Data analytics provides the key
to sales and marketing success

Big data is redefining big business. But to take full advantage of your data, you must create a strong foundation for analytics.

“Segmentation is fundamental to almost anything you attempt in marketing.”

—Mark Capaldini, president, Opportunity into Revenue

If used correctly, big data can be the key that unlocks the value of your hard-won customers. But building and maintaining a data-centric organization takes more than storing bits and bytes on servers. Marketers need analytics to gain valuable insights, evaluate the success of marketing initiatives, and make data-driven decisions.

Data analytics is not a plug-and-play technology. To build an organization that is truly driven by analytics, you need to lay down some important building blocks to obtain a greater understanding of your customers.

Mark Capaldini would know. As founder of Opportunity into Revenue, a Minneapolis-based online consulting firm specializing in marketing and sales, Capaldini has accelerated revenue growth at a variety of companies, large and small, public and private. He offers these four tips for incorporating analytics into your marketing strategy:

  1. Foster a shared understanding of your customers
    A sales representative’s high-value customer may barely register as a prospect from a marketer’s perspective. Capaldini recommends that sales and marketing groups collaborate to precisely define what traits qualify a customer as a top priority. Such consensus will not only enable marketers to hone their efforts,but will also help drive sales. They may identify multiple targets, which leads to the next recommendation.
  2. Segment your customers
    After identifying top targets, focus on customer segmentation. “Segmentation is fundamental to almost anything you attempt in marketing,” says Capaldini. Establish criteria for dividing customers into specific groups. You can consider traditional marketing categories such as age, gender, and location. Or, you can rely on more granular metrics: How much revenue do they generate? What is the cost of maintaining a relationship with them? Whatever the determinant, Capaldini says, customer segmentation lets marketers know where to focus their efforts and how best to allocate marketing resources.
  3. Engage customers across multiple channels
    Avenues such as direct mail, email, and social media enable marketers to rendezvous with customers and bolster brand loyalty. Capaldini advises that “marketers regularly evaluate all of their channels and make some tough decisions” to eliminate unprofitable ones.
  4. Take advantage of social media
    As more and more consumers flock to social media sites, marketers must focus on social media channels. The secret, says Capaldini, is “sharing truly useful content across these social media channels. If a consumer finds the information you’re providing about a particular topic useful, you’ll have a leg up in the purchase process.” 

    By delivering consistent marketing messages across social media channels, you can tap into real-time customer sentiment. Only by integrating social media data with insight from traditional marketing channels, though, can you achieve a holistic customer view.

The best marketing campaigns rely on data analysis to bolster customer loyalty, track customer behavior, accelerate conversion rates, and drive sales.

For more information on the importance of data analysis to marketing and sales professionals, read “Data-driven mandates for aligning your sales and marketing efforts.”

Related content


Schneider Electric

Improved collaboration across business units, enables Schneider to increase sales in multi-business opportunities by 10-20%.


Taking control of the customer conversation with the Challenger Sales model

Yasser Said, vice president of Informatica’s global sales operations, describes how to roll out and support today’s highly effective Challenger Sales model.


Data-driven mandates for aligning your sales and marketing efforts in 2014

Team-building exercises may be fun, but there’s a better way to convince sales and marketing to work hand in hand: metrics.


Marketing's big data revolution depends on technology innovation

There’s no doubt that big data will garner competitive advantages. The challenge is gathering the disparate data generated by disruptive technologies.