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BizReport : Advertising archives : May 14, 2015

Brands: Are you stumbling over data?

Today, brands are better at parsing data to gain customer insights, but many still have a long way to go when it comes to putting that information into an actionable context. There are still many issues companies need to work through around data usability, security, and how to apply real-time information.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why are brands still stumbling over data?

Tara Kelly, President & CEO, SPLICE Software: Marketers need to understand that customers are on a journey, and it's not enough to process bits and pieces of data without being able to apply it to effectively communicate with customers - not only on the basis of who they are but also according to where they are on the customer journey.

Kristina: How can brands break down 'counterintuitive' data to learn what customers want?

Tara: To put "counterintuitive" data into context and develop a greater understanding around usability, security, and real-time information, people charged with interpreting signals and developing customer communications need to understand that there are generally three types of data. The first is observed data, or transactional data, which is information marketers can glean from cash receipts. The second is inferred data, which consists of assumptions marketers can make on the basis of observed data. For example, a customer who buys a bag of dog food every week probably owns a dog. The third and most valuable type of data is information that customers willingly share with the brand, or small data. Small data can come in the form of loyalty program information, where customers share contact data and other information in exchange for something of value, such as a discount.

Kristina: Are you seeing more brands take charge of their data?

Tara: Brands are definitely trying to take charge of their data, and some companies are more advanced than others on that score. But a persistent shortage of skilled labor is one factor that is hindering brands from fully utilizing all the data at their disposal. That's where third-party data specialists can become an incredibly valuable resource. There are amazing tools and solutions available in the market that companies can use to better engage customers with data. Brands should take advantage of these tools - they can give them a real competitive edge in an evolving marketplace.

Tags: advertising data, data, data analysis, data trends, SPLICE Software

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