Data-Driven Strategies for Competitive Edge

Data-Driven Strategies for Competitive Edge

The Gist

  • Data-driven strategies. Embedding data in every strategic decision propels businesses ahead, optimizing processes and enhancing customer experiences.
  • Data-driven leadership. Leadership must overcome data silos and fragmented tech, ensuring data-driven insights drive coherent customer experiences.
  • Data-driven decision-making. Transform raw data into actionable information, guiding proactive, informed decisions that drive business forward.

Talking to CMOs about their data practices and data-driven strategies, I hear a similar wish list:

  • Data embedded in every strategic decision.
  • Data that optimizes every process, work product and customer experience.
  • Teams replacing manual efforts using AI and automation, to focus on the truly human and creative side of business.
  • Clarity across every team, division, tool and process to understand what really drives progress.
  • Real-time visibility into spent budgets and outcomes generated by every dollar.

Does this sound like a data-driven CMO? Be honest, does this sound like your business or a pipe dream?

Data-Driven Strategies Propel Businesses Ahead

If your business has any of these data priorities in place, you’re lightyears ahead of most competition.

Like so many technology buzzwords, “data-driven” is the term du jour to describe every business, software, tactic and decision-maker.

Everyone’s data-driven, until you start asking questions and peeling the onion layers to reveal a haphazard approach to using data, at best.

Red onions displaying their well-defined layers in a piece about how to determine data-driven strategies.
Everyone’s data-driven, until you start asking questions and peeling the onion layers to reveal a haphazard approach to using data, at best.Echelon IMG on Adobe Stock Photos

The result? Only 53% of marketing decisions are influenced by marketing analytics. CMOs have the data — enormous amounts of data to measure every interaction and customer signal — yet, they’re not fully using it to inform important strategic decisions.

Even worse, 33% said decision-makers cherry-pick data to try to tell a story that aligns with their preconceived decision or opinion. They’re using data to validate the direction they want to go in, ignoring contrary signals.

Despite being data-driven on the surface, most companies face significant challenges when it comes to truly unlocking the full potential of data-drive strategies.

That’s a huge shame ― in today’s digital age, data is a new currency. It’s arguably a business’s most important and unique asset.

As global competition impacts product novelty and commoditizes more services every day, businesses differentiate themselves by delivering more value and deepening customer loyalty — otherwise, it’s all about price and a race to the bottom.

Data can tell you how to deliver greater efficiency for teams, value to customers and deepen loyalty along the way.

Let’s look at three key areas “data-driven” executives go wrong and fail to unlock their data’s full potential.

Related Article: Finally, a Data Book for CMOs Detailing Data Monetization Strategies

Living With Data Silos

The proliferation of technology across all aspects of our business has both brought us closer together (hey there, Slack, Zoom, + TikTok) and further apart.

Historically, our tech stacks were more all-encompassing. Today, there are software and solutions for every need — just plug it in to fill that hole and float on your merry way.

This fragmentation wreaks havoc on accessing, standardizing, analyzing and using data-driven strategies effectively. It leads to duplicated efforts, inconsistencies and errors. It torpedoes the effective use of automation, personalization and full-funnel attribution.

In turn, our customer experiences become fragmented at a time when delivering a personal, relevant and seamless experience is expected by every customer.

If you’re feeling this pain, you are in good company. Emarsys found that:

  • 35% of surveyed marketers struggle with poor technology integrations.
  • 27% blame personalization challenges on an inability to act on existing customer data.
  • 83% of executives acknowledge they have data silos.
  • 97% believe those silos are negatively impacting business.

As the survey proves, siloed data causes pain and inefficiency for both the internal teams responsible for delivering valuable customer experiences and executives responsible for proactive decision-making and the overall health of the company.

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