Like data, content can be overwhelmingly plentiful—but exceptionally useful. So I’ve pulled together some of our top content on data to help you find quick answers to your data-related questions. Here, in case you missed it, select advice, insight, and opinion on ways to quench your thirst for data-driven marketing.
Set your strategy: “Businesses, especially businesses getting into the analytics game for the first time, should really scope out what they want to do before they try to do it,” says John Foreman, chief data scientist for MailChimp.com and author of Data Smart. “Rather than just reading a bunch of news articles about what other people are doing, actually look at your business and the problems you’re having and the places you can see the most gain from using analytics. It’s best to pick one problem and try to solve that.”
–When (and How) to Bust Down the Data Door
Follow the leader: “I feel like I have a canoe full of data and there’s a cruise ship right next to me full of data that I don’t know how to use,” Jeff Mirman, VP of marketing for Turner Sports, told the audience at the Direct Marketing News Marketing&Tech Partnership Summit. So, instead of trying to redefine its own data model, Turner Sports decided to emulate the leader in the video-on-demand (VOD) Big Data space: Netflix.
– Turner Sports Uses Big Data to “Future Proof” its Media
Be clear: “I don’t think [Big Data] is a particularly helpful term because it’s sort of lost all meaning through terminological inflation, hype, and so on. So I argue that you should be clear about what kind of data you’re using,” says Professor Thomas H. Davenport, author of Big Data @ Work. “You’d be better off saying something like, ‘We’re trying to understand customer perception through analysis of video at ATM machines,’ which would actually tell you something rather than saying, ‘Oh, we’re working on a Big Data project,’ which sounds pretty much useless.”
–Q&A: Why Big Data Works
Share responsibility: “[Customer data] is about partnership…about cooperation. This is not about ownership,” says Bruce Biegel, senior managing director at Winterberry Group, noting that not only should marketers foster and nurture a collaborative relationship with IT, but they also should include legal as early in the process as possible. “They’re the ones who understand what’s going on in Washington and on the regulatory landscape.”
–Who Really “Owns” Customer Data
Rethink what you measure: “Given the almost universal acknowledgement on the part of marketers that first click, last click, or subjective rules-based measurement methodologies for attributing marketing success are flawed, it was extremely surprising that the overwhelming majority of marketers still use these techniques,” says Manu Mathew, CEO of Visual IQ.
–CMOs Are Measuring Data All Wrong
Differentiate by using data you have in-house: “We were able to optimize marketing spend based on this in-house Big Data,” says Eric Helmer, T-Mobile’s senior manager of campaign design and execution, “and that’s a competitive advantage that some other industries don’t have.”
–Subscribers Follow the Leader
Be customer centric: “We keep our guests at the center of our attention,” says Menka Uttamchandani, VP of business intelligence at Denihan Hospitality Group, “and to do that we must understand what they experience, their preferences—it’s a great window for us.”
–Customer Data at Denihan’s Service
Read between the lines: “Your data analysis won’t come without establishing an understanding of the nuanced parts of your business—the data that’s not being used,” says Michael Caccavale, CEO of Pluris Marketing. “It’s the data that’s not in the system—or is in the system but deserves an asterisk. It lives between the lines.”
–Counting Context: The Sneaky Data that Moves Margins
Consider tracking social data: “Any organization [can gain] some benefit from using analytics. But the correct type of data to look at is dependent [on the] industry,” Erick Brethenoux, director of business analytics and decision management strategy at IBM. “In spite of the big talk from many organizations, few businesses today take advantage of social media data in their decisions. They talk a lot about it, but not many use it pragmatically. But think about it: If I post five or six reviews on TripAdvisor every year, for example, and so do you, and so does everyone, that’s a lot of information.”
–Q&A: The Power to Act
Get personal: “[Our] ‘Your Personal Sale’ functionality…was a true collaboration between technology, marketing, and merchandizing, and it allows us to create a truly personalized customer experience,” says Tamara Gruzbarg, senior director of analytics and research at Gilt Groupe. “There is no shortage of data and frankly, with as much as we know about customers, we don’t have an excuse not to be personalized.”
–Data: Go Big or Go Home