From digital transformation to data transformation
By Caroline Worboys, COO
Fifteen years ago there was much debate about the chasm that existed between marketing and IT. This gap took the blame for pretty much everything – from inefficient campaigns to the inability to provide marketing accountability.
However, over the ensuing years, the silos that existed between the two factions have been broken down. Digital transformation has meant that marketing professionals are more IT literate and in turn IT departments have learnt to talk the language of the customer. Conversations between the two parties happen all the time and marketing is now fuelled by IT.
But we’ve reached a stage where another door is opening. With the application of deep learning and machine intelligence there is now a further opportunity to enhance marketing by bringing data scientists into the fold.
Data science is all about the nuance and pattern of numbers, yet marketing requires the nuance of emotion. It’s the archetypal IQ/EQ divide. To forge this gap we are bringing together the two to drive business and marketing outcomes. The real ‘science’ comes in the formula of organising and constructing the data in the most efficient and effective way, allowing the data scientists to translate this into models, algorithms or nano-segments of customers and turning this value into actual outputs that can be embedded in the business. This is the crux of data transformation – the next iteration of modern marketing.
A good example of this is our work for a well-known restaurant chain. Through machine learning we created a bespoke segmentation to inform promotion strategy, which in turn positively influenced margin. Working with several years of EPOS data we were able to identify and understand the patterns and trends underlying the time of day, week and year customers frequented each individual restaurant. We then created a segmentation by selecting the most appropriate variables to feed into the deep learning. This resulted in a more specific and refined segmentation, determining the most effective times for each restaurant to offer promotions based on the mission or purpose of each individual diner. This approach led to greater incremental revenue.
It is unsurprising that data science is now being vaunted as one of the most powerful tools in the marketing armoury. However, it can only live up to this high expectation if it is applied with a transformative, outcome-driven focus.
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