Many dimensions contribute to a comprehensive definition of the success of a business. To me, people are the key.
People exist at every interface of the brand experience, and are vital to each interaction. People are who we do the work for, and they are the ones doing the work. Thus, business success exists in creating alignment between the brand promise and the brand experience – and this is driven by people. It lies in their ability to manage business inputs and outputs in such a way that they create value for employees, clients, and stakeholders.
Data is Key
Without data, it is impossible to measure success. We need to be able to measure every aspect of the business. However, simple measurement is not enough. The ability to optimise this process through data and the analysis of data provides people – both leadership and staff – with the meaningful information they need to enhance client experience, and the business processes that create that experience. What about consumers and clients? They, too, need to be engaged in the process of creating business processes that delight the client. They have the inside track on what those processes would be.
Research data gives us the insights we need to be able to understand the business better:
- What works?
- What isn’t working?
- What needs to be changed? (or: what no longer works?)
- What can be improved?
- Who does this serve, if anyone?
- Who could be served?
- How can we do better?
The thing is, the numbers alone are not enough. The numbers needed to be analysed in the context of the business.
The ability to collect relevant data, and analyse it intelligently, are powerful and indispensable business resources that must inform strategic decisions and optimise tactical operations.
This is why my passion is to make data meaningful within the strategic context of the human interface and influence – by extracting key insights from that data.
A business is a system. In it, inputs and outputs influence each other within bigger social, economic, and political systems. Understanding of these complex systems can be significantly enhanced by the collection of relevant data; accurate and relevant processing of that data; and applying human intuition to the results. In this way, it becomes possible for a business not only to optimise its existing position, but also to anticipate changes that will or could occur in the market.
What, Then, is Marketing?
For me, marketing can be explained like this:
> Aligning understanding (of stakeholders, staff, consumers, and the market) to business capacity, which is aligned to market opportunities.
The result should be that the right message is communicated to the right market, and the right resources are in place to service that market.
Marketing is both a science and an art, and we have the tools today to optimise and leverage the power of both human knowledge and human intuition with a much greater understanding of business dynamics – through data and the analysis of that data.