How many times have I heard the statement “Data is the new oil”?
Thousands of times.
In fact, I even use it in my presentations – with the addendum that “like oil, it has to be processed and refined to useful” in order to highlight that my team’s role in the whole process is not just to mine and gather data, but also to process and refine the data so insights (**buzzword alert**) can be uncovered and used for decision-making.
Having been in this business for quite some time now, I am beginning to realize (perhaps belatedly) that business people — specially marketing executives — buy the statement. However, just because they buy it doesn’t mean they’ll actually incorporate it in their processes.
What happens is what I call “data lip service”.
It is an acknowledgement of the importance of data in the new era of marketing — without necessarily taking the necessary actions to truly make marketing operations centralized around data.
The arguments vary from “Data is boring — it is not creative” and “We’re too boxed in by data” to “We don’t have sufficient data” to “We don’t believe in the analyses because it runs counter to intuition/business-as-usual”.
In five years’ time — perhaps even less, I am certain that these marketeers who are paying data and analytics mere lip-service will be those who will be shown the door by their consumers and their employers.