We Have Data, but What Now?

By | April 27, 2012

Increasingly, marketers are gathering more data. But do they know what to do with it once they have it?

According to a research study by the Aberdeen Group last year (and now being offered a free download by Adobe), best in class marketing organizations are gathering loads of data through techniques like website visitor tracking; tracking, measurement, and reporting on all marketing campaign results; and testing effectiveness of campaign content; but too few are taking the critical, additional steps to understand exactly what these data mean or how to use them.

For example, do CMOs know what these data tell them about the identity, behavior, and potential spend of their prospects and customers? Are they using this data to build unique customer profiles and personas to match specific campaign goals? Do they know who is spending the most money, when, and why?

Not enough of them.

Likewise, too few have campaign dashboards that allow them to coordinate what they know and what they are learning on the ground across their various channels. As the report notes:

As the volume of customer-related data (transactional, behavioral, and unstructured) continues to grow, marketing organizations are in danger of becoming increasingly data-rich but insight-poor.

In other words, it’s great to have data, but if you’re not using it properly, it’s like having a full toolkit but only taking the hammer out of the box.

As service providers, this leads to an interesting question. Are you focused on encouraging customers to gather data? Or are you encouraging them to dig deep to figure out how to use that data once they have it? Finally, are you prepared — really prepared — to help them do that?

This research includes profiles of best-in-class strategies for managing data (including process, technology, knowledge management, organization, and benchmarking performance), along with illustrative case studies. Best of all, it’s free. Check it out.


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