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Data is king

big data

I have an economics degree.

I still can’t tell you exactly why I ended up with an economics degree, but there it is.

Through my meandering career in design, promotions, events and advertising it’s always seemed to stand out like a sore thumb. But in marketing, I’ve come to realise the power of some elements of marketing. And the most important is in data.

If you have data you have power. You have knowledge, you have a communication channel, you have a target. The first time I realised this was at the very beginning of my career: promoting university courses/services to 25,000 students in a traditional mass marketing (billboards, posters, brochures) was successful to a degree. However, putting one of those brochures in a mailing that went out to 25,000 students flooded those same courses/services with enquiries.
Since that fortunate accident, I’ve continued to see the power of data in all areas of marketing:

  • Market research data: feedback from your customers or prospects is an ideal platform for strategic thinking
  • Financial or general data from an invoicing system or other operational data can provide a great snapshot for a business
  • Direct marketing (whatever the channel) is only as effective as the database you have access to. More importantly, how close is your offering or communication to that database.

These are just some examples of how data can formulate excellent strategy and marketing. In 2011 if you haven’t accessed the data available through online (from your website statistics, from Google itself, from social media or from Census and other wealth of statistics) you’re at a considerable competitive disadvantage.

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