Here's what we learnt at Smarter Data 2020

As businesses and marketing teams move to becoming data-driven it's important to remember why data matters in the first place: our customers. So how do you unlock the value of data to deliver for your customers?


At the Marketing Association Smarter Data Conference we heard from some of New Zealand’s top thought leaders about how they solved customer problems using data. They shared with us practical advice and insight in to how they solved gaps in their data sets.  


So, what did we learn? Here are our key takeaways from the day. 

Don’t wait for perfect 

Adrian Green, Head of Consumer and Business Insights from McDonalds and Leighton Gosnell, Technical Director form Track reminded us that we shouldn’t wait for perfect. 

McDonalds have plenty of challenges when it comes to data. The purchases are fast and the data is almost always anonymous. So how do you learn more about your customer when there is no reason for a customer to give over more?  


To tackle these problems they applied these four principles: 

  1. Have a really clear and challenging vision. 
  2. Be 100% honest about where you are now.
  3. Get stuff done (and do it smartly). 
  4. You can’t do it on your own. Assemble a team that can help you.  


Do the right thing 

John Edwards the Privacy Commissioner gave us a good reminder of what it means to act ethically when it comes to using data in marketing. As marketers, you must drive the data conversations you have within your organisation. You need to take the front seat and ensure you're conducting your marketing in a fair and responsible manner for your customers. He reminded us that it is up to us as marketers to take our own responsibility when it comes to privacy - they can only provide the guidelines. His team work hard to supply the information which you can learn more about here. 

Keep the customer at the heart of your data 

Our very own Lena Jenkins, Head of Data Powered Marketing at Qrious reminded us that customers need to be at the heart of your data as customer expectations have intensified. Our customers expect to engage with us through a greater number of touchpoints and expect a joined up, personalised journey across those touchpoints. But to deliver on those expectations, our data needs have become more complex.  

When creating or optimising a customer journey, customer data is central to understanding the journey, identifying opportunities to do better and measuring the impact of change.  So how do you make customer data central to your customer journey design? She shared how we applied this thinking for our client, Genesis, for their Power Shout campaigns. You can read more about it here 


The rise of the Customer Data Platform 

Paul Hickey from SpeakData taught us all about Customer Data Platforms and how to evolve from data islands to a constant stream. Although CDPs are a relatively new addition to the toolkit for marketers, the technology and the market is evolving extremely quickly. To help us stay on the front foot, Paul shared the value of investing in a platform that helps you stay on top of changing customer trends and most importantly a complete view of customer, giving the marketer valuable insight and capabilities in the customer journey 


Creating data-driven customer journeys is not an easy task. Siloed data is common across businesses, but you’ve got to start somewhere, testing data sets and learning from each test. One of the key takeaways from the day was that it’s important to just start somewhere. Share the results wider than just yourself and tackle each data challenge incrementally. From there you’ll be able to get smarter with your marketing efforts. And once youve started its important to keep the customer at the heart of all your efforts as its about making their journey easier, creating a positive customer experience.  

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