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The Data Revolution and PR

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The Data Revolution in PR and Marketing

Disruption is the overused word of our time. But it’s important to consider why it’s so frequent, and what thinkers and observers are saying needs to be done in reaction to it. In communications, PR and marketing disciplines, disruption truly hinges on the use of data. An obvious statement, yes; eliciting a true “of course we’ve been doing that” reaction. What has changed?

We are fortunate to live in a time where something fantastic came in to our society: The internet. As the internet has advanced, the ability to collect data has advanced, as has our ability to sift through it, understand it, and derive insights from it. There is a direct relationship between the breadth of communications needs and services and the rise of processor speed, the sophistication of digital storage, the commoditization of data collection and analysis, and the proliferation of the web into everything from phones to cars to refrigerators. Where is PR and marketing going as a result? What are the signals coming from futurists and industry watchers?

This is a short brief intended to answer this question. It’s a high-level overview of the dominant theme of data in public relations, marketing, and communications. This reflects not just what we are focused as a firm, but what communications practitioners, scholars, and futurists are predicting and doing. It’s an introduction for communicators and communication teams pivoting to better use of more and better data. It’s a summary of thought leadership and industry studies that a CEO or senior PR exec can digest in 10 minutes.

October 2016

Published in: Marketing
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The Data Revolution and PR

