Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Cowbell is Not the Answer

Is the best way to understand consumers to collect more data?

The idea for this came from note sent by a colleague who spoke at the CMA "Evolution of Direct Marketing Conference" this week.  The closing keynote was on the future of marketing where the answer is not more data, but rather the algorithm.  Alex Leavitt talked about the need to tell stories with data so what you do with it, and how, is more important than the amount of data on hand.

The digital world leaves an unimaginable amount of breadcrumbs that we should try to use to infer intent and context in order to improve consumer engagement.   Yet the vast majority is what can be considered "dark data" - we know its out there but have no idea where or how to use it.   So maybe we should be asking ourselves some qualifying questions first:
  • Where along the journey are we likely to have the most impact?
  • What decisions can we operationalize and embed in the appropriate touch points?
  • What do we need to know as opposed to what could we know?

To contradict Christopher Walken in the famous SNL skit the prescription isn't more cowbell (data).


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