Key Takeaways from B&M: In a World full of Data, Knowledge is Power

We live in the age where we can sit down after a hard day’s work and aimlessly browse Amazon for a product we have no need for, yet we brush over an Instagram post we scrolled past while procrastinating at work, not really noticing it at the time, but it leaves a significant mark on our subconscious.

We’ll find the product, we’ll decide on it, we’ll set up an account and we’ll enter our payment details… all of this effort, only to pull out last minute, just before we hit the pay button, and we’ll probably forget about it.

Skip forward to the next day. It’s about 4:30pm and your work day is coming to a close. What are you doing? That’s right; you’re procrastinating on social media again.

You see this post during your aimless scrolling session that seems all too familiar. What is it? It’s that voice-recognition-shower (which kind of exists by the way) you almost bought last night.

Someone who’s ignorant might see this is an awesome coincident, chuckle, and buy the product for the sake of the moment.

Someone who’s arrogant will see this and think of all the ways the ‘secret society’ are trying to ‘hack’ them. They’ll tell all their friends about it and think they are the smartest person alive.

Someone who’s smart however will see this and say, “how is this possible? I looked at this on my PC last night, and now it’s on my phone?” Then they’ll do their research and soon discover that this is no coincidence, no conspiracy, but simple data driven marketing.

If you caught the panel discussion at Dublin Tech Summit on Wednesday 15th, you’re lucky enough to be in that third category of people (the smart ones!). If you didn’t have a good insight already, the panel discussion on The No.1 Threat Facing Marketers Today was a question certainly answered: Too Much Data.

DTS B&M Panel


The panel was hosted by Krishna De, a digital strategist and social media communications speaker, commentator, educator and mentor, who was introduced as the woman with over 800 phone apps. Krishna posed multiple questions amongst her fellow speakers, James Parton (Director of European Marketing @Twilio), Drin Mulliqi (CEO fafi-ks.com), Michael Bevans (Senior Director of Field Marketing @Yahoo) and Marc Preusche (Founder & MD @Le’ROI).

Michael Bevans, who claims that we passively process about 165 billion data points a day, is visiting 7 countries in February alone. Michael taught attendees a very important lesson when it comes to data. He told us not to view data as the ugly mathematical concept that it is, but to view it as “knowledge.” Michael really gave the audience something to think about too, when he pointed out how roughly seven apps on each person’s phone was currently tracking them by Yahoo alone.

Another great lesson was told to audience members by Marc Preusche, when he spoke of the “initiation test” imposed on his company’s new recruits. Marc mentioned that the recruits are stood in front of the office’s foosball table and asked “how many foosballs can you place on this table?” Once they give a suitable answer, they are given a large amount of data and left to sieve through it and see what kind of information they can find – quickly. Unfortunately Marc didn’t give us an answer to the foosball riddle, in case you have a job lined up with Le’ROI…

When asked to give advice on smaller companies who want to make the most out of their data, but can be intimidated by the price tag on larger data tools, Marc said, “start with the free tools (Google analytics, etc.) and see how your audience reacts.”

Having co-founded Kosovo’s first ever ecommerce company, Drin Mulliqi was also on deck to give advice to data swamped marketing hopefuls. “There were no online sales in Kosovo,” said Drin. “There was so much data but nobody could use it.” Drin and his company, fafi-ks.com, were able to launch a viral campaign for their startup based on the fact that it was “the first ecommerce site in Kosovo.” On the day of their launch, 25% of the country’s internet traffic came through their site.

It crashed on the first day.

James Parton was keen to give sound advice to ambitious entrepreneurs. James spoke of the excitement and energy when a startup is launched, but how it is important to pace yourself. “After the high [of beginning the startup] you settle down and hire data experts.” This important step is vital for the success of any startup, as someone who can analyse your data and put it to good use.

Overall the panel discussion had one key message: don’t look at data as a bad and overwhelming thing. Hire the right people, understand what the information is saying and apply your findings to the right marketing.


Evan O’Gorman