It just feels like data and analytics are becoming mainstream, regardless of industry or discipline, doesn’t it? We’ve been tracking the marketing industry convergence and conversation around data, and when marketers start actively talk about solving “dark social” and “gray social” – it’s for a reason. Marketers are digging deeper, trying to get to every last bit of data to understand its meaning. Why now? Why the burning urgency? Tools and access and being democratized across the business like never before, and it’s washing data over everyone.
Geoffrey Moore himself, the creator of Crossing the Chasm, spoke about this being the year for Big Data in his talk at Strata 2014 about one year ago.
If you haven’t read about it, the Chasm has five phases: Enthusiast, early adopters, pragmatists (early majority, peer influence is paramount), conservatives (late majority), laggards.
In his presentation, Moore points out that that pragmatists move when under duress and with use cases to model. To paraphrase, pragmatists get on board when they have a burning problem and their niche is active with a new solution that others are adopting. We can see this in marketing with the wider adoption of tools like Moz, Sysomos and Google Analytics.
Moore goes on to talk about how every company is a technology company, with examples ranging from retail to the New York Times. He finishes up with the notion that in today’s fast moving environment, being engaged in big data pre-chasm is a critical success factor in today’s enterprise.
Now consider what Gartner is saying about the Journey to Digital Business.
Per Hung LeHong and Jackie Fenn of Gartner in this Forbes piece from September 2014: “Yet, as some of these technologies progress along the Hype Cycle, they will drive enterprises to become digital businesses. This is particularly true for smart machines, IoT, 3D printing and wearables.”
If Gartner is right, marketers will be driven right alongside the rest of the business.
And we can see it happening right before our eyes in the B2B technology space. From Hadoop related IPOs to NoSQL database VC funding to data container markets springing up seemingly overnight (e.g. Docker and Docker-style competitors) – the underlying technology is scaling to manage the onslaught of data that users want to wrangle. Combine that with SaaS tools for LOB leaders spanning everything from sales to procurement to HR and visualizing it through Tableau, it feels like every employee can potentially to tap into all their relevant data today.
As we’ve been discussing, marketing has an opportunity as their business turns digital. Look around your ecosystem, B2B marketers. Start asking your larger world what data they want and need from you. Design a roadmap and partner with IT to lead ahead of the chasm in your own company. The data is coming – are you ready?
Vice President, Technology Business Development East Coast