Watch out world – I had to do it. There’s a newly created new-marketing/business term coming our way. Actually, the dynamics behind the concept have been at play for some time now, so it was just a matter of time before someone articulated it as a one word addition to our growing lexicon.
First, let me fill you in on where the motivation behind this post came from. I was inspired by the Group M deal with Celltick in Asia, (Celltick delivers a ‘LiveSreen’ streaming ad interface to millions of mobile handsets), to write a post titled “When Looking For Mobile, Look Overseas”, when it dawned on me that there was a bigger story here. A much bigger story (well at least the straw that broke the camel’s back for me), a story about data value, about sharing case studies and key learnings, about leveraging standardized tools and technologies, developing proven processes and techniques, globally. Hence the birth of Agency “Datanomics.”
Update: the announcement in MediaPost about Publicis adopting a yield management system (Rapt) to create digital media buying efficiencies and collective knowledge across its portfolio of agencies, including Starcom Mediavest, Zenith Optimedia and Digitas, is exactly the type of system that will become standard at the holding company levels. Scale does offer tremendous benefits in the world of datanomics!
I continue to see many non-big-agency-folks bashing the big guys for not ‘getting’ digital channels (granted up until recently they certainly deserved some of the bashing). But I must say, big things are happening and I think many naysayers out there can’t see the forest for the trees. Some of the big guys do indeed get it. In my “Agency Darwinism” piece, I point out that WPP’s digital revenue represents 23% of the total $29 billion in 2007. Barely a week goes by without news of another WPP acquisition or strategic partnership. Kudos guys. Keep keeping on!
Of course the market forces that affect agencies affect marketers, publishers, technology providers, content creators and all parties in the entire ecosystem. But of course I am partial to focuses my thoughts and writings more so on the agency ecosystem specifically.
So with that background, I introduce to you, “Datanomics“: The study and practice of creating direct and indirect value by leveraging data at all points in the business, encompassing everything from simple communication of collective experience and knowledge to the implementation and management of sophisticated data analysis tools and dashboards. In practice, it is a mindset, always focused on how to harness and leverage data for planning, evaluation or implementation of any and all business investments. It’s the application of econometric thinking at all levels of the organization. Essentially Datanomics is not just about measurement, analytics and modeling, but the strategic thinking and pragmatic application behind it. Datanomic training would include helping all staff understand how to think about data inputs, and outputs as well as possible correlations between different data sets.
I would argue that the most successful digital or integrated agencies of today are those with a strong Datanomic position.
A company’s “datanomic position” affects its overall position in the market, creates or impedes competitive advantages, creates operational efficiencies and increases profitability. A global presence automatically expands a datanomic position, while firewalls between divisions hamper it. Human resources and technology will both play a pivotal role in driving Datanomics, but the human role is an essential one. The levels of technological progress has outpaced that of our ability to absorb this progress at scale. Therefore pockets of “those who understand how to use and/or apply the technology and tools” and “those who do not” have emerged.
Understanding how to apply the additional dimensions of data and the dynamic interactivity of digital media to the planning, execution and evaluation of marketing investments, is a requirement for the transformation of “traditional” agencies, who truly wish to become integrated and ready for battle in the new age of marketing before us, as opposed to simply marketing themselves as such.
After speaking about a data driven marketing and business economy for many years, I had to stick the stake in the ground and coin a new term to describe the concept. It’s not a buzzword, it’s just a term. A term with real meaning. Remember, Datanomics relates to the requirement of an ever present cognizance of the data-dimension. Direct marketers have been riding this wave forever. But data is now in the realm of all marketers and all agencies, DR and brand advertisers alike. Your ability or inability to embrace this data-cognitive approach can affect your competitive positioning, the work you do for your clients, and ultimately your ability to maximize agency profitability in the future. I’ve watched agencies embrace data, new tools, systems and ways of thinking, while many others have feared it. There is no choice any longer.
So what’s your Datanomic position compared to your competitors?