Baseball season is upon us (Go Red Sox!). As fans fill stadium seats with hotdogs in their laps, many don’t realize how much data and analysis goes into a single game. Baseball is packed with numbers and statistics, all used to evaluate the progress and performance of players on their teams. Much like baseball, agencies and brands like yours depend on good data to drive winning campaigns. With the right data, you can power unique customer experiences and deliver the white-glove service consumers have come to expect.
However, in the brand and agency world there has been a huge influx of bad data, causing over a $3 trillion loss in the U.S. alone per year by brands. With more than 7,000 marketing technology providers in today’s landscape, it’s more difficult than ever to ensure the information collected is reliable and relevant to your strategies.
Not unlike baseball, if you run a campaign based on bad data, of course you can get lucky, but statistically, you can expect poor results. Unreliable data also costs more than money. It damages your reputation and diminishes the trust you’ve worked hard to establish with consumers.
So how can you ensure you’re getting the most reliable insights? What constitutes as good data? Below are three factors to help you defend your data and make sure you don’t strike out.
It’s no secret that data privacy has been a top concern amongst consumers. One of the biggest reasons for bad data is how it’s been collected. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) and talks about federal legislations are certainly changing that by forcing organizations to obtain user consent and clearly define how they are collecting, storing and using personal data.
Rather than being forced by government agencies to collect data, why not take a proactive approach and ask your users? With an easily understandable consent form, you earn a level of respect from consumers by asking for permission. As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about shady data practices that could get you caught on the wrong side of the law.
It’s important to know from where and when your data originated. First-party data is the most reliable, provides the greatest insights and generates the strongest ROI for marketers. The reason for such great results: it’s data gathered directly from your customers and users. This means focus groups, surveys or your own mobile analytics.
You can also look at second-party data to expand and provide context to your own insights. In baseball, coaches use a combination of first- and second-party data to determine their game strategies. Insights into their own team’s performance (first-party) are augmented by a number of second-party insights like field conditions, opposing team data, etc.
The more context and understanding of where your data originated from, the more you can better tailor your marketing strategies to meet consumer demands.
Actual vs. Projected
One of the more difficult factors is determining if the data on consumers are projected or actual. While surveys and focus groups provide great first-party data, consumers tend to project themselves in a different light rather than answering honestly.
When a manager asks a pitcher if he can still pitch, the answer will always be yes. No matter how exhausted that pitcher really is, he wants to finish the game. Managers rarely make decisions based on this answer since it’s based on what that pitcher hopes he can deliver instead of what he actually can.
Rather than using these projected insights to fuel campaigns, it’s more accurate for you to use device-level or actual data. This ensures you’re acting upon information based on behaviors that actually happened. That’s all that sabermetrics relies on to determine the performance of each baseball player — the number of hits, strikes, runs and more. They don’t project how the players could be, they obtain and act upon information that most recently occurred.
It’s important to build your foundation on good data. With clear consent from your consumers, a better understanding of where your data came from and actual behavioral insights, you can accurately apply your good data to create the next moment of opportunity and turn your target audiences from browsers to buyers.
At Ogury, we only use fully consented, first-party and device-level data. Our purpose-built AI solutions turn these insights into action, and fuel some of the world’s leading campaigns. Want to learn more? Reach out to me directly at: Evan@ogury.co
Evan Rutchik, CRO, USA