Article

Giles Ivey
Giles Ivey 11 June 2019
Categories Advertising, B2B, Content

If Data’s The New Currency, Then What Can it Buy You?

It’s a mantra we’ve heard for a while now, although sometimes it’s hard to unpick its meaning. ‘Data is the new currency’. What does that even mean? And what can it buy you?

One answer marketers have known for a long time: data can buy you an in-depth understanding of your audience, their values, and their behaviour. In turn, this drives better media decisions and more accurate targeting and measurement.

But that’s not all it can buy you. Data isn’t just a way of optimising campaigns. There’s another answer. One that’s not just of interest to the marketing department, but to everyone in the business – right up to the top.

Reasons to cash in

The insights within data are equally valuable to every department with an interest in sales and growth. Think how business-critical it is to know a product’s key demographic or how customers proceed to purchase. But as it stands, these facts are not being shared. And so the silos of the real world, which separate different departments to their detriment, are now being replicated in the digital one.

Worse, it’s not only information that isn’t shared. What about goals? The aims of many campaigns are often based on marketing-specific metrics, not business-relevant ones. There is a growing chasm between marketers searching for views, clicks, and likes, while the rest of the company hunts down sales and growth. Can that possibly be the most efficient way to do business?

Time to shift perspectives

Data can fuel decisions and strategies across the company, and buy you success business-wide. It’s time brands view media buying not as a commodity but as a brand strategy tool. They must see that the value of data extends beyond marketing to the entire company.

In other words, data gathered in media campaigns can not only optimise them, but also drive business decisions based on actionable, quantifiable insights. Aligning the goals of their marketing department with the rest of the company makes marketing works for everyone, right up to the CEO.

How to reap the rewards

So what does truly realising the value of data look like?

Firstly, make your brand customer-centric. Make the customer experience the best it can be by listening to their needs and understanding their behaviour. Then integrate those learnings are then integrated into products and services, and update them when new patterns come to light. Over time, your brand will adapt to the customer – not the other way around.

Secondly, collaborate, or, if you’re into jargon, cross-pollinate. Don’t keep data’s secrets secret; share them across the company and enjoy the rewards five times over. A recent study showed the importance of working towards common goals: the majority of marketers surveyed (44.6%) thought they should collaborate more closely with people in customer-related jobs, followed by insight and research (33.2%), and data and analytics (31.2%). It’s hard not to see logic of that.

Because marketers are in a unique position. They understand what makes people tick, what makes people buy, what turns people off. That knowledge is kindling for more sales and better customer experiences. But this can only happen if marketers are working towards the right goals, ones which they should share with the wider business. Only then can operations become streamlined, effective, and capable of harnessing the full value of data.

Ultimately, it’s not enough just to be digital savvy anymore. Brands need to become data-led if they don’t want to be swept aside by the competition. Like we said, data is the new currency and the new status quo. Cash in.

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