Scott Rigby, Con­sult­ing Man­ager APAC, Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud –  Linkedin, @rigbyscott

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Napoleon Bona­parte once said ‘War is ninety per­cent infor­ma­tion’. A large num­ber of our cus­tomers are oper­at­ing in highly com­pet­i­tive envi­ron­ments where hav­ing the infor­ma­tion avail­able to inform their deci­sions is vital to suc­ceed. The war they’re fight­ing is not only to stay com­pet­i­tive and rel­e­vant, but also inter­nally within their organ­i­sa­tions in get­ting access to the infor­ma­tion, analysing it and action­ing it.

We know that organ­i­sa­tions that use data and ana­lyt­ics to cre­ate com­pet­i­tive advan­tage are 2x more likely to out­per­form their peers*. How­ever organ­i­sa­tions today are being chal­lenged on how to move from the tra­di­tional “gut-based” deci­sion mak­ing cul­ture to an evi­dence based one. Does this mean that organ­i­sa­tions should make deci­sions only off the data? Absolutely not – the data should be used to sup­port the deci­sion mak­ers, make pre­dic­tions and even pre­scribe what the organ­i­sa­tion should do.

Quite often organ­i­sa­tions face resis­tance to this cul­tural change towards evi­denced based prac­tice. This can be attrib­uted to lack of infor­ma­tion on why the change is nec­es­sary, fear of the unknown, not hav­ing the right skills or hav­ing grown accus­tomed to doing things a cer­tain way. Com­monly we see a gap where com­pa­nies want to become data-driven and who have invested heav­ily in their tech­nol­ogy, but have failed to make a cor­re­spond­ing invest­ment in their peo­ple, processes and cul­ture to max­imise this.

So where do you start?

Don’t start by throw­ing the baby out with the bath­wa­ter. Most organ­i­sa­tions have some of the build­ing blocks they need in place already and for some it can be a long process of crawl­ing – walk­ing – run­ning, use baby steps to get you started. Start by devis­ing a basic plan that out­lines the goals of the busi­ness, the KPI met­rics you will use to mea­sure these and how these will be included in report­ing across the busi­ness. Gain cross func­tion stake­holder buy-in and cir­cu­late this to the wider team with clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion on the intent.

Iden­tify the teams that are using data to make deci­sions (usu­ally they’re oper­at­ing in silos) and start to pro­mote how they’ve lever­aged the data to drive mon­e­tised uplift and wins for the business.

Nom­i­nate indi­vid­u­als who are data advo­cates within the organ­i­sa­tion to spread the word and evan­ge­lise the ben­e­fits and tech­niques they used to deliver their wins. Have them assist other teams to do the same and com­mu­ni­cate, com­mu­ni­cate, communicate!

In July, Adobe will be run­ning our annual client event ‘Sym­po­sium’. I am thrilled this year to see we are run­ning a track that zeroes in on the col­lec­tive mar­ket­ing orga­ni­za­tion and we will be deliv­er­ing some defin­i­tive tools and frame­works busi­nesses can use to become data dri­ven. So please join us for this infor­ma­tive event if you are look­ing to trans­form your business.

To reg­is­ter for the Syd­ney sym­po­sium on July 16th click here.
To reg­is­ter for the Sin­ga­pore sym­po­sium on July 18th click here.

* Source: Colum­bia Busi­ness School & NY Amer­i­can Mar­ket­ing Asso­ci­a­tion, 2012.

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