Don't forget data... when rebooting your business
Updated: Apr 27
Although conferences about data & AI are full of people seeking quickwins, the common message is often that dataprojects are a matter of time & budget. Research from the CDP Institute (2019) shows that a lack of long term bugdet is one of the most important reasons why data trajectories fail. Because it's all about a trajectory... in the meaning of a concatenation of smaller projects. Those who expect structural new business from a single iteration, will be deceived. For sure, every milestone delivers its gain. Best practices help you organise your roadmap in the most efficient way, but you'll always have to go through a learning curve. That's why data projects need full support of the board & shareholders. They are the ones who foresee the budget for the long run. These locked business times are a good moment to take advance. Let us talk about some best practices to help your company catch up from the moment that business will be re-engineered.
1/ write usecases
In busy times, a lot of ideas arise about data. Often they remain in the fridge because of a lack of capacity or business priority. Recognisable? And still, at that very moment, your idea felt like a strategic innovation. How can you still pick that cherry? A simple A4 document does wonders. Describe 3 topics about your usecase: where's the opportunity, what does it need to do & how will you measure success? You don't need more to sprout your datacase. Do not loose yourself in technology, stakeholders or buy-in. Strip your idea to the essentials. Don't bother about materials, dimensions or drivers. As soon as your company will ask for new ideas to relaunch business, you'll be happy to have prepared such documentation. Challenge your ideas by some trusted collegaues, only on usefullness. Not yet on feasability.
2/ consolidation is the best innovation
Fresh ideas are important for innovation. When it comes to success, chances are much higher if you consolidate an existing situation instead of starting all over with a new product. A round wheel can only be invented once. But getting it more performing is a never ending process of innovations. The driver behind new projects is often an accumulation of old frustrations of legacy systems. Fair enough. But dare to challenge that biaised view. If it's legacy, there has been a reason why it served for so long. There is value somewhere that needs to be restored. An upgrade of an existing product is less sexy than starting from scratch but it gives you a head start. You have users to question, you have volumes to scale, you have content for A/B-tests, you can leverage on SEO, etc. Harder than it seems? Read the paragraph "take the leap" & see how you can create new insights with a lean & mean approach.
3/ your audience might be more valuable than your own business
In daily business, one can come up with a lot of ideas for the use of personal data. To stay in the example of the round wheel: a mechanic will sell round wheels to his customers... but all those buyers make on their turn an interesting audience for other purposes: car lovers, oldtimer freaks, wealthy people, retired people, etc. These are nice audiences that are hunted by other companies than car companies. Far fetched? The biggest company in the world (Alphabet, the holding above Google) has made its mission of this kind of matchmaking.
A lot of companies are seeking the broader value of their audience: soccerteams make fandata available to their sponsors, media-companies offer reader profiles to advertisers, concert halls fill spaces with like-minded people, contract negocations get tricky when you claim first party optins, etc. Targettable audiences are big business. Even if it's not your primary concern, know that your competitors are aware of the value of your adience and will try to reach them through different channels.
Also read: "10 commandments of personalization"
4/ ownership of data
Despite GDPR, in a lot of companies there are still many drawers filled with Excel-sheets of personal user information: the participants of an event, the mailing list of a newsletter, the contact list of a former sponsor, etc. In the best case, you fully own the data, in the other case you share the list wit another partner, sponsor, company, supllier, ... .
Since the implementation of GDPR, we detect a certain urgency to reactivate uncomplete, unactive or shared datafiles. Until that moment, the lists are still used. But that approach prevents a professional way of treating personal data with centralised datafiles, ready to enrich with new data. So the dog keeps biting in his tail: you don't get any further. Therefore this golden tip: close all back gates! People who want to do business with your audience, must respect your ownership. Make no concessions on this. From a technical point of view, you'll have to share the data, but from a legal point of view it's important to cover these issues.
5/ don't loose yourself in technical details
The best way to drown an idea in an early stage… is by making a technical estimation. One can predict that the IT-manager will the label the project as 'too big', 'too complex', 'too much dependencies', 'no priority', etc.
A lot of project- & productmanagers are queuing at the IT-development-desk. In their understandable desperateness, a "buy"-solution comes at the table. With all time- & budget issues that come along that approach. It shouldn't be like that. Once your usecase is written on a A4 (see first point), a technical challenge on the existing infrastructure is enough. Let us help you with that. With small steps, you can get far. Contact us for a free trial with a high end tracking system.
6/ gain time
In these times with a lot of home officing, there a far more users on your websites than in normal business times. We see high traffic numbers all over: as well in reach as in conversion. In these hard physical era, the online world is moving. A lot of data passes through your channels that are worth picking up. Capture that data today so you can process them for new business tomorrow.
In any case, this data capturing will have to be your first step. Gain time by collecting the data now. If you have already Analytics software, you can start already. For insights on logged users, that might not be sufficient. They are your most valuable customers.
"Take the leap" Register for our free webinar "Start-to-personalize. Bestpractices from different domains that might inspire your business". What can you expect? °overview of usecases from different domains °quickwins for insights on your own website/app °available technology with pro & con (CDP, DMP & open platforms) °road map for a sustainable data strategy °bestpractices to gain buy-in within your organisation °Q&A Duration: 40 min + Q&A. Upcoming slots: -Friday April 24th 2020, 11 h -Thursday April 30th 2020, 19 h Registrer by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org