Five Mouths & No Ears: How Data For Data’s Sake Is Confusing Marketers

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With great data comes great responsibility. As volumes and intelligence of data increases, marketers need to ensure that they are analysing the data they collect and choosing how they integrate this into their communications carefully. Greg Taylor, Managing Director at Marketo explains why brands don’t need Big data, they just need the Right data.

As mobile adoption continues to grow and businesses start to explore the capabilities of VR, AI and other leading edge technologies, advertisers and marketers are compelled to listen, instead of multiplying the noise.

Too many marketers took user-level data as the be-all and end-all of marketing, disregarding the necessary steps to rationalise the data. This lead to a ‘five mouths, no ears” approach where broadcasting a one-size fits all communication strategy to customers was the focus. It’s this mass marketing approach that has driven a growth in the use of adblocking.

Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor

The marketing department has grown to manage all of the business’s customer touch points, from email to social channels, where they have the opportunity to have a direct, pseudo first-party conversation with their customers. The world of mass advertising is turning away from impersonal adverts to a world where we harness deep individual relationships with customers through engagement marketing.

The uptake of Big Data proves that the technology is there, and Australia has a reputation for being fast adopters of new technology. But the reality is Australian marketers are still significantly behind their overseas counterparts in core strategies and functions, such as providing end-to-end customer experiences, bringing new skills into their marketing function, and pioneering new technologies to engage audiences.

Although the interest in developing leading edge, digital-first marketing strategies is there, the execution isn’t.

There is a lot of hype around IoT, VR, and AI, with many companies, particularly tech companies, heralding significant investments in this space. But without clear strategies in place to make the most of these investments and ensure they deliver value, their impact will fall flat.

Marketers need to be digging deeper, not broader, into the customer experience. Rather than getting as much data as possible from as many channels as possible, marketers need to focus on the data that can be used to deliver value-driven changes for their customers.

It’s time for marketers to restore the balance of two ears and one mouth, if they are to successfully navigate the new landscape of data. Brands that survive will have built their reputation amongst consumers for providing well-timed and relevant interactions, encouraging customers to share more first-party data that will truly empower marketing departments.

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