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2014 Predictions – the power of data, on steroids

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With the rise of digital comes the ability to garner nearly limitless data to measure programs. But what do you do with all of that data?

You need to be able to look at your data across the whole process:

The ability to collect the raw data has been true of digital since the beginning, but what we see now is an evolving ability to understand what it means and glean the resulting insights.

And just when we thought we were starting to master the basics, in comes the much-needed approachs to data integration, with the now blurred lines between traditional offline and online marketing.

Interestingly, the approach to marketing is starting to shift away from starting with the tactic and then determining how to measure it and more towards understanding your data infrastructure and insights, and then complementing your strategy with the tactics that allow you to fill the gaps within the data infrastructure, regardless of channel. Essentially a “measurement-first” approach to strategy.

This is a unique and exciting time. We are now entering an era where the power of the data has evolved to a place where we can look at true integrated strategies with a solid data backbone to help us make great decisions.

Integration in the C-suite

This means that the communication between the CMO, the CTO, and the CIO is becoming more and more critical as data strategies become more sophisticated. All of these roles within an organization are critical on their own, but now with the role of data strategies increasing in importance the integration between them is even more crucial.

The unique and valued perspectives on data infrastructure to measure programs now not only resides within the CMO’s domain. With the introduction of sophisticated data strategies, these functions must work together to ensure that programs are fully optimized. Digital strategies tend to stretch beyond just marketing, and are supported with technical infrastructure and data underpinnings that require that all three roles to work in concert.

The real meaning of integrated communication

The days of disparate offline and online communication strategies are gone. As well, the idea of pure play digital houses for marketing is decreasing as the understanding of true integration increases. We call this the “Blurred Lines” effect. The winners will be the ones that understand how the data needs to be integrated across different properties – both online and offline and those that take an “analytics first” approach. Not surprisingly, this has a huge implication on how we approach our analytics.

 

More About the Author

Lori Grant

Lori is responsible for strategic planning based on her 20 years of experience working both on the client and communications side of the business beginning with Merrell Dow, Nordic (now Sanofi-Aventis) and Wyeth then switching to communications, where she worked with LM&P, Euro RSCG, and most recently Sudler & Hennessey.

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