Today, evolving consumer trends and advancements in marketing and advertising technology coupled with the explosion of consumer data types and sources are opening up fresh opportunities for organisations to consider the most appropriate role for data to support the commercial strategy. Brands are living in the ‘Era of Data’, where a smart approach to next generation data management will yield sustainable competitive advantage for brands. We at TCF believe the focus on ‘Big’ data is not helpful with many brands lacking any sort of data strategy to direct how they collect, analyse and use the vast volume and variety of data available. Instead brands must develop a considered and strategic approach to data management, aimed at identifying and using the data really needed to address specific business challenges.
We call this ‘smart data’ – a focus on collecting the right data and analysing it to extract insights and wisdom that drive specific actions. To this end, it is not just content that is king in today’s world but rather relevant content delivered in the right context. Consumers now expect and demand this of brands. We can show how profitable business growth is achieved through delivering personalised, relevant, consistent experiences to clearly targeted consumer groups. In many ways this is the coming together of art and science; creativity and maths working hand in hand to deliver vastly improved consumer experiences across multiple channels; one that is relevant, personal and engaging. Today, brands have the ability to deliver a relevant and targeted message to both anonymous and known consumers via mass paid ‘programmatic’ media as well as via traditional one-to-one direct communications. This opens up the concept of ‘Precision at scale’, where brands can deliver customized experiences and messages to a mass audience – no longer is Precision Marketing only about niche audiences and small scale communications. Potentially, using smart data in intermediated markets such as Consumer Packaged Goods sector, we can get even closer to ‘closing the loop’ to better understand the sales impact and ROI of our marketing investments.