Friday, February 17, 2006

Democratize Intelligence

Marketers focus a significant amount of their time on developing the right Marketing Intelligence to design and execute smart and hopefully revenue-generating marketing programs. Common belief is that the right tools, clean data, and smart people will generate the most relevant Intelligence. Unfortunately, mostly due to a false understanding of the power and limitations of technology, most marketers focus heavily on the first ingredient, the tool and infrastructure side, but rarely on democratizing the insights across the organization and beyond.

I would rather have a simple excel sheet with meaningful insights that is widely spread throughout an organization than a fancy tool in the hand of one analyst, attempting to achieve job security by a mixture of secret code and indecipherable nomenclature. Numerous marketers still follow the dream of the 90s in throwing a significant amount of money against the tool and infrastructure instead of focusing on building first simple and actionable Intelligence.

Why do I stress so strongly Democratization and Proliferation of Intelligence? Because the smartness of your marketing increases exponentially with the number of individuals who have access to the Intelligence and use it. A more mature organization will go even one step further and share most of this marketing intelligence with its key partners, so that they can do their job better, too. These organizations replicate the learning of optimizing supply chain management, where firms like Wal-Mart integrate their suppliers into their Data Streams and supply related Intelligence.

Let’s think even one step ahead: I predict that in a couple of years the most consumer centric and obsessed companies will start to share this Intelligence even with their best consumers. Why would they do that? I give you three reasons:

  • Only open, honest, and transparent companies can learn from their consumers and thereby really follow the mantra of “The consumer is boss”. This needs to apply even to the realm of marketing success and failures
  • Share Intelligence with the Consumer and he will share his intelligence with you. Invite the Consumer to Co-Create your Marketing. An honest invitation to “Co-Creation” needs to include a feedback on a company’s marketing performance, too
  • If your consumer knows how good your marketing has performed, he has the most interest, in improving it. Don’t underestimate the consumers’ engagement with beloved brands.

I don’t know yet, which company will do this first, seemingly crazy step of sharing Marketing Intelligence with their Consumers. Most companies still need to even start embracing the concept of democratizing Marketing Intelligence across their own organization. But there are always revoluationaries out there, even in big firms.

2 Comments:

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