Marketing Strategy

The start of your data strategy: begin small, end big

Data strategy

Big data, data science, smart data, data(de)centralisation, data enrichment, AI, machine learning, … All buzzwords and terms already well known. Because, in addition to people, data is a very important part of the capital that an organization possesses. In fact, it is one of the main pillars to guide your prospects in their search for the right product or service, better serve your customers and increase retention.

But how do you get started with your data? In other words: how can you shape or optimize a data strategy that is workable for your organization? 🤷 At Be Bold we think it is important to support companies in this. Therefore, we would like to explain the following steps to you in this blog:

  • Start with defining your high-level data strategy
  • Ask yourself critical questions and determine your maturity level
  • Get to work on a hypothesis & create a business case
  • Make a first analysis
  • Extrapolate the results within your organization

Create a good foundation

Everything starts, of course, with strategically mapping out the goals you set as a company to grow in the coming years. Do you want to work with churn models to increase your customer retention? Is the acquisition of new prospects an important goal? Or do you want to raise more brand awareness in anticipation of a product launch?

Developing or optimizing a data strategy always starts with a strategic exercise. For this, the different stakeholders must be aligned (marketing, sales, IT, business development, etc.). Next, it is recommended to establish unambiguous KPIs, with all noses pointing in the same direction. Your company culture is also an important factor here in breaking down any existing silos. As the final part of this exercise, you have to consider where you stand today in terms of data. How well does your organization score in the following areas linked to data:

  • Organization: is data mostly collected and used individually or is data shared across the organization?
  • Data tactics: in addition to a marketing strategy, is there already a clear data strategy in place?
  • Culture: how is data perceived within your organization? What is the perception about it?
  • Reporting: to what extent is data reported?
  • Policy: is there a clear policy in place on how to handle data within your organization?
  • Metrics: how is data measured and why? Are the metrics aligned with the strategic goals that have been determined?
  • Technology: how integrated is your digital ecosystem and is there one truth present to make the right decisions?

Build your data strategy

Once you have everything set up at a high level, you are ready to further concretize these strategic chalk lines. ✔ It’s time to create some concrete business cases with your stakeholders.

These business cases are based on the higher-level business objectives that you have previously established. If you have chosen to reduce churn on specific services that you offer, it is best to work SMART to see how you can achieve this. Since you have mapped out your entire digital ecosystem, you can easily identify the gaps that may or may not allow you to use certain data.

Now it’s time to optimize your processes and let your data flow to…

  • Target certain customer segments that have X number of years of loyalty
  • Start linking the NPS survey you conduct with your central CRM system to create a 360° view
  • Organize a VIP event for the high-end segment

When developing such a business case, it is best to start from the customer journey. Within this customer journey you will, for example, zoom in on loyal customers and create an inventory of data points that you can work with. Try to map out the metrics as best you can so you can determine the comparison afterwards. Drawing the right conclusions from this is also very important! For example:

  • The churn rate on customer segment X after 6 months
  • The number of responses (number of event registrations, contest entries, completed surveys, etc.)
  • Upsell activities
  • The increase in engagement on communications (click rates, open rates, website visits, etc.)

Implement your data strategy

Once you have achieved some success with these business cases, you can start to expand this way of working throughout the whole organization. Companies that adopt a data-driven mindset and where it is inherent in the company culture can retain up to 6 times morecustomers than an organization that does not engage in analytics. Gut feeling within entrepreneurship is a huge asset, but combining it with understanding your customers from a data-related perspective will really give you a competitive advantage.

In short: the technology you will use to guide all this is not the first thing you should worry about. You can use top notch technologies, but if there is no direction where you want to go, you will get stuck in the data web. Therefore, start from a good foundation. This will put your organization in a strong position to approach your customer segments/prospects in the best way possible and to streamline internal processes.

Do you need help mapping your organization and make the right decisions related to data strategy? We would be happy to help!