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Data

Ask your CEO, and they will say that your greatest asset is your people. Ask your marketing chief, and the answer will be your brand. And ask your CFO, your value is determined by your revenue or EBITDA. But is it possible that they may all be wrong… or may soon be? (Hint: how would your CIO answer?)

The profusion of systems has led to a bumper crop of data. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and all of the other social media sites track the beginning of the journey, while marketing automation tracks the latter part of it. CRM systems track prospect and client activity, while ERP systems track both “delivery” and financials. Other systems track post-sales service activity, while the organization’s websites (internet, extranet, and intranet) generate even more data. Finally, data can be shared from suppliers, clients, and other partners, or purchased from third parties to further enrich what you already have.

While the term “big data” has been around for a number of years already, the reality for most organizations is that they have a “big data mess.”  To begin extracting value from this asset, consider your organization’s data analytics maturity:

  • Level zero: Does not collect data.  Relies on gut to make decisions. (And sporadic market research.)
  • Level I: Collects data within separate systems; reviews data sporadically.
  • Level II: Data architecture that combines and “relates” all of the data from the disparate systems, so that it can later be used. Data is cleansed, and duplicate records removed. The reason all this is possible is that a specific person has been assigned the role of data steward/master data manager. Unfortunately, the data is not generally accessible, except through difficult programming or special requests.
  • Level III: Specific slices of the data are exposed in real-time for better decision-making. Each role may have a different dashboard, depending on their responsibilities, while standard reports are used throughout the organization.
  • Level IV: The data is proactively plumbed for insights, risks, and opportunities.  Internal and external data are married to provide higher order insights and competitive advantage.

Most organizations are at Level zero or I, yet aspire to Level IV without doing the heavy lifting required of Levels II and III. Building competitive advantage through data is just not possible without an investment in systems, an ongoing investment in data quality, and data analytics.

This week’s action item:  What level are you at?  This week, begin the process of moving to the next level by socializing these concepts with your colleagues: share this Tipsheet to begin the conversation.

This year’s action time:  Systems and data quality are easy, but proactive data analytics is a skill most organizations do not have, and often, do not understand.  Over the next year, identify a person or group that can do this, either internally or externally.

Related post:  Data/Information/Intelligence.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

 

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Marketing has progressed significantly from the days of direct mail addressed to “occupant”. Or has it?

  • I recently received a snail-mail letter from a major corporation, addressed to Rondo Greg – not Randall Craig.
  • My wife recently received an email addressed to her work address, asking whether her company – a major financial institution – would be interested in using the financial services… of their direct competitor.
  • And of course most people have received emails that begin “Dear [Contact Name]”, where it actually says “[Contact Name]” instead of their own name.

For the first time ever there are low cost tools (Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, and Infusionsoft, amongst others) that allow any organization to do sophisticated marketing automation/database marketing.

There is an eerie parallel between marketing automation today, and desktop publishing in the mid-late 1980’s.  Back then, the newfound ability to choose between so many fonts/sizes/styles gave the writer incredible power when it came to formatting and layout.  Some of what was produced was brilliant – but most was a disaster.  Today, marketers have been given similar superpowers: some superpowers are being used brilliantly, and some… not so much so.  (And some marketers don’t even know what these marketing automation superpowers actually are.)  

While organizations will eventually develop the knowledge and skills to incorporate marketing automation into their plans, they will never be successful unless they pay attention to the definitely unsexy foundation: their actual data.   Consider the following ten questions:

  1. Who has executive responsibility for the quality of the organization’s databases?
  2. Which staff member is tasked with day-to-day responsibility for the quality of data? (They sometimes have a title, such as “data steward”)
  3. Do your databases have a well-structured architecture?
  4. Do key fields have a well-thought-out taxonomy?
  5. What processes currently exist to continuously improve data quality? (Review, testing, verification, etc)
  6. Do you continuously collect data across the entire “journey” for a 360º, end-to-end view of your clients/members/stakeholders?  (Including from internal systems, real-life interactions, web, and social media.)
  7. Are all email and outbound messages legally compliant? (eg CASL, CAN-SPAM, etc)
  8. Is there a process to change implicit consent to express consent, and then track it?
  9. Is there transparency of data to those in the organization who need to see it?  (Including dashboards, exception reporting, and ad-hoc reporting.)
  10. Is the data adequately protected from external threats, but also with internal rights restrictions?

This week’s action plan:  Great data drives great marketing decisions, improved conversion, and is the rocket fuel powering newer technologies such as marketing automation.  This week, strengthen this foundation by improving how you answer these ten questions.   No whiz-bang tool will prevent human marketing errors from occurring – but having accurate data will solve the most egregious ones.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

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Branding and Web Security

by Randall Craig April 29, 2016

What determines the confidence in your brand?  Yes, the visual identity and what people see.  And yes, the experience and interaction people have, both online and in the real world.  And yes, the social media (and traditional media) buzz – both positive and negative.  But there is another factor, hidden from most marketers, that can […]

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Insight: Becoming web invisible

by Randall Craig September 4, 2015

With so much discussion about work-life balance, privacy, confidentiality, and government snooping, is it any wonder that some people have decided to move off the grid, and become web-invisible?  Or for others to more closely monitor their web profiles, and either partially or completely remove themselves?  Finally, there are others who choose to remove themselves […]

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Marketing Insight: Big Data and Lead Scores

by Randall Craig May 15, 2015

Often times, the greatest insights happen at the intersection of two areas, and this is certainly true of the intersection between marketing and business development. Typically, what lives here are leads. Marketers develop initiatives that build leads. Then sales “works” the leads, hopefully converting them into clients. This is true, in one form or another, […]

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