Steve Lucas: Data Quality and the Engagement Economy

Steve Lucas: Data Quality and the Engagement Economy

Table of Contents

"No one wants to be marketed to, but everyone wants to be engaged with."

- Steve Lucas, Engage to Win

Steve recently featured on the Datavana podcast and believes that engagement is the key to successful marketing. You need to have meaningful interactions with your audience as their decisions are based on their journey and experience with you.

"If an employer or a brand demonstrates they know you, they care about your journey, your experience. They've customized content. They're personalizing that experience, which definitely sits on the quality of your data."

- Steve Lucas


The better data quality, the better customer experiences.

This blog covers the basics of the engagement economy, and why data quality is vital for customer experience success. Also covered is a brief background of Steve; from his journey starting the Marketo realm and selling to Adobe, now working at ICIMS.

The Engagement Economy and the Customer Experience

The digital age is well underway. The effects technology have had on the relationship between buyers and sellers are exponential. We are bombarded by choice and competitors are no longer restricted by their location. Developing new strategies for understanding and engaging customers must be acted upon if companies want to maintain a competitive advantage. This new evaluation of customer relationships and delivery of quality experiences for accounts is known as the Engagement Economy.

The engagement economy has grown in the shadow of ABM implementation. Most companies have gradually developed a common understanding;

The importance of a positive experience that a customer associates with a product or brand can determine future purchasing decisions and lifelong brand advocacy.

Companies must not only show their buyers that they listen to them but that they fundamentally understand them and their desires. This understanding should last throughout the whole customer relationship and evolve when necessary.

Engagement Marketing

Engagement is key to successful marketing.

Companies need to coordinate a unified omni-channel approach to build connections and develop those customer relationships on preferred platforms or devices. Align your entire business to goals and strategies to create positive experiences and engage customers through useful, applicable content.

Aim to:

  • Grow relationship value
  • Turn buyers into lifelong customers
  • Generate new buyers
  • Repeat.

Gone are the days of customers listening to brands and consuming irrelevant advertising. Strive to supply meaningful interactions at every customer touch point. Keep these interactions relevant to the customer depending where they currently sit on the buyer journey.

It’s all about feelings: Purchasing decisions are driven by how customers feel towards your brand.

Understand the Customer

So how should you engage your customers? Well, the answer is… it depends.

Determining engagement methods is actually quite easy to achieve; all you have to do is listen to your customers.

Pay attention to their needs, preferences, what they say and what the data says about them. Customers usually tell you when they are happy or dissatisfied. These are easy insights to react upon and empathize with the customer.

Learn from listening and show your understanding. Determine what’s relevant to your buyers and how often they like to be contacted by their preferred method of communication. Use this data to keep messaging and content relevant and personalized to where and who they are right now.

Don’t be afraid. Customers are people, and people are notorious for change. Adapt strategies as the relationship grows. Building customer relationships and save money by generating more accurate marketing insights to feed back and inform strategy.

The Customer Experience

People don’t like being marketed or and sold to. Meaningful interactions that are genuine and unique to the customer’s journey go a long way. Listening and understanding people does a lot to separate the overload of messages we receive, which some estimates put at 3,000 per day.

The only way to break through to the customer is by developing meaningful customer interactions to directly improve brand experience.

People are not only looking for that product or service that suits their needs, but a company that understands them. Your relationship is strengthened through personalized content and messaging. Mass indirect messaging is likely to turn customers away.

Your key takeaway should be to engage your customer, not market to them. Enhance Brand experience with the following engagement tactics:

  • Insights ensure individualization. Customer experience is positively enhanced when communication feels unique to their journey. Achieve smooth engagement in all contact points through insights on preferences and history.
  • Engage individuals based on their activities and behavior. Use intent data to give customers content and information relevant to certain products they’ve shown interest in. Engage them on their preferred channels when they are most active.
  • Maintain consistent, continual experiences. Keep messaging relevant with your customers based on where they currently sit on the funnel. Influence buying decisions through continual engagement throughout the entire customer journey. Align teams and be transparent to avoid out of order communications and over-messaging.
  • Create useful and informative marketing content. Share information to help your customers use your products while increasing awareness.

"You can’t have a meaningful conversation with your customer if you don't have the right data."

- Steve Lucas


Higher Quality Data

Simply put, the better the data quality the better the customer experiences. In order to engage effectively and improve the customer experience, you need highly accurate data in order to fuel campaigns.

