What is a data strategy?

What is a Data Strategy?

A data strategy at its basic level reflects all the ways you capture, store, manage and use information, but why am I interested?  Well my area of interest is making strategic business decisions from analytics and insight – without accurate, consistent, and meaningful data we can not deliver actionable insight.


Good intentions for 2014

As we draw to the end of 2013 we all start to think about our plans for the new year. 2013 has been a difficult year and after a good start I could not find the time to write the articles that I had planned. Let’s hope that 2014 will be a better year. I have some interesting projects at work and it will be fascinating to see how some of the organisation’s strategy will develop going forward.

What is the Analytics Process?

Analytics – the path from data to strategy

When I was thinking about creating this blog I wanted to think of a set of guiding principles that would guide the topics that I explore, and I think the blog strap line “Turning data into knowledge, knowledge into insight, insight into strategy” goes some way to encapsulate the essence of those core principles, but it also implies there is some process for moving from data to strategy. How do we think analytically and what is the process that delivers solutions to our clients – what is the analytics process?

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ICO Data Protection Officers Conference 2013

I had a very interesting day today at the Information Commissioners annual conference for Data Protection officers. Over 800 DPO’s attended at the Manchester Central Conference Centre (with 300 on the waiting list). The day consisted of some key note speeches in the main auditorium  and some very interesting breakout sessions – particularly around the implications of the forthcoming European Regulation on data protection. To Data Protection officers this new Regulation is very much the ‘Elephant in the room’ as it will fundamentally change how businesses manage data protection and how the ICO as regulator punishes data protection breaches.

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Introduction to customer insights

What are customer insights?

Henry Ford is often quoted as saying, “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” In the early 1900s, customers knew they wanted something safer, cleaner, sturdier—and of course, faster—than their horse-drawn carriages. These were customers’ unmet needs but, if asked directly, customers could not possibly have envisioned a completely new invention, the car. Instead, they may have suggested that Ford breed stronger, faster horses. By understanding customers’ underlying needs, Ford gained real customer insights and provided not a better horse, but the Model T.

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What do you mean by ‘strategy’ – Part 1

The strategy development process means many different things, what does it mean to you?

As senior leaders within our organisations we are all challenged to be strategic in our thinking, and we have explored the meaning of strategy in another post. So if we have a better understanding of strategy as a concept how do businesses formulate good strategic plans? I wanted to revisit the true meaning of ‘strategy’ and to then follow it up with a review of how organisations formulate strategic plans. I remember what I studied during my degree but that was 20 odd years ago, and still I remembered the in-depth debate on marketing strategy on my master’s degree course – but that is nearly a decade ago. So over 2013 I want to look at strategy again because when you are asked to think strategically you need to understand what both parties mean by the term strategy and how it’s formulated – there needs to be a meeting of minds if you are going to deliver against each other’s expectations.

So this is the first in a series of ten posts that look at the process of strategy formulation.

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Building my new blog

My Blogging Journey

I have played around with WordPress on a number of occasions, and even built a spectacularly unsuccessful affiliate marketing site but I have finally decided to have another go. I wanted to build it myself rather than pay someone to do it for me, and even though it’s very early days I am pleased with my progress and my learning – which is really what its all about.

So what have I learned so far?

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Development of a ‘Relationship’ approach

The evolution of mutuality and other relationship components

When Professor Leonard L. Berry introduced the term relationship marketing in 1993 he recognised that a small body of associated literature had already started to develop.  He describes the work of Levitt (1981), Ryans & Wittink (1977) and Grönroos (1981).  Many of these writers had identified that retention, loyalty, or even “re-selling” are important aspects of marketing.  These early works clearly identify some of the accrued benefits of customer retention such as reduced recruitment costs and lower servicing costs.  But these views lacked an obvious component of true relationship marketing – mutuality.

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Theoretical Basis of Relationship Marketing

Where does ‘Relationship Marketing’ come from?

The term “Relationship Marketing” entered the marketing vocabulary in the early 1980’s when Professor Leonard L. Berry (1983) used it in a paper for the American Marketing Association. The original thrust of Berry’s paper was to highlight the “restrictive and potentially wasteful” practice of relying on customer recruitment, when allocating a greater proportion of resources to customer retention can be so much more efficient. Berry makes a very simple, yet profound statement when he says:

“Thinking of marketing in terms of having customers not merely acquiring customers, is critical to service firms”

Berry has focussed the minds of many subsequent writers on the topic of enhancing customer relationships in order to gain long term marketing success. It is the recognition that attracting new customers is only an intermediate step in the marketing process which is, perhaps, most significant.

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