3 ‘data myths’ CMOs believe but shouldn’t

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The marketing leaders who realise data is an asset with the potential to become a far bigger competitive differentiator than traditional assets will start to outpace their competitors very quickly.

20 CMOs shared with us what prevents them from creating those insights that would empower their team to rapidly increase effectiveness and relevancy while reducing time to market. We’ve summarised the top 3 myths and we are debunking them here.

#1 “We need a single customer view.”

Having a single customer view (SCV) is largely known as the ability to track customers across channels and therefore gaining insight into what customer profiles and marketing activities increase the propensity to purchase. For many CMOs, SCV utopia means pulling a large number of data points into one platform to then examine that data. Except, for the vast majority of businesses, this will simply never happen. The rise of powerful CRM platforms such as Salesforce have introduced the thinking and need for that SCV which has been widely accepted as a best practice.

Busted! Every business will have multiple sources and versions of the truth. What’s crucially important is that CMOs shape a superior and shared understanding of what the questions are that will unlock growth, increase customer retention or . This will enable CMOs and their team to devise a series of experiments allowing them to test their questions and hypotheses. Velocity is key. Instead of waiting for platform changes, start investing in the collaboration with analysts.

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#2 “We need a dashboard view to be more data-driven”

While there is no doubt that data visualisation can be incredibly powerful, dashboards and automated reports have relatively little to do with being data-driven. In our data culture blog series earlier this year we explored what it means to be a data-first business. Being data driven is a way of thinking and collaborating.

Busted! Leaders in data-driven businesses think differently: they will explore answers to the most valuable questions (like “what would increase customer retention by 10%?”) or will want to test hypotheses to learn more and learn rapidly. The requirement here is one of skill and collaboration. The minimal setup would be some time with an analyst and parameters for effective collaboration between analytics and marketing teams.

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Down#3 “This is our agency’s job.”

No, it’s not. Outsourcing a way of working and a way of thinking never works but let’s take a step back: Some insights lend themselves to be outsourced, such as exploration of customer needs, proposition testing or the gathering of customer feedback. Insights of that nature are connected to one deliverable and feed into your go-to-market sequence. However, data that produces the insights which give you a competitive advantage are a completely different ball game. Why? Because you won’t recognise the insight as one learning you’re implementing once. Creating a competitive edge leveraging data means constant and continuous testing and learning to drive incremental insights.

Busted! This new way of working has been most famously celebrated by Amazon. Every single business unit has dedicated analyst resource ensuring continuous experimentation and continuous learning. The big questions (like “what would increase customer retention by 10%?”) won’t be solved with one experiment. It needs to be broken down into smaller chunks and obsessed about over some time. The rewards will make it more than worthwhile!

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