Digital marketing is definitely in the budget for every CMO. This also means that the demand for tangible results is bigger than ever and that the intelligence driven by customer data (data driven insights, if you will) is increasing. The challenge is to have some kind of control and to have an approach to get control of the amounts of data generated. With this comes also a big divide between companies. Those who are able to master digital, incorporate a data driven agile way of working and those who don’t.

Here are my top 5 dividers for the coming 2-3 years in something that will create a new “class society” amongst companies:

1. Following the trend
Trends and information (from media) are changing more rapidly today due to the digital world. Companies struggles to catch on, but in order to stay competitive they need to be up to date with e.g. system. Marketing Automation is a very good example. It went from being a very advanced and nisched area a few years ago to a surge in the demand during 2017. A big problem is that Marketing Automation has different meanings to almost everyone you talk to. Many companies simply make the decision of acquiring a Marketing Automation system without knowing what they are actually going to use it for. There is a clear divide between the companies that have a clear idea of what to do with Marketing Automation and those who don’t. Those who have an idea are experience significant results in revenue, cost savings and automation. Meanwhile those who don’t have an idea don’t show any significant results and usually close down their project within a year.

To sum up: Don’t just follow a trend. Make a conscious and informed decision about how and why you should follow a trend.

2. Handling of GDPR and data
Everyone should by now know what the consequences of GDPR legislation will be in May. Some companies started taking actions to adhere to GDPR already at the beginning of 2017, some started recently and some are still thinking about how to manage it. Regardless, the effect of being forced to do something because of legislation should not be underestimated. The companies who have already taken measures to work with a data governance strategy will also (more often) have better control of their data.

To sum up: If you take advantage of the forced change that GDPR comprises, can also help fuel the change your company may need.

3. Leveraging the decision across the organisation
When decisions around digital and data are made, who is involved? You, as the CMO, CEO or CIO are most definitely involved. But have you made sure to include everyone in the management team? Becoming a data driven company is not just about marketing. Marketing Automation is not just about marketing. Data Analytics is not just about data and technical solutions. If data governance is not made one of the highest priorities and that there is some consensus among the management team, change is not going to come. A data driven way of working is not the decision isolated in one department.

To sum up: The more the merrier? Not quite, but the impact of how you approach this might be bigger than you think.

4. Becoming data driven
Everyone is talking about becoming data driven. Few companies are even close to being that. What does it mean? To simplify, it means being able to measure, analyze and act on your data. The only way to do that is to achieve data literacy. Everyone should to some extent learn know how to work with data. Analysis and data cannot be locked in the IT or analytical department. It needs to be accessible for everyone. Unfortunately most companies are still treating data as an IT question.

To sum up: Your customers are the biggest driver of data. Employees who have customer contact should also have access to, and also be comfortable with data. In addition to that, data is not only an IT questions, it’s a question for the whole company.

5. Working cross functional
What is the biggest challenge I have faced in my last 10 years in this field? Companies aren’t able to work cross functional. They are not able to cooperate around the idea of the customer and the customers’ behavior. Silos are still created (even in the smallest companies) between sales, marketing, IT, customer service and finance. Companies who dare think outside the box and turn the old organisational structures upside down are winners.

To sum up: Think about how you can spread your team in the organisation. Where can they be of use? Who can be of use for you? Don’t be afraid to enforce changes that challenge your employees. Just be clear about your goals and intentions.

Lincube Group believes in the power of making companies data driven. If you are ready to change or want to discuss any of the 5 dividers with us, send us an email at info@datatalks.se

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