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How to do data-driven marketing right

James A. Martin | April 7, 2016
Akamai, Monster and others found creative ways to put piles of corporate data to work for their marketing teams. Marketing pros for these companies share valuable lessons learned from their successes, along with tips and best practices for data-driven marketing.

Enterprises today accumulate a lot of data, which they typically use internally for CRM, sales forecasting, and marketing strategies, among other things.

But some savvy companies, particularly those in the technology industry, share this data with the media and the world at large. The benefits of data-driven content marketing can be considerable. Here's how some companies leverage their own data for marketing, brand awareness, and thought leadership, along with tips and best practices for success. 

Successful data marketing doesn't have to be expensive

Akamai Technologies, a Cambridge, Mass.-based content delivery network services provider, has an annual marketing budget of about $32 million, according to Brad Rinklin, the company's CMO. That budget number is less than what it was in the late 1990s, when Akamai was a startup. Despite the lack of a dedicated advertising budget, Akamai continues to grow, with $2.2 billion in 2015 revenue, up 12 percent year over year. 

To continue boosting revenue without bumping up marketing budget, Akamai attempts to grow brand awareness by, in part, publicly sharing data collected by its own Intelligent Platform, according to Rinklin, who spoke during a session at the March 2016 MarTech USA conference in San Francisco.

Akamai's quarterly "State of the Internet" report, for example, provides insights from data its Intelligent Platform gathers. It includes global Internet statistics, such as average connection speeds by country, IPv6 implementation, mobile connectivity, and broadband adoption. The report doesn't cost Akamai any money, Rinklin said, aside from some minor content creation costs. However, compared to its other marketing efforts, the report earns more media attention and inbound links, which can increase traffic to Akamai's site and help with SEO. 

The report "is the single most successful marketing program we have," Rinklin said. "We took a gold mine of data and we're leveraging it to create brand awareness and thought leadership, which is in line with our overall marketing strategy."

Monster's data is 'effective, low-cost marketing tool'

Every month, job search site Monster publishes a list of the top 100 companies that posted the most jobs on its site.

Monster has a "treasure trove of data that could be helpful to our job seeker audience - we know who is hiring - while simultaneously helping to market our customers' job listings," says Monster's senior director of marketing and managing editor for content, Margaret Magnarelli.

In the monthly blog posts that announce the top 100 list, Monster hyperlinks each company name to its job search results page on Monster. The post stays on the Monster homepage for the month, and it is distributed widely through CRM software, promoted on social media, and optimized to drive traffic from search engines, Magnarelli says.

 

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