​Businesses must adapt to the marketing disruption to avoid being left behind

“Disruption is a term which is being increasingly used. It captures the massive changes impacting businesses."

Emerging disruptive forces are changing traditional marketing for the better. Marketers must adapt to the disruption to meet customers’ needs and ‘leapfrog’ their competitors.

“Disruption is a term which is being increasingly used,” says Simon Bowker, Area Director, Marketing Applications, Teradata. “It captures the massive changes impacting businesses.

“The traditional marketing model is being bombarded with a variety of disruptive forces such as, fractured customer experiences, disconnections between marketers and business leaders and making decisions without data evidence.

“Responding to these positively requires marketers to embrace and leverage data, using sophisticated analysis techniques to break free from the traditional silo approaches that no longer deliver results.”

Bowker advises five key ways to realise the opportunities presented by marketing disruption:

<b>1) Individualised insights are vital to gain traction with customers</b>

Teradata’s 2015 Global Data-Driven Marketing Survey found 90 percent of marketers said individualised marketing is a priority.

The number of companies where data-driven marketing is either embedded or strategic has more than doubled since Teradata first started studying data-driven marketing trends - 78 percent of marketers now use data systematically; in 2013, only 36 percent did.

<b>2) Demand for content without planning</b>

Brands are confronting a seemingly insatiable demand for fresh content but they struggle to create formal content strategies. Marketers can overcome this problem by tailoring content development and delivery.

“When content and delivery are tailored based on customer data insights, you create relevant interactions,” Bowker adds. “It’s about moving beyond broad audience segmentation to true one-to-one individualisation.

“This one-to-one engagement, especially in a real-time context, will gain increasing prominence as a result of rapid consumer adoption of mobile and location-specific commerce.”

<b>3) Support from leadership teams for employees to experiment with data analytics</b>

Even though marketers overwhelmingly agree on the impor­tance of test-and-learn methods as a response to disruptive forces, the majority still aren’t putting in place the agile processes to make experimentation a core competency.

Companies need to resolve misconceptions held by business leaders regarding data and its analysis to overcome this.

“Teradata conducted research in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit Study, 5,” Bowker adds.

“Our study showed that cultural gaps impede companies’ efforts to be data-driven and that CEOs need to start developing a shared data-driven vision that’s based on insights about the information and experience each customer wants.”

<b>4) Hiring talent</b>

Bringing on new talent is one of the most important strategies for dealing with disruptions - it is essentially as important as investing in new technology.

But not all companies are doing enough to nurture and accommodate dramatically changing skill sets.

Companies need to combine training, data-driven analytics tools, transformative tactics and expertise to empower the marketing organisation to drive growth through new talent.

In addition, traditional performance metrics are no longer adequate in the disruptive paradigm and new KPIs must be developed to motivate and retain these new talents.

<b>5) Making decisions with the data to justify it</b>

Businesses should break down information silos to get past the disruption caused by the increased complexity of marketing - this will let them access the right data with the appropriate latency to make the best decisions.

“Adopt an integrated marketing approach,” Bowker adds. “Companies need to implement processes to knock down the old silos and prevent new ones, such as social media, content marketing and digital marketing, from cropping up.

“Essentially, the marketers with the best information and insights will win the race to customers’ minds and wallets.”

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