Are we really processing the data to make marketing decisions in an informed manner? Posing the question, moderator Vikram Sakuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH, set the ball rolling for a discussion on ‘Data-Driven Marketing – Are We Walking The Talk?’ on day two of Goafest 2023.
Joining him were Chandan Mukherji, Director & EVP, Nestle India; Priyanka Gill, Group Co-Founder, Good Glamm Group and CEO, Good Media Co.; Ravi Santhanam, CMO, HDFC; and Vipul Prakash, COO, MakeMyTrip.
“Data has democratised the marketing function,” noted Santhanam, adding that decisions are now taken not by the CMO as was the case earlier, but by younger members of the team guided by data and testing.
Speaking about the evolution of marketing from his days at Pepsico to the use of data now, Prakash said, “The fear back then was that we don’t have enough data. Now we have a lot of data, and the fear is what to do with it.”
Data is just a tool to help make decisions and it’s nothing to be afraid of, emphasised the speaker, adding that marketers need to come to terms with the lack of third party data in the coming cookie-less world.
“Data is a tool for good. If used poorly, it can be a blunt tool. It can definitely get sharper,” opined Gill. She made the case for building a feedback loop and keep retraining cookies while targeting cohorts.
In an age when there are thousands of metrics, data must be viewed from the lens of metrics that matter, underlined Mukherji. In the case of FMCG companies with a relatively lower ticket size, the cost of first party data needs to be evaluated for RoI, he noted. “Our biggest challenge is that data is largely very siloed. We need to connect them,” he added.
Differentiate noise from signals
Sakhuja pointed out that despite the innumerable data points available, a majority of the targeting efforts on digital still happens on the basis of age, gender and basic segmentation that was used for television ages ago.
Mukherji responded, “The (data) journey has started. We still have a long way to go. We have to enrich that data. People with access to first party data are probably doing that.”
Santhanam underlined the need to separate the noise from the signals when it comes to data, engaging in prescriptive analytics. “Of course we need to lean into first party data. We just don’t know the RoI on that (yet),” he added.
Digital publishers have access to first party data and collaboration could result in mutual benefit, concurred speakers.
“The magic happens when your CDPs (Customer Data Platforms) start talking to each other,” surmised Prakash.
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