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
Why govt listed Glo, others as top firmsNigeria’s national carrier, Globacom and 99 other top notch firms have been listed as top 100 Firms in Nigeria for the 2014 fiscal year. The top 100 companies list is based on international benchmark set by the International Integrated Reporting Council. Read More
Women can lead 21st century ICT industry, says Zinox chiefWith the right mix of innovation, business focus, accountability and ambition, women entrepreneurs can spearhead the evolution of the ICT industry in the 21st century, says the Chairman, Zinox Group. Read More
Leading through volatility in AfricaFor the businesses that are prepared to face the storm and manage the volatility afflicting the continent, there are still huge rewards to be had from doing business in Africa, says SAP. Read More
American Tower Corporation, Bharti Airtel in Nigerian tower sale agreementAmerican Tower Corporation and Bharti Airtel Limited have entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of over 4,800 of Airtel’s communications towers in Nigeria. Read More
Mobile backlog affects revenuesNew research shows that a slow approach to app development is increasingly damaging revenue opportunities in the enterprise. The study found that organisations are currently struggling with a significant mobile backlog and unable to cope with business demands. Read More
Kenya courts technology to woo investorsKenya, East Africa’s lead economic hub, has stepped up its efforts to woo investors through its rigorous incorporation and adaptation of technology to ease business transactions. Read More
‘Prepare for an explosive year ahead’ - Dac SystemsFrom a technology solution supply and reselling perspective, 2015 is going to be a bumper year, says Dac Systems. Read More
The Business Network is the futureHyper-connected business networks will extend business processes that used to stop at the walls of the enterprise, and will fulfill the promise of the real-time global networked economy to reduce complexity without sacrificing sophisticated work, says SAP. Read More
Africa SME Champions Forum: creating an ecosystem to support African championsThe Africa SME Champions Forum closed in Dakar last week, but its work in support of African champions is only just beginning. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.