Jennifer Sundquist, Director of Americas Field Marketing at Equinix, provided details about her company’s use of data analytics technologies to drive digital transformation during her presentation at the 2019 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco on January 31. In the presentation, “B2B Marketing in the Digital Era,” Sundquist provided insights into Equinix’s efforts to integrate data analytics into its B2B marketing operations.
Data analytics technologies frequently help companies learn about prospects and customers and lay the groundwork for long-term customer partnerships. Yet some companies continue to ignore these technologies – despite the fact that data analytics can deliver meaningful results for both businesses and their customers.
For example, Equinix once operated as a data center company. The business risked falling behind the competition, and as such, sought ways to enhance its B2B marketing strategy.
Previously, Equinix used only limited data to analyze customer patterns and behaviors. But Equinix identified digital technologies that it could use to transition to a data-driven business.
“We knew as a company that we needed to evolve if we were going to survive,” Sundquist noted. “No one was thinking about the customers at all … and we saw that we needed to develop a lot more data rigor around our strategy.”
Data analytics technologies proved to be exceedingly valuable to Equinix. The company’s B2B marketing team now leverages data analytics to understand the business’ prospects and customers. Plus, this team uses myriad data sources to identify prospects, generate leads and grow sales.
“We wanted to incorporate more data points … and communicate with our customers and get their insights,” Sundquist stated. “We gathered as much relevant information as we possibly could … and found customers who had the greatest propensity to buy from us.”
There is no shortage of data analytics technologies available to businesses. Therefore, identifying which data analytics technologies to leverage is sometimes difficult, particularly for a company with limited time and resources at its disposal.
For Equinix, the company chose data analytics technologies that could be incorporated into all aspects of its day-to-day operations. The Equinix B2B marketing team currently uses these data analytics technologies to learn about prospects and customers. At the same time, this team shares prospect and customer data with other business departments.
Equinix constantly searches for state-of-the-art technologies to foster digital transformation, too. For instance, machine learning tools help Equinix’s B2B marketing team perform fast, efficient data analysis. These tools also ensure Equinix’s B2B marketing team can consistently use data to make informed decisions.
“Machine learning helps us to constantly optimize and increase the amount of data that we can gather,” Sundquist indicated.
Data sharing is paramount for Equinix. As Equinix integrated data analytics technologies into its everyday operations, the company taught its workforce how to use these technologies as well.
“We have our data organized into a single program with common nomenclature,” Sundquist pointed out. “Because it’s important for everyone in sales, marketing and operations to work together … and speak the same language.”
Getting alignment from key stakeholders in different business departments is crucial, especially when it comes to data analytics technologies.
Equinix’s B2B marketing team wanted the company’s sales and operations departments to leverage data analytics technologies, yet these departments initially failed to do so. To overcome this hurdle, Equinix’s B2B marketing team met with the company’s sales and operations leaders. Then, the team was able to show these leaders the true value of data analytics.
“We made friends with the head of sales, which was key in partnering and getting alignment,” Sundquist said. “When we showed our data to the sales leadership, they thought it was powerful, and they got behind it.”
Data analytics likely will have far-flung effects on Equinix’s success in the years to come.
Equinix continues to use data analytics technologies to understand prospects and customers and find new ways to engage with them. Furthermore, the company regularly explores new technologies that it can use to enhance its customer partnerships.
“We know that we have the right [customer] targets, personas and use cases,” Sundquist indicated. “And we know who the right people are to engage, because that’s what the data is telling us.”
Businesses – regardless of size or industry – can use data analytics technologies to learn about prospects and customers. With data analytics technologies in place, a company can quickly retrieve and assess vast amounts of information. This business then can use these technologies to foster collaboration across multiple departments and uncover innovative ways to drive long-lasting growth.
“Use data to tell your story, get alignment among your sales and operations teams, and you can work with [these] teams to have the greatest amount of success,” Sundquist noted.
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