Our book, Data-First Marketing: How to Compete & Win in the Age of Analytics, distills decades of our real-world experience as the marketing practice (and our world) was completely transformed with the rise and dominance of digital. We lived this transformation and have the stories to prove it. Janet built an agency dedicated to helping companies master the new digital marketing technologies, channels and opportunities for competitive advantage in their respective industries. I helped to build a company from the ground up – selecting, discarding and integrating new digital marketing technologies that would enable a startup to go toe-to-toe with multi-billion dollar, established competitors.
Janet and I have worked together for over a decade – a long fruitful partnership that is only possible because fundamentally we have the same mindset when it comes to digital marketing. Measure everything. Test, assess, improve, repeat. Do the work to get it right. Show the value of marketing.
When we discussed topics for writing a book together, we kept circling around these themes and realized that what we wanted to share, what we’ve learned, what we believe in, really boiled down to data and analytics. From working with clients across multiple industries, Janet already knew this, but I had to learn it; most marketers do not do this. There are many reasons why – they lack the skills, they don’t have the time or resources, this is not a focus for their marketing organizations – but increasingly, these reasons do not stand up to the realities of how they must compete today.
We are far beyond the point where companies debate the merits of digital marketing; everyone, from large company to single-person business, with a marketing budget of $500 million or a budget scrounged up from what you can afford that month, understands that businesses must have a digital presence and outreach. But as we describe in the book, we are now in the Age of Analytics, where data (and analytics) is the new battlefield for companies and marketers. Data and the intelligence we can glean from it will make the difference between which companies fail, survive and thrive. CEOs and other company leaders already understand this – marketing leadership must embrace this change and deliver.
It’s not an easy transformation; it is a fundamental change leading to the mindset that we described above. Marketers, especially marketing leadership, must take this opportunity to see beyond the daily struggles of launching the latest website, setting up the next webinar, executing the next set of digital ads, and so much more that they do, and embrace a new marketing strategy that incorporates data – first, last and throughout everything the marketing team does. We believe in it so much, we defined a new term:
Data-First Marketing: a new marketing strategy that focuses on intelligently utilizing the vast amount of marketing data available from the rapid growth and adoption of marketing technology in order to create true competitive advantage in any industry.
Because we lived it, we are able to share a step-by-step process for how any company can achieve their own data-first marketing transformation. To start, we provide a self-assessment in the book to see where your company sits on the Data-First Marketing Maturity Model. A shortened version of the assessment can be found on this site.
We hope the book helps marketers and companies to make the leap from the digital marketing tasks they do today to adding the focus on data and analytics which will transform what they do to strategic activities that meet the goals of the business. The best part of this; embracing data-first marketing means you’ll have the data to prove it.