The flood of information about consumer behavior online can be a gold mine for marketing. Instead of launching mass media campaigns aimed at a broad demographic of people, it’s now possible to tailor an offer to a single consumer based upon his immediate needs.
However, to take advantage of this opportunity, marketers must embrace a different business model, one that can be altered as fast as a consumer changes search terms or leaves a comment on a company’s Facebook page.
That’s according to a new article from McKinsey & Company in which David Edelman, co-leader of McKinsey’s global digital marketing strategy group, lays out recommendations for embracing big data and analytics to bolster marketing effectiveness.
McKinsey suggests that companies first start with small-scale pilots with a small geography, a specific segment of customers, and a few products. Tackle these questions with the pilots:
- What are the challenges?
- Are there policies that will have to be navigated?
- What will the processes be?
- What data do you have?
“We find a need to be ruthless about prioritizing: What data do we really need? Let’s focus on getting that together and work on it,” Edelman notes. “Then, from a design perspective, let’s get the right people in the room, with the right incentives, so they’ll work together and have shared common goals.”
To bring senior leaders on board, Edelman suggests showing them that digital isn’t just an added thing, and should not be viewed as just one additional channel.
“It’s about changing the way you’re operating, because it is about using data, faster cycle times, more interactivity with more empowered customers,” according to Edelman. “And that is going to change a lot of what’s going to happen underneath that senior leader.”
In addition, marketing teams need to work cross-functionally, taking a team-oriented approach to solving problems to speed up the decision-making process. Finally, senior leadership and marketing teams need to recognize that data will be driving more decision-making, including interactions with customers and the design of new products and services.
“Information and data is going to be a critical source of advantage, and it’s pointing your spotlight on how your organization is going to compete to get the best data – because that’s going to drive a lot of the insights,” Edelman concludes. “That’s a different perspective than many senior executives realize they need to take on a day-to-day basis.”