Clare Granville

Data, data, everywhere

Posted on 8th October 2014 by Clare Granville

Data, data, everywhere

Big data, data-driven marketing, data science – wherever you look, people are wondering what to do with all of this data that we have suddenly “unearthed”. One of the recurring questions is how businesses can glean the most value from these molecules of information and use data to grow the top line.

The value of data isn’t a new concept in marketing. We’ve been turning data into Man Bites Dog stories for nine and a half years and we weren’t the first to do it. From aggregating customer data to mashing your data with publicly available datasets and conducting opinion research, the possibilities for companies to arm themselves with newsworthy facts and commercially valuable insights is seemingly endless.

This got me thinking about the value that sits within insightful data; whether marketers and business development teams are making the most of the insights they have worked so hard to uncover; and the secrets of getting the biggest return on commercially impactful ideas.

The following are a few things to think about or ask yourself next time you embark on a data-driven campaign.

Longevity

Some data can go out of date extremely quickly. Data that stands the test of time can be used repeatedly by marketing, client services, business development, sales teams and fee earners to engage key target audiences, grow accounts, inform events, inform media comment and so on.

Consider future gazing and making predictions about what’s going to be happening in 1, 3 or 5 years’ time. Asking the same or similar questions on a regular basis can also help you to own a conversation around ongoing trends, future projections and how industries are changing.

Benchmarking

By building a simple formula or tool, you can commercialise ideas by helping your clients and prospects to engage with your campaigns by measuring their relative performance. This is “pull” rather than push marketing – a more efficient use of ideas, characterised by “buying” behaviour not a hard sell.

Online calculators and benchmarking tools can also help your fee earners and sales teams by giving them a value-added service to offer to existing clients and prospects. Contrary to popular belief, these are not prohibitively expensive and are quick and easy to deploy. A couple of recent examples include strategy&’s CEO Time Machine and Charterhouse’s Marketing Maturity Calculator.

Divide and conquer

A single data point can hold a lot of value, so consider the individual merits of your findings as well as the bigger picture. Instead of burying your most thought provoking stats and facts in a long white paper, for example, consider illustrating them in separate graphs, flash cards, wallpaper, infographics or other visual stimuli.

This bite-sized content is also more likely to do the rounds on social media and email, and is a lot less cumbersome to use in telephone conversations and client meetings.

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