"If you're like many business leaders, you freeze like a deer in the headlights when someone mentions big data.
"Although collecting, analyzing, and leveraging customer data are a concern for 72 percent of business and IT leaders, just 44 percent have taken action to address it, according to PwC's Sixth Annual Digital IQ Survey," notes Grant Halloran, global vice president and general manager of Infor Marketing and CRM, in a Dec 5 article in Destination CRM headlined "Overcoming Your Big Data Fears."
Halloran lays out five steps to put marketers on the right path. Here are excerpts:
The good news is marketers don't have to be overwhelmed by big data. It's possible to take incremental steps to becoming more data savvy versus getting too complex too quickly.
Start small. Start with organizing and analyzing your proprietary customer data to get your house in order. By starting with the data you have, you can determine what data is missing and what you may need from other sources.
Get support. Establish a strong partnership with the CIO and IT department and leverage their expertise as needed. This is key. Seventy percent of top-performing companies have strong CIO-CMO relationships, versus just 45 percent for non-top performers, according to PwC.
Hire smart. Establish or expand data analytics capabilities within the marketing team-in other words, hire good people with the right skills.
Get up to speed on marketing technologies. The CMO should take the lead in selecting and implementing marketing technology tools, including CRM, marketing automation, inbound marketing, resource management, and social CRM tools.
Be collaborative. Work with other departments that touch the customer to be sure technology investments can capture their data, too, and will integrate with legacy systems. Otherwise, there's no way you'll capture anything close to a 360-degree customer view. Not to mention you'll also probably blow your budget with nothing much to show for it.