Data Quality and Personalization

Without data informing insights to build a true understanding of your customer, your dialog is likely to be lost amongst competitor noise. Without individualized and personalized content, your messaging fails to engage and results in wasted opportunities.

The more accurate data points you have on a customer, the better you understand them and can personalize their journey more. Brand affiliation and satisfaction is increased.

Gain insights to the type of personalized marketing content that is most effective for each client. This is sometimes provided by the customer themselves telling you the personalized experience they desire. Collect this data via:

  • Web forms
  • Downloading demos
  • Beginning trials
  • Surveys, etc.

This data needs to be enriched continuously to tell you:

  • Who your customer is
  • Their preferences
  • Their journey and behaviors
  • Where they sit on the funnel
  • Previous touch points
  • How they want to be engaged
  • Their desires and friction points.

Data gives you insights to your customers that your competitors may not necessarily have.

Use high quality data to fuel terrific marketing campaigns….but the right technology is needed.

Data Orchestration Platforms

Utilizing a data orchestration platform is the only way to ensure that data you’re receiving to build tailored marketing campaigns is accurate and relevant. If you leave your database unclear and inaccurate, you can’t relate to your customer.

Quality Enrichment Using Third Party Data

When using data to enhance the experience, you need to regularly cleanse and leverage it with 3rd party data. This ensures information is up to date to provide the utmost experience.

Data deteriorates at a rate of 2% to 3% a month.

Data management platforms, like RingLead, collate data from diverse sources to enrich your buyer information. This is then standardized into an accessible and actionable form in a manner of seconds, allowing you more detailed insights to engage your buyers.

Quality enrichment might include:

  • Full names of customers
  • Correct salutations
  • Current and previous job titles and roles
  • Company name
  • Current location
  • Previous interactions
  • Last and previous purchases.

Optimise omni-channel marketing and communications

Without the right orchestration platform, your omnichannel communications fall flat on its face. Your technology needs to tell you when, how and why you last contacted a particular customer. Consistent messaging is key to building an experience.

Your data orchestration platform has to perform a multitude of tasks, including:

  • Standardization
  • Cleansing
  • Deduplication
  • Capture and Prevent
  • And Enrichment.

These functions ensure your data is always at the highest quality and can provide thorough insights needed to maintain consistent experiences. The more accurate the data is directly affects how well you target ICPs in personalized marketing campaigns.

It is only then you can truly optimize account based selling and marketing.


Thanks to the new technological age we live in, customer expectations of businesses have changed. Customers are looking for businesses they can trust, but also for experiences. If businesses want to remain competitive they need to meet the customer on their own terms at the right place and time. Provide outstanding, unparalleled service to engage accounts through meaningful interactions that enhance experiences.

Having accurate and reliable data gives you greater insights into your buyers and customers to engage them effectively. By understanding your buyers better, you’re able to generate more personalized marketing campaigns that directly relate to the customer journey. By making your customer feel like they are being listened to and understood, that empathy can increase trust in the product and company, which inturn builds brand awareness and advocacy.

Outstanding customer experiences and engagement influence purchasing decisions over time. Companies applying a successful engagement campaign can expect positive outcomes such as:

  • Spread brand awareness
  • Increase marketing effectiveness
  • Increase advertisement accuracy
  • Lower advertisement costs
  • Better segmentation of target markets
  • Increase in brand trust
  • Increase revenue and ROI

Using a data orchestration platform is the only way to ensure that you have accurate information on your buyers so you can be a leader in the engagement economy.

Steve Lucas’ Journey

Steve Lucas is the CEO of iCIMS and has been working for over 24 years in CEO and senior executive roles at the world’s most competitive software companies, including at Marketo, where he oversaw the sale to Adobe for $4.75 Billion.

Steve follows and expertly analyzes the data, and understands its application in the world of customer engagement better than any. Currently at iCIMS, Steve has been analyzing data trends within the employment industries. Analyzing insights of the US job market Steve and his team discovered that users preferred engagement through text message, as opposed to email when communicating with potential employers.

"People are on average somewhere between 10 and 50 times more likely to open and read a text message than they are email."

- Steve Lucas


Steve is a public, private and philanthropic organization board member as well as published author with a broad range of GTM, operations, RandD, sales, services and technology market expertise.

You can learn more about Steve Lucas and engagement economy strategies by listening to the Datavana podcast here, or by reading his book, Engage To Win.

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Steve Lucas: Data Quality and the Engagement Economy

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