5 Lessons from 'The Big Data-Driven Business'

September 29, 2014

Big data is forever changing the way businesses operate. But too many executives still aren’t grasping the huge opportunity that big data represents.

That’s why I teamed with Sean Callahan, Senior Manager, Content Marketing at LinkedIn, to write The Big Data-Driven Business: How to Use Big Data to Win Customers, Beat Competitors, and Boost Profits. The book, which is being published by John Wiley & Sons in November, shows how any business of any size in any industry can seize the upside offered by big data. Read the first chapter here. 

You can pre-order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or 800ceoread. And I invite you to read the first chapter.

This chapter sets the stage for how our book will show you the many ways that big data is changing how the best businesses outperform by gleaning game-changing insights into their customers, prospects, and competitors. Here are five lessons from The Big Data-Driven Business:

Changes to the buyer’s journey have made the marketing department more important. Prospects are 90 percent of the way through the sales cycle before they reach out to a salesperson. That means for the lion’s share of the sales process, the marketing department has the best insight into the potential customer, who is making anonymous visits to trade and corporate websites, reading email newsletters, and consulting peers on social media.

The marketing technology stack is only going to grow more critical. The buyer’s journey is mediated by software – by CRM systems, by marketing automation technology, by analytics tools. Through this technology, the marketing department gains its insight into the customer. To make sure this technology is connected to business goals, the marketing team must make sure it has a close working relationship with the IT team.

The best marketing and sales teams are working together harmoniously. Because of its insight into the customer and the capability of its marketing automation software to identify the best marketing qualified leads, marketing can prove its value to sales day after day. Sales knows those MQLs are its lifeblood, and the most forward looking sales teams are working more closely with the marketing department than ever before.

With more data, the marketing department can measure its programs and prove its worth. Here’s a secret: Marketing has always worked. The difference now, thanks to big data, is that the marketing department can prove its efforts  -- whether they are display ads, social media, search advertising, or mobile spending -- are boosting revenue.

CMOs will be front and center in the next generation of great CEOs. Big data has given the marketing department the clearest window into the customer journey. With this information, marketing has become the center of so many businesses and CMOs have become indispensable executives. Companies that are open to data and the insight it can deliver are the ones that will thrive in the future.

Our book is scheduled to launch in November, but we encourage you to pre-order it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and 800ceoread.

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.