No company stands still. Commercial dynamics are constantly evolving and often frustrate the progress the Board wants, because unless you’re already ahead, employees are trying to keep up with the pace of change.
Here are some examples of changing dynamics we’ve recently tackled. Which one aligns with your situation?
- Organisations updating their website or ecommerce platform assets without a well thought through data strategy
- Long established organisations with disparate silos of data, in different departments or locations, some customer knowledge in legacy systems, some not (you can imagine the issues!)
- Fast growing companies, generating masses of data and starting to flounder, even drown
- Companies taking over another company with colliding IT, crm and data systems to sort out.
Or are you in a different category? Do please let me know to help our research.
These constantly changing dynamics mean that many, many companies have data & customer knowledge all over the place. This means they are leaking significant revenue and profit…
… and they’re getting more and more data from the increasing number of customer & end user touch points, which means the issues and challenges are compounding to increase losses.
The result? Lots of data pots, data silos, departmental politics, protected agendas and entrenched positions… all combining to cloud the real acid test priority (let me know what you think it is) & slow down the progress expected of senior management.
So it’s time to sort out your data and customer knowledge assets before things get even more complicated. WHY IS IT PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT NOW?
There’s a growing, soon to be nagging sense of urgency because GDPR law comes into force in mid-2018. Board responsibility for customer data should be top of the commercial agenda, because the financial penalties for negligence are huge (and could even be terminal). Not to mention the accompanying reputation damage & loss of competitive edge.
Even though the middle of 2018 seems a long way off, there’s an action agenda that shouldn’t be left to the last minute. Before we all know it, it’ll be Christmas and the start of a new year, 2017. Therefore a sensible agenda could be a structured process during 2017 so all is done and dusted for the start of 2018, without panic or unnecessary cost.
Therefore now is the time for the critical first stage, immediate next step – a thorough reality sense check audit across the whole organisation on data and customer knowledge, how & why it’s collected, how it’s stored, who has access & why, how fast the sources & permissions can be attributed, how quickly & easily consumer queries can be answered… and much more. Get it wrong and companies will be fined, heavily. Get it right and companies will make more profit, guaranteed, we’ve done it and seen it.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re b2c or b2b, achieving full GDPR clearance is an essential process, to start sooner rather than later. For b2c it is mission critical, for b2b it is important for best practice and discovery of hidden activation opportunities for net extra profit.
What are your choices? You could commission a management consultancy and pay a fortune for bright ‘oxbridge’ youngsters. Or you could use an external resource and people who have been on the tools for a long time, who are also 1) brilliant at data leverage for extra revenue, 2) get the whole holistic marketing agenda and 3) have bottom line business acumen values. And with enough expertise to deliver the tailor-made service you want… a rare and valuable combination, if you can find it.
Whilst such wisdom is not for everyone it might be right for your organisation… choose your data audit resource carefully, do not try to do it internally… it doesn’t work because there are too many status quo attitudes and entrenched positions. We’ve seen it cause more ructions than results. The quickest, easiest, smartest way to overcome barriers to the progress you want is to invest in external expertise. You’ll get payback in spades.
(For example, TBDA uses ability and agility distilled from over two decades experience working on data and customer knowledge challenges with large corporates like M&S, Stagecoach, and smaller organisations like Brewers Decorators merchants, Viking Direct & Krispy Kreme – there’s nothing to lose from an initial no obligation discussion, whether on the phone or face to face. Or you may know someone who might be interested. Either way we’d love to hear from you to see whether we can help).
All the best,
Manging Director TBDA Ltd
Author of “SmarterMarketing for CEOs” (Amazon)
Accredited iMA Practitioner