There are a lot of analogies for what a successful organization must do to be sustainably successful—having a firm foundation in values like shared purpose, vision, and rules or norms. You can see your strategy as a spine or skeleton that supports and aligns all the tactical and individuals activities. At the risk of taking an analogy too far, it is helpful to see data as the connective tissue.
In the same way that tendons, muscles, and the nervous system enable coordination, data provides a way for different parts of your institution to act in concert. This is especially true in marketing and other customer-facing functions. When a customer’s experience is thoughtful, leveraging sincere empathy and all the relevant information at your disposal, you have the potential to not only delight but create something approaching magic.
Taking advantage of what you already know has been behind the mythic stories of many industry titans. Think of the scores of stories about Zappos built on their market-defying customer service. Domino’s digital transformation and rebirth, the existence of the entire direct-to-consumer industry (like StitchFix), and many retail banks like Capital One, DBS, etc.
And while incorporating this approach used to require millions of dollars and an army of high-skill/experienced technical staff, those barriers are long gone. Getting started today is less about your technical skill than your empathy for your customers.
Understanding your customer’s journey and using your data to “listen” and hear where the friction, frustration, missed opportunities, and awkward/embarrassing mistakes happen is the key to creating this magic and the resulting success of your own mythic story.