We had the antitrust litigation running against Microsoft through the late 90’s and way into the 00’s, and now it seems something similar is happening at Google. It really doesn’t matter how big you are – if you don’t play ball, then you’ll come unstuck at some point. With the recent news that Google are now being investigated for distorting search results so as to promote their own services – shopping, maps etc. – this will be great news for us all, given they control around 90% of the search market in Europe.
So, why does this matter to us data driven businesses?
The data giants ( Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.) have a vast quantity of consumer information that is pretty well locked down and inaccessible to us data hungry geeks. We all rely on a rich depth of data that provides a fresh window onto the lives of the consumer. If it was just a little more accessible the experiences we could offer consumers would be incredible.
So what’s the answer?
There isn’t one!
Everyone and every business is different. We’re all obsessed with data; its synonymous with answers – evidence, objectivity, hidden insight. This perception of data as the magic key to open the doors to anything we’ve ever wanted to know makes us obsessed with the latest ways to get it: Big Data, data visualization, open-source data, data scientists… the options are endless list.
The question I would ask and do so every day is whether we are in fact doing it right. Data is one side of the coin, technology is the other. The number of sources available to us all grows by the day so it’s absolutely vital that we keep abreast of where to fish for the best sources.
You need to set yourself clear objectives for what and where to invest your marketing cash. Define the KPIs that will measure success against these objectives and set yourself on a journey that is achievable and will deliver value for the consumer.
Notice here that I’ve not mentioned delivering value to your business…that’s the trick. Consumers will spend if they feel loved, if they feel that you care and you know them personally. Look at Amazon, that’s a clear example of how to hyper personalise customer experiences first, because if you achieve that, the rewards will be huge.
So, lets get back to data!
More data – used in the right way…now thats the vital part – will deliver a better customer experience; better experiences means better value; better value means the consumer will simply keep coming back for more. Achieve that, and you’ve won!
What can we do now?
We all need to become much more creative in how we collect data both online and offline, and then how we use it to build engaging customer relationships. There are many tools out there to help but you need to choose wisely… don’t always believe what it says on the tin. Keep in mind your objectives and KPIs, and simply push the boundaries of what you already have or invest in the tools that will help you achieve all or most of what you want.
It’s a marathon – not a sprint. Amazon, Google and Apple have taken years to master the art of their success – take your time and make sure the decisions you make are always going to deliver the benefits needed.
Now, what about Google Juice?
Google’s thrashing could do us a favour if the litigation forces them to open the doors a little and release their monopolising hold on the search market. However, don’t get too excited – it took 16 years for the Microsoft case to run its course, so by the time Google (and the rest of the data Giants) are forced to change, our little smart-bot’s will be managing all the mundane tasks in our internet-enabled smart homes.
If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org