• Tracey Twynham

Putting a Value on Data


We’ve talked before about data being the holy grail of any marketer. Data is the glue that holds any campaign together, it’s not just the icing on the cake but the vital ingredient to successful lead generation.


The value of data has never been greater. According to the European Commission, by 2020 the value of personalised data will be one trillion euros, almost 8% of the EU’s GDP. In a rapidly developing digital marketing environment, organisations are looking for ways to create value using their (or someone else’s) data. Those that take the time to properly understand the value of data will unlock significant value. Those that don’t risk wasted investment in costly implementation programs with little or no value.


As we attempt to understand data and its value to our organisations, it is important to analyse the value of data from different perspectives, that of an individual, corporations and government.


  1. The individuals – the bulk generators and rightful owner of the data. Individuals share their data in return for personalised services and benefits.

  2. The corporations – the bulk gatherers and users of the data and the biggest winner financially. Corporations such as Facebook and Google have overtaken more traditionally valuable companies such as oil/energy corporations due to the value of the data individuals readily share with them. Such data-aggregators capitalize on individual data by selling to advertisers and marketers looking to target specific segments, influence buyer behaviour and make dynamic pricing decisions.

  3. Governments – benefit by being data savvy and leveraging data for improving quality of life through better design and targeting of government health and welfare schemes and other data-driven policies.

Data is the fuel of the digital economy.


Data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general. Data-driven applications benefit individuals and corporations in many ways, such as:

  • Improving health care

  • Creating safer and cleaner transport systems

  • Generating new products and services

  • Reducing the costs of public services

  • Improving sustainability and energy efficiency

  • Creating and sustaining loyalty and customer engagement

Data has immense value in understanding, predicting, and influencing individual behaviour and decisions, which is why it is such a vital component of any marketing strategy.

To truly understand the value of data as part of your marketing strategy you must start by identifying and classifying what data you hold, and perming an inventory in order to:

  1. Assess the quality of the data

  2. Identify gaps in the data (which could be filled by buying data)

  3. Highlight key issues which might hinder any data strategy (e.g. legal or regulatory restrictions over data usage)

  4. Consider possible applications for the data

By understanding and classifying your data you’ll get much better insight of how it can be used to benefit your strategic objectives. A PWC paper highlights various premises data must have in order to be of value:

  1. Specific and identifiable: It must be identifiable and definable i.e. made up of specific files or specific tables or records within a database

  2. Monetisable: It must promise probable future economic benefits – it must have useful applications which can drive incremental future cash flow

  3. Controllable: It must be under the organisation’s control – you must have rights to use and exploit the data in a way which is compliant with applicable laws and any contractual licensing arrangements, whilst also protecting the data and restricting access to it

Grow your business with intelligent data

Increasingly, data is seen as one of a corporation’s most valuable assets. Deloitte states that “Data assets are the engine driving the total value and growth of modern organizations. As a result, building a framework to discover and realize the potential of your data is critical to increasing the value you provide to shareholders, and to optimizing the future success of your organization.”


Data is intelligent, dynamic, relevant, and packed full of insight. It can be sliced and diced as required to deliver the right level of bespoke criteria demanded by each customer and each campaign. Used proactively and responsively, data used for personalised, targeted marketing will improve the customer experience, build brand loyalty, and increase sales. Using smart IT contact data makes targeting simple and effective. Get your targeting right and your marketing message on point and lead generation and conversion will soon follow.


Understanding and valuing data is key to defining and enhancing the value of your organisation and its approach to value creation and lead generation. Data matters and its impact on your organisation is significant, ignore it at your peril.


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