Data over Gut: The case for Data Driven Marketing

Data over Gut: The case for Data Driven Marketing

By Benjamin Juru

I was reading an article on the Think With Google blog which shared a research on how leading marketers go with data over gut and such has been the trend lately. The thoughts shared in this article provoked me to delve deeper into this subject matter and unpack what it really entails to go with data over gut feeling.

In the early days of Talyor, Hezberg and other management gurus who preceded us, we witnessed the evolution of the marketing thought and philosophy. The philosophy of marketing evolved from production oriented to a customer driven philosophy which has been the hallmark of the 20th century. With the advent of the internet revolution which has forever changed the way consumers engage with brands; we are now in the information, data driven age. This does not entail we have dealt away with the customer oriented philosophy, but rather we have experienced an evolution of thought in which it has become critical that marketing strategies are data driven. In this data age, it is vitally important that as marketers we analyse, interpret and process large sets of consumer data into actionable intelligence in near and real time.

Today’s marketing philosophy is premised on the fact that the internet has empowered the consumer with a powerful voice to amplify a brand or cause collateral damage. In this ecommerce era, brands are now exposed to large sets of consumer data and can trace the consumer journey with surgical accuracy. The ability of brands to interpret these journeys and convert it into business intelligence is now one of the competitive advantages which businesses have in this dispensation. Gone are the days when marketers had to work with a gut feel over running marketing campaigns, today’s marketing is about interpretation and distilling of numbers.

The key thing is to have the awareness as a marketer of the need to be data centric. The article I alluded to earlier on emphasized the need to make data a key part of the organizational and personal culture. Data centricity should be driven from the top at an organizational level and it is incumbent upon the marketer to enforce data centricity at the upper echelons of the business. Data driven marketers should have a documented data and analytics strategy in place which is harnessed by all the functions of the business to understand and serve customers better. If we want to be great marketers, the onus is upon us take a leading role in creating a business environment which recognizes the strategic importance of data. The proof is in the pudding as they say and we need to demonstrate the efficacy of data centrism for us to have any top level buy in.

The article also highlights that Integration of marketing data is key to a data-driven approach. We should ask ourselves these questions to create a data drive marketing environment.

·        How much do we know about our customers?

·        How, where and when do they interact with our brands?

·        What are they saying about their brand experiences?

·        Which functions are also collecting customer data, Sales? Marketing? Customer Service?

If we can objectively answer these questions, we set ourselves on a path to making data the epicentre of marketing decisions.

In conclusion, becoming data driven as an entity won’t happen overnight, it starts with a change in mindset and in our approach. We need to education and training on data analytics before we can harness this critical matter. For some it takes reinventing the organization, setting up a department, employing new people to manage data.

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