The way consumers buy is changing. Several studies have identified this behaviour. Each of us understands that our buying habits have changed. Today, if we need household items, we turn to Amazon. If we want entertainment, we turn to Netflix. If we’re going to plan a fantastic vacation, we turn to Tripadvisor or Google. Consumers research between 1 to 4 hours online before making any purchasing decisions. This type of consumer behaviour was not the case a decade ago when Android did not exist, and when Apple just launched the iPhone.
After a while, your target audience’s buying preferences will undoubtedly have changed again. For instance, global events like natural calamities, economic crisis, and a pandemic will change consumer behaviour yet again.
Understanding how data is used and processed will help marketers prepare their marketing organisations for change. Here are seven ways how data culture will affect organisations and their future success.
- Data Freedom or Lockdown
- The Acceptance of Data Science
- Data Culture Requires Total Buy-In
- Establishment of a Growth Marketing Team
- Vision-Casting of Data Goals
- Getting a Proper Grasp of Every Marketing Channel
- Cultivation of a Culture of Participation
1. Data Freedom or Lockdown
Data, a whole bunch of it, is needed to be processed to be able to understand a particular thing. Big data has always been available but was not used efficiently due to the sheer amount of it. Data analysts would use only a fraction of the Big Data and make predictive analysis with it. It may seem like a hit or miss kind of thing. But with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Big Data can be processed, and an algorithm may result from this. The algorithm will produce a much more accurate predictive analysis. The accuracy would depend on the amount of data that has been fed and trained through the algorithm.
That information would be beneficial for making fast decisions on upcoming or undiscovered market trends that the analysis was able to predict. That information would also help assist consumers by informing them of similar choices related to what they may have researched, gathered from customer behaviour online, or through analysis of their browsing history.
But this information may also be misused. It can be withheld because of fear of being replaced. Data culture may produce the opposite effect by having leaders withhold information from their team. Different departments in a company may become too competitive with one another that communication of essential metrics or data insights is not given to other departments or teams. There may even be senior employees who would be reluctant to train and pass the knowledge and skill regarding advanced operations related to data. These types of behaviour are mostly motivated by fear and trying to protect one’s interests.
The problem with withholding data and information, like metrics, analysis, and insights, is it causes bottlenecks in the flow of data for the entire organisation. In an ideal method, every member of the team can access the relevant data they need. The data flow does not end with the data analyst but also reaches members of the organisation at all levels.
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2. The Acceptance of Data Science
“Data science” can be used in many different aspects of business, from software development to business operations. Some of the most successful organisations in the world employ a combination of data scientists and marketers to get more customers, improve customer retention, and reduce acquisition costs. Bottom line is, marketing teams will experience greater success when they embrace the principles of data science.
There is a growing interest among all searchers regarding data science. Mining datasets for customer insights help organisations a lot in coming up with the right answers much faster than by relying on traditional techniques.
Big business from different industries like Amazon, Uber and MailChimp, for instance, have all embraced data science as a way of uncovering hidden opportunities and marketing strategies.
3. Data Culture Requires Total Buy-In
Data culture relies on a collective buy-in from all staff at every level to measure outcomes. The entire organisation needs to act based on available data and build on existing knowledge over time. People in your organisation should be sold out to the idea of it to sustain this data culture. Everyone in the organisation must recognise the importance of embracing data and including this analytic approach to decision-making. Leaders of the organisation (decision-makers) must lead by example through showing that they use data — and not merely rely on experience or instinct — in shaping strategy.
Everyone will need to participate in best practices, training, and tracking to make the transition a success. This is how data can become fully integrated into the overall culture of your organisation, and not just a chore that needs to be done. Protocols that become part of culture are easier to implement and follow.
It doesn’t mean that your graphic designer has to become a statistician, but it does mean that team members won’t balk at numbers or metrics, or space out when the data analyst makes her presentation. Employees do not have to be experts but they do need to have ample understanding and embrace the data, challenge conventional norms, and use it to make well-informed data-backed decisions.
4. Establishment of a Growth Marketing Team
Marketing teams responsible for fueling demand are essentially helping grow the business. Due to this focus, Growth Marketing has become a popular new trend used by companies like Hubspot and Dropbox.
A good growth team can include a lead marketer, an engineer, a product manager, and data scientist. A growth marketer should have in-depth knowledge about key areas related to growth, like SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising.
Your growth marketing team can help drive scalable and sustainable growth by incorporating growth strategies into many different areas of your business.
5. Vision-Casting of Data Goals
Vision-setting should be done together with building the people component of your data culture. The effective communication of your company mission and the long-term impact of using digital analytics in line with that mission would go a long way in making an impact on those whom you lead.
Creating an overlap between your goals and the organisational change you are trying to implement is critical in creating successful buy-in. At a basic level, this comes from the idea of making a compelling case for change that fits with the already existing organisational objectives.
For example, knowing the behaviour and how a new donor heard about your website can help you to reach out towards the right targets to increase future fundraising goals. If you’re looking for new newsletter signups? You can increase that number exponentially if you know the source of previous conversions. Data culture would be significant for such specific details that would bring big returns for the company.
6. Getting a Proper Grasp of Every Marketing Channel
For marketing teams to be successful both today and in the future, key metrics must be measured, tracked, and incorporated into the company culture. Team updates need to emphasise on performance related to KPIs, as should individual performance evaluations.
Unfortunately, some areas of marketing—such as PPC performance or email marketing—are often over-measured while other regions are under-measured. Measurement of new social media platforms is not always included, even if relevant data can be measured out of it. For instance, Owlmetrics is an Instagram analytics platform that can help your team get the most out of one of the fastest-growing social media networks in the world.
7. Cultivation of a Culture of Participation
Change within an organisation, related to the acceptance of data culture, stems from successful participation at every staff level. The top management of your organisation could set a meaningful example of how the rest of the staff should follow and embrace change.
You need to have at least one data analyst on board. Ask the person to host weekly office hours with the group, where anyone in the organisation can get consultations for anything data-related. At the very least, the data analyst should have good working relationships with members of an organisation, and not merely be a number-cruncher.
One way to foster participation begins with open discussions for staff to ask questions and arranging surveys to learn about attitudes and preexisting skill levels. Information-gathering meetings can be converted into staff-wide training for continued learning and to further build the team’s capacity. We may be living in a “socially distant” age, but we can find ways to encourage this spirit of participation.
Marketing is sure to continue evolving as prospects, as well as global occurrences such as a pandemic, change buying habits, and uncover new pinpoints. For marketing teams, it is essential to focus on hiring individuals with data-driven expertise.
It’s profitable for businesses to invest in analytics platforms to ensure their marketing teams are capable of forecasting performance successfully. Creating a training program is a good way to prepare for the future as well. It can update current employees on the latest best practices. It may be a challenge to do this at this point, but the information is there, and we need to interpret and process it to get a better perspective of how the market is moving and behaving. Now more than ever, data culture plays a critical role because we should not rely on fear or just instincts for our decision making for our next move.