Marketing Data Analytics


WL Study Conducted for Brocade: New Infrastructure Services and New Service Provider Revenue

We recently conducted a study among 192 medium and large enterprises in the US for Brocade Communications. The goal of the study was to obtain information that would help service providers better understand the opportunity that new cloud service can bring. In addition to IT challenges, priorities, and buying behaviors, we specifically wanted to know more about packaging and pricing for IPV6 translation services, server load balancing as a service, SAN extension services, and virtual desktop services.

Click this link to read about the results.


More than Half of US Large & Medium-sized Enterprises are, or Plan to Be, in the Cloud

According to our recent research, most medium and large enterprises are going to the Cloud.  About 33% of the sample is a current user and additional 8% are piloting it.  This group, known as Cloud Pioneers, is not composed of a group of just SaaS users, either.  To be considered a Cloud user, an enterprise had to be testing or using a Cloud model other than SaaS.  This included any kind of private or public cloud, be it Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).  Furthermore, they also had to actually have people working on it.  Another 16.8% are planning for Cloud.  This group is aptly called the Cloud Planners.  The remaining 42.1% are the Cloud Stragglers, those organizations with no current Cloud plans.

Source: WaveLength Market Analytics/Winn, Five Key Themes, May 2011


Meet the Cloud Pioneers… and a Note about Security Limiting Cloud Adoption

Meet the Pioneers, the group of enterprises leading the way with Cloud adoption. They are distinguished from their colleagues, Cloud Planners and Cloud Stragglers in many ways.  In this post, we’ll keep it to security.  As the figure below show, when Cloud Pioneers prepare for Cloud deployment, tops on the list is upgrading security and implementing encryption.

Source: WaveLength Market Analytics/Winn, Five Key Themes on Enterprise Cloud Computing

For this reason, Pioneers are less concerned with security, as opposed to Stragglers, where security truly limits their adoption.  As you can see from the table below (click it for a larger view) that combines all the concerns we asked about, it is easily apparent.  The highest ranking for a security concern, which is “Reduced control/visibility for security” is 8th for Pioneers, tying with “Technology not yet proven.”  This is because Pioneer’s upgrade security prior to their Cloud deployment.  Because of these projects, for Pioneers, all security concerns rank in the bottom half of the list.   For Stragglers, it’s a different story.  Of their concerns, all security concerns we asked about rank in the top half.  After costs, lack of trusted third parties to help them, and the perception that it’s an unproven technology, security concerns are the real barrier for this group.  It all suggests the opportunity for security vendors to develop the market by easing  the fears of the mainstream market.



Source: WaveLength/Winn Five Key Themes in Enterprise Cloud Computing




Waxing Poetic on the Virtues of Data Standards

After days and days of working with our team on getting data cleaned for analysis or lead generation, it’s time to constructively vent. Tech firms need to practice what they preach and have their IT departments create data standards.  Our marketing colleagues really should to encourage IT to adopt them and encourage sales to adhere to them because today’s spreadsheet grows into tomorrow’s biggest corporate asset – your company’s customer data.

Why are data standards important? They provide an objective set of structures to ensure consistency of data element usage throughout an organization.   They also provide important guidelines regarding data element definitions and entry to everyone in the organization,  so the business can effectively access and use data. Let’s look at an example.  Take my pet peeve.

  • International Business Machines
  • IBM
  • I. B. M
  • Itty Bitty Machines

Or in other words, all the same company but depending on who inputs the information, you wouldn’t know it’s all the same company unless you look at each line of data and clean it into a standard format.  A standard format is one where you agree how punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations are consistently handled. Even basic standards on just contact information can enhance data quality and assist in creating data that is more easily:

  • Understood
  • Comparable
  • Usable
  • Accurate
  • Complete
  • Consistent types of information included (important dates, synonyms, etc.)
  • Consistent with business processes

Due to the nature of our industry, where companies start in spare bedrooms and grow very quickly, it’s easy to see why data standards are an afterthought.  Most technology companies’ databases start life on a spreadsheet.  Customer databases begin with the hasty set-up of a few seats in

Even using a spreadsheet, technology companies would be well-served by a few tips:

1.  Set up a form in Excel by adding the Form button to your quick access bar.

2.  Think about what that form should include.  Instead of contact name, split out the contact name into first name and last name.  Address should be two fields to accommodate a suite number.

3.  Establish common naming conventions and be consistent in how text fields are completed.  For example, if it’s a State… stick to using the two-letter abbreviation, like “CA” instead of writing “Calif” or “California.”

4.  Establish common and consistent date formats and stick to using them.

5.  Establish customer or partner ID numbers, so you’re less dependent on getting company names 100% consistent and correct.

6.  Develop a product numbering scheme that goes along with your product names, instead of having to rely on text fields alone.

7.  Complete every item or field in your form when you add an entry, so the record is complete.

8.  From time to time, review for your spreadsheets for consistency in text fields.  Fix what isn’t consistent.

9.  Spot check your data base every so often to be sure folks are entering data correctly.  It’s easier to clean as you go then to tackle it once it’s gotten away from you.  And, it’s easier to correct mistakes folks are making quickly than to let bad habits get entrenched.

