By: Monica C. Smith – i.Predictus and Marketsmith Founder and CEO
Last week I was asked a great question by a client we have had for over 8 years. It was at a regroup summit on how we forward face to their newest challenges in the Global market. We covered a range of issues, from the simplest challenge – to understand content delivery and stage of the customer journey, to the greatest challenge – the ongoing spend by their closest competitor that quadruples our client’s spend. We discussed the importance of absolute accuracy where we spend, and why we spend, which has enabled us to dominate market share in every product category we have launched for them to date.
With that, the client turned to me, and said, “Monica, you must be using i.Predictus to start every conversation with new clients – isn’t it your greatest point of differentiation?” It was an interesting moment for me. As I took a moment, I realized a sense of relief and pride, that the risk I had undertaken seven years ago, and formalized five years ago, was so difficult – but has made the difference for me as a leader and as a business owner on so many levels.
Start-ups are hard, and technology start-ups are close to impossible. The reality is – this one almost killed me. But there is one key insight I used in creating i.Predictus that can be summarized in one sentence, that I’d like to share with others so that they can leverage its power: Data visualization is an alternative way to look at information. It is a presentation of data that should, if done correctly, tell a story very quickly, by immediately illustrating strengths and weaknesses to provide meaningful, and powerful direction.
That one sentence helped to create a significant point of differentiation over other agencies, including the largest holding companies around the globe. It was the basis for our business model, and it enabled us to create a superior platform that has made my shop far more valuable and effective than any other media placement management company.
Let me walk you through the reasons why data visualization through i.Predictus has propelled my company to exceed the performance, and services, other shops offer:
Data-based media buying wins every time over the humans. When humans place media, their accuracy rate consistently falls below 30%. Why is that? Because there are too many weights, data points and interactions for a human brain to process at one time. So, they default to relationships. Relationships are where humans let emotions take over and deals are made good, bad, or indifferent. Deals between humans versus science – science will always win. Point blank.
Humans spend more time organizing data than reading it. Humans by nature are either right-or left brained. This is why the marketing strategist is going to make a great comeback. The great marketing strategist you can have on your team is a person that is comfortable in the right and left side of the brain. One who craves visuals of data because it cuts down precious time on sifting through and organizing data. We need humans reading data, not spending time organizing it. Data organized by humans should be a thing of the past.
Dirty Data creates dirty outcomes. The idea that even a blind squirrel can find a nut is never true in dirty data. Dirty data is dirty data and creates dirty, messy and blemished outcomes where businesses lose big money that they can never recover. Don’t let humans clean your data.
Humans are expensive and slow until they are empowered. It is not disruptive to replace humans crunching data with data processes like data lakes, data warehouses, and data hubs. It is smart. Humans cannot compete with machine learning, data cleansing processes and artificial intelligence. The data comes too fast, too furious and from too many places. Data is critical to the process, and humans are still very critical – to the story telling: the command of the data truth, and to run like a cheetah once they have the information they need.
Winning is placing effective technologies and visualizers in place of where humans once roamed. The fundamental changes in my business came from the following points out of the i.Predictus platform:
1 human is now in place where 7 once were
Outcomes increased to over a 90% accuracy rate
Humans became more valuable and more empowered – scale happened and stayed
Marketing outcomes for clients and work projects started to accelerate positively, and risk was avoided.
So, when I talk about visualizing, it is clear to me that using one sentence, “Data visualization is an alternative way to look at information,” led me to take the risk of formulating data into repositories that could and should interact. And it led me to intentionally lower the headcount of the team I was building – to ensure that scale did not come at the hands of humans doing work they did not need to, and could not do, as well. The platform was created rapidly to help humans tell a story in as close to real time as possible. It had to be accurate, so that it did not create a false story.
I visualized a better business model, where I trusted that my team was delivering outstanding work products, that they were fully informed using data, science and human knowledge. That we would spend less time creating reports and more time acting off what they were saying. Cutting down on the reaction time, and effectively beating the competitor, not only at smarter placements, but with less errors, less time to find winners, and clarity on where the winners were.
When I visualize today, I see charts that move me to conclusions faster, with less people around the table and greater consensus. When I have the i.Predictus platform driving attribution, content discovery, media channels and what SKU’s are working where and when, I know that I am the most informed strategist in the room. I am confident, I am informed, I am agile and I am winning for my clients and ultimately for my business. Now I know that I can scale my agency, I can compete globally, and I can see the future with precision.
So, when my client asked me the question “You must be using i.Predictus to start every conversation…,” the truth is, I visualized a long time ago that i.Predictus would be the start of all our marketing strategies. Marketing needed more answers faster. I needed it for my business, and I needed it for my clients. Now I start every conversation with, “I know we can do a better job than any other agency in the world. I know because I can visualize it.”