My data epiphany

Vanessa Taylor : 8th Sep 2017
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The term ‘data’ and related buzzwords are thrown around a lot, often with little understanding. Through marketing conversations with other business leaders, I have found that businesses across New Zealand are at different ‘data’ stages. Some don’t know where to start, some have just begun collecting and others are collecting and using data well (you can read more about our journey here)

There are two common themes I have found that marketers are struggling with:

  1. How to understand those who get data (technical people within your organisation)
  2. How data can enhance marketing

Working with our data teams both internally and externally, my first piece of advice would be to ask lots of questions - remember no question is a silly one. I work with a very patient team who’ve helped me along my journey, but it did take some patience and a lot of questions.  As with learning anything new, there are lots of acronyms. Ensure you ask what they mean and determine whether you need to understand them in detail (your technical team will be able to help you with this). Also, remember that everyone in the room has a common goal  - to use your data for successful business outcomes. The opinions you bring to the table add value especially when it’s from a different area of expertise– so don’t be afraid to speak up, not just with questions, but ideas too.

How can we use this great resource to enhance what we are doing?

Since having my ‘data epiphany’, I have chatted to business leaders and marketers who share the same understanding as I previously did – that our data would tell me all of the answers.

At realestate.co.nz we collect over 5,250 million pieces of data in a month from a myriad of places. Because of this, I was convinced that I was going to be superfluous to requirements as the data would do my job for me. However, contrary to what I thought, this is not the case at all – the data is often the answer, however, you first need to ask your information a meaningful question before it can be useful. A question like – how long does the average New Zealander look for a home? What percentage of people searching for a property are also looking for a business? What effect does the election have on the property market? These questions paired with the work from our data team and our daily collection of over 175 million data points, help me to answer my questions. This gives us a greater understanding of our customers and clients, their property journey and ensures we talk to them at the right time with the right message.  

In essence, data doesn’t take over a marketer’s role, it enables us to focus, personalise and be relevant at the right stage of a customer’s journey.