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Marketing Data Is The New Oil

by David Lawrence on 
February 15, 2022 | 
Digital Marketing Strategy
David Lawrence

Big businesses know that data is the new oil. And they’ve known this for a long time.

Smaller companies might know it, but many struggle to see data and it’s management as anything other than a cost centre. For some, it’s not even seen as an untapped resource.

Just as oil changed the global economy forever, data has become the energy that powers many decisions that affect all of us. When it comes to marketing, it’s increasingly the juice that keeps the dollars flowing reliably for our bosses and our shareholders.

The next big thing? Nope, it’s already here.

Data has already changed the world when it comes to powering and influencing decision making.

In almost every industry, there are better decisions and smarter predictive processes working because of data.

When it comes to marketing and influence, consider the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2016 where data scientists used Facebook to harvest up to 87 million Facebook profiles to influence the outcome of an election.

The majority of outraged people were non-marketers.

Most marketers I know shrugged their shoulders at the outrage. This was exactly what Facebook was designed to do. Although usually for the benefit of advertisers, and controlled by Facebook for their own profit.

Marketing data is everywhere. Consider automation in Google and Facebook, predictive tools in ecommerce, split-tests of all types, chat bots, retargeting campaigns, data driven content and trend prediction to name just a few.

Become your own ‘data refinery’

Like oil, unrefined data is useless. And for most businesses, this is exactly what they are dealing with. How then does a regular business turn the crude stuff into the good stuff?

  1. Clean your data: improved insights and more profitable decision-making starts with effective data management. As a starting point, how accurate and up to date is your CRM? Does someone own cleaning and maintaining this valuable resource?
  2. Share your data: Businesses of all sizes have a tendency to break down into silos. This is a big problem when leveraging data effectively. Do you have a single source of truth for your data, accessed and maintained by all?
  3. Analytics: Use the ways large groups of people behave to generate insights into how you can improve your marketing effectiveness today and tomorrow. We’re not just talking about platforms like Google Analytics either. Almost every platform you plug into will offer analytics which if used correctly will create value from your data.
  4. Experiment: You don’t need ‘big data’ sized datasets to make effective decisions by comparing the outcomes of two or more options.
  5. Segment: Averages are awful. Particularly across a big data set. Smart marketers use experiments and audience insights to segment their overall data into powerfully different groups.
  6. Personalise: No one likes to be treated the same as everyone else. Use your segmented data to personalise your marketing. Don’t forget the most effective segment is a segment of one. How can you use data to treat every single person as an individual?
  7. Provide value: This is marketing 101, but use your data and the insights it generates to provide real value to the real people each data point represents.
  8. Augment your data: Consider creative ways to take the data you have collected and add insights and further data to it using third-party services.
  9. Machine learning and AI: Thanks to Google, Facebook, and others, the ability for computers to make real-time decisions at scale with relatively small datasets is becoming a genuine asset for marketing. Humans are great at many things, but increasingly, so are the bots. Take advantage where you can.
  10. Data beats opinion. Well, it can if you use it correctly and understand it’s limitations. Quality data can shortcut the decision-making process by giving you something concrete to rely on.
  11. Predict buyer behaviour. Ecom has been revolutionised by data when it comes to getting customers to return time and again as well as helping predict what the next likely purchase will be for them.

As a regular business, you don’t have an army of data scientists at your disposal. You probably don’t have a single data expert on your team. That’s OK, a whole collection of technology solutions are making turning data into dollars easier than ever. Review your tech stack today and you’ll be surprised by how many of the points above are already achievable by people just like you.

Unlike oil, data is a renewable resource

This is where data beats oil. It’s renewable. And for most businesses, it’s almost unlimited.

Not only do we need to invest in constant quality improvement, we also need to make growing the depth and the breadth of our marketing data a normal part of our life.

Budget and time needs to be allocated to growing our valuable data and finding ways to leverage it more effectively using our smarts, plus internal and external technology.

Conclusion

In the early 1900’s there were two types of people.

Those shopping for a better horse and cart and those taking the leap into the brave new world of new-fangled cars.

How much of what you do as a marketer today is based on the way you’ve always done things? How much value are you getting from data and data-driven decisions? How seriously do you take improving and growing your data as an asset for now and the future?

If you’re feeling like your horse and cart might need an upgrade, then get in touch. We’re always up for a chat to see if there’s a way we can help. Call us on 1300 059 620 or leave us a message.

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