Thoughts on Big Data from Performics, AdGooroo, OptiMine & Grainger


Posted by Matt Beran, Manager, Customer Advocacy

On the evening of Tuesday, March 13th, Performics co-hosted an event with OptiMine and AdGooroo at Bin 36 Wine Café on big data. “Digital Marketing in a Multi-Channel Ecosystem: Deliver Against Business Goals & Thrive in a World of Big Data Marketing” was an evening of cocktails and informative discussion as a panel of four industry leaders—Richard Stokes of AdGooroo, Eamon Boyle of Performics, Robert Cooley, PhD of OptiMine Software and David Chen of Grainger—moderated by Josh Dreller of Fuor Digital, talked about tackling ways to use data to make smarter marketing decisions, meet brand KPIs and deliver against business goals. They discussed best practices to build a digital foundation, bolster cross-channel effects, and reinforce the power of data-driven decision-making.

The discussion began with a question on how organizations could leverage big data. It was agreed upon that accidental data collection isn’t the right way to do it. You need granular data and lots of it. It’s like a speed boat and the Titanic: are you racing around looking at only the tip of the iceberg, or are you getting crushed by what you can’t see? To start, companies need to figure out how they’re going to apply the data, not the sources it’s coming from. What do you want to do with the data? Use cases—“I want to improve my paid search conversion rate”—and work backwards from there. Data is complicated. You need to know what you really want to do with it and break that down into its incremental parts. Look at it in unique ways.

The discussion then shifted into how companies should select an agency that will analyze their data: the key for the client is choosing an agency with a complete scorecard that can complete all KPIs. The agency says “I solve X problem. Do you want to do that? If so, we do that!” Clients should ask potential agencies how they differ from their competitors, what makes them unique. Once the agency has been selected, it needs to get down to exactly what the client needs. There are a lot of elements that go into determining client needs; the agency should use scorecards to help drill down into specifics, including data sources and a budget. On day one, integration begins. The boxes start to get checked. The client and the vendor begin figuring out just what exactly they have gotten themselves into. The data helps paint a picture, too—where the client is and where they want to go.

Some pitfalls about optimizing data occur, though. The client really needs to know its competitor set. If, for instance, the client is missing a chunk of keywords, the data it’s collecting is going to be bad, and therefore unusable. Panelists all agreed that the best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to hit everything with business cases and to build a data-driven mindset. If clients set simple and achievable KPIs, they’re setting themselves up for simple, quick wins. The agency also needs to be available at all times for whenever the client panics. Hands must be held.

Finally, the panel was asked to offer one step or one question to ask the data team if they have been thinking the right way.
Rob: Data synchronization. What’s the list of data sources, and what are the problems we’re to solve? What are we doing with the data?
David: Take a step back. The data you’re looking at should be the data you’re supposed to be looking at.
Eamon: Do you really want to do this? Be committed—it’s not an easy process.
Rich: How do you know the data is good?

After the panel concluded, there was one standout question from a brief Q&A: “Where are we in the spectrum of achieving the golden moment?” Rob answered it by saying “Not very far. We can’t do it without data. There’s never going to be a fully-automated system for this.” Rich simply stated, “there’s no Skynet for marketing.” And that’s what the evening ended on.

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