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3 Suggested Key Actions for Companies to be Data-Driven
The continuous advancements in technology have empowered today’s consumer more than ever before. Access to multiple devices and channels to shop, research, discuss and make buying enquiries online has put consumers in a position of freedom and control. And connected to this freedom is a sense of entitlement, or better put, an absolute demand and expectation to be recognised, remembered and communicated to as an individual.
Therefore for today’s marketer or brand, this means striving to know the customer to accurately predict his tastes, preferences and overall behaviour across his purchase journey. And to effectively achieve this, brands must have valuable information about the customer. Now, this does not end here as having sufficient and relevant customer data is not enough to satisfy his needs. Most important is the ability to use available data to deliver value to the customer.
Importance of Data in Business Growth
Data and analytics tools play a crucial role in helping brands with reliable ways to identify their target audience and to deliver relevant messages to them in a timely and appropriate manner. Most organisations have come to learn that data and its analysis is crucial in the business decision-making process. They know that gone are those days when the gut instinct or “business acumen” are relied upon to make business decisions. With regards to decision-making, data and analytics must take the central stage to succeed in business, these days.
What’s more? With technology and its numerous tools forming crucial parts of the business sphere, generating valuable data and using the same data to impact the business is possible.
What Does It Mean To Be Data-Driven?
Being data-driven means making decisions based on available data. Now, this does not in any way imply that all the data a company has will necessarily be valuable for achieving business growth.
The value you attach to data or datasets depends on the insights you can draw from it as regards the outcomes you desire from its use. Also, the KPIs you measure will determine how successful your data-driven decisions are. And the metrics you should be looking at are those that are advantageous to your business growth.
The Gains of being Data-Driven
The highly successful companies, globally are those who use data to make decisions that concern their business. Their success is mainly because of the strategic advantage they have over their rivals by shifting their focus to data instead of relying on their gut instincts alone. There are pieces of evidence in the business world to show that those organisations who make data-driven decisions are the top flyers in business.
The following are some of the gains companies stand to enjoy by becoming data-driven:
- They save cost by storing only valuable data.
- They stay relevant and competitive among the other data-driven organisations.
- They become more customer-focused and experience a more in-depth insight into the customer and his journey.
- They spot new and missed opportunities for improvement and growth.
- They become stronger and better equipped to respond to market demands.
The process of becoming data-driven begins with a strategy. Building and having a plan for making data-driven decisions helps you to stay focused by eliminating all the data that are not valuable to your goal. Hence, before you even begin to build a strategy, you will have to identify your business goal, first. Identifying your goal is crucial for deciding the outcomes you expect from data. These expected results could be generating new leads through digital marketing or successfully executing repeat sales. Whatever the goals are, knowing what data can do for you and linking that expectation to your business objectives is crucial for building a sound strategy. Equally important is the readiness to reevaluate your core systems and business goals if the need for it arises. By doing so, you will be laying the foundation for a result-oriented marketing strategy.
After you have laid a strong groundwork, there are specific actions you will need to take on the path of becoming data-driven.
The report of a study conducted by MIT in partnership with Google suggests three key actions to make companies data-driven. They are thus:
1. Unifying the company information into one integrated system.
The act of unifying data helps to streamline data to only what is essential for achieving set objectives. With the proliferation of technology into the marketing sphere, data flows into an organisation from multiple directions. The possibility of generating data from the different platforms, tools and teams and individuals of the entire workforce means that data available to a company is most likely disjointed and disparate. Hence, this makes it essential to assemble all of the disconnected data into a unified stack. When marketers do not have access to consolidated data for work, it becomes difficult for them to form a clear picture of the customers’ needs. And even more challenging to arrive at the best way to service them. Working with integrated data helps businesses to ensure the delivery of personalised experiences to individual customers. Putting a digital marketing team in place is a practical way an organisation can gather data across multiple channels effectively. The analysis of data by the unit will also aid in understanding the customer and delivering the right message.
2. They are equipping marketing teams with excellent analytical skills.
Companies need to incorporate excellent quantitative skills into their marketing workforce if they must achieve their sales and growth objectives. They can do this by either hiring the necessary talents for executing data-driven digital marketing tasks or by training their existing staff to complement their traditional marketing strengths. Equally important is the need to equip the non-IT members of the marketing team with self-service tools useful for simplifying data, data automation and the performance of data analytics tasks within little time.
3. Break the silos of teams by having integrated and collaboration in their workflow.
For companies to become truly data-driven, there is a need to eliminate the barriers that exist between units in the organisation. Many companies operate based on distinct silos, where the workforce exist as separate units with different priorities and objectives. The issue with this type of arrangement is that the customers’ experience never receives a holistic consideration. The development of campaign messages and other marketing communications follows no proper coordination and recourse to the business objectives. Although the process of collaboration across organisational silos is usually challenging, its achievement is crucial.
For a company to operate in a genuinely data-driven manner, it will have to take some critical actions. Having valuable data is not sufficient; business and technical teams must collaborate to use data to improve marketing performance and customer journey.
Contact BizRamp to help your organisation start with becoming more integrated, analytical and collaborative.
No doubt, the process of becoming data-driven can be quite challenging, but with the help and expertise of our team, it remains achievable. And the gains you get to enjoy will make it worthy venture.