How to Integrate Data and Analytics into Every Part of Your Organization


Many conversations about data and analytics (D&A) start by focusing on technology. Having the right tools is critically important, but too often executives overlook or underestimate the significance of the people and organizational components required to build a successful D&A function.

When that happens, D&A initiatives can falter — not delivering the insights needed to drive the organization forward or inspiring confidence in the actions required to do so. The stakes are high, with International Data Corporation estimating that global business investments in D&A will surpass $200 billion a year by 2020.

A robust, successful D&A function encompasses more than a stack of technologies, or a few people isolated on one floor of the building. D&A should be the pulse of the organization, incorporated into all key decisions across sales, marketing, supply chain, customer experience, and other core functions.

What’s the best way to build effective D&A capabilities? Start by developing a strategy across the entire enterprise that includes a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish and how success will be measured.

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Bust the Myth: “Consumer Insights Must Come From Traditional Research Methods”

Starting from kindergarten, we tell our stories through crayons and finger painting, more than through words, or telling stories. As any qualitative expert knows, the transformative potential lies in what’s beyond the declarative.

Source: Bust the Myth: “Consumer Insights Must Come From Traditional Research Methods”

On CRM initiatives, the CIO in 2017 is the Supportive Gatekeeper.


On a call the other day with a very innovative financial services company somewhere across a sea, the wonderful Global Head of Digital Channels described their CIO as a supportive gatekeeper. What better way to capture the state of the art in 2017. This was couched in the most positive of ways. What this business operations visionary was saying is that any program will encounter myriad technical issues: security and integration and scale and latency and cost, for example. In their organization, the business is leading a tech-driven community. For them, IT is the only one who understood the issues and have a flair for innovation. Flair and know-how.

We are all witnessing a ‘business outcome’ focus for all successful companies. It is all about technology-enabled business transformation, and both ‘Mode One’ (right infrastructure, right scale, stable core) and “Mode Two” (Sustained agility, incremental and consistent digitization, business-process focus) are coming together for business success.

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Is Social Marketing Still….Social?


The other day, Elizabeth Shaw and I were talking social marketing with some agency folks who mentioned that they no longer create purely organic content and campaigns on behalf of clients.  Everything has to have paid support.  This approach makes sense on the surface – after all, engagement with organic content from brands is close to nil at this point.  No wonder that 80% of marketers, according to our Digital Channel Survey, have implemented or are planning social advertising programs.

Sure, there are exceptions – Wendy’s recent Twitter snark has helped differentiate its brand voice in social while garnering a ton of exposure (not always good).  And we’ve seen a heavy increase in client inquiries about employee advocacy – content shared by employees via social can significantly outperform content coming directly from brands.  Indeed, employees are the second most credible source of information about a brand, after friends and family, according to a study by Ketchum.

But the evolution of  social networks into merely another advertising channel (albeit an effective one) can be disheartening for those of us who “grew up” with the promise and initial reality of social as an authentic, unfiltered, conversational channel for marketing.  Throw in Facebook’s current obsession with bots – (“is there anything less social than communicating with a bot?” another Gartner analyst lamented recently) and one can see where this is going, at least from a marketing perspective.

From a consumer perspective, though, social is still as social as ever, even as network preferences change.

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A framework for “Employee Centric” Digital Workplace Platform