It's hard to overestimate the role of data in the current marketing landscape. For almost 80 percent of advertising and marketing executives worldwide, data is the essential building block when it comes to conceiving and shaping new campaigns. Approximately 90 percent emphasise the importance of a solid data strategy to provide a consistent and inspiring customer experience.
It requires perseverance to make the transformation into a data-driven organisation. Not big leaps, but lots and lots of carefully considered steps. Marketers who want to put data at the centre of their activities never stop experimenting. And they are not afraid to trip up. Every successful experiment needs the data-driven mindset of the marketer, and the ability to ask the right questions.
Which customers use which products? Via which channels do they enter? What is the impact of a particular channel on the longevity of your customer? And how can you influence that? Meaningful answers require specific data. Until recently, the range of tools to provide this was limited. Now, you often can't see the wood for the trees.
Before you know it, you have a motley collection of tools and other solutions. Some tools only do the same things your own CRM can do. Other solutions are too complex and don't fit with your organisation's current level of data maturity and overall development. And because these solutions are managed by external specialists, the organisation's own employees are prevented from developing further. This in turn increases the time it will take for you to become a data-driven organisation.
The emergence of a new generation of digital platforms eliminates this problem. These new data-ready digital platforms have an integral data layer. This layer registers all customer interactions across all available channels. Want to know how many website visitors saw a particular offer? How often a specific video has been watched, or at what point most viewers click away? The data-ready platform has already and automatically stored all the data you require for you. Marketers with data-oriented questions need only push a button.
The emergence of these new data-ready platforms has important consequences for the digital transformation process. Many organisations are too one-sided in their focus on technology. Now that technology has been largely removed as a limiting factor, organisations can focus on the other issues that are indispensable to achieving a successful digital transformation.
In our view, three other factors are involved: Organisation & Team, Process and Governance. In other words: who is responsible for which activity, how do we deal with it and how do we ensure that we comply with all legislation and regulations?
When these factors grow in line with the technology, you build an organisation that stimulates employees to ask the right questions. And to seek answers in the available data. This creates a continuous process in which experimentation and failure are essential components, and success is the structural result. Having the right guidance and inspiration ensures that this data-oriented mindset evolves naturally. The requirements of technology and data no longer form a hurdle because, after all, they are always available as standard.