Mike Marcellin

CMO of Juniper Networks

“We often get caught up in how people use our products. We group buyers into personas that dehumanize them. But we have to go deeper. The most powerful insights truly get to the personal motivations.”

In order to become a data-driven customer intuitive enterprise, there are a lot of steps, says Juniper Networks CMO Michael Marcellin. Here’s his short list:


  1. Don’t settle for surface-level insights on what someone does with your product.
  2. Make sure your messaging and value prop includes how working with your company addresses intrinsic motivations.
  3. Own your data. Don’t buy a martech vendor’s service that keeps the data in the cloud.
  4. Create a consolidated view of all your customer data, such as a data lake that either the company or marketing owns and manages.
  5. Invest in data scientists whose job is deliver insights to the business and independently report on the health of both the business and marketing’s investments.


A steady stream of abundant data are the building blocks of customer insights. The trick is to assemble these blocks into true insights.

To this end, Marcellin says he’s found two successful approaches: use a data science team to correlate data and test marketing’s hypothesis or complement digital data with traditional qualitative research, such as online focus groups.

“Knowing their why helps provide context to what they say and what the data is telling us,” Marcellin says.

The payoff can be significant, he says. The right insights will make everything marketing does better. Events will be more engaging, content more relevant. New automated martech tools could also let you create a customer-driven buying journey that looks different than any other traditional buyer’s journey.

“The dream would be to automate the entire buyer’s journey while seamlessly allowing for human touch when desired,” Marcellin says. “It would radically change the roles of sales and marketing in the future and radically improve the buying process in customers’ eyes.”

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