Marketing Analytics: Intelligence or a Database of Ruin?


How to make sense of the new information age: 

Businesses today are building huge digital dossiers of their customers, massive data stores containing thousands of facts about every industry buying patterns. At some point it becomes analytic overload and companies bury themselves in their own big data.

Ever thought it would be great for your company to step back and just let you do your job? To execute something that has true value and creativity attached? What happened to being quick to market or the advantages of being nimble in the marketplace? How about being innovative enough to try something new that’s NOT tested? Innovation is what America does best (or did). I believe we still have it in us to “shoot from the hip.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I am seasoned enough to know the value of running a focus group and the advantages of tracking trends. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a panel of analytic experts. Their message to the business community is “Don’t be so analytical.”

Marketing Analytic Experts Turn Big Data to Competitive Advantage:

The Sales Leadership Alliance of San Diego recently invited a panel of analytic experts to help business leaders understand and manage a performance based corporate culture using the value of certain analytic criteria.


Introducing Performance + ROI Expert Panel:

  • • David Piester, Senior Vice President of Sales at Opera Solutions
  • • Gregg Fasbinder, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Sagatica
  • • Ken Schmitt, President and Founder of TurningPoint Executive Search
  • Justin Ramers, Director of Digital and Social Media at The Active Network
  • • Riccardo Caruso former Global Market Analytics Leader for Life Tech and Voice of Customer User Experience Analyst at Merck

Find Meaningful Data and Use it

It is easy to think that we are all turning into robotic drones that are monitored, measured and processed for the advantages of big business. Recent data security breaches have placed corporate America and their customers at risk (for example: the recent data breach at Target and Chase Bank). We are losing sight of the customer by being too focused on data. What is the return on analytics (ROA)? Is your company restricting workflow progress by the use of meaningless dashboards, numerous reports that slice and dice information into useless sound bites?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” is a false philosophy shared by companies that do not understand how to use analytics wisely,” said Merck Analyst, Riccardo Caruso.

Here is the good news:  “We have entered a new era driven by data tracking and statistics coming from many sources. In fact, now is an exciting time for new markets to be created and businesses to reap greater rewards through the smart use of information technology,” said Opera Solutions VP of Sales, David Piester.

Customer Engagement is the Core: Understand Their World

“Don’t use data to power all interactions with the customer and sacrifice true engagement. Without true engagement you are nothing to the customer,” added Piester.


The goal of marketing analytics should be to gain actionable insights such as:

  • •   Sales and marketing must align to empower eachother by understanding key performance indicators (KPI), insights on the trends, and which trends are necessary to measure and which aren’t.
  • •   Structural failures are created when departments fight over “Who owns what?”
  • •   Companies don’t know what they want so they restructure, reorganize, procrastinate and end up with meaningless data and expensive CRM systems.

6 Recommendations for Developing a Big Data Analytics Strategy:

  1. Build a brand that is supported by engagement first and then track customer retention, customer care, and KPI’s of targeted campaigns.
  2. Have the right talent around the right objectives to create the biggest opportunities. Use analytics to establish buying patterns as a way to capture more money beyond touch points.
  3. Keep it simple and create structure around data. What do you expect to accomplish using this data?
  4. Streamline your need for data. Every department now has access to different analytics and they use this data in various ways. Don’t burden your staff with meaningless reports but create an understanding of what is needed.
  5. Establish a champion in each department to drive the value of analytics. This initiative must be led by a member of the executive team in order to be successful.
  6. Understand what you need and minimize the noise. Mine meaningful data and invest your money into customer engagement.

Making Sense of the New Information Age: Customer Engagement and Database Intelligence lead to significant competitive advantage

A special “Thank You” to The Sales Leadership Alliance and to David Piester, Gregg Fasbinder, Ken Schmitt, Justin Ramers, Riccardo Caruso for their valuable perspectives on the new information age.



Very informative. This reminds we of the example of how Casprarov was able to defete Deep Blue in the grand champion chess tournement. His intuitive approach to amassing regions of power on the board could overcome tens of thousands of computer simulations. Sometimes the human mind is capable of better decisions than an analytically derived answer.

    Here is the main question every organization should ask: What is the Return On Analytics (ROA)?

    Data can provide a small or large company the competitive edge. It can provide insight into account management and streamline internal operations but without simplified structure / guidelines, the company can become burdened with meaningless data.

    The moral of the story is this: Be smart on how you use data. If simplified and used efficiently it can be phenomenal

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