Playing Politics With Analytics

  |  September 29, 2011   |  Comments

How can you create a data-driven ethos in an established company?

It's often said that marketing analytics can only provide true competitive edge if the corporate culture is ready, willing, and able to embrace a data-driven strategy.

No, this doesn't mean at the expense of intuition, creativity, and gut feelings. Each of these tools has unique value that can neither be duplicated nor replaced by number crunching. That's a conversation for another time with a variety of beverages.

But how does one create a data-driven ethos in an established company?

Avinash Kaushik has addressed this question in his blog and in this video.

Beth Kanter has written about "How Can Nonprofits Switch to a Data-Driven Culture?" in her blog.

Brent Dykes from Adobe (Omniture) has a lengthy blog post called "Switching to a Data-Driven Culture."

Fellow ClickZ columnist Bryan Eisenberg wrote a wonderful piece about this called "Data Rich, Optimization Poor."

So what can I possibly add? Just one thing.

I was having lunch with Mia Jung at the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit in Stockholm last week. Before starting a consulting practice, this Six Sigma-certified analyst was responsible for using Google Analytics inside Google to improve the performance and efficiency of Google's own products and service strategy.

Mia had just given a presentation extoling the virtues of negative conversion tracking (calls averted, problems avoided, money saved) and we were discussing corporate culture. She casually mentioned something that struck me as basic to change management but forgotten in practice.

Tie your optimization technology and process endeavors to a rising star.

If you can't get the CEO's attention - always harder than it looks - find the Kid Wonder in the organization. You know, the one everybody is counting on to become the next executive generation. Get some face time with this future leader and make your idea her idea. Then go along for the ride.

This idea is too simple for Machiavelli. It's too obvious for Porter, Peters, Reich, or Drucker. In fact, it's so basic, so fundamental, it's brilliant.

Thanks Mia.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne is an international consultant who focuses on measuring the value of the Web as a medium for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, is the founding president and current chairman of the Digital Analytics Association and produces the eMetrics Summit and the Media Analytics Summit.

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