Research by CMO Council found that the biggest obstacle for marketers when implementing data-driven strategies is an inadequate budget. So, for the majority of marketers (and business leaders in general), finding budget-friendly ways to efficiently and effectively leverage data-driven insights will continue to be a priority.
One such approach is simply leveraging data-driven insights that already exist within the business.
More times than not, brands are sitting on a treasure trove of data-driven insights that are dormant, fragmented, siloed, or all the above. As a result, there is untapped potential and unrealized value just waiting to be unleashed. Revisiting and reviving these existing insights can help offset budget restraints by pulling additional value from past investments. It will also establish a structured and organized data foundation for optimizing any new insights gathered in the future.
This approach, however, is not without its own obstacles. While cost-effective and practical, many see limited value in existing data because it has already been used. So, garnering internal buy-in to prioritize this resource isn’t always easy. Even when given the green light, the sheer volume of data or its lack of structure can lead to frustration and abandonment. But for those of us who see the potential and are willing to dive head-first into a sea of data, there’s plenty to get excited about.
Here are a few reasons why digging into your existing data is worth the time and effort.
View old data through a new lens.
In our modern world, consumers and markets are in a constant state of flux. As businesses, that leaves us continually adjusting, adapting, and reimagining our positioning and objectives.
So, whether data was collected two years ago or two months ago, we see things differently today. We have different objectives, challenges, and opportunities. With that, the way we can analyze and apply existing data-driven insights are different as well. Viewing older data through our updated lens can produce new takeaways, key findings, and action items.
Avoid duplicating efforts.
It’s surprisingly common for brands to launch a new insights project only to realize they had conducted a similar project not too long ago. The questions they had were already answered. But that realization comes only after the results are in and the investments have been made.
One reason for this is having fragmented and siloed data which limits data availability across departments. Another reason is staff turnover or new leadership, where current teams are unfamiliar with (or unaware of) past efforts. Either way, this misstep can be avoided by starting any new project by reviewing existing data to ensure there is growth and expansion of insights rather than duplication.
Strengthen your Insights Strategy.
A thorough review of your existing data provides a great opportunity to assess your current Insights Strategy. Consider how and why each data set was gathered. Look back on stated objectives in relation to actions taken and impact achieved. Outline which areas of the business have benefited the most and the least over time. Then, use these detailed understandings to strengthen your Insights Strategy by building upon what has worked in the past and adjusting areas that did not.
Refine forward-thinking objectives and project planning.
While your existing data is essentially looking backwards, the insights have tremendous value when thinking forward. There is a lot to unpack in this area, and I could write an entire article on this topic alone. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do! Stay tuned for my next post about leveraging existing insights to refine objectives and plan future projects.
In the meantime, I’m here to chat further or answer any questions you might have about maximizing the impact of your existing data. Send a note or give me a call any time!