As a marketer, I naturally admire companies that use data to improve the customer experience. Companies who invest in using high-quality data to create relevant business insights reap significant economic rewards from that time and effort. As one example, McKinsey reported that a retailer using big data to the fullest could increase its operating margin by more than 60%. And yet, despite the ever growing abundance of real-time data, businesses struggle to create value using this resource. Today's marketers must master critical new skills to realize the promise of data, including:
- The ability to recognize high quality information from distracting noise
- The ability to convert this information into clear, actionable intelligence
- The ability to convert that insight into action that drives measurable results
Far too often we see examples of small and large companies alike missing the chance to use data to enhance customer engagement and create value for all stakeholders. Even worse, we witness the havoc that poor data or improperly applied analysis can wreak on companies, leaders, customers and investors. Thus, those who use the data correctly set themselves apart from the competition and become leaders in their industry.
This is why we at rDialogue are advocates for Emory's Marketing Analytics Center (MAC) and what it’s teaching its students. EmoryMAC strives to be a thought leader in data-driven marketing analysis, applying world-class research methods to a wide range of today's practical marketing challenges and opportunities. Last semester, we supported such efforts by participating in the classroom and exposing students to recent real-world data from a marquee client.
Recently, I attended the annual EmoryMAC Conference focused on "Making Marketing Analytics Actionable", highlighting efforts of leading brands such as Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and The Home Depot. As the expansion of "big data" continues, the aggressive ways in which these companies are using data and analysis to prioritize opportunities and determine what marketing to execute is eye opening and beneficial for all of us to hear.
- Delta used their customer insights to create an Omni-channel experience catered to their customers’ needs. These insights helped to create the business case for investing in mobile and tablet applications, by properly assessing the revenue potential for each.
- The Home Depot provided insight into the success of their recent Silicon Valley "Hackathon," a growing outside the box agile innovation trend intended to create meaningful solutions and even technology prototypes over an intense short period. Their consumer data helped to identify an opportunity to engage customers in a richer way, and via the Silicon Valley “Hackathon” they were able to conceptualize on a new level.
- Coke challenged everyone's thinking and made us re-evaluate the consumer data we may have that we are not using. Is there an opportunity to use passive data to deliver a better customer experience? It made a difference for Coke when looking at their passive Facebook data.
It comes as no surprise that the EmoryMAC put together a great conference for people in any industry to learn from leaders in the Marketing Analytics space. The speakers were as insightful as the conversations that took place among the attendees. I challenge you to look locally for a group or organization that provides a forum to learn more about topics that can make a difference in your business. Even the smallest data set and insights can make a difference in the customer experience or company performance.