Like many New Englanders, we hit the Cape Cod beaches last weekend--more specifically, the delightful town of Chatham, home of Chatham Pier Fish Market. Famished from our adventures under the summer sun, we went looking for a late lunch and discovered fresh-off-the-boat tuna sushi and the best lobster roll I've ever tasted.
As we dined in the shade at the picnic table, it hit me: this remarkably fresh fish, bought directly from the source, tasted immensely better than any canned or frozen fish you might find at the supermarket.
Fresh is always better.
Call me geeky, but this mantra applies to your online marketing decisions as well. If your data is stale, your marketing may leave a weird taste in your consumers' mouths and your decisions won't be accurate.
As marketers, we are witnessing an explosion of data and technological platforms, including new ways to collect, store, process, manage, analyze, send, integrate and activate first- and third-party data. With this proliferation, it's easy to get lost in the sea of data questions.
The main question you should be asking is: are you using fresh, canned, or frozen data?
Take the latest CEB study, whose title bluntly states that marketers are flunking the Big Data test. On the other hand, those who pass the data test are more likely to have the "ability to ask strategic questions based on data, and...focus on higher-order goals."
So, when it comes to the data that powers your online marketing campaigns, here are a few strategic questions that warrant consideration:
1. How fresh is your data? How often is it scored for accuracy?
2. What are the most important and actionable audience segments?
3. How can you link your segments to the right creative and messaging?
4. Are you seeking and finding the right second- and third-party data opportunities?
5. How will you measure the effectiveness of each data set?
The savvy digital marketer is not only answering the questions above, but also setting clear goals for the data opportunities he or she elects to pursue.
So when you look at the options, be sure that your data is as fresh as my sushi roll was this past weekend. In this era of real-time, programmatic media buying, if your data sources are canned or frozen, your performance will surely be lackluster.