  1. 1. N Implications and Considerations OCTOBER 2016 The Data Revolution and PR
  2. 2. The Data Revolution in PR and Marketing Disruption is the overused word of our time. But it’s important to consider why it’s so frequent, and what thinkers and observers are saying needs to be done in reaction to it. In communications, PR and marketing disciplines, disruption truly hinges on the use of data. An obvious statement, yes; eliciting a true “of course we’ve been doing that” reaction. What has changed? We are fortunate to live in a time where something fantastic came in to our society: The internet. As the internet has advanced, the ability to collect data has advanced, as has our ability to sift through it, understand it, and derive insights from it. There is a direct relationship between the breadth of communications needs and services and the rise of processor speed, the sophistication of digital storage, the commoditization of data collection and analysis, and the proliferation of the web into everything from phones to cars to refrigerators. Where is PR and marketing going as a result? What are the signals coming from futurists and industry watchers? This is a short brief intended to answer this question. It’s a high- level overview of the dominant theme of data in public relations, marketing, and communications. This reflects not just what we are focused as a firm, but what communications practitioners, scholars, and futurists are predicting and doing. It’s an introduction for communicators and communication teams pivoting to better use of more and better data. It’s a summary of thought leadership and industry studies that a CEO or senior PR exec can digest in 10 minutes. October 2016
  3. 3. Data is the dominant theme of public relations today Data is the common thread between thinkers and practitioners. Land was the raw material of the agricultural age. Iron was the raw material of the industrial age. Data is the raw material of the information age. Alec Ross Author, “The Industries of the Future” Senior Innovation Advisor, U.S. State Department
  4. 4. Websites E-Commerce Database Connectivity Mass Email CRM Database Integrations Mass Email CRM SEO SEM Web development Web design Why is data the dominant theme? As our access to data and insight from data has grown, the PR and communications world has equally grown. Websites E-Commerce Database Connectivity Web development Web design 2000 2006 SERVICES OFFERED BY AGENCIES TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT
  5. 5. Websites E-Commerce Database Connectivity Mass Email CRM Database Integrations Social Media Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Analytics Mobile User Experience Mobile–Web and Apps Multi-screen Mass Email CRM SEO, SEM Web development Web design Data Visualization Analytics Responsive Design Community Management Crisis Communications Content Strategy Content Creation Digital Reputation Blogging Influencer Outreach Monitoring Online Research Video Websites E-Commerce Database Connectivity Mass Email CRM Database Integrations Social Media Mobile Better CRM Data Management Analytics Multi-context Customer Journey AGENCY AS INTEGRATOR AGENCY AS DATA STEWARD & INSIGHT FINDER Websites E-Commerce Database Connectivity Mass Email CRM Database Integrations Mass Email CRM SEO SEM Web development Web design Websites E-Commerce Database Connectivity Web development Web design 2000 20172006 SERVICES OFFERED BY AGENCIES TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT Why? As the web gets richer, data gets richer.
  6. 6. Today, Gartner’s Hype Cycle puts data-related outputs squarely on the upswing. What’s the Gartner Hype Cycle?  
  7. 7. What’s the Gartner Hype Cycle? The Hype Cycle provides a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. It’s a well-vetted, much followed visualization on what’s plateauing, dropping, and trending in terms of use and interest. Technology Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven. Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories—often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not. Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters. Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious. Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off. http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp
  8. 8. Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2016 points to the maturation of technologies that require data gathering, managing, measurement and insight from communicators—on a larger scale than ever before. http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/ methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp
  9. 9. But the industry has been talking about data for years. What’s different now? [Historically] the vast majority of research on the human condition has relied on single-shot, self- report data on relationships: a yearly census, public polls, focus groups, and the like. World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, 08-09 As the 2016 edition of The Global Information Technology Report is released, the world is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Processing and storage capacities are rising exponentially, and knowledge is becoming accessible to more people than ever before in human history. The future holds an even higher potential for human development as the full effects of new technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, 3-D Printing, energy storage, and quantum computing unfold…. Innovation is increasingly based on digital technologies and business models, which can drive economic and social gains if channeled in a smart way… World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, 2016 http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GITR_Report_2009.pdf https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-information-technology-report-2016/
  10. 10. As storage capacity for data has grown, so has our ability to mine and understand it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hilbert_InfoGrowth.png
  11. 11. We have more access to more data with commoditized tools to mine, probe, analyze Today’s data gives us ridiculous amounts of information about the behavior of customers, employees, and prospects. It's not just about the things we post on Facebook, and it's not about our searches on Google… and it's not data from internal company processes and RFIDs. Today’s data comes from things like location services running on your cell phone or from credit card swipes, it's all those little-data breadcrumbs that you leave behind you as you move around in the world. REINVENTING SOCIETY IN THE WAKE OF BIG DATA https://www.edge.org/conversation/alex_sandy_pentland- reinventing-society-in-the-wake-of-big-data Sandy Pentland, MIT Professor Connection Science and Human Dynamics lab
  12. 12. The ballooning scale and diversity of customer data in 2016 will provide rich new sources of insight, equipping firms to engage with customers in novel ways and disrupt entire industries. Predictions 2016: The Path From Data To Action For Marketers https://www.forrester.com/report/Predictions+2016+The+ Path+From+Data+To+Action+For+Marketers/-/E- RES129198 17 Predictions about the Future of Big Data Everyone Should Read http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2016/03/15/17- predictions-about-the-future-of-big-data-everyone- should-read/#19b2dad6157c And with commoditization, companies are striving to become data businesses, moving from “big data” to fast and actionable data (i.e. data that can be used) Smartphone MB consumption
