I’d like to share a story around insights and innovation about how my team embraces Intel’s IT strategy to create unique business value through customer insights. Two and a half years ago when I joined Intel IT as General Manager of IT Solutions for Sales and Marketing, I sat through a presentation by one of my peers about Predictive and Advanced Analytics. I was so impressed and excited that IT was investing in this core competency that I immediately raised my hand. I wanted to team up with this group and figure out how we could partner with corporate marketing to put this capability into practice. I knew from my days in marketing years ago that we relied almost exclusively on third-party experts to manage structured and unstructured data for us and stay on top of market and consumer technology trends. They were the sole keepers of that data, so we couldn’t even slice/dice it! They, in effect, owned our data, which limited our ability to take advantage of timely insights and shifts in perceptions.
So in a few months I put in place the beginnings of an IT Business Analytics team under Ivan Harrow (Follow him on Twitter: @ivanh) and immediately partnered with a few sharp guys from our Enterprise Capabilities and Programs team. We set up a face to face meeting with three of CMO Deborah Conrad’s top lieutenants to explore the possibilities. I have to say, I think we took them by surprise. I believe they came into this thinking it was another one of those IT meetings that they were attending as a favor to me and that nothing would materialize from it. Instead, we were asking them to anticipate their business needs. We asked if they had a magic wand, what type of scenarios would be ideal to apply this practice of advanced/predictive analytics. In this case, we appeared ahead of the business need. , At this meeting they were taken a bit off guard by this dialog with IT. On the spot, they couldn’t readily describe what we could start working on with them to fuel Intel’s transformation as a computing solutions company!
Afterwards we met with them to discuss specific areas in their business that could take advantage of the collective talent of the IT team we pulled together. In the meantime, we started working on areas we identified for them that could help the marketing group see the power of this advanced business intelligence (BI) capability.
And then one day, our tenacity paid off. We had worked diligently building relationships with the Social Media team and we worked even more closely with the researchers in the Insights & Market Research team. We demonstrated that we sought to understand their business challenges and help discover opportunities along with them. We earned their trust and showed we were more interested in delivering value to Intel than worrying about stepping on anyone’s toes. And the marketing teams were more than willing to share their data feeds with us, both internally and externally, so we could explore and deploy advanced analytics. Our IT BI solutions ended up exceeding their expectations.
Our IT representatives participated in a corporate-wide strategic discussion with marketing to prepare for an executive-level discussion and were invited to be part of the follow-up activities. Our market researchers saw the huge benefit in collaborating with IT to build out Intel’s vision around customer insights and, more importantly, take that vision and put a strategy around it for all of Intel. This new BI capability is now influencing the design of our Intel user experience (UX) framework. Now finally we are an integral part of corporate marketing and they more naturally reach out and partner with us. We see the industry trend where CMOs are importing people from IT, consumer analytics and operations to fill emerging skill gaps, so we know our IT BI expertise is valued.
I am proud that our IT teams have been part of a transformation in marketing - where the analytics inform the “art.” Research support the premise that the CMO of the future is becoming a master of data, creating a data driven culture, automating and working with a sense of urgency to DEMAND that the analytics inform the “art.”
And the moral of the story is: ”CMO’s, please make friends with your IT department.” I believe 2013 will be the year our CMO and CIO evolve from being functional peers to being “best friends.” IT will keep building our ability to anticipate business needs and fuel the transformation of Intel through Insights and Innovation.
Please share your thoughts with me on Sales and Marketing IT solutions, particularly those focused on using advanced business analytics to gain new customer insights.
Follow me on Twitter: @Patricia__Perry