Tuesday, 30 December 2008

You are unique!

Just like everyone else!

I am currently working with a number of large clients across packaged goods, telecom, financial services and quick serve restaurants who are under the impression they have the messiest pile of data known to man. Sort of like that drawer in the cabinet that houses various mobile phone chargers, ipods cables, laptop leads and game console connectors. There is absolutely no compatability - and thats when you can get them out in one piece without pulling out the others in the first place! Why isn't there a universal charging system? Maybe i'll save that rant for a future post

The thing is, all of these clients are in just the same state as each other. Their legacy systems didn't expect the level of granular data they are getting feeds on today and there was a huge amount of pain and money involved setting them up so they can't walk away from them.

So here's my attempt to reassure you you are not alone with your data challenges - here are the Top 5 issues we see in our everyday work:

1. Definition danger

Marketing, operations and finance all use different names for the same thing, worse still the same term for different things. When the 'sell-in', 'sell-thru' and 'sell-out' reports all show the same numbers its time for a taxonomy

2. PDF proliferation

Data is never available in an easy to understand form. Spreadsheets are poorly labeled and your webtrends report looks like a it was written by your GP. It's life...we have got to live with it

3. IT inertia

Communication between IT and Marketing is like forcing Americans to watch cricket. When the parties don't understand each other the data stays locked away

4. BI blockages

Every system from CRM to Trade are 'made friendlier' by giving you the reporting engine or dashboard. Problem is they only give you one view of the world and excavating the raw data is a nightmare.

5. 'My Turf' management

Bill Hostmann of Gartner puts this well. "Some people in an enterprise apparently aren't really looking for a single version of the truth. It can be easier for them to work with common assumptions and 'dance with numbers' during management meetings". Aligning the organization around a common vision is vital

At this point i won't tell you all how great we are at resolving these problems. But we do better than most. Every marketer wants a 360 degree view of their customers, we want to know that Mrs Smith saw our brand on a billboard on Monday, searched online for products in the category on Tuesday, saw our TV campaign on Friday but bought the competitor brand as a result of a promotion on Saturday. More importantly we need to know what to do to ensure that doesn't happen again.

1 comment:

Tea Knee said...

If there was only a process and platform to deliver this harmonized 360 degree view!