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Data: Operational Advantage or Strategic Imperative?

Use data to assess the market, create opportunities, and drive growth.
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Digital is the new normal

Today’s world is digital. In our personal lives, we buy digital products, and we consume services through digital channels. Popular entertainment, like movies, television, music, and other media are delivered via online streaming platforms which we seamlessly consume across phones, laptops, and televisions. Physical goods, like groceries, books, toys, computers, and more—things which formerly required us to visit a store to acquire—are now delivered right to our door at the click-of-a-button, or more impressively at the vocal command of a digital assistant.

In our work lives, we produce our value in digital environments, and we manage ourselves with digital tools. Paperless offices are more common than ever, and the market for SaaS and cloud software is forecast for double-digit growth into the foreseeable future, with companies like Microsoft and Salesforce leading the charge. Even in-person and/or analog services (such as training and enablement, consulting, and other professional services) have transformed to offer digital alternatives.

Digital is driving the need for data strategies

Digital has lowered entry barriers across the board, increasing competition, and as a result, risk.

At the same time, digital has been a major driver of data growth. This year alone, over one hundred thousand exabytes of data will be generated, crossing the 100k threshold for the first time. This figure is forecast to more than double to over 221,000 EB by 2026, representing a 2021-2026 CAGR of 21.2%.

When properly leveraged, this data can provide the insight necessary to mitigate risk for businesses. With the right data, companies can better identify and understand business trends, gain clarity into customer targets, optimize operations and expenditures via benchmarking, exploit new business opportunities, and much more.

Gain the insight to go-to-market confidently with data

Technology suppliers need accurate market data to help them size and analyze markets, identify and capitalize on sales opportunities, evaluate partnerships and alliances, and hone operational best practices. 

As author and futurist, Geoffrey Moore, puts it: “Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.”

Or, to put it another way, without data, tech companies are left to go on gut instinct and intuition to direct critical business decisions; an unenvious position for any technology executive to be in.

Critical applications for data in a tech marketing strategy

While the use cases for data extend well beyond marketing and sales, it’s value can most readily be seen in support of commercial activities. Here are four key areas where data is crucial for business success:

1.       Confident Decision Making

Minimize executive doubt by integrating data into decision-making processes. Prioritize product roadmaps, identify sales targets, generate leads, retain customers, and more with the right data.

Data is logical and intuitive.  When companies have proven facts, they can be confident in the decisions being made for the organization. Data gives the ability to understand the market and pinpoint areas of weakness for the business and helps identify how to adjust as needed.

For instance, when analyzing the best approach for a new entry or further penetration of a market, a tech company must consider how leveraging channel partners can expand their own reach to meet the needs of both the short-head and long-tail. This vast and complex ecosystem may require many partnerships and alliances to effectively serve the market in question and meet growth objectives. Reliable data can help you decide which channel partners to engage, or if merger and acquisition activity makes more sense.

2.       Highly Targeted Marketing

Clients are inundated with marketing coming in all different formats and from many different brands.  Every business is fighting for mindshare. Keep abreast of market trends and stand out from the competition with resonant, data-informed branding and messaging.

It is imperative for a company to be able to market itself as a solution to niche problems and connect with customers on an emotional level using data. The right analytics provides an organization with the information to be a thought leader and helps inspire content that is meaningful to its audience.

When a technology supplier can effectively segment their market into similarly characterized groups of customer targets, they can easily understand the pain points of the customer and how their solution addresses them. This powerful insight translates into impactful value propositions and strong go-to-market messages.

3.       Intelligent Partnerships

Companies today have many underperforming partners that generate significant expenses.  Reveal partnership opportunities not immediately apparent with detailed market data and optimize your strategy with data.

Understand buyer personas and journeys on a new level and address the long-tail market needs with the best possible partners. Quickly find answers to critical questions like what can partners do, where, and with whom?

A common challenge for technology marketers is finding unattached partners before their competitors do. Too many companies spend months going after prospects that in the end provide no value. The right market intelligence can rapidly provide partnership opportunities, revealing insights in minutes that companies would otherwise spend months developing in-house.

4.       Optimized Operations

Become a leaner, more competitive organization with spend and performance benchmarking insights. Invest the right amounts in the right areas to maintain and grow market share while cutting costs to become more profitable.

Data gives tech companies the insights needed to improve efficiency and get more done with less time and resources.  Eliminate and reduce unnecessary processes with data-driven decisions. This not only applies to the product and services offered, but to human resourcing decisions as well.

The use cases for operational efficiencies abound across technology organizations. To just name a few:

  • Sales reps can save time in pursuing partnerships that do not make sense. 
  • Ops managers use data to analyze supply chain issues.
  • Product teams can find the bottlenecks in production to run smoother operations.

Analytics also provides the business models needed to implement intelligently conceived pricing strategies. By using data effectively, tech executives can also understand how a change in cost and services affects customer demand to protect the bottom line.

IDC’s foundation of data and insights covers a breadth of technologies, geographies, and industries to provide clients with the key IT data that is critical for their business. Get the insight to drive success with IDC’s Data & Analytics Solutions.

Related Reading:

  1. IDC’s Data and Analytics Solutions
  2. The Digital-First Era Demands a New Marketing and Sales Model: Introducing Adaptive Customer Engagement

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,200 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives.