For years the advertising industry buzzed that this year is the "Year of Mobile." And for many years that became something of a running joke that arrived a bit too early to the party. Then a few years ago we all woke up and realized it was in fact so. Today, mobile is the primary device and is continuing to capture more and more screen time. In fact, every year is now a “Year of Mobile.”
In the same way, you often hear people throw around the term “data” today. In fact, if there were Pantone colors of the year for words, data would indeed be in the running for word of the year.
What type of data is most valuable for your business?
Over the last few years, everyone seems to be in a land grab for data. After all, the more data we have, the more we can do with it, right? Actually, no. Rather than trying to capture as much data as possible, think about your data strategy before it is acquired. I look at it this way:
Imagine millions of multi-colored plastic balls spread around a giant field. Your task is to gather as many balls as possible in a limited time. Without any additional direction you would run and grab every ball that you could with no distinction among colors. Now imagine that you were given one additional piece of information...green balls are worth one-thousand-times more than the other colors. You would change your strategy to focus on finding and gathering as many green balls as possible, right? That's the idea, that by first identifying the type of data that is most valuable to your business before acquiring it, you maximize the value of your efforts. Not all data is not created equal.
Second, before you begin collecting data, consider your goals and business objectives you hope to achieve. Are you looking to gain customer insights to build a lifetime value model? Then maybe you already have valuable first party data in your customer loyalty system that can be leveraged. Or perhaps you are looking to prospect for new customers who have affinities for similar products and can acquire that data. Once you understand what you want to accomplish, you can begin to identify the right types of data to acquire or activate.
The right talent drives data discovery
Today there is rarely a shortage of data available within an organization. Businesses often have mountains of data on hand through various systems such as: ERP, CRM, DMPs, website analytics, social media accounts, and marketing reports. What is lacking? The right talent and processes to identify the valuable insights that are hiding within. You'll often find agencies regurgitating slide after slide of metrics, using volume as a crutch for this ailment. Good data analysts will utilize quality tools and skills to pore through the volumes of data to identify the valuable insights that can impact the business strategy and drive results. Identifying this talent is often as important as the data itself.
Assessing your data landscape
This point is compounded with scale. Large organizations are built slowly over many years with legacy infrastructures created for different purposes at different times. Acquisitions bring additional complexity, as another set of legacy systems with different technologies joins the equation. This leads to many disparate systems and siloed data infrastructures. In some industries (telco, medical, etc…) there are often regulatory and privacy concerns that add additional layers of complexity. The larger and more complex an organization, the more important it is to first assess the data landscape, identify data synergies and opportunities, and develop a strategy to execute. Otherwise, an organization will spend countless resources chipping away at the tip of the iceberg without ever fully harnessing the value in the data that lies beneath.
Tips for developing a data strategy for your organization
In summary, before rushing out to capture or acquire as much data as you can, think through the following:
1) Ensure you have the right skill sets and tools in place to enable data-driven strategies
2) Determine business goals and objectives and the types of data that will help to accomplish them.
3) Assess your current first-party data landscape to understand what data you have access to and how it can help.
4) Identify additional data sets that add value and close gaps in your data sets or expand existing ones.
5) Develop a strategy and operational plan to execute, involving all key stakeholders across the organization.
Discover how Women's Marketing can help you turn your data into strategy. Contact us today to get started!