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Marketing’s future is data

by Emily Wallin

Clarion head of sector marketing operations Tom Fisher describes the growing trend for data operations specialists who can extract and track the best leads.  “Marketing’s future is not copywriting and websites, it’s data. If you don’t have the right data you’ve got nothing.”

Tom Fisher has 10 years’ experience of event marketing, most recently joining Clarion Events in 2016. He was previously the marketing manager of DSEI and marketing director of the Enlit series of energy sector events. He now works as head of sector marketing operations, ensuring maximum efficiency of lead delivery between marketing and sales teams and using customer data effectively to deliver key business outcomes. He is a strong advocate that the future of marketing will be operational – with data experts at the forefront.

Describing his role he says: “My focus is making sure making sure we’re extracting right data for customers and making commercial leads from that. IT’s making sure people are not receiving content that’s not suitable for them. We work a lot in defence, so we need to be sure someone who works at Vodafone isn’t being bombarded by defence messaging.”

You’re only as good as your data

If you’re emailing 100,000 people interested in cars and running a bike fair, it’s just not going to work.

For Fisher there is no doubt that the future of marketing is in the data.

“Data is crucial” he says. “A lot people see GDPR , PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) and data protection generally as weakness. I see them as strength now. You’re getting people looking at what their customers actually want to receive. A lot of people are moving to an opt in model rather than bombarding their database every time, because a lot of platforms will automatically block you. If they click that nuclear button you cant email them again. Five or six years ago there would have been a lot more of a scatter gun approach.”

Fears over data protection restraints can restrict marketers, but Fisher says that good data operations can solve the problem.

“The older school of marketer just looks at volume,” he says. “They panic due to registration and email as many as people as possible. If you’re emailing 100,000 people interested in cars and running a bike fair, it’s just not going to work. You need the data tagged efficiently and a true reflection of what you’ve got on database.”

Commercial connector

Fisher is convinced that there will be a rise in marketing operations roles as the events sector follows trends from tech businesses.

“The marketing operations role is rising. I’ve seen it Amazon and Google. I haven’t seen it that much in the events space yet, but I think it’s set to explode.

“Some people are currently advertising these roles as data analysts, but it isn’t quite that and some skills that data analysts have aren’t shared by marketing operations people.

“It’s like being a commercial connectors. It’s about making sure all the commercial  leads that come in are correctly assigned, hopefully through the CRN, put through to the right sales person in a timely manner. And that’s sort of what a campaigns person does but with a very specific skill set.”

READ MORE from Tom Fisher and lots more features an insight on exhibition marketing in July’s edition of EN.

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