Decision making driven by data and market research

JANUARY 27, 2012 – Market research and business data can mean the difference between making informed decisions – about a marketing campaign or new company strategy – or blindly pushing forward on a project doomed to fail.

Joe Cordo, the CMO of Extraprise, writes in an article for Direct Marketing News that the vast amounts of knowledge companies have on their customers can be a great asset when devising marketing strategies. He says that if a company doesn’t make the most out Big Data, it could be missing a golden chance to increase sales and improve marketing performance.

The research can be used to answer questions about the customer, such as where they’re from, what their buying preferences are and what prompts them to respond to advertising efforts in the first place.

“Use customer intelligence to drive multi-touch, trigger-based campaigns to the right buyers at the right time and in the right places,” Cordo writes.

As Jim Harris explains in a column for the Data Roundtable, gathering the information is just the first step. Marketers and analysts then have to sort through all the lines of data and check it for accuracy and relevance in order to get any use out of it.

He notes that mission is easier said than achieved, particularly since the flood of data from websites, mobile and social media has become so overwhelming. The quality of the information is usually quite high, as is the competence of the people analyzing it to make their decisions, Harris says. The problem may be that the models used to process the data have become so complex.

“Data-driven decision making exists at the intersection of data quality and decision quality, where quality data supports quality business decisions,” Harris writes. “The need for improved data quality reflects our organizations’ need for making better business decisions faster than ever before, using better data, and more varied sources and types of data, and with more transparency in data-driven decision making and its business results.”

Regardless of how challenging it is to turn market research and statistics into data, companies should still try to derive intelligence from everything that is collected and stored on their servers, he says. While it will always be a work in progress to make sense of the data, it’s still a worthwhile and necessary effort.