10.  Encourage and reward sales people for good data practices.  After all, a prospect information quickly entered into today’s spreadsheet grows into tomorrow’s biggest corporate asset – your company’s customer data.


Marketing on “ROIDs” Takes a Different Look

Take a look at Dick Patton’s blog

“Putting Marketing on “ROIDs” 

It’s a great new way to look at marketing.  Customer-centric view to supplement the traditional marketing mix of “4P’s” (product, place, placement and promotion).


  • Customer-centric view will driven by new analytic techniques for “Insight about customers”.
  • You can’t be “Responsible” or take “Organizational leadership” if you don’t know and thoroughly understand your customer’s care-abouts
  • Mastering “Digital marketing” is great, once you know what you want to say.

Analytic services such as Know Your Installed Base help companies understand who their customers are, what and how they buy (by vertical, geo, time, purchases in relation to other products, channels of acquisition, etc).  Done correctly, analytics should move beyond basic demographic to detect underlying relationships not easily identified by simple analysis.  Analytics should enable you to identify underlying groups of established technology product users, how they’ve changed, whether they are solutions-oriented or ad-hoc buyers, size and breadth of your products’ deployment or anything else you need to know.

Analytics is more than data in an Excel pivot table.  Using the ability to transform data into the most suitable forms for analysis, combined with analytics,statistical and quantitative analysis allows you to explain, explore and predict markets in completely new ways.  Reliance on data and quantitative analysis simply means no more guesswork or assumptions.  It gives you the power to know.


Increasing the Effectiveness of Primary Research for Technology Marketing

Information used for market analysis and planning has changed a lot in recent years.  In technology and telecom markets, it’s increasingly common to analyze CRM data, web traffic data, and point of sales data for predictive trends.  Past performance and current performance both help predict how sales and markets will perform in future months.

With significantly new products—the rule of our industry – we have no choice but to rely on primary research to for market development.  However, primary research for new products can fall short for several key reasons:

  • Not a good sample set.  Instead, of being representative of prospects for the new technology, such as enterprises with greater than $10 million in revenues, they are usually representative of a company’s existing customer base – people who are already familiar with the company, their products and their technology and are predisposed to buy from them.  Alternatively, they are often representative of traditional industry analyst report subscribers and not necessarily a defined market that exists in the general economy.
  • Emerging technology is beyond what most people can comprehend in an unaided survey. Surveys ask questions about technologies that are still “too visionary” to get trustworthy answers that can pass the “so what?” test. People might not understand the technology the same way you do.  When trying to survey on visionary technology topics, focus on identifying the steps toward that vision and ask survey respondents about those items.  For example, instead of asking about cloud computing, ask about virtualization, managed services, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service.   These are things that enterprises of various levels of sophistication can easily answer.
  • Gathers information just to know the answer to the question.  Ask youself, what are you going to do with the information once you know the answer?  If you can’t answer this question, you don’t need to collect the information.  Rather, it’s usually focused on verifying and validating what we already know (Marketing can be the culprit).  Research that neither seeks to break new ground nor enlighten marketing departments for better decisions is worthless.  Instead, it’s a better idea to create a series of hypotheses that research can prove or disprove and to have a clear idea of how results will be used, e.g., tie to demand generation, inform channel partners to changing buying habits, or improve products or solutions.  Here, research professionals can demonstrate their value to their marketing counterparts by showing how research can be used for more than the traditional verify and validate scenarios.
  • Surveys done in Techno-speak (or Techno-babble as it’s sometimes known). Finally, terminology often lacks a common understanding.  For example, cloud computing might mean something different to each respondent.  This is especially true when dealing with visionary technology where definitions are emerge and evolve as people are exposed to the technology.

Sometimes, primary research is the only option to understand those next market moves.  To summarize, truly focus on practical understanding by using:

1.  Tightly Defined Target:  A defined research target that represents a defined market or universe that can be measured helps make small sample sizes meaningful

2.  Clearly Identified Next Moves:  Those near-term “next market moves,” so it’s in context of today, as well as that long-term vision

3.  Actionable Objectives:  Research objectives that are tightly coupled with go-to-market or product development goals.

4.  Tests Before You Launch:  Thorough testing of your survey instrument, to include checking frequency distributions, to make sure you are communicating to your technical audiences in a way that makes sense to them.

Follow these tips to make your primary research investment bear fruitful, business planning information.


The Combination of Analytics and Marketing Programs

When you say marketing programs, do you just mean lead generation? We get this question a lot, so we’ll give the quick answer. Analytics are commonly used to set the strategic direction of firms and products. However, analytics need to guide programs, which are the heart of any marketing plan; they are the detailed tactics performed in order to reach the goals and objectives of the marketing plan. We’re just believers in using metrics to measure performance at the beginning, during, and after completion to make mid-course corrections and do post-program evaluations. The programs can be broadly defined, and in most cases, often are. We’re not just about quantifying something, we’re about improving marketing, which boils down to efficiently making sales.