. Director, Marketing & Communications, Superior HealthPlan.

Customer Retention and Reactivation: The Holy Grail of Data Insights

This focus on learning about the customer via data starts with your CMO and then you, filtering to your analytics team before being handed off to sales so that anonymous people and previous customers can be converted.

Mine your data for insights as to what characteristics can identify someone who is likely to return to your brand and see what can be duplicated. To convert anonymous traffic, identify the behavior of your top customers and track those numbers. This will help you create leads based on behaviors before your team even has names. One marketer said they have avatars for consumers who are ‘likely to shop around’ and those that are ‘likely to renew.’ Knowing that it is much more cost effective to retain rather than recruit (especially in B2B markets), having these clearly stated early signs of a customer who may be looking around is a powerful insight for their marketing team.

“You can identify new and cross-selling areas when those existing contracts are coming to an end,” said Preschern. “[Marketers] are being tasked with tracking, finding data and finding insights to get new customers and upsell current ones. If you aren’t highly analytical, you won’t survive those conversations with your CFO. Don’t lose vision of the monetization aspect.”

This idea of ‘catching them before they leave’ requires a commitment to efficient processes throughout your organization. So, work with your CMO to invest in the processes that will yield the highest results. Build a relationship with your CFO that allows for open communication and aligned goals and – if they are already your friend, make them your best friend.

“It can be easy to get caught up in imperfect systems and blame these flaws, but put simply, we are expected to figure it out, regardless of the challenges,” said Preschern.