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Reflections on data

Posted on: Wednesday 16th of March 2011

Thanks to the DMA for an excellent conference on 16 March. We were speaking – more on that anon – but also being a delegate, it was a chance to listen. It seemed as though there are two audiences. First up are the marketers – who were interested in how they could better use data they already have. Second were the compliance officers, who seemed more interested in protecting their asset. There was some sense that the two groups have reached a concordat – what is that we can get away with yet stay on the right side of the line?

However, the longer term view was also clear – the market for marketing is changing. Not just the inexorable rise in social media, not just the rise in data volumes but the changing nature of consumers and their relationship with brands. Not just us banging on about volunteered personal information but others telling the audience about the change to experience (not product) and the Information Commissioner talking about trust and transparency.

And that last word is key – some of the examples shown during the day were all about how businesses were being forced to be more transparent. Not because of a big stick but because it is in their interest. If they can develop a relationship with a customer that is true, the customer will stay loyal. Data management isn’t about locking it all up in a safe – it’s about freeing it to create value. And that’s the long term challenge.