tumblr_n2du4l13gz1rcx8t0o1_500Marketers today have unprecedented access to their customers’ preferences and behaviors.

Social media platforms, in particular, have made information ripe for the picking.

But knowing how to sort through it all, separating the noise from the best opportunities, can be challenging.

“In the sea of new digital possibilities,” explains David Dubois, an assistant professor of marketing at INSEAD, “it takes time to recognize which new practices prove to be systemic, not cosmetic, changes to marketing.”

The French-born, U.S.-educated Dubois — he earned a Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2011 — wants to help the next generation of marketing leaders learn how to identify the most promising and meaningful new trends.

A social scientist by training, he studies the dynamics of social influence: what makes people spread news or adopt trends, both online and offline.Dubois’s work on the impact of digital and social media on marketing, first at HEC Paris and now at INSEAD (where he joined the faculty in 2012), aims to explain how the digital landscape has changed the way consumers think, feel, and behave.

Raw digital data, whether it’s online search or social media activity or even geolocalization data, can produce valuable insights.

But if companies take those insights to the next level — putting data to use by integrating consumer insights, comments, and criticisms into their products and services — they can generate a game-changing “value loop.”

It’s a continuous, collaborative process, he told strategy+business in a recent interview — one that many marketers are still untangling.

S+B: How are digital platforms and social media changing marketing strategy?

DUBOIS: Marketing was always the showcase of the organization — you could see a company through its products. Now, marketing increasingly involves a constant back and forth with different stakeholders.

Read all The Digital Marketing Value Loop

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