FRESH PERSPECTIVE

Come out of the pandemic with a solid data strategy: six success factors

The COVID-19 pandemic took everyone by surprise, but companies with well-developed data strategies have been more adaptable to changing consumer behaviors and the impact of lockdown restrictions. These nimble, data-driven companies are connecting with customers and communities in innovative ways, seizing new opportunities for creating meaningful experiences, staying profitable, and driving growth.

07/29/2020

Now more than ever, businesses need to know how to effectively collect, store, secure, analyze, and activate data—your secret weapon in changing times.

The COVID-19 pandemic took everyone by surprise, but companies with well-developed data strategies have been more adaptable to changing consumer behaviors and the impact of lockdown restrictions. These nimble, data-driven companies are connecting with customers and communities in innovative ways, seizing new opportunities for creating meaningful experiences, staying profitable, and driving growth.

Businesses without a data strategy have quickly found out how vital one can be to survival. “A crisis will definitely magnify a missing data strategy,” says Garry Rosenfeldt, Principal of Insights and Intelligence for Allant Group. “It’s been a difficult lesson for companies that haven’t been thinking strategically about their data.”

Jimmy Yi, Allant Group’s Principal of Strategic Consulting and Analytic Strategy, says that the best data strategies balance control with flexibility. “Companies need data that’s relevant, secure, and well-governed to comply with privacy regulations, along with the ability to quickly access and analyze it for actionable insights in these rapidly, changing times.”

Begin Your Data Strategy with Your Overall Business Strategy

How your business uses data will depend largely on your overall business strategy, defined by the competitive and regulatory environments you operate in. Before you get started, consider your needs:

  • Are you looking to understand your customers better, such as how their shopping behaviors have shifted with the pandemic? 
  • Do you want to inform decision making and operations, like predictive maintenance or inventory controls? 
  • Perhaps you’re looking to launch or improve a product or service in response to the pandemic. 

These details need to be well thought out as you define your data strategy.

According to Rosenfeldt, “If you have an understanding of your organization’s top priorities and key business questions, you can identify ways that data can help advance those objectives.”

Cover These Bases for Data Strategy Success

No matter what business you’re in, you’ll want your data strategy to cover the following six key components:

Key Component #1: The Data Itself

All companies have massive amounts of data, but only those with a data strategy know how to organize and manage it for greater success. Take an inventory of the data you have and determine what’s missing. If you’re a brick and mortar retailer, for example, you may need to supplement your own data with location intelligence or COVID trackers to better understand consumer shopping trends.

Key Component #2: Analytics & Insights

When you have all the data you need, you’ll want to determine how to extract value from it. With the right analytics and robust reporting capabilities, you can quickly glean valuable information from data to make better decisions about things like customer segmentation, marketing campaign effectiveness, and risk management.

Key Component #3: Governance & Privacy

GDPR and CCPA are just the beginning of the privacy rules and regulations that will have an impact on your business. Companies are advised to meet or exceed the highest standards called for and put strict data governance policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance when handling all this data. The last thing your business needs is a situation requiring expensive litigation, alarming headlines, and the loss of consumer trust.  You need to keep your customers in this challenging environment.

Key Component #4: Marketing & Advertising Technology

The number of data-related technology solutions keeps climbing, but if you know what data you need and what your objectives are, you can narrow down the hardware and software tools you need to manage your data effectively.

Key Component #5: Campaign Management

Consumers connect with businesses across more devices, platforms, and methods than ever: online, in-store, social media, phone and text, email, snail mail, and on and on. To ensure proper personalization and messaging across channels, consumers can be potentially identified by collecting data in a privacy compliant manner as they jump from platform to platform and from their phones to their computers and tablets and back again.

Key Component #6: Measurement

The best strategic thinkers use data to continuously improve their strategies.  Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help a business monitor attainment of its strategic goals. Collecting the right data to support the KPI’s is important. Data doesn’t lie.  You just need to know what it’s telling you, so you can keep refining your KPIs and your strategy for continued growth.

Getting Data Right Is Easier than You Might Think

Developing the right data strategy can feel rather daunting, but if you understand your needs, get buy-in from leadership, and create a roadmap, you can get some quick wins and build momentum while determining your larger initiatives.

“The good news is that you don’t have to have a team of data scientists in-house to create everything from scratch,” Yi says. “All you really need is a data-driven partner with a proven track record who can scale a solution to fit your needs.” To learn more about developing a data strategy for your business, contact us online or call 800-367-7311.

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