conversation about maximising value from customer insight

Data-driven Spam is not an improvement

Bottles in art exhibitionOur latest sharing of content from others is this article from Mark Cameron. He makes the very important point, that just being better at targeting your messages or executing them more efficiently, will not protect you from it being spam.

The forgotten component, in too much data & digital marketing ‘innovation’, is understanding your customers (their needs & what they view as relevant).

 

I hope you enjoy this article as well. In line with some comments I made when reviewing ‘Marketing Payback’, I fear that today’s marketers have become captivated with digital/mobile/social/omni-channel capabilities and taken their eye off the ball of some marketing basics. That applies just as much to the need to really know your customer as it does to being able to accurately measure the effectiveness of your marketing.

Customer Insight Leadership will be needed more than ever to address the failures that are bound to result from over-inflated expectations. Just as, in the past, data warehouses and CRM systems rarely lived up to their promise – we are just beginning to see the same with platforms for social & mobile marketing. But all these capabilities have the potential to be relevant to customers lives, if you put the customer first and our guided by what you need to know from them first.

Do you agree? Please share your thoughts on this guest post.

 

CDOs, Data Sharing Standard and LinkedIn

To compliment our recent emphasis on analytics, here are a number of data related articles from other bloggers to share with you. First, in an article published within Autumn 2014 edition of DataIQ Magazine, I caution the new cohort of more senior Customer Insight Leaders to not overlook their data teams. I would recommend anyone in this role read: “Don’t turn your data team into Cinderella“.

To introduce “How can you influence at the Top Table”, I mentioned the growing number of Customer Insight Directors or  Chief Knowledge Officers now emerging as C-Suite level roles in blue chip companies. We have also shared six tips for those with the new role of Chief Analytics Officer (or as some companies prefer Chief Customer Science Officer). To compliment that content, here is an interesting perspective from IBM, introducing the Chief Data Officer role. CDOs may have a less glamorous job in many organisations, but they are no less vital to the success of Customer Insight capabilities:

The topic of data sharing and open disclosure with customers or citizens has been in and out of the news in recent years. Two communications on this topic struck me recently. The first is Tim Davies’ overview of the changes being proposed for government to register its data sharing arrangements. In light of the coming General Data Protection Regulation from the EU, this is an interesting approach which businesses would do well to watch:

On a more personal note, I had the unusual experience of being impressed by an email on how a business will use my personal data, or a privacy notice. Communications on this topic are normally so dry that they appear to be using boredom as a means of avoiding customers engaging and understanding impact. However, a noble exception recently was this email which I received from LinkedIn. Both the language used and the ethos of the approach were refreshing, perhaps other businesses could learn from this approach:

LinkedIn data notice

I hope all that data-related content helps redress the balance. It must be time for research again soon! In the meantime, do let us have your comments on these or any related data topics that matter to you.

6 key attributes of Chief Analytics Officer

6 key attributes of CAOIn this published slideshow (with associated notes), Rob O’Regan from IT World shares some sensible tips for Analytics leaders with this new job title. Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) appears to have now joined Chief Knowledge Officer and Chief Insight Officer in the pantheon of possible names, for the most senior customer insight leader in a business.

Returning to one of my soapboxes, it’s a shame that this focusses just on analytics and not the whole customer insight ecosystem. But that said, several of these points make good sense and hopefully you find them helpful. I do agree with his focus on translation, outcomes and the need to be willing to fail to learn. It is also important to embed a culture of action orientation in your team, something I’ll share more on in a future opinion piece.

Let me know what you think of this guest content.

Are Business and Sport really different?

ac-logoAt conferences and meetings, one of the topics in which you (customer insight leaders) seem particularly interested is leadership coaching. Once it’s been mentioned in a presentation, that is the most likely topic for me to be asked about in the next break. A few of the points that I’ve made on this are:

  • Coaching does work (over 90% of UK companies now use coaching and the academic evidence for efficacy has grown hugely);
  • Customer Insight Leaders would benefit as well (progressive companies are extending beyond CEO to all directors & key leaders);
  • It is for winners not losers (don’t think what’s wrong that they need a coach, think elite athletes use coaches to sustain peak performance);
  • Take care choosing a coach (a recent useful article in EDGE magazine gave a 10 point checklist of things to consider, including qualification and membership of professional body).

Given that message, I was encouraged to see a friend of mine at Abelard Consultancy also blog on what business can learn from sport, especially the importance of goal setting. So, here’s another “other”  guest content:

From my experience, customer insight leaders and other executives can really benefit from the use of goal-orientated performance coaching, to set such goals and consistently achieve them.

Here today, gone tomorrow

Harford_Cropped_bigger-2Hyperbolic Discounting is one of those names for a Behavioural Economics bias that can put most people off reading further, just because it sounds so technical.

However, Tim Harford (always worth a read, or listen on Radio 4) has done us all a favour by applying the theory to the very practical problem which we all share – getting round to those jobs we said we’ll do tomorrow.

It’s a well written article and one with a number of practical suggestions for practicing overcoming this irrational bias. Some only require a pen and paper, as well as remembering to put in some planning time the night before:

However, the best discovery in this article for me was of an app called Timeful. This has already been launched for the iPhone. It is basically a time management tool in which you enter everything you want to get done. OK, you might be thinking, so what – there are tons of apps for that. However, this one has been designed to help you overcome your hyperbolic discounting tendency. It will provisionally schedule in your diary good times for getting round to those jobs, and as unexpected things happen or priorities change, it will adapt. It basically learns about you, how you manage your time, and will be an advisor to still hold you accountable to times when you should be getting round to your priorities.

Sounds great to me – so I’m off to download it onto my iPhone and give it a try. I will report back on progress, please share below if you have tried it already.

A cloud won’t protect your modesty

2014-09-04_cloud-nudity_3I’m sure we have all heard the news about various famous (and not so famous) celebrities having their iCloud accounts hacked and their nude photos shared on social media. It seems to me there are responsibilities on both sides.

Service providers like Apple should review their security and we should all think about the wisdom of saving such personal data in any cloud service.

The best article I have seen on this data & privacy topic is this balanced review by David Reed, editor of Data IQ magazine:

 

 

Getting the most out of conferences

Getting the most out of those conferencesI don’t know how many events you attend each year, but I can tell you as a speaker and an attendee, you do get out what you put in. Right now I’m creating slides and preparing stories to share at “Insurance Data & Analytics” in September and “Analytics for Insurance, Europe” in October. So, I really appreciated seeing this advice from Michael Hyatt:

 

 

Hope my audiences at both those conferences are coming with that mindset, I know it’s worked for me at past conferences. Active tweeting during an event is another technique that keeps me engaged and can later be aggregated up to form a blog or personal notes. I’m encouraged to find that tweeting during an event, as a way of providing feedback and raising questions, is also being encouraged by more and more conferences these days.

See you on the 18 Sept, ready to get out why you put in!