  13. 13. Data, and building around data, is our greatest opportunity PR stands to be the biggest loser as an industry if PR doesn’t come to grasp with the landscape. On the flip side, if you as a PR practitioner understand and embrace the roles of video, of content marketing, of effective measurement, and of algorithmic thinking, then you stand to seize a massive amount of market share from the laggards. Chris Penn, VP of Marketing Technology, SHIFT Digital Marketing Trends 2015
  14. 14. • Full-service now includes back-end technology and integration • Optimizing across owned/earned/paid channels • New skills are in demand: data, design, content, cross-channel analytics. E-Consultancy, Future of Agencies https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of- agencies/ Agencies have been remodeling to meet the challenge and opportunity
  15. 15. Implications
  16. 16. Implications for PR PR professionals need to embrace data, beyond where they are today, to understand its implications, its power, the insight it provides. Putting data to use competitively and strategically will foster growth and better all traditional programs. https://hello.econsultancy.com/the-role-of-the-agency-in-data-management/ Our ability as an organization to have conversations with our clients and broader market players that are based on research-driven intellectually rigorous insights is quite frankly an expectation that clients rightly have. Ian Rumsby, Chairman of Weber Shandwick Australia
  17. 17. Where are investments happening? A new full-service model is emerging from agencies and from client departments that is blending front-end, marketing, design and communications capabilities with back-end technology and integration. The lure of data allows us to not only collect and mine data, but to also make more things that generate data. Clients and agencies are investing in analytics, data management, data analysis, and the technology stack to drive data-driven work. This investment informs and drives a broad set of integrated needs, such as better content marketing, data management platforms, and CRM. E-Consultancy, Future of Agencies https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-agencies/
  18. 18. The Holmes Report: Global Communications Report Where are agencies growing? E-Consultancy: Future of Agencies Where are client decision-makers predicting they will spend money and invest more in the next 5 years? http://www.holmesreport.com/ranking-and-data/global-communications-report https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-agencies/
  19. 19. http://www.holmesreport.com/ranking-and-data/global-communications-report https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-agencies/ The Holmes Report: Global Communications Report Where are agencies seeing growth? E-Consultancy: Future of Agencies Where are client decision-makers predicting they will spend money and invest more? Two of the top three predictions for investment involve data.
  20. 20. Where are budgets coming from? By 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Marketing/Communications departments are purchasing significant marketing-related technology and services from their own capital and expense budgets–both outside the control of the internal IT organization and in conjunction with them. Gartner Webinar http://www.gartner.com/webinar/1871515
  21. 21. Agencies as data stewards and insight miners: The new trusted advisor The agency role must be to combine data, technology and content with our knowledge of the purchase/persuasion/advocacy journey to create more relevant experiences. https://hello.econsultancy.com/the-role-of- the-agency-in-data-management/ “I don’t really care about data or for that matter how big it is. What I care about is insight – insight that translates into action that drives sustainable business results for my clients. The right tools and tech allow me to get to the insight quickly and efficiently.” Arun Kumar, Head of Analytics, Razorfish
  22. 22. Today's digital audience platforms enable us to identify and communicate directly with individual consumers who are "always on," at a scale never before fathomable. And because these platforms are proliferating at a blinding rate, the technology requirements for executing customer-centric strategies are constantly changing. The new breed of marketer–the Platform Marketer–must develop a new set of capabilities, tools, metrics, and processes–along with the new skillsets required to utilize them effectively. Matthew Mobley, CTO, Merkle Technology stacks: Not just for developers Channels Elements https://hello.econsultancy.com/the-role-of-the-agency-in-data-management/
  23. 23. People are using an increasing range of tools and technologies—from social media to smartphones—to help make more informed purchasing decisions. That evolution is, in turn, transforming marketing [and PR and all communications] into an increasingly technical function requiring new roles, such as that of the marketing technologist (link). What’s a marketing technology (MT) stack? Marketing has fundamentally become a technology-powered discipline, and it’s leading to the rise of new kinds of marketing professionals. A marketing technologist is a technically skilled person who designs and operates technology solutions in the service of marketing. This isn’t just about embedding IT services within marketing, though. Good marketing technologists strive to understand the context of the technology. They’re passionate about reimagining what marketing can do in a digital world. They help nontechnical marketers craft better campaigns, programs, and customer experiences that effectively leverage software and data. Scott Brinker, Founder & CTO, Ion Interactive http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and- sales/our-insights/making-marketing-technology-work Most of the marketing technology stacks follow the same format: • Tools to build awareness • Tools to build engagement/education • Tools to build consideration • Tools to build conversion • Tools to build loyalty Where do we see the impact of public relations? • Organic search results as PR generates branded search intent • Social media results as PR generates engagement • Earned media results as PR generates coverage of our brand • Owned media properties grow as PR creates inbound web traffic • Paid media performance improves as awareness of our brand increases ad engagement Chris Penn, VP Marketing Technology, SHIFT http://www.shiftcomm.com/blog/public-relations-fit-marketing-technology-stack/
  24. 24. What talents are needed? In-demand skills now and projected to last: Design Thinking Data Analytics Content Marketing Multi-Channel Integrator Media Buying Holmes Report: This is the CV of the Future (see enlargement at http://www.holmesreport.com/sponsored/article/this-is-the-cv-of-the- future) The big resulting question is who should be in charge and which system, or what data, should drive the other? Do you dump your media agency and give it all to a management consultancy who is good with business/CRM data and can use programmatic platforms to drive the top of the funnel? Or do you open up your back office data to your media agency and target them on metrics like sales and margin rather than more traditional media metrics? Ashley Friedlein, Founder, E-Consultancy https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital- marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/ .
  25. 25. Focus Areas SKILL AND TALENT DEVELOPMENT Data, Insight, Technology, Content. TECHNOLOGY Create capacity to use, recommend, and deploy. MARKETING TECHNOLOGY Operationalize, go to market, refine. MOMENTUM OVER PERFECTION Our industry will not be static. Momentum over perfection on the data front is a guiding principle.
  26. 26. Sources Expanded reading list and source material: http://bit.ly/nationalfuture

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