Understanding Data Is a Science, but Not All Marketers Have the Right Formula

For people, knowledge is power. For businesses, data is knowledge. With nearly everyone and everything connected to an IP address, information is continuously collected and stored on a massive scale. Raw consumer data is a hot commodity that often goes untapped for brand marketing and advertising campaigns, especially when it comes down to understanding the impact and results. This begs the questions, “How are businesses utilizing and incorporating consumer data in the decision-making process?” And “how can Data and Marketing Intelligence deliver results that truly impact the bottom line?”

All companies use data in some capacity for normal business operations, but not all companies can unlock the secrets hidden within it. Whether it’s a retail company driving purchases among millennial shoppers, entertainment brands engaging fans, or a rental car company looking to increase bookings among couples – all must connect myriads of consumer data sources with a singular business goal. But today, that goal isn’t just about driving overall sales.

It’s about marketers making better decisions to consistently and effectively target the right people, with the right information, at the right time in order to build brand awareness, loyalty, and retention. What used to be a simple process of assembling dashboards and using general analytics to accomplish this has morphed into a complex process that most marketers are unequipped to tackle, given the sheer volume and depth of data collected.

Read more: It’s Time for Brands to Be Good Guys in the Consumer Data Privacy Relationship

Years ago, the proliferation of Data Science became the perfect solution to address this issue. Data Scientists have the unique skill set of Computer Science and Programming mixed with Statistics and Analytics that, combined, help analyze and answer challenging business problems. But the high demand for this position has since caused a shortage of available talent. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Report, while in 2015 there was a national surplus of people with Data Science skills, by 2018, shortages were present in almost every large U.S. city – especially New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Even for smaller cities like San Antonio, Dallas, or Minneapolis – and other up-and-coming tech cities that we were once untouched by this issue – their talent pools are rapidly narrowing.

With giants like Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google acting as the North Stars of their industries – by totally dominating data collection and offering top-notch consumer experiences – how can companies compete to achieve financial success and growth with limited resources then? For some brands and agencies, a great (and often overlooked) option to consider is working with external partners that have expertise in understanding and unlocking data to enable data-driven decision making in real-time.

An external company can be a cost-effective solution to deliver top-notch data-driven results and is especially helpful for those without the resources to hire costly Data Scientists in-house. A mutual partnership can connect siloed customer data, revolutionize the supply chain, connect TV and online campaigns, fulfill those campaigns, and discover insights that align with core business goals. From there it’s much easier to take action by leveraging unique data and information, which in the end will save time, energy, and money. Plus, this ensures that the right processes and infrastructures are in place from the onset in order to measure success.

Every business has different objectives. And every business has different ways to achieve its objectives. Since big AdTech platforms can’t accommodate differences, instead of aiming for standardization – outsourced analysts, armed with the best in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, can discover insights based on the things that matter, rather than just what’s easiest to measure. Once marketers understand these opportunities and gain a new perspective on their key audiences including the best ways to reach them, they will unlock the data required to drive successful Marketing strategies. Only then will industry leaders be able to prove how Marketing is meeting the strategic needs of their businesses.

Read more: Why It’s Time to Open up to Consumers About Where Their Data Goes

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