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News & Press: SCIP eBulletin

Utilizing the “Data that Matters”

Monday, March 26, 2018  
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By Spandana Lakkamraju

Global Omnichannel Manager, Digital Marketing

Cisco

 

Big data, AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, data science… If I had a dollar for every time someone said one of those words, I would have probably made more money than half the millennial bitcoin millionaires out there. It’s starting to turn into a very complex data world and for us to be able to get a grasp on the right ‘data that matters,’ it’s important to understand that our digital and physical worlds are colliding. Half the time we live on the internet and the other half in the physical world. Information is at our fingertips as it should be for humans and machines to progress. Yet, for the sake of this progression, we need to make brilliant transformations in our ability to contextually harness data. In order to deliver real transformation, it’s extremely important to make sure digital data is a part of your overall corporate intelligence-gathering strategy.

 

Online research

It’s evident that online research is where people start when they begin their buying journey. I’d call it the way of the future, but its plain reality. The assumption that customers start at your website however, isn’t. Here’s where proper competition comes into play, because to the customer – all google search is equal! How we show up in front of them in that battle arena is a whole different ballgame…Let’s play!

 

Data Simplicity and Visualization

I believe data visualization is far more important than the ability to gather data in today’s world. As stated above, we live in a digital world. Our customers consume content in multiple places using multiple devices. A data driven, corporate intelligence-gathering strategy requires multiple platforms to work together. So, it’s important to start making investments in tools that complement each other but more importantly, have the ability to tell a data story. Not only will this deliver better ROI but, if you can ‘SEE’ the data, you can capture valuable insights and take action..

 

Develop Real-Time Data Capabilities

We are all so hyper-focused on trying to get machines to be real time,  that we forget to practice what we preach. Verify a hypothesis with data, fail – and try it again. The only difference is machines have the ability to learn faster than us.  This is how you fail fast. Just do it!

 

Where do you start? Research! The numbers never lie (we all know that from stepping on the weighing scale every morning). Look at customer intent, 1st / 2nd / 3rd party data, and watch how and where your targets or customers “live” - go into specifics. Similar to organizations tracking their customers, you can see where in the funnel you’re preforming and where you need to make major improvements. Harness that information. It is also helpful to set up growth rates and optimization goals to drive real time results.

 

Harness Deeper Data Insights

Data can help us learn so much about the digital behavior of our customers and competition.  In one sense, they are literally screaming at us – telling us what they want. Why do we continue to have multiple first date conversations with them when they expect us to know them? It’s nice for someone to remember your birthday or favorite TV show and make appropriate references. Data gives you the ability to do just THAT. Focus on pulling customer behavioral data and beyond - pull call scripts, read the comments, call them! Trust me, the human touch can never be replaced. Try following up with a conversation and see where it takes you…

 

Create a Data-Focused Culture

One of the best things about having a data focused culture is that it gives the entire organization unified goals. The sense of comfort that’s achieved from speaking the same language is what happens when an organization becomes focused on data. Teams work together to feed into each other’s efforts. The focus turns from internal conflicts to the questions you are seeking answers to. Data driven tools and technology become your armor, and help unite the company into an army to take on the competition. So, speak the same data language.

 

Apply Next-Gen Technologies Accordingly

Innovation is a beautiful thing. It takes a certain level of madness to make it happen (you know who you are…) I love walking into a room and telling people I want to kill my job and then observing everyone’s reaction. As much as I love being self-destructive, I say this because I genuinely believe that machines have a far superior ability to process, understand, and deliver hyper efficient results. That is, IF we apply machines to solve the right problems.

 

Use chabots to have digital conversations and process actionable results. Use machine learnings to predict consumer actions and match experiences with dynamic ad serving. Use customer insights reports to drive action and recommendations to clients. Use AR/VR to deliver incredible digital experiences. The universe is the limit!

 

We’re living in a world of information where the cost of learning is 0! How incredible is that?! Here, humans and machines can come together to effect monumental change, and there’s some magic to that. I highly encourage you to apply data visualization and the latest technologies to improve your intelligence gathering techniques. The window of opportunity on this is pretty small, but those who capture it will leapfrog into the next realm. Now’s the time to harness this power, and stand out from the crowd, welcome to Earth 2.0 my friends.

 

As Global Omnichannel Manager, Digital Marketing, Cisco, Spandana Lakkamraju is responsible for driving an omnichannel strategy for key initiatives across Cisco’s business, and for scaling innovation such as “new digital experiences” created at Cisco. She partners with the BU, Brand, Content, Country/Regional, and other teams in the organization to establish coordination of message, touch points, and frequency across customer-facing channels. Previously, she was an Inbound and Revenue Marketing Specialist, Global Demand Center, for Cisco and a Technical Assistant for the Aerodynamics Department at NASA Ames Research Center.


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