The rise and development of the Internet of Things (IoT) will only contribute to this smart revolution. Before long, everything we own will be connected and interconnected, leaving a data trail in the process.
Even now, almost every aspect of what we do in our day-to-day lives leaves a trail of telling data. A new Apple iPhone can work out where its owner works, lives and where they like to eat – simply by analyzing GPS data.
Just as an iPhone makes smart, data-driven decisions, so too are businesses. Data now plays a pivotal role in the decision-making processes of most business functions. Marketing is no different, with most modern marketers now having access to insightful data that can be used to think and act smarter.
A McKinsey study highlighted that 44% of C-level executives thought that investment in data analytics helped to create value, ultimately leading to their organization gaining competitive advantage.
So, how do smart businesses use data to make smart marketing decisions?
For a smart business, identifying the different types of data it has at its disposal and selecting which of this data is customer-centric is its first port of call.
Typically, enterprise marketing teams will need to identify customer-centric data from various mediums, including (but not limited to): social media engagement, email marketing metrics, website visits, content viewership, lead generation and online advertising.
Smart businesses don’t necessarily have a Data Manager or Head of Insights. If they’re smart, they’ll be striving for greater organizational efficiency. But a smart business will recognize the impending dominance of data and delegate both management and analysis of data to someone within their organization.
Whether it’s on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, this data will be analyzed. There are an abundance of tools and technology available that smart businesses will use for effective management and analysis of data – from Google Analytics and Salesforce to Hootsuite and Marketo.
If they don’t have the time or resources to manage and analyze the data themselves, they’ll source a smart service provider to do it for them.
Smart businesses react with precision and agility to the trends and insights they’ve drawn from their data. After all, it wouldn’t be smart to waste resources selecting, managing and analyzing data if no action is going to be taken at the end of the process.
Forgive me for stating the obvious but, in essence, smart businesses will do more of what works and less of what doesn’t – more of what their makes their customers tick, and less of what doesn’t. The result?
Smart businesses will take their competitors down and gain competitive advantage. They’ll also take customers on a journey they actually want to go on. If they do all of the above, it should be more of a vacation than a journey.
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