Don't collect data for data's sake

Source: DMWF

Source: DMWF

No matter the team or company you work for, some things remain constant: customer data helps you better understand your customers and do your job better, whether it’s building a better product or creating better marketing content.


We recently attended London’s Digital Marketing World Forum (DMWF). The event had an amazing agenda offering a variety of topics addressing the new trends and changes in not just digital marketing but in data-driven organizations as a whole.


Here are some key learnings from the conference:


  1. Know your customers: Customers’ expectations are constantly changing. Today, they expect to buy products or services instantly. Therefore, it is critical for companies to tailor their product’s accessibility based on these expectations.

  2. Improve your content: Empowering customers and crowdsourcing content are how companies are going to scale original content creation. And taking advantage of this crowdsourcing era, many companies are tapping into their own customer base to find the best kind of content creators.

  3. Be proactive: “Today is not the big that eats the small, it is the fastest that eats the slower.” Companies who react or act proactively—faster—can offer better customer experiences.

  4. Integrate social data: Companies and even governments are integrating and consolidating their social channels to provide a simpler, cleaner, and faster service. Social data is a necessary part of a business strategy, as companies can analyze their customer’s behavior through social channels in order to improve their engagement.

  5. Know your audience: Knowing your audience is essential, but being able to tailor and personalize your content to each audience is even better. Predicting  content consumption behavior is something companies have just now started to explore. It is very important to know behaviors and predict market trends,

  6. Bring together your data: Companies keep collecting and storing data every day—from customer information, consumer behavior to product engagement. But how many really use this gold mine properly? All this information lives in different places and blending it together seems like a very tedious, hard task to do without advanced analytics skills, especially considering if we need to make fast decisions based on this data. The new challenge for companies is to bring together all this data and make it accessible to the entire  organization.


We also had the opportunity to participate in a session we called “Don’t collect data for data’s sake”, during which Stephanie Zou, Director of Product Marketing at Zendesk, and Julia Jakubiec, Digital Analyst at The Economist, shared their experience with collecting data and using it to improve the customer experience.


Jakubiec works in the Digital Analyst department and showed us how The Economist was able to aggregate all their data from different media sources in one platform. This may sound trivial at first, but it was a huge relief for their data team, since their former method for data aggregation was manually creating spreadsheets. Yes, it is as tedious as it sounds. Now they are using BIME for this task and to analyze how readers like to consume and engage with their various products and content—all to be able to share this information with their stakeholders. As a media company, they can use these insights  to make decisions faster, be able to introduce changes in their products, or even change readership behavior.


How companies are collecting customer data was one of the major discussion points at DMWF. There is so many opportunities to dig into their customer data for companies to  in order to understand what consumers want, what they are looking for, and how to customize their experience based on their needs. But the companies who will be most successful are those who set clear goals and create a plan that turns data insights into actions.


Without a plan to take action, collecting and analyzing data is simply  a waste of time and resources.