Data may be the new oil, but it’s just raw material. The same way oil needs to be refined into gasoline for it to be useful driving your car, so too data needs to be refined into actionable insights—insights your sales, marketing, and executive teams can use to Go-To-Market with confidence. These data-driven insights are the high-octane fuel that sales and marketing teams can use to power their Go-To-Market strategies and drive industry-leading results.
At HG Insights, we are seeing an insatiable demand for more timely, granular data in order to gain a competitive advantage and to make sense of the ever-changing end-user environments. As more sources of data become available, data platforms are evolving with the promise of uniting these many disparate sources of unstructured data to make sense of it all.
In this edition of Insider Interviews, HG Insights’ VP Marketing, Ed Locher shares his experience in the industry, his insights into how data has become the new oil, and how quality data fuels modern businesses.
Editorials are extolling data as the new oil. How has data become the most valuable resource for companies, and how is it used?
It certainly seems that’s the mantra of the moment. But there’s a catch here: collecting data is easy, however refining that data into something useful is anything but. Many businesses simply do not have access to the data-driven insights they need, or know how to leverage it effectively when they do.
This problem is compounded by the fact that tech stacks are getting bigger and more complex. Many marketing leaders aren’t adjusting to the new ecosystem, just hoping that their existing analytics capabilities can remedy the pitfalls that come from having multiple, siloed data sources without updating their approach to analytics.
Leaders need to find a way to bring disparate sources of data together in a structured format to optimize specific sales and marketing use cases. Distilling insights from this data is not enough. The real benefits come from operationalizing this data—using your data-driven insights to make decisions and drive action.
Customers looking to leverage data need to understand that “more data” is not necessarily “better data.” And the cost of bad data is high: annual losses due to bad data quality is in the trillions, and individual businesses lose almost $10M each year.
Bad data costs organizations real time and money, and that’s why high-quality insights are so important. HG Insights was one of the first companies to call out the importance of combining data insights with technology intelligence. This technology focus surfaces rich insights into end-user organizational challenges, enhances business process agility, and supports positive business outcomes.
Why should data-driven insights be at the heart of sales and marketing decision-making?
Every company needs to grow, and that usually looks like increasing revenue. Leaders are in charge of driving growth, and that’s achieved by optimizing cost structures and increasing efficiency. So, in this environment where data-driven intelligence is the new most valuable resource, many leaders look to this. And it’s easy to see why.
Research from Boston Consulting Group, commissioned by Google, suggests that companies adopting data-driven marketing strategies can increase revenue by 20% and reduce costs by 30%. Insights make companies more efficient, productive, and predict future market trends. That’s the good news.
The bad news is, if data-driven intelligence is essential for businesses to get a competitive advantage, the industry has a problem, because 95% of companies say that managing unstructured data is difficult for them.
Organizations are going through major transformations and bringing legacy systems and outdated processes forward into the 21st century. Efficiency and agility is the focus. These changes mean that identifying opportunities has become much harder, and engaging customers is more difficult due to increased competition. But what if you had access to granular intelligence on customers and prospects so you could see:
- What technologies are they using
- What their infrastructure stack looks like
- How much they spend on specific technologies
And, what if this was charted over time so you could track changes and get insights into what shaped a prospect’s decisions? This shows you what tech they have installed and why they chose it in the first place. This is much more powerful than just associating a product with a company. It’s the critical “why did they make the decision” that makes all the difference in the world. This is the information HG provides to customers every day—and this is how these insights can help optimize your sales and marketing outreach:
If insights are so important, can you provide an example of how data-driven intelligence is used in a company’s sales and marketing decision-making process?
Sure. The multinational software company Citrix was looking for a data-driven way to select sales and marketing strategies and programs. For strategic planning, they needed more granular business intelligence to help them see where there were market opportunities and how to optimize their sales territories. Day to day, they also wanted a way to quickly prioritize which accounts to pursue, and identify what segments made most sense to target with their marketing dollars.
Citrix developed an end-to-end AI process to help its sales and marketing teams make better business decisions. Technology intelligence, intent data, models, and machine learning, from HG Insights, now guides Citrix on everything from sales territory planning and TAM analysis, to prioritizing/ranking accounts, targeting leads, and deciding when to engage with existing or prospective customers. They are also able to constantly monitor what works and what doesn’t to adjust sales and marketing recommendations to maximize results.
Barry Magee, Director of Business Intelligence at Citrix, says,
“Technology Intelligence from HG Insights is a game changer for us. It helps us grow our business by finding new markets for our products. It also enables us to prioritize our outreach on the best accounts for us, which has helped us more than quadruple our conversion rates.”
Why is technology intelligence so important for sales and marketing teams?
Knowing where to focus your effort, where your opportunity is greatest, where competition is weak, and where you have the best chance of converting prospects are some of the key challenges for sales and marketing alike. Technology intelligence provides sales teams with the answers to these questions, ensuring their time is efficiently used and its impact is strongest.
That’s why it’s so important to have tech intelligence on a global scale without bias, using a scalable process based on advanced data science. And that’s why customers love HG. Our ability to profile the IT and communications infrastructure decisions of end-user companies is without equal. For companies looking to optimize their sales and marketing activities, deep and insightful tech intelligence that analyzes companies based on a consistent set of facts is key.
Though having the right data is valuable, technology intelligence is only useful if it can deliver actionable insights into the heart of a customer’s process. At HG, we have developed tools to enable rapid assimilation of intelligence into existing client processes, because operationalizing the insights is what drives transformational benefits.
How are data providers working to meet the increased demand?
By integrating our technology intelligence into a client’s processes, we provide business leaders with an effective way to make informed, timely, and fact-based decisions. HG’s tech intelligence is easy to integrate into a company’s processes and applications, so it can be used throughout an organization for anything from strategic planning to tactical campaign execution.
With our insights, decision-makers have a line of sight through the data, from planning decision to execution. The ability to analyze markets, build territories, and develop strategies on a single trusted, verifiable data source is critical to growth.
Technology intelligence helps companies fill gaps in demand gen efforts and helps meet the challenges of doing business in challenging times. For instance, during the pandemic lockdown, tech Intelligence allowed companies to shift their outreach toward digital campaigns and quickly re-prioritize their virtual selling efforts on accounts with the highest likelihood to buy. The detailed insight into a company’s tech stack also enables sales and marketing teams to use much more specific and relevant messaging that helps generate opportunities.
At HG, we are fortunate to spend much of our time with big data and analytics leaders of global technology vendors, understanding their challenges and formulating best practice solutions together. They trust our input on their processes, challenges, and solutions so that they can execute successful Go-To-Market strategies. Our customers appreciate that data may well be the new oil fueling business, but they also recognize that HG’s data drives better performance than others.
About Ed Locher
Ed Locher is a global B2B marketing executive with over 20 years of experience helping public, private, and PE-backed organizations create value through revenue acceleration and organizational optimization.
Combining his experience in technology and process improvement with visionary leadership, he has led the transformation of marketing teams from good to great and has helped establish marketing as a competitive differentiator.
At HG Insights, Ed is responsible for strategy, tactics, and programs designed to create interest, demand, revenue, and recognition for HG Insights.