Marketing unicorns and other myths about big data

Does your Marketing team feel like using big data is a fantasy? There is nothing like looking for a unicorn to find out it doesn’t exist. Yet, with big data, many CUs continually search for the magic to no avail.

Is data really that elusive? Yes. And no. We know that good data drives good decision making. It is vital in validating or challenging assumptions, reducing risk and improving efficiency. However, drawing insights from data and then applying them often becomes a mythical creature. There are several reasons why CUs fail:

  1. Limited access to data. Whether it is a lack of a database/data mart or inadequate data collection, there often is limited access or an issue with data integrity. Unfortunately, it is a common problem. For instance, there can’t be an email campaign, if you don’t collect emails in a designated field. There are no segmentation or predictive models, if you don’t capture the demographic or behavioral data points.
  2. Disorganized data. Perhaps you have data, but it is overwhelming, unorganized or the UI is poor. Data that can’t be processed effectively either creates a barrier for proper analysis or the dreaded “analysis paralysis”. Having knowledgeable analysts on board can reduce this friction and allow for pinpointing the right information and needed models.
  3. Inability to interpret. If seeing trends and drawing insights is not a strength of your team, the data is not actionable. The data needs to be presented in a useful way and someone needs to be able to drill into it. They need to see the business application and translate it into strategy and pragmatic tactical execution.

Despite numerous marketing growth goals, we often see these data problems continue. Thus, the first step is to realize marketing is a revenue-center and can deliver a positive ROI with a proper investment. Then your IT and Marketing should create a practical plan and start small—regardless if the data is housed internally or outsourced. Finally, your Marketing team must have a mix of analysts and strategists that are comfortable with how the data aligns with the business. When they understand the key performance indicators (KPIs), they can get a holistic view of how to create compelling campaigns to drive growth.

Addressing these concerns will turn a marketing fantasy into reality—and success! Unicorns and all.

Helen Lawler

Helen Lawler

Helen Lawler, president of FINspiration, has more than 20 years of leadership in marketing financial services. FINspiration is a strategic Marketing firm focused on financial services and specializing in the ... Web: Details