Mark Cameron Columnist

Mark is CEO and head strategist at Working Three, a strategic digital consultancy that specialises in commercialising social media activity. He works with some of Australia's, and the world's, largest and most innovative companies to create a clear picture of the new market forces, and business model disruption, being driven by social media.

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How will you capture data this year?

Published 30 January 2013 17:23, Updated 30 January 2013 19:18

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In the digital marketing space, 2012 was all about bringing companies up to scratch with social media thinking. There is still a lot more to do in some sectors in this regard but for the market leaders, 2013 will be about capturing and utilising data and leveraging investments in customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Digital marketing, and social media in particular, gives businesses unparalleled access to this “big data” but a true data capture strategy needs to consider all avenues including social, mobile, and real world.

Knowing what the data objectives are from the outset is often the major challenge. The biggest lesson that can be gathered from the past 12 months is that in the end your brand must clearly define value for your market and use this as a motivation to exchange data.

The mobile and off-line experiences are equally as valuable, and in some cases even more so.

A steady stream of qualified leads and knowledge about current customers is the lifeblood that most businesses need to continue growing. The right methods and tools can make this much more effective.

This is particularly relevant in the automotive industry. When a potential customer shows an interest in buying, that customer’s data needs to be captured wherever they may be. Failing to follow up on a lead of such a major purchase is simply not acceptable.

This is where smart data and insight specialists such as MSP come into the picture. MSP, which now has an Australian office, is busy building mobile and tablet apps that allow businesses to quickly and accurately capture data that converts qualified leads into sales.

A notable example of this is with luxury brand Bentley Motors, where MSP’s iPad app has been used to great effect in capturing data at motor shows and live events around the world. Not only has this made for an engaging consumer touchpoint but it has also helped Bentley measurably increase sales. The data captured at the events can be quickly delivered into its CRM platform, allowing the marketing and sales teams to manage the conversion process. In fact, this initiative has been so successful that the data collected from just five events has generated more than $3 million.

This example illustrates the power of having data collection and utilisation as your platform. The technology may come and go, and the ways consumers interact with your brand may change, but developing a way to generate value and insight out of rich data has long-term benefits.

There has been a lot of discussion about the utilisation of data in the last year. It is now time to go beyond the talk, to obtain access to the data that you need to achieve your goals and use it effectively.

The tools to do so are now able to be up and running in a matter of weeks. Be focused on results and it is possible to obtain a serious competitive advantage before summer is over.

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