Marketing without data is like dancing without music. It not only looks wrong, it eventually goes wrong, too. That is one reason why marketing departments have been investing significantly into their data assets over the last decade.
From campaign management and email marketing applications through to single customer views and web analytics, there has been a steady stream of data-rich applications becoming ever more mission-critical. When the economy turned, the value of these tools was suddenly realised to be even higher.
So did the value of the data residing in them. Any organisation deciding to retrench from acquisition and focus on retention rushed to its data assets, such as the SCV, to support this shift in strategy. Others lacking this view have been hurrying to build it.
For many companies, there has been a surprise in store. Data has turned out to be less complete, more inaccurate and not as available as they had assumed. In some respects the very marketing strategies that have been pursued in recent years, such as migrating transactions and service online, have eroded the ability to communicate, through failing to acquire the necessary permissions.
The good news is that challenging times like these always fuel innovation and the current market is no different. The Data Marketing Show will be debuting an array of new data sets, techniques and technologies which can be deployed against any number of business-critical needs in the marketing department.
A prime example is Cygnus, the “database bureau in a box” application designed for in-house implementation by The Software Bureau. It can now be deployed with the Royal Mail’s National Change of Address embedded. The new offering is being demonstrated at the show for the first time.
For those companies looking for a hosted environment, Experian Integrated Marketing will be demonstrating its recently launched marketing database and campaign management tool, Experian Elements. The solution supports the creation of a single customer view, data mining, predictive modelling and targeting.
Managing the breadth and complexity of a contemporary marketing campaign has become a real challenge, from the data flows required to fuel output to the workflow and triggers needed to keep the planning and execution cycles aligned. Not surprisingly, marketing management applications are a major theme at the event.
Neolane’s software allows marketers to build a single customer view and automate the creation of personalised, cross-channel messages that are individually relevant to every customer. Simon Cook of Neolane is giving a seminar, “The Relevance of Relevance”, each morning of the show at 10am which will guide delegates through how to complie the relevant data to identify, understand and drive customer behaviour.
Portrait Software is exhibiting what it describes as a “recession-specific product” – its Campaign Manager application. The software enables marketing departments to focus their resources where they will have the greatest impact, removing the burden of administration and allowing them to focus on value-adding tasks.
It is also offering two workshops each day. The first is in collaboration with Alan Crawley of Optima Value Group and is called “Delivering Customer Value Growth”. The second is presented by Portrait Software’s Dr Neil Skilling who is talking about “Recession-Busting Marketing”.
Many companies have decided that using an outsourced services provider offers cost benefits and quicker time to market. Behind the services they are provided with may sit an industry standard application. Alterian has gained significant market share through its reseller and VAR approach. But visitors to the show can get direct, hands-on demonstrations of its integrated database marketing and analytics suite.
These are just the technical dimensions of what visitors can expect. Across the two-day event, they can explore everything from data quality to prospect databases, business information to lead generation. If you work in data-driven marketing, this is the music you need to dance to.