In Data Management

“Start a big data program,” they said. “It’ll revolutionize your marketing efforts,” they said. You did. It didn’t. So, what went wrong? Why is your big data initiative failing to improve your lead generation activities and produce more conversions? Well, it’s because you’re doing it all wrong. Here are the most common mistakes and how to fix them so you can be the next big data marketing success story.

1. Your Data is Hiding From You

Perhaps you have all the right data gathering tools: you’ve invested in a great CRM and a really good email marketing tool, and probably even a marketing automation solution. Just like all the other departments, you’ve got all the right stuff. Therein lies part of your problem. All of the data you need is locked up in disparate, unconnected systems spread across your organization. Until you get a data integration program up and running, you simply won’t have access to the data you need to become a true big data marketing success story.

2. You Don’t Have the Right Skills Sets

Marketers have some useful skills. They’re usually creative, great with people, and good communicators. What they usually aren’t are data scientists. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be. Big data scientists are few and far between, but most marketing professionals can develop the essential skills to get the in-house analytics done. The basic skills of a data scientist aren’t that different than a marketing professional. Marketing folks have to have good math skills to handle all the metrics, while data scientists use their math skills for statistical analysis and probability. You also need some programming knowledge and some training on the big data tools you’ll use, such as Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL, etc.

3. You’re Busy Playing With Tools Instead of Building Stuff

When you visit a construction site, do you expect to see all the workers standing around playing with their drills and saws and nail guns? Or, do you expect to see them using these tools to do actual work, like raising walls and adding fixtures? Spending all your time playing with the big data tools instead of putting those tools to productive action is the same thing. Don’t be like a lazy, immature construction crew — quit playing with the cool toys and start using the tools to do useful, productive work.

4. You’re Not Telling a Compelling Story With Your Data

Big data

Your data needs to be telling interesting and informative stories. If it isn’t, your data initiatives are at risk.

Data geeks have a habit of getting all wrapped up in the data they analyze and forget the bigger picture, aka, the story the data tells. A tragically famous example of this is how the Challenger space shuttle was destroyed (along with her crew of 7), partly because the data geeks hid critical information about the O-ring defect by burying it in a ridiculously technical report. While this is only one part of why the Challenger blew up, it does illustrate how important it is to learn how to step back from all the data and analytics and think through the best ways to present the findings to others.

5. Your Data is Low Quality

Of course, all of the tools and analytical skills in the world won’t help you get good results from bad data. Most marketers are working with data sets that are outdated, incomplete, inaccurate, and woefully full of duplicate data. Every good big data marketing initiative begins with data cleansing.

ReachForce SmartForms helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data collection and management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like landing pages better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce SmartForms can help you improve your lead generation efforts at your own pace.

To learn more about how ReachForce SmartForms can help you optimize lead generation and improve your impact on revenue, get a demo.