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Seek data-driven solutions to your pressing business problems

For me, it’s the highlight of the Universal Studios tour in Hollywood – the King Kong 3D ride designed by the godfather of New Zealand filmmaking, Sir Peter Jackson.

Seek data-driven solutions to your pressing business problems

At one point the tram you are riding on is tossed around as Kong does battle with dinosaurs overhead. You feel as though the vehicle is about to tip over, though in reality it is barely moving a few inches.

Universal is the master of creating great experiences, whether they be delivered at a theme park or on the silver screen.

But as we heard last week at the NZ Marketing Leaders’ Summit in Auckland, that 3D innovation, the smoke and mirrors that create a thrilling ride, counts for nothing if you don’t get people through the door.

Universal has proven adept at doing exactly that – 9.15 million people visited its Hollywood theme park last year alone.

Mariela Ure, Chief Marketing Officer at Universal Studios Hollywood, told the summit that the park’s growth – with visitor numbers more than double that of a decade ago, is in no small part due to putting marketing at the centre of Universal’s business and innovation strategies.

Marketing served to support the strategies of the business and the marketing team took a disciplined approach to add value to the rest of the business.

Focus on the problem

For Ure, who held key marketing positions at Wells Fargo and Bank of America before joining Universal, that involves a laser-like focus on the business problems that need solving. We should all follow the lead of the world’s most famous physicist, says Ure:

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions,” Albert Einstein once said.

Defining the problem is essential, as is pursuing solutions that are data-driven and measurable. Universal generates a mountain of data, from ticket and merchandise sales to time spent on rides and metrics tracking the impact of its digital marketing campaigns.

Only when you can draw on data to measure your contribution can you show how you are contributing to the business. Ure told the summit that technology had made marketing more complicated and it was easy to get bogged down in information.

The key was to find the metrics and data that spoke to how you were tracking in solving the business problems you were presented with. The traditional role of marketing was to create a funnel – build awareness, interest, desire and ultimately lead people to make a decision.

Analysis paralysis

But increasingly, the success of marketing is viewed through the lens of how effectively it is contributing to driving business results. A solid marketing strategy is crucial, but too often, says Ure, the strategy is an academic process, a document, that doesn’t focus on solving the problem. Marketing projects often fail when key decision makers get locked into “analysis paralysis” and when only a small group know and understand the strategy, cutting others out of the loop who can make a contribution.

Getting all of this right takes flawless execution. As I spoke to marketing executives at the summit, I got the sense that for many of them, tackling those business problems is a bit like clinging onto that tram while King Kong and the dinosaurs do battle!

But in a data-driven world, marketing has more potential than ever to deliver measurable results for the business.

Mariela Ure’s five tips for marketing success

  1. Focus on solving business problems
  2. Identify the data behind the problem
  3. Only pursue data-driven solutions that are measurable
  4. Strategy is one thing, execution is everything
  5. Always measure and constantly be willing to redesign your strategy as required

This blog is part of the #datareimagine series. For more experts' insights, clients' experiences and to download our datasheets, click the banner.

For more experts' insights, clients' experience and to download our datasheets, click the banner #datareimagine

Posted by: Richard Brown, Head of Digital and Experience Design, Intergen | 18 September 2019

Tags: Data Analytics, Data Insights, Data-driven marketing, #datareimagine

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