At Experian, we use our data and insights to help some of the world’s largest companies deliver better consumer experiences, from helping customers get better credit offers, to improving the relevancy of marketing communications to prospects. In our experience, data is actually only one piece of the puzzle: the key to understanding your consumers is using that underlying data to generate meaningful and actionable insights.
We’ll be at Festival of Marketing this October to talk more about data and insight (Wednesday 10th October 14:45 – 15:20, Data and Analytics Stage), so whether you’re attending or not, please get in touch to find out how Experian can support your business.
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Rubbish-in, rubbish-out: the importance of great data
Insight starts with data – but how can you generate meaningful insights if the data you have is poor? According to our 2018 Digital Marketer Report, 45% of marketers stated that their current customer data is incomplete or of poor quality. This means there are a worryingly large number of businesses that are relying on inaccurate, and therefore ineffective, data. This is even more concerning when you consider that most data-reliant teams and processes are only as effective as the data that is supplied to them.
For example, our 2018 Global Data Management Research revealed that on average, organisations believe 30% of their data is inaccurate. If 30% of your customer data is incorrect, it’s likely you’re hindering your ability to deliver an excellent customer experience, which can have huge implications for the business.
So how do you ensure your customer data is, and remains, fit-for-purpose? An initial data cleanse will get the customer data you already hold back up to a good standard. Then, you need to ensure any new data coming in is accurate by implementing contact validation tools at the point of capture. Lastly, you need to keep your customer data up-to-date and accurate over time. By making data quality a priority you can nurture long-term relationships with your customers and ensure you’re targeting the right people with the right offers.
From data to information, to knowledge, to insight
A good source of data is only the beginning: having the means to turn this into valuable insight, and acting on this insight, is at least as important. Over the last few years we’ve seen a significant shift, particularly in marketing, as larger organisations have turned under-supported analytics teams into data science centres of excellence. However, this isn’t cheap; and many companies have struggled to get the return on their investment, particularly in the earlier phases.
The mistake is often in trying to run before you can walk. Insight can’t just be conjured up from data alone, it needs deep contextual knowledge in understanding how and when each piece of data should be considered. This requires analytical skill, but more importantly it requires business experience and judgment. Data can be aggregated into information quite easily; but turning information into knowledge, and knowledge into insight, requires a deep understanding of the business context, and how this insight can help organisations achieve these business goals.
This is where Experian Marketing Services helps many of our customers. We’ve had many years’ experience in applying our data to their marketing strategies and helping their business to grow. The key is our experience in turning our raw data into meaningful consumer insight, uniquely tailored to each of our clients’ customer base.
In our session at Festival of Marketing we’ll go into these ideas more deeply and highlight specific techniques and goals that you can use in your own organisations to realise more value from your data sets; ultimately by understanding how you can turn them into insight, and how you can use that insight to deliver meaningful business outcomes.
Applied insight: consistent personalisation
Often when we talk about data-driven marketing, we mean insight-driven marketing. A great example of this is personalisation, something which we think is a very important part of delivering a compelling consumer experience. Most marketers license the tools and capabilities to support sophisticated personalisation on their websites and in their marketing campaigns. But it’s clear that marketers need more than ad hoc personalisation: without a consistent approach, personalisation can seem disjointed and ultimately detract from the consumer experience. Consistent personalisation, particularly when it includes an element of story-boarding, requires consumer insight to be applied to your marketing efforts as a whole, not just the tactical application of data to each channel. Our Managing Director, Colin Grieves, will be leading a separate session on consistent personalisation at Festival of Marketing (Thursday 11th October at 12:20 – 12:55, Personalisation Stage).