Russell GlassAs Head of Marketing Products for LinkedIn, it’s a good bet that Russell Glass knows a thing or two about where marketing analytics are headed. Glass, who will be keynoting at the upcoming Marketing Analytics Conference, recently shared his insights with DMA on significant innovations that are coming to the forefront, and how marketers can leverage them to drive success for their businesses.

What trends do you see emerging in 2015 and beyond in data-driven marketing and marketing analytics – and what actions must marketers take to leverage these trends?

In 2015, what I see emerging is that personalization will finally come into its own in its ability to provide customers with genuine and enduring value. This is something that’s been discussed for some time, but I believe the time has truly arrived for it to manifest. Some important market trends have been at work to make this come to pass – such as the steady decline of storage costs on the one hand, and the rise of processing power per-dollar on the other.

We will also see mobile take center stage as a vital piece in the process of nurturing the consumer. Up until recently, marketers have not always taken the most refined approach in their outreach to customers via mobile. They have not always been able to find the right moment, or the right message to reach consumers on the myriad devices available to them. Now, however, the right data and the proper analysis of that data enables us to gain a greater, more in-depth understanding of individuals as they move from screen to screen throughout their day, and where they are in the buying cycle – and to deliver ever greater relevance.

Another essential tool that is coming to the forefront this year is predictive analysis, which is finally becoming actionable for targeting. Marketers are already making predictions based on patterns they observe – such as hiring and buying behaviors – and they already use these observations to help them score leads and to guide their actions during the follow-up process. But now, thanks to innovative technology, we can look at a more robust set of relevant characteristics to become truly laser-focused and active in our targeting strategies.

Perhaps the most exciting trend I see emerging is the fusing of ad tech and marketing tech. Historically, marketing automation has delivered a high degree of relevance, but has been difficult to scale. On the other hand, scale is easier for ad-tech companies, but relevancy has been much more elusive. Today though, it’s becoming dramatically easier to translate the incredible amount of data that is floating around on the Web from the many touchpoints that consumers visit every day. As a result, these two areas — marketing tech and ad tech — at last come together and are no longer mutually exclusive.

What skills and mindsets should marketers start employing right now to get ahead in today’s highly digitized and competitive marketplace?

Businesses that are smart enough to develop internal teams that can bring together data sets from separate areas such as marketing, customer service, and sales, will be the ones who have an edge over the competition – because they will be able to reach their targeted customers and prospects with greater and greater relevance – capturing them with the right message, at the right time, through the right channel.

Another essential key to success is to recognize the importance of building positive and meaningful customer experiences — and to use innovative approaches with data that help to bring this about. Brands need to adopt a comprehensive viewpoint about their customers in order to meet and exceed their needs and expectations. When a customer calls a service, such as a car rental company for example, and they immediately hear a message addressing them personally, and recognizing their history with the company, that customer is going to feel valued and the entire experience becomes elevated. These are the kinds of changes that are going to put companies and marketers ahead of the curve.

# # #

Russell Glass will present a keynote address, “Why Data is King & the Marketing Department Rules,” at DMA’s 2015 Marketing Analytics Conference, which will be held March 9-11 in Chicago. For more information, and to register, please click here.