That’s exactly the core mission of any data driven marketing analyst: Providing all discourse partners (e.g. clients, colleagues from other functions) with the same and most relevant information. Our obligation is to create a symmetrical information discourse. Let’s dissect this analogy into its three core areas:
- Information transparency: The biggest challenge in our marketing field is twofold: Do we have all the relevant information necessary to solve a challenge, and secondly, are we able to reduce the huge amount of information into the relevant actionable one in a transparent manner. Zillow.com is focusing first on solving the second challenge, now it’s trying to get to more difficult to obtain information, too (e.g. what does a neighbor know about the Pro’s and Con’s of the house next door?).
- Stock exchange: There is no equivalent of a public stock exchange in our marketing market, since most of the marketers play in closed circuits of their own company and their key marketing partners. There is no interest in sharing the necessary information beyond this inner which would be necessary for a public stock exchange. But the stock exchange parallel has some strong implications, if one imagines that we would apply the principle of a stock exchange to exactly this internal group. Here all players have all the relevant information and can “bet” on the right marketing strategies and ideas. It’s similar to certain companies’ R&D efforts where they use a company internal stock market to decipher the most promising R&D projects.
- Perfect pricing: Our “perfect pricing” is the right marketing strategy and program with the biggest ROI. This could happen if the internal stock exchange principle is executed and enough players participate in it. The wisdom of the company internal marketers (and its key partners) would create the best marketing mix derived from all relevant and accessible information.
I have tried to show the analogies and discrepancies between Zillow’s mission in the real estate discourse and our analytical function in the marketing discipline. There is still more to understand and to learn. I will definitely watch curiously Zillow’s future moves, successes and failures.