The digital gold mine that is essential for sustainable growth.
The internet is a constant presence in our lives, and nearly everything we do on it can be recorded as data. In this landscape, the value of data surpasses that of currency, and having information that can be easily accessed, displayed accurately, and understood in the proper context is imperative for the growth of any business.
As retail media networks have grown in popularity, each one promises access to analytics. But access alone is far from sufficient. While there is never any shortage of data, its potential remains untapped without the knowledge and tools to process it. Actionable data empowers CPGs to make informed decisions. It provides the ability to identify crucial patterns and foresee future trends, all while offering insights and recommendations for future strategic actions. In fact, brands that are deliberate with their data are 23 times more likely to gain new clients and 6 times more likely to retain their existing customers.
With every retail media network under the sun promising data, it’s crucial to know what actually matters.
Defining Actionable Data: Beyond 1’s & 0’s
Primary data, also known as raw data, is the original unprocessed information that is collected from its source. On its own, it has little intrinsic value, existing on a collection of servers in a series of 1’s and 0’s. Data becomes actionable when this raw information becomes refined through a complicated process of collection. This means being intentional about cleaning the data of any errors and inconsistencies, processing the information, and analyzing it to extract insights.
The amount of data to process is mind-blowing, estimated to be around 463 exabytes daily by 2025. To put that in perspective, 1 exabyte is equal to 1 trillion megabytes. In an era defined by data-driven decision-making, the challenge and potential at the core of this information is staggering. However, gathering the information needed to make informed decisions is no small feat.
Promises from Retail Media Networks: Glitter & Gold
Because data is so valuable, retail media networks often tout access to analytics as a primary offering. While access to data is an important resource, its value is completely reliant on the ability to glean meaning and strategic insights from it. The distinction between data availability and data’s transformation into actionable knowledge underscores the need for networks to prioritize not only the quantity but also the quality of the insights they deliver.
Plus, the media networks operated by major chains tend to hold data pretty close to the vest. They tend towards a guarded approach that works to limit what data is being given, leaving CPGs in the dark. This confusion for CPGs is compounded by the fact that retail media networks tend to use inconsistent metrics and communicate information differently. The lack of transparency in the industry has been seen elsewhere, such as Sigma Computing’s recent survey that showed that 63% of companies struggle to gather the timely insights they need from their data. When evaluating the promises of media networks, it is vital to ask specific questions about the type of data that will be provided and if the insights align with your brand's long-term goals.
Relevance: Tailored For Your Needs
When it comes to data, a one-size-fits-all approach fails to capitalize on its true potential. Every CPG possesses its own distinct identity, objectives, and customer base. The effectiveness of data-driven strategies hinges on tailoring insights to align with each of these unique attributes and goals. In a landscape where differentiation is critical, the value of actionable data is truly realized when it's crafted to suit the individual identity and aspirations of each brand.
According to Forrester, up to 73% of all data that is collected is never actually used for analytics.
The value of a retail media network will never be fully realized if it’s simply gathering data for the sake of it. By adopting a tailored approach, brands can not only significantly reduce the volume of unused data but also enhance their ability to turn insights into actionable strategies that resonate with their target audience.
Accuracy and Consistency
For data to truly drive actionable insights, accuracy and consistency stand as indispensable prerequisites. Like most things in life, the key value of data is linked to its reliability. Accurate data ensures that decisions are based on a foundation of actual events instead of assumptions, working to minimize the risk that comes with misguided actions.
Consistency across data sources ensures that trends, patterns, and correlations can be accurately identified and leveraged. In a report released by IDC, it was estimated that every year, around $3.1 trillion is lost due to poor data analytics. The synergy of accurate and consistent information underpins the credibility of potential outcomes. Thus giving CPGs the ability to confidently navigate the choices they make, giving brands an edge over competitors with less accurate data.
Scalability and Flexibility: Insights for Long-Term Growth
In addition to being customizable, accurate, and consistent, actionable data must also be scalable. Scalable data ensures that the insights that are gathered remain relevant and impactful as operations evolve over time. Good data should always be bound to time. It should meet immediate needs but also work to support future plans. As brands develop and grow, their data should evolve right alongside them.
As retail media networks continue to establish themselves as an indispensable part of CPG's ad spend, the empty promises about data continue to be a concern. This makes knowing what to look for an essential responsibility for brands. Being intentional about working with media networks that prioritize action instead of just collection can be a key difference-maker for CPGs.