Data is the operative word there. Outcome-driven data strategy is the key to the success of this entire process. Jim Johnson, a former CFO of Adaptive Insights, takes Peinigers advice one step further, saying, Data is the lifeblood of an organization.
Outcome-driven data should be the number one priority. The implication, of course, is that outcome-driven data is what is driving the rest of the processes.
Let us illustrate this point with an example from our business strategy process. What if we have an impact evaluation of a few slides at a high visibility company? What if our evaluation of the companys impact on clients, clients employees and customers had these attributes:
Results-driven: These slides had outcomes-based results. 2. Accurate: The client presentation included quantitative results and qualitative comments on how the company achieved these results. 3. Actionable: The evaluation highlighted the actionable recommendations for improvement or action items for the company president. 4. Linkable: The evaluation included links to the client website, blog, twitter, LinkedIn, and other client sites. 5. Results-driven: We were able to see the client’s impact on client productivity.
If we say that the evaluations were not actionable, that is, not something that the client wanted to do, it would not have been actionable. We could ask the client to change the slide, but this would have been a suggestion, not an order. The client was not in a position to do much more than make notes on the evaluation.
The point is, the client was not in a position to change any of the results or make any of the changes. The data set was not in a position to make it happen. The evaluation was useless to the client. How would they know if this is the case for their company? They cannot do much more, but they can learn to do more.
With these points in mind, it becomes easy to see why the client would not want to add more to a well-done evaluation. They don’t want to add value-adding other data. They are not motivated. The data set is not motivated.
So, we are in danger of becoming a society of data-poor mediocres. Data-poor mediocres are no longer the majority, but the minority. The majority of marketers of value-adding services and products do not have the data collection or analysis capabilities needed to do the job well. This is why we have a market that is data-starved and low on data-enabled agents.
Data-starved and low on data-enabled agents are no longer the majority, but the minority. The majority of marketers of value-adding services and products have lost the ability to make data-enabled decisions. This is why we have a market that is data-starved and low on data-enabled buyers.
I think the term “data-starved” is much better than “data-starved-starving.” That kind of paints a false picture. Data-starved means the buyer has not been able to access the data they need-which is information the product or service can provide and comparisons to other products or services. If the company has thousands of products and services, then how can they provide the buyers with the data they need? The answer is that they could use automation and technology. What the buyer needs is the ability to make decisions.
There is a big difference between having information and having data. You can have data all day long but if you don’t have information you cannot make decisions. Yes, there are many examples of clients who could use information all day long. But, there are many more examples where the buyer has no data and can’t access data that could make a difference.
The buyer’s need can become a buyer’s predicament when they have to decide on several products or services that all provide the same benefit. I often hear companies say that the buyer must decide on two products and work their way out of a dilemma. Well, that’s easy, just put them all in the buyers’ dilemma box and you are set. But, there are plenty of buyers who would not benefit from the products offered and therefore will not consider them in the dilemma.
I just don’t get it. These businesses spend so much time, effort and money to attract new buyers. To keep them loyal and bringing in revenue, why do they have to work their way out of a dilemma? Just let them stay loyal and don’t try to “work your way out of a dilemma.” That’s just lazy. It’s like the guy who throws his car keys into the river and then asks why it didn’t work. That sure didn’t seem like a good solution.
I’ve heard of companies that used to provide buyers with data but then found they were so overwhelmed with the data, it became a burden. So, they stopped providing buyers with data and now they get no data. It’s really a mystery to me. Why would you put buyers in a dilemma where they don’t have any data?
It seems like a simple solution, just give buyers data. But, what happens if you do? Will it help you attract new buyers? Will it make you more money? It seems that everyone has the ability to provide buyers with data. Why not just use them?
I have no idea why this happens. But, I do know that businesses do this all the time. Sometimes, even when they have a strong marketing plan. And, often times, even when their revenue is strong. They still don’t seem to get it worked out and then spend more on marketing instead of increasing their revenue. But I’ve noticed one thing in my lifetime. That people who start with a strong plan still do not seem to stop and think to see how well it works. It’s almost as if they don’t care. They just keep moving and hoping that it will work. In all my years of watching businesses, I’ve never seen anyone do the simple things that seem to make a huge difference. Especially when the plan doesn’t even seem to acknowledge the most basic things. But this really puzzles me.
I’ve watched these companies grow from little startups to huge behemoths that have millions of dollars in new revenue and millions more in profit. I’ve watched companies that had great plans, who thought they had a good plan, and yet they don’t seem to stop and actually work on it. At times, I’ve wondered why they even bother. What seems to happen is, they realize they don’t have a plan and that they are confused, so they start adding things to their plan to make it work. At this point, they haven’t done a single thing to make it work. And then, they just get confused and go through the motions. Now they are starting to see some success, but they are adding things to their plan and just continuing to move forward. Sometimes they are doing really good, and sometimes they are doing really bad. But either way, they are not getting the results they want.
Recently I watched a company that was doing really well, that was adding features to their plan every week. And I could tell by their plans that they were really happy with their plans. And I am just wondering what is going on here. I am wondering, is this a plan that works or what? They are starting to see success, but not from what they are producing, but from how many people they are being introduced to. Now, I always ask this question, I always wonder if they are starting to see success from what other companies are asking them to purchase. I mean, they are starting to start to get a % of what other companies are telling them they should spend. Like I said, what is going on here?
And my answer to this is simple. They are doing the same things every company is doing, but they are adding something different. And at this point, I am wondering what is so unique about what they are adding? These companies just continue to add more and more and more to their plan, they add features, and they add benefits, but they are just not getting any smarter. And the thing that I want to know is, what is different about what they are adding?
I keep trying to get them to take some action, but I just can’t seem to get them to make any decisions. I just want to know what is so unique about what they are adding. Like I said, they are adding features, and they are adding benefits, but they are not getting any smarter. What is so special about this?
What am I missing? What is so special about what they are adding? D you have any ideas? I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!