Data, Culture, and Thinking.

Forming the Marketer of the Future

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Culture & Communication, Marketing
Written by Lateef Mauricio

Data, Culture, and Thinking – Forming the Marketer of the Future

The development of a strong company culture has been a major prerogative of today’s most successful Chief People Officers. The goal is to unite staff under a banner of shared values, goals, norms, and ethics. Some visionary marketing leaders are leveraging cultural understanding and awareness to drive success.

The value story we tell external audiences must be nothing more than a variation of the internal value story that motivates staff to do their best work.
By aligning internal and external value stories, friction is minimized between audience and brand so all people can thrive, symbiotically. What’s more intriguing to me is just how impactful this is for market strategy, sustained business viability, and high growth. This is modern stuff. As aligned internal and external stories are adopted, the correlation to business performance is plotted as data points. As with any other performance data, this can be used to continuously improve and plan for the future by building out predictive, prescriptive, and anticipatory analytics models. For companies that already have growing data science practices, this is easily within reach.

Let the machines grind through models while we create meaningful change through hypothesis-driven thinking.
Though I’m all about the data, it’s silly to run data science-based marketing and human capital programs without considering just how liberating these technological advancements are for today’s workforce. As our analytic capabilities become stronger, humans become more important as thinkers. That’s right, we are moving from doing only what we have time and resources for, to thinking of the possibilities and then using smart methods and computational power to plot out the most efficient path to success.

But data will only deliver a piece of the insight because it cannot capture the most abstract qualitative observations.
We must truly and deliberately try to understand our customers, constituents, and any other stakeholder. Since aligned value stories result in aligned cultures, we have more direct access to these stakeholders, making it that much easier to observe and derive insight. This is where anthropologists serve as great role models because they are researchers, thinkers, documentarians, and storytellers all at once. In his esteemed book, “The Broken Fountain,” anthropologist Thomas Belmonte wrote about the time he spent conducting field work in an impoverished Neapolitan neighborhood. Belmonte’s work is highly regarded not because he presented a dry outsider’s analysis of subjects, but because he conscientiously sought to become a true resident of Naples that connected with neighbors and vied to understand their actions. The result was an informative and emotional account that painted a vivid picture of daily life in that neighborhood.

In business, the closer we are to customers, the better prepared we are to understand and empathize with our most important stakeholders. The marketers of the future are embedded within the target audience as thinkers and thought leaders that make sense of all this data we may never stop collecting.

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