So you have audience data — now what?

The word on the street is, our capacity to learn about each other is rising almost beyond measure due to the rise of the behemoth IoT.

Of course, that’s exciting news to marketers who have long struggled to figure out what their specific audiences want and need so they can provide it to them. The problem is, the digital world is evolving so quickly (look at machine learning, augmented or artificial intelligence and the use of algorithms) that for some, a learning curve stands in the way of fully optimizing that data.

“As an industry we are so focused on optimizing, testing and getting more and more data that we are now drowning in data without a sense of what we’re really learning from it,” writes Belinda J. Smith on AdExchanger.com. “While it has enabled us to test and learn in a way we never thought imaginable, we’re not devoting nearly enough time or energy to thinking about what to do with all of this new data to improve our business outcomes.”

She points to the fact U.S. sales in digital media declined 7.3 percent to $14.5 trillion dollars last year — the second consecutive year of declines, despite the wealth of available audience data. “That’s the data I’m most interested in,” she notes.

Her remedy to the situation? “We should not be relying on tests we don’t fully understand to give us directional data we don’t feel confident in, as proof we are doing a good job. Similar to managing product development cycles, I have found it incredibly helpful to spend time creating a testing road map for media. That plan includes what I am seeking to learn, how I propose to test my hypotheses and what implication the resulting data will pose to my current operations and business overall.”

Testing calls for Lean Innovation

At Lineate, we recognize the need for applying Lean Innovation principles when it comes to building the specific technology you need to secure the exact kinds of data you require. Rather than trying to sell you a certain tool, we partner with you in designing business applications that empower you to identify, gather and activate your own data, helping you fine-tune your audiences so your path to market is quicker, more robust and more efficient.

In short, we concur with Smith, who concludes, “For something to be valuable, it should be understandable, instructional and scaleable.”

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