Meiro, Futurology & Coca-Cola – Why Data-Driven Marketing is a must

Data-driven marketing is more than a buzzword these days, it’s a necessity. What was once a novelty for marketers and communicators has now become mainstream, and is helping businesses develop deeper connections and sharper insights that connect them with their consumers.

The necessity for this approach formed the crux of the ‘She Leads’ webinar on the 10th of November 2020, as Patricia Mulles of She Loves Data and Felipe Flores of Futurology spoke with the veterans of the data industry – Vidyarth Ellupai Srivatsan (Vid), Head of Marketing Technologies of Coca Cola, and Pavel Bulowski, CMO & Co-Founder of Meiro. We will summarize here for you the key points to gain from this data-driven marketing webinar.

Data and the Art & Science of Marketing

Pavel spoke about the pendulum swing between the ‘art’ & ‘science’ of marketing – the balance between data and communications. He went on to explain how in the past, marketing was always considered in the domain of creative communications – but in recent times it’s become more about AI and other technologies. This has brought data to the forefront, as marketers today must manage multiple systems. This previously would be considered more as a process of an IT team – but now, as Vid had explained, comes under the domain of marketing technology – helping to bring the power of data and IT to the marketing mainstream in business. Helping to empower marketers with skill sets they may not have – such as data security, data warehousing, and helping to effectively manage data from various pockets.

Pavel also stated the misconception – that business isn’t ‘driven’ by data.

Business is driven by business but informed and greatly supported by the power of data.

Vid agrees, but with a slight variation – the pendulum constantly swings – IT and data always have to prove their value in terms of a positive ROI on tech for the organisation.

Which data-driven marketing platforms are worth it?

Vid’s response is that there hasn’t been one company or platform that could provide every benefit. But what is more important is to consider the impact and value of every touchpoint – whether it’s earned media, shared media, or digital. In addition, that ROI necessitated the technology – the need dictates which technology would be the best fit for the best outcomes.

Pavel chimed in agreeing that ROI was an important challenge induced by the ‘walled-garden’ of data by 3rd party data platforms. And an additional challenge was that the availability of data was an equalizer – brands must instead find platforms that help them stand out. He also stated that harmonisation and interconnectedness remained an issue between platforms – and that brands must put customer experience over AI to stand apart in the marketplace.

The Pandemic Effect

Vid acknowledged that the pandemic was indeed a huge catalyst for digital transformation for businesses and people alike. He added that even then on a commerce level, the pandemic wasn’t the biggest driver of change – but instead, it was the changes in data privacy laws like the crippling of IDFA and the crackdown on 3rd party data. Vid stated that the ‘open’ internet had its benefits for brands, but responsibility should have come earlier from the business side itself, instead of being enforced.

Pavel too agrees that the pandemic was the strongest push towards digitization that the world has ever seen – pushing companies to hedge their risks with retail shutdowns. Pavel though insisted that the privacy laws such as the GDPR in Europe were a welcome change in the internet – so there would be a lot less trading of second and third-party data by untoward apps and sites, and more transparency for consumers. Pavel insisted that there was a rise in the maturity of how consumers use the internet and would expect brands to reciprocate with more responsibility in using their data.

The Evolution of AI

Faced with the concept of AI developing separately in the West and the East, Vid simply answered that “no technology has ever progressed by forking into two different geo-locations”, and that this would hold back the sharing of learnings between the regions.

Pavel agreed with Vid but countered that the difference was not the deployment of AI, but the differences in legal frameworks between the US & China. He also exclaimed about the ‘sheer scale’ of investment into startups and AI by China – and that there’s a lot to look forward to in Martech.

Pavel translates AI into algorithmic processing of data – as AI isn’t actually a futuristic Artificial Intelligence, but actually smart algorithms that help the processing of data, and predictions of behaviour. With more controls than a marketer can handle, this algorithmic processing helps marketers with the decision making at scale. With regards to a CDP, Pavel mentioned that it would all come down to what data would be fed to it – whether it’s website visits, products purchased, or even what they’ve clicked on in banners or newsletters. The better and richer the dataset, the better the algorithms can process it. So whether brands employ tools built in-house, or from expert consultants – the quality of data is the most important.

Watch the whole show

Vid and Pavel discussed more interesting data-driven marketing topics about the transformation of the job positions, influence of new technologies, future of data, and much more. Missed the exciting webinar but still want to catch up? Watch it in full here:

If this article got you thinking, get in touch!

Azrin Hamdan

Tech Marketer Azrin supports the marketing team to find and reach audiences with awesome content. Based in Singapore, he fills up his free time with sending rock climbing routes and perfecting his teh tarik at home.
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