Treat ideas with contempt

‘m an ideas man. I love the brainstorming, out the box thinking, stringing together concepts and frameworks, finding opportunity and finding gems. Its who I am, and it’s my happy place – my safe place. Being an ideas man has stood me well as an entrepreneur. I have always found it easy to navigate new ways around problems. There is, however, a big lesson that I have learnt that does not come easy – not all ideas are good ideas. Most ideas are bad ones. I sunk two million in a bad idea a few years ago and I have run with many other bad ideas. Yes, I have learned from each one, but I wish I didn’t have to – I wish you don’t have to either.

Improving the relationship between data analysts and marketers

Data analysts and marketers historically have not needed to work closely together… today, that has changed. Data analysts have become some of the most valuable people in your marketing team as they can help brands understand consumer motives faster, build intuitive interfaces and trigger customer actions, all by using data effectively. In our last Digital Swarm event we discussed the need for marketers and agencies to build relationships with the data analysts in our business. Most marketing teams don’t yet have full-time analysts employed, so they are reliant on their business analysts to fill the gap in their team. Initially we see marketers focusing on mission critical exercises to build marketing competencies that drive innovation and consumer centricity. A few of these mission critical aspects are discussed here, but are summarised as: Collecting consumer information Consumer information is vast and comes in various forms. Market research companies present deep insight into consumers through reports, catalogues and online systems. This information is a combination of data driven insight and qualitative assessment. While it may be difficult to drive this into our data infrastructure, marketers will benefit from being able to make this information available to their wider stakeholder network. Aggregating siloed data Every marketer is measuring every aspect of the marketing plan, but very rarely are they able to break these reporting techniques out of their respective silos and see the data together. New start-up technologies are starting to answer these questions and we are seeing some products become available that...

How Data Helps Marketers Be More Innovative

Is it possible that marketers are out there raving about how data is the future, yet secretly hiding behind ‘data complexity’? All signs point to yes, and this is because they have not yet found out how to harness data in their marketing initiatives just yet. In essence, we believe in the impact of data but aren’t sure how it fits into our world yet. It’s more of a futurist idea than a real value-add today. As marketers, we’re in the business of behaviour change and The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation; Ability; and Trigger. When a behaviour change does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing. So, how can data equip us in each of these elements? Motivation: Every BIG IDEA in marketing is entered around key consumer insight, the motivating factor for change. It speaks to the heart of people and it the central reason for the success of an idea. The trouble is that it takes time to identify the key insights and build creative ideas around them. In today’s world of instant consumers, we are facing a challenge as marketers to understand customer insights and consumer shifts quicker than ever before. Managing data stores and accessing consumer and business data efficiently will make it possible for marketers and agencies to understand their consumers faster. I’d say real-time here, but that’s a pipe dream that doesn’t work in reality. It’s possible...

How to Innovate Faster in Marketing

It was Steve Jobs who coined the phrase, “Computers are like a bicycle for our minds”; suggesting that much like a bicycle, computers would help people move quicker to the destination once you apply effort. Jobs saw the computer as an enhancer to human capacity instead of a replacement. I have a similar belief that digital technology helps us enhance human potential in business instead of replacing it. In marketing, especially, we see that strong digital foundations and understanding helps marketers improve quicker, innovate smarter and understand customers deeper. When we look at digital, we segment it into pieces from primary technologies, social, mobile, data and The Internet of Things. In this article, I want to explore a simple question: how will data infrastructures help marketers become more innovative and agile? Almost every single marketer would agree that being able to innovate faster is an incredible competitive advantage in business. The trick is learning how to do this, and how to gear our marketing team correctly to achieve it. When it comes to data, we can learn from the IT industry and see how innovative businesses use IT infrastructures as a means to innovate. According to McKinsey, a two-speed system architecture is valuable in becoming more innovative and agile. This implies a fast-speed, customer-centric front end (speed of innovation) running alongside a slow-speed, transaction-focused legacy back end (speed of operation). For software-release cycles and deployment mechanisms, the customer-facing part should be modular, to enable quick deployment of new software by...

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