This post was co-authored by Kevin Johnson, President of W2O marketeching
“I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians, and I’m not kidding.” — Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google
Frankly, all of us at W2O are onboard with that observation. It’s why we’ve hired more than 100 data scientists and analysts to help ensure that all our communications efforts are grounded in insights and analytics. It is also why we had the pleasure of hosting PR colleagues as well as clients at our offices as part of the PR Council’s Executive Education series to discuss Harnessing an Analytics-Driven Approach to Fuel Optimal Targeting, Activation & Measurement. The title captures the approach that is the core of who we are as an agency.
The fact is the abundance of data, and the progress and application of machine learning and AI, have allowed us as marketing and communication consultants to provide more tailored insights and in turn more customized strategic guidance to our clients on a real-time basis like never before. We now use data to identify specific audiences and those who have influence, the natural language these audiences use to communicate, the context in which they communicate in, and the channels where they most often get information and engage. At a time when companies are pushing the limits of innovation, fiercely competing for market share and working hard to grab customer attention in a distracted world, flipping the model to be truly audience-centric and one of influence vs., one-way communication is critical. Our session explored how data can be woven throughout the research, strategic and creative process and be applied to full omnichannel PESO activation. Here are a few takeaways from our discussion
- The age of data is here. Embrace it. Learn how to use it. Let it be your guide.
- Findings are not insights. To get to actionable insights, you need the secret sauce that goes beyond the technology platform to include subject matter experts and strategists to analyze the data and a process that maps out a plan to move from data collection though insight generation.
- Influencing the influencer is what PR has always been about. This explains why PR is at the center of the analytics revolution and how it has given communicators the ability to better target and measure than ever before.
- Your corporate or brand story can be channel-agnostic. Data can help us to tailor content across paid, earned, shared and owned channels, including media buying and search, to maximize its impact.
- Keywords are the first step in understanding what’s being said by your customers – but not the only step. Don’t stop at how keywords are being used. Go beyond to look at how those influencers engage and behave through all their content … and can lead to new insights.
- Data is everywhere – The key is bringing it all together for the most comprehensive picture. Work in partnership with your other departments, data providers and agencies to pool as much data as you can and have access to in order to ensure you can have the most comprehensive view of a situation, audience or brand.
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