The lofty goal of raising the profile of marketing in our organizations requires that modern B2B marketers set very high bars for themselves and their departments. For instance:
Truly sophisticated marketers know that the path to a seat at the executives’ table relies on two things: proving marketing’s economic value and actively improving marketing capabilities with authority and resources. But for far too many of us, there’s just one hitch.
Marketers are consistently denied access to the customer data they need because the data is siloed away and scattered throughout a maze of multiple internal owners.
And where might that customer data be stored?
If these three sets of customer data do not live in a central customer data platform or aren’t at least synced via APIs, the B2B marketer is left with an expensive marketing technology stack that is really just a glorified email marketing suite with some basic retargeting and account-specific displays.
While we can’t tell you exactly why your organization may be stalled for want of key customer data, we can tell you that many companies are stuck in this particular driveway for two simple reasons:
Solving this puzzle demands relentless marketing evangelism.
If you’re stuck on the outside of the data walls your marketing team needs, you need a smart lobbying plan, a strong business case and pounds of persistence.
Creating your plans.
If you’re going to get a bunch of customer data owners to the table to commit to a lengthy data integration effort that will provide them with little to no benefit, you’re going to need more than flowers. You need executive sponsorship. Identify senior executives who have specific known goals for the organization and build a lobbying plan and business case tailored to each of them.
Building your cases.
Here’s some data points that get to the truth of a set of common executive preoccupations:
Get in front of your target executives.
There’s no getting around the final stage. Make and leverage connections, especially with your CIO, CTO and other stakeholders in your IT department. Remember: they aren’t the bad guys here. Their job is to keep company data safe. Always keep in mind that data management is scary for those entrusted to manage it, and you want to be their ally in doing so.
If you make traction, make the ask for the executive sponsorship for a data integration initiative. Reiterate the benefits for the enterprise using the arguments most in line with your target’s priorities, then make it clear that success is unlikely without them.
Come up short? Don’t be afraid to ask why and probe if there is anything you could do to help make it a priority. If need be, move on to your next executive.
Overcoming these challenges as a marketer is undeniably difficult. Yet, without it, there is simply no path to the future you’ve worked so hard to realize.
Need someone to have your back through the process? We’re always happy to chat.