New data, new methods, and new skills — how to bring it all together?
The rapid change in marketing can best be seen in the plethora of new types of data and new analytic approaches to gain insights. This priority focuses on the need to develop new approaches that enable firms to gain insights from multiple approaches, to synthesize, to bring together disparate methods to drive action. There is also a sense that the old methods aren’t working as well, and that some of the traditional indicators and metrics are less effective.
This priority focuses on integration, new methods, and new skill sets needed; specifically, here are some topics that illustrate where significant research is needed:
- How to bring multiple sources and types of information together to gain insight and to make better decisions (e.g., big data meets unstructured data; data scientist meets anthropologist). Can such synthesis be automated?
- Integrating behavioral theory and marketing frameworks into big data marketing
- How can firms speed up the process by which they collect data, synthesize, identify insights, take action, get feedback, and do any necessary course correction? Is this process different for B2B and B2C?
- New approaches and sources of data — what are the roles of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, machine learning?
- Integrating big data analysis with managerial decision making; identifying the tradeoffs between managerial judgement and insights from consumers/customers — how to compare and contrast big data-driven insights versus managerial heuristics-driven insights — how has this evolved from the early work from several decades ago?
- How best to gain insights and to disseminate insights, now that responsibility for — and access to data about — the customer experience is democratized across the organization?
- How can organizations facilitate managerial understanding of these new, complex approaches?
- Developing new skills around data (and insight) visualization, narrative, storytelling, and creativity
- What is the role of creativity in integrating and synthesizing insights across approaches?
“What methods can be used to make real-time decisions in a data-rich environment? What are scalable methods to analyze large amounts of data (in real time)?”
How do we merge the discrepancies between traditional methods and what big data is actually telling us?”
“What significant insights are gained through big data? Why are we so poor at gaining insights from big data?”
“How to evolve traditional expensive qualitative methods to faster and agile consumer/customer ‘pulse reads’ that can lead to better and faster insights. Especially, how to read marketing levers real time, including emerging touchpoints; and the agility/ability to change plans given real-time learning.”
“How do we get management to understand, or embrace, these new opportunities, when we still struggle to get them to make optimal decisions based on the research we’ve been providing?”
“The real breakthroughs come from the combination of analytics and qualitative insights.”
“How will cognitive computing capabilities change marketing over the next decade?”
“Analytics are important, but very often the analyses lack frameworks. Marketing can provide many valuable frameworks including a consumer-behavior funnel, strategic positioning, and a focus on solving customer needs.”
“The end of marketing research as we know it”