Today’s world is increasingly connected, with both consumers and products creating waves of new data, digital footprints, and new behavior. Sustainability, for today’s organization, is contingent on consuming and interpreting this fast-changing data and translating the developing trends into actionable insights. Business strategy no longer hinges on the timely response to the market, rather strategy has evolved to encompass the ability to utilize data to drive insights and push disruption.Over the last decade the emphasis of big data technologies and data science has moved from being reserved for large players in the marketplace to being the key differentiator in business strategy.Across industries, utilizing data driven insights to create new revenue streams and drive market disruption has become more about brand survival than nuance.
In particular, B2C companies are challenged to know who their consumer is and utilize this information to enhance product features and target marketing efforts. In practice, this knowledge level can translate into cost savings, increased revenue, new product lines, and growing consumer loyalty. In fact, marketing segmentation is considered the most valuable marketing science tool by both academics and practitioners (Roberts, Kayande, & Stremersch, 2015). Moreover, the increase in the amount of available data, the speed in which it can be collected, and the number of verticals data often originates from (e.g., organic, traditional, inter-connected
devices, internal, product-origination, etc) there is pressing need for organizations to utilize multiple methodologies in collecting, analyzing, and implementing information.
To further complicate the concept of business strategy harnessing information-driven strategy has blurred traditional business boundaries, expanding competitive sets to include non-traditional adversaries and adjacent industries. This growing landscape of potential competitors in a marketplace vying for consumers attention heightens the urgency in understanding and utilizing data driven insights strategically. From a business perspective, narrow business strategy in a broadening competitive landscape and a connected consumer marketplace can now be considered a limitation. From a consumer perspective, having an abundance of options from both traditional and nontraditional providers diminishes brand loyalty for one single brand, increasing the need for brands to be memorable, different, and relatable. Using data to understand target consumer markets is one way to drive disruption in consumer products and forge brand survival. Despite the pressing need for effectively using data to drive insights, few corporations have successfully streamlined the process of data collection and implementation into their business strategy. For those businesses who have it down to a science, what’s their secret?
The passion for data runs down, not up. Developing a culture of innovation and implementing data-driven insights into your business strategy starts at the top; the Executives and C-suite. We understand that pushing change in organization is hard, we’ve done it ourselves,—but it’s even more difficult when the Captain at the helm doesn’t value the process or utility of data. However, when you, as a fearless leader, both value and understand the power of data analytics in your product and strategy development—you are well on your way to disruption.
Go wide, then deep. When laying out data to clearly identify business strategy focused on disrupting your marketplace and securing your brand survival, always, always go wide first. Before you can clearly understand where you want to go, you must understand what your market terrain looks like. Evaluate your marketplace competitors, your tangential competitors, and products, that may not be directly related to your industry, but have demonstrated important aspects or abilities really, really well. Create a benchmark understanding of who your competitors are, what space your competitors are playing in, how do you measure up, and what is missing. Once you build the landscape of your terrain, you can begin charting your course. Deep-dive into consumer segments, market trends, and successful products.
Identify the points, then provide context. Context is found in conversations, behaviors, and responses. Once you identify the consumer segment, look to research methodology to build context. This way, when you see it happening, you can draw correlations as to why. This step is also known as: getting to know your consumers.
Quantify your trends. Once you can clearly identify your play-space in the market, you know your competitors, and you have a clear profile for consumers. You need hard numbers to drive decisions. Rely on internal data audits, quantitative research and analytics to quantify your trends. This way you know, how frequently, which segments, why, and when.
Disrupt Something. Brand survival is about driving innovation using data. It’s about disrupting the market you live in, bringing something different to the table. It’s about romancing the consumer and building a brand that keeps them coming back. Once you have identified your marketplace, you know your consumers, and you can quantify your trends—you are ready to hit your target. So hit it.
Now, benchmark each of these steps and in 365 days—do it all again.