ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster On The Importance Of Data-Led Marketing

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on 24 August 2017

Jodie Sangster was appointed CEO of the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) since 2011. She is also the chairperson for the International Federation of Direct marketing Association (FDMA).

Speaking at ADMA’s Global Forum Global Forum in Sydney, she said: “Marketers need to think of themselves now as customer engagement experts (CEEs). As such, marketers need to work closely with experts from other disciplines including data and analytics, digital and technology as well as legal and other departments.”

Here, Women Love Tech talks to Jodie about the changing role marketing plays in business today and explains that those who understand the importance of technology and data analysis will reap the rewards.

Tell us about ADMA’s Global Forum this year and how it has evolved.

Four years ago, we made a change because there are a lot of marketing events here and we wanted 25% of the speakers on our programme to be international. The reason for this is so Australia can benchmark itself against international best practice.

ADMA started as direct marketing then changed its name because the focus now is on technology and disciplines around it. Nowadays marketing is highly personalized and technology has absolutely transformed marketing and the type of people required. Now, there is a need for creative marketers and data experts and the full spectrum of skill sets. We do a skills assessment of our members and there is a big gap in data and tech skills and when it comes to women it’s even worse – the shortage of women in technology is such a problem. But it means there’s also a big opportunity for those who have those skills.

How can we encourage more women to upskill in tech particularly data-driven marketing to help fill gaps in the market?

In technology, we can certainly do more to attract women and it is something that needs to be addressed. What needs to be done is the repositioning of how we promote these roles so it’s more focused on problem solving. The skill sets for these jobs in technology need reframing so they are more appealing to the female audience.

What is the key to successful marketing and how has it changed?

The role of the marketer has expanded exponentially and so has the skill set. Traditional marketing was about using traditional channels and was campaign led. Now it’s about data technology as well as content and creative elements. There is a more strategic approach to marketing.

What are the biggest challenges for brands?

What many companies are not seeing is they can’t expect their marketing team to be a specialist in everything. Marketers need core marketing skills and then they need to go deep in one certain area. Unfortunately, there is always a lean towards strategy and social marketing and new technolog whereas we need the deep dive in data skills. We need to understand how to use data and drive insights from the data. It’s more analytical approach. How can you drive strategy without understanding technology? If you want to be a CMO and do not understand analytics well that’s simply not acceptable nowadays

Of course this provides a challenge to brands. The biggest challenge is once they have made the investment in technology they need to get a team with the right skill set to drive it.

Businesses need to understand that it’s not just a change in their marketing team that’s required, it’s a change in their business moving forward from the traditional approach to an online marketing approach.

It’s a shift from a marketing department to a marketing company, one that is tech and data driven and that requires the tech team to play a big role.

How can businesses maximize the benefits of marketing?

Businesses need to align tech with their analytics team and their finance team. The role marketing is playing is now across the entire business. And companies that do well must align the entire business and that’s the challenge.

What companies are getting it right?

BUPA stands out as they have a company wide KPI for customers as do REA. They are both tech-led and data-led businesses and the entire company is KPI’d on customer experience and satisfaction.

Naomi Simson (CEO, Red Balloon) recently said she doesn’t have a marketing department anymore. She reconfigured her company. She took out the marketing and sales departments and aligned the entire team. It was very controversial and interesting. Naomi is quite tech-led and understands the benefits.

ADMA Global Forum 2017, the largest marketing conference in the Southern Hemisphere, was held on 24 & 25 August 2017.

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