We are in the era of big data, absolutely.

Everything we do, click, view (and seemingly think) is captured in databases that are so much bigger than the first computer.

There are copious articles on big data and the benefits and risks of using, giving and storing this data.  To companies, and their marketing departments, this data is both valuable and useless.

Valuable if you know what to do with it.

Absolutely useless if you do nothing, or the wrong thing, with it.

Data helps us spend our dollars more effectively in digital marketing.

It helps us understand what works and what doesn’t, what our customers do, where they go, what they are interested in, what they interact with.  We move and we create a data trail.

With this many 1s and 0s written about our customers, there are some important perspectives to consider.’

simplification leads to insights

Simplification leads to insights

If your marketing team doesn’t have a data expert or business analyst (or both) start putting together your business case now.

With this much data available, from so many sources, all impacting your effectiveness, you need someone who crunches the numbers and scenarios to produce accurate models on customer behaviour and interaction.

You need someone who simplifies the data to produce meaningful insights that you and your team can act on.

Agile research

The simplification of data therefore means that you are now capable of far more agile research than was previously possible.

You can test and measure campaigns and actions.

I believe good marketers have an instinct, but with so much ability to now test instinct we should be taking that opportunity.

  • What A/B testing are you doing?
  • What multivariate testing are you doing?  If you don’t test all permutations you may not be working from the right conclusions.

Research both the common elements and also those you might not think of regularly.

agile research and A/B testing

Test the first word in your call to action – what resonates most with your audience?

Test the way your promos should be worded to generate the best return.

Does your brand name in unbranded searches increase the click through rate if used in headline 2?

Build within your team an understanding of agile research and the success if leads to.


With so much data flowing around the world, organisations have data that is increasingly valuable to hackers.

The more a marketer learns about their customers and encourages them to share more information and stores more data, the more vulnerable they become.

It is vital that your websites and the platforms supporting them like CRMs and marketing automation are very well protected.

  • When was the last time you did a security audit?
  • Do you have a regular meeting with your ICT team to discuss security?  Whose responsibility is it?
  • Are all your platforms running the most current versions?
  • Do you have patches in place for recent security breaches?
  • When was the last time you ran pen testing?

data protection and privacy is key

With changes in legislation meaning that businesses need to report data breaches it is vital that not only are you as protected as you can be against breaches, you also need to have a crisis management plan and a rectification plan.

Who is responsible for managing and containing the breaches and notifying customers?

Data is complex because data is built on our actions and we (and our actions) are complex and personal.

Businesses can gain a lot by understanding and using data.  Marketers should be at the forefront of this gain.

What emphasis do you place on data and its importance in your strategy and success?