Friday, January 16, 2015

9 Mantras for Data Driven Marketing

I had the opportunity to participate in a Harvard Business Review sponsored Data-Driven Marketing: How to Engage Your Customers conversation yesterday featuring Thomas C. Redman, President of Navesink Consulting Group and author of the HBR article, "Data's Credibility Problem."
I left the session with the self proclaimed “the Data Doc,” with the following insights (supplemented with my own experience in the area):
  1. Smart companies use data to drive competitive advantage. Mediocre ones just use it to drive operational efficiencies. Data may be the ultimate "proprietary technology" for companies who know how to use it right.
  2. Data is a Marketing Weapon. It can drive competitive advantage by being used for "Informationalization" (building data into the product e.g. nutritional labeling on food products) and "Infomediation" (Can someone get between you and your customer e.g. Uber and the taxicab companies). Choose not to "Informationalize" or "Infomediate" at your own peril.
  3. How to train your intuition/gut ? Intuition or gut feel is "soft data". Combine it with hard data. "Use your intuition to test the data
    and the data to train your intuition."
  4. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment. You are only as good as your last experiment. Experiments help fill up holes in data.
  5. Cast a wide net. Look at lots of data sources to create a picture. More pixels-->Better Screen Resolution; More Data sources --> Better Inferences and Decisions.
  6. Data Quality is "YOUR" responsibility, not just IT's.
  7. Big Data vs. Smart Data: Use data and analytics smartly to identify "sameness" and "differences". You gain competitive advantage by the way you are different not the way you are same.
  8. Make sure your top level metrics are reflective of data being used. It will be ironic if you measure acceleration but report speed only.
  9. Data: Love it or hate It but never ignore it! Avoid like-minded groupthink or get caught in analysis paralysis.Also remember that even as you play with data about the customer, the customer also has access to data about you and your competitors.
How effective have you been in using data to drive marketing and competitive advantage? What are some of the lessons you learnt on the way? Would love to hear those stories. Join the conversation!

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