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Talk Data to Me: The Intersection of Marketing and Technology

Jean Foster, VP, Marketing, Consumer Technology Association
I was recently asked to speak to an audience of event management professionals about the impact of data and technology on the events industry. I decided to lay this out as a six step plan to provide a roadmap for CMOs facing the challenge of data overload and technology explosion.

In an era where information is always at our fingertips, every brand is obsessed with data – what, why and how we are collecting data and what to do to collect more. The accessibility of data has drastically leveled the playing field between organizations of all sizes, becoming a cornerstone of brand-building for marketers worldwide. But without a developed strategy for analysis, collecting an abundance of data becomes almost equivalent to not collecting any at all.

So what steps do we take to convert information to useful and valuable analytics that assess ROI for both ourselves and our partners and guests?

Step 1: Learn what consumers want. Start by talking to your clients. What are their drivers and goals? What keeps them up at night? Understanding their measures of success will help jumpstart you in understanding their needs.

Step 2: Understand the data already collected. For many CMOs this is not an insignificant task. From the types of information to the frequency at which they’re collected, understand the full scope of the data you already collect. But collecting data comes with responsibility. You must understand your legal, security and privacy obligations.

Step 3: Establish a roadmap. Create your master plan and identify the key players in your organization that can contribute to the data points and skills that you need. And start small. A fully executed data strategy may take several years to develop. You will not have all the piece parts right away. Start with what you have. Take incremental steps.

Step 4: Collect data every step of the way. Stay aware of the information shared with you before, during and after the event to better understand your audience and help them shape their event experience.

Step 5: Leverage technology, like artificial intelligence. CMOs need to look beyond the already complex marketing tech stack and understand the new technologies consumers are adopting.  From augmented and virtual reality to beacons and smart sensors, technology enhances our ability to engage with audiences and ultimately collect better data.

Step 6: Share with key players. Help your clients understand the return on investment by sharing the data with them in the format they need.

With a data-driven strategy, we transition from simply knowing our data and consumers to understanding them on an in-depth level, effectively increasing our delivery of consumer ROI and ensuring forward movement for our organizations.

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