AdWeek Europe: The Importance Of The ‘So What?’ Question

AdWeek Europe: The Importance Of The ‘So What?’ Question

Panellists agreed that data is a pathway to engagement with users. But it needs to be relevant.

The most important question to ask when using data for marketing is “so what?”

That was a key lesson from the Advertising Week Europe session called “The New Data Magicians.” As panellist Nicole Goodwin, marketing director for drinks brand Jägermeister, explained: “The key for us is not big data, but actionable data. When we’re collecting or buying data, I always ask ‘so what?’”

Sacha Bunatyan, marketing director B2C at the Financial Times, offered a similar perspective.

“Data is a pathway to engagement with users,” she said. “Relevancy is the ultimate goal. Personalising just helps us to achieve relevancy.”

And Post Office head of customer analytics James De Souza agreed. Asked by moderator Rupert Staines, MD EMEA for advertising platform RadiumOne, whether having a single customer view is “nirvana or a pipe-dream,” he argued that it depends on the business case.

“It’s hard to make building a single customer view stack up if you’re not asking the ‘so what?’ question,” he said.

Asked whether the reliance on data could result in businesses becoming dull and predictable in their advertising, Goodwin replied that research should only be used as a guide.

“It’ll only become dull if companies let it,” she said. “I think understanding the value exchange will help us deliver what customers want from the brand.”

De Souza felt the same.

“It would be boring if it became formulaic,” he said. “But it goes back to customers raising their hands. They’ll drive what we’re doing.”

Staines also asked the panel whether the industry should be moving from an intention economy to one based on attention. Bunatyan’s reply was that companies need to measure both.

“You can’t get attention if you don’t understand why people came to you in the first place,” she said.