'BtoB's' NetMarketing panel: Data explosion brings challenges, opportunities

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Chicago—The explosion of data and the growing prevalence of mobile devices and social media have forced marketers to transform their campaigns in the digital space, according to a panel of digital marketers who spoke today at BtoB's NetMarketing Breakfast here. The speakers acknowledged that building the infrastructure to manage the ever-changing digital landscape can be daunting, but doing so gives marketers previously unattainable access to conversations among existing and potential customers. Through interaction on platforms such as social media, marketers can create campaigns based on consumer behavior that target customers more effectively, driving contacts and revenue, they said. Panelist George Stenitzer, VP-communications at Tellabs Inc., said digital accounts for more than 50% of Tellabs' marketing expenditures, while Christine Jacobs, director-North America marketing demand programs at IBM Corp., said digital's share of the marketing mix has grown to 40%, from 15% a few years ago. The other two panelists—Kathi Brown Wright, VP-marketing and communications at Wells Fargo Capital Finance, and Linda McGovern, director-marketing at USG Corp.—said they still rely on traditional forms of marketing such as print and in-person events, but added that their use of digital continues to increase. The panelists said one of their biggest challenges is finding marketing solutions based on newly available data and analytics in order to connect the dots and build advanced customer profiles.
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