While visiting the Galapagos islands, Charles Darwin pondered, why do finch’s appearance and beak size vary from island to island. He concluded, that even though being the same species, finches from different islands had taken different evolutionary paths based on the food, predators and shelter surrounding them. Thus creating his famous quote:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Adaption is crucial to survival, not only in nature but also in the work place. Without the ability to adapt you will be left behind in your field. Constantly keeping up with new trends and skills is necessary to the success of any business person. This strongly applies to the profession of marketing where increasing amounts of data and data regulations have created not only great opportunities but also, new challenges.
One of the many tasks of marketers is acquiring data and transforming it into actionable insight. Due to the broader and greater amounts of data marketers are receiving this task is becoming increasingly complex. The basis of marketing hasn’t changed, but what has is:
- The amount of data they have to link
- The number of functions they have to work with
- The difficulty levels of understanding the massive amounts data
Although the types and volume of data can be intimidating, it is a very powerful tool for marketers.
The sheer amount of data from all media, platforms, channels and devices give marketers a special opportunity to deliver a 1-to-1 experience to all consumers, which previously wasn’t possible. This gives companies of all sizes the opportunity to give the same 1-to-1 experience that companies with small customer bases can. The new data driven economy is creating new opportunities and challenges for adaptable marketers to tackle.
Bumps in the Road
Further complicating the job of marketers is the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which comes into effect May 25th, 2018. The GDPR affects any company that uses personal data from a citizen in any of the 28 countries that combine to make the European Union.
Therefore, this law affects any company with a global reach. GDPR requires companies to be transparent about how they use consumer information and to change how they collect, store and use such information. To be compliant with these laws, marketers are adapting their procedures and marketing tactics. This adds new challenges to a marketer’s job due to the amount of data that is commonly collected.