Anand Thaker is the CEO of IntelliPhi, a research and development and consulting firm focused on making go-to-market decisions for growth leaders. He is also a longtime MarTech industry and digital engagement expert, where he accelerates companies in various operational, leadership and advisory roles across corporations, growth startups and investors. And, for all of the above reasons, Anand was selected as one of six judges for Integrate's annual recognition program, the B2B Game Changer Spotlight, which highlights exemplary B2B marketing leaders. We recently asked Anand for his thoughts on several hot topics in B2B marketing: Expanding data privacy regulations The changing MarTech landscape Biggest opportunity for marketing operations roles How to effectively scale technology infrastructure David Crane: GDPR is still true in the minds of most marketers, but mostly as a hurdle to overcome. Do you think the expansion of data privacy regulations is a good or bad thing for B2B marketers? Why? Anand Thaker: Good marketers are destroyed by bad marketers. GDPR and other regulations are ringing alarm bells that will lead to positive outcomes for senior marketers. Overall, we are losing trust in our customers.
Loud communication, poor experiences, and short attention spans create discord in the marketplace. Customers expect brands to build meaningful relationships in this ecosystem. According to a recent Gartner study on customer experience, “…within two years, 81% of [organizations] said they want to compete primarily or exclusively on CX.” I have always advocated that the intersection of customer data is a powerful resource. Combining this corporate asset with the people who use it creates the brand's most powerful tailwind. These policies are largely subtle to customers unless word gets out about a breach. However, for B2B marketers, we have industry mailing list opportunity to learn to harness these new digital signals in this brave new world. In the short term, such policies can cause pain for all types of organizations, especially in B2B. Marketers are resilient, and through responsible deployment of truth, this trust building will enhance our profession. Anand has written several articles on the subject of GDPR and trust-based marketing: marketing operations practitioner to make a difference in a company? Anand: 1) Leverage and democratize customer data We've made go-to-market decisions for dozens of midsize business executives and their teams.
In our R&D and consulting work, we have made the adoption of operationally relevant data a key objective. Recommendation: Discover and leverage how data and metrics can make sense for the careers of your team and leadership. Also, don't worry about becoming a data scientist to harness data for productivity and insight. Recommendation: Instead, focus on which algorithms solve or illustrate the problem. Consider applying these to your existing challenges. Don't be afraid to take inspiration from your peers and other industries. 2) Become a better storyteller After following thousands of technical/operational marketers, I think the best people are the ones who are very good at telling challenges and sales opportunities. We often rely on technical talk to describe the problem rather than to create connection and meaning with our stakeholders. Suggestion: practice, practice, practice. Also, build relationships to gain support outside the department. Customers span cross-functional parts of the organization, and it's still your responsibility. 3) Think like a CEO Marketing tech-savvy CMOs are highly regarded as the next generation of CEOs. We operate in a customer-driven market.
Companies iterate not just to keep up with trends, but to take advantage of trends. Communities are complex, dynamic and interconnected. Recommendation: Expand your experience in operations, financial attribution, brand value management and all customer engagement responsibilities. Other awesome traits require effort... https://anandthaker.com/11-habits-highly-effective-marketing-technologists/ David: Now that there are over 5,000 logos in the MarTech space, how do you use marketing technology without being overwhelmed with choices? Anand: Having one of the most unique top-down perspectives and experiences in the industry, I get this question a lot. 1) Focus only on your brand customer engagement and operations. Identify your strengths and assets while articulating weaknesses and ambitions. Technology only amplifies your execution, so improve your marketing, sales, customer and product operations first. 2) Cross-departmental catalog technology. For business leaders, do this across business units. Prioritize their core use and utilization across the organization. This should give you a good inventory and priority list. 3) Browse the list of suppliers, such as shopping at the grocery store. You can buy certain items at premium prices, as commodities and for certain uses. Start with your cores, then fan out as your budget and capacity allow. For businesses, understand the procurement process to develop deployments. 4) The "MarTech 5000" slide is an extraordinary industry-level metric and perspective. And...this is how you should use it! When you shop at the grocery store or on