There continues to be a huge buzz around digital data in business. Yet the debates still seem to be guided by hype, rather than substance. We think that the attention should focused more on the real key question for businesses: How can data be turned into actual business value?
That is why we put this question at the centre stage of dataX 2019, the third and biggest edition of our annual client conference yet. Close to 100 data pioneers from some of the world’s leading blue-chip companies such as adidas, BMW, Coca-Cola, FrieslandCampina, SAP, and Telefónica came together at the BMW Welt in Munich to exchange their ideas in between thought-provoking keynotes and one-to-one breakout sessions.
We are happy to report that the event was a full success, marked by an incredibly positive atmosphere with lots of smiles and great ideas!
Watch the dataX 2019 aftermovie for a short glimpse:
The Answers: Using Data to Drive Business Success
Ever since its first iteration in 2016, the keynote speeches are at the heart of dataX. Most of them are held by representatives from our clients and consist of real-world case studies. This year, the keynote speeches provided plenty of great answers to the key question outlined above and were chock-full of interesting insights. Below you will the key takeaways from all the speeches this year!
1. TD Reply: Announcing China Beats
The first keynote was held by Anja Kielmann, Senior Director Creative Strategies at TD Reply Berlin, and Martin Schmoll, Senior Creative Strategist at TD Reply Beijing. Their introduction revolved around the growing importance of the Chinese market for international companies, as the Chinese middle class is projected to grow to 550 million people by 2022, according to the World Bank.
For this reason, gaining a solid foothold in the Chinese market becomes an imperative for an increasing number of companies. However, as the speakers stressed, it is impossible to do so without truly understanding the market and its actors – and understanding them better than the competition does. Then, they seized the moment to announce China Beats, a new business intelligence suite developed by TD and set to be released in the third quarter of 2019. Utilising the latest in machine learning, natural language processing, and data analytics for advanced social listening, China Beats will not only allow users to gather player, brands, and market data in a hitherto unparalleled quantity and quality, but also to intelligently interpret it. As a result, the users will obtain valuable insights into the Chinese market and the preferences of Chinese consumers, granting them a head start vis-à-vis the competition and setting a course for long-term business success in China.
2. Telefónica: The Virtue of a Virtual Marketing Assistant
Florian Wilken, Manager Analytical Models & Foresight, Telefónica Germany then followed with a speech focusing on the Virtual Marketing Assistant (VIMA), developed by TD Reply. VIMA is a unique AI-powered module for marketing dashboards, which can deliver automated alerts to all users. These alerts consist of information about KPI development, context information and, most important, analytical derived causes and effects.
By translating raw metrics and data into a written-out fact description, VIMA provides real insights and guidance in a highly digestible form. The risk of getting lost in a massive amount of metrics is minimised, complexity reduced. This way, the marketers can fully focus more on optimising marketing performance, rather than spending resources on making sense of raw data. VIMA can also be integrated into our Pulse dashboards.
3. SAP: Why You Need to Think New
Next in line was Christian Wehner, Business Development Senior Specialist and Digital Ambassador at SAP. Wehner emphasized that the mankind is moving from the competition of knowledge the competition of creativity. Already today, creativity has become one of the most valued skills in business, according to the World Economic Forum.
Against that background, Wehner stated that creativity cannot be fully unleashed within the comfort zone: the “magic” can only happen if you leave it. To substantiate the point, he prompted everyone in the audience to draw a picture of the person sitting next to them. Many started laughing immediately, others looked visibly embarrassed to share their “portraits.” Then, he made the point that such reactions are common in business, where employees feel uncomfortable to share their ideas, out of fear that others may consider them to be too wild – something that needs to be changed, as he finally maintained. After all, transformation can only come from new ideas, and those ideas need to be shared to materialise!
4. BMW/MINI: Enabling Data-Driven Marketing Decisions
After the one-hour lunch break, a trio from BMW & MINI consisting of Annkathrin Dangmann (BMW Brand & Communication Management), Hanno Holzer (MINI Brand Management/Digital Marketing), and Jan Kubik (BMW Group Brand Portfolio Strategy) talked about BMW Data Analytics Center and MINI Marketing Dashboards, which have been developed by TD Reply on the basis of the Pulse insights platform.
The basic idea behind the DAC/MMD is to enable data-driven decision making within the BMW Group by consolidating data silos, creating a global unified KPI set, gathering data before, during, and after any communication activity, as well as allowing for ad-hoc brand and product steering. As a result, the marketing efficiency is increased, manual efforts for marketing performance management decreased, while the data skillset within the company evolved.
5. FrieslandCampina: Goodbye to Traditional Advertising
Frenkel Denie, Global Director Digital Commerce at Royal FrieslandCampina then followed with a speech on the future of advertising from the perspective of international companies. Traditional advertising, Denie argued, provides less return-on-invest than personalized digital commerce in the form of paid ads on leading platforms such as Facebook, Google, or Amazon.
For this personalized digital commerce to be successful, however, companies need to obtain precise insights into target markets and must prepare the right content for the right audience. This is why Royal FrieslandCampina works with the data experts from TD Reply, who deliver key insights into the potential of new regional markets, provide sophisticated marketing mix models, and can identify effective content ideas based on digital data.
6. adidas: Predicting Franchise Success with Lifecycle Management
The last keynote was held by Sven Bähre, Manager Strategic Insights & Analytics at adidas. Bähre first pointed towards the importance of iconic franchises in many industries. As he maintained, for adidas the adidas Originals Superstar sneakers are one of the franchises which provides vital design and tech cues for both the development of new products and brand steering – that way, they help build the whole brand.
To better understand consumer perception and demand of these important franchises, adidas, together with TD Reply, developed a novel Franchise Lifecycle Management system. With digital consumer data at the centre stage, the system allows for both anticipating all lifecycle stages of a franchise as well as steering franchise campaigns to reach their highest potential.