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Commentary & Analysis

Is Data Part of Your Company Culture?

Is data-driven marketing a fundamental part of what drives your company? If not, your efforts in that area won’t be sustainable or optimally effective. Oracle recently published an article on that topic, and the WhatTheyThink staff has summarized key points as well as providing a link for the white paper download.

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: February 3, 2017

Recently, Oracle put out its “3 Irrefutable Data-Driven Marketing Facts.” Number one was that it starts with the company culture. While sounding overly simplistic it’s actually true. Company culture starts from the top down. If data-driven marketing isn’t fundamentally part of what drives your company, it won’t be sustainable or maximally effective.

I took the time to download the companion white paper, “Eight Questions to Ask as You Introduce a Data Management Strategy,” and sure enough, the first question had to do with company culture. How mature is your organization, who are your stakeholders, how data-driven is the culture, and which systems do you have and what is the cost threshold to which your company is reasonably wiling to invest?

Most of us look at a question like that and think “Ugh! Just get me to the data part!” But the reality is, the culture of your organization is the foundation on which any good data strategy is built. It affects how the company is steered—its vision, priorities, and investment strategies—and who is hired and what skills and vision they bring. It affects how employees are trained and where critical resources go.

If data isn’t fundamentally part of the company culture, it won’t thrive as part of your business strategy and core data set. It will just sit there on your website as a hyperlink that looks good (everyone has to have a data management link, right?) but doesn’t actually lead to anything significant.

Not that this is the only determining factor, but I can generally tell the companies that have a data-driven culture right away on their websites. It’s given priority. There are case studies and client testimonials. They take the time to highlight it because it’s important to them. It’s a core value, and it comes across.

Other questions to ask before determining a data management plan?

  • Determining customer expectations.
  • Identifying internal challenges and blockages.
  • Implications for security and privacy
  • Implications for hiring, governance, and strategy
  • Organizations goals and targets
  • Impact on data maturity
  • Finding the right DMP.

Click to download the free white paper here.

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”


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