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Data Mixologist Steve Kemish: Marketing Data Is a Culture, Not a Project

Parrot conference speaker Steve Kemish is a multi-award-winning marketer with twenty years of experience in all aspects of digital marketing. In recent years his work has seen wins at the B2B Marketing awards (6 times) Database Marketing awards (twice), New Media Age awards, Revolution Digital Marketing awards and CRN awards, to name a few. 

At IMG he is part of a team of experienced and passionate marketers who help brands on data, demand generation and brand awareness using on and offline techniques. He has worked on digital marketing and strategy with many global brands including BP, Colgate, ITV, Lego, Bayer, British Airways and Oracle.

You can catch Steve’s keynote on June 5th in Tallinn.

Give us your best elevator pitch, please!

My background and experience lies in two parts: data and technology. Our agency represents a collection of people working with B2B organisations and helping them get their martech organised as efficiently and as effectively as possible. 

We describe ourselves as data mixologists or data bartenders in the B2B world. 

What is the biggest challenge that B2B organisations face when it comes to data?

The truism of data is how bad their data is, not whether they've got bad data. There's always ways to improve it. And the second problem is that organisations have often bought technology to solve data problems when in fact they just make them worse. So there's quite a few challenges, but the core of it is just recognising your data can always be better and get the basics right. This will give you a much better chance of being smart and creative with how you're going to apply it.

Many organisations have too little data. Isn’t it dangerous to make decisions that are based on statistically invalid experiments and data? 

It is easier with big data. I think most organisations struggle with small or medium data. You can always do a test, even if you can't statistically prove it, testing is better than no testing at all. 

And as a lecturer, I teach my students that testing is a culture, not a project. And if you can get into that, you will become a better marketer with better results, even if you can't always substantiate it.

People use the phrase test and learn, but they tend to forget the “learn” part a bit. If you're testing and you're not recording it, you should stop the testing because you're driving around in the dark. It's not a big task to create a very simple spreadsheet that records what you've done with every campaign. 

AI is a really hot topic now. How should AI be used in marketing departments?

AI as a tool in the marketing department should be in the junior ranks rather than the senior ranks. AI in this context is like an art-worker rather than a creative designer, it's a very good helping tool to get the boring yet essential or the low intellect content created more quickly because that's what AI can do versus humans. It's no substitute for quality content from a human. 

AI can play a synergy with humans, but humans need to be in charge of it rather than just letting it do everything. A very good copywriter with a few AI assistants, not the other way round. People are really good at spotting AI, instinctively understanding that the copy is written by AI even without analysing it. 

You can catch Steve’s keynote on June 5th in Tallinn.


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