Opinion: Why data is the new oil
BUSINESS| Feb. 28, 2011, 1:29 p.m.
By Richard Mullins, director at Acceleration
Can there be any commodity more precious to an online marketer today than data?
This resource is already valuable for those that know how to effectively exploit it and its value is set to grow even more over the next three years.
Data is the oil of the online world - the fuel that powers the engines of our online marketing and sales efforts.
Yet there are still many businesses that have yet to grasp just how important the reams of data generated by their customer relationship management systems, online ad campaigns, websites, search campaigns, email marketing efforts, and so on will be to their businesses in the years to come.
This is data that gives one important insights into what targeted customers are searching for through the search engines, their demographics and interests, their browsing behaviour and so much more.
By analysing this data, marketers can answer important questions such as which search terms are most valuable to their businesses, which cross- and upselling techniques are most effective for their existing clients, and which messaging and environments are effective in converting new customers.
This data can enable companies to do effective remarketing - delivering ads to users that one knows have expressed an interest in the company's services or products but have yet to convert. It can also be used to reactivate dormant customers through targeted offers or for customer retention strategies. Put simply, one can now target the right customer at the right time with the right message.
But many companies leave this invaluable data in the hands of multiple business partners without considering how these suppliers may use the data for their own benefit or what the implications of a breakdown in a key business partnership may be.
For example, many marketers outsource their search engine marketing or ad-serving to specialists in those fields without giving enough attention to data ownership issues. They may be shocked to find out that an agency they work with has every right to aggregate and resell their campaign data to their competitors. Be especially wary about free services - how exactly are they making their money?
In an environment where marketers work with multiple agencies, simply understanding where all their data resides and what rights they have to it may be a challenge in itself. Who owns the data? The business, its marketing agency partner, the ad-network or the company that supplied the ad-serving technology?
Now is the time for marketers to start understanding all of these issues and to bring their data under their control. They need to ensure that they have full control over and access to their data, even though they can still outsource the really technical stuff to a specialist. And they must put a sound web analytics environment in place so that they can leverage their data to build a more successful business.
The big winners in the online world are the companies that have access to rich data about their customers and know how to use it to drive sales. They understand that ownership of data today is about ownership of customers. Those that don't own their data are just a step away from losing their customers.
Acceleration provides digital marketing consulting, outsourcing and technology services to clients around the world, with key offices in London and New York, Acceleration employs teams throughout North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS
Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh heads IBM Ghana as Country General ManagerIBM Ghana says it has appointed Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh as its Country General Manager. Read More
MTN SA CEO resignsMTN Group today announced the resignation of Ahmad Farroukh, CEO of MTN South Africa, which is effective 31 July 2015. Read More
Diamond Bank CEO wins Best Digital Banker of the YearDiamond Bank Plc’s CEO, Uzoma Dozie, has won the Best Digital Banker of the Year award of the American Banker, Bank Technology News. Read More
DHL to invest millions of Euros across SSA in 2015DHL plans to invest millions in upgrading its shipment handling systems and facilities in SSA this year. Read More
Ebenezer Asante to assume CEO role of MTN GhanaEbenezer Twum Asante will officially assume the position of Chief Executive Officer for MTN Ghana, effective 1st July, 2015. Read More
Nomanini scales West African footprint with Transaction Solutions partnershipSouth African-based portable Point of Sale (PoS) service provider Nomanini has signed an exclusive agreement with Transactions Solutions Ghana Limited to substantially scale numbers of its cloud-based PoS terminals in Ghana. Read More
Online procurement system for East Africa goes liveKenyan IT start-up M-Tenders Systems has created East Africa’s first live online procurement system, www.m-tenders.com. Read More
Customer experience starts with staff experienceCompanies seeking to improve customer experience to boost business may be overlooking a critical component in the mix: staff, says new Interactive Intelligence research. Read More
MasterCard, Ecobank Group to accelerate e-payment in SSAEcobank, Africa’s largest bank by geographical reach, will roll out MasterCard payment solutions to millions of its customers in Africa. Read More
FEATURED STORYIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity
Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.