Russell Parsons: Tackling technology, data and costs are businesses’ top priorities

I had great fun at Marketing Week’s inaugural Marketing Tonic event last week.

The format of the day saw senior marketers move from table to table, each of which was dedicated to one of the big issues of the marketing day.

Chatham House rules forbid me from revealing the details of what was said either on my table or in my conversations afterwards but no matter; my main takeaway was more general in nature. It doesn’t matter whether your business is small, medium or large, whether you invest big or moderately in marketing or whether your business is B2B or B2C, your challenges are broadly the same.

First, marketers are still short of making sense of data and technology. Whether it is for automation, channel enhancement or product and service development, most (admittedly based on the small subset of the marketing world I encountered) are desperate to learn best practice from anyone, anywhere.

Second, it doesn’t matter whom you work for, data and digital means you and those that rubber-stamp your budgets are looking for efficiencies. There is an expectation that digital, with its seemingly endless targeting capabilities, is the silver bullet to what any business, anywhere is striving for – more from less.

It is to these points that I point out two pieces in this week’s Marketing Week. Firstly, we reveal the shortlist for the Data Storytelling Awards. More on what makes a winning entry will be revealed closer to the time but safe to say all of those shortlisted are examples of best practice in their respective categories.

Second, our main feature explains why better data and insight tools are needed to fully realise the potential of communities used by brands to co-create products and services. In the absence of this coming from the research industry, we offer advice on how to exploit the huge opportunity for sales and engagement communities.

I will conclude this missive by making the same promise as I did to those at Marketing Tonic last week. Whether it is via events, awards or on and offline content, we will continue to highlight best and bad practice wherever and whenever we can.

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