September 23, 2012
This is a guest post by Anton Buchner, a senior consultant with TrinityP3. Anton is a lateral and innovative thinker with a passion for refocusing business teams and strategies; creating visionary, data driven communication plans; and making sense of a more complex digital marketing environment.
As you may know, Mount Everest is the highest point on the Earth’s surface at 8.84 kms above sea level. Although it’s a little more than 2 kms shorter than the Challenger Deep (the deepest point in the ocean at 10.9 kms. Both pale into insignificance when compared to Olympus Mons, the massive mountain on Mars which has been measured at almost 22kms!
Data can be interesting, but pretty irrelevant if it doesn’t highlight an insight.
Everyone was fascinated by NASA’s latest landing on Mars with its newest rover Curiosity. And it only cost $2.5b to get it there!
However I was more fascinated recently when I read that only 300 mountains have been explored in the Earth’s oceans.
What’s the insight in this?
The insight for me seems to be, that as humans, we’re fascinated by the words longer, further, faster, higher, stronger. We love exploring things out of our reach. However, in reality, the answers are often sitting in front of us. On our very own door-step.
We keep hearing that space junk, asteroids and UFOs have all landed in the Earth’s oceans and, by some incredible piece of luck, happened to miss killing any of us. However if I told you that oceans make up approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface, then I guess yours and my cynicism may wane as it’s pretty good odds that things from outer space would miss us.
Out of this world or….?
So why aren’t we spending considerably less money heading into outer space and spending more time on our doorstep, the Oceans, for answers to life and the Universe? Far be it for me to answer that question but it seems logical doesn’t it?
Discover data insights to drive your business
When it comes to searching for answers to your business challenges, today you can turn to data for powerful insights, learnings, patterns and trends.
Gut feel is out and test and learn is in. Data is being collected everywhere and data insights are indeed the new black.
Here are 3 tips for analyzing data for insights:
1. Size doesn’t matter
Don’t worry about big data. Everyone is getting excited about big data and millions of data variables. To be honest if you can find 5 variables that really deliver insights then you’re doing well.
Focus on small ideas that could have big consequences: better onboarding strategies, better welcome programs, multiple engagement rather than one-step wonders, and harnessing the power of your fans and advocates. Analyse the data throughout these consumer lifecycle stages to determine how effective your strategies are. Don’t just settle for “this is the way we’ve always done it”.
2. Dead and alive
Marketers focus a lot on ‘live’ data. Behavioural data from customers transacting and interacting with their business across a myriad of channels and platforms. However, how often do they look at the ‘dead’ data for insights? By ‘dead data’ I mean customers that have not transacted or interacted recently with a business.
Look for customers that haven’t opened or clicked an email for the last 6 – 12 months. Those that haven’t transacted for 12 months. Or those that have joined your social networks and downloaded your App but never engaged with it. If you could activate 20% of these, then your business will come alive.
3. Listen. What? LISTEN
Why wade through expensive research focus groups of 10 – 20 people when you can analyse social networks for instant insights. Is your research manager actively using your owned and operated social media channels for live research? Have you conducted customer satisfaction surveys recently? Did you act on the insights?
Are you ‘always already listening’ or actually listening? ‘Always already listening’ is a filter in your ear that actively tries to make sense of everything that you hear. It actually stops us from listening.
So make sure you don’t have pre-conceived perceptions of your customers and make sure you are really listening for insights. They’re sitting there waiting for you to act on them.
I wonder how many data insights you will find on your door-step. Or will you just read this post and go back to your normal business life?
What data insights have you found the most useful? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.