This month Asian eMarketing focuses on what marketers can achieve with data, the more so as Gartner Research assumes that by 2017 marketing will invest more money in IT than the IT department itself.

Terms such as marketing automation, Big Data and data driven marketing are circulating in the industry for several years already but, even among experts, do not always lead to consistent and clear statements.

Fact is that the use of data for marketing is not a new magic trick. What is new are improvements in computer technology and software capabilities that facilitate the processing of data, their storage, their analysis and their automated linking and delivery with external sources.

The need to deal with the issue, however, is confirmed by the recent study "The Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising" by Global DMA, an international association of 27 marketing organizations. More than 3,000 marketing professionals have been surveyed worldwide from July to September for the study, conducted in cooperation with Winterberry Group, Accenture Digital and MediaMath.

The result was that more than 80% of all marketers stressed the importance of data for their advertising and marketing campaigns and worked in fact towards operating "data driven enterprises". Once the marketing was really working in an automated manner, companies could combine their knowledge of existing and future customers and make better, or more precise and effective, products.

 Principally, it has been already clear that new technologies can optimize marketing and data in this field is now a dime a dozen. The art is rather to extract from the big data universe those “smart data” that have any real relevance for those who make marketing decisions.

For this purpose, offline and online data pots often have to be connected to each other in a privacy-compliant manner, which is not as easy to do in practice as it sounds.

For some marketing issues, data from different devices (laptop, mobile phone, tablet) should be able to be assigned to a user as well. If you have collected the relevant data, the subsequent analysis is usually simple. The art, however, is again to use the gained knowledge for the control of automated marketing processes.

 As you can imagine, the role of marketing will change fundamentally, because pretty much everything can be quantified and parameterized today. It is therefore important for marketers to get familiar with technologies and make their peace with numbers and Excel spreadsheets. After all, we all just want to improve the customers’ experience and optimize business processes through the use of data. All marketing activities can be targeted and automated that way, tailored to the consumer’s needs, and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns can be measured quite accurately in real time.

In this way, campaigns are built and connected intelligently, allowing to link between the various channels and automatically trigger dialogues, depending on customer behavior. A campaigns’ success can be measured in real-time and is visible for marketing professionals at any time. In addition, marketers can accurately report on the results and demonstrate success, which eventually saves valuable resources and increases customer satisfaction - because the customer dialogue can be sustainably optimized and tailored to the customers’ needs.

By Daniela La Marca