I used to pride myself on being an early adopter. But I’ve realised as I’m getting older, I’m more of a late majority (or laggard if it’s got anything to do with Game of Thrones and Married at First Sight).

I recently used Siri for the first time.

I asked Siri to “Call Steven”. Then, to “Call Steven on Speaker”.

I asked Siri to set an alarm and also asked what the weather would be tomorrow.

And just for laughs, “What’s 0 divided by 0”.

I then asked Siri, “What do you do with my data?”

This is how the conversation went:

I asked this as a sceptic, because I can be quite cynical about how much information I share with Apple and the big data conglomerates. Understanding that the information can be used for good, and is certainly helpful when I’m retargeted useful products, I still err on the side of caution when it comes to disclosing TMI.

And then the marketer in me thought – you’re not alone.

The world of big data and data-driven decision making aren’t just a passing fad, they’re a must-have in a digital Darwinism world.

I see overnight Instagram brand sensations who are brilliant at this. The customer is at the centre of the journey and products and messages are crafted and anticipated, seamlessly. Maybe they have the luxury of learning from the mistakes of others and being able to build the journey from the beginning rather than attempting to keep-up with the pace of change. Or maybe they’re just more adaptable.

Before I landed in the property world, I used to work as the Marketing Manager of an automotive dealership. Every customer had a profile sheet where they could express their interest in activities such as playing golf, watching the footy or going to the Opera. They would then receive relevant news and events based on their preference, and even surprise and delight initiatives that would treat them to one of these experiences. It wasn’t rocket science. It was simple, and effective, and just required a diligent sales person to ask the right questions or ask the customer to fill in the form.

In a recent LinkedIn Talent Solutions Webinar, Julia Leong, Senior Director of Business Operations at LinkedIn, said an organisation must have 3 things to build a data driven organisation:

  1. The right set of data

Too many times I have sat in a room where the heads of heads evaluate what information needs to be captured in customer lead forms. Most recently, we consulted to a leading sales agency and debated the question: How did you hear about us? Anecdotally, ‘Signage’ is amongst the top responses to this question. Now – either it’s the last thing the customer remembers seeing, or the first thing that comes to mind when consultants want to progress to the next step. If we used this data for future decision making, we wouldn’t require any other form of marketing other than a large billboard on a main freeway.

  1. The ability to extract and interpret the data

A functional CRM is a non-negotiable in today’s sales world. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be used and understood by the executives in the business. If you have it linked to an automated campaign – even better.

  1. Provide context and give meaning

If you analysed your customer list and found that 65% of your database were First Home Buyers, but only 10% of your House and Land packages fell into their price bracket of under $550k, this would give you valuable insight to create more affordable packages and send them to the right people. The 5 P’s of marketing continues to have relevance in a data-driven world.

How much do you know about your customer? What are you doing with their data? For advice on your data-driven marketing strategy, get in touch.