Trey Stephens

December 18, 2017

I have diabetes.  Therefore, it behooves me to lead an active lifestyle and focus on healthy eating. My medical condition, while very personal in nature, is something I share openly. Brands would benefit from knowing this about me. I would gladly opt into offers from food, fitness, health and wellness brands tailoring an offer specifically to me.

I realize not many people are willing to openly share this information. However, this willingness to share and use data to improve my life is part of my personal “secret sauce” to manage my disease daily. Diabetes doesn’t control me. I control my diabetes, and data is key in maintaining this control.

This is also why my career is focused on helping companies use and monetize data to open doors that just a few years ago appeared closed. Ethical use of data in a privacy-conscious way is quickly allowing brands to have individual conversations with prospects and customers across multiple touch points.

Swimming Upstream

If brands could improve omni-channel conversations with consumers, why wouldn’t they? Because change is difficult, especially in traditional organizations. Swimming upstream is OK if you are in a pack. However, being the lone change advocate in an increasingly complex business world can be challenging at best. Monetizing data is an example. A growing pack of change advocates are helping their organizations leverage data in new ways to compete and succeed.

 The ever-expanding universe of data:

Each day, the volume and variety of data increases. In fact, data is being created at a faster pace than ever. Digital transformation fuels a thriving data economy. Organizations invest heavily in the collection of data, but what many brands don’t understand is the value of leveraging this data to gain competitive advantage. This advantage is based on consumer insights derived from better managed, ever expanding data sources.

But while brands invest in capturing data, the growing question globally concerns the size of the return on this investment. If brands invest in capturing these new data sources, are they investing into creating actionable insights from the data? Further, are brands leveraging data across the enterprise or keeping insights within internal silos?

Data has become a critical asset in a growing number of companies. How data is managed and applied against the objectives of an organization at a tactical level increasingly differentiates how an organization performs at a strategic level.

Monetizing data is a catalyst for a growing number of brands to pivot toward becoming a leader in data-driven principles. Additionally, data monetization creates a new revenue stream for brands not in the data business. This new revenue can be invested how the company chooses, to reduce overall general expense or in additional data capabilities that improve insights for actions that increase top line sales.

The Amazon Effect

In retail, and across industries, Amazon and other companies are challenging traditional business models and raising the bar for customer experience.  Amazon is forcing traditional companies to accelerate the decision-making processes. And is the key component on which decisions are made. Companies that fail to invest in data at scale and speed will lag in the ability to make quick, accurate decisions.

The digital world is all about disrupting traditional business models. Companies that have been industry leaders for decades are now faced with new competitors that do not have the same cost structure and can move more expeditiously to serve customers. These traditional companies are realizing customer data and its appropriate use can unlock pent up potential in their organization. Historical industry leaders have captured data for years. This is their advantage, if recognized, to compete at scale with digital disrupters and serve customers increasing expectations.

Moving Toward a Data-Driven Enterprise

At its core, monetizing data is an opportunity to activate, enhance and create new value from a brand’s people-based data assets in a privacy-conscious way. Monetization serves as a genesis for leveraging data as a competitive asset. It can create a new revenue stream to expand investment in data capture, processing and insights while reducing other expenses across the organization, increasing profitability.

It’s important to note that data monetization can be enabled through partners at minimal or no new expense. Brands willing to evolve their thinking about data – how it’s captured and used –  can begin to move toward becoming a data-driven enterprise.  Data monetization can serve as the catalyst coupled with new revenue to drive the change.

 

Trey Stephens

Trey Stephens

Trey Stephens joined Acxiom in 2014 and currently serves as director of audience monetization. Prior to Acxiom, he spent a decade at Walmart focused on finance and global customer analytics. Trey has a B.S.B.A. degree in Finance from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and is a resident of Northwest Arkansas. A past member of the board of JDRF, Trey is a published author and featured speaker on the topic of successfully living life to the fullest with diabetes.