DEMAND GENERATION NEWS: Marketers should combine gut feel with data

Business models and working practices need to change and to do so, marketers need to listen to their gut instinct, according to Sharon Pickford, customer strategy for British Gas.

Pickford, who delivered a keynote at The IDM B2B Marketing Conference 2012, urged marketers never to take their eye of the changing business landscape, using the jobs saved at the Ellesmere Port car plant as examples. She said, “The staff needed to come up with a new way of working, sacrifices were made but a new business model was created. You need to keep an eye on what’s going on in other businesses and sectors.”

Pickford offered delegates ‘4Is’ for change:

Insight: Useless for innovation but vital for change. You need to understand your customers and therefore understand when they want to change.
Inspiration: You can’t change without it. Change is a long and arduous process and you need an inspirational leader to get you through it.
Intuition: You have a gut feel for what’s right and as marketers that’s one of your strengths.  Listen to it and use it in parallel with data.
Integration: Think about how the change impacts the whole organisation.

The IDM conference had 170 registered delegates and included keynotes from Kate Robertson, UK group chairman of Euro RSCG Worldwide, Nick Hague, MD of B2B International and Mark Mason, chief executive officer of Mubaloo.