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Dealing with Data Overload
Sep, 18,2012
CEO of Lindsay, Stone & Briggs

Most marketers are unprepared for the overwhelming deluge of information coming their way. They’re expected to gather and analyze massive amounts of data from numerous sources, but not all of it is easily understood much less easy to integrate. Uncovering patterns or advantageous and actionable insights in all the noise and clutter can be both time consuming and painful. And depending on the information you have before you, it may be impossible. Throw in the added challenges of dealing with team members who don’t agree on which analytics to focus on, and one thing is very clear: To succeed at the launch of new products today or the re-launch of brands not living up to their potential, marketers must know how to harness data in the context of the previously mentioned credos of marketing science proven to make your brand lift off and grow:

·         Start by identifying what one or two things are critical to success. Frame them in a way that is measureable.

·         Have a dashboard of the fewest, right leading indicators of success.The best dashboards don’t report 50 metrics but rather, only those leading indicators correlated to growth. Here is what the latest in marketing science would consider a great short list for a dashboard:

·       A measure of your brand’s physical availability (Number of outlets or easy ways to buy)

·       A measure of your brand’s mental availability (Top of mind awareness of assets so distinct they’re widely recognized and associated positively with the brand.)

·       The degree to which people are aware of the meaningful role your brand could play in their lives, its relevance and emotional resonance.

·       Share of voice in excess of your market share.

·       Growth in sales. Growth in customers--- gains month to month in unique new customers, increases in those engaged in habituated conversations with you.

·       Speed of growth in all these things compared to your competition.

·       To perfect the data and analytics that are the leading indicators right for a particular brand, know how to design experiments that generate helpful data in 3 days instead of 3 months. Don’t be afraid to test something that might fail. It’s just as important to know what to do less of as to know what works.