How can we increase our growth to the next level in the world of complex ever-changing digital environments, is the question many industry leaders within different fields of businesses are asking themselves today while considering the next steps on their marketing and sales transformation journey.
“The importance of data is critical if you want to take a leap in efficiency, a leap in customer service improvement, a real leap in growth” as the CEO of Avaus Emma Storbacka highlighted in her opening speech. However, it may sound simple, but 50% of companies lack the sufficient AI and data literacy skills needed to achieve business value. This year’s Avaus Expert Talks -event in Helsinki had an impressive lineup of speakers from Mc Donald’s, ICA Gruppen, Finnair, Wärtsilä and Peltarion, who shared their insights and experiences on their transformation journeys to become more data-driven in their marketing and sales activities and way of working.
Here are our 5 key takeaways from the event:
1. You need to have an ambitious and inspiring vision for the future
We normally put a lot of effort in operations and getting results now, which, don’t get us wrong, is hugely important. But in the midst of it, we often forget to look at the road ahead and set an ambitious and inspiring vision for the future to work towards.
It is a really complex world and it is not easy to decide which direction to go and to see what the future will be like. Kick-start the journey by building up a team with people from different competencies and backgrounds and start making scenarios together. “If you can imagine it today, it will exist within 10 years”.
2. Show me the money
For us marketeers, it is more and more important to be able to become
accountable for the revenue and we have to be able to measure the impact of marketing activities for the growth. The formula is simple: 1) always test and take the learnings 2) use technology to automate 3) scale up the best practices and winning use cases. So, the final battle here is to really start utilising the data for marketing – to impact the revenue and use AI models for calculating the impact for revenue.
3. From Mad Men to Math Men – AI is the new superpower
Bringing data and intelligence into the core of marketing and sales often means big changes in the way of working and what competencies are required. To start the change, you need to start breaking silos and start creating a culture that will build bridges between human intelligence and AI. Bring together people from different competencies, such as creative design, technology, and data – we are all needed to succeed together. And then you can start trying things out and accelerate the AI adoption in marketing – to take the algo leap.
4. Convenience, convenience, convenience
In the modern digital environment where the customer is in the center, convenience is the most important success factor. The big global forerunners in digital 1to1 communication set the standards and the customers expect the same highly personalised and relevant omnichannel experience from any brand that they connect within the digital realm. So, the transformation to 1to1 level of customer insight is not a trivial challenge – it is an absolute necessity. And here, the data is the key enabler where you have to start moving from the unknown to the known. Knowing your customer matters more than ever before.
5. “Yesterday’s goal is today’s starting line – the quest is part of the fun”
as Jaime Lopéz from Wärtsilä pointed out in his inspiring case presentation. One thing that was evident in all of the success cases presented, is that it is a never-ending journey where yesterday’s goals and achievements are today’s starting line. And then the work starts again, and it is not going to be easy but it can be fun, so embrace the journey – who knows what we will find in front of us in this ever-changing environment. But the exciting thing is that today with data, AI and measurability of marketing, it is possible to see from the results quickly if you are on the right path.
The world of data-driven activities may seem complex and we often get stuck with decisioning dilemmas when adopting AI and data-driven and intelligence into our current or new growth marketing operations.
To help out our fellow practitioners and business decision-makers, we at Avaus have created an Avaus Cookbook, to support organisations with developing their common language for data literacy and recipes for business results. The Cookbook recipes showcase the 3 ingredients to successful data-driven operations; Data – Algo – Action: what data and algorithms are needed in order to achieve the actions that we want to happen. The world of digital development is changing fast and now is a great time to seize your competitive advantage and turn data into growth.
Written by Elisa Kataja and Jenni Kaukoniemi