Data is the New Oil – Are You Maximizing Yours?

An oil rig pumps oil

Data is the New Oil – Are You Maximizing Yours?

An oil rig pumps oil


The idea that data is the new oil was published in WIRED back in 2014, but it’s all the more prominent and critical in digital marketing today.

A Bloomberg article about Amazon purchasing irobot, the company that makes the Roomba, focuses specifically on this point. While the acquisition might not make sense on the surface (how many Roombas can you sell?), the article explains the strategy behind the $1.7B deal: to gather mapping data about households.

Yes, that’s right. “The smart home is clearly a priority for Amazon.” The more they know about the layout of your home, the better they can target you for products and services.

The value of data at Amazon

The new CEO of Amazon, Andy Jassey, worked at MBI right out of business school when I did. We’d have interesting discussions at lunch with senior leaders, and if it’s one thing we learned there, over and over again, it was the value of data:

  • how to get it
  • how to use it
  • how to profit from it

Why am I talking about data? Because with all the talk of phone security, data security, and cybersecurity, Andy’s figured out that the safest and easiest way to profit from data is to buy it where users are not looking or suspecting.

Everyone likes the idea of a SMART home. But every time you bring an item into your home and connect it to the internet, you’re providing companies with a treasure trove of data about you (and where you live).

Many don’t care about this, or see it as a great way to get customized offers. Which brings me to my point here – about marketing.


Are you maximizing your data?

If you’re in the B2B world, it’s critical that you understand your own data so that you can use it effectively. In marketing, I’ve noticed that very few people feel comfortable looking at marketing data, analyzing it, and using it to their advantage.

What’s the fear around data? If you’re not good at math, that’s really not an excuse because data analytics has little to do with the kind of math you learned in school. It’s more about understanding the theory behind it:

  • What’s being measured?
  • Is it changing over time?
  • How does this data benchmark/compare with others?

If you’re not comfortable with data, it’s critical that you learn enough so that you can understand it and use it to your advantage.


Marketers have extensive data to analyze now

An article by McKinsey from 2021 quotes a senior marketing executive saying,“Precision marketing is only as good as the data behind it. New models with old data are still likely to provide inaccurate results.”

Marketers also need to be looking at the wide variety of data available to them, from Google Analtyics to social media to email and other tracking reports. To understand their target market, it’s critical to have a 360-degree view of who they are, what they need, and how and why they buy products and services.

It’s also critical to understand the buying process itself. Too often, marketing is done for only one or two steps in the purchasing process; it doesn’t follow the purchaser all the way from their finding out about the product/service to the final purchasing choices and decisions.

If you’re not maximizing the data you have, or you’re interested in becoming more data-focused, contact me and let’s talk!


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