Size is not what will divide us with data

I disagree with Michael Nutley’s view that a divide is being created between big and smaller companies simply due to data management budgets (’Is your brand a data have or have-not?’, MW 6 October).

The problem is more holistic than that in the sense that the technology isn’t as sophisticated as it needs to be in order to keep up with the demands of digital and social media alongside more traditional channels.

Increasingly there will be two distinct components that will differentiate between the data have’s and the have-nots.

First, will be simple ’one size fits all’ solutions that seek to give large numbers of organisations, especially smaller ones, 80% of what they need, but at a small cost. These solutions may be quite generic compared with the bespoke solutions that bigger organisations can afford. However the key to success is in the analysis and information derived from these platforms and how it is used to drive marketing activities.

Which brings me to my second component: the people that interpret information to devise the best marketing strategies.

In future what we will see are easier to implement solutions being developed that will enable ’data have-nots’ to at least get on the analysis ladder, and the winners will be the ones who use the outputs from that analysis to their best advantage and that isn’t an issue of size. Indeed, some bigger organisations may buy great solutions, but they may not have the resource skills to exploit their investment to its full potential.

It’s a question of skill, vision and application of knowledge and intelligence that will drive online success in the use of data, rather than simply budget.

Ben Cooper
CRM solutions director
Tullo Marshall Warren

Time and again we see brand campaigns fall flat when they fail to use their data in the right way. Michael Nutley makes some interesting points but whether a campaign is timely, topical or integrated can sometimes be largely irrelevant. If you can’t analyse the data you have in order to plan a campaign, deploy it and measure it effectively, the volume of data itself is not the issue.

Smaller brands may not have the biggest silos, but they should still hold a great deal of information as well as having greater flexibility and agility compared with their larger competitors to analyse and act on the insights they glean.

Faster reaction speeds and innovation combined with powerful analytics provides a great platform for a successful campaign.

Jon Buss
Managing director
Experian Hitwise & Experian Digital Advertising Services



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Lucy Handley is a key member of the Marketing Week features team and has also worked in advertising agencies so can bring a unique perspective to client-agency relationships when writing on this topic.


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