With the pandemic having put data in the spotlight for many businesses, the time to invest in your data strategy is now, according to VMWare vice president marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan Paula Parkes.
While much has been made of the role of data in improving marketing’s function and driving results, for many businesses, the quality is not there when it comes to the actual data.
“I think there’s still much of improvement that businesses need to go through in terms of their data – it’s that old adage of rubbish in, rubbish out,” Parkes told B&T.
“There’s still a long journey for leaders to go through to evolve their data models that they have supporting the business.
“If you look at the foundation of it, companies are transforming, and for companies to transform and operate in this new normal, what drives that – is the data that they can harness.”
Her advice for businesses looking to bolster data capabilities is simple.
“Invest,” she said. “Having the investment and people who know how to derive the business insights and actional insights are really important.”
While Parkes is currently working with VMWare, she has previously worked for some of the biggest brands in technology, including Adobe and SAS.
She regards the ability to combine data-related skills and creativity as the key principles that have remained relevant throughout her time as a marketer.
“The key principle for me that’s been consistent throughout the brands I’ve worked for, is data driven marketing. It’s paramount to delivering performance and hitting the bottom line,” Parkes said.
“The more we embrace being data-driven marketers, we need to retain and keep that creative DNA that is in all of us. I believe that creativity really is what helps to drive innovation. If you can couple the two, there isn’t one brand in the cloud space that isn’t after that as a capability skillset from their professionals today.”
Marketing’s role in security
A string of recent high-profile cybersecurity incidents has again highlighted the importance of cybersecurity for businesses, particularly as they continue to develop data capabilities.
These cases are part of a wider increase in cyber activity during the pandemic, as businesses continue to shift towards remote work and pour more resources into data strategies. Positive Technologies recently found the number of cyber attacks on trade enterprises increased 42.2 per cent in 2020 from the year prior.
According to Parkes, marketers are taking an elevated role in security.
“Marketers inherently have been at the forefront of privacy for a long time.”
“So when you look at security, and you look at impact on security and being secure for brands, I think marketers have to be aware of that.
“What you’ve seen through last year was an exponential increase in the number of attacks. So I think that security is starting to become paramount across lines of business, not just in certain functions.”
“This month, we’ll share the VMware vision on how technology enables distributed work during a global virtual event: Leading Change: Build Trust with the Anywhere Workspace. Leaders will discuss how organisations can embrace the new way of working and transform into secure, anywhere organisations.
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