What Lies in the Blind Spots of the Data-Driven CMO

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

However, considering data today, it’s tempting to want to ask Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, what happens, when one has all the data and it becomes overwhelming.

Every year, the amount of data that marketers can collect grows, and CMOs are often the ones expected to develop theories based on what is accumulated.

It’s an extremely difficult position, yet the best at it continually prove how to make the most of data.

The truth of the matter is though extrapolating real-time theories out of endless data is a challenge so big, it’s liable to create blind spots.

Some of the most noticeable blind spots for CMOs, according to Mark Flaharty, COO at SundaySky, include:

  • Continuing to spend time and money on communicating only with the same 5 percent of their total audience

  • Throwing away perfectly good data because its value “expires” after 30 days

  • Not digging deep enough into the data beyond open or engagement rates

These blind spots, Flaharty says, manifest for the data-driven CMO in a variety of ways, such as a lack of ad personalization and click-driven marketing.

“On many occasions, I have worked with companies who have told me their latest marketing campaigns are measured by clicks,” says Flaharty. “But if you train models to only find clickers, it will not necessarily translate into sales.”

A constant pattern of this kind of marketing viewpoint is steeped in recent data, no less than 30 days old. However, Flaharty cautions against tossing out data more than a month old, and believes there is inherent worth to those numbers.

“Of course short-term data is valuable, but what about the long-term data, such as: What ever happened to those customers who used to visit every day several months ago but don’t anymore? Why don’t they visit anymore?” says Flaharty. “CMOs should attempt to re-engage these consumers, find out why they left, and try to reconnect.”

One of the most effective ways to do this, according to Flaharty, is by utilizing all channels to engage with consumers.

“There is no channel that can tap 100% of consumers. However, if a company tries to interact through a wide variety of channels, it has a better possibility of establishing that relationship,” says Flaharty.

While Flaharty believes CMOs should not focus solely on data to build consumer relationships, a pattern known as “analysis paralysis,” they should understand that data no longer shows basic interactions but the entire consumer experience.

“CMOs understand the fresher the data dictates the message,” says Flaharty,” but what message do you want to send to which customers?”

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