This time last year the biggest over-used buzzword was “Big Data” — and now that we’re approaching the end of 2015, data fatigue has officially set in.
Don’t get me wrong. Data is not out of vogue, nor has it lost any of its luster.
I recently saw some insights gleaned from a number of agencies where data was the No. 1 topic. The same goes for brands. I recently spoke with 20 CMOs of major global brands, and data was at or near the top of the list of issues they're trying to address.
Data fatigue refers to the symptoms of being overwhelmed and hyper-interested at the same time. That's coupled with a sense of exasperation and cynicism every time a new company talks about “big data” or a “data operating system.” These terms are thrown around like bouquets at a wedding.
There are new companies popping up every week that claim to be a data management platform or the nexus of data aggregation. This “me-too” strategy is what creates fatigue as the audience (marketers) needs to spend more time trying to wade through the fields and separate the wheat from the chaff.
It’s tiresome to have company after company speak to you about being the next “blank” (fill in the company of the minute) in data. Your positioning should speak to a product and a benefit and provide a differentiation, along with a rationale for why you can back up your claims. Simply comparing yourself to a market leader and saying “we’re better” is lazy, and laziness breeds fatigue.
Combating data fatigue is not easy. it requires a lot of work. As an industry, we have to acknowledge that the next 12 months will be about iterative growth, which will be labor-intensive.
No marketer needs to be sold on why data is important, nor do they need to be sold on why they need a DMP. They are looking for practical explanations, in their terms, of what steps they can take.
What should they test? What media should be data-driven first? What are the priorities for expanding their data-driven strategy? These are the kinds of questions we need to be asking.
Your messaging should be about tactics and benefits at this point. Educate your audience and help them understand exactly what steps to be taking. Don’t oversell the “why” of data," but focus on the “how.” That is how you re-energize your audience in